Don Gardner Springdale Search & critique

amtrucker22April 13, 2012

Has anyone had this house built? This is the one we like most so far. I did a search and only found one hit of someone thinking about it. Would love to see pictures if someone has had it built.

My background is family of 4 (me, wife, and 2 young boys) and live in north Florida. We would like a playroom for the boys (we picture it being the bonus room). We will be building on a lot that is 3/4 - 1 (haven't found that yet)

Changes we would make to this plan:

~Convert the 'Study' in this plan to a bedroom for guest

~We would also like to make the 1/2 bath to a full bath downstairs so guest would not have to go upstairs.

~We would have the porch wrap around the left side of the house and connect to the porch in the rear.

~Maybe install a laundry chute :)

Please let me know what you think. Our plans do not necessarily include an architect so the changes would probably be minimal.

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North Florida... probably no basement?
In that case, you should consider using the space under the stairs--either in your bathroom remodel to get the full bath, or for more pantry storage.

It has no front coat closet, but may not be an issue for you in your climate. Just something to be aware of in case it would be.

And, you might make room in the laundry/mudroom for cubbies rather than the closet storage that is there. Just a thought.

It is interesting to me that you are thinking of changing the study/living room into a guestroom rather than the dining room. Do you plan to use your dining room as a dining room?

A laundry chute looks easy to add in this plan, assuming it is allowed in your jurisdiction.

But, in all, I like it, and it is a cute plan on the exterior as well.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 6:11PM
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With the flow of the house and all the windows in the living room area it may make more sense to make the dining room the guest room, and the living room the dining room. That way you could make better use of the space between the utility and extra bath.

And it looks like there is a plenty of room for a coat closet in the entry way near the stairs.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 6:55PM
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Thanks for the replies so far...

@Kirkland & Laura12 - You are right there will not be a basement. I didn't even think about the space under the stairs (this will be my first 2 story house). Thanks!

Coats are not too big of a deal in our area, but it would definitely be nice to have. I will definitely try to work one in.

In the mudroom I had it pictured in my head that it would be lockers. I just forgot to mention it.

On the Dining room study room. To be honest I did not even think about making the dining room the bedroom. I just thought it made more sense to have it off the butlers pantry. Hmmmm... Something to think about.

I will check on the jurisdiction on the laundry chute. Didn't realize it could be a problem, but now you mention it, I can understand why.

Man I love GW... Things I had not even come close to thinking about always pops up here!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Switching the dining room and guest room makes a lot of sense, but if you decide to leave them 'as is' here's another idea. Below is a link to another Donald Gardner plan...could you bump out the study/guest room to be even with the dining room...and tuck the bathroom closet in between the guest room and family room, as it is in this plan? If you don't use the guest room all the time, then you could add double doors and make this a part time study/office, too.

If you added the other bathroom, you would still have the 'family powder room' by the mudroom/laundry area, but it would give your guests a bit of privacy, when they do come to visit. You could still wrap the porch around, but now it could go in front of the dining room, too. Have you thought about a screened porch in one area? Maybe the north or east side? If you screened the dining area (but not the entry/guest room side) you could even have french doors, from the dining room out to the screened porch.

Oh, and upstairs, if you add the bathroom/closet downstairs, this would give you space for another walk in closet, off the master bedroom...and more of a buffer between the master and the left, front bedroom. Just a few ideas :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to another Donald Gardner plan

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:13PM
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It would be easy enough to swap the butler's pantry and powder room and then the dining can be your guest room... It would also give a potential alternative path than through the kitchen to get to great room.

Or, you can do as Lav suggested. (Good find, Lav)!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:27AM
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Good morning,

I like that plan Lav! I will put the bathroom on add list. I think it would also buffer the noise coming from the family room going in to the guest bedroom.

I am curious how this change would look on the front elevation with the front porch stopping at the end of the dining room. I wish I could visualize better as I do not have that talent (hence me asking if anyone had done one of these plans). I do try to visualize me doing my everyday tasks and how I would do them in the house and that helps some.

THANK you Lav and Kirkhall for all the suggestions!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Thanks, Kirkhall :)

Amtrucker- I'm glad the bathroom might work, for you. As for the garage...if it were me, I'd move the entire garage/bonus room that the garage is even with the front porch. The door to the mudroom would then be towards the back of the garage and you could have a door from the garage, to the backyard. That would make a great place for a garden or little play area...and if you put small windows on each side of the range, you could see that area, from the kitchen.

Here's a picture from a link Athensmom gave me. Love the look and all the light :) From Farmhouse plans

I'm not sure if you plan to keep the guest bath and the powder room, but if you flip the guest bath and closet (from the other plan) you lose the small window, but you could access the bath from the entry. If you do decide to do that, the powder room would make a great walk-in pantry.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:23PM
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Here's a Gardner plan, with the garage pushed out...but the doors should be on the side, to look like yours. Hopefully, it gives you some idea of what the porch would look like :) From Cottage house plans

And in case you wanted to see other info, here's the link to the plan.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Martindale II by Gardner

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:45PM
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One more thing...the little area between the two front bedrooms...if you decide to add just a foot or two to the front, that would make a wonderful place for bookshelves and a few comfy chairs...maybe some big throw pillows. The boys would have a sunny place to read (or be read to) and it would be much quieter, than the playroom. Later, if the playroom turns into a rec room, it would still be a nice place for a computer/book space, for homework. My nephews would love a space like that :)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Man, one good idea after another! That is how horrible my vision is when it comes to this stuff. What a simple idea of bringing the garage forward.

Will bringing up the study make the front too dark?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 9:33PM
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If you bring the LR forward to be even with the study, you will lose your deck space there, and your front door will be very recessed/dark. If you want more space, you might have to do like some of the other DonG plans...

If you want simple, I'd just switch the guest to the dining area, and powder and pantry locations on your Original plan. And, yes, do think of a little window seat, maybe, in your upstairs above the foyer there.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 11:24PM
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Maybe I'm not reading this right...but if you add the bathroom, between the family room and study/guest room...that should bring the study forward, so that it's even with the dining room. The porch could go across the front and you can either leave the entry as is, or make it more even with the rest of the front.

I'd probably leave the entry as is, especially if the front will face south or west. My dad used to live near Tampa and said there was nothing nicer than shade and a nice breeze, during the summer in Florida...except (of course) air conditioning! LOL

First of all...I'm certainly no expert at drafting/architecture. However, you seem to want to make some minor changes that are shown in one or two other Gardner plans. Hopefully, these would be easy for a professional to do for you, but I'm sure there are more experienced people on the GW, who can advise you on this.

I think you have a very nice plan and once you and your wife decide if/what changes you might like, I think you'll have a lovely home that will be very nice for you and your family :)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 11:50PM
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After talking with the wife I think I have convinced her to just swap out the Dining room with the Guest room. As you guys mentioned it would make sense as it would give the guest more privacy, and it would make for better entertaining as the people in the dining room would not feel so isolated.

The only bad thing is my wife liked the butlers pantry and how it fed into the dining room.

Has anyone had the springdale built. It can't be that good of a floorplan if nobody is having it built!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 11:28AM
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I think the plan will work well, if you switch the study and dining room. Do you know how you want to change the bathroom? Maybe take a bit of space, from the family room...and add the shower?

However, if you aren't set on this plan, maybe look around a bit more, to see if there is anything else that you like. I don't know all your requirements, but this is just an e-plan that may or may not work. The garage should be facing the other way (entry from the right side) and you'd need a porch.

Look around some different sites, to see if anything looks better than what you have. If not, then you probably have the right plan :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Another possibility

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:14PM
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We like the farmhouse/long porch looks. Trying to stay around 3000 sqft, and would like the master on the 2nd floor. I heave search for quite a few plan websites and this particular plan is one of the few that we like best.

My personal favorite is the one below but the wife does not completely agree with it:

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:19PM
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I can see why your wife's point of view. The kitchen layout is better in the other plan (IMHO) and you still need a full bath, by the guest room/study. You also lose an upstairs bedroom, in this plan. However, it's a great drawing of what you want for the exterior! It has the wrap-around porch and the garage, pushed up even to the porch...and you wondered what that would look like :)

Keep this design to show everyone what you want the outside to look like (that's one major thing accomplished) and keep fine tuning the interior layout. I do like the shop/storage area in the garage...and the extra space, off the bonus room. Maybe you could incorporate these into your other plan?

I still think if you added this closet/bathroom space, between your current plan's family room and living room/guest'd have a great plan! From Cottage house plans

Keep the powder room, by the laundry area and the butler's pantry. Also, a formal dining room can be a bit isolated...that's what makes it feel formal :)

Hope this helps...and I believe you are getting close to a final plan. If your wife does not want to add the windows to the range side of the kitchen...and you pushed the garage forward, as it is in the 'porch' could add that storage/shop area!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:40PM
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I saw this picture and thought of your project! Hope it gives you some good ideas :)

There's no floor plan, since this is a year old house, for sale. Great porch, though! From Farmhouse plans

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:13PM
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Not the plan above (still looking) but this one has some possibilties. The powder room needs to be a full bath, but do you like the laundry upstairs?

Here is a link that might be useful: Eplans home

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:45PM
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Don't forget, he won't have a basement, so can use the space under the stairs for more room in the bathroom. It won't be difficult to add the tub/shower in his space. Alternatively, it wouldn't be difficult to switch the butler's pantry space with the bathroom space so his DH doesn't feel like she loses that prep/storage (plus, they'll gain more storage under the stairs, again).
In all, I think he can take his needs to a designer/drafter and get it drawn up with the switches easily.
The builder you choose might have a designer on staff, or one they regularly use if you don't want to find one yourself.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 5:03PM
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