Frank Betz, James Fahy, Don Gardner or House Designer plan

jean61February 8, 2011

we have 4 house plans that we are debating. We would like to narrow it down to 2 before going to builder.

Frank Betz: Allenbrook

Donald Gardner: Carinthia

James Fahy: 10-2785-2A06-185

House Designer plan: La Meilleure Vie

any thoughts...or has anyone built any of these

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We are open to any floor plan by anyone. We will be building on 10 acres in Virginia. We have requirements that we must built at least 2500 sq ft for one level, 2900 for l 1/2 level and 3200 for 2 level home. The land is pretty much flat where we are building but it is higher than the main road coming into the community and we wanted something that isn't going to look like it was just slapped it on top of a hill. So we would thinking something that is kind of wide in width nothing crazy so nothing under 58'.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 9:31AM
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Jean..not really sure what you're asking from the forum, but I just wanted to say I love the exterior of the House Designer plan: La Meilleure Vie. Lots of character.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 11:07AM
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both are really nice plan.....if you have not already do so, examine web sites of both John Tee and Southern living magazine home section....good luck. We went through this for the last six months.....finally settled on a plan

It is out for bid now.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 11:31AM
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Thanks everyone. And a special thanks for the links...I love several of the plans on the johntee link i just may have a few more that I will have to reconsider!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 2:10PM
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Wow, you and I have very similar taste in houses. My needs are for a 1-story, split bedroom, 2500-2700 sq ft plan. We have 3 acres to build on.
Donald Gardner's Corinthia is one of the original plans I fell in love with and now, thousands of plans later, I still love it (with a bit of tweaking).

Frank Betz's Allenbrook is in my Saved Plans folder on his site and remains one of the finalists as I narrow down my choices. I keep going back to the pantry location every single time I look at it. Seems like an awfully long trek around that peninsula and to the back hallway for my pantry. Think the location of several things in the kitchen/brkfst/family area might need moving around a bit.

Loved the La Meilleure Vie plan instantly the first time I looked at the floor plan. I do worry about the costs for framing the roof, though. Have you looked at the Santo L'Agnello House Plan? It is slightly smaller at 2,595 sq ft, but you would hardly know it, the rooms are arranged better, in my opinion.

I do like the James Fahy design, especially the fact that it has a single, large eating area. The more plans I look at, the more I decide that for the way most people live, one largish dining area, supplemented by seating at the island or bar, is quite sufficent, and I can find better uses for the square footage that would have been used for a second dining area. The only thing for me is that it is missing one more room (den?) for an alternative sitting/living area. Seems to me that a house almost 2,800 square feet should have enough space for such a room. And thanks for pointing me to the Fahy site, I have seen his plans on the big sites, but had not found his own site.

I may share some of my favorites. Be back later!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 5:34PM
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there is another designed you may also want to visit.....William E Poole in Cary, NC.....he has a website

good luck

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 6:21PM
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Just my personal thoughts:

Frank Betz: Allenbrook
location of laundry room - too far from master
pantry too far from kitchen
closets very small in guest bedrooms
no coat closet that I can see near foyer
garage is too small for a 2-car if you aren't driving compacts

James Fahy: 10-2785-2A06-185
location of laundry room - too far from master
the bathrooms all seem a bit small to me
do not like the master bedroom door opening to the great room

House Designer plan: La Meilleure Vie
Although hard to really tell without dimensions, the guest bedoom closets seem too small to work with rods as they show
I don't like the guest bath arrangement, especially the two doors opening into the bath/toilet area.
It has a lot of angles - I think I would have to see interior pics of this one to get a better feel for it.

Donald Gardner: Carinthia
This is my favorite of the four
Where does a pantry go? In the e-space?
I would want to mock up furniture arrangment in the great room though - all those doorways, fireplace, and bar might make it a bit challenging to lay out.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:57AM
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I agree with aa62579...about the cons on each house and we were going to modify each plan just a little.

The carinthia.... e-space would be pantry for sure.
We would enlarge the entire house a bit and we would have a basement with any of the plans we choose. Have you found this floor plan built anywhere? we would love to see the inside.

James Fahy...totally agree-- i feel it needs a study --which i only want something small so we were going to see if where the garage attaches to house and the stairs could be re-arranged. pushing the great room into the sun porch and re-arrange master b/r entry also???

The allenbrook - don gardner..... the master suite wic...i would use as study...and rearrange that whole master suite/bath ...since it's on a wing to itself. ...but then we are adding sq ft...and probably not going to be within budget

La Meilleure Vie: I like the jack & jill bath room for the spare rooms....savings...but each b/r has it's own sink. Thhe exercise room/ utility room... we would change a bit. But love the outside pics they have of this home...and yes the smaller version is nice too....but this is the most expensive to build.

My prayer would be --to find a house Already I could walk thru it a couple of times...and see the angles, the true size. But...don't think that is going to happen

Also take a look at this plan: plan #DHSW49387 needs to be a bit bigger...but i like it also...although hubby doesnt

Here is a link that might be useful: dream home source

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 4:19PM
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Do you like anything like this?

This was one of the ones that we kept on the radar when my parents were planning their house. It eventually got nixed because another plan was easier to modify for them, but it sort of reminds me of some of your other choices. We were going to bring out the left wall a foot or two to enlarge those bedrooms/bath, and expand the laudry room into the storage area and figure out a way to get a door to connect the laundry and master bathroom.

Here is a link that might be useful: House Plan to look at

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 11:04AM
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Hey, AA62579....the mentioned floor plan is ok...however, I want a half bath for guest, don't like the location of basement stairs and I want a walk in pantry for kitchen stuff.

If I could get the Ideal Plan it would have:

Large Great formal living room
Large Kitchen , with and island or/and bar top area
If there is a large breakfast area...I wouldn't have formal dining room.
Master Bedroom, Very large closets for him & her
2 sinks and a large shower for 2 with body sprays
Bedroom large enough to accommodate king size bed & furniture.
guest rooms no smaller than 12 x12 with decent size closets
like jack & jill baths like them even better when each bedroom has it's own toilet & sink and only share the tub/shower area.
Large laundry room that is connected to an mud room or area that is for coming in thur the garage.
an exterior that looks great with stone/brick & hardiplank type siding.

and we need a basement...just use to having one for exercise equip and Junk!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 12:29PM
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Your requests for an ideal house sound a lot like what we were searching for with my parents. (Except for no basement and they wanted to remove any half baths.)

This is the plan that ended up being the main inspiration for my parents. There is the normal plan and then a plan showing a basement option. The original plan has a half bath in it and a jack/jill bathroom.

They looked at it and a lot of other plans and tried to piece together the parts they did like. They made changes and it looked sort of like this:

Uploaded with

Then they made more changes to the laudry area and master hallway and it looked like this:

Uploaded with

They took their drawings (not the original from the internet) to the builder and he tweaked them even more. Unfortunatly I do not have a digital copy of how they ended up. I think they ended up adding about 600 more square foot.

Here is a link that might be useful: House Plan 21-149

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 5:52PM
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Thanks, for showing me this. It's given me some ideas!!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 7:58AM
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