About two weeks ago I met with our architect for a deep dive into wall height, roof pitch, and what makes a cottage a cottage.
We couldn't figure out that last one — cottage architecture is all over the place — but we did agree on abandoning our original 10/10 plan (10' wall + 10/12 roof) and pivoting to an 11/11 approach. In short, to make the MVC more Silvernailsy.
I pulled the idea into SketchUp and I think this is where we're going to finally land. I love how this looks.
Why all the glass, you ask? The view! We want to see it as much and as often as possible. This is the front of the house. The money side. The entire reason why people pay a hefty premium for escarpment lots in Door County.
We're putting folding patio doors in the center bent to connect the indoor and outdoor spaces, and also enlarge the size of our mere ~850 square feet. If we weren't in Climate Zone 6 and at ~45° latitude and have a shit-ton of giant 🦟🦟🦟, I'd put these doors in all three bents and have them open all the time.
One thing I did discover in doing this was SketchUp's new Live Components. So cool. This feature is clearly MVP — there are so few LCs — but these windows and doors are all drawn with components built by and hosted at SketchUp, so they can be configured live and presumably updated with new features as the SketchUp team adds them. My favorite part was playing with the window and door openings to see how things look open, closed, and in-between. SketchUp team, if you're reading this, kudos and please add way, way more.
The best space in our current Minneapolis house is this den. We spend countless hours here in front of a fire watching Dateline, 48 Hours, and 20/20. On network.
The 🐕 🐕 love it, too.
A key objective of the MVC (Minimum Viable Cottage) is to recreate this space, except with a view of Lake Michigan. On paper it's somewhat of a success. Our current den is 12' x 13' with an 8"6" ceiling. The den on this floor plan is 12"4" x 11' with an 8"6" ceiling (once the loft is built).
Taking two feet from such a small room turns out to be a 15% reduction, but it's not a "hard" 11 feet because there isn't a rear wall. At least this is the rationalization I am going with.
The rest of the floor plan needs a lot of work, but it's pretty simple: 1 bedroom, 2 baths, 2 lofts (not shown yet), galley kitchen, laundry/mechanical room, puzzle table, and 3 garage doors to the western (view) elevation. Much more to come.
Everyone has an opinion on floor plans. Lay them on me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's the first look at the parcel, with the property lines and dead-end road draped on the topographic, and the three volumes placed about where I think they'll go.
The first build, which we are trying to get started in summer 2023, is the 36'x24' structure on the far left of the image (the northernmost volume). This is an "expandable house plan," where we will add on the larger 72'x24' house and the 30'x24' garage later, and everything will be connected via conditioned breezeways.
We just need to get a place up there ASAP, and a MVC — Minimum Viable Cottage — is the fastest, most direct route. Plus, we'll (hopefully) make all of our biggest mistakes on a very small house.
In order to make this drawing, I had to painstakingly trace elevation lines from the Door County map, elevate each of them, and then in SketchUp choose Draw > Sandbox > From Contours. Then I placed the three volumes.
It took hours but was totally worth it. Having spent a fair amount of time on the parcel, the satellite elevations are incredibly accurate. I completely trust that what's on this drawing is what's in real life.
Please note the vintage Ford pickup that's in my future.
Also please note, this plot not only provides a pretty awesome view of Green Bay, but a challenging ⛷️ run as well.
Here is another view of the drawing, with the view. This is aiming due west, and the SketchUp horizon (the blue part) is the bay.
Cottage on High Bluff Road is a blog documenting a house build in Door County, Wisconsin. A more in-depth explanation is in the inaugural entry.
We're just getting started and don't have a lot of channels, but the early leaders for content are mistakes, lot, and view. Many more to come.