Whallyden's New Build: Second Draft (Pics)

whallydenFebruary 22, 2012

I'm back with the second draft from our architect. A basement is planned, but not yet drawn. The house will sit on a pie shaped acre lot (very wide in the front). As drawn, the garage points NORTH; wooded views off the back of the house. Try to ignore the kitchen appliance layout for the time being (KD meeting and appliance selection pending).

Our details rehashed: We are a young family of four in central Iowa (zone 5); we expect more children; we often host out-of-town family & friends; cooking is my hobby; DW stays home with DS and DD; our entertaining style is more formal than casual.

Project priorities: architectural consistency, an abundance of natural light, comfortable spaces and awesome kitchen ;).

My primary concerns with the second draft are (1) location of the rear "dirty" entrance (would a door off the rear of the mudroom work better), (2) Chimney proportions/materials (3) and architectural consistency (paging Renovator8). All other comments welcome.


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I like how you took the extra doors out of the mudroom because I think it allows for more usable space. I would leave the door through the garage for access to the mudroom because you are taking a little bit from unheated space rather than the heated space of the mudroom. I think if you added a door to the mudroom you would just take out valuable space with no upside. I can't help you with your chimney and architectural style other than to direct you to the book linked below which I was referred to by MacV(renovator).

Some things you may consider but are just my opinion.

1. Think about making a view through your home from the front door. In other words try to line up the front and back door so that if a guest was standing at the front door they could see through the back door. This will attract guests to your great room area and it will look better than the coat closet. I think you have a enough room in the area to arrange the space for this to occur. It would also give you more space in your family room for furniture arrangements.

2. Have you considered combining your library with your dining room? You could add a door to the connection with your kitchen and add bookshelves which would give you an away room which would be private and quiet. This would open up the library space for a guest room and then you could make one of the bedrooms upstairs a playroom or you could make the library a playroom for the kids.

3. Is there any way you could decrease the mass of the garage? If the first slot is just for a golf cart or your lawn mower then perhaps you could add it to the back with the door coming off the side. this would simplify the roofline and decrease the width of your home.

Overall I really like the plan. The natural light will give it a lot of character.

Here is a link that might be useful: Get Your Home Right

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 10:49PM
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(1) A certain amount of zig-zag was intentional to protect the privacy of the Family Room. My intention is to dress up the thick cased opening into the stair hall as a focal point to draw visitors in.
(2) I like the idea. I have a number of inspiration photos of library dining room combinations. And yes, the library as drawn will be the play room in the near-term. I see that room evolving as our kids age and/or when we finish the basement.
(3) I could, but we have no shortage of frontage. The lot is more than 280' wide at the front.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 9:01AM
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I am not fond the the closet placement for bedrooms 2 and 3. If you moved both closet to the wall adjacent to the bathroom, they could increase in size and they would provide noise buffering from the bathroom as well. That would mess up window symmetry, but would greatly increase ROOM symmetry and usuability.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 9:37AM
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I agree with scrapbookheaven. I've been in apartments where the only place to put the bed was on the wall between the shared bathroom and bedroom. Based on your drawing, this is probably where the beds would be placed. It was not an enjoyable experience at all.

However, if you did switch the closets around and put the beds on the walls the closets are on, would you have a good spot for a dresser? Or could the beds go under a window?

I'd be interested to see the bedroom plans with furniture placed to see if the pros outweigh the cons on closet placement.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Thanks, we'll take a look at moving the closets. Would blown-in cellulose create enough sound attenuation?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Not in my experience.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 7:24PM
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Have you considered a family entrance off the mudroom? There are numerous times I leave for work, only to find out I forgot something at the house. I pull in the driveway and decide to run back into the house. I don't use the front door & prefer not to open the garage overhead door again (let out all the heat in the winter). So I just use my service entrance on the garage. In your plan, I would have to use the garage overhead door, service door (back of garage), or the house front door. Maybe a service door to the mudroom from the front (replace the window)?

What size is your 3rd garage bay (next to mudroom)? It does not appear to be deep enough for another vehicle. I personally would remove the bumpout in the garage (between the garage 3rd bay and the mudroom), and move it to the back of the 3rd garage bay. This way a regular sized vehicle can fit in this bay or the back wall could be used for workbench.

When I look at the elevation shot of the house my vision is instantly drawn to the window of the mudroom. I know you don't want it be the focal point, but I think the reason why I look there first is because the window is off centered. If the bumpout in the 3rd bay was removed the window (or possible a service door) would be centered. Less attention would be drawn to this part of the house.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 1:35AM
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Window Accents by Vanessa Downs

Our master shower is placed on a wall next to the master bedroom and we used blown in cellulose insulation as a sound barrier and it does a pretty good job! We also used it around our guest bathroom which shares a wall with the great room. Definitely consider using the cellulose for sound deadening.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:43AM
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ttensirk: Our first draft had an informal entrance off the mudroom, but we scrapped it -- simply because I want to force guests to front door rather than give them a choice. Regarding the garage, the small bay fits my 4-door sedan with enough room to move around the vehicle with ease. Great observation with the mudroom window -- I agree with you -- I'll check with the architect to see if we can improve symmetry by pushing some of the bumpout behind the small stall. I was also planning some landscaping in the void in front of the window (between house and driveway) to help break up the width of the house.

Down -- That's encouraging! Thanks

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:48AM
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