Our New Home : Update 3

We know the home updates have been a bit slow and not very exciting, but we hope by sharing every step of this process, you all will realize how much this isn’t an overnight process.

If you missed our last few updates and our property tour, you can click here to get caught up!

In this update we are going to talk about the following
  • Recap on our plan
  • The stairwell for our studio space we decided on
  • Changes to the Laundry Room Connection space
  • Sill Heights & Tempered Glass
  • Electric vs Gas Water Heater
  • 3D Rendering for Exterior
  • How much we have invested so far


A lot of you have asked what our plan is, financial questions, and when we will move… while we talked a little bit about this here, we figured we would do a quick recap of our plan. Right now we are in the final steps of finalizing our Preliminary Plans for the home. Once the plans are finalized, we will then know ‘approximately’ what the cost to build will be. Once we have this approximate number, we will apply for a construction loan to begin the process to build the garage, studio space above the garage, and the Laundry Room/Connection Space. (Seen Below)

Keep in mind, before we can even begin building we will have to have our plans engineered, have our property surveyed, clear trees, bring in fill dirt, put in a well, septic and drain field, all before the actual building can commence. Remember, we are building in two phases- the garage and studio and laundry room will be built first, and once complete, we will sell our Modern Cottage, and move into the studio above the garage to live in while we build Phase two (the main living area).

The Stairwell

In the plans below, you will see our stairwell that leads to the studio space above the garage. In our original drawings we anticipated the stairs being inside the Laundry/Connection space, but after talking with our architect, she told us in order for this to happen due to the length of a full flight of stairs, the connection space would need to be two-story instead of one and we knew we did not want that. So, we came up with the plan seen below to extend the garage and place the stairwell inside the garage. The Stairwell, and half bathroom that we added will all be air-conditioned and feel like a part of the home, but we just decided to utilize the garage square footage to house the stairwell hallway and put a turn in the stairs to save on space.

We are planning on having a Dutch Door lead from the Laundry Room into the open Stairwell as seen here.

DESIGN : J. Ryan Duffey | PHOTOGRAPHY : Laura Negri Photography

Below is what we are imagining the Stairwell Hall to look like- once you go through the Dutch Door, to the right will take you up the stairs into the Guest Suite/Studio Space, to the left will take you to a half bath and also out to the backyard, and straight ahead will take you into the garage.

DESIGN m.arkitektur | PHOTOGRAPHY Emma Jönsson Dysell

Changes to the Laundry Room

We are still waiting on the next round of plans from our architect, but in the revisions being made currently, we are moving the windows to be centered in front of the sink in the laundry room, with no windows above the washer/dryer in case we want to add some cabinetry or open shelves. We also have extended the exterior steps to span the width of the connection space instead of just right in front of the door.

Sill Heights & Tempered Glass

One of the main things we have spent a lot of time working on are the window sizes in our home and also the sill heights (the space from the floor to the bottom of the window). We learned that if you have a 12″ or lower sill height, the window will need to be tempered glass to prevent breaking. We also learned that without having to get into custom ordered windows- the tallest tempered glass window height you can order standard is 6 feet. Once we show you the exterior in Update 4, you will see in our entry we have 4 2ºx6º windows with 12″ transoms above the windows for added height and glass to allow for more natural light to flood into our home.

Electric vs Gas Water Heater

Originally our architect had two Gas tankless water heaters on the exterior of our home due to saving space and energy efficiency. However, after talking about it- we weren’t crazy with the idea of having gas around our home and also having to have the gas refilled once we ran out, so we decided on electric tankless water heaters instead. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to water heaters, is they need to be as close as possible to the main areas where you will utilize your hot water the most because the farther away your water heater is from the source, the longer it will take to heat up.

3D Renderings for Exterior

Our architect doesn’t offer 3D renderings but has someone who she can refer us to locally- after doing some research of our own, we found there are also quite a few companies who offer 3D renderings of your 2D plans online who are quite affordable! Once the 2D plans are finalized and we decide on a company for the 3D renderings, we will keep you updated on that process as well! We essentially are just interested in an exterior rendering to validate what we think we are wanting as far as exterior materials and colors go.

How much have we invested so far?

We want to be as realistic as possible during this process, while also being mindful when it comes to talking about finances. Aside from time, so far we have only invested in our architect who charged a $1200 deposit upfront and charges $.85/per square foot under roof. Some architects charge by the square foot while others charge by the hour. Some architects provide a lot more, while others provide only the minimum required. Some offer guidance and creativity, while others rely on your vision… it is all about doing the research and finding what is the best fit for you and your family. We have essentially designed every square foot of this home while heeding some advice from our architect… because of this, we have invested a lot more time in the design process and chose a more affordable architect in our area because we have a vision (and family experience on building).

We promise the next updates are going to be more exciting as we are going to be able to start actually showing you our vision, designs, materials and the physical process that is to come! We would love to know if you are interested in building your forever home and feel overwhelmed by the process, or if you are already living in your forever home?

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    We are Justin & Chelsi, the creators of Laine & Layne. Here you will find things that inspire us as well as projects as we continue to update our modern cottage.hello & welcome

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