Libertyville Not So Big Showhouse
This beautiful, thoughtfully-designed, 3 bedroom/3 bath home was built originally in Libertyville, IL, as a showhouse to exemplify Sarah Susanka's Not So Big® design principles. It was open to the public each weekend for six months in 2011-12, allowing over 8,500 people the opportunity to walk through and try on a Not So Big House first hand. An ideal choice for a long, narrow lot (the lot in Libertyville was just 29' wide), the house has no windows on one of its long walls in order to provide privacy for an adjacent house. Side windows can easily be added along the blank facade if desired. This house is designed to be highly energy efficient, to encourage a sense of community, and to allow its owners to age in place. See Sarah's story about the plan: Libertyville
The kitchen and eating area of the Not So Big Showhouse are at the front of the house, adjacent to the comfortably proportioned front porch. This unique configuration allows the readily accessible outdoor space of the porch to become a natural extension of the kitchen's habitable area, increasing the sense of connection to the neighborhood and community beyond. The dining area adjacent to the kitchen is both beautiful and functional, serving many types of dining needs. For bigger gatherings, an alcove off the living room that normally serves as a library/sitting space can be converted into a super-sized dining area, with some rearranging of the living room furniture.
Because the house is narrow, the stairway has been placed in the rear of the house, rather than across from the entry, as is traditional. This allows the main living spaces to connect to each other without the division of a staircase between them. The stairway serves as both a light shaft, and passive cooling system, allowing light from above to penetrate to the main level. When the upper windows are opened, air is pulled up and out. In fact one of the distinguishing features of the house is its energy efficiency. It has been designed to meet the standards of Energy Star 3.0.
Across from the stairway is another space that does double duty--an away room that provides a place of quiet remove for everyday needs, but which can also serve as a guest bedroom and in home office. There's a full bathroom across the hall just off the mudroom, with a sliding door that hides the shower, making it feel more like a powder room on a daily basis. The space has been designed to work for everyday needs right now, but should one level living become necessary, with minor remodeling this bathroom can be made wheelchair accessible, and the mudroom converted into bedroom closet space. Above the second floor laundry/hobby area is another retreat place, a Place Of Your Own, or POYO. Accessed by a ship's ladder that's hidden behind a closet door, it's the perfect place for a hideaway for one, and it's a favorite spot for kids of all ages.
The back yard for the house is located on the garage roof. A thick wall provides the needed separation from the alley as well as a location both for the HVAC equipment and storage. In addition, this backdrop creates a sense of shelter for the garden area. With the lean-to roof over the doorway from the stair landing, the illusion is complete. Sitting here, it really does feel as though you are in the back garden's just one storey further up than usual!
Exterior Wall Framing
Plan Set Price
Additional Construction Sets $50.00/each
Additional copies can be ordered at the time of purchase and within 90 days after your original purchase date.
All plans are drawn at ¼” scale or larger and include :
- Foundation Plan: Drawn to 1/4" scale, this page shows all necessary notations and dimensions including support columns, walls and excavated and unexcavated areas.
- Exterior Elevations: A blueprint picture of all four sides showing exterior materials and measurements.
- Floor Plan(s): Detailed plans, drawn to 1/4" scale for each level showing room dimensions, wall partitions, windows, etc. as well as the location of electrical outlets and switches.
- Cross Section: A vertical cutaway view of the house from roof to foundation showing details of framing, construction, flooring and roofing.
- Interior Elevations: Detailed drawings of kitchen cabinet elevations and other elements as required.
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In addition to the house plans you order, you may also need a site plan that shows where the house is going to be located on the property. You might also need beams sized to accommodate roof loads specific to your region. Your home builder can usually help you with this. You may also need a septic design unless your lot is served by a sanitary sewer system. Many areas now have area-specific energy codes that also have to be followed. This normally involves filling out a simple form providing documentation that your house plans are in compliance.
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In some regions, there is a second step you will need to take to insure your house plans are in compliance with local codes. Some areas of North America have very strict engineering requirements. Examples of this would be, but not limited to, earthquake-prone areas of California and the Pacific Coast, hurricane risk areas of the Florida, Gulf & Carolina Coasts. New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and parts of Illinois require review by a local professional as well. If you are building in these areas, it is most likely you will need to hire a state licensed structural engineer to analyze the design and provide additional drawings and calculations required by your building department. If you aren’t sure, building departments typically have a handout they will give you listing all of the items they require to submit for and obtain a building permit.
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