Stepping back and looking at things again, I realize we simply do not need over 3000 sqft of house to pay for and heat. We have been looking at existing homes to gut and remodel again as a price comparison. What I realized is we were looking at houses barely over 2000 sqft and were telling ourselves "this will work for us"....yet building the design was way more. I decided to take a step back and see what can be done to keep the wants and needs and trim the fat. I was also not satisfied with the plan from a solar gain standpoint as I did not have enough south facing glass to get to the heating requirements I was after. The old plan only had about 6% south facing glass, and the rooms it was going into were not ideal. This new plan gets to the ideal 9% glass and is into the dining room and kitchen which are both open to the living space. The master bedroom also has glass for gain in that space.
The floor plan shaves about 250 sqft off of each level, cutting the total square footage back to around 2500. At approximately $50/sqft of construction cost, this shaves over $20,000 off of the construction cost. This brings our construction cost and land for UNDER homes that we would be "settling" for, not even including renovation costs. So a house that is many times more efficient (heating costs around $40/month for 2500 sqft....), brand new how we want it, and thousands under an older home without the reno mess.
Shannon is still concerned about construction time line and time to take to build it. Well, not so much anymore. By reducing the size of the home, this allows more money to put into building materials that would shave the construction schedule as well, such as SIPs (structural insulated panels).
Reworking the details, the new plan uses the super efficiencies and speed of SIPs panels produced by a local company (at of Carroll, IA).
Sparing the boring details, below are the new plans and an elevation of the front.