In the houses you have lived in, what were the best and worst features?
If you were designing an ideal house plan, what features would you want, and which would you avoid?
I remembered in particular the last house we had in Ottawa, Canada's capital city. We gutted that house and designed it the way we wanted to. We chose every fixture and furniture. We also love its location, just a few steps from quaint stores and restaurants. The garden was just right. I planted trees and bushes I love. The only thing I did not like about it is the harsh Ottawa winter. At our age, it was just too difficult to manage.
This may seem like a silly answer, but my ideal house would have more plug outlets and more bathrooms. There were 7 of us in the house I grew up in as a child. Back then, they put 1 or 2 plug outlets in a room and none in the hallways. We were always scrambling to plug in different things at the same time.
That same old house only had 1 bathroom. It wasn't a big deal when we were little, but when 3 of the older kids became teenagers one year after the other, we suddenly had bathroom traffic jams.
A house can never have enough toilets or placing to plug things in.
When we built out new house, we had ten double socket plugs put in the kitchen. The builder probably thought we were a little whacky, but it is very convenient. Older houses were built at a time when we had far fewer electric or electronic devices.
i hate the roof that causes the ceiling to rot. My house is 20 years old, the ceiling cracks with holes when it rains.
Thebest is the living hall, very spacious and I could add in 2 TV, 3 laptops with table, 2 sofa sets!!
I have had many addresses in my nomadic life and have never owned a house but if I could take special features from some rented properties I've lived in over the years and put them together as one dwelling, that would be an ideal home.
The cottage would be close to a country lane, have a small, mostly wild garden with views to mountains or hills. It would be built of local stone and have green ideas incorporated - solar panels for water and central heating (and a wood burner for Christmas and snowy weather only); recycled materials as wall insulation and so forth. The roof would be tiled of local clay if possible and there would be wooden beams, yes please, the older the better. Plus, I'd have a sauna in the basement! And a large bath in the bathroom.
The worst feature of several houses we have lived in was that the kitchen was passed through to get to other areas of the house. In one house, the kitchen was large and had every convenience, yet other family members walked through the kitchen to get to the laundry room and garage. The stove was on one side of the pass-through and the sink was on the other side, so I always had to take care that I did not make any sudden moves with a pot full of hot water or grease. The second worst feature has already been mentioned: lack of enough bathrooms.
The one that I lived in in Florida was a divided, one story house. What I mean by that is that when you walked into the house you had a great room and it was huge. My whole house that I live in now could fit in that great room!
On the right you had the galley kitchen, then the master bedroom. When you walked intot he master bedroom there was the master bathroom with it's own door. I loved that privacy!
On the left you had two bedrooms and the bathroom was at the end of the hall that was in between those two bedrooms. That was so nice and the kids bedrooms were not close and we had the privacy and the quiet.
I would have to have ample lawn space between my neighbors and myself and preferably trees along the property line for beauty and some privacy. I'd also keep the vaulted ceilings, geothermal heating/ac (this gem here can heat and cool up to a 7,000 sq ft home for $100 or less monthly!), and jetted tub. I'd add a pool with a waterfall feature because I love water, it's soothing. I would go with a tile or slate roof to avoid several replacements over the life of my ownership. If I had a multi-level home, I would stack a couple of extra closets above one another on each floor so I could later add an elevator or simply add the elevator when it was being built so I could age in place in a home I enjoy.
I would definitely not want 2'8" interior doors and 3' wide stairways. I'm a small girl and they annoy me, I could not imagine how much they'd annoy a large person or a person who needs to use a wheelchair or walker. They can be irritating on a daily basis or when decorating or moving in or out of the home. I would avoid or simply not use attached garages because the fumes/exhaust from your car always enters and lingers in the home and is one the most common sources of exposure for humans to the carcinogen benzene.
Lastly, I would avoid homes where my neighbors are practically on top of me if not literally, and I'd avoid town homes, apartments, and condos where my door is right next to another person's door. I've experienced nosy neighbors who make sure they come out every single time you do and always want to talk (waste your time) adding to the stress of living so close together.
In one of my houses, the back yard was huge. For me, that was a bad feature, because it had to be mowed. The best feature of that house was its location, on a quiet street.
Another of my houses was built in 1915 and had no insulation, although the winters got quite cold. Its best feature was that it was affordable. It was my first house. I upgraded the house and then sold it.
Another of my houses had an awful out-of-date kitchen. I replaced the dishwasher with a new "quiet" one and the old linoleum floor with a new, cheerful vinyl floor. The best feature was its size and layout. It had 2 guest bedrooms and a third room with a futon sofabed.
I had a condo for some years. Its best features were in the living room: a vaulted ceiling with a skylight, and a working fireplace. The worst feature was the lack of insulation in the floors, leading to complaints from the guy in the condo below me that I was "making too much noise walking." I would never buy a condo again.
The first house i grew up in, had a little cottage in the back and a huge vegetable garden. I could get lost in the cornstalks. I loved the homemade pit in the backyard. I would say the worst features were it was small, and only had one bathroom.
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