Floor plan ideas...

pwanna1January 12, 2014

Hi...We have purchased a lot and are working on a plan. We found a general style we liked online and ran with it. This is our rough draft drawing for our floor plan and I was hoping you guys would take a look at it and give me feedback before I send this to our draftsman. Help please! :)

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here is the basement (it's a walkout)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 11:45AM
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And the upstairs...we're including an apartment above the garage for my mom. :)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 11:47AM
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I was really hoping someone with some kind of knowledge would have some insight for me on this plan...

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:59PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Some things to think about...which way is south? Will the deck be over the windows of the lower level? If so, it will make them feel still like a basement.

Will Mom want to be upstairs? I'm thinking of aging and stairs....

The pantry/laundry is very out of the way...will that be convenient enough for you?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 1:53PM
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The house faces NW with the backside being SE…we have some flexibility as to how S of the SE and how N of the NW (does that make sense?) The deck will be over the windows of my daughter's room and the family room area. The boys' bedrooms at the other end of the house will have full light. We figure the family room downstairs will be used for video games/TV and musical instruments, So I wasn't too concerned about light…I hadn't thought about the light in my daughter's room (maybe she'll sleep later!) :) My mom is young and we have discussed the aging and stairs thing many times…she has said she's fine with the stairs. I was worried about that as well. I am neurotic and can't stand noise of washers (dishwashers), etc. drives me crazy…so I figured the laundry behind a few doors and farther away was okay by me. My pantry will be used for overage storage. Large pots, pans, etc. I bake and have 3 rolling racks currently in my garage full of stuff. I'm thinking most of my day in/day out items will be in pantry cabinets in the kitchen. Does the pantry still seem far? (I'm honestly asking…I have trouble visualizing space…it's just a tiny bit over on the paper) :) Anything else jump out?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

What area of the country is this? I would aim the house as close to south as possible for solar gain in winter. The other thing I see is the best light is from the southeast and your garage will be getting it all, not the house. The kitchen will also get little light as it is blocked from the east by the garage and the west by the fr.

If I were your daughter I would be very unhappy with a lower level room with no light. How high will the ceilings be and how high will the deck be? The higher, the better.

Also for quiet and privacy, I don't like bedrooms that share a wall. I prefer a closet or something in between.

I also prefer a bedroom in the corner and the bath more interior in the mbr...might help with noise abatement as most likely the tv will be on when someone is sick or trying to sleep in there.

That narrow jog in the pantry will allw for only very narrow storage as you need enough space to walk in there.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 8:56AM
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I'm in SC. hmmm…I will need to look at the deck and bedroom again. our lot is wooded behind and along the side (opposite the garage). I know I'm TERRIBLE at considering natural light…I tend to want bedrooms dark and keep the curtains pulled all the time, so I forget that other people are less hermit like than I am when it comes to bedrooms. (including those in my own house :) ) My thought on that 'alley' in the pantry was I could line one wall with shelves and store the less needed items (all my chafing dishes, large party platters chip and dip trays, etc). In your opinion is that too narrow? We need a deck off of the kitchen (for grill and a way to get down to the ground for the dogs) any suggestions?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 2:53PM
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I'd consider flip-flopping the master bedroom and the closet /bath. This would make the bedroom slightly more private, it'd give you some noise barrier from the family room, and it'd allow you to have nicer windows in the bedroom. A win-win-win.

I agree that the pantry is pretty far from the kitchen. I'd also consider removing the walls in the pantry /laundry and letting that room be one big "utility room". As it's drawn, you're losing half your storage space to hallways. Of course, this would mean that your mom's staircase would be in the utility room, which isn't ideal. Yes, the narrow -- is it 4'? -- end of the pantry is pretty much inaccessible. Mark it out with tape and boxes and see how little space you'd have if you had only a narrow set of shelves; it's really not going to be worth the cost of building this space, if it's going to be this narrow. If you don't like the idea of making this one big pantry /laundry, I'd say steal space from the laundry, which is more generously proportioned than the pantry.

Speaking of laundry, I'd move the machines against the wall so you can have the dryer vent directly to the outside. It's a small thing, but it makes your house just a tad bit cheaper. I agree with the others that the laundry is inconvenient, but then I don't share your problem with hearing machines run.

How will your kitchen area be laid out? I would be tempted to make this a bit more narrow and push the kitchen to the front and have the breakfast area to the back.

I'm with the others who are concerned about your mom's space being above the garage. Sure, today she's young and healthy, but she won't be young forever . . . and then what do you do? Is this an all-the-time home for her, or just a place for when she visits?

You have a family room, a living room, and a common area -- plus your mom has a living room -- four public areas, and two of them are large. Do you have specific plans for each of these?

Your kids' bedrooms are very large, but your master and your mom's bedroom are rather minimal. I personally don't see the point in allocating lots of space to rooms devoted to sleeping, but I see a discrepancy here.

I don't know how old your kids are, but eventually they'll be teens -- are you comfortable with them being in a walk-out basement with an outside entrance? So easy for them to leave the house without your knowledge, or for friends to come in without your knowledge.

Where will your mom enter her apartment? I thought "her stairs" were by the garage /laundry /pantry area . . . and I also see a set of stairs outside from the deck. But I'd think her "main entry" would be the inside steps. Those steps, if I'm reading it right, would enter into the kitchen. Wouldn't it be better to flip-flop the kitchen/bath with the living room . . . which would mean that guests would enter into the living room. But then that places the bathroom rather far from the bedroom, which makes me think about moving the bedroom to the back and the sewing room to the front of the house.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 7:18PM
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Thanks for the thoughts...I have re-worked the laundry/pantry/mudroom area over and over...I hadn't considered the laundry/pantry being one big area...I don't care if I walk through pantry storage to laundry or the other way around...I'll have to try that.

My mother's apartment~We have gone round and round with that! She 'doesn't care' about the layout until I show her one...then she doesn't like it. :) She wants her 'view' in the back to be in her living room/open area...which makes her layout somewhat awkward I think. Also, she has a dog and wants a way to let her out into the back yard from her apt. but doesn't want the door in her bedroom (two reasons the bedroom is in the front and not the back.) Also, she views it as if she were in an apartment building...one flight up...when she's not capable of going up and down she'll stay up and by that point I'm assuming I'll be taking care of her anyway. :) Because she's not that old (64) and is moving/downsizing from a 2800 sq foot home she's lived in alone since my dad died 14yrs ago, it's probably a bit bigger than she even really needs, but she's not ready to go to a small apt.

We moved South from IL...In IL we had a 3000 sq foot house not including an unfinished basement. We had a family room, living room and the kids used the unfinished basement for 'their space'. We specifically started with this plan because it had the 3 common areas for the main house. The living room is a music room...we have a piano, an upright bass, a cello and violin that will live there. It will also be a library of sorts as my husband is a collector of books. The family room will be where we spend most of our time and the basement family room will be where the kids hang out. My boys are 10 and 13 and my daughter is 8. The downstairs room will be where the gaming systems live and the computers. Also, my 13 yr old plays drums that will also be in that space. (and my husbands multiple electric basses and guitars) So, we deliberately created 3 separate communal spaces. I'm not one for giant bedrooms (which is why ours isn't that big). I agree on the waste of space, but the boys rooms seemed so narrow at 11' I was trying to make up for the width with a little extra length? My boys have full size beds. My daughter's room is giant...I'm aware. The thought process behind that is she has a queen size bed, she spends all of her time in her room, she also a ton of American Girl dolls and Barbies and We intend to add a ballet barre and mirrors along one wall as well b/c she dances...and will use her room to practice.

My girlfriend has had the same question about putting my kids in the basement. I was a pretty good kid. I was also a popular kid...I cheered, was in every club, went to parties but probably b/c I was so active in school and scared of getting caught I never did anything wrong. I didn't sneak out, I went to parties and didn't drink, and I told my mom everything. Boys used to come to my window (we lived in a ranch with awning windows) and I'd say no...and wouldn't leave. I'd then tell my mom that so and so was over last night at 1am and I talked to him at the window for an hour...or whatever. So, I guess because I didn't behave in a manor that my parents shouldn't have trusted me I never thought not to trust my own kids. I teach middle school and my son goes to my school, so I know all of the kids VERY well! My friend has convinced me that we should install an alarm...to arm at night...on the basement door and windows. :)

The kitchen set up is a large island for 5 or 6 to sit at...no kitchen table. We have found we don't use a kitchen table for anything but to pile crap on.
Thank you so much for taking time to look at this...I guess I'll go back to the drawing board and look at making some changes.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 9:13PM
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