Just got my first preliminary plans!

sanveannFebruary 8, 2013

Would love to hear your feedback! Have the front and right elevation and the plans posted here.

My only thought, apart from a minor tweak on the front elevation and the fact that we may need to trim it down a couple of hundred feet (which our designer told us up-front) is that the kitchen may need more counter space. I don't know, though -- I'll have to compare what's in my current kitchen with what's here.

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It would help to know the cladding material.

The house design is a modern Neo-Eclectic adaptation of a Colonial Revival style house. I think it would be far more handsome and well worth the additional cost if it were detailed in the true Colonial Revival style. There is nothing wrong with adaptations but to avoid looking like the designer didn't understand the style or the owner didn't want to pay for it, they need to be strong and convincing.

Here's what would need to be changed:

1. The half round transom window over the paired windows should be in the traditional Palladian style of one larger center window and two smaller flanking windows with the half round the same width as the center window.

2. the roof eave (cornice) should be "boxed" (closed underneath) and below that should be a continuous trim board (architrave) so the windows do not touch the boxed cornice.

3. The corner boards should be wider or omitted.

4. Window sills should continue under the vertical jamb casing trim and project enough to form a "drip". Many clad nail-fin windows do not do this so often a sub-sill must be added below the window ( google Advanced Trimwright).

5. The ends of a roof eave (cornice) should turn around the corner and continue for a short distance or full width (cornice return). Your drawings show a "mutton chop" design. See the photos below for a classical Colonial Revival cornice return.

6. The portico should have classical cornice returns and the roof slope should be less steep.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:10PM
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Thanks, Renovator! I confess, I don't know what all of those things mean, but I'll certainly google them and find out ;)

I do agree about the portico -- I like the one you posted much better (and it would enable us to have a window above it).

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:22PM
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Oh, I forgot to add that the cladding material will probably be vinyl or fiber cement. Love brick but don't think we can swing it right now.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:29PM
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Can you post a close up of the kitchen? It is difficult to tell, but I am really thinking it is too awkward and you could actually "lose" some space there. Or at least improve its efficiency.

And, while I am sure your play room was a really, really want, if you HAD to cut square footage and couldn't find it in the kitchen, I'd cut it off. You already have a nice sized FR and LR, and DR. For the period of time of lots of overwhelming toys, one of those rooms could function as playroom.

Also, you have a lot of duplicate hallspace downstairs. Is there a reason you have a hallway outside the office/powder room?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Kirkhall, here you go!

As for the hallway outside the office/powder room ... at the risk of sounding dumb, um, I guess it's there so you can get to them? :) I'm not sure how else you'd reach them without going out on the porch, which in February in Michigan would be less than ideal!

This post was edited by sanveann on Fri, Feb 8, 13 at 18:54

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 6:52PM
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I like it a lot.

A couple questions:

What is the "video" closet in the play room for? I'd be tempted not to build that in unless you have a plan for how you'll use it when the kids are older or only watch stuff they stream on their ipods/tablets/whatever.

How will you use the "bar" in the kitchen? It looks like the island is two levels, and I'm not sure what that's good for, with the layout you've got.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:02PM
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Zone, the video closet is for my husband's AV stuff. He wants to do an infrared panel by the TV (over the fireplace) and have the DVR, etc. tucked away in that closet.

I'm not sure about the two levels on the island, either -- I need to ask the designer what his intent is there. I don't really want people sitting in the middle of the kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:14PM
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I would do away with the angled peninsula or something, it is boxing the island in. Not sure exactly how to do it, but the kitchen forum sure would! Pretty house! We built a traditional styled house, as well. I know you will enjoy the process.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:19PM
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I think it's going to be quite a job to fish the wires from the AV closet to the fireplace when you update components.

The fastest path from the upstairs bedrooms to the kitchen is through the dining room-- are you okay with your kids cutting through there every day?

You have such a nice library, why build a tiny windowless office behind the kitchen? And if you are going to put it there, don't you want a pocket door or something so guests don't see your personal papers on their way to the bathroom?

Also, as the plan stands, the hall closet doors block the path to the living room.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:21PM
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I also am not a fan of the kitchen. Seems a bit like a maze or a corral. I could imagine myself getting very frustrated cooking in there.

I think the center of the house is going to be very dark. I love natural light in the kitchen since I two tiny children and know I am going to be spending a significant amount of time int he kitchen making all the meals/snacks and I crave natural light. So your kitchen would make me frustrated in that way too. I would feel away from the action in the dark.

I also wonder about the size/shape of your living room since you will have to walk past the furniture to get the playroom- makes it so the couch has to be away from the wall- that would also drive me batty :)

I think there are quite a few places to cut square footage- but that is coming from someone who loves small houses and hates that our own could not be kept under 2K square feet for the whole thing.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:34PM
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Congratulations on your plans! I really like them alot. Elevation is beautiful. Inside is nicely laid out for the most part. There were just a handful of things that stood out to me as needing some tweaking:

-The roof height change between the left wing of the house and the garage bothers me. It also appears that the roof of the left wing is higher that the roof of the right wing--is it? We encountered a similar challenge with our exterior plans. We opted to raise the height of the roof on the garage so the rooflines would match up.

-Is the family room big enough? I see you have furniture placed in there on the drawings--is it based on your actual furniture? If not, it needs to be. Based on the furniture layout & the required walkways around it, your family room effectively shrinks from 19'2" x 15'4" to 13'2" x 9'4". I would definitely revisit this space.

-There is ALOT of square footage dedicated to play/toy area. That's really enough space for a full on guest suite/in-law suite. Do you really need all of it? What are your plans for it once the kids are grown?

-There is not a full bath on the main level. Not necessary but nice to have should have need of one (i.e. injury that doesn't lend well to navigating stairs, in-laws need to move in either temporarily or permanently, overnight guests who may bunk in the playroom or library, etc)

-Are you planning any island/peninsula seating? If so, how many seats? In many of today's plans, there is a plethora of seating for meals where all family members fit--4(+) seats @ island/peninsula, nook off kitchen and a formal dining room--total overkill. If you have enough room for everyone in the immediate family to sit at the island, you could pull the nook wall back and make it part of the kitchen allowing more cabinetry for storage, more counter space, more light into the main room itself & you'll knock a nice chunk of square footage off that you say you need.

-I see you've already posted the kitchen in the kitchen forum--that was my suggestion as well.

-I'm not wild about the layout of the 2nd floor shared bath layout--alot of wasted space, IMO. Have you thought about flipping the vanity to the opposite wall and put the tub in the alcove where the vanity was originally, then put the toilet on the opposite wall where the tub was originally offering some privacy for whoever may be using it. You could make a toilet closet there if you want or just leave the short wall in place. You could also place a window in that area too for natural light. The linen closet could also be made larger in this scenario as well. A compact stacked washer/dryer may even be able to be accomodated. If desired, you could make the bath accessible from one of the bedrooms as well.

-Love the big closet in bedroom 2, however, the door eats up valuable wall space (for furniture placement options) and puts 2 doors side by side. Have you considered moving the entry to the bedroom back into the hall just far enough to accommodate a closet door on the right as you enter the room? (looks like we're only talking about inches needed to accomodate this) That would give you back the precious wall space in the main part of the room, make use of the dead space currently not used, & take care of the door by door visual issue.

-Do you need a linen closet in the ensuite bath for bedroom 2? How big is it drawn? It looks really tiny. What linens were you planning for that space (I'm guessing towels, soap, toilet paper, etc). Could the space under the sink be used for storing those items and remove the linen closet altogether allowing for more space in the main closet? Or maybe some shelves inset 1/2 way up the bath wall allowing for storage in both the bath and the closet.

-Love the shower in the master bath, however, I'm not sure the rest of the bath feels as well laid out--almost as if everything was set in place based on the shower placement & layout. The space between the tub and the walls/windows does not seem very wide and will make entering/exiting the tub a challenge. There's a door collision issue between the bathroom entry and the toilet room which also makes getting to the toilet room awkward--think morning sickness/tummy bug/etc as worst case scenarios that happen on a somewhat regular basis not to mention one person trying to enter the bathroom when another is trying to exit the toilet room. Typically the purpose of the toilet room is to free up the rest of the bathroom for use by another when the toilet is in use. Currently, both doors will be closed anytime someone is in the toilet room which somewhat defeats the purpose and if someone does enter the bathroom while the other is in the toilet room odds are they will leave the bathroom door open causing a collision when the person in the toilet room tries to exit. I'll look at the master suite some more and see if I come up with any ideas on how to make the space more efficient. I don't like identifying a "problem" without offering a solution, but non are coming to mind right off.

Overall, I think this is an excellent first draft and it won't be long before you get your finals. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:25PM
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Thanks so much, MDH!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:45PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

I too saw the door issue in the master bath. How about putting the toilet where the shower is and tweaking the shower and tub in the area just inside the door?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:59PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

If you wanted, you could eliminate the seat and shelves on the 2nd floor landing and make that part of the bedroom....give it a large walk in closet and make that br a lot larger.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Oooooh! I missed that, Annie. Great idea!!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:39PM
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