Shaun got us the first draft of our house’s exterior within a week or two. It’s the header image for this website:
The design certainly picked a side between my aesthetic of a modern glass box in the mountains and my wife’s preference for an English country cottage. It had a lot going for it to start with: big windows taking in the views to the south and the west; a high vantage point to take advantage of the views; and bedrooms to the east and living spaces to the west. So far so good.
It didn’t yet allow for an office space, nor did it have a floorplan, but it was a good starting place.
I played around with the idea in Minecraft, since it gave me an easy way to plot out the space in 3-D and walk around in it:
Minecraft was a nice tool to get a “feel” for some of the space, though it’s obviously not very “real-life.” Not only are the graphics sort of Doom-era, but some of the proportions are off. Your person/avatar in the game is the visual equivalent of 6’ tall, which is fine. But you’re also the visual equivalent of about 3’ wide, so you can’t take a set of real-life dimensions and translate them well to Minecraft, as explained in much more detail here. It just takes some eyeballing to put together what “feels” right. Though it may not have been a serious architectural exercise, it was a fun way to get a feel for things.
Next, it was time to take a look at the first draft of the floorplan and get some construction loan issues figured out.