Almost Final Plans

jeff2013March 19, 2014

It has been over a year since I decided to build a new house and started to work on the design. I had just recently finished land elevation survey, soil geotechnical analysis, and engineered foundation deisgn. The house plans are almost final and I am about to sign a contract with a builder.

As I had received numerous helpful comments on the GW forums in the past, I think I need to to share my progress with ppl here.

Still there are some areas for revisions.
A. Bath #4
From a functional point of view, I do not like the way that the northern wall is puched out the small window to the front over the entrance . That means vanity in the sink area (or knee space if we trade it with sink) has only less than 2ft mirror height.

Not sure if we can have a smaller window like a horizontal oval shape or make it a dummy window there.

B. Ceiling designs.
I need think more about the ceilings in the breakfast, great room, and dining/playroom area. How to define the three areas of breakfast/great room/kitchen.
Vaulted / Cathedral/Coffered/Tray?

Not sure if I need to have dropped ceilings in masterbath (as the plate is 9ft and there is bedroom above) for varied ceiling heights in the 13'x18' room.

Any comments on these or any other issues are appreciated! JFL

1. Conceptual Front Elevation

2. Front and Back Elevations (w/ detailed notes)

3. Left and Right Elevations

4. Floor Plan (including englarged kitchen and cabinet layout)

5. Roof Plan

6. Floor Truss Layout and AC Duct Runs

7. Site Plan

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good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Sun, Mar 23, 14 at 8:14

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:57PM
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Thank you for your inputs on the house elevation detailing.

Re: Brick walls with soldier coursing between floors

The wall is wood framing wall (2x4) and it is covered with brick veneers. Is this still considered as masonry wall or is it exempt from the non-stop run requirement?

When you say the wall stop halfway between floors, do you mean the two layers of vertical soldier coursing between the floors at the 24â floor truss location? I never thought that the change of brick coursing would be such a bad idea structurally speaking. Could you please explain a little more on that or give me some online references that I can read? I would definitely follow up this issue with the designer, builder, brick layer, and my structure engineer (who did our slab foundation and windstorm plan).

Attached below is a picture I found online with one layer of soldier course between floors. It also uses headers (or rowlocks?) as transition between running bond and soldier. Will it be suffering from the same problem?

Re: Exterior detailing objectives and methods

I am not sure if I mentioned it earlier, one of the previous designs has only brick walls and very minimal window trims. My wife did not like it as she thinks the house seemed too plain and boring to her. Like a cookie cutter mass production house, lacking custom home touches.
In response, the designer together with inputs from me, proposed to add some details to the house, including
A. Stucco over cement coated foam exterior trims over windows and doors
B. Cedar wood corbels at the roof lines
C. Stone at the bottom of the house (over the two story part of the house facing front and right streets)
D. Horizontal banding with soldier course under roof eaves and double soldier courses between floors. Optional header/rowlocks or stucco as transitions.
Similar to the use of soldier coursing, the stone is expected to break in the vertical directions with the hope that the house will not be looking too plain anymore and still makes sense to be a good fit to the design.

Since we eliminated the option of stucco walls, without stone, I do not see too many other options other than brick coursing, different brick colors.

As suggested, we may use stone for the whole main floor and bricks for 2nd floor. That may be too expensive.

I do like the Palazzo style architecture as shown in the picture. I am afraid that we cannot get anything close in terms of both the materials the details. So the question is if /how we can borrow some of the simple ideas for use in our house within our budget.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 1:59AM
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I'd get rid of the stone completely as I don't think it adds anything to the facade.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 8:05PM
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Hmm I like that stone and think it adds a great deal of interest.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Jeff, glad to hear you're getting close.

I don't care for the stone wainscot, but probably not a good person to comment because I prefer stucco to the brick, too. Consider what you really are going to see -- are you going to landscape in front of the house? Our friends' house has a low wainscot and you can't even tell because of the bushes planted in front.

What is happening with the window on the lower left of the front elevation?

In my opinion, the window in the upstairs bathroom is fine. If you wanted more mirror you could have a large glass installed with a cutout for the window. (Or even include a mirrored slider/shutter, etc.) For me, natural light and seeing the sky would be more important than mirror space. To give you an example, we have two baths in our current house. The "kids/guest bath" is closer to the public areas of the house and has a frosted window for privacy. The "master bath" is down a long hall but has a French door and window. The boys come down and use the "master bath" quite a bit, even when their bath is unoccupied -- I asked why and the oldest one said it was because there is a view(!).

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 3:19PM
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I've seen several of your posts before but never commented. It looks like you've put a lot of time and thought into everything. Every time I see the elevations with brick and stone it does nothing for me. I realize the finished product will look much different. Have you considered clapboard siding? From my non expert point of view something seems off. Do you have any real inspiration pictures you're basing this on?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 3:20PM
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