Plans, version 3.0 -- would love your feedback!

sanveannMarch 7, 2013

(I didn't post 2.0 here because we immediately realized some things we thought we wanted weren't actually as cool as we thought they'd be.)

First, I want to thank Renovator8 for his fantastic suggestions on making the exterior more historically correct. I was a little mystified at some of the architectural terms at first, but there is a darling Colonial Revival neighborhood in a nearby town, and I drove around and looked carefully at all the houses and pieced it together ;)

Second, here is the first plan, if you want to take a look.

Some key differences:

* The playroom is gone and will be in the dining room (for now). We realized that the chances of us throwing formal dinner parties in the near future were probably preeeetty low.
* WeâÂÂve kicked out the back living room wall about three feet (and made the second floor slightly bigger as well, making the boysâ bedrooms -- bedrooms 3 and 4 -- both bigger).

* We got rid of the split landing on the staircase.

* We changed the layout of the master bathroom.

* We added a second door to the first-floor bathroom, making it more accessible for emergency potty visits before we leave (via the mudroom).

* The front elevation has been changed significantly to make it more correct for a Colonial Revival style -- we changed the pediment over the front door, added a window above it, got rid of the faux Palladian window on the front of the garage, and replaced it with regular windows, added a fanlight above the front door, etc.

So, let me know what you think! I think weâÂÂre just about there. A couple of thoughts I have â¦

* I wish the windows on the right elevation could be perfectly symmetrical, but I donâÂÂt see how thatâÂÂs possible without making them look off-kilter from within the rooms. I think IâÂÂd rather like the way they look from the inside, considering IâÂÂll probably spend much more time in the house than staring at the right side of it. In addition, at looking at photos online and from looking at Colonial Revival neighborhoods in a nearby neighborhood, it seems like the sides often arenâÂÂt perfectly symmetrical.

* I think the overhang on the bottom floor (over the cafe and screen porch is a misprint left over from an earlier plan.

* The dishwasher has moved to the left of the sink, but I think IâÂÂd prefer to have it on the right, so I can more easily put away dishes in those upper cabinets.

* The cute little half-round window by the gable on the right elevation has disappeared. I think we want to keep it.

This post was edited by sanveann...

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All of your inswing toilet room doors should be changed for safety, but esp in bd 1, where you can clearly see you'll have to stand atop the toilet to close the door. Outswing or pocket is the way to go.

I still don't understand your back hall. Is there a reason to have 2 doors going to the outside within 5 feet there that I just don't know? I think I'd rather salvage that little space between the garage and the backhall (where a door enters the hall by the bathroom) and recover it as bathroom space or more mudroom, or more office. As it is, it just seems weird (and like a potential wind alley) to have 2 doors to the exterior right there.

Has your architect maybe drawn in 2 DW? There appears to be another Dw to the right of the sink.

Bedroom 2's closet, without dimentions, but just estimating, doesn't appear to function the way the "clothes" are drawn in, and I expect will function much smaller than as large as it appears. The back left corner will be dead space/difficult to get things into/out of. I'd rather have that corner occupied by the "s" in the bathroom than the front corner to keep things more accessible. (what is the "s"?)

I like the feature of the seating area with railing on the front side, but do you think you'll use it? Right now, it kind of reads as wasted space and creates a really awkward entrance to bedroom 3 because of the limitation to keep the hallway to get to it. Just a thought.

Finally, I think bedroom 3's entrance is very awkward. I think I'd try to rearrange the MB bath and closet spaces so that bedroom 3 has a nicer and more separated (from sound of MBath) bedroom and entrance. If you have a separated WC, you may not need to enter the closet from the bedroom, for example. And, that would open up some possibilities for a better arrangement of that mid-space between Bd 1 and 3.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Thank for your thoughts, Kirk! There are two dishwashers there -- our designer moved it but forgot to remove the "DW" to the right of the sink, I think. We want to move it back there.

I think the two doors in the back hall are so you can either go out to the screen porch, or directly onto the deck.

Good point about bedroom 2's closet. (The "S" in the bathroom is for shelves, which unfortunately we can't move next to the shower ....) I think with some clever organization we can probably make it work, though.

I don't know if the window seat will really get much use (at least not by the grown-ups -- I think the kids might like it), but to be honest, I just really love window seats. :)

Someone told me on Facebook, "The people on GW are going to ding you for having inswing bathroom doors!" I laughed and said, "We're not designing a frathouse here -- I can't imagine anyone will pass out in the bathroom!" And sure enough, one of my best friends told me her husband got sick a couple of years ago and passed out in the bathroom. So that is definitely something we'll consider!

I swee what you mean about the bedroom 3. I'll run it past our designer and see if he has any suggestions. I think the easiest solution would be to put our walk-in closet back-to-back with our son's closet, but my husband is ADAMANT that he doesn't want to have to walk through the bathroom to get to the closet :)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:19PM
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I'll let others comment on the details of the floor plans. I always hate to get into the weeds to discuss door swings and storage units. Those are fine subjects, just not how I want to spend my time on WC.

What I like about this design is that, from the front elevation at least, this is reminiscent of a 5-bay colonial revival house with additions made over time, in traditional "add-on" fashion. It preserves that connection with a recognized architectural history and is better for it.

Some modest design suggestions I wish I saw:

--The ridge of the garage roof to be significantly higher than the ridge of the connecting element to the main house, thus creating a stronger hierarchy of exterior forms and massing;
--I'm somewhat less concerned about the lack of symmetry on the side elevation (it would have been nicer, and with some pushing and pulling it's probably possible), but I'm more concerned with the apparent lack of coordination between the seemingly random placement of the first floor windows and the second floor windows. It would be a definite improvement if the necessary efforts were made in the plans to better align the first and second floor windows (and yes there are ways to do it);
--If you want a historically accurate attice window at each gable end, there are two options which come to mind: 1) a small, regular double hung; 2) a square double hung rotated 45-degrees and aligned with the ridge point. Either would maintain the historical connection. I'm not sure a round window will.

In general, I like the plans and think it should be a very comfortable and enjoyable house. Ironically, the depth of the house has become such that, instead of a traditional rectangular colonial house, in plan it more resembles an American Four-square, but without the symmetrical placement of windows.

Good luck on your house!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:19PM
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With the laundry pocket door where it is, where will you put a light switch near the garage entry door? I believe code requires a switch within a foot of the door (and you'll want to be able to turn on a light as you enter the house), and I don't think there's any way to do that as this stands. If you move the pocket door to slide the other direction, you have the same problem on the other side. Maybe you could hinge the door the other way and put the switch on the wall that contains the closet?

It's a little thing, but it would be better to get it right now than deal with a crisis during the build.

I'd want the door to the outdoors near the screen porch/powder room to swing towards the wall instead of the powder room door.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:21PM
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Thank you so much for your thoughts, Virgil! That was exactly the look we were going for -- an older home that has been added onto over the years.

We are still hammering out the window issues; apparently, we will have a good deal of usable attic space, so there will definitely be a window up there. Also thinking about adding dormers, though I don't know that we will want the expense.

In our area, most of the homes seem to have a half-round window or a quarter-round window (one on each side of the chimney, which I LOVE, but obviously it won't work with our chimney placement.)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:31PM
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I suggest not moving the dishwasher to the right of the sink unless you have about an 18" cabinet between the sink and the dishwasher. Otherwise, if the dishwasher door is open, you cannot stand at the sink to rinse/scrape dishes.

I also want to say I really like the exterior elevations. (That must be the symmetrical part of my brain speaking, because I am not usually drawn to traditional style homes.)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Also just got the rear and left elevation, and attic and basement designs. The left elevation shows the window for the attic -- our designer used a rectangular one, and I actually like it quite a bit more than I thought :)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 1:55PM
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