What would your dream home be like?

What would you want in your dream home? How big would it be? What special rooms and features, inside and out? And constructed from what materials? I look forward to what forum members have to say.

A house up for sale with a spectacular library...

The house wouldn't have to be huge, maybe
2500 or 3000 square feet at most. House would be a cedar log cabin. The modern ones are awesome. It would need to be on a couple hundred acres of mostly wooded land. The land would need a decent source of water, a large stream, be located in the mountains, and I'd have a micro-hydro off grid power generator.

Thomas More

I'd like a Victorian home in a historic neighborhood. I'd want a fairly big home, around 3000-4000 sq ft. I'd like a carriage house in back, with room for at least two cars plus additional space for tool benches and such. I'd want to have room to rebuild a car in one parking bay and still be able to park in the other. I'd want a studio or 1 bedroom unit above the carriage house, which I could rent on airbnb.

I'd like a spacious lot, at least by historical neighborhood standards. Room enough for some nice landscaping, with a main patio seating area behind the house, and a semi private sitting space in a far corner of the yard. A quarter to a half acre is probably the most that is practical as a large in-town lot in this type of neighborhood.

I'd like the interior of the house to have original stained and varnished woodwork, and hopefully some original built in cabinets, fireplace surrounds, and stained glass windows. However, I'd want to upgrade most windows to be double or triple pane while still maintaining the historic styling. Likewise, I'd want quiet, non-squeaking floors, good insulation, quiet, efficient Heat/AC/Humidifier, with zone control. Gigabit internet, good security system. I'd also want a modern kitchen, with lots of cabinet and pantry space, and lots of counter space. I'd definitely want a formal dining room with space for a 12 place table, and room to get around the table when people are seated.

I'd prefer to have each bedroom have its own in-suite bathroom, with the master bedroom having a particularly deluxe layout, with a two person Jacuzzi tub, big walk in shower, large closets, sitting area, and big bed with a solid bedframe.

One other thing I'd want is a Conservatory Room. I've seen these in historic Victorian mansions and want one, although my place would not qualify as a mansion. This is basically like a Florida room, or an add-on greenhouse.

Finally, I'd want high quality, solid furniture throughout, and lots of unique art on the walls, along with lots of plants to make the place feel homey.
My own dream house!

It would be ten thousand square feet, be on twenty acres of land, and have...

1. A large library.
2. A well-equipped gym.
3. A gun range in the basement.
4. A bowling alley.
5. A movie theater with Dolby Sound.
6. A classic style video game arcade.
7. A sauna.
8. A large indoor swimming pool.
9. A boardgaming room, with at least a thousand games in the gaming library.
10. An indoor garden.
11. A videogame console room, with all the major systems and a full library of games.
12. My personal office with a big beautiful oak desk.
13. A planetarium.
14. A chapel for prayer, reading and meditation.
15. A dojo for martial arts training.
16. A fairly large art gallery.
17. A large events/party/banquet room. Several hundred people could fit in it comfortably.
18. A master bedroom, and five regular bedrooms.
19. A sensory deprivation tank room.
20. A panic button high security safe room.
21. A large heated four car garage.


1. A meditation labyrinth.
2. A BBQ.
3. A giant trampoline.
4. A giant version of a kid's playground, for teens and adults.
5. A big vegetable garden.
6. A sandbox for playing.
7. A gazebo.
8. A huge backyard deck.
9. An outdoor theater.
10. Sculptures of the great men of history and various kinds of animals.

And so there it is, my beloved dream house! : )
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It would be designed for minimal maintenance, ease of construction, self-reliance, and longevity. Crawl space or basement, not a slab foundation. Would prefer aluminum siding over any other exterior. Metal roof. Downspouts feeding a cistern. Good drainage. Wooden double-hung windows, and not floor to ceiling but about 3-4 feet tall at most, and intelligently placed to get good light and views without making the house energy inefficient.

Designed to be self-sufficient if need be. Wood burning stove or wood burning furnace centrally placed for heat. A couple of acres-large wood lot. For cooling, windows placed for cross-ventilation and maybe a central tower for heat to escape. Would think about high ceilings. Evergreen trees to the north, broad leaf trees to the south. An elevated water tank nearby that could be pumped up by a hand pump, a gas-powered pump, solar pump, hydraulic ram, etc.

Would probably go with PEX home-run plumbing and arrange all rooms with plumbing to be in the same general area where pipes could be serviced via a corridor with an access hatch. HVAC equipment in a closet on the ground floor or in the basement (not the attic.) Natural gas or propane versus electricity for everything where possible. Flexible connections for gas to appliances in case of earth quakes, etc.

Plywood or solid wood and no OSB or particle board. Solid wood floors for most rooms. Linoleum in kitchens and bathrooms--it may be inexpensive, but that does not mean it is not actually a really good floor (completely water proof, will not crack, softer than ceramic, etc.) Solid concrete footings with metal flashing on top to better protect against termites and to facilitate inspections for them. Construction would not be modern totally air-tight--without active de-humidification that means mold and sickness. No paper-clad drywall in bathrooms or kitchens.

A wrap-around porch. A roof without any silly, for-show bump outs, fake dormers, etc. Just a simple roof with as few valleys as possible. More valleys = more leaks.


Too much to say on this matter, though I'd like to hear from people who've built houses on the process of that - finding builders, specifying your needs, etc., when you want something non-prefab even if it's not "custom" in any far-out way. Getting the Amish to build seems like a good idea, perhaps getting contractors or doing it yourself for some of the more newfangled stuff (digging a geothermal well, for example, even if that's kinda old technology actually).

Good twitter handle with pictures and thoughts on building materials, good urbanism, etc.: https://twitter.com/wrathofgnon