Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,490 sf
Daylight Basement
1,640 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Garden Delight
The Garden Delight has a north wrap-around front porch large enough for family reunions and music jamming! One end is spacious enough for hammocks. Plenty of rocking chairs fit in the middle. The west end leads to the side, family entry where fresh vegetables can be brought in from the garden. Below in the sunroom, spring plants can sprout near the hot tub that overlooks the southeast part of the property. The numerous outdoor living areas around this compact floor plan are for those who like being outside more than in. Wrap the porch on the east side to connect to the southern living area.
First Floor
The central foyer splits the two north, cool bedrooms and leads immediately into the center of the home. The living areas are on the south as are the stairs that lead down to the sunny daylight basement. With no traffic circulation through the living area, there is no square footage wasted for walking paths which allows more room for furniture. East-facing windows balance the light in the living area and allow for views to the east. The master bathroom on the east will also brighten as the sun rises.
The smaller of the two bedrooms connects to a bath that is shared with the laundry making it easy to clean up after a messy day of gardening. Each bedroom has a walk-in closet and bath.
On the north side of the kitchen is a large pantry. The kitchen island is for food prep and eating. With no appliances on the island, it can remain uncluttered. The kitchen sink looks out to the south and an opening into the stairwell provides a peak of the setting sun through the west window above the stairs.
The southwest deck is perfect for grilling. The family foyer is between it and the front porch creating a place for the family to drop off boots, coats and backpacks.
Daylight Basement
The bottom of the U-shaped stairs is near the root cellar for quick access to produce. The nearby kitchenette is perfect for a garden kitchen. Two bedrooms on the east end share a large wheelchair-friendly bathroom with the central office or living area. Renters or guests will love the privacy and self-sufficiency of this lower level. The sunroom can be opened as necessary to the home when there is not too much moisture. Those on both levels will enjoy the hot tub that can be accessed from outside and heated with solar water from the roof above.
Detached Garage
The two-vehicle garage with a workshop and/or greenhouse space is recommended to be placed to the northwest of the main house. A covered walkway can connect to the side porch.
Construction Info
The first floor and basement both have 8' ceilings for economical construction, but the main living areas also have slightly vaulted ceilings created with scissors roof trusses. The foundation is poured in place concrete with interior insulation. The first floor walls are 6", but can be thicker. The total south glass of the living areas of both floors averages 7% with the extra thermal mass of the basement tempering the first floor with 9% south glass since the two spaces are open to each other.
Modification Ideas
Since these may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Screen in part of the front or side porch
  • Remove the sunroom for cost savings
  • Add a laundry room in the basement
Construction Drawings
For this plan, the following are included with Construction Prints and CAD Files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Foundation Plan
  • First Floor Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Framing Plans
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Detached Garage Plan
Comments and Photos

Garden Delight was designed for Leslie and George who also needed a lower level for others who stay with them on a regular basis.

"Everyone that visits is just amazed and loves how the house looks, loves the windows and all the light, and asks about the design of it, lol they ask if I designed it myself as it is "unique" I guess.  Also, my husband always comments on how well it "flows" and that seems to be a common observation of guests too. The spaces are all just right for our needs and the root cellar especially has been so so wonderful.  I thought at first it was bigger than I needed, but no, it is just right and I can do so much with that space relating to our ongoing "food factory" activities.  Just canned 9 quarts of tomato juice today from the last of the tomatoes I picked a week ago before the frosts started hitting.  Donnie loves the front porch and goes outside to sit in the swivel rocker fairly often with his lap dog. 

"Sonny Ridgeway, builder, doesn't even do email.  He is retired but doing a project per year or so.
"I know they used closed cell foam in the wall.  I don't know about the exterior foam insulation, maybe; everything has been so hectic I didn't keep up with all the details on some things like that.  I do know the house is VERY quiet inside, you can't hear even loud equipment going on outside.  It was amazing when he put the insulation in how quiet it got in there.

"It has been very nice inside without air conditioning up until about a week ago when we had the party.  There is wonderful ventilation with the windows open.  It was pretty warm in the winter too once the windows and insulation were in, I have a picture of a thermometer somewhere in that construction album of how warm it was in the living room area with no heat on a cold day, even before the siding and caulking were done.  

"Summer was no problem, just running the AC set at 78 upstairs worked fine, and the basement was really cool. Sept Oct the same, never got too hot.  Now (mid-November) that it has gotten cold at night, but sunny and warm in the day and we aren't running the air conditioning anymore, it has been really really warm upstairs some sunny days.  So we can open the windows and cool things off, but then we want to hold in some of the heat for night time, so I wasn't sure how exactly to handle it, if we should open them for a few hours or try to keep them shut to absorb the heat or what.  It was down in the high 20's last night outside,  but the house never got below 72 and the heat never had to come on, then today zoom! up to 80 to 82 fairly quickly. Today we managed to just keep the windows shut and it was just a little uncomfortable, not that bad. Anyway, we weren't sure how to handle this time of year with opening the windows, etc--and of course it is a good problem to have!  We are just amazed at how warm the house is!  I absolutely love it! 
(Debbie suggested for those extra sunny winter days to maybe add a small in-line fan to pull the hot air from the first floor down to the basement which has a lot of thermal mass. )

"love love love the house! Thanks" - Leslie

And thanks to Leslie for the lively photos taken during one of their the front porch jam sessions.