Floor plan critique

jethro456April 8, 2012

Hi, Ive been lurking around these forums for a while and have found out there is a lot of knowledge here. My husband and I are building our first home and now have a preliminary draft. Its 1888 ft2 plus a full finished basment. If you could take a look and give feedback it would be appreciated.

Sorry about the picture quality. Couldnt figure out how to use a pdf file, so I just took pictures

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One of the better new plans I've seen all week. :)

I can see what you are trying to do with the mudroom/garage entry area and pantry. But, I am not sure it is working as efficiently as it could. However, I do not have a good work-around atm, so I will need to think on it some more. What I don't like, are all the kinks and wasted space due to "hallway". I am also not sure that it will function the way you think it will to walk from garage to pantry with groceries with the current garage door swing (the door is a larger door and will obstruct the pantry door when open. So, functionally, you'll have to come into the mudroom, closet the garage door, then proceed into the pantry. It might work better to reverse the garage door swing. But, then it may bump into the closet door...)

In the same way, you have extra, unusable space in the laundry room with the jog in the room. It ends up just being more "hall". I *think* your laundry could be wide enough to not have the jog just for door swing. Then, you could use that door swing square footage for a closet--either bathroom, or closer to the entry. At the very least, make it less of a jog in the wall separating the bath and laundry. Then, you can still have a nice shallow depth (right size) linen cabinet in the bathroom beside the tub, and have "extra space" in the laundry without using it all up with just empty space.

The dimensions are too small for me to see any of them, but the layout appears to function well. (For example, I can't see the foyer dimensions, which might assist me/others in figuring out a better garage entry layout).

For the kitchen, you might consider how you can get the fridge on the other side of the room. As it is, your children will likely cut through your work zone when setting the table, refilling cups, etc because the fridge is at the opposite end of the space from the dining area. I would potentially switch the location of the range and fridge walls and possibly recess a standard depth fridge into the garage space to that it won't intrude on my kitchen space.

Definitely, as you get closer, take your kitchen design to the kitchen forum. They are amazing. I've learned a ton from them.

Are there any plans for a second laundry downstairs? When your children are bigger, are they likely to wash their clothes themselves? Are they likely to remember to bring dirty laundry up? (in general though, I like your placement of laundry; and you do not mention any of your family characteristics/size/age of children, etc).

In the upstairs hall bath, if you only plan on 1 sink, potentially consider not centering it to give you a little more room on one side or the other for different vanity "storage" and also for future conversion to double sink.

Finally, do not discount a good connection to your backyard. I do not see anyway to get from inside the house out the back except through a window in the event of a fire. Maybe that is just due to the pictures, but if you don't have a door somewhere, you need one. Somewhere.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 11:38AM
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I like it! The upstairs, second bedroom looks a little small (and the door opens, into the side of the closet) but other than that, it really has a nice flow and layout.

Have you considered screening the upstairs covered deck? Also, if there's anyway to get a patio, off the downstairs family area...that might be nice, too :)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 12:22PM
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The thing that jumps out at me is the one small bedroom upstairs. I'd prefer to enlarge the bedroom so that the closets would be on the family room side and your hallway would be even. The full length of the closet could all go to the bedroom or you could divide it so that part opened into the family room for additional storage. Although having one room smaller than the other might not bother you, I could see it being a contention with resale since you have a huge family room next to it.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:32PM
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Thanks for all of the feedback. I guess I will start with some room dimensions.
Foyer: 7'2 x 10'
Mudroom: 10'2 x 7'10
Stairs: 42" wide
Kitchen: 15' x 14'2
Dining: 15' x 13'
Great Room: 18'1 x 17'6
Master: 14 x 13'8
Upstairs Bedroom: 10'11 x 11'6
Garage: 29'6 x 29
10' ceilings up and 9' down

Kirkhall - We arent completly happy with the mudroom either, but aren't sure how to fix it. To be honest, it is the main reason I posted the plan on here. We wanted a few more lockers and a little more room for the doors to swing. We put in the "crooked hallway" to avoid having a useless door that will always be open into our foyer, but are willing to change it if something will function better.

There is a door to a covered deck upstairs in the dining room, but there is not one in the basement

Lavender Lass - I agree, a walkout basement would be nice, but we arent sure we want the mess from outside in the basement. Also I would have to dig it down, and those holes under the deck seem to fill up with leaves and dirt too fast.

aa62 - The pic you posted is actually the basement, but I see what you are saying. That part of the family room is kind of wasted space, so the way you changed it would work

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 8:57PM
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Hi! I had a thought- maybe someone can affirm or disprove it- Seems like there's some appraisal rule about only being able to count a small % of below-grade space in final appraisal.....does that ring a bell for anyone? Is that an old myth? Just thinking, if that's true, you might need to be prepared to bring more $ to the table at closing, since half of your house is below grade. (The cash may not even be an issue for you, but I wanted to mention it.)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 9:10PM
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kellhuck - That is good to know. It shouldnt effect us too much but I have never heard of that before.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 7:55AM
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I really like the modification made for the "small bedroom".
With the deck out the back, that small bedroom /family room may be a little dark. So plan for good lighting there.

And, do reconsider that laundry/bathroom wall. I think you can get some more usable space.

I'll keep thinking on your mudroom.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:41AM
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One question:
How often do you expect you will have guests at your front door?

I wonder how much of a "problem" it really will be to have a frequently opened door from foyer to mudroom? And, if you do have someone stop by, how hard it will be to just close a nice looking (pocket) door?

If you don't have guests frequently, and you are in the kitchen and the doorbell rings, you might travel through pantry, mudroom, to front door. On your way through, pull closed the mudroom pocket door.

Or, from kitchen through foyer to answer door, you step over and slide door closed on your way.

Since the wall is perpendicular to the front door (and your front door opens to the other wall), someone standing on your porch waiting to be greeted will not have sightlines into your mudroom space. And, when greeted, they will still not have sightlines into your mudroom space.

I'd consider getting rid of the jog entirely. Put your door (a true door or a pocket door, but not an opening) directly across from the garage entrance door. Enlarge your pantry to the left a bit and put in a hall closet accessible from the foyer next to it to partially fill that "hall" jog.

Then, put some cubbies along the "bottom" wall of the hall closet/pantry wall. (can you visualize that?) If the mudroom doesn't seem to be deep enough for that, put sink and cubbies on same wall. Hooks on the opposite wall. Your hall closet would replace the other closet.

If you don't like that setup, and you'd like to move your fridge closer to the dining room end, then I think we can come up with a better kitchen/mudroom layout using these as starting points, (and potentially moving the pantry to the left.) But, it'd be great to have your feedback this idea.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 11:36AM
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Thanks for the reply kirkhall. I think we will go with your suggestion. That would make the space more usable and function better. We always knew a door wasnt the end of the world, but had in our minds that we wanted to avoid it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 4:42PM
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