Help with location / design of screened porch on new house

mwtuckFebruary 16, 2013

Hi --

This is my house plan. It is a single story ranch house. I have the floorplan just about finished, but I would now like to add a screened porch / 3 seasons room on the South-East corner.

I am trying to get ideas on how to build this. I know where I would like it, but not sure how the best way to do it would be. My biggest problem is probably the roof design. The house is going to have a simple roof, it will basically be hipped on all 4 sides with a gable sticking out the back that covers the dining area.

My first thought is just to add a screened porch that sticks out the same 10' as the dining area, then make it about 15' east-west. Then I could just make the south gable 32' wide. Any other ideas? Is that too small of a porch?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:47PM
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I think only you can answer if that porch is too small. What do you intend to do out there? If its just a place to have a few chairs and enjoy the great outdoors without bugs, I think it is fine size. If you want to eat outdoors, picture a 10ft wide dining room..then go from there. It might be cramped if you intend to have a large table with seating on all sides, Given that floorplan it does seem the simplest solution to adding the feature however.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:30AM
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Where are the stairs to? And why do you have two sets of them? This is essentially a 2 bedroom house. Will your bank finance a 2 bedroom? There is a lot of wasted space in the central zone, and it will need some steel to be that open. The kitchen's island has no room to stand to load the DW, and there isn't any real prep space either. All of the space is in the space wasting angles rather than where it needs to be. The garage seems to have a lot of extra storage space, yet the space for the cars is somewhat tight. I'm assuming that the south eastern corner is behind the garage and adjacent to the dining room. If so, then I'd suggest eliminating the storage area and just making that the sun room. Except that a south eastern room will be unbearably hot in the summer if you are anywhere below the Mason Dixon (and in many places above it!) In a lot of locations, a north east corner is a better location for something like that, as it will be shaded during the high use times of the summer. Adding another gable to that corner will be give you problematical roof lines where it intersects the dining gable as well as where it intersects the main body's hip. It would be much better if the garage area was gabled instead. That would solve some issues when it comes to the garage door headers and make for a more graceful transition to a 90 degree gable jutting outward from it. You would still have the issue with the intersecting gables of the dining area and sun porch's gable, but if you made the dining area narrower, yet longer, in order to orient the table vertically, I think it would solve a lot of that as you could create a nested gable with the sunroom then.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:43AM
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Niteshad --

We primarily plan on using the porch just to relax, maybe have a small table for eating at once in a while. So I think that size would probably be ok.

Green Designs --

I appreciate the feedback on our plans! Both sets of stairs will be going to the basement, that is a must for us to have one set from the garage to the basement, as we live in the country and that is where we will be going into the house when dirty. We also have 2 more bedrooms in the basement, and they actually are going to classify our "office" upstairs as a bedroom, so yeah, we will be ok!

We shouldnt have any problems spanning our entire living room area without steel, it is only 46'4, and our 6-12 2x6 trusses are rated at 60' even with the highest snow load.

This house is basically modeled after a couple other houses that we have visited and really liked. I know looking at it, it seems to have some wasted space and lots of angles, but it actually flows pretty well. We will have about 45 sq ft of kitchen prep counterspace, hopefully that is enough. I agree with you on the wasted garage space, especially since we already have a 2400 sq ft finished out building! I might try to cut that space down a little bit. And we intentionally wanted to put screened porch on the south-east corner, will get a lot of sun in the morning, good place to sit and wake up! We are in Iowa, so there may be times when it would be too warm, but we are usually pretty moderate in temps!

Again, thank you for all of your opinions, it really helps me look at things in different ways!

Any more opinions on either the porch or our entire plan are welcome!!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:04AM
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Sophie Wheeler

The kitchen layout does NOT work. Green is right that you cannot stand at your sink and load the DW. If you are going to do an angled island like that, it needs to be MUCH larger to work well and to adequately separate the cleanup and prep zones. You need at least 12" cabinet between the corner angle and the DW to be able to stand at the sink and load the DW. And that cleanup zone needs to be opposite the prep zone side of the sink if you are only going to have a single sink. It would be a better layout to put the cleanup zone on the top run next to the refrigerator, and then straighten the island out and put a prep sink on it to have actual prep space on the island. Right now, it doesn't meet the minimum guidelines for 36" adjacent to a water source for prep. And the clearance between the wings and the walls is tight. This is a one person kitchen. If you envision any one helping in here, then it needs to be completely redesigned. I'd personally swap it with the dining room so that it could be lighter. I dislike a dark interior kitchen, whereas a dining room can be a dark interior room because it's mainly utilized in the evening when there is no natural light anyway.

The addition of a closet to the office may make it a technical bedroom, but I'd want more room to be able to realistically have a bed in it. And get rid of the angled entrance. It's only hurting the furniture placement in the room.

I'm not a fan of the bathroom that ate the house syndrome, but I'd at least want a double vanity in the master. And I'd want the other upstairs bath to be accessible from the hall rather than just the bedroom. If the office has to count as a bedroom, then it HAS to have access to a bathroom. The two baths should also be back to back, as that simplifies the plumbing, and it allows the bedroom to have the choice corner location with windows in two directions.

Most locations do not allow a direct stair from a garage to a basement living area. The stair would need to be in a mudroom type area with a fire door between it and the garage. I would redesign the surplus garage space to create a mudroom and pantry space from it and to contain the stairs to the garage.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:52AM
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I do have to say that I am surprised by the thoughts that the kitchen wont flow well. Like I said we have been to 2 houses that have about this exact same layout, and we loved it! The picture is of what we are modeling our kitchen off of, with the minor change of the refrigerator being smaller and we actually added more counter top space next to the fridge. The space between the wings of the island and the cabinets adjacent is actually 4'5", which I think is more then generous. I do appreciate the comments, but I think the kitchen is one area that we wont be changing too drastically!

hollysprings --

I do agree with you on the angled wall heading into the office, that is something I have been wrestling with for a while, that is still a toss up. As far as the bath's being back to back, I do agree that it helps with the plumbing a little bit, but not enough that it will make us change our floor plan. I will be doing all of my own plumbing, and I am not worried at all about the bathrooms.

The stairs from the garage will be going into a mudroom in the basement, so we should be OK with that. I am working with the surplus garage space right now trying to make a pantry area and porch work!

Thanks for the comment, keep them coming!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:21PM
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Sophie Wheeler

How it looks and how it cooks are two totally different things. Angles add visual interest, but they make for an inefficient use of the space in more ways than one. I would really hate to cook in that kitchen you pictured. It has very little actual storage and hardly any prep space. The room is in the wrong places. I've been doing this for over thirty years, but if you don't believe me, post in the Kitchen Forum here for more feedback. You'll get a chorus of echoes. And study the following link to see why your plan is sub optimal.

Also, you missed my point about not having the stairs to downstairs originate in the garage. They cannot begin at the garage without a fire door between them and the garage as well as a whole bunch of other fire and safety prevention practices, and even then with the basement being inhabitable space, most building inspectors would insist that the stairs be located totally within the dwelling.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Thirty-One Kitchen Design Rules, Illustrated

This post was edited by hollysprings on Sun, Feb 17, 13 at 14:25

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:11PM
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I suggest rearranging the power room so that the toilet is not directly opposite the door.

And the door on the toilet room in the master bathroom should be outswing for safety.

Get some cardboard boxes and mock up the kitchen island. You will soon realize that you cannot stand at the island and open the dishwasher because the dishwasher door will hit you. Since most people rinse at least some of their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, they need to be able to stand at the sink while the dishwasher door is open.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:19PM
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OK I think I will look at adding 12" between the sink part of the island and the dishwasher. I can see where it may be a little tight there. As far as the prep space and cabinet space, I am pretty happy. Although I think we are going to remove the TV and replace it with a cabinet storage.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 5:06PM
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