Self Designed House Plan Needs Reviewed

Runner55March 3, 2014

Attached is a 4 bed/ 2 bath, 1900ft2 plan we have been working on. It would include a full basement (unfinished) that is walk-out on the West side. The program I used draws to scale, but doesn't make it easy to align things perfectly. The brick looking area represents the wood stove. North is the front side of the house.

I appreciate any input and welcome useful criticism.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

Difficult to comment without room dimensions, but that kitchen island is completely unworkable. The fridge can't open against a wall like that. Not enough landing space around the sink, and no real prep space to speak of. Why isn't the sink under the window? And there's that open spacein tbe middle that is going to waste in a smal home that can't afford to waste space.

Bedroom to the right doesn't appear to have a usable closet, nor does the one next to the living area. And the other closets won't work wiith the doors you've indicated a well. Where's the garage? The main entry into the home? The family entry? No exterior porches or patios?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 11:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have some issues, but perhaps some of what you want can remain - assuming some things are as they are because that's your preference.

The lower right bedroom has no closet and has no access to the bathroom without going through the upper right bedroom or clear across the house. You may not plan to use it as a bedroom but since you call it a 4 bedroom, it has to look like a workable 4th bedroom to others. As mentioned, the kitchen will need a lot of adjusting but it appears you have the space to do that. Your living area is cozy but your wood stove is floating in space with nothing to anchor it. I'm assuming that's a stacked washer/dryer in the closet by the front entry. Do you have kids now or in the future? I can't see that working without spillover into your foyer.

If you can give a brief bio about who will be living in the house and what you need/want, that will help with suggestions.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 7:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My wife are I are late 20's with a 8mo old daughter. We plan to have at least 1 more child, possibly 2 more. If we only have 1 more, the 4th bedroom would be the office. We are pretty active (running, biking) and enjoy the outdoors. We like open floor plans, but want there to be some distinction between spaces. The house will be in Indiana, a few miles outside of a medium size town. The garage is in the basement (west side is fully exposed). WeâÂÂll leave the prevision for uncovered parking at the main level elevation (grandparents and eventual parents). With a garage in the basement, the mud room would also be in the basement so the amount of âÂÂstuffâ dropped by the front door will be less than normal.

The front door is on the North side. We are still trying to work out the porch, it will be big enough for a couple chairs and a swing. Family entrance and main entrance are at the same location (front door and basement stairs at the same location). The back door (north side) will have a deck.

It is a stacked W/D off of the entrance. The stacked set will have a small work center next to it (lower cabinets, folding table, hanging rack above).
I agree with there being a lot of open space in the middle of the house. Any idea for bringing it closer together without feeling crowded?
Ideas on anchoring the wood stove? The two hardest things to place were the stairs and the wood stove.
Agree that the 4th bedroom (and master bath) need some work.
There is counter/work space on the side of the sink (above the dishwasher), on both sides of the stove, and along the 3 windows. You donâÂÂt think that is enough? Or is it about location of the work space? Good point about the frig having a conflict with the pantry.

As I mentioned, this is a work in progress. The picture below will give you room dimension, but doesn't have details (doors, windows...).

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like to look at sightlines in floor plans. When people enter your house, what they'll see is your kitchen. I would look to reconfigure the entry so that the view would be of something more attractive-- the woodstove, the dining area, etc...

One more thing-- we've got a woodstove that is our primary heat source in the winter, and we put it between our eating area and living room, and I wish now it were in one room or the other, because it's a pleasant place to sit, and that would be more comfortable if it were really "in" the living room. And be sure to plan for where you will store wood, both outside and in, if you're going to be using the woodstove most of the time. We go through 2-3 18 gallon totes of wood in 24 hours on cold days, and the wood burns best if it's at room temperature when it goes in the stove, so that's a lot of firewood to keep in the house and move around.

FYI, we have a Progress Hybrid from Woodstock, and I can't say enough good things about it. They've got amazing customer service too (we're noobs to heating with wood, and they've been very helpful).

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It must be exciting for a young family to plan their home.
Is this an all brick house?
RE Basement/Garage. Will the garage be under the master /office?
Do you have an elevation or an inspiration picture that you can post here, or better yet, email me?

It is not a bad start but as Holly said, you can not afford to waste space. Those bedrooms are too small and I think I can suggest a way to enlarge them without increasing the total area of the house.
I have a few suggestions but hopefully you can give me some answers first.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Exterior siding is yet to be determined. Walls are shown thick for added insulation. I like brick, but it gets more complicated ($$) if you have 2" - 4" of exterior insulation. We will likely go hardiboard or vinyl over furring strips over exterior insulation.

Here is inspiration for the roof line and basic shape, without the eyebrow shaped dormer.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Inspiration for the basement garage.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Post the kitchen on the kitchen forum. I agree it could be a lot better.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Rough garage location, not 100% to scale.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Residential space planning is my area of expertise, so this intrigues me very much! I'm in the middle of renovating over 3,000 sq ft of house (parents' place) and you're very wise to plan not only for the immediate mobility issues facing your grandparents, but those that may await your parents, and depending on how long you plan to live there, yours too. Plus, every major project should be done with maximizing return on investment (resale), whether this is your "forever home" or not. No one's ever regretted planning fort the unexpected that I'm aware of, so, well done!

Now, about this floor plan: Are you flexible with the configuration of the exterior walls? The reason I ask is because you're giving up very valuable living space by creating a recess for the front porch which, unless it's going to be enclosed, isn't going to be usable half of the year. You may think you're going to have plenty of space as it's drawn, but 1,900 sq ft is going to be pretty cozy for a family of four or five. Depending on what your budget will allow, you could still have a porch that runs the length of the front, or, add it in a few years. But there's a benefit to building a rectangular house: it's cheaper to frame and roof. Also, you'd have much more flexibility with room placement if you went with a center hall type floor plan, with the front door centered and the living areas branching off from the central hall or foyer.

If this sounds like something you might consider, you're more than welcome to ask for more input!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 3:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Will it be ok to flip the plan so there is more room between garage and stairs?

I'd place stairs between kitchen and bedroom. To get that elevation, the foyer needs to be recessed, you will save some space to add somewhere else. I should be able to sketch my idea, then I'll post it here.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is this what you mean? The layout freaked out a little bit when I mirrored everything and some of the walls no longer align, but it should give a good general idea.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 11:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After some of the initial input, this is my layout after playing around for a bit. I like some aspects better and a few I think are awkward (like the master bedroom door location).

I grew up in a 1900 ft2 house, which for a while had 6 kids and my parents. I'm sure it will feel tight at times, but I prefer a smaller living space to a larger space. A big part of that is always being outside.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 11:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My concern is your television placement. Where will it plug in? Most televisions now have lots of cables and several devices to plug in. Where will that happen since the TV is floating?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

From where will you be bringing in your firewood for the stove? Past the dining room table? In through the front door? Up the stairs from the basement?

The distance to the stove from your wood stack, as well as floor coverings in that pathway, should be considered.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A few comments - I like your latest version except for one thing. I would not want the front door to open right into the kitchen area. I do like how being in the kitchen allows you to watch for someone arriving in the front. Really a big deal when someone picking up one of your kids.

Would it work to eliminate the wall between living and dining and have front door there, maybe moving dining area slightly west. You could create a visual 'break' with a tall houseplant or a bookcase or etagere.

Minor thing, but what about changing the door swing on master bedroom to other direction. Someone could be sleeping and not be visible to the living room if another person opened the door. The way door swing is now, would have to open wider to get in past the wall next to stairs.

Try to imagine your kids as teens. Will happen quicker than you think. One of your drawings had the garage under bedrooms. We lived in a house where the garage opened under our bedroom. As our kids got older and came in after our bedtime, we would wake up every time the door opened underneath us.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@Flint - The front door is actually on the bottom of the picture (North side). The wall of 9 windows faces South, which faces the backyard and then a field. When I drew the wall between the table and living room I was initially thinking half wall. A bookshelf or plant is another good idea, something that defines the area, but still leaves it open.

@ Littlebug - wood would probably come in the back door, between the dinning room table and kitchen.

@Debrak - any wires/cables for the TV would have to come through the floor. If we went with a TV placement like this, we would have to find a TV stand that could hide cables.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 12:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please find attached some sketches. You might find a couple of ideas. In any case, plans can be adjusted to your personal needs. The one on top is based on your latest plan. The other two are based on the original one. The elevation should look very similar to the one you posted.
I think your master closet is too small. You are probably not worried about resale but it is better (IMO) to have 3 standard/medium sized bedrooms than 4 small/ bedrooms.

Hope this helps

Here is a link that might be useful: Ideas

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 3:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Naf_Naf, thanks for the layouts! I will take a closer look at them later. What program are you using?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 6:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 7:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really like design #1, it is a better use of space than the plans I had posted. Thanks! I'm going to play around with making some small tweaks.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 11:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Runner,

Yes, #1 is good. Have fun adjusting it to your needs and likes.
You said you want to use lap siding, so I made the exterior walls 7.5" thick (1" exterior insulation, 1/2" exterior sheathing, 2x6 wood studs and 1/2" drywall) You do not count the lap siding and last time I checked, manufacturers recommend only 1" exterior insulation (if using fiber cement).

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 9:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow-just snooping!
NSF naf-you fiddling with the plans made a huge improvement (not knocking your originals, poster-I designed a house in 1989 and the builder improved on it)!
I must say, though, four of us grew up in the early 60's in an 1,100 ft2 house. My sister and I had our own bedrooms. We were not crowded at all. We did have a finished basement, though.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 6:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As for the TV on the floating stand, has you seen this done? Seems like it really lock you into that layout.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 9:51AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
building over an old leach field
Perhaps this is county specific, but I was talking...
Door heights and sliding door
We are remodeling a small apartment in a modern high...
House plan design (suggestions/advice)??
Please refer to the ⬆sketch only. (Please refer to...
Desireable slope for drainage away from house and garage?
We're building a rectangular-ish house with an attached...
Please critique floor plan, thanks!
I posted a similar plan Oct. last year and got some...
Sponsored Products
A19 Lighting | Wizard Mini Pendant Light
$329.99 | YLighting
King Sateen Sham - DECO WHITE
$89.99 | Horchow
Addison ross 15mm curved silver plated frames
Origin Crafts
Glove Wool Ottoman in Dark Gray
$299.00 | LexMod
Safavieh Indoor/Outdoor Courtyard Anthracite/Beige Stain-Resistant Rug (8' x 11'
15780AZT Kichler LED Acrylic Lens Step Light Bronze Finish
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Artistic Weavers Rugs Artes Beige 4 ft. x
Home Depot
Roxy Brushed Nickel Mini Pendant with Clear Shade
$254.00 | Bellacor
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™