Summerfield and other GW members, can you help?

bk1217March 29, 2012

Hi, this is my first time posting to the forums, but I have been reading them for quite awhile, hoping to find answers to some of my questions. My husband and I are planning to build a home in a year or two, and we're starting to think finding a plan is impossible. Where we live, there are very few architects, the closest one being 4.5 hours away, and even then he mostly does commercial building, not house plans. I've searched the millions of house plan sites online, and draw several plans on paper at home. But I just can't seem to get the rooms I want to fit in the space right. So I would really appreciate any help I can get. The plans I've seen from Summerfield are all a 100x better than anything on the web, so like I said, any help would be appreciated. Sorry in advance for how long this post is, but I wanted to give you as much detail as possible!

I know exactly what I want, but I just can't put it together. For now, it is just me(24yrs), my husband(28yrs), my son(6 months), and our small dog. But I would like to have one more child in the future. My husband's father owns a large construction company, and my husband works for him as a carpenter. So he will be building the home himself for the most part. We live in a small town(approx. 7000 ppl) in Ontario and it isn't near any large cities. We entertain family and friends every once and awhile, but the only large groups are usually at xmas.

Now for the house, here are all of the things that I desperately hope to fit into my home. Also, put a link to a plan that I somewhat like at the bottom. The issue is I don't want the kitchen behind the garage, instead I want the bedrooms there. And of course, the many other things in the list below. Thanks. Oh, and we would like the mainfloor to be 2250 heated sqft or less.


-master and 1 other bedroom behind garage area

-around 14x16 master bedroom, with large master closet (won't have any dressers in the master, so need to have drawers, hanging, and shoe rack in the closet)

-closet access through bathroom

-other bedroom 10x12 or 12x12 plus 2' deep closet


-open to dining room and great room

-close to garage

-large, open, casual dining area (around 12x16)

-would really like an island with a large double sink, dishwasher, and pull-out trash drawer in it

-36" stovetop with built-in microwave above, and separate double ovens and warming drawer

-some kind of pantry to store food

-seperate full fridge and upright freezer both in kitchen


-approx. 90' x 200'

-sloped down to a creek in the back


-walk-out basement (works best with sloped lot, plus save money on taxes where we live for basement square footage)

-so need stairs to the basement, don't really care where they go


-eventually will have 3 bedrooms, 1 large bathroom, mechanical room (for furnace, etc.), storage area, and rec room


-off of garage, close to kitchen for loading groceries

-possibly with side door giving access to outside for letting the dog out, etc.

-5' to 6' bench with shoes cubbies underneath

-small closet (at least 4' by 2' deep)

-spot to put some kind of small drop cabinet just for keys, mail, etc.

-separate laundry room with room for washer, dryer, utility sink, built in hanging rack, folding counter, and possibly tall cabinet for brooms, etc.

-want the laundry close to mudroom so that it will also be close to bedrooms, kitchen, garage, and bathrooms

-small linen closet in hall somewhere for extra sheet, towels, etc.


-Large 3-car garage

-at least 24' deep, no bigger than 28' deep

-at least 30' wide, but would prefer around 34-36' wide

-it will have one two-car door, and one one-car door

Master Bathroom:

-separate toilet room with door swinging out

-double sinks at least 6' wide (3' for each sink)

-large walk-in shower (5'x7' or 8') with shower seat

-while a tub might be nice, it isn't necessary and I don't think it would get much use

-closet accesible through the bathroom, not the bedroom

Second Bathroom:

-ONLY 2 bathrooms on the first floor and no half bathrooms (I hate cleaning bathrooms)

-average bathroom, nothing fancy, just a shower/tub enclosure, toilet, and sink

-would like bathroom to be accesible from the hall, preferably close to the mudroom/garage entry

Great room:

-not too big

-gas fireplace

-tv/media center beside fireplace (no tv above fireplace)

-maybe a sectional and a loveseat (able to seat 7-8 people)

-we watch a lot of tv, so most of our time in the great room will be spent watching tv

Front Entry:

-would like 1 or 2 bumpouts on the front of house to give it some curb appeal

-don't need a front closet, will just use a coat rack and a small bench for taking off shoes

-no grand entry, just simple (around 6' to 8' wide)

-would like an office off of or close to the entry (around 10' x 12')

Again, sorry for the super long post, and thanks so much for any feedback.

Link to the "somewhat liked" floorplan:

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I am assuming that the lot is 90' wide and 200 deep. Is this correct? That info might help SField.
You only need 2 bedrooms including master on the first floor?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:13AM
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It's really best to post those rough drawings you mentioned so we can visualize what you want in a layout. As you're looking at plans, remember that you can move rooms around. Think of the layouts you see online as just a perimeter for you to create the interior. Here's a few plans for you to look at that have many of your specs and how to post pictures directly in the thread ...

How to Post Photos:

1) Go to and open a free account.
2) Follow their instructions for uploading your pics to their site.

Now your pics are ready for posting on sites like GW!

Posting pics in a GW message:
1) Begin the written portion of your posting on GW.
2) When you are ready to add your pics, simply open a new browser window and log into your photobucket account.
3) Go to 'My Album' & copy the 'HTML Code' underneath the photo you wish to add to your GW post.
4) Toggle back to the browser window with your GW posting, place the cursor where you want to pic to appear, right click and select 'paste'.

Your pics will appear in the preview so you can ensure they appear properly before the final submission.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:31AM
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Yes, the lot is 90' wide by 200' deep and we only need 2 bedrooms plus a den/office on the first floor. Thanks for those plans mydreamhome, I haven't gotten a chance to look at them all yet. And I'll try to get my rough drawings up later today.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 12:44PM
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Here is something (albeit rough) to get you started with. I think it has everything you indicated you wanted except direct access from mudroom to outside. (You would have to go from mudroom thru laundry to get outside but I thought you might be able to live with that. LOL!)

(OOPS just noticed that the pocket door that I had between mudroom and laundry room somehow disappeared while I was cleaning things up. I'm sure you can figure out where it was meant to be.

Unfortunately, my non-professional CAD program indicates this is 2540 sq ft heated/cooled which is a bit bigger than you said you wanted. One thing you could do to cut out about 100 sq ft would be get rid of the sitting area off the master - but I doubt that would actually save you much money since you'ld either wind up with another covered porch OR a more complex roof line. BTW (the grid squared each represent one sq foot. The two doors into the masterbath are alternative locations. I doubt anyone would want both.

Anyway rather than trying to shrink it without input, I thought I'd post it to find out what you do and don't like and give everybody something to start playing with.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:03PM
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Bevangel, that plan is amazing, much better than anything I've been coming up with. Thank you so much. I definitely wouldn't mind the door to outside being in the laundry, that's actually kind of better. The only thing is the second bedroom being back to back with the kitchen, I'm kind of concerned about my son sleeping when my husband is awake early in the morning. But other than the fact that it's a little bit bigger square footage, that's my only concern.
Also, my scanner on my printer isn't working, so I can't scan my drawings. So I quickly drew one of them up on Chief architect. Keep in mind, this plan is VERY rough, and I realize the curb appeal would be awful. But it's a rough idea of the rooms.
Anyways, here's the plan.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:00PM
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Bevangel...what is the floor planner program you use? I am looking for something and like the way that looks.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:04AM
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I thought about some changes to move the second bedroom and try to reduce the square footage. I'm not sure if this works, but I came up with this. My closet isn't quite as big as I'd hoped, and of course I would lose access to the laundry room from the master closet, but this was all I could think of for now. Any other ideas would be great, thanks!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:37AM
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Hey, anyone have any new ideas or suggestions for the changes I made, or any other changes that should be made? Thanks, just trying to bump this back onto the first page.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 7:27AM
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I really like your ideas for shrinking the square footage down some! I did some more tweaking based on what you did - and came up with this. Mostly I just wanted to put a place for at least one window in your master bath and see if I couldn't give you back a bit more closet space. This also puts some closets and maybe a built in desk between the master-bedroom and the secondary bedroom which will tend to give you a little bit more sound privacy. No big deal while you child is a toddler but could become important when he/she gets a little older.

Note that I also expanded the width of the garage a few inches to keep the walls on the left side of the house lined up because that allows you to have a simpler roof line. I also shrunk the Great Room a bit - again so that back wall of Great Room would line up with the hallway wall but in this case just because, to me, it just seems aesthetically more pleasing.

You might not notice it but I also made the hallways a tiny bit narrower than on my original plan. They are still generously sized b/c I tend to like WIDE hallways. I think I had the hall at 4.5 ft wide before so it had room to shrink. LOL!
My CAD program says the heated/cooled square footage is 2267. Still a teensy bit more than you indicated you wanted but not enough to make a hill of beans worth of difference in the cost to build.

BTW - I just noticed that you had turned what I had previously called the pantry into a big linen closet. You originally mentioned you wanted a "small" linen closet in the hallway so that's all I've provided here. If you think you need more hallway linen storage space, one could take a chunk out of the lower left corner of "her" closet.In this this design tho, in addition to the small linen closet in the hallway, there is a second linen closet in the master bath.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:41PM
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Bevangel, thanks so much! Yea, 2267 is much closer to what we want for square footage. I really like the window in the master bath and of course the extra closet space. We will eventually have 3 bedrooms and a bathroom in the walk-out basement, so that's probably where our son's bedroom will be when he is a bit older. So the sound privacy isn't such an issue, but definitely nice to have anyway. I also love the wide hallways and 4' is perfect. About the linen closet, the small one is fine. I had just put that as the linen because it was already there, I don't need it to be that big. I really love the access to outside. I could always get the rooms to fit behind the garage, but access to outside was difficult. I love dogs and plan to always have them, so I like to put pet friendly things like that into the plan. I don't think I would make any other changes, but my husband has a couple things. He's usually the one to do the dishes and watches tv when he does it. So he wants to be able to do that in the new home. He also wants to change the entryway, but I actually disagree about that and like it how it is, especially since he doesn't know what he doesn't like about it, lol.

I had a quick question about flooring also. We want to do tile in the kitchen, halls, entryways, and probably the dining room too. I know a lot of people like hardwood in the kitchen, but it's just a personal preference and I would worry too much about scratches and water damage. So do you think it would look alright to just do hardwood in the great room and office, and tile in the other areas? Again, thanks!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 11:45PM
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