Please review my House Plans! 1st floor

pittkolMarch 16, 2013

Please give me feedback on the attached house plan. We are opting not to have a formal dining room but instead having a vaulted area next to the kitchen with timber beams and a wall of windows over looking a valley.

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I don't think I would want a house where the entry to the master suite is off the front entry.

And I am having a really hard time with the drawing because it is not to scale. The Family room is drawn much smaller than the Dining area, but the dimensions say the Family room is larger.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 5:48PM
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I suggest to reconfigure the garage entry/laundry/kitchen area to have a pantry and an actual mudroom (right now is just a hall).
It bothers me that the kitchen counter does not align with the island. It will be ok to shift the family door a bit to the back.
I am ok with the master location but I do not like the master entry, what about creating a small vestibule on the other side, right accross the stair landing? circulation master/closet/bath will be better that way.
It might be just me but I do not think the entry will feel right as you have it.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 6:22PM
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The drawing appears to be to scale; it's apparently a CAD drawing with dimensions and freehand rendering. It's considerably better than most of this kind of layout. The Master Bedroom entry is better off at the entry than off the Great Room IMO.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:33PM
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I like it. I'm not usually a fan of a main level master, but I like the way you've positioned yours so it shares almost no walls with main living areas, it's close to the stairs for access to the kids' bedrooms, and the entrance is pretty private.

A nit-picky concern-- with the doors as they've drawn for the family room, where will you put a light switch? Also, I'd want that doorway lined up with the walkway from the great room.

And, speaking from experience, when you decorate the powder room, avoid dramatic wallpaper. We bought a house with exactly that powder room, and the previous owner had papered it in wide green and gold stripes. It took a small room and made it claustrophobic.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:05AM
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Are you able to add a little more width to the overall footprint..??..

Because I agree with other comments that the MB entry right next to the front door could be improved with a small hallway [2-3 ft? ] that included a small, lighted niche* for architectural l interest.

*niche: an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Thanks for the feedback. This definitely is a process. We have the same concerns naf_naf brought up. The kitchen wasn't really designed/layed out yet. That should be an easy fix. I think the entry to the master is better near the front but agree a little hall way would be nice. I think I can accomplish this by making the powder room more square eating up some of the Master's length which would also make the closet bigger. This should produce a little hallway.
Next I have to figure out how to make the Mud room bigger and find a place for a pantry.(that would be nice add)
There will be no doors to the family room.
I'm worried the dining area being on 14'2" is not wide enough for a nice big table. Any thoughts?
Not sure how to change the elevation based on Renovator's comment about too make gables.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:39PM
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Didn't we see a previous version of this drawing some weeks ago? If I'm remembering correctly, this is a big improvement over that first attempt.

I have no problem with the master bedroom opening off the front entryway. It's a relatively common thing here. If you don't want guests to see into your bedroom, you close the door, and you have just a plain old entry hall. I'd leave this "as is".

I would open up a door between the study and the kitchen. This would allow any future owners to use it as a dining room, if they choose. Also, if you're coming home from work with materials or a project of some sort, it'd allow you to walk straight into the study rather than walking around the staircase. I would, however, include a door -- even if it's just a pocket door. You probably want acoustical separation from the open-floor plan part of the house.

I think the powder room location is bad. And the mudroom /laundry are inconvenient. You're going to have to tote laundry baskets through the entry hall, through the great room, through the kitchen, through the mudroom . . . sure, you can do it, but when you have complete control of the design, why should you?

Exterior doors are expensive (and every door is a potential security problem). Do you really need one in BOTH the great room AND the dining room? They're only steps apart from one another. Personally, I'd go with windows in the great room (makes furniture placement easier) and keep the door in the dining room.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:57AM
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I do not think the roof shape and height will be like that and once is adjusted, the elevation could look different.

The other thing that I noticed is that it appears the master will be 11' H. Does that mean that the great room will also be 11' H? I am asking because you do not have enough steps and you also do not have room for more steps. The stair now is about 3' wide which is way too narrow for a home above 3000 s.f. and your foyer hallway is about 4' wide which is also too narrow.
How wide is your lot? do you need to keep the width of the home certain size?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:04AM
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I'd love to see a house--just one house--that doesn't have the stacked gables cliche! They seem to result from a fascination with house plan shapes which don't get commensurate study of interior spaces and exterior massing.

More often than not, they tend to be found on the garage, of all places, where almost no one spends any amount of time during the day. Sorta like taking the biggest, most visual and unappealing mass of the house and decorating it, trying to make it more attractive. Almost never works, unless the early design strategy has factored in a design approach to mitigate the Monster Garage and the sea of roof trusses!

One may put lipstick on a pig, but it's still an oinker!

Stacked gables are like paintings of waves breaking on beaches--we've seen far, far too many!

OK, off soap box now...let's resume normal broadcasting!

Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 12:21PM
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The route from master closet to laundry room is very long with many twists and turns.

The master bath vanity isn't wide enough for two sinks.

Your kitchen layout is almost identical to ours and it's the #1 thing I dislike about our house and wish I could change. Having the sink in the island prevents it from being used as a buffet when entertaining or when you need lots of room to spread out. Our work triangle is basically a galley kitchen that isn't wide enough for two people at the same time; I can't tell how wide yours is. When the dishwasher, fridge or oven door are open it blocks the pathway even more.

Is that a fireplace between kitchen and great room? I'd get rid of it or move it and make the kitchen a more open layout. Just my $0.02.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 1:04PM
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Thanks for the helpful feedback. I'll post the revised floor plan when I get it back from the architect.

A couple folks commented that the elevation had too many stacked or front facing gables. What is a better option?
Please educate me and explain why this is so bad and what type of exterior due the experts on this forum prefer?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 4:13PM
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Is it possible to have a sliding / gliding door instead of a swinging door in your dining area..??... That's what I see limiting your dining area. The door is going to hit the chairs/tables every time someone uses it. I'd also use the same style on the other entry/exit to the patio.

We're considering using Andersen's "gliding" doors. This way the door swing doesn't intrude on the living space in the house. We have the swinging French doors currently and I regret I didn't INSIST with our builder on the gliders. Our new design is going to have the gliders.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 11:52AM
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