Floor Plan Review

saftgeekFebruary 12, 2013

Good day all,

This is our 3rd attempt to create a houseplan we feel will work for our family of 4. We worked up a plan from scratch that we really loved, however; too many corners and crazy roofline meant it was too much money. We changed it to the point we didn't even recognize it any more. After spending way too much, I finally just started over from scratch. I'm now working with another plan, much simpler roofline and not as many corners.

My plan is to move my son's bedroom to the basement since he will be leaving for college soon anyway. He will have his own bathroom and a nice window for egress. We will also have a hobby room and a large rec room w/ pool table, etc... The main level of the house will have 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a nice laundry room close by. I wanted a mudroom w/ room for a freezer and my wife wants a hidden pantry. Our screened in porch will be 14' x 14' w/ a grilling area adjacent.

I hope I haven't lost anyone yet... I have made some changes to this version already. I have enlarged the garage by 2' in width. In the rear of the house, the extra 2' will be moved to the great room. The builder has suggested moving the open portion of the deck to the other side of the screened-in, sliding it enough for it to fit. This would allow us to remove the sliding door in the dining room and take some of the dining room space for a larger great room. When done, it would be approximately 16 x 19. We plan to move the fireplace to the wall adjacent to the bedroom so that we can have all windows in the rear vaulted area.

All that said, please give this a look-see and let me know your thoughts.

Thank you all very much.


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Annie Deighnaugh

Some thoughts for you....

Which way is south? Have you considered the sun in your layout?

The laundry room is really large...as large as a bedroom...probably overly so given you have a separate mud room.

If you plan on finishing the basement, do you want the stairs to feel like you are going to a basement, or should they be more integrated into the house...maybe turn them so they are open to the foyer....

I like to have 2 windows in a bedroom on different walls so I can get cross ventilation, so I would want the master bath to be interior and the bedroom on the outside. Also, you have no windows at all on the left side...wouldn't you at least want a window in the main bath?

Have you laid out any furniture in the space? I'm assuming a tv will go somewhere in the great room, but not sure how the layout will work with the open space. You might want to play with that.

Have you seen a facade drawing yet? Wondering how the asymmetrical porch layout will work. Also my preference is to have the garage recede from the facade when it faces the front of the house so the front door becomes most prominent on the facade.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:39PM
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AnnieD - Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Our property has a long road approaching the house. There is only one way in and out. It will sit high on a bluff, overlooking a river. The back and left side of the house will not be seen at all. The right and front will be in plain view. The house will be oriented so the front porch is facing South and slightly East. I have attached a drawing of the front of the house.

There is a window in the bathroom. The window is over the soaking tub. As far as the stairs go I don't want stairs in the formal areas of the house. Our downstairs will be for the kids and their friends. I do not plan to use the downstairs for entertaining. We plan to have about half of the sq. footage finished.

Laundry is large and located near the bedrooms for a reason. I cannot stand having the laundry in the mudroom where guests who accompany me to the garage will need to walk through. With two teens, it gets messy in there. I have shared this plan with some of my friends who've recently built and they all conceeded their laundries were too small and not optimally located. I'm hoping to use the space for a craft type room as well.

I took some time to lay out some furnature. The "not so" great room was too small. That is why we ended up adding 2' to the garage width and moved the deck. This allowed us to change the room size from 15 x 16 to 16 x 19. I am now concerned about the dining room size. My contractor says a 14' x 13' dining area is on the largish size. This is one reason why I posted on here, to get others' opinions. I wish I had the newer drawings to post up. Maybe later in the week.

Again, thank you very much. I really appreciate your opinion.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:03PM
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I like it. I REALLY like your laundry room. It's very sensible. I like your fa�ade too.

I DON'T like the entry to the powder room, though. Could that be reconfigured somehow so guests don't look right in there at the toilet?

What's the room just to the right of the foyer? Your plan is hard to read.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:42PM
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Littlebug -
I don't know why I always have the hardest time posting plans on here. On my computer they are fine, when I post them, they are tiny. Maybe someone can help me with that.

I was a little concerned about the 1/2 bath as well. I was hoping for a little more privacy. It will be located right off the dining room. I will ask the contractor what he thinks we could do. The room off the foyer is a den. I plan to have a couch, small desk and the television in there. I don't really want a television in the great room. I like to have a formal space where conversation can be had without competing with the television. I plan to close the opening in, or maybe put in french doors. I'm more likely to just close it in to keep the den more private and not in plain view for guests. I know it seems impersonal but i like the idea of having my living spaces just out of view of the foyer. This keeps wandering eyes fairly limited to what they can view.

Thanks for your comments.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:13AM
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I guess this plan is a keeper. If I get no more conversation than what I've had, it must work. I do wish I knew how to post a larger/sharper image. Thanks again to the two who took time to comment.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:30PM
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I can't say if it is a keeper or not, since it is so small.

Try using Picasa and post the "large" size image.

Or print it out and take pictures of sections of it.

Or, use simple graph paper.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:34PM
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I don't like the master bedroom sharing a wall with the great room. It would be much better to flip the bedroom and bathroom... especially as I would like cross-ventilation in the bedroom.
Another window for the front bedroom would be good too!

I also think that a powder room off a dining room isn't good, for views, noises, or smells.

Do you have a foyer closet?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:49PM
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LuAnn - Yes, there is a foyer closet. As for the bedroom, I'll consider your suggestion. Since my daughter has killer allergies we very seldom have the luxury of leaving windows open. The half bath seems to be a concern for everyone whose reviewed the plan. I'm not sure where else I can place it for more discretion.

Thank you very much for taking the time to post. I am going to try to enlarge my print and maybe I'll get more feedback.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:27PM
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I have been fighting this upload for over an hour. Every time I try to upload a larger image the forum somehow reduces the size right back down to the original post. I really feel like I'm illiterate or something. If someone could please explain why the image is automatically reduced, I would really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:36PM
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I just posted instructions for how to put an image that you've posted to another site in your post. This way you can upload somewhere that doesn't reduce the image and we can all see your plans!

I think the issue is that the site has a maximum width for images and your image has a lot white space around the actual drawing, so the actual drawing ends up tiny. But if you upload your image elsewhere you avoid the problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to post multiple images

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:58AM
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I've done my homework, let's see it I can get it to work.

Main Floor

And the basement

I hope it worked!


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 3:46PM
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2,000 square feet seems huge to end up with only two bedrooms on the main floor. It sounds like this is meant to be your retirement home, and all the things you've missed out on in former homes are being given prominence here (giant laundry room, four garage bays).

I was going to say that the DR is big and the GR is small, but it sounds like there are some tweaks that will help that a bit.

Is the den something that is going to get heavy use? Or will it just hold pretty furniture? Because if it won't get heavy use, or if it is meant as a main-level man cave, perhaps some of that can shift to the basement. Then the laundry room could be a bedroom as intended (resale), and the laundry function can move back over to the other side of the house.

Before I saw the lower level garage, I was going to suggest the main level garage be side-loading if your lot allows. I was also going to suggest you consider where your garbage cans will reside. If they will live inside the garage, you're fine. But if you're wanting them outside somewhere, I'm not sure where you'll put them, or how you'll get to them.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 5:13PM
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Jaka- thanks for taking the time to post. Our current house has a downstairs laundry and it is a pain. I definitely want the laundry close to wife and daughter's rooms. The den will house the computer and television. Not a man cave... A MOM cave. Boys down and girls up.

This is a forever home. The house will sit high on a bluff, overlooking the mighty MO river. The only way to see the house is by water or by driving up a very long private drive. No neighbors and no worries about curb appeal. I really want it to blend in and fit the surroundings. Function is my greatest concern.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:20PM
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A couple of things to think about:
- The circulation between the kitchen and the Foyer/private area of the home ends at the dining room. Have you planned out furniture in the space? The Dinning room is large enough to possibly work in a "path" to the kitchen. This is typically your most used pathway from private to public areas. From a circulation standpoint, the dining room seems to be the "hub" for the kitchen/outdoor living area and the great room. You'll get a lot of traffic here. You might think about moving your powder room and orienting it to provide a way around the dining area to the kitchen.
- The wall in the laundry room with the window appears to be unused space. Unless you've got plans for a bench or organization area, this might be a good place for extra counter and cabinet space. Also, does the closet in the laundry room need to be enclosed? There might be a cost savings there to provide full height cabinetry, and it will look a little nicer.
- Master Bed - I agree with LuAnn, sharing the bed wall between the master (where you'll be sleeping every night) and the greatroom (where others will be watching movies/conversing loudly) is not the best idea, however, there are ways to sound deaden that wall. I always try to steer my clients away from sharing walls between private/public spaces. Locating the fireplace on that wall with built-ins would help, plus you'll have the opportunity to do a double sided fire place (or a variation of) that can be enjoyed from your master as well.
- Master Bath - your master bath only has one vanity. You might consider re-organizing the space and taking a little out of the master to get a little more counter space.
- Hobby Room - You might consider locating the hobby room door at the end of the stair landing or from the rec room.

Hope these help.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:13PM
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Jh- Thank you for your reply. We live in an older home now with every room divided, so circulation is pretty minimal. I'm assuming you are refering to the way folks move from space to space. The suggested revision is to add 4' to the length of the great room. To accomplish this we would add 2' and borrow 2' more from the dining area. My hope is that we will end up with two seperate gathering areas divided by the dining area. The wife and her company in the kitchen and sitting at the bar area while the others are in the great room and the kids downstairs or in the den.
I think I see what you're getting at with making sure the furnature works in the dining area. I will try some templates to see how it works.
I am concerned about the master bath as well. My worries are the lack of linen space. I really like your idea for a two-sided fireplace. I will definately ask the contractor about that.
The laundry room has the closet so that we can count it as a bedroom, if needed. This was suggested by the contractor. Just in case we can't find comps we can swap some stuff around and move the laundry back to the mudroom area. I hope we don't have any issues because I like the laundry where it is. Your concern about the space is duely noted.
The hobby room door is a problem. I'd like to have another door acessing the garage from that room, but I'm not sure how much more that is going to cost. I like the idea of having the door on the wall you suggest. I wanted to keep that wall in the rec room open, if possible. Again, great comment.

Thank you again for your great comments. I will consider them when I meet with my general next week.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:42PM
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