This was created to be a cool, highly functional design that is truly affordable. The designers were challenged to find innovative ways to reduce cost while instilling useful features and amenities. The overarching strategy was to re-think the main factors in construction cost: labor, building size/square footage, and materials. The approach used to reduce paid labor was to integrate Do It Yourself “DIY” projects into the designs. This is a great way for the home owner to reduce costs while instilling their own sense of style into the home. The strategy towards reducing square footage resided in reevaluating certain domestic conventions. For example, you won’t see a formal dining room in this design, rather an eat-in-kitchen serves to meet the homeowner’s daily dining needs. In approaching material cost reduction, this design features open floor plans and simple forms that translate into a home that is economical to build. We know everyone likes lots and light and air but windows represent one of the more costly components of a new home. The designers were challenged to utilize a modest amount of glazing strategically to bring in as much light as possible while keeping construction costs low. Good design on a budget is all about identifying where to allocate budget for maximum effect. It’s really easy to design when cost is not an issue. But for most of us we need to strategically budget our hard earned money and make the most out of each dollar.
The design started as a simple one story box with a generous living area that flows into the kitchen. This plan would work well on almost any rural lot. The optimal solar orientation for this design is with the large double sliders facing south but the design will still perform well in other orientations as long as the passive solar guidelines included in the construction documents are followed. Fiber cement board is a great siding option that is both affordable and durable. It can take on a variety of different looks depending on how it is painted, giving homeowners the option of personalizing their preferred color scheme.
Windows were used conservatively to keep construction costs low but splurged a bit on the dramatic double sliding doors in the main living area. This feature will allow the living space to feel even larger as well as allowing outdoor entertaining in easy proximity to the kitchen. The shading devices not only improve energy performance but also can give the house a distinct look.
The slab-on-grade foundation option allows the homeowner to opt for a polished concrete floor, which offers a clean look that saves material and cost. Several DIY projects were created that use typical construction scrap material so that you can furnish your house with scrap material, thus diverting it from the landfill. Butcher-block style panels can be made from leftover 2x4s. These panels can be used for desks, tables or benches and have a hearty modern feel. Simple T8 or T5 fluorescent light fixtures are inexpensive but unsightly. A simple cove made from ¾” pine can hide these super efficient fixtures. A typical closet door panel outfitted with cubbies or shelves is a great place to keep car keys or a purse. A single sliding panel can be used as a colorful design element while a pair or more can be used to discreetly hide clutter.
For the kitchen design the focus was on producing an affordable kitchen that could still meet the functional requirements of the average American family. For the price it’s really tough to beat IKEA cabinets and furniture components. While a laminate countertop is not as nice as solid surface options, they can be up to five times less expensive. Open shelving instead of full cabinets not only makes the kitchen feel more spacious it also saves money and makes it easy to locate items. Cabinet depth refrigerators provide a flush fit that comes at a hefty price. A recess was designed into the back wall of the kitchen to allow the same flush look with a more economical conventional refrigerator. Details like these are key to getting a great look at a low price. A ceiling light is a great DIY project that can turn a plain fluorescent fixture and some 3/4” pine into an easy to make custom wood fixture. A DIY butcher’s block of 2x4s and four IKEA table legs can produce a sturdy wood dinner table
Polished concrete is a great surface for bathrooms since it is so low-maintenance and easy to keep clean. Colorful, mini-mosaic tile can bring life to the bathroom but can be quite expensive. When working with a tight budget its best to find a good deal on an expensive element and then coordinate cheaper items to it. An oversized IKEA sink works well with a simple wooden counter. Simple shelving instead of full cabinets can reduce cost yet create an open feel for the smaller bathroom space.
In the master bedroom, a heavy wood bed looks minimal and sheik on a polished concrete floor. A storage cove painted in a contrasting color can be both a decorative element as well as a useful storage element for books, candles, reading glasses etc. Color can also create a cool, layered look when the back wall and partition wall are painted different colors. The partition wall can hide any clutter that is generated in the dressing room. The dressing area can fit a desk and mirror, making this a great place to apply makeup before the day. The 14 ft.-long closet is a generous allotment of space for your clothes. The sliding glass door and picture window admit ample natural light, which is supplemented by a cove light on top of the partition wall that provides plenty of ambient light during the evening. A DIY bed made from scrap 2x4s can be built with a wide edge for seating.
Radiant heat is a great option if you are going to use slab on grade construction. If pursuing this route, make sure that there are thermal breaks between the slab and the perimeter of the foundation to avoid unwanted heat loss. Alternatively, simple baseboard heating is also a budget friendly option that is more flexible to install than duct work for a forced air system. For a house this size, a central ducted system can increase construction costs. However, using an efficient split-ductless heat pump unit is a budget friendly way to cool your home. Due to the home’s modest size at just 1400sf and efficient design, it won’t take many solar panels to make this house a zero energy home.
This plan can be customized!
Tell us about your desired changes so we can prepare an estimate for the design service. Click the button to submit your request for pricing, or call 1-800-913-2350
Floor Plan - Main Floor Plan
Full Specs & Features
Depth : 66' 6"
Height : 10' 7"
Main Floor : 1396 sq/ft
Porch : 168 sq/ft
*Total Square Footage only includes conditioned space and does not include garages, porches, bonus rooms, or decks.
Primary Pitch : Flat
Roof Framing : Truss
Exterior Wall Framing
Exterior Wall Finish : Fiber Cement Cladding Panel
Framing : 2"x6"
Energy Efficient Features
What's included in this plan set
See a sample plan set
*See important information before purchasing
House plans created for Green Living give our customers design options that meet or exceed existing energy standards, while giving options in the realm of cost, style, and environmental commitment. As an example, all Green Living homes are designed to perform 30% to 50% better than prescriptive building code energy performance. The level of home performance depends on the products that you choose.
Each Green Living house plan includes:
LEED for Homes Rating System: Guidelines to meet LEED for Homes certification levels of: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. LEED for Homes is a national, voluntary certification system, developed by
national experts and experienced builders, that promotes the design and
construction of high-performance green homes and encourages the adoption
of sustainable practices by the homebuilding industry.
The LEED for Homes Rating System is part of the suite of nationally
recognized LEED Green Building Rating Systems administered by USGBC.
Like all LEED Rating Systems, it is the market's leadership system, targeting
the top 25% of home building practices in terms of environmental responsibility.
LEED provides industry resources and tools on how to "green" any new home.
With LEED, homebuilders can differentiate their structures as meeting the
highest performance measures, and homebuyers can readily identify high quality
green homes. LEED provides national consistency in defining the features of a green home, enables builders anywhere in the country to obtain
a green rating on their homes, and assures homebuyers of the quality of their purchases, all based on a recognized national brand. Learn more about the LEED® Rating System here.
Window shading details: External window shading devices are an effective method for reducing heat gains through windows during Summer. In fact, external shading devices can reduce heat gains by up to 80% if sized and built properly. With this in mind, the founders of Green Living, formerly Free Green, created this page to assist home builders in constructing effective window shading devices. The information we provide includes a zoning map of the United States, zoning charts for proper sizing of shading devices and a variety of shading device styles and materials to suite different tastes and different home designs.
General Notes: Typically one sheet of general notes pertinent to the construction of the home
Exterior Elevations: A blueprint picture of all four sides showing exterior materials and measurements.
Foundation Plan: Drawn to 1/4" scale, this page shows all necessary notations and dimensions including support columns, walls and excavated and unexcavated areas.
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.
Interior Elevations: Detailed drawings of kitchen cabinet elevations and other elements as required.
Cross Section: A vertical cutaway view of the house from roof to foundation showing details of framing, construction, flooring and roofing.
Wall sections and other construction details: Detailed drawings showing wall connections, from foundation to the roof. wall connections to foundation, window installation, siding installation, stair details, and more.
Framing Plans: Drawn to 1/4" scale. The framing layout is intended to be a suggested layout only. Design loads & weather conditions vary by region. As a result the size, spacing & layout of all structural elements in this home design must be approved by a structural engineer and code official based on your specific site location prior to construction.
Electrical Plan with electrical symbols legend: In general, each house plan set includes an electrical plan which will show the locations of lights, receptacles, switches, etc. Note: Most Green Living plans have an electrical plan, however some do not. Please contact us to verify.
PDF plan sets are best for fast electronic delivery and inexpensive local printing.
5 Copy Set
5 printed plan sets mailed to you.
For use by design professionals to make substantial changes to your house plan and inexpensive local printing.
One electronic set for bidding purposes only. Not a legal building set for construction.
Ideal for semi-sloped or level lot, home can be built off of grade, typically 18” - 48”.
Ideal for level lot, single layer concrete poured directly on grade.
*Options with a fee may take time to prepare. Please call to confirm.
Additional Construction Sets
Additional hard copies of the plan (can be ordered at the time of purchase and within 90 days of
the purchase date).
Additional Use License
Additional Use License.
Audio Video Design
Receive an overlay sheet with suggested placement of audio and video components.
Educate yourself about basic building ideas with these four detailed diagrams that discuss electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and structural topics.
Home Furniture Planner
This fun visual aid lets you peel-and-stick furniture on a generic layout to plan out spacing.
Receive an overlay sheet with suggested placement of lighting fixtures.
Choose this option to reverse your plans and to have the text and dimensions readable.
Unlimited Use License
Unlimited Use License.
Unless you buy an “unlimited” plan set or a multi-use license you may only build one home from a set of plans. Please call to verify if you intend to build more than once. Plan licenses are non-transferable and cannot be resold.
We offer a 90% credit when you upgrade from a set, that is not for construction, to a 5-Copy set (or greater).
Our Plans are designed for energy efficiency. The idea is to broaden access to green design.
Houseplans.com is excited to welcome the Green Living collection of innovative plans by FreeGreen founders David Wax and Ben Uyeda. These designs range from Contemporary to Country and Farmhouse styles. All incorporate green building materials and techniques.
David and Ben are experts in the field of green design and also co-founded ZeroEnergy Design, an architecture and energy consulting firm specializing in new construction and major renovations. They got their start leading Cornell University's 2005 Solar Decathlon team, which won the second place award. The competition, sponsored by the US Department of Energy, challenges universities from across the US and beyond to research, design and build an 800 square-foot off-grid solar home.
David holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master of Business Administration from the Johnson School at Cornell University and is an IT consultant for the securities and capital markets. He says: "FreeGreen was able to integrate architecture and engineering software for custom home design, which meant that we could produce green design fast."
Ben holds a Bachelor and Master of Architecture from Cornell University School of Architecture. He has been a visiting lecturer at Cornell, where he developed an original curriculum to teach the principles of sustainable design, and lectures on sustainable design at Northeastern University. His new venture is Home Made Modern: "smart, affordable DIY design ideas for cool people who like modern home furnishings." You can follow Ben's diverse design interests on Pinterest.