Deep Dive: More Changes?

I simply must assume my house will be finished someday; otherwise I'd go insane. To that end, I've given some aspects of the home long, hard thought. So far, I've identified two possible moderately significant design changes I might make. Or not.

Office Ceiling

The more I've looked at the office ceiling, the less I've been inclined to keep it that way. While I like low ceilings, this one is awkward because of how it meets the windowed wall: there is almost no space between the ceiling and the window frames (highlighted by the arrow, below), and I don't think this looks good.

My initial thought was to raise most of the ceiling, leaving it lower only to enclose the air return duct, with a 45-degree slope connecting the two levels (in keeping with the visual style of the house). This would necessitate relocating the small heat duct to Kitty Central, as well as the gaggle of electric wires headed for the kitchen, as seen below.

An alternative to this approach would be to locate the height transition closer to the windows, which would look sort of like an upside-down window well. I honestly don't know which of these I'd prefer, or if I'll just leave it the way it is and live with the awkwardly close window-ceiling corner.

Closet/Laundry Ceiling

Ironically, in contrast to the office, the closet/laundry ceiling is currently two levels, with one end lowered for the HVAC blower (below). I'm pondering the notion of making it all one level, which would eliminate the somewhat awkward height transition in the middle of the space.

Lowering the high end would entail rebuilding the storage shelves over the entertainment center (below), which would be a royal PITA, as well as relocating four recessed lights. As with the office, I remain undecided as to whether or not to pursue this. It would seem I have a fair bit of time to make a decision—unfortunately.

Another option I've considered is to re-enact "Plan A," which at the time I built the original HVAC blower enclosure was to use an angled transition between ceiling heights. This was abandoned after the blower enclosure rebuild because the angled transition would interfere with the ceiling lights. However, it would be a simple matter to rearrange the lights to accommodate the transition.

Porch Detail

The front porch framing as it stands is really a big mistake. I knew in advance how the roof would be supported, but in my enthusiasm to frame the first level, I failed to plan ahead and accommodate the porch roof support members at the corners of the house. Consequently, the porch roof support was framed separately, which resulted in posts tacked onto the corners of the walls surrounding the porch. On the garage end this didn't matter, since the firewood alcove required a small wing wall to enclose it. Later, I transformed the wing wall into its own "architectural element":

Meanwhile, I've still got this awkward-looking post to the left of the front door:

To disguise my framing faux pas, my thought is to repeat the "architectural element" next to the door. Not sure if that'll look cool, or stupid...

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