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Need Layout And Roof Help In California

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I hope this is the right place to post this (apologies if not).


I'm a complete amateur in Northern California. I am not a builder, designer,architect, etc. -- just a homeowner who wants to knock down my small home and put up something larger eventually. I bought X5 a while back and decided I would have fun attempting to design something myself.


Long story short, after many failed attempts (and new-found appreciation for good designers/architects), I've come up with something that I'm fairly happy with, but need some constructive criticism and perhaps some professional help redoing it or finishing it.


The attached file was made using X5. I need help with the roof and also open to suggestions on the general layout (though it does use the maximum allowable square footage and footprint -- so there are some limitations). Among other things, I also have no idea if it works structurally, how I can get the HVAC to the second floor, and where I can put a water heater.


At the end of the day, I may need a pro to completely redo this, start from scratch, or possibly throw the whole thing out ... I really have no idea if my design "works" architecturally and if it's fixable. But I thought I would post it here and get some honest opinions.


I am happy to pay for services if someone thinks my design is workable -- or if they can come up with something better that fits within my zoning limitations and still has 5 beds / 4.5 baths.


Thank you.


EDIT:  In case you don't want to download the X5 file, here is a link to some images of the design.

Plan Draft.plan

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Hello Tnitty,


Please see attached just one of dozens of possible solutions for your roof design.  This allows for adequate roof clearance out second floor egress windows, gives some watershed above the front entry door, and just cleans things up a bit.  Foundation, hardscape & landscape starts have been included to give a better sense of scale.


Should you wish to discuss other options, please contact me via the message that I sent to you about an hour ago.


Thank You,


Gary Prentice

Country Lane DesignCountryLaneDesign_PossibleSolution_02-16-2016.pdf

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Thanks so much Gary. Looks great... I've been meaning to jump back online and respond earlier, but have been working all day. I will respond to the message later this evening after I get some more time.



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For an amateur I for one give you a lot of credit for coming up with a very workable floor plan/space plan for this house. The basic flow of the house works very well. With few exceptions all of your rooms work well and it is great that you are placing furniture as you design.


Where I am not sold on this design (since this is a ground up build) is the overall form and mass of the house. It is pretty boxy. Many factors come into play which may guide this. Budget, setbacks, site constraints. If you are trying to build on a tight budget, every exterior corner costs a lot of money. Often you need to do a balancing act between budget and aesthetics to get to the goal.


For HVAC there are lots of choices, if you are using forced air (generally the least costly solution) then you will need to have some place where the ducts run vertically. The unit could be in a crawl space, attic or the garage.

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