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Anyone able to give suggestions or sketch for an 8 person tiny house in a long layout?

 
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Hi folks! I'm in a semi-temporary (hopefully!!!) downsizing situation due to the economy. I'm hoping that y'all might have some thoughts or suggestions about a "tiny house" of about 525 square feet in an old hay loft area. The roof is sloped so about 280 square feet are 8 feet high while the remaining 245 sq ft are in a sloped area that won't allow full standing. The scenario is such that I need to fit 8 people (5 adults, 3 under 18, but of tall stature) into this 35' long by 15' deep sloping space. 8 of the feet across have a flat ceiling with the rest sloping down to about a 3 foot wall edge. Here's a diagram:



All of the floor plans I've seen so far focus on more square-like arrangements and so I'm struggling with this looonnnnnng layout.

It seems like the sloped space might make for good sleeping area instead of putting the beds above into lofts.

I don't really want to have an extensive hallway for access, but we do need some degree of privacy for people.

I'd like to have 2 bathrooms, but this is not essential. There is no problem eating in front of a television since we often will watch YouTube/Rumble videos or read articles and news together and talk about them or daily plans while eating.

I guess I am probably struggling most with practical sized rooms and areas needed for things. I just can't decide what to stick where such that it will be at least livable if not comfortable.

Any thoughts, sketches, floor plans or examples that might help?
 
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Are you talking a tiny house or a small house?
 
Greg Payton
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Hi John! I think this is a tiny house. To me I want to maximize efficiency using "tiny house" principles and organization so that there is more living space. From my reading I hear that "Tiny Houses can range from 60 square feet up to 400 square feet" and so in my case I fall in the 280 square feet for full height square footage, but *kinda* have up to 525 square feet with the sloped area included (which just can't be easily used for full height passage/usage.

So I'm going to say I want to go for the tiny house methodology to allow 8 people to live in this cramped space. Am I wrong in my logic?
 
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I think this is a pretty small space for 8 people, but do-able as long as you get on.  Speaking as one who lives in a house with combed ceilings upstairs (1 1/2 stories is pretty common in my part of Scotland) you can put the heads of the beds into the shallow area of the room and not notice too much loss of height.  Am I right in reading that the area is only sloping on one side? If three people are prepared to share (I'm assuming the younger generation, but this may not be the case) then I think if you had two double 8ft square ish and one single room 8 ftx5ft? under the sloping area together with two bathrooms 8ft x 7ft (or maybe make these smaller and give the double rooms another foot each), another three person bedroom (with bunk beds) could take up the high area at the far end from the door. This leaves a 7ft x 27ft space at full height for communal kitchen and living room.
Better make a start getting rid of stuff though!
Velux type windows in the sloping area will give in loads of light if required for the rooms under the eaves without losing wall space.
 
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So out of this space you would like to have have:
Bathroom: 6ft x 9ft
Laundry: 6ft x 9ft (also a half bathroom)
Kitchen:  12ft x 3ft (just the cabinet space
Dining/LivingRM:
4 Bedroom with Murphy beds, 8ftx6ft
Hallway:
 
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I am unable to draw my ideas.

If this were my project I would use the Wheaton Lab Couch Balcony concept:

https://permies.com/t/65315/permaculture-projects/couch-balcony-wood-timber-framing

Instead of couches, I would make bunks similar to these:


source


source


source


source
 
Greg Payton
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Nancy Reading: Thank you - yes, you understand correctly! Good thoughts! I will digest and come back. Good news is we have storage elsewhere in the barn and can limit this to living needs with superfluous storage elsewhere.

S. Bengi: Thank you! You have "Hallway:" with the colon it looks like you meant to say more? Did that get cut out?

Anne Miller: Thank you! I will think about this. I fear the vertical room is so limited that this is difficult and why I think I have to use area under the roof (slope) for beds more(?) and use the area with height for other things more.
 
Anne Miller
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Greg Payton wrote:Anne Miller: Thank you! I will think about this. I fear the vertical room is so limited that this is difficult and why I think I have to use area under the roof (slope) for beds more(?) and use the area with height for other things more.



My thinking was to put these beds in the sloping area.  

I know your plan is for an area with 8 ft celing. If I were able to draw a sketch maybe you would see what I mean.

The bunk beds do not need 8'. They do not need the height in those pictures.

You might be able to figure out using triple bunk with chest of drawer on the sloping side.

Or the head of the bunks on the sloping side.

I would suggest looking at a 35 ft travel trailer.  Not a fifth wheel. This is because what you are designing is about the same as a travel trailer with slide-outs. Look for a bunkhouse model to see what you can cram into such a small space.

I have never been in a modern submarine so I don't know how fancy they are nowadays. The one I was in was from WWII may be.  The bunks were crammed in the smallest of spaces.

I found these:


source


source

Or  consider something like this:


source



source

I wish you the best for what you are trying to do.  Plan for some outside area if you can like picnic tables, outdoor kitchen, outdoor shower, etc.
 
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Are there any current windows or doors?  I have assumed there are 2 couples, and 4 singles - you could make it work for 1 couple and 6 singles but it would be tighter.  I am going to assume people would appreciate their own closet and possibly desk space.  You could free up more space with bunk beds, but having lived in a dorm situation with minimal storage and bunk beds, you rapidly miss your own defined space.

If it were me, I would probably try to fit a kitchen on one end, a living area on the other, and bedrooms in the middle. Having the ability to distance in two common areas can be nice in communal living situations. You might be able to put the beds with the head against the slopes wall and a closet/shelves/mini desk (depending on the preferences of the people involved. I have always loved the dorm room style/Ikea style bunk beds with a desk and clothes storage area underneath, bed above. Might be an idea for one or more single beds. With a bit of carpentry skill, you could have less discreet seperate areas beneath the bunks, and use it for desk/closet space more effectively.



I would probably have solid partitions between beds, but curtains on a track to the hall for access. Straight ladders. Adults/doubles could be on the floor if desired, with slide out drawers under the bed. I have this track curtain in my room instead of closet doors and I adore it:

https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/vidga-single-track-rail-white-70299153/


I highly recommend buying graph paper, sketching out the layout on graph paper, cutting out pieces of paper the size of your elements (like how wide is a counter? How big is a bed? How big is a stove?? How deep does a closet need to be?) And moving them around to figure out how big things need to be.

I also highly recommend Ikea. I have lived in a lot of small spaces and Ikea has been fantastic in functional storage.

For tall people - definitely consider XL Twin beds, which are harder to find but 6'8" long.


I've sketched two layouts just for fun, plus a picture of a random bed with functional space under it that I found- search loft bed to find many more examples.





Not going to work, but something like this - it's amazing what fits under a single bed!! I often see people doing a dresser and a mini closet. Double stacked curtain rods are really easy to install and make.




IMG_20210714_133357643.jpg
Layout 1
Layout 1
IMG_20210714_133349250.jpg
Layout 2
Layout 2
 
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With eight people to house, the first critical bit of information is whether any of them can share a bedroom or bed. If so, it becomes tight but workable; if not, it will be sardines.

Twin beds are nice for one adult, but I think it will be necessary to make do with single cot-sized beds for this space (doubles for adults sharing a bed). I agree with solid (but thin, maybe sandwiching styrofoam boards for sound control) partitions between spaces, and nice thick curtains to the main space/hall.
 
Glenn Herbert
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Apparently there is no difference between a single bed and a twin, both 3'-2" x 6'-3". The twin is just meant to be used in pairs for two people. A double is 4'-6" x 6'-3". Cot size for any smaller kids can be 2'-6" wide. (I presume this arrangement would not be expected to last til the kids grow up.)

Use of space at the low edge: 3' is not enough to sit up in bed if the head is against that wall, so I think beds would need to have the foot to the wall, or be parallel so it is possible to sit up in the center of the bed. With privacy at a premium, people will want to be able to use their beds for more than sleeping. Even fold-up bunks would not work, as 3' is not enough height to fold up any size of bed.

Kitchen counters 3' high could sit against the low edge, but would only allow less than 5' headroom for a person working at the counter... obviously not practical. I think that edge of the space is only good for things like a TV or beanbag chairs or end tables. Twin beds with a foot and a half of floor space could line up on the low side and project only 5', leaving 10' of space for a bathroom and laundry. Five 7' long bedrooms could line up along the low edge with beds along the wall; doubles could fit in 7' x 7'. Say two doubles at the far end of the space and four singles lined up. This leaves 10' x 28' for full bath, laundry and a half bath, kitchen and living space. The best layout I found left 10' x 16' for common space including a table doubling as kitchen work space, not including kitchen counter/appliances. If bed spaces become mere cubbies without measurable floor space, the common space can be bigger. Likewise if more than two doubles can be used.
 
Greg Payton
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Anne Miller: Thank you for further clarifying! Helpful and thought provoking.

Catie George: Thank you! There is one door as noted in the diagram above. There is a pull down stairs in the floor on the opposite end and corner of the space that goes to a room below. There is a window opposite of the door on the other side of the room. Artificial light will be key and we have no interest in making skylights due to leak protection. Might put some windows into the smaller walls, but not likely. I suppose we could put a light "conduit" in from the window that would reflect through a duct to the rooms, but we're not huge on sunlight in the house.

Yes, two couples, 3 teens/young adults that can sleep in the same area, 1 that requires their own room.

Interesting idea on separating the living areas. 6 of the people often are always together and have very little social friction. The other two offer no social friction, but like alone time - and are not a couple. Lol.

Glenn Herbert: Thanks for both sets of info and thoughts! Couples explained above. Two of the older teens/young adults are likely not leaving anytime soon due to interest working on the family farm and business.
 
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Two doubles, a triple and a single make layout much easier... floor hatch makes it trickier again. Exact dimensions and locations of door, hatch and window would be necessary to do further layout drawing. I presume it is two of the triple occupants who want alone spaces? Of course it would be, that causes the most complication...


If it is two of the triple occupants that want alone space, maybe just making them all singles would work best. My layout gives enough room to sit various ways on bed and have a small table surface.
 
Greg Payton
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LOL. To be realistic the hatch door is NOT essential. Frankly I have pretty much counted on eliminating it from use at this point, but it could be handy I suppose because there is a room below it that will be used as an office.

The window is smack in the middle of the opposing wall to the door.
 
Anne Miller
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One tidbit of information that might really help with giving advice is:

How tall is the sloping wall and how many feet is the door from each wall?

Has any of this been built or are you in the planning stage?

Our hunters own a 36-foot travel trailer which they park on our property. It is rather small even with the slide-outs open.

It has one small bedroom with a queen-size bed, an 8 ft clothes closet, a single sink, and a toilet closet.

The living area consists of a tiny kitchen with a sink, RV stove, and refrigerator, a sofa, a recliner, there is a shower.

There is no table as this was removed to make room for the recliner. They use TV trays to eat off of. Or we try to provide meals when they are here.

I know this RV has some wasted space where bunks could be added though I just cannot see more than 4 bunks unless they are triple bunks which would be six bunks.

To have two double beds I feel the kitchen and bath would need to be very tiny or no existent.
 
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Do the beds need to be permanent fixtures, or could roll-up mattresses be used and stored out of the way to make more room for other activities? Or perhaps futons along those lines. My first house was around those dimensions, with a bedroom loft above. The downstairs was split into 3 spaces, living room - dining room - kitchen/bathroom, with a single wall between each room with a doorway at one end of each wall. I would also vote for storage or sleeping in the lower ceiling space, and a "great room" where you have the kitchen space along two walls to form an L of cabinets, then the table and remaining living room space, followed by a wall with a bathroom then the sleeping space on the other side for a little noise reduction. Definitely will be more than one person per "room", bunk beds might work and you could do built-ins where each bed has its own cubby space, giving the person a little more privacy. The Faircompanies channel (I think) on Youtube had a video of a family in Paris (I think) that did this for their 3 boys which worked really well, included big drawers underneath for storage.
 
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Good to know, leaving the hatch would really screw up the layout unless it could be worked into a larger triple space. Two doubles at the end could share the window as long as it doesn't need to open into the space.

Do the two who want alone space need separate alone spaces? If so, four singles seems like the most practical, as there couldn't be more than spaces for a chair elsewhere without butchering the already tiny common space. If they could use one alone space, giving them a double would free up a bit more common space.
 
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Everybody has been giving space for a laundry, but you did not mention that originally. Do you need that? Washer only, or dryer too? If both, I would go for a stackable combo.

How large do the occupants need their beds to be? Twin size (3'-2"w), or will cot width (2'-6"w) do for some?
 
Greg Payton
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Anne Miller: The top flat ceiling is 8 feet where the slope joins the straight ceiling (that is itself another 8 feet to the wall to which it's connected to as per the diagram). The door is actually about 1 foot from the long edge wall in the diagram and opens out. The open structure you see is built - it is in an old barn. All of the primary walls in the diagram exist as does the door and window.

Mark Brunnr: Thank you. I don't see anyone putting beds "away" in our situation. Life is extremely hectic and we often have to hit the ground running due to various work related situations. Just thinking about the practicality of roll up or hiding beds. If they could be hidden without being made (tucked in and straightened) first, that's an option.

Glenn Herbert: Good question. I am not sure. Since there is an office downstairs there could be enough to have that to go to when needing some quiet space and a meeting or work is not going on, but often times it's hard to find that space empty or quiet even through the evening and night to do crazy work hours.

Probably can put the washer and dryer in a "garage" outside that is just down the flight of stairs at the front door in the diagram. It's all still in the barn and that would make sense and free up some room. Two stackable combos would make sense though since sometimes folks get grouchy over having to schedule laundry time.

The occupants are not super tall. One is 6'4" and that's max, all others are sub 6'. Most of us are mid built, but not morbidly obese. Kinda the "fat farmer" with strong upper bodies type.
 
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Now at home I could look this up for the bunk bed idea:


And here is another video from her about a fancier option of the "roll-up bed":
 
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I'm not a fan of regulatory stuff, but I would urge you to keep the folding stairs or create another option for egress. If fire blocks your exit through the existing door, you will be in big trouble.

Also, I have been fascinated by longhouse living ever since I first read Beowulf. All these viking warriors would feast while sitting on benches at the big table in the middle of the longhouse. Then, after they drank flagons of mead, they laid down on the benches to sleep. No attempt at privacy, just a whole lot of brotherhood. Of course, the longhouse was probably more spacious than their ships were.
 
Glenn Herbert
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Good point. If you can make it so the window at the far end is accessible, even by folding aside a bit of partition, and it is big enough to get out and has a safe way down, that would be a help.
 
Greg Payton
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Good thoughts! Even though I don't need to worry about permits and regulations for the area, it is still prudent to consider such things and I definitely agree. I will probably keep the stairs and/or have an egress with the window as well "just in case". Eventually we will have another door possibility too if we do some more building out on the upper area of the barn. Like I said, this current living situation is semi-temporary, but I'm going to build it as if it is not since I don't want to be caught in a longer term situation living in a hellish manner due to the insanity of current society!
 
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Hi, I can never resist a jigsaw puzzle.  I've sketched up my thoughts for what they're worth.  
I'm not quite happy with the double beds under the eaves like I've drawn them.  They would fit in the other way round in each case though, leaving a dead space at the foot under the eaves.  You may be able to get split matresses that would store half underneath to increase the floorspace during the day if the couples wanted. I've separated the double bedrooms by the bathrooms, hopefully giving a bit more privacy.  I think you could have a bath with overhead shower and a WC in each bathroom to give maximum flexibility.  I've also put them all along one wall to make the plumbing simpler (not sure where your waste may go).  You could swap the middle doublebedroom and bath to put both baths near the kitchen end if that made it easier.
The window may give light into the end bedrooms, and I would fully glaze the main door to give as much light as possible.
I've given one example of a layout that gives you a seating area for eight and a separate kitchen area under the eaves, but you may prefer to have storage under the eaves, a food larder for example, and bring the kitchen to where the door is.  I think it would be annoying to have people wandering through the kitchen.  I've dotted in the 8ft ceiling line and a 6ft height line to help visualise access.
I don't know whether this would meet your local building regs at all (fire, disabled access, WC off kitchen etc.) or whether this is a factor in tiny temporary accomodation.  I do think trying to make either the hatch (not sure of location) or window a second emergency exit is important.  
I had fun drawing this and it hope may spark off some thought of use to you.
20210715_091205.jpg
Possible tiny house for eight
Possible tiny house for eight
 
Greg Payton
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Thank you so much Nancy! This is really nice and the concrete example on paper is very helpful! My wife loves having something to look at like this and compare to the actual space since it gives her something to think about and compare with. It always seems to help to get other people's ideas to even motivate and help you get your creative juices flowing!!! My wife too has never liked having kitchens as hallways as is done in so many houses!

We did think about putting in a speaker system to continually play background sounds and soft agreeable music. There is a busy highway near that is super, super loud, so it would help level that out too and might allow us to have more conversational privacy.

Probably put sinks and small closets in there instead of baths, BUT maybe we could install sinks over the toilets?

The septic system is already installed in the opposite direction of the bathrooms in this layout, but that's not a big issue here I don't think.

What doe you mean by "WC off kitchen"? There are essentially no building codes where this is except for of course anything federal, but that's only for "mobile homes".
 
Nancy Reading
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I'm glad it may be of help!
In the UK you used not to be able to situate a toilet off a food preparation area - there had to be two doors in between I believe.  This is now not the case, as long as there is hand washing near the toilet and one door.  I'm not in the building trade so this is just relying on my memory!
I was trying to find some examples of houses in the UK which tend to be quite compact due to land prices and mean builders.  I couldn't find one quite as small as yours but this two bedroom house on onthemarket in Norwich has one bedroom not that dissimilar to the ones I've drawn (admittedly with full height ceilings) but look at the price!  Make you feel better at all? Hope it works out for you.
Not sure where yoi're based, but insulation can cut down on noise as well as heat transfer, it may be worth sacrificing a few inches of height to improve both.
 
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Greg Payton wrote:What doe you mean by "WC off kitchen"? There are essentially no building codes where this is except for of course anything federal, but that's only for "mobile homes".

There is a demonstrable link between bathrooms being too close to kitchens, and an increase in food-born diseases. It's based on both fly transfer and air transfer. Training people to "close the lid" before flushing and keeping the bathroom door shut would fix the issue even if there's no code telling you this is necessary.

As you mentioned yourself earlier and I've stated before on other threads, just because one doesn't *have* to build to code, doesn't mean one shouldn't build as well as or *better* than code when possible and when it's safer, healthier, or longer-lasting. The issue of fire egress is one of those things. I have no prejudice against building smaller than "code", but I totally don't like loosing "good people" because no one considered how they'd get out in a fire. Similarly, look at the most likely natural disasters and try to make sure you've got safety from those thought out. In my opinion, most building codes don't take natural disasters anywhere near seriously enough - just look at the places in California - a high fire-risk state - that got burned to the ground because many of the buildings were not nearly as fire-proof as they needed to be. The fact that you've shown up on permies, means to me that you're part of the population *I* want to keep safe - we need more permies and I want to keep *all* the permies safe and building a permie world, so look at the codes you don't *have* to follow and identify the logic and reasoning behind the rules and see how they apply to your location and how to design intelligently, safely, economically, environmentally and proudly.
 
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Here's some inspiration for you, Greg.  

This drawing is to scale: 35' by 15' by 8' high, with a flat roof beginning to slope downward at 8' inward, all the way down to a 3' back wall.

I've drawn two bathrooms, a kitchenette, and 8 beds.  These beds are about 6'9" long by about 3'6" wide.  Most of the models and items were downloaded (and then modified) from the Google Sketchup warehouse.  Sketchup is free to use, and not too difficult to learn if you are spatially oriented.

In this concept I tried to maximize the diversity of sleeping arrangements.

As you walk in, you are met with a sink and mirror for cleaning up after farm work, or checking yourself out before heading out to town.

In the side by side entry room (where the guy with a beard is standing), room mates could each sit up in bed to read, and perhaps a single shelf could hang in front of them on the downward slanting roof (shelf not drawn) for storing nighttime reading materials.

Next, on your left is a solo sleeping nook (older guy laying down with glasses).  He has his own TV mounted on the back of the first bathroom wall.  A curtain is assumed, and the man could face the opposite direction if desired.

Four beds are in the main living area.  A bunk bed, and a head to toe arrangement (or toe to toe).  From each of the 4 beds the main TV is visible, mounted over the kitchenette.  Other residents could also join in for movie night if they bring storable chairs.  A folding table and storable chairs for eating in this main room is assumed, though some residents could also sit on the beds, bench style with stash-able tray tables (not shown).

A queen bed is possible in the final room.  The purple one depicted is not precisely a queen bed, however the dimensions work regardless.  The main TV is also visible from this back room as well.  The second bathroom would be well suited adjacent to this room, as the window (not shown, but opposite the entry door) would help ventilation of the shower.

Having slept onboard ships for a good chunk of my life, I'll say that one doesn't really need much space, nor to sit up in bed even.  I've been on the bottom bunk and had it where I could barely turn over without hitting my opposite shoulder on the bunk above me.  Even so, I don't think you need many bunks (or any at all) if you don't want them.  Best wishes!
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Greg Payton
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Jay Angler: LOL, we have extremely clean people in this group so I doubt that there will be an issue in this regard. Flies are also viciously controlled!

Thank you for caring!

I am, however, concerned about the fire situation and agree. To be honest I have a lot of equipment and things I don't want to lose that is in the barn so I have to do something to fireproof it as best I can. All electric will be replaced with wiring in conduit and I think I am going to try to figure out some fire retarding paint and other coatings that we can use.
 
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Not as pretty as the previous one, but here are a couple of possibilities which account for all clearances. Scale: 1 grid square = 2'.
tinyhousefor8-1.gif
tiny house for 8 - 2 options
tiny house for 8 - 2 options
 
Greg Payton
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WOW GEORGE!!! This is amazing. This is truly epic. Can you share the Sketchup saved drawing file and does it embed the models? My wife started screaming when she saw what you have done here!!!

Glenn Herbert: Thank you so much, it is still really neat. I like your ideas!!! I think keeping the bathrooms beside each other and kitchen with them is a great idea for plumbing consolidation.
 
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When space is the prime concern, plumbing efficiency has to take a back seat. Fortunately it worked out that the best space layout was also very efficient for plumbing. I have lived in houses with separable shower/tub compartments most of my life - as one of three kids it was nice for getting ready for school.
 
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Greg Payton wrote:WOW GEORGE!!! This is amazing. This is truly epic. Can you share the Sketchup saved drawing file and does it embed the models? My wife started screaming when she saw what you have done here!!!



Thanks.  Model is attached.  And yes, beds, TVs, and other items (and people) are movable if you are familiar with Sketchup operations.  I was quick and did not use proper Sketchup drafting protocol for the wall partitions, bathroom flooring, etc, so you may have some trouble modifying them.

 'H' to pan.
 'O' to orbit.
 Mouse scroll to zoom.
 'T' for a tape measurer.


Filename: FarmLoft.skp
Description: View with Sketchup.com free web account.
File size: 13 megabytes
 
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