feedback on floor plan

snuffycuts99January 4, 2014

I put this floor plan together on homestyler. Can't figure out how to put a picture on here...but here is the link to the plan:

I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you!

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When I go to your link I don't see any plans--just a page to design.

Try taking and saving a screen shot.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 9:57PM
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Oops...thank you very much for letting me know. I took the screen shot and hopefully it will show now.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 11:27PM
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Second floor....I wish the room dimensions were more clear...I can barely make them out even after enlarging the picture.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 11:29PM
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Have you defined the flooring on the plan? Can you "undefined" it so it's blank or at least lighter, and the text will show up better?

Offhand, that is one big reception hall.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 11:58AM
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I'm also having trouble reading the plan correctly, so my comments may or may not be appropriate:

- First, I'm with bpathhome in saying that the entryway is vastly oversized. This is essentially a hallway, but it's as large as your living room. I'd also go with a straight stair. As it's shown, the little turn looks like something over which people will trip -- or move the stairs to the corner, so that the little turn will work.

- At a glance, I'd consider scooting the dining room left into the entryway. This would give you a view of the lovely stairs (which at Christmas would be a focal point with greenery and lights), and it would be a much better use of space. Then I'd bring the garage front /left into what's now the dining room -- but keep the side entrance so you don't have the garage door as a front-yard focal point. Given that you're looking at an oversized garage (why?), you could have one driveway with two cars turning left into the two-car garage and one car going straight into a single garage straight ahead of the driveway. Dividing an oversized garage cuts down on its massive appearance.

- Or you could drop to a two-car garage and have nice big windows in your kitchen. As your kitchen is drawn now, it will be a bit dark.

- Your plumbing is strung all over the house -- kitchen in one corner, laundry way over by itself, master bath as far from the kitchen as it can go. This is an expensive choice. If your plumbing can "back up to" other plumbing (i.e., if the kitchen and the master bath can share a wall), you'll save quite a bit. It's cheaper NOT to need to run pipes all the way across the house. Also walls that contain water must be thicker than plain walls; thus, keeping water in only a few walls saves you on space. Finally, if you have water pipes everywhere, you have more potential spots to leak. Consolidating your plumbing would be a huge improvement; and don't neglect "stacking" your upstairs baths above the kitchen or another bath.

- Still kind of on the subject of plumbing, your laundry is placed in an inconvenient location. Most people like to have the laundry adjacent to the bedrooms (where the dirty clothes tend to be discarded), or close to the kitchen (where people spend the day). You're going to grow tired of carrying baskets across the house and down that little hallway. Your laundry room is fairly large, but you don't have any space for folding clothes. For so much space, you can have a more efficient room.

- Is your pantry wide enough to allow storage on both sides? If not, I'd steal a bit from the dining room, which looks plenty big, to make this happen.

- Why two doors out to the back? Doors are more expensive than windows, doors are less energy-efficient, and doors are easier to break into. I'd go with a bank of large windows and one single door to the back porch.

- I can't read the dimensions on the master bedroom, but it looks like lots of wasted space at the foot of the bed. You can't really put furniture there.

- Will the living room TV be on the wall shared between the master and the living room? If so, be sure to insulate well to avoid the TV keeping people in the master bedroom awake.

- Is that the master bath, and then the master closet? I'd reconsider this. Corners are prime space -- they allow you to have nice windows on both sides. Light coming in from two sides is always nicer than just one side, and they make a room more comfortable and spacious-feeling. I'd not waste a corner on a closet.

- On that same subject, I'd add windows to the back wall of the master bedroom.

- I hate those double-doors. Think through this: You enter the room, push open the two doors, and reach for the light switch . . . where is it? It's behind the door. So you must enter the room, close the door and feel behind the door in the dark to locate the switch. Why? Because electrical items tend to go in before the doors are placed.

As first-drafts go, it's okay, but it's time for revisions!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 4:36PM
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Thank you so much for the awesome feedback! I've adjusted the plans and incorporated some of your suggestions.

I might start by saying that I use a wheelchair and that is why I've tried to incorporate some large spaces in the house. It makes it much, much easier to navigate when there are wide open spaces. I've tried to also limit hallways as they are a pain, but the ones that are there will be at least 4' wide.

I agree that I had the foyer way oversized. I do want it large but I narrowed it down to 12' from 14'. I think I'll need to keep the length at 18' as the stairwell should take close to 13' with planned 9' ceilings on the first floor. And then I have the french doors leading into the study. I also agree that a straight staircase would be best...I changed this in the plan as well.

I really need a pretty oversized garage. I have an accessible van with a fold up ramp on the side so this necessitates the need for a 3 car garage. The area in the garage beside the kitchen will be used for storage for tools and spare wheelchairs. BUT, I did have it a bit large and have decreased the overall size to 24'x33. Our development requires all garages to be side loading.

Regarding lighting in the kitchen...narrowing the depth of the garage allowed me to place a window towards the end of the kitchen. Also, I couldn't figure out how to show it on the plan, but we plan on having a sloped ceiling on the rear 8' of the kitchen. I would like to put two skylights there to help provide some more natural light in the kitchen.

I really didn't address the plumbing issues. Not sure how I feel about this. I understand it will increase the costs, but I might be ok with that. I really want the master bedroom on one side of the house and the kitchen on the other. Looking at the second floor, it seems like the upstairs bathrooms are pretty close to be stacked above a bedroom below, the kitchen below, and the laundry below.

I also think I'm ok with the location of the laundry. I like the idea of having a combination laundry/mudroom. At 9x11, I think it will be plenty of room for us. It might be a pain lugging the laundry back and forth, but the elevator is located very close to the laundry.

I agree that the pantry was a bit narrow. I've added a foot and it is now 7x5. It will allow for wheelchair access with a 3' center aisle and 1' shelves on each side.

I did change to just one door going out the back of the great room. I guess I just liked the look of two sets of french doors, but we would only ever use 1 set of doors. More practical and energy efficient, along with being cheaper.

I was trying to keep the foundation line straight on the left side of the house, so that is why I originally had the master bedroom so large. But, I've narrowed it down to 17x21. It was 20x21. Still large, but again, it makes it much easier to navigate in a wheelchair.

I still have a closet in the corner, but I did add a window to it. I lose some closet space, but there are two closets so I think there should be plenty of space. I also have a window on the side of the master should be above the jetted tub.

I did add windows to the back of the master bedroom.

Really good advice on the double doors going into the master! I never thought about having to close the stupid doors every time just to access the light switch. I swapped them out for a 36" door.

Here are the revised plans. I've tried to lighten the rooms so you can read the dimensions better. Thanks again for the great feedback! Please keep it coming!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 11:58PM
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second floor

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 11:59PM
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My husband was in a wheelchair after being in the hospital for quite a he's using a walker and sometimes a cane. May I ask why you're building a two-story house? Is it a requirement of your development? Do you plan to have wheelchair access for the staircase?

Sorry, if this seems overly inquisitive, but I am concerned that you may not be able to access some of the house very easily. Would a one-story floor plan be an option? I would also change the swing of the powder room door, so it opened out or was a pocket door. Cannot see details of other bathrooms, but I assume they will be handicap least on the first floor.

Once you get a rough idea what you want, I would really recommend you see an architect that has expertise in universal access home plans. I know I would, if I were designing a new house :)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:18PM
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I'm building a two story home because I prefer it. We discussed a ranch for a while but ultimately decided on a two story home. I would want a basement and even with a ranch I would need a way to access it. I have a stairlift now and hate it. So if I'm going to install an elevator to access the basement I might as well make it a 3 stop and build two story. Of course it's also cheaper to build up rather than out.

I don't really plan on using the powder room very often. The master bath will totally accessible along with the three baths upstairs. I think the plan is pretty open for easy access to all areas of the home. All doors will be 36" wide and I've really limited hallways. I've put plenty of thought into this and am not concerned about building a two story home. Thanks for your concern though!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Building up vs. building out is kind of a wash financially; that is, it depends upon where you're building and the details of your build. If you're building in the South or another area where land is cheap, building "out" makes sense. If you're building in the North, where land is more expensive and basements cost little because of the deeper frost line, building "up" may be a less expensive option. It also depends upon the type of exterior you're planning; if you're using an expensive brick or stone, the larger exterior of a one-story will cost more. However, when you throw in an elevator, "up" will always be considerably more expensive than "out". I read a detailed analysis of this question in Better Houses, Better Living (by M. Ferguson), a book which I heartily recommend.

As long as you have ONE accessible bathroom, I don't see a problem with the powder room being "unfriendly" to a person in a wheelchair.

I would not want windows in the closet; the sun'll fade your clothes. I'd still consider moving those rooms around to get the closet to the interior of the house and place a more valuable room in this prime location.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 3:28PM
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We're located in the North and several builders that I spoke with told me that it would definitely cost more to build a larger ranch in our area. There were differences, but most said that it might be a difference of $5 a square foot. They said that by building a two story it would basically save enough money to pay for the cost of the elevator. With 3500 square feet, a $5 per square foot difference ends up being around $25,000. I can certainly put a residential elevator in for that cost, probably a bit lower so it should actually end up being cheaper. We are planning a full brick exterior. So, given that I prefer a two story, I figured if they were the same cost, I might as well go with the two story.

I'll keep looking at that corner of the house to try and get the closet in an interior location. I could make a short hallway from the master bedroom to the bath with a his and her closet flanking each side of the hallway. And that would place the master bath in the front corner. Not sure that I like adding a hallway, though, considering that I've been trying to avoid them. I don't want to place it on the rear of the house as I like having windows on two sides of the bedroom.

This post was edited by dreamer16 on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 17:18

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 4:44PM
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Now the front left corner has the master bath instead of a closet. I added a closet on the rear of the master. The rear of the house faces east, so I don't think I want many windows on that wall anyway. I think it would be nice to have the french doors from the master bedroom to the rear patio. It would be nice for moving in furniture, as well. Any more feedback on this? Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 12:50PM
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