Three Bedroom Mediterranean Plan - HOMEPW11543
Case Study in Home Building
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El Dorado, KS
- Turned plan 90 degrees clockwise, so arbor and loggia face golf course in back
- Added 500 square feet to home
- Changed double-door entry to single door with sidelights and transom window
- Added two more arched window arrangements in living room
- Changed dining room into sitting area; combined two windows into one boxed-out window arrangement
- Removed wall between dining room and kitchen
- Removed kitchen window and added angled island with sink and snack bar
- Used Bedroom 3 as office, changing walk-in closet and laundry closet into sewing area
- In master suite, traded locations of fireplace and TV, making large sitting area by TV
- Rearranged master bath
- Added laundry room in "linen area" of master suite
- Changed one walk-in closet into two
- Covered arbor/loggia with roof
- Extended garage to accommodate golf carts
- Built house with basement foundation rather than slab
El Dorado is a city of approximately 15,000, just northeast of Wichita, adjacent to the Kansas Turnpike. The city is located on the edge of the beautiful Flint Hills. It lies on the Walnut River, near El Dorado Lake and El Dorado State Park. It sounds like a perfectly peaceful place to live.
John Rawlings has lived in El Dorado all his life. Cindy moved there after she married John five years ago. It was the second marriage for both of them. They both retired from Southwestern Bell around the same time as their wedding.
They decided they wanted to build a new home together. They knew they wanted a Mediterranean- or Spanish-style home, with a stucco exterior and a red roof. They also wanted a courtyard and a portico. The house was to be built on the 16th green of a golf course, so they wanted an open backyard as a social gathering place.
Normally, surgery is not one of the prescribed steps in the process of building a new home. However, in this case, it played a key role. While recuperating from surgery, John looked through a handful of home-plan magazines. All of a sudden he shouted, "There it is!" He had found their dream home on page 121 of a magazine. It was Plan HOMEPW11543, and it was exactly what they were looking for.
Cindy and John began the process by ordering the planning set in July. They still loved the home after studying it a bit more. They ordered the reproducible set of blueprints in September. The home was built the following year, from May through November. Cindy tells us, "We planned for about a year before we ever broke ground. It was so easy since I had chosen everything I wanted (e.g., lighting, carpet, tile, woodwork, and paint) before ever starting."
The plan that the Rawlingses chose is a best-selling design from Homeplans. The plan is somewhat unusual in that the courtyard area (called "arbor" and "loggia" on the floor plan) lies on the left side of the home. Cindy and John knew they wanted the courtyard to face the golf course, so they turned the plan 90 degrees clockwise before beginning the construction. This resulted in their front door facing a neighbor rather than facing the street in front.
John and Cindy made a number of changes to the plan to meet their specific needs.
The double doors to the foyer became a single door with sidelights and a transom window, with gorgeous leaded glass in all of them.
In the living room, the couple added two more sets of arched window arrangements on the "east" (now the "south") side. This makes the living room doubly bright and gives them windows on the street side to watch neighborhood happenings.
The couple visually expanded the dining room, which they turned into a sitting area, with the addition of a boxed-out area with another arched window arrangement rather than the two windows on the plan. This special area is perfect for curling up with a good book. The wall separating the dining room from the kitchen was removed for a feeling of openness.
In the kitchen, Cindy and John removed the window and added an angled island with a sink and a snack bar. The result is a beautiful kitchen that flows into the sitting area (dining room) and the living room.
Bedroom 3 is used as an office. The laundry closet and walk-in closet became a sewing center. John and Cindy also put a Murphy bed—a bed that folds up to the wall when not in use—into Bedroom 3. Cindy elaborates, "[We] didn't want to lose it as a bedroom, but wanted and needed a home office." Now the bedroom can do double duty.
John and Cindy made substantial changes to the master suite, with different windows throughout. The "south" part of the bedroom area on the original plan was expanded to make a sizable sitting area for watching TV. The TV and the see-through fireplace switched locations.
The master bath was completely rearranged and shares the see-through fireplace with the bedroom.
For convenience, a good-sized laundry room was added off the master suite, replacing the "linen area."
The walk-in closet was expanded into two separate walk-in closets, one with a makeup center.
John and Cindy like the master suite/office/craft area the best. Cindy explains, "We spend the biggest amount of time in the master suite and office/craft area. Since there is a pocket door between the two, it is like one big area where we can communicate and still be in different areas doing different things."
In the backyard area, Cindy and John covered the arbor/loggia area with a roof. They are quick to explain that they consulted an architect for this change.
The garage was extended to accommodate golf carts and to give the home even more of a U shape. The golf-cart door actually faces the courtyard area.
The entire house was placed on a basement foundation rather than a slab. This adds much more usable space for recreation, relaxation or storage.
We asked Cindy what she likes most about the floor plan. She tells us, "I like the separation of the master suite, sitting room, and bath from the main living area. I also like the openness after we opened up the living, dining, kitchen, and breakfast nook into one big area. We saw the potential to make those changes easily. Since we are retired, we wanted everything all on one floor, which was very important. We did put a full basement under the house, but as of now we have not finished it. We use it for a tornado shelter and storage."
To summarize the building experience, we asked Cindy if she would do it all again. "You bet!" she exclaims. "I loved the experience. . . . It was so much fun to watch it change daily. I wouldn't change a thing."
For John and Cindy Rawlings, Plan HOMEPW11543 from Homeplans became their dream home, a home that they can enjoy for many years to come. Yes, many years. Cindy adds, "I forgot to mention that we made [the home] handicap accessible just in case something would happen or for when we get old." Now, that's thinking of everything!