Floor Plan Review

new2buildFebruary 1, 2013

New to forum and would like some feedback on a potential floor plan. We are a family of 3 and maybe one more in the future, that live in the upper midwest and are planning to build in 1-2 years. The attached floor plan is similiar to what we would like to build. Some of the modifications we are considering is moving the garage to a 45 degree angle to the house and enlarging the mud and laundry area as well as reconfiguring kitchen island shape and size. Any suggestions/ideas would be helpful. Thanks and look forward to contributing to the forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plan 437-5

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My laundry is just like that in the mudroom and I hate it. Mudrooms are dirty (hence the name!) and its a pain having clean clothes fall on the dirty floor. Plus, not enough room for folding, etc.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:35PM
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I agree about the laundry. Is there room to put the laundry upstairs (most of the laundry will come from the kids' rooms)? Also-- if you have another baby, will you be happy having to climb the stairs at 3am for feedings?

Also, having the great room open to the second story means that almost the whole house is one acoustic space. Might be noisy in a family home.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:11PM
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We went through the house plan design stage and here are some thoughts.

1. How old are your kids? Do you want your room on another level especially in the early years?
2. I would ditch the two floor great room and turn upstairs into a bonus room which your kids can use as a playroom.
3. With the second floor bonus room I would make Bedrooms 2 and 3 to have walk in wardrobes.

Again just IMHO...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:16PM
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I guess I am different. I love plans that have open 2 story great rooms.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:43PM
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Thank you for all your feedback. We are planning to install beams, like the picture, as we reallly like the asthetics of the high ceiling with beams. Has anyone done beams? Any suggestions or information on cost? We are also thinking that angling the garage at a 45 degree, we can create a seperate laundry room and larger mudroom, any thoughts on this idea. We appreciate and look forward to you ideas and suggestions. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:19AM
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I'm not sure how angling the garage 45 degrees will create much useful space unless you actually make the connecting space longer. Our plans have a mudroom and hobby room connecting the rest of the house to the garage, but it's about twice as long as yours. We've also angled it, but only 15 degrees, so the corners wouldn't be so tight.

Here is what we have:

Another thing to think about-- right now all family traffic is likely to come in through the kitchen, and the most direct path for the kids to get to their bedrooms will be to walk past the stove. I don't think I'd like that. I'd much prefer having the garage attach on the side of the house, so the family entrance is where the deck attaches.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 12:18PM
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We did similar beams (only 2 sets rather than the three or four in the other room pictured)....the materials, fabrication and installation was abut 12k. This didn't include the staining and drywall repair. From billiards

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:12PM
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My advice would be to move the Master Bedroom further away from your living area. I have a home with my Master Bedroom near my Great Room and I HATE IT....the further away you can get your sleeping areas the better, especially with children. My husband and I are empty but I would still never have this design again. We are currently looking to build another home and I have put a plea on this website for houseplan ideas where the sleeping areas are not near the living areas. Good luck, looks like a beautiful plan though.
PS: A MUDROOM to me is a MUST!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The GARAGEhouse look isn't at all attractive. It is functional if you want to build on a tiny infill city lot. Even with those constraints, putting the garage in front of the house isn't attractive or even a useful division of the lot.

In two years time, you will be able to find much better plans that suit you more that don't have the flaws that this one does. Or, consult an architect if you don't want years of a frustrating search ahead of you.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 2:02PM
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cindee56-mini hi-jack - we are also looking at similar designs as new2build and I thought the master near great room would be a better placement than master near kitchen (which seems like is the other choice when looking through plans). Do you feel like the kitchen would be a more quiet spot? My thought process is that early morning the kitchen gets guaranteed usage while the great room not likely and therefore would be more apt to wake the sleeping spouse. ???

Thoughts anyone?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 2:09PM
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Given the weather in the upper Midwest, I'd be intimidated by the cost of heating that space! I really like the exterior, but the plan appears to require a sloping lot (or it would look very different on a flat lot). I'm not sure if you already have land, but that might be something to consider.

With the kitchen, dining room, great room, and loft open to each other, my biggest concern is that there's nowhere to "get away" except the bedrooms. Teenagers will want (and developmentally need) a space to separate from parents. Younger children will have toys, etc. I'm trying to picture having play dates for two children in that space, eight year olds playing with Legos and five year olds playing a game: either they're in their bedrooms and you can't supervise at all, or they're in the same space... which is okay much of the time, but will also lead to lots of "MOM/DAD, WE CAN'T HEAR BECAUSE KID A AND FRIEND ARE BEING TOO LOUD!" And if both sets of kids and friends are in that space and making noise, where do YOU go that you can partly supervise and yet not be in the middle of "TAKE THAT DARTH VADER!"?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 2:38PM
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Thx for the continued feedback, I understand about the master next to great room but our current home is similar and is not an issue.
Zone4newby: I really like you idea about the entrance form garage.
Milz50: thank you, your beams are beautiful
Hollysprings: our lot is a 1.5 acre w/o with a river as the back boundary, my problem with a side entry garage is where do company park? I do not want on street parking or having them confused on which entry to use. In MN it seems front load garages are the norm unless a corner lot. Having garage at an angle may lessen the impact of a front load garage and provide a nice driveway, in theory.

Yes mn is a heating climate, but hope with a tight home we can minimize some costs.
In the upper level, we have the option of bonus room or utilize one of the bedrooms ad "play area".
Thanks again for all the great feedback.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 3:02PM
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Id think about the window in the master closet. I don't particularly like closets off the master bath but I know that is a preference thing. However, I think if I had this set up I'd go into the closet with just a towel after a shower to pick out clothes for the day. It would bothering me having a window in there. Just saying for a window I'd rather it be in a room i want lots of light. Just something to think about

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 3:25PM
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If you have 1.5 acres then set the garage back a bit and do a side load with a circular drive for your guests.

Also agree that the Mudroom needs some work. There should be some way for the kids to enter though the Mudroom from the yard.

As far as 2 story rooms- your room is not that big and I'm not sure if it will look right as a 2 story room. I would try to see one in person if you can.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 4:41PM
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FWIW, having a circular drive AND a side load garage in MN makes for a lot of snow clearing. And then you have to pay to install all that driveway in the first place...

I know a lot of people here prefer side load garages, but I think there are drawbacks to that choice.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Ditto about front load garages in MN. They are very normal here out of necessity. They are shorter and require less snow plowing.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 8:06PM
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new2build, friends had a side-load garage when I was growing up. Guests parked in front of the garage (parallel with cars parked in the garage) and walked to a front door that was in a very similar place to yours. There was also one paved spot on the side of the garage away from the house. I really like the exterior of the house you posted, including the garage.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:00PM
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Our garage sits at a 45 degree angle, and we love it. We really don't notice any sharp corners. To make sure the area wasn't dark, we did a door with 1/2 glass, and also a solar tube. Even at night the solar tube brings in alot of light. Really amazing. Our mudroom area is one of the best things we did. We have lots of grandchildren who visit, and also alot of neighbor kids that visit, so shoes (or boots in the winter) would always be piled up in front of the door at the side entrance if we didn't have the very large closet where they can run in and slip their shoes/boots on and off. We only did a clothes bar which is 12' long along the right side of the big closet, the rest is shelves, some with baskets for storage. Our carpenter made this for the side entrance. We don't wear shoes in the house, so it's a handy place to sit to slip shoes on and off.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Upstairs loft: People who are saying it will be loud do have a valid point. I used to love the look of an open loft . . . 'til we rented a lake cabin that had this type of floorplan. It only took me one day to realize I don't like it.

Similar story: After staying in a hotel room with a jetted tub, I no longer want that either.

Big point: Anytime you can "try before you buy", it's a good thing. Many things like this are OPINIONS. You may love it, while I hate it.

However, I do really like the picture of the rustic beams and iron railings.

As for children upstairs /master bedroom downstairs, I don't get the argument. You can keep a baby in a bassinette in your room for a while. Anyway, you don't plan your house for that short period of your life. There's no reason a one-year old can't be upstairs. Some people make it sound like the child'd be in a separate zip code.

The one thing I'd change is the kitchen layout. Having cabinets on BOTH the left and the right wall is forcing you to have a piddly short island. I'd move the mudroom door to the left so you could have an L-shaped kitchen with a bigger island.

Overall, I like the house . . . but don't love it. The rooms are a nice size, and it's nicely laid out, but it doesn't make me say, "I'd be willing to put myself through the effort of building and the uncertainty of the cost to have this house!"

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 12:21PM
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MrsPete, will consider moving mudroom door as a larger island would be nice. Is the size of the kitchen considered small if approx 14 feet wide?
We currently have 10ft ceilings throughout main floor in an open floor plan and really like the feeling the higher ceilings provide. Will try to visit some homes with 2 story great rooms and catwalk to see how acoustics are. We like to entertain so the open floor plan fits our lifestyle and we would like to take advantage of views to the rear of the home.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 11:50AM
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