Floor plan review please - Almost finalized - Yippee!

momto3kiddosMarch 27, 2012

Hello all! I would love your feedback on our plan. I have posted a similar plan last year and with the help of Summerfield found our vision! Thank you Summerfield. We are now working with an architect and almost have our plans finalized. Please don't pay much attention to window placement as this is my re-draw of the plans in Cheif Architect.

The total sq ft is about 5200 all on one floor. The stairs lead up to a walk-up attic. The central rooms will have 12 ft ceilings (foyer, dining, family and kitchen), remainder will be 10 ft.

We are a family of 5 (as if my screen name didn't already give that away) - kids ages 7, 5 & 2. We will be building on a family farm in central NC. We entertain family and friends regularly and aim for our house to be "the place to be" as our kids reach their teen years. My husband does lots of hunting and farming - thus the full bath in the mudroom. The laundry sink in the garage is also to wash veggies and eggs before they can dirty up the house. In the master bath - the L of the vanity will likely be a seated vanity, and the square in the corner is a walk-in shower. I detest cleaning shower doors. :)

I look forward to any feedback you may have. Thanks in advance for looking.

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Nice frontage view! I am not digging the girls bathroom area. I would make it one large jack jill bathroom since there is only one toilet anyway.

The laundry is on the other side of TV, might be problem with kids in bed at night and trying to watch tv and do laundry as competing noise.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 3:39AM
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LilFlowers MJLN

I love your floor plan and might steal some ideas from it, if you don't have any problem with it. I especially like your mudroom, bathroom, and office area. I think I commented on it in another post? I can't remember. My husband is a mechanic for a construction company and a bathroom off the mudroom is his request that we have in our new house. I LOVE the walk in shower. I'm not one for shower doors. I have enough to clean w/o having a streaky glass. It would drive me crazy.

As for the laundry room location, I think it's a perfect place. When we lived in our manufactured home, it was in the hall, and we never had a problem with our 2 boys (at the time, we now have 4) getting up because of the noise. If you have a child that has to have total quiet to sleep, then it MAY be a problem. Currently, we shut the door to ours and we can't hear a thing. My boys still don't complain about it even when I leave the door open to get something. I actually think it soothes them. My house has always been noisy. Even my 4 month old can sleep with the gentle sound of the water pouring, but you can't really hear the washer and dryer until you open the door to the laundry room. The backside of it is on the same wall as my Master Bathroom. It's never been a problem.

I am a window fanatic. I LOVE windows especially when we lived on our 40 acre wooded property. Living closer to town now, my back yard juts up to the neighbor's side yard that faces the garage so we all know when he leaves and when he comes home. Thankfully my huge windows are on the front and east side of the home. I love how you put a window in every section of wall you have in the breakfast area. I don't think we could have that here since we live in the heart of hurricane country especially since I want hurricane shutters integrated on all the windows.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:36AM
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Wow!!! Great job! Love the elevation!! Floorplan looks great too! There's not a whole lot to improve on IMO. I only noticed 3 things that I would do different.

-The girls' J&J--it looks like you have enough space to give each bedroom it's own bathroom. At the point you're at, you're only talking about 1 more toilet & 1 more tub. It would allow greater privacy, less fighting over the toilet/shower area, less wasted time (waiting to get into the shared area) and fewer lockouts. I would continue the wall between the sinks to the exterior wall and place the toilet next to the vanity and the tub next to the toilet.

-The area between the island and breakfast area looks a little tight to me with the end of the island lining up with the two outer walls of the dining area. I would shorten the island slightly (maybe 6" to 1') to allow greater clearance. It looks like the island is slightly shorter than the range wall on the other end, so shortening the dining area end slightly would help balance it as well.

-In the laundry room--you are going to LOVE all that space!!! Is the 'drop' a laundry chute or just a drop counter? What will the closet in the corner be used for? I would run counters on that side as well---with so many counters, you would have plenty of 'drop counter' space + more folding space. You could run a rod between upper cabinets in the current 'drop' space for hangup clothes. If you need tall space in that corner, you could do a tall corner cabinetry unit there.

-Still in the laundry--one of the big things that has helped me greatly with the laundry room was the addition of hamper bins in the lower cabinets. We used the full height double trashcan pullouts. The cans allow for immediate sorting when the dirty clothes come into the laundry room (even when brought in by my 7yr old) & one can = a full load of laundry. They keep the "dirties" out of sight, all the laundry is already sorted for me, and I know when I have a full load. Here's a few pics from right after we moved in--please excuse the moving in clutter :-)...

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Momto3-wow, love it. Beautiful elevation. I'm a sucker for symmetry. The only thing I might consider. If this is your forever house....your kids won't be there foreverr. Maybe make the guest room entrance off of the foyer. A pretty double French door where that room could be converted to a living room or library after your kids are gone and you are sitting there with three empty rooms that can be used as guest rooms. Just a thought.

My dream home. Love the ideas of pull out trash cans for dirty loads. Right now I make everyone bring their dirty towels and the live in my lr sink until I am ready to wash them. Please post more pics of your laundry room.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 11:07AM
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Thanks for the feedback guys! I am suprised there have not been more suggestions. I will address the things I have heard so far...

I cannot think of a better laundry location, and I am not too concerned about noise. My kids rooms are currently off of our living room in our small home and they have no problem going to sleep with our TV/discussion noise. The baby actually goes to sleep now an hour before my girls do and their bath and bedroom is right beside his room, so he is very used to many noises. I want the laundry close to the point of generation of dirty clothes which is certainly the kids rooms. I originally had the W/D on the wall backing up to the tv, but changed it to have a longer run of cabinets for folding.

Mydreamhome - please tell me you do fold in the laundry room! My husband thinks it's laughable that I think I will fold in there. He thinks the laundry should be a small closet, and I am so looking forward to handling all the laundry steps in one room. The drop in the laundry is a drop from the hall. I am not sure how it will work exactly but I envision 3 cabinet doors or pull-outs from the hall that will go into rolling laundry bins that will be under a counter top. I haven't seen this, but it was summerfields idea and I love it. My kids are already trained to put dirty clothes into the linen closet next to their bathroom, so I think I can expect them to do this. Although I am not very good at getting the hamper back into their closet, so the clothes usually go on the floor - but they do make it into the closet. Let me know if you have any ideas on how to make this laundry drop function better. Basically I envision it working like yours, just accessible from the hall. One closet is for linens (two doors) the other is for my items waiting to be ironed, mended, etc. I have a bad habit of ironing only when my space alloted for these waiting items is full. :) So, I would like to be able to close it off. Is there another way to make this work?

The kitchen is certainly a work in progress and I plan to get help from the kitchens forum when I start to focus on it. Traffic flow around the island and location of island seating is a consideration.

As for the J&J - I really don't want to clean yet another bathroom. So I prefer to not divide it into two baths. I think the divided vanity area gives the girls their privacy - they cannot see directly into each other's rooms. I also don't think it is too much to expect them to share a bath. The currently share a bedroom and a bath. Call me a bad parent, but if they lock each other out regularly and cannot solve it, the doors will come down (or the locks will come off). I shared a similar J&J with my brother and we didn't have problems. Of course, one door was a pocket door I could unlock with my finger, so I was never locked out.

Red lover - We have considered making the guest accessible from a different area, but there is a real possibility one (or more) of our parents will be living with us at some point. When that happens, I want them to have as much privacy as possible since they don't have their own "suite." I may consider changing the door to a double - even if I don't change the location to make it easier to use as another type of room down the road.

Please keep the feedback coming - I'd love to hear from LavenderLass, Kirkhall, Bevangel, Mommyto4boys, Athensmomof3, and others... you guys have all had suggestions along the way that have contributed in some way, shape or form to this plan.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 12:17PM
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Oh, I remember that trophy room! The plan and elevation look great :)

I like the idea of double doors, from the guest room to the entry and making that more of a flexible space. How often do you need it, as a guest room?

The one thing I would change is the kids' bedrooms/bathrooms. First, the guest bath would also be the hall bath, for all your guests. Then, I would make the boy's room, one of the girls' rooms. Space for a big closet, and window seat...maybe with shelves on each side?

The middle room would also be the girl's room and I would redo/move the J & J bathroom to be between those two bedrooms. Also, add a window seat/shelves in that space.

For your boy's room, I would put that back by the trophy room (more boyish IMHO) and redo that back hall bath (take out the hall closet?) and make it a second guest bath/bath for the boy's bedroom. I don't think any of the kids need a private bath, so the girls can share and your son can share that bath (which is probably mainly used by the trophy room?) Of course, there could be a window seat and shelves in this room, too.

For all three kids, think about how they use the space now, as they get older and into their teenage years. I have a bunch of nieces and nephews and we have a great time 'decorating' their bedrooms. We always try to get plenty of storage, lots of light and reading areas...and something out of the ordinary, for each space :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 12:24PM
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Thanks lavender - you give me lots of food for thought! The only problem with your suggestion is that my son would be using the primary guest bath (previously the powder room) and I don't think he would keep it looking nice enough for guests. He's only 2, so I guess I could train him better than my husband was trained. He He. My older girls need some training on that now. I have thought about getting blue bathroom counters so the trail of toothpaste that dries onto the sink will be camoflauged! Does any one else have this problem?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 1:56PM
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In the boys room, do not use wood baseboard. Use tile and tile the wall especially behind the toilet ;-)

Try to pick out a floor tile that has a coordinating cove molding to avoid the pee in the 90 degree angle.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Couldn't the guest bath have access to the guest room and hall? That would be my main guest bath (close to the entry and dining) and still near the living room.

The back hall/trophy room bath would be great for the 'guys' your husband, his friends, your son, etc. Not to sound sexist, but I'd have the nicer (slightly girly?) bath up front, closer to the front entrance.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 4:31PM
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Red lover - it sounds like you have some experience in the boy-bathroom department. :)I love the look of wall tile, and that would be the perfect bath to encorporate it.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 6:21PM
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Momto3--Yes, I fold in the laundry room. I had a laundry closet for 10 years and a laundry kitchen (yes you read that right) for 3 years. Upgrading to the closet was a definite improvement, but I LOVE my laundry room. I fold everything in there because I have the space to handle it--space for folding, stacking, hanging up, ironing, etc. This keeps the clean clothes from finding their way all over the family room or kitchen waiting to be folded.

As far as the ironing & mending--I have found that if I just empty the dryer promptly (or fluff the laundry again in the dryer if it has sat for a while), then most clothes don't need ironing. For those that do need ironing (my dress pants & dress shirts for work, etc) I simply hang them up straight from the dryer & iron them when I'm ready to wear it--takes about 5 minutes. This eliminates that ever growing ironing stack that always seems to get out of control & you feel overwhelmed every time you look over at it:-) I put my mending in a small laundry basket in the base cabinet for taking care of later when I have the time.

The drop from the hall sounds great, but if you look at your plan--all the kids basically have to go past the laundry room to get to any other part of the house--it shouldn't be that much different to scoop their dirty clothes up and take them around the corner from the proposed drop (for the girls) / across the hall (for the boys) on their way to the breakfast table vs. using the drop. This would allow you to have more counter & storage space in the laundry room. You could then store your linens in those cabinets. Plus you technically would have room for a large closet on the hall side where the drop & closet were for storing the vacuum, bulky winter coats, school supplies, etc. Storing the extra linens in the laundry works out great for us. Our extra towels reside in one set of upper laundry room cabinets, the sheets in another, the old towels (for washing cars, cleaning up big spills, etc) are kept on the shelf of a base cabinet. Our master bath has 2 linen towers that house 2-3 sets of spare towels, bathroom supplies & our toiletries. Our kids also have 1-2 sets of spare towels stored in their bathrooms. You have similar spaces in your bathrooms to do the same.

Deleting the hampers in the kids' linen closets would also help keep you from having to run extra loads, running from room to room hunting for dirty clothes and it will help keep their rooms/bathrooms from getting funky as they reach those raging hormone adolescent years.

When we moved in our new house, DH & I sat down with the kids and we all had a family discussion on how the new house was setup different than any of our previous houses and that things would work differently (and better) in the new house--

1) We have such beautiful new floors in the house, right guys? So, shoes come off in the garage & are put on the shoe rack to help keep our floors looking nice--DH tosses their shoes in the yard if not put on the rack and alerts them to where their shoes are--needless to say, that only happened a few times. It has worked so well that our 7 yr old put his Grammy's shoes on the rack when she came for a visit so her shoes wouldn't get tossed in the yard!

2) Do you like how shiny & new your showers are? Let's keep them that way--after we shower, we all need to squeegee the water off the walls to keep them from getting spotty, ok?

3) Look at these nice big new rooms & what big closets you have now! Let's keep them looking nice by picking up our dirty clothes before bed & putting them in the laundry hampers--look Mom made it easy for you when you bring your clothes in--lights, darks, towels & "really muddy".

It might sound a little anal (we honestly are NOT neat freaks), but it's working and it has taught the kids more responsibility, they take more pride in their rooms, guests can come over just about anytime without me having to run around cleaning up and/or shutting doors to close off parts of the house (i.e. messy kids' rooms), and my household workload has decreased & become more streamlined. Maybe it could help you out too!

On the boys' bathroom advice--a skirted toilet is a wonderful thing when it comes time to clean!

Hope this helps!

Redlover-Thanks for the compliments on my laundry room. Here are some additional pics including a copy of the floorplan...

Laundry Room:

Left side of house icluding laundry in lower left corner:

Close-Up of Mud/Laundry/Powder Rooms--Sorry so blurry:

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:40AM
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Very nice!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:27AM
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I could totally be missing something but where do the kids sit and take off their shoes and put their backpacks? Also I don't hunt and am from the northeast which used to be cold and snowy in the winter but hunters have lots of gear,, and alot of it gets washed often, and seperately (scentless). It seems like for all the activity with a family and as kids migrate into more sports,the Mudroom might fill up quick. . Lastly Im curious on the office so close to the busiest part of the house, I'm assuming it's there to accommodate a on-site business , and your reasoning would be to go in /out wo having to remove shoes? Do you have clients/customers that will be in and out of office? Strangers? Seems like a hard place to concentrate if it's intentions we're anything but. Maybe a direct door might be a future consideration.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:58PM
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I know me very well and did miss the diret entrance for offic, makes much more sense

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 4:04PM
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With everyone being mostly positive, I feel bad for making suggestions but here goes ....

It looks as though there is about a 2.5' passageway into the dining room from the kitchen which is pretty tight.

With the pantry door opening in you are going to lose easy access to the space behind the door.... maybe a pocket door or outswing.

I agree with another poster that the drop door and double cabinet isn't necessary in the laundry room since the main door is so handy.

Hope I've given you some food for thought and not been overwhelming. :)

I'm not a fan of backing up the stove to the sink. Also in the kitchen, if you have seating at the island it will be hard to squeeze past the back of the couch to get to your bedroom unless everyone is very good (better than my kids were!) at pushing barstools in after getting off them.

The extra shower for DH is an interesting idea, but it's small, will need cleaning and is a long way from both the laundry room and his clothes closet. If your master shower is nice then that's where he'll prefer to take a nice relaxing shower after a day of hunting or getting grubby. Put a door from the outside to your MBR and you've saved the expense of the extra shower plus it might be nice to have another way out of your MBR to the backyard or patio.

I'm questioning the circular hallway that surrounds the laundry room and half bath. By moving the door to the playroom over to the right, you could do away with that corner of the hallway and gain more bedroom space.
Insulate the daylights and use some soundproofing board on the halfbath as you've got the toilet right next to the tv/focal point of the den.

The kids closets all open in and are 5' deep. With clothes hanging out from 2-2.5' that just barely gives you enough room to open the door and then makes it hard to reach the clothes without taking one step into the closet. I'd just make them bifold or pocket doors and take a foot or so out of each of them making them shallower.

The girls vanity gives them about 12" on each side of their sink. Not enough for hair dryers, brushes, makeup etc. They won't have much in the way of drawers either since it will mostly be undersink cabinet. When the closet and tub doors are closed the elbow room when standing at the sink will be small and tunnel like.

I wish there was a better way to have some privacy between the guest bedroom and the shared bathroom, I'd worry about the noise etc with the shared pocket door and second entrance. Also having the door right across from the toilet is something that you could maybe swap around.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 5:35PM
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That is so strange that when I posted it moved some of my comments around!
Post above was supposed to end with the smiley face and the food for thought sentence not have it sandwiched in the middle!

Good luck in your planning. It's going to be a beautiful house!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 5:40PM
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What will you do with the dead hall space on the other side of the butler's pantry? Will you put in a built in? An armoire?

It really, really feels like dead space, and it could probably be opened up to the LR side, at least.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 6:30PM
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The one thing I would change is the coat closet, it seems like that should be open hallway, and the closet placement is going to interfere with the flow of traffic.

Personally (as i tend to go for open floor plans) I would remove the closet and the wall towards the living area as that would open that whole space up!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 7:32PM
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On the kids' closets--our kids' closets are set up the exact same way with the same dimensions. They have worked out great. We did double racks on the back wall, as you turn the corner, we put in a short full height single rack and then shelving. Changing the swing of the door or making it a pocket will not increase the amount of hanging space you will have with the positioning of the closet door--that wall the door lands on will always be dead space as you will still need to enter the closet. I could only wish I had a closet as big as our kids' closets when I was growing up!

I do agree on the swing of the pantry door--it should swing out or be a pocket as the door is positioned in the center of the pantry wall and will block access to whatever you put on the shelves behind the door.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 7:42PM
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WOW! What an amazing plan! You have obviously been thinking of the way your family will live in this home. I love what you have planned. Just a few thoughts, they are probably just personal preferences, so you have probably already been through the thought process.

For the girls' bedrooms...what about a pocket door leading from the bedrooms into the vanity area and then doing without the closet doors. You could just trim out the openings and then have more wall space to use in the closets. The closets wouldn't be seen from the bedrooms, seems a lot of times they just keep their closet doors open anyways.

I love a large laundry room and I always fold laundry in there. My older boys sort into 6 different load/baskets. I fold and hang (they help if they are home) and then the boys come in and put their own away. Laundry stays in there and off the kitchen island and table.

I'm wondering too if the back coat closet would be better without a door. I'm picturing more cubbies, storage baskets and hooks there too. I think hooks and baskets work wonderful for all that kind of storage.

The exterior is amazing! I really like the family room with the corner fireplace. The kitchen island will be used so much!

Oh, for your son/guest bathroom. If you go with tile baseboard, etc. I would just make sure that it is sealed VERY well. Boys make a mess...and that soaking into the grout (imho) is even worse than cleaning baseboard and walls that are well sealed with caulk and paint. I don't think I would, but I almost think there's some good reasons to put solid vinyl flooring in a boy's bathroom.

I'm sure you have heard this before...will your family room get much sunlight? You may want to think of adding to the porch roof for this if needed.

I can't wait to watch your build, it is going to be beautful! Sorry my thoughts are so scatterred, I haven't been feeling well and have been going crazy on bed rest.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 3:59PM
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Thanks for your feedback everyone! I don't have time now to address the concerns mentioned, but I will once spring break ends. We are on our way out of town to spend the week sleeping in a train turned motel. Who knew you could get a two bedroom suite inside of a train car? The kids don't know our plans yet, but my 2yo will be so excited! We will shift our focus to floorplans as soon as we return. I am very grateful for all of your assistance!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 3:30PM
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