Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,484 sf
Daylight Basement
609 sf
Unfinished Basement
875 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
The Fernwood evolved from the Prairie Dog plans with a hint of craftsman detailing. The wrap around porch and shingle siding are pleasing to the eye from the outside and to the body while relaxing. The numerous porches provide options for many seasons. To minimize the building footprint, the client wanted to tuck the garage into the basement, taking care to minimize the running of the engine.
First Floor
The primary living areas for a single or couple are on the first floor. South rooms are vaulted and open. The dining has western views, the living has eastern views, and the cozy built-in breakfast nook has panoramic views across the south from east to west. With arches between the kitchen and great room, and kitchen and dining, the cook will not feel left out and the guests won't see the mess. The master bedroom will catch a sunrise and the study or bedroom 2, the sunset. Both of the baths have two doors to allow for both public and private spaces. The laundry is also accessed directly from the master bathroom. Most of the spaces are wheelchair accessible (the round circles on the plans show the 5' turning radius) and the site plan shows a provision for parking in front with a ramp option. Bedroom two would make a great study or guest bedroom.
Daylight Basement
The daylight basement is designed with flexibility and it too is easily accessed from the center of the home. The sun will stream down the stairs in winter. You can have one or two sunny bedrooms as well as a sunroom or greenhouse. Of course, dens and exercise spaces would also fit nicely into this cozy, bright basement. The root storage and mechanical are on the cool, bermed north and west ends. The patio doors on the east allow for easy outside access if your land slopes to the east - or west if the plan is reversed with the entry on the east.
A one vehicle garage has been tucked into the east end of the basement, taking advantage of the excavated area and keeping the building footprint small. There is a large amount of storage or workshop space and direct access to the sunroom which can be a messy greenhouse or elegant sunroom. A detached garage on the upper level can be constructed.
Construction Info
The Fernwood is designed to be constructed with a trussed roof, 6" exterior walls, and an ICF (insulated concrete form) foundation. The first floor has 8' ceilings with the south rooms vaulted to the center. The north rooms could be vaulted too, but the flat ceiling allows for some attic storage above the north rooms. Thermal mass walls around the kitchen temper the strong winter heat gain if finished in tile, stone, or stucco.
Modification Ideas
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Build just the first floor on a slab and take out the central masonry walls
  • Add a garage to the north on the first floor
  • Turn the dining area into bedroom 3 since there is already a large built-in eating area
Construction Drawings
For this plan, the following are included with Construction Prints and CAD Files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Plan with opt. garage
  • Floor Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section 
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
  • Garage Plans for opt. detached garage
Comments and Photos
Mike and Mary sent lovely photos of the exterior and interior.  "We love our solar home and recently added photovoltaic panels. Overall, our utility bills are less in our wonderful solar home."