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The Perfect Single Floor Retirement House – A Look At The Newest House On The Farm!

Sometimes life has a funny way of working out – like when you go to build a rental cabin/house on your property – and when it’s all said and done – you instead create the perfect single floor retirement house for your parents to live in instead!

When we began building what was to be our second rental cabin/house on the farm late last fall, we knew that we wanted the structure to have a few very important features. First and foremost, we wanted it to be a one story floor plan.

As much as we love our little two-story 600 square foot cabin guest house, we realized it might not be perfect for everyone visiting and staying at the farm. After all, with the only true bedroom on the second floor, it can be tough for those who don’t like to climb.

Single story retirement house
The Stone Ridge house – our latest building project is now complete at the farm!

In addition, we wanted the second house to be easy to navigate around. That meant designing an open floor plan with wide hallways and a completely accessibly bathroom. And last but not least, we wanted it to have plenty of easily accessible space to enjoy the outdoors.

Why? More than anything we built it to be more accommodating to guests who wanted to stay and were looking for a very easy and comfortable space to enjoy during their visit. But secondly, thinking ahead, we also knew someday we might need or want to move into that space later in life when we wanted to stay on the farm but needed an easier place to live as well.

A New Plan For The Stone Ridge House – The Perfect Single Floor Retirement House

The house is nestled up against the woods and is about 1/4 mile from the main farm. Its location is private and makes it perfect for having your own space. And as you will see below, with a front covered porch and a screened in back porch that are all on the same level – it really makes enjoying the space easy.

We had always joked with Mary’s parents that we were actually building this as a perfect little retirement house so they could come stay at the farm. And about 1/4 of the way through the build, that is exactly what its purpose became – as they decided it was time to downsize and live a little closer!

They currently live about 40 minutes from us and love to come visit to see what the latest project might be, so moving here as they downsized just made sense. And we couldn’t be happier to have them coming here to stay permanently!

Although we are still finishing up the landscaping in back, the screened in porch and patio will be perfect for spending a quiet evening outdoors.

We finished construction this past week – and thought we would share the final details, photos and a video tour of the space (at the end of the article). And yes, – we will still be creating another one on the farm for future visitors to stay soon!

The Perfect Single Floor Retirement House – A Look Inside & Out!

As with all of the buildings on our farm, low or no maintenance is a must. We used stone and metal board and batten siding to clad the exterior. Both are timeless. They also hold up for forty to fifty years without worry. And most importantly, they both match everything we have on the farm already!

At just under 1200 square feet, the house is big enough to not feel small, but easy to navigate and have everything you need close by. The double roof teared design allows light in through the top windows – and the high ceilings make it feel anything but small.

The floor plan for the main area is wide open. The L-kitchen design and the island open to the sitting area, with double doors from the kitchen that lead out to the screened in porch and patio area.

The porch and patio was a must. Just as with our other cabin house, it really makes the space seem even larger. It also happens to overlook the woods and a ravine below. One thing is for sure, it will be a perfect place to enjoy a dinner or evening, and bug free!

perfect little ranch house cabin
A look at the floor plan of the Stone Ridge
The Rooms – The Perfect Single Floor Retirement House

The kitchen has wide 4’+ paths all around the island. And the cabinets have roll out drawers to avoid having to bend over to get to dishes and appliances. There are no transitions between any interior room. And even going out or in the front or back door, it is a minimal 1 inch elevation.

The two bedrooms, bathroom and laundry room all fit into the opposite raised roof section. At 12′ x 10′, the bedrooms are not huge, but again with the tall ceilings they feel large. They both have nice size closets that auto close shut with magnets.

The laundry room holds a stackable washer and dryer along with additional storage space. Having the bedroom closets and a bit of extra storage space in the laundry room is a must. It keeps the small, single floor cabin house from seeming cluttered since items can be put out of sight.

The laundry room could have been used for a second bathroom, but for this, we kept it smaller to have a larger master bathroom that could be wide open. The shower is a low threshold design with rails and plenty of space as well.

main kitchen
The acid stained floors are all one level throughout the entire house. Once furnished, the fireplace actually will serve both the kitchen / living room and dining areas, with a full rotating tv above.
Heating / Cooling / Air Conditioning – The Perfect Single Floor Retirement House

For heat and hot water, we once again put in an on demand floor heating system. The cost savings and efficiency are simply out of this world. In addition, the comfort level of the heat is wonderful and you never run out of hot water.

For air conditioning we love to use mini-split AC units to cool the cabin. We have a unit in each bedroom and one for the main area. What really makes the split units nice is that they also have auxiliary heat functions if ever needed.

Not only is the house completely easy to keep clean, it is also amazingly efficient. The on demand gas and split AC units will heat and cool the house at a very minimal cost – and be incredible comfortable in doing so. We know this because it’s the same system we use in our house and cabin house. As an example, the barndominium heats for under $120 in the middle of winter – at over double the size!

One thing is for sure, we will be happy to have Mary’s parents close by on the farm – and that is truly for us what makes it a perfect single floor retirement house!

Happy Living – Jim & Mary

A Video Tour Of The Stone Ridge…

Below is a video walk through we shot a few days back for our YouTube Channel. Whenever we post a video, we get quite a kick out of the wide range of comments and suggestions! We built this with some very specific wants and needs. And ones that fit the bill for our specific situation. But it certainly can be outfitted many different ways, including the location of the fireplace :).

Old World Garden

Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time.

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