New construction bonus room with steps down into it???

Liberty2February 7, 2012

Hi Everyone, new to the forum, first post. Building a new house and my architect designed the bonus room (above the garage) to have 3 steps to walk down into the room. He claims that it allows for the front of the house on that side to be lower and have less space on the front elevation between the garage doors and the bonus room upper windows. Says this is common. I wanted to remove the 3 steps and he would do it but is recommending against it saying its nice to walk down into it felling more cozy and makes the house look lower on that side and better from the front as the center of the house is taller.

Anyone have a house with bonus room steps, trying to avoid them if possible.

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I don't...but what he is saying makes sense. Do you have a picture of the elevation? That would be the kicker to me. I would definitely want to make sure that the exterior looked architecturally correct and proportional. Stepping down into a bonus room most likely wouldn't bother me, particularly if it was being used as a playroom, theatre, or Rec room. Post a pic if you can!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Going upstairs to a bonus room and then down steps to get into the room would bother me. Depending on the landing, it might even be dangerous. How high is the ceiling in the bonus room?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:28PM
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To show both sides of the issue you should post the elevations. 3 risers is a big difference in height.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Jack Kennedy

How much money are you paying your architect??? How much certified education do you have in designing houses? You pay your architect for a reason... Listen to him/her....

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:24PM
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To answer your question, I have seen an upstairs, over-garage bonus room like this. And, it did feel cozier, imo. I don't think it is too weird, and if it will be used ever as a toy space, it also keeps the toys from vomiting into the hallway and into other spaces you'd rather keep clear of toys, if you know what I mean.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:29PM
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My bonus room has three steps up and it does not bother me. Three steps are not a problem either. Make the house look better from the outside.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 12:47AM
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I've seen it plenty of times.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 4:09AM
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Why blame the architect if you haven't seen the elevation? The OP seems to have disregarded the explanation of the architect by only asking for opinions about the steps. You can't choose between two options if you can't see both of them.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:43AM
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An alternative might be to use taller garage doors which usually looks better anyway. If the architect has not drawn alternate facade solutions you should ask for that before making a decision. Another question is what is the height of the roof above the bonus room. I would not add steps to a floor plan if I could resolve the issue another way.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 9:23AM
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I know someone who bought a new home. They have at least 2-3 steps down into their upstairs bonus room, which is over their garage. I thought it was kind of unique (not annoying). They have a nice, high vaulted ceiling.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Thanks everyone for the comments. i will let my architect do what he does best and design.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 4:49PM
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And then again, the pass-through laundry room is a common architect-designed concept. Seems like a marvelous idea until you actually live with one.

I wouldn't close my eyes and agree to what an architect plans. He's not going to live there and negotiate those steps.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 9:32AM
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Something to consider is how long you plan to live in the house. Sunken living rooms were very popular in the 80s, but fell out of favor, in part because they become a hazard as you age. The design trend now is toward aging in place, which means making your house as accessible as possible now so you don't have to make big structural changes later.

I would ask the designer to use his creativity in a way that is smart as well as cozy.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Sorry, I am late to the conversation! We are also thinking of having 2-3 steps down into our bonus room. The contractor that we are working with suggested it as it would make the walls taller under the roof before the ceiling starts to slant. Hope that makes sense.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 11:39PM
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