THE NOT SO BIG HOUSE PROTOTYPE 454-3. This beautiful home was designed by architect, Sarah Susanka, for herself. She built it originally to illustrate the ideas she was writing about in her first book in the Not So Big® series. The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live. It is designed to promote a floor plan that is far more appropriate for present day lifestyles, and it is filled with special details that make the house a delight to live in, while living up to it Not So Big® name. Instead of building formal spaces that rarely if ever get used, this house is designed so that every space will be put to good use everyday. Featuring spacious, light-filled rooms, built-ins, and an open floor plan, it embodies the principles of quality and comfort that are at the root of Not So Big® design. The house is designed for a full walk-out lower level, ideal for a visiting guest to enjoy their own private bed and bath, and with excellent home office space with its own exterior entry. In a tiny attic garret, there also a cozy Place of Your Own (or Poyo, as Sarah calls it), accessed by a ship's ladder from the second floor. Like Sarah's other house plans, the Not So Big House Prototype illustrates a play on a theme and variation, with the frequent appearance throughout the house of an archetypal form--the circle. On the second floor, directly above the front door, there is a large translucent window in the shape of a partial circle. The curve of this beautiful form runs through the upstairs bathroom and stairway landing, lending significant drama to the second floor--in a Not So Big® way, of course. The house features adaptable spaces that open to one another, and are designed for everyday use. Long diagonal views give the sense that the house is significantly larger than it really is. The kitchen is the heart of the house, and is designed as an integral part of the main living space. Connected to the living and dining areas, it is a great gathering place for family and friends. The big screen porch is designed to be converted into a main level master bedroom, should one story living ever become a necessity. To this end, the front door has no steps up to the entry, making it ideal for visitors who are mobility impaired. The upper level of the home has a spacious master bedroom and walk-in closet. A large bathroom serves both the master bedroom and second bedroom on the upper level. Rather than build two separate bathrooms, resources are combined to make one spacious, though not over-sized, bathroom that is as beautiful as possible. There are many photographs and descriptions of this home in The Not So Big House, and in the first chapter of Creating the Not So Big House. The house is designed to be highly energy efficient, and to live large without using more resources than are necessary. Sarah tells us that, when her work took her away from Minnesota, where this house was first built, it was one of the hardest things she's ever done to sell it. "It worked beautifully," she told us, "and was a really inspiring place to live." She strongly encourages anyone considering this plan to read The Not So Big House, as it will give a much more complete description of the home's numerous special features than can be enumerated here.
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.
For inexpensive local printing / making minor adjustments by hand. 1 printed set, typically on Bond paper.
For use by design professionals to make substantial changes to your house plan and inexpensive local printing.
Ideal for level lot, lower level of home partially or fully underground.
Ideal for semi-sloped or level lot, home can be built off of grade, typically 18” - 48”.
Ideal for lot conditions where the home needs to be off the ground. A pier foundation consists of wood posts or concrete piers connected by beams to support the home. Some lots may require drilling deep into bedrock to support the posts.
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).
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.
Receive an overlay sheet with suggested placement of lighting fixtures.
Mirror Reversed Sets
A mirror-reversed set is a printed copy of your house, resulting in the same image you would see if you held the drawing up to a mirror. Everything, including the text, is backward in relation to the original design. These kinds of drawing are typically used to reorient an original plan more advantageously on a site, either because the homeowner prefers it that way or because of limitations of the site itself. Note: Mirror reverse sets are only available with a 5 copy or 8 copy set. With a Reproducible, PDF, or CAD set, you can print mirrored copies locally. In addition: 5 Copy set selected, should only allow 4 mirrored sets to be selected. 8 Copy set selected, should only allow 7 mirrored sets to be selected.
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.
“'Not So Big®' puts the emphasis on quality rather than quantity and is designed to fit the way we really live today. It's a message that's being embraced now more than ever, and it's wonderful to see so many people come to the realization that a house doesn't have to be bigger to be better.”
Award-winning architect and best selling author Sarah Susanka is the J K Rowling of home design. She has brought her practical, less-can-be-more brand of magic to the world of architectural home plans. A member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, Sarah was born in Kent, England and lives in North Carolina. Hailed as an innovator by Fast Company, Newsweek, and US News and World Report, she received the Anne Morrow Lindbergh Award from the Lindbergh Foundation for outstanding individual achievement, and Builder Magazine honored Sarah as one of their 30 Top Innovators who have changed the face of residential construction.
Sarah Susanka's influential books include The Not So Big House (Taunton, 1999), Home By Design (Taunton, 2004), The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters (Random House, 2007), and Not So Big Remodeling (Taunton, 2009). She has lectured widely and appeared on numerous television and radio programs including Oprah, Charlie Rose, and Diane Rehm. She is showing a new generation of homeowners, builders, and developers how to "build better not bigger."
Some of our plans are also available on other websites and in printed catalogs. We are committed to selling these plans at or below the lowest price available elsewhere. If you find a regularly priced plan (not “on-sale”) for a lower price, we'll beat the advertised price by 5%. We will match the price for any on-sale plans.
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Full sets of plans only, such as PDF, 5-copy, 8-copy, Reproducible, or CAD, are eligible for this offer. 1-copy Sets, Study Sets, Additional Sets, Materials Lists are not eligible for this offer.
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All house plans from Houseplans are designed to conform to the local codes when and where the original house was constructed.
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.
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.
Additionally, stock plans do not have a professional stamp attached. If your building department requires one, they will only accept a stamp from a professional licensed in the state where you plan to build. In this case, you will need to take your house plans to a local engineer or architect for review and stamping. In addition, plans which are used to construct homes in Nevada are required to be drawn by a licensed Nevada architect.