Please review our floor plan!

m5askqu5February 26, 2014

This is just what I've come up with thus far. I know it needs tweaked. Hoping a few that have built (we never have) or pros will chime in! Any tips are appreciated.

We're a young family, four children. We're building something we hope to retire in. Looking for efficiency, lots of natural light. Considering a basement in lieu of a loft, but assumed a loft was less expensive. Looking to build a Morton/pole barn type home to save $. The plan above would be on a slab.

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That's one way to keep the outdoor mess out of the house: no door from mudroom to indoors LOL!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 7:38PM
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I would move the two first floor bedrooms together so the trip to the bath isn't past the mud room.
The open balcony and hallway to nowhere that will be visible doesn't make sense to me. Will this be open over your kitchen?
Why such a huge foyer?

Room sizes look good, useable. I'd work on a entryway closet and add windows to the MBedroom.
Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:42PM
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The only reason the mudroom is between the two beds (and yes, the mudroom will have a door- ha!) is for a window for each bedroom. More of a safety thing.

Not sure why my foyer is so big. Not sure where to move things to make it not.

Yes, the balcony would be overlooking the great room (living/kitchen). Theses are very preliminary plans. Thank you for your tips. We're considering everything, especially since we're new to this. Don't want to overlook the obvious.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 7:27AM
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m5-I can't speak to the overall layout/flow much (I am spacially challenged, lol!) but we are currently almost finished with our build so I can comment on your room sizes from my perspective. :)

I think your bedrooms are well sized. Our master is 14x13 and it feels fine-we intend on a king size bed and nightstands, no dressers in the room. You will have a nice bit of room for a seating area I'd think.

The great room at 15x19 might be a challenge. Do you plan on having a fire place? If so then you need space for walking in front of it plus If you have seating at the island then I think 15' might be a few feet short to allow for ample walkway especially with 4 kiddos. Just something to think about.

Same with bathrooms - I think you'll be happy with that sizing.

Master closet-looks large and roomy but that bump out might actually be better served as a closet for the foyer? You don't show a dimension there so it's hard to say.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 7:45AM
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i have a harder time adjusting existing/proposed plans than I do starting from scratch.

this is so hard for first timers, or even for those who have built before. professionals can probably look and see immediate fixes, but i just look and see a lot of issues.

so i'll share those issues but please don't get discouraged by it!

i agree about the master closet ,though please do post dimensions. the L-shape you have in there in combination with the window is going to really limit your hanging space. think about where your rods will go - you need about 2' floor space for hanging.

i also agree about the wasted space in the:
1) foyer
2) open balcony/hallway to nowhwere, generally oversized hallways.

and i'll add to the list
3) the configuration of the stairs and hallway leading to the bedrooms just seems to waste an awful lot of precious space.

what are your must-haves in a floor plan? do you really love the idea of that open balcony? have you had one before? with 4 kids it's going to be SO noisy and the playroom noise will carry all the way downstairs and vice versa. also you listed "efficiency" as a wish list item, but is that in terms of space or energy? that open 2 story area is not going to be energy efficient at all.

maybe if you give us some must-haves we can help find some other options for plans that meet your needs?

i.e. 3 car garage - is it a must?
gigantic mudroom (bigger than the bedrooms?)
4 bedrooms, 3 baths
play room
lots of storage

do you want to be able to sit at your island in the kitchen? i agree it gets tight with furniture in a 15x19 living room if you've got people sitting at the island.

one quick change i see is moving the upstairs bath to the right of the bedroom which would shorten that hallway and it's no longer a hallway to nowhere. that would also align your plumbing on the first and second floors which might save some money. it would also enlarge the playroom.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:54AM
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I appreciate your comments. Like I said, these are very early plans and I'm not an expert by any means. Why I'm grateful for feedback.

â¢Garage- thinking a larger garage would allow for storage space. With four kids, we have lots of bikes, toys, etc. We only need two car, hoping to build a shop with more space for our truck and trailer, mower. Would need safe room (we're in tornado alley) if no on slab.
â¢Mudroom- would serve as mudroom, laundry and office, plus more pantry storage. Thus the size.
â¢Open balcony- this is an issue we're debating, because our youngest is under two years. We're considering 10' ceilings instead throughout instead. Guessing this if more efficient. Just looks bigger and more open with the vaulted ceiling and balcony.
â¢We're also on the fence with an upstairs vs a basement. I like the idea of ample storage in the basement. Also an additional family room- thinking ahead when they're teenagers and have friends over. Plus it gives us more space to spread out!
â¢Must haves: main floor laundry, master. We plan to retire in this home (we're 32 at the moment, I know things change, but building so we could when the time comes). We'd like two bedrooms on the main floor because of the ages of our youngest (1.5 and 4). They all need their own rooms. Two bathrooms between the four of them. I like the kitchen facing the family room on the back wall. I want to sit at our island. I don't have to have the dining nook, just thought it's a nice place for sunshine and gets the table out of the line of traffic.

I'm open to anything really (other than our must haves). Whatever is the most efficient, flowing and cost-friendly floor plan. Slab with 1.5 stories? Basement with bedrooms? Like I mentioned, we're planning a Morton-style home (steel/metal- barndominium, whatever you call them!) so it has to be rectangular. Thanks so much for your time and feedback!!!

I linked a photo I like of the kitchen/nook and living area. Along these lines...

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen/Dining Layout

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:11AM
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A few others: We also don't want a formal living room or dining room. We want simple. Planning on a wood burning stove in the family room on the main level. Don't need huge bedrooms, spend little time in them. Don't need a huge master bath or closet. Simple, simple, simple.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:26AM
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FYI...your kitchen/dining link is broken. ;)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 12:47PM
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Try this...

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:07PM
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Your foyer is wide enough that you could have a reach-in closet on each side. If those are done with nice doors, it could make a very nice entry way.

In all the bathrooms, I'd do a single sink and use the cabinet space for drawers.

I'm another who is not a fan of two story ceilings and overlooks, but that's personal preference. I think the LR would be great with 10' ceilings and maybe transoms for additional light.

Add some (to scale) furniture to see how you would lay out the LR and to see how your table and chairs will fit in the dining area. It might be that you want to move the door to the left of the LR wall (where a window is) and make the dining area door into a window, so that there isn't any conflict with door swing and chairs at the table.

With 4 kids and the laundry in there, you'll use up that mudroom space fast, so yes I'd keep it big. Although, mudrooms and laundries don't typically need a great deal of floor space since there's usually no furniture in them - mostly things lining the walls. So I'd lay out that space with your W/D, sink, counters, and lockers/cubbies (or whatever you want in there) and see if you need that much width. (I don't think it's wide enough for an island, like for folding clothes. So if you just have things along the walls then you can probably add a foot or two to the two bedrooms.) I'm not sure you'll have room in there for an office, too. I'd consider a micro office in the storage space under the stairs, or use the space above the LR for an office (if you don't do a 2 story ceiling in the LR.)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:15PM
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We have 4 kids and when we started the design process, they were little. Now they are 11, 10, 8 and 8. We shifted to building for our future needs vs present and I'm glad we did. We will soon have many more cars in the driveway, so we designed it for way more parking than we need. I would think about how long you would really need or your kids would want to be in first floor bedrooms by the time you build.

I would want a sound buffer like a closet between the master and the living room. We have a playroom on the second floor at the top if the stairs above the kitchen with a half wall (so it's open a little to below but not as much as your design). Now that our kids are older, it is so loud that you can't have a conversation in the kitchen when they are up there. In our new house, we are going with a basement with access to outside. I think this will be quiter and keep me sane and also encourage them to play outside more. Yes it is much more expensive but I feel it is worth it.

Your mudroom will be a life saver, esp when they are all in school!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 3:41PM
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on the first floor, i thing your storage room is too big, I would move the storage where the bedroom on top of your drawing is, and I would put the two bedrooms together making them the same size

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:02AM
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If you're in tornado alley, why wouldn't you want a basement??? Is there any reliable information on whether a basement is safer than a safe room?

My first house was on a slab, and I would never again have a slab if I could have a basement.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:23AM
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