New House Please See Any Problems??

jennybcMarch 1, 2013

We are getting ready to build a farmhouse in Kentucky and are looking for problems on the plans prior to starting. Any advice, info, slaps on the head for silly mistakes would be greatly appreciated. We are currently working on putting transoms on all exterior doors and bumping the window height up to match. Thanks so much in advance for any thoughts!


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Annie Deighnaugh

I don't see any problems as I don't see any plans...

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:15AM
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Sorry, you were too quick. Trying to post now.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:23AM
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This post was edited by jennybc on Wed, Jan 15, 14 at 19:52

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:24AM
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This post was edited by jennybc on Wed, Jan 15, 14 at 19:53

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:26AM
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In the laundry room, I see no place to fold clean laundry. I would probably do away with one of the closets in the room, maybe both. On the washer side, have enough room to put tall sorting bins for dirty laundry. On the dryer side, make the closet a counter (to fold on) with open shelves underneath. Make these into cubbies with enough room to put laundry baskets to hold clean and folded laundry in.

Also the windows in the upstairs bedrooms seem really small in proportion to the room sizes.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:51AM
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Lori (loribug26_gw) Wagerman_Walker

well personally, I love it, b/c it's very similar to the one we're trying to finalize plans on now.

I assume you'll have a detached garage/shop building somewhere?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:53AM
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When you say "farmhouse" do you mean a working or hobby farm, where folks will be grubby, coming in and out of the mud room every day? Also, what life stage are you in -- young child/children, almost empty nesters, etc.? Because I'm sure the responses will vary depending on what you need/envision.

The main things I see right now:

1) upstairs - if there might eventually be three children, consider making the shared bath a bit larger to allow for two sinks.

2) Kitchen: Where are you putting the appliances and sink? The kitchen is serving as a hallway from the mud room to the rest of the house, so there will be a lot of traffic in that area both from the person using the kitchen and from the rest of the family. Everyone will want to walk through the kitchen to the LR -- no one will go around through the DR. I'm not sure how to resolve that for you, though. Just be aware of it.

3) Mud Room/Laundry: This looks like a set-up for a working farm, so my guess is you're not one to want to do a bunch of upscale entertaining. Which means it's fine to have the half bath tucked back in there, but it's not a "fancy" location for it. Consider using pocket doors where you can -- powder room, master bath entry, laundry-to-kitchen. It will eliminate some of the do-si-do. I think the entry to the master bath is pretty clever, actually.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:05AM
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You guys are awesome! Yes detached garage off left side and laundry area. Have barns too, we are on 40 acres. Views on all sides no close neighbors.
I have been contemplating the laundry too. I also want to have room for second fridge out neer outter door. Will sketch out different scenarios to figure out what works best. Hadn't noticed window sizes upstairs, will revisit.
Door on bedroom closet and pantry are sliding barn.
9' ceilings on first floor and the front section is vaulted to the roof.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:07AM
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Farmhouse = mud/dirty/fully functioning mudroom as the dropoff point for everything including shoes. Also able to drop clothes into laundry and go straight to bathroom.

Not sure about more children, two girls right now. Will consider two sinks. I am thinking that we will have small vanity desks (no sink) in bedrooms or bedroom closets to help alleviate "bathroom time" Moving from a very small farmhouse with one bath so not too worried.

Kitchen: using the back wall for 42" commercial enameled sink in front of windows. Remaining wall will serve as counter/cabinets. Diswasher to right of sink. Across from pantry will be small desk area.

There will be a hole in the wall between pantry and kitchen area. As a passthrough with a counter through opening. Sliding barn doors will cover close area from inside pantry. Refrigerator will be on right of opening. Second oven and
microwave will be to left. Island will have range/oven.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:18AM
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I am struggling with windows since there seem to be no "standard" anything for 9' ceilings. I am thinking transoms over exterior doors and bumping up the window size to match at the top. Not sure what that would be. 10" -12" more height? not sure

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:23AM
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Lori (loribug26_gw) Wagerman_Walker

we need to trade emails...we are kindred spirits :)

I need to look at the windows more, I'm trying to decide the same things with mine, we are in prelim drawing stages.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Lori (loribug26_gw) Wagerman_Walker

I wanted the detatched garage... but dh trumped me on that one. I still think it would serve the house better with a breezeway between. Esp since our garage is huge, b/c we both drive full size diesel trucks, and his requirement is that we be able to park inside!

Not too worried about resale on common things that people mention here, b/c in our community, that's a common thing. And if whoever winds up with it (most likely our children) they can turn it into a party palace for all I care, I won't be around to be worried about it either.
I manage to get this house built, by golly I'm dying in it!
(even though that might be creepy for the kids, they'll just have to deal... lol)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:13AM
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I like almost everything about it, but I'm having trouble imagining how you'll put a functional kitchen in the space you've got planned. It doesn't seem large enough for a walk-in pantry. Having a pantry cabinet or two might give you a more functional work space and almost as much storage.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Completely agree with the "dying in the house" thought. Its a forever investment for us. Every fixture/sink/tub is being thought of as a long term investment. Got a clawfoot tub in excellent condition on craigslist for 60$, and my antique 42" sink has changed the kitchen plans (my most recent finds). Will try to figure out a private posting for email.

The pantry is the 5'11' x9'1" room beside the kitchen. I want a pass through for baking items and mixer to be passed to the baking center.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Lori (loribug26_gw) Wagerman_Walker

ooohhh a clawfoot tub!!! Excellent! ;) I would love to find an original farmhouse sink too!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 1:55PM
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I'd encourage you to post your kitchen plan in the kitchen forum. It sounds like you like to cook, and they can help you make sure what you've got planned will work well.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 4:54PM
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I think it's great. I will make a couple comments:

- I can't read your numbers, but the rooms look to be decent sized. I like the proportions. It's comfortable but not overdone.

- Though it isn't typical for a farmhouse, I like the open layout. You will have little visual or acoustic privacy in the main living area, but since everyone has a bedroom and you have the study, that's fine.

- You'll have sizeable storage UNDER your staircase. Be sure your pantry and/or entry hall closet extend into that area. Even if it's just short storage for suitcases or boxes of Christmas ornaments, you'll want that storage!

- I agree with the previous assessment of the laundry room. A laundry room is already set apart as a working area /cleaning area -- no need to close things off in a closet. I'd go with shelves to the ceiling on one side /cabinet-high shelves topped by a folding space on the other side.

- With so many windows, you're going to have great light and natural breezes. You will, however, spend heavily on window treatments.

- What are those little things in all the doorways?

- In the upstairs bath, I'd consider having that closet open into the bathroom instead of into the hallway. We have a walk-in linen closet in our girls' bath, and it's wonderful. I agree with a previous poster that a larger sink area would be nice for your girls; however, I would not do double sinks. The kids'll never be in there together anyway, and storage drawers are of more practical value than double sinks.

- If you flip-flopped the upstairs bath with the closets, could you get the bath on the "outside wall" and have a window?

- If guests are going into the laundry room anyway to access the half-bath, I'd just have them use the master bath and save the cost of the half-bath. This would also allow you to enlarge the master bedroom closet a bit (it's big enough now, but extra storage is always welcome).

- Your kitchen size is moderate, but your laundry size is generous. I'd consider moving the across-from-the-pantry desk into the laundry room. Of course, it's not prime kitchen space, so it's kind of a wash.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Loribug~ Yes a clawfoot tub. Bought the first one we went to look at on Craigslist. Guy had bought a house and one of the rooms looked funny. Did some renovations and found a bathroom had been walled off! The hidden gem was the clawfoot tub! It is in excellent condition except for needing to be sanded on the exterior and painted. That works well for me because I can make it match the colors in the room and is not uncommon for old tubs like that. Its a 4.5' sometimes listed as a 5' tub. I've been told its more rare because it actually fits in a 5' space. Love it and got it for a steal of $60.

Thanks for the great suggestion! Didn't even know there was a kitchen forum! I am very new to the site. Thanks again.
Thanks for the great comments! I am glad you don't think its overdone. We tried to make sure it wasn't.
The staircase will go to an unfinished basement.
The original plans did not include the closets in the laundry. I am not sure yet but something is going to change there. We may even take them out completely and work with the space once everything is done.
I hope you are right on the light situation! I think the taller windows will help with having the wraparound porch shade. Not too worried about window treatments. In the main area may not have any, and if I change my mind either me or my mom will probably make them (she's really good with that kind of thing).
The upstairs bath was originally on the outside wall but has migrated inward to increase the size of the closets. Not sure about connecting with the closet space. Thinking that it might be housing HVAC unit, not sure.

I've included a layout of the kitchen cabinets. The 42" Crane double basin sink (another Craigslist find, old/perfect condition - I love it) will be centered under window. I know it doesn't look it but these are a sketch off of much larger prints that I couldn't get scanned in. The desk area is across from the pantry.

Let me know what you think. Going to post them in kitchen too.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 7:47PM
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They will point this out for you on the kitchen forum, but there are 2 problems to having a stove in the island--

1) safety. Having a cooktop (esp gas) in the island is a burn hazard for people on both sides of the island, not just the cooking one who knows what they will do next...

2) venting. Do you plan to have a monster hood sticking down from the ceiling?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 7:53PM
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To allow a porch lie this one to work you will need a 9 ft first floor ceiling.

The dormer window in the study should be tall enough for emergency escape and rescue because it has a closet and will considered a bedroom for that requirement. If the dormers are to be different sizes the size difference should be increased and the windows should reflect that difference.

Taller first floor windows would eliminate the need for transoms which make little sense under a porch roof unless they are for ventilation.

The porch posts should be larger with a beam between them. Ceiling height is critical for this to work.

If the house were 4 ft wider it could have a center entrance hall and fewer tight spaces elsewhere. bedrooms.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 7:59AM
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We live in a very similar farmhouse cape in Western Mass on 7 acres, my gentlewoman's farm and we love it! We didn't get to build ours so here are some thoughts 3 years in...

In this house versus other houses we have lived in, I have noticed that every entrance is used A LOT! And so I would suggest having shoe/boot/coat jacket storage in all of those locations.

Storage! I just don't have enough of it. Living in the country requires more stuff, I am not a collector by any means, but I have learned the hard way that "right tool for the job" really matters when you live on more land or have a farm to take care of. Having a place for everything, in my opinion, becomes really critical.

I didn't read every post word for word, so if this is redundant, my apologies. Lighting and heating is critical in a plan like this. We too have the open vaulted ceilings and while beautiful, they are tough to heat. Supplemental heating will be important. Our great room (living room, kitchen, and diningroom) is always colder than the rest of the house.

Lighting too is important, because even with the dormers and side windows there are a ton of shadows cast around the house throughout the day. On overcast days, the house can feel a little dark. (Our house faces due east, garage end is north, great room end is south and the back of the house faces due west. Since the tornado we have some amazing sunsets!)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 9:39AM
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Yes the stove will be in the island. We are thinking of making it a little wider than a traditional island to keep people/stuff from being so close. Yes there will be a large drop down hood but the rest of the room will be so open I think that it will work out.

Good eye! It is going to be a 9ft first floor ceiling.
The second window in the study will be large enough to be considered an egress window (I think).
And the Dormers have been changed to all be the same size.
I'm thinking the same thing with taller windows on the first floor and just using transoms at standard size doors.
Are you thinking that the porch posts should be larger due to weight of roof or for the look? We will be finishing the porches (decking/railings/details).

Since the house was oritinally about 4 feet smaller and we have bumped it out once I doubt I can convince anyone we need more space. Lol We are currently in 980sqft 2 small girls and 2 adults. Im pretty sure we won't notice any tight spaces! :)

GinaGordon ~Thanks for the comments! I've been thinking about having shoe benches at every door except the ones off of the dining room. That area will be elevated some from the ground and the stairs to the porches will funnel traffic to the Laundry entry and the Front entry.

Storage. . . we will have a full unfinished basement as well as a detatched garage and barn.Yes you always have to have the "right tool for the job"

I have been worried about lighting and heating. Pretty sure we have to use spray in foam for the vaulted section, not sure if we will use it everywhere or if we will use blown in cellulose. Our house will face due West. Im hoping later in the day the light will enter the dormers and keep things lit. More worried about the early morning. We back to a hill of woods. Could be a bit dark in the early morning. Will have to see :) Also thinking of taking the plans to a lighting place to order can lights and specialty lights and to see what their recommendations would be for lighting.

As always your thoughts are great!!! Thanks and Keep them coming.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 9:58AM
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Thinking about board and batten. What do you think?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:55AM
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In looking at the kitchen cabinets - why would you want a desk so close to the sink? I wouldn't want papers that close to water.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 2:58PM
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I currently have a desk/workstation that is pretty close to the sink, and I usually work more on the right side where the dishwasher is. It would be something to think about though. Thanks

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 7:18PM
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Your desk is in one of the main walkways into the house, so if you're using it, anyone entering through the laundry room is going to have to squeeze past you, and even when the desk is not in use, the desk chair may be in the way when you're carrying laundry or other things (like groceries?). Also it could be frustrating to be trying to cook while the desk is in use, because the cook and the person at the desk would be in each other's way when the pantry was needed.

Even if you are the only one who uses the kitchen now, that may change as your kids get older. My older two love to bake, so the kitchen is not solely my space anymore.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:06PM
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Increasing the height of the windows will help get daylight deeper into the house, and you might want to do this regardless of what you do with the doors. Not necessary to make the doors taller or add transoms to match the windows--take a look at older houses and you'll see every variation. If you do want to align doors and windows, do pay careful attention to how it's drawn and executed--I've seen situations where the owner clearly wanted them to be the same but it ended up only an inch or so different which appears careless.

I'm glad you're making all of your dormer windows the same size. I was wondering why do the dormers protrude a foot beyond the wall below? Seems like extra trouble to frame and insulate the floor, and not sure what it gets you besides an inaccessible ledge above your door in the entry.

This post was edited by dadereni on Mon, Mar 4, 13 at 22:41

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Speaking of taller windows. Right now the majority of the windows in the first floor are at 3052, 3' x 5'2". Im debating raising them up about a foot from standard top of door height about. I guess they would end up at a bout 7'8" So you think no transom is ok. Its just so hard to find "normal" with 9' ceilings. Where I'm really struggling is the Kitchen windows. Do I bump up their height from 30x30 to match the raised 30x52?

I don't think the dormers actually protrude but now you have me wondering!! Good catch!!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 6:56AM
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CRAP! The excavators are ready.... AM I???

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:51PM
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