Thoughts on my ranch floor plan?

CamGMarch 21, 2012

This is my very rough outline of a ranch house I have done. I tried to keep the dimensions somewhat to scale, but this was drawn in photoshop, not a CAD program. Ignore windows, I've been playing around with them and gave up trying to make them work--we'll just figure out the windows based on cost and room layout. We will build above an unfinished basement, perhaps using ICF for above and below grade walls.

Here is what my wife and I like about the design:

-A large kitchen with an island for seating at least 3

-A single, informal dining room for a long table

-A den that can be closed off to the rest of the house

-At least one bedroom than can comfortable have 2 or 3 kids' beds

-A laundry room that leads outside (for a dog door)

-A bathtub that is not right next to a toilet (for an easier time bathing kids)

Any ideas on how to make this plan better or less expensive to build would be greatly appreciated!

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I like it but thats probably cause it reminds me of my own floorplan :)

The one thing I would suggest to make it better is a bathtub in the master (not sure if that is there currently or if its a shower) and linen closets in the bathrooms for towels. is that a linen closet by the stairs? i'm not sure. Do you plan on using the den as a living room or an office?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Thanks for the thoughts. We've decided not to have a bathtub in the master since we never take baths and we can give kids baths in the other bathroom.

That is a good point about linen closets. I had somewhat thought that given the big laundry room with tons of storage, I could get away with small amount of bathroom storage, but I guess it would be pretty annoying to trek to the laundry room for towels... I'll have to think about that.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 5:18PM
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Also, den as a living room. Office would probably be downstairs, or just use the computer at the desk by the kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 5:21PM
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Another good thing about your plan cost wise is you don't have a lot of bump outs which can add to the cost.

Do you want sidelights on the side of your entry door? you could bump that foyer closet into the bedroom closet (of course that makes the bedroom closet smaller). But then you would have more open feel in foyer and could have side windows.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:26PM
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I like it! The only thing I would change is to try to add a powder room, by the mudroom. It's a long walk, from the mudroom to the hall bath...unless you want dirty kids, tracking through your bedroom.

Maybe take out the hall desk (could this go in the den?) scoot the master closet that way, and add the powder room, backing up to the master bath? You could have access, by the dryer, or if that door to the outside has to open in...move the washer/dryer down and then the door to the powder room, then the door out back. Just my two cents :)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:45PM
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I'd much rather have a powder room for guests than a desk too. thats why i asked what the den was being used for.

the other thing is maybe consider not having a corner panty. They take a lot of space for the storage they offer. Maybe floor to ceiling (not sure how tall your ceilings are) pantry cabinets?

Here is a link that might be useful: corner pantries

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:56PM
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ps. i'm not totally against corner pantries. I think it just depends on the layout of the kitchen. i think they have their place. Just wanted to give you something to think about

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Thanks for the great thoughts. I've made plans with both a powder room and a walk-in pantry where the desk is; my wife liked the desk, but I agree about the powder room. She really wants a desk in the kitchen, and if we lay it out properly, there might be room next to the fridge (particularly if we take out the pantry). That's interesting about a corner pantry not being good use of space, I always assumed it was.

Regarding the closet by the front door, that's a good idea. I need to figure out how far the stairway will come that way, if there will be enough room for a little area between the stairs and the door without pushing the stairs into the living room.
Definitely some things to think about.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 7:36PM
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I assumed it was too but found a lot of people didn't like them. that being said you never know and I might end up putting one in my kitchen anyway. :) lol Just more things to consider. I have a 5 ft pantry that is 2 1/2 ft deep and its plenty

Do you really want that window under the covered porch to the bedroom? not sure how that will look in the bedroom or the den. again.just stuff to think about

also bedroom 2 door swings out. Do you want it to swing in?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:32PM
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How deep is that porch? I would suggest adding 2' or more to it and bringing the garage out to match. Put the extra 2' on the garage wall of the laundry room. Add uppers and lowers, built in shelves, floor to ceiling cabinets, etc. It could also double as overflow for some of the things that you would put in the pantry. (Avoid humidity sensitive items, though.)

I would also suggest placing furniture in the bedrooms and living room and checking clearances. Is that a back door in the living room?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:50PM
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That's a nice plan. You've Kept hallways to a minimum, and maximized your 1855 sq ft.

The only things I personally would look at are:
1) Corner pantry. Never been a fan, I think they take up far too much room for the storage you get. I could see a wall pantry on the other side of the fridge. But that's a personal thing with me.
2) Agree about a 1/2 bath near the laundry. With some creative redrawing, I bet you could come up with a small 1/2 bath in the mudroom area. I really do like where your desk is, so it would be a hard decision for me. However I would move it forward a bit to give you more master closet space.
3) Making an assumption that you would balance the windows on the front of the house, and adding windows to the master? I'm guessing you'll have two long windows in the corners to allow room for the bed? Too bad the front door isn't centered on the front.
4) Would your budget allow wood in the entry and great room? The way it is now, it will be difficult to keep the carpet clean.
5) what size is your master bed? A king would be tight in that room. As previously stated, check furniture placement, and allow for walking space in the great room.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:29AM
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I'm another who would like to see a 1/2 bath near the mudroom / side entry. For kids playing outside, it's a long way from the side door to the bathroom.

Be sure to post your plan on the kitchens forum too, to get the most out of your layout. Right now it looks like the ref is next to the wall of the corner pantry. Depending on the depth of the ref and the door swing, you won't be able to open the ref door past 90 degrees and therefore won't be able to pull out the drawers. BUT that depends on the model of the ref and the length of that wall. Personally I'd like to see the ref situated so that a kid at the dining table who wants more milk won't have to walk through the work zone (b/w sink and range) to get to the ref.

Overall I'd say it looks like a good use of space -- good job!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 4:44PM
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Is there a particular reason why you've cut the side of the house off short on the upper right side of the house? (to the right of the masterbath/closet/and laundry area.)

It seems to me that if you bring the master bath and laundry out even with the garage, with a small covered porch for your laundry room to open out onto, it would simplify your foundation shape and roof-line making them enough LESS expensive to build thereby basically allowing you to enclose some extra square footage for next to nothing.

With the additional square footage, you could probably find room for that powder room without giving up the desk. Might even be able to find some space for mudroom cubbies or room for a reach-in floor to ceiling panty.

I was thinking maybe something like this might work...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:26PM
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@bevangel, it is good to see you back on here. :)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 6:21PM
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I don't agree with some posters about the half bath. I would definitely not want guests using a bath that's in the mudroom...which is not a public area and is often messy.

Anyhow, I am surprised that no one mentioned that the dining room is not deep enough. 10' is really, really narrow to fit a dining room table in. 11' is the bare minimum to allow people to walk around the table without putting a butt in a diner's face.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 6:39PM
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Hi Krycek! :)

Bevangel- Great idea! If we can add just a bit more square footage...what about bumping the garage forward two more feet...and adding another storage wall, to the mudroom? Then things could be rearranged to keep the washer/dryer and powder room access on the 'wet wall' to the master and have maybe a bench and cubbies/storage on the 'garage' wall. Just an idea.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 7:36PM
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What fantastic ideas folks. I'm exceedingly grateful.

Bevangel, that is a very good point about pushing out the master/laundry area. I guess I was trying to keep SF as low as possible, but given that the walls and foundation would be the same length, and the roof even less complicated, you're certainly right about making room. And since I very much want a 24' wide garage, that gives me a lot more room to play with. I was planning on gable ends, and a gable end that spanned the dining room and master bedroom would be taller than the rest of the house unless I changed pitches... but I imagine there is a solution for that. Maybe I'll want a higher pitch for vaulted ceilings in the rest of the house anyway.

We are NOT planning on having a king sized bed. I realize we are limiting ourselves in case we change our minds, but we have a budget to work on, and we have to make sacrifices somewhere.

With PVC and plastic plumbing, does having fewer wetwalls save much money? It looks like there would be a way to rearrange it so the washer/half bath/masterbath all share a common wall (which would be very close to the kitchen). That might all make sense anyway.

I was thinking the 10' dining room works fairly well for a long, narrow table, particularly since chairs can be pushed out slightly into the kitchen area. I picture having a table with 4 chairs on each side and one each end.

Lavendar, that's a good idea. I'll play around with expanding the laundry room tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone, I'm thrilled to read all of your thoughts!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:35PM
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Krycek, I generally agree that 10 ft is too narrow for a full size dining room table. But CamG has a "walkway" between the dining area and kitchen island and cabinets (with no barstools or anything on that side of the island), so that aisleway can be thought of as part of the available "dining room" space when the table is in use.

Eg., with a 3.5 ft wide table, she can have 4.5 ft on the wall side for seated diners and passage space. Then on the kitchen side, she has 2ft of space for seated diners and the wides of the aisleway between kitchen and dining room for folks to walk around in.

I don't think the dining room needs to be any larger.

I'm more concerned that maybe the master bath is too skinny (less than 5 ft wide) but it is hard to tell from the sketch.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:55PM
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I really REALLY hate having a washer/dryer in a public hallway. In bevangel's drawing, I'd put them where the desk is with doors that can close to hide them. That way, you can be in the midst of laundry day with piles and baskets sitting all around and still hide it all.

In the vacated space in the back hall, I'd put cubbies. With the back yard doorway there, it's really too small for anything else.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 10:02PM
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CamG - those steps that go down... I can't really tell for sure on your sketch but it looks like you may have only given yourself about 10ft of run before they need to have dropped enough to pass under that entry closet. That MAY (barely) be enough to give you the headroom you need at that point but you should double check. Also, I'm assuming the stairs will make an L-turn under the closet so they don't run smack dab into your front foundation wall. What will you use your basement for? Will the stairs be enclosed or open to view.

In my area, for some reason nobody does basements so I don't know anything about what code requires with respect to basement access. Are you allowed to make the steps leading down to a storage basement with no "living space" steeper and narrower than other staircases?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Don't think this has been mentioned...but I'd move the front door over a foot or so. Right now, it opens into the corner of the stairs and if you line it up with the entry hall...getting people (and furniture) into the house, will be much easier :)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 2:25PM
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a possibility ...

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 6:37AM
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wow! :) Good job summerfield!

I like this

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Summerfield--you never cease to amaze--beautiful plan.

CamG--I really like the flow of your plan. Since there were so many suggestions to put the furniture in, I went ahead and did it for you so you get a better idea. I agree with needing a powder room and bevangel & Summerfield both have great ideas on where to put it. I moved the desk area to the edge of the kitchen & gave you a big pantry. Deleting the corner pantry more than made up for the loss of counter space for the desk. The dining area looks fine, but you won't be able to go any longer with the table I don't think. I did put a king bed in the master and it works--just barely. The other thing I noticed was that the master bath is VERY narrow--only 2'6" between edge of vanity counter & wall--I would make that bath a little wider. The front bedroom could be a little wider if you're looking at putting 3 beds in there--even as bunks. Let me know if you wnat me to adjust anything & I'll see what I can do.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 1:06PM
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Summerfield, that plan is amazing... Like a professional version of my idea. Where can I find it? Everything seems to work much better in it... I would be very interested to see overall square footage and the like. It would obviously be a bit more expensive to build, with a more exterior walls, but I'm very intrigued!

Mydreamhome, thank you so much for doing that. I had been wanting to, bud didn't know how. The wife and I will examine these new versions closely!

Thanks to everyone else and their thoughts as well!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 6:33PM
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thank you ...

the plan is 2200.5 square feet , as drawn ... the layout can be taken to your architect , or draftsman , if you like it ...

the foundation is basically three rectangles ... so , it's simpler than it looks :-)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 2:36AM
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Summerfield- Beautiful plan! Such a nice use of space :)

Cam- Wow! That's really nice...and I think (if you can afford it) the extra square footage is wonderful. The mudroom, pantry, powder room and access from the garage is so much better.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 2:01PM
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