Friday, November 28, 2008

My first decision.....

As discussed previously, building a house seems to be all about making decisions and after much thought, I have made my first decision and guess what ?.

every single person that I've met and told disagrees with it.

How cool is that ?. Here I am with an acute fear of stuffing this thing up and according to almost everyone around me, its the most stupidest decision I could possibly make.

Ahhh - the reasurance.....

So my decision is - I want an Upside Down House. Yup, its a dumb decision isn't it.

For those that don't know what that is, its a house with the living areas (including the kitchen) upstairs and the bedrooms downstairs. Now in some areas (especially hilly ones) these houses are common as muck, generally with a smaller rumpus/ living area downstairs and all other rooms upstairs. Weirdly enough I grew up in an upside down house - because it was on the side of a hill.

My block however is completely flat - my reasons for doing that is that I think (well I'm not 3 metres tall am I) that upstairs will have a fabulous view and see no point having a view from the upstairs bedroom. The issue is that its not a conventional view, its of some ovals, a few horses (mine and other peoples), a nice hilly suburb filled with sparkly lights at night and to the left I MAY get a full view of the Dandenong Ranges. The right just gets sunsets - but its got a nice expanse of sky so I'll get to see heaps of the reds and oranges etc.

Now I hate stairs as much as the next person but whats the point of having a lovely view from the master bedroom ?. I go to sleep in the dark and for 6 months of the year I wake up in the dark too. Also views add big bikkies to the value of homes too - houses aren't advertised with "views of the neighbours back fence". Sure i'm not building this house with the intention of selling it but at some point the house will be sold and if I have any chance of recouping even half of the money I spend building then the view will help.... I hope....

So heres the "negatives" I've been informed about:.

* Stairs - Don't all two storey houses have stairs ?. Surely I'll have to go up and down stairs anyway ?.

* Lugging Shopping upstairs - Ok I'll pay this one but to be truthful lugging shopping about isn't fun regardless of where it is and where its going.

* Women find sleeping on the 2nd floor more reassuring - What a load of cods-whoolop. Does this mean theres millions of Australian Women scared of going to sleep each night as more than 70% of houses are only one storey.

* Its hard when you have children - See no-one can say "why" its harder to have an upside down house when you have kids, just that it is. However I don't have kids so its a mute point.

* Opening the Front Door - Another one I'll pay, having to go downstairs and back up to answer the door is a pain, however its not like it happens often. besides I'm planning on putting an intercom system with an electronic door opener so when its family, friends etc I can just click on a button.

Also there is a whole lot of different nuances associated with building a house of this style. To begin with the layout is tricky. What rooms do you have upstairs and what do you have downstairs ?. Also its a bit more expensive - this was surprising but it turns out the little things such as better sound insulation between floors (generally upstairs contains people sleeping, mine will be people living which is noiser.... supposedly), theres also more plumbing, more electrical wiring etc that all add's up.

On the plus side, the handful of people that have seen my block all seem to agree that an upside down house makes sense however for the most part people just think I'm wrong.

So - dear readers of this blog (well hopefully "readers" - the little counter goes up but really not sure if it means people are reading or bots are just trawling) over the next couple of days I'll put up picture of my "views" and lets see if the verdict is that I'm nuts - or not nuts ;).


Mike said...

Hi guys! I'm over here from the homeone forums.

You might be interested to look at one of Metricon's designs, the Vista:

It's an upside-down house, so it might be worth checking out how it would work with your preferred lifestyle. :)


Kek said...

I've always thought upside down houses made perfect sense, especially when there's any kind of a view.

Funny how everyone has an opinion about things that don't concern tham at all though. After all, it's your house, they don't have to live in it.

Chris said...

I love the upside down house. I reckon it's very under-rated. Who wants to look at views from a bedroom. You live upstairs, and more than likely that's were the breeze will be! If you're worried about lugging shopping, then have a look at a dumb waiter... doesn't take up much room!!

Kristy said...

I've lived in a type of upside down house and it was good with great views. I look forward to seeing your photo views.

Kristy (aka fitnhealthy from homeone)

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I've come over from homeone forum also and just wanted to let you know that I think your idea of an upside down house is AWSOME. What a great idea, I say go for it.

Can't wait to follow your journey building an extraordinary home.

Good-Luck with it all.

Cheers Brooke

inm said...

Just want to add support for your vision - other people cling to convention out of fear and lack of imagination. Go! Upside-Downey House. Try an external front staircase with it. storage goes well downstairs (thermally protected, and easiy transported) and saves carting extraneous objects and stuff the cat drags in through the aesthetic living areas. Also its great with kids you just shove them downstairs and pull the ladder away! :)

Anonymous said...

* Its hard when you have children -I can say why --
1. Because kids (and toddlers) find it so fun to go up and down the stairs (Sometimes head first!)
2. Because you need to scream at the top of your lungs to tell them to stop running or jumping when they are upstairs and you are downstairs.
3. It's hard when they fell asleep on the car and you have to carry them to their beds (5yo's can be very heavy!) -- but your bedrooms is downstairs so its not so bad for you.
4. When you have kids, you have tons of laundry. Laundry that you will bring down, and bring up once it dried. (Or vice versa as you house is upside down as you say. :p)