Critique my plan please.

kesh0910April 23, 2014

Hi! I have read and re-read tons of posts on here, but this is my first time posting. My husband and I are looking to build in a couple of years, but I like to get a head start. I think we have decided on this plan. I want to make a few changes, but we haven't met with an architect or anything. I will attach a photo of the changes I have made in a follow-up post. I just want to know what people's likes/dislikes about the plan are.

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I used an online floor planner, so the measurements aren't exactly what they will be. The major change is the Guest Bed 1 bath area and the master bath. I have also moved the fireplace in the great room to the corner and moved around appliances in the kitchen. Are these things that I will have to get an architect to draw up or can these be tweaked by the builder? Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 5:29PM
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What did you do, exactly, with that back entry bathroom? It looks like you split it, made a powder and a full bath, but no door to full bath? Or, is there a bidet in it? I can't tell with the graphics you include.

I think I'd change the hallway to the laundry room. Is there a reason you've situated it this way?

I think what you've done, now that I've studied it longer, you made a full bath for a guest room and a powder. Am I right?

If it were me, I'd put the full bath for the guest where the laundry is and move your laundry to the back hall/mudroom area where you currently have the guest bath. Then, you can recover some of the hall floor space as laundry room space.

Also, I am concerned, that you lost a closet on that back hall that was probably actually meant for HVAC chases etc. By flipping laundry and bath, and recovering the floor space dedicated now to hall, you will gain some space for HVAC again.

You appear to have a lot of outdoor living space. Nice climate. Pool? Closest bathroom to that exterior space is from within a bedroom. Otherwise traipsing through the house to get to that back powder room... Maybe something to consider.

I think you probably improved your master bath layout (at least it is safer with a non-enclosed toilet with an inswing door), but it sure is a LONG way from your bedroom. And, your tub--right to the driveway? No window for privacy? Then, why a bay tub?

Also, you've interrupted the prime prepping location in your kitchen by a corner pantry. I, personally, love my corner pantry (others will tell you they don't like that about your plan), but its location in this plan is very interruptive. Maybe swap it to the other corner?

And/Or post your kitchen WITH DIMENSIONS to the kitchen forum for the best advice.

Windows? Light? Can't tell what you've got going on/planned, so can't say whether or not I'd recommend any more.

Nice overall plan.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 12:35AM
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It's hard to have a firm opinion on this plan without knowing something about you and your lifestyle. Are you a younger couple with young kids? Teens? Older couple hoping to grow old in this house? How often do you have house guests, and how many?

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:18AM
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This is my personal opinion, but I hate the garage on the front of the house.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:22AM
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Yes, family info (numbers/ages) and lifestyle (entertaining?) and climate will help us help you.

Also, where will this be built? On acreage? In a development? On a wooded lot?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 3:19PM
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We are a couple in our late 20's. No kids yet. We are building on family land, so we plan for this to be our forever home. Our jobs are plentiful in the area we live, so we don't see having to move for them. He's a pharmacist, and I'm an accountant. Only planning on one or two kids (we will remodel if we see we need more room if we ever need it). The lot is in a private wooded area in the country, away from the road. We live in north Louisiana, so summers are pretty hot!

We do entertain often (about once or twice a month), usually with a dozen or so close friends at the most. We mostly like to cook and/or have bonfires. If we ever put in a pool, we plan to build a small pool house with a bathroom. We plan to have family holiday gatherings here as well, which is why I love the open plan so much.

I tried to make room for adding a powder room, as I didn't want guests having to use our future children's bathrooms. I like the idea of switching the laundry and guest bath and using some of that hall space. If you can't see where a door is, then it is probably a pocket door. A space for HVAC was a concern of mine as well. As far as the master bathtub... I plan on putting privacy glass or wood blinds on the lower half of the window.

I've noticed on these forums that a front garage is either liked or it isn't. I'm ok with it just because of where we're building. Plus, I've noticed most of the people I know where the garage is in the back or side, people end up using the garage entry. I want people to use my front door.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 4:58PM
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As far as windows, I think we are going to have large floor to ceiling windows in the great room, french doors with windows in dining room, large windows in the den, and large windows over the sink in kitchen. In the two guest rooms, there will be 2 windows on the right outside wall. In the master, there will be two windows to the backyard and two on the left wall. Then a bay window in master bath.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 5:14PM
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I also hate the garage "out front" and the idea of the driveway coming right up to the door. I know, you've explained your thought process, but it's something that lots of us just don't like.

I'd swap the den's door around so it opens from the entryway. It makes no difference in the function of the room, but it will provide more privacy in the den, which looks like it'll be serving as an "away room".

That "disappearing door" in the great room is really cool -- we stayed in a condo once that had one right on the ocean, and it was wonderful. However, I'm not sure I'd want to have it in my own house. 1) It's outrageously expensive. IF budget becomes an issue, this is the first thing I'd cut. 2) Depending upon where you live, if you open it, you're going to lose all your air conditioning, and it'll be expensive /take time to get the house back to cool again -- as such, I can't see it being used a whole lot.

I like the 1-2-3 layout of the great room - dining area - kitchen. I think it'd "live comfortably".

The kitchen could be laid out more efficiently. I suggest you take it over to the kitchen page. At a glance, I'd point out that an L+island (with a large pantry on one end instead of countertops) gives a more efficient work space: The pantry is better storage than expensive cabinets, and that extra run of countertop never ends up being used anyway.

I would simplify the bath nearest the garage. I'd do away with the back-into-the-closet-to-use-the-toilet design, which is difficult to clean -- and if this is a child's bedroom, you're going to hate potty training in a closet. This small vanity cannot support two sinks.

If you expect these two secondary bedrooms to eventually be children's rooms, I'd lose the exterior door in the back bedroom. You don't want to wonder whether your toddler is going out into the back yard . . . or who's coming into your teen's room.

I hate the long hallway to the laundry room. Laundry is a thankless chore at best; don't add a lengthy walk to the task. At a glance, I'd look into switching the laundry room with the adjacent bathroom. The bathroom would still be accessible to the bedroom, but cutting out that corner and extra steps to the laundry would benefit all three bedrooms.

With two full baths for the secondary bedrooms, I would not put in a powder room. I see no reason guests (who are only around twice a month anyway) can't use the children's hall bathrooms. Kids are capable of keeping their bathroom neat and clean -- if they're taught to do it.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:26PM
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I made changes to the laundry area. We like it so much more! It gives us so much more storage space in the laundry room, as well as making sure we have closet space for HVAC and hot water heater. Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:02AM
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Looks like you've gotten some great advice! Can I ask what program you used to lay out the furniture, etc? I'd love to do that with my own plans.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:35AM
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With plenty of space, I would definitely move the garage to the side of the house, so your front door is a welcoming, inviting space, landscaped instead of paved. Even fancy garage doors aren't as nice looking as house. I sure as heck can't keep my garage "company-ready" at all times, nor do I keep the garage door closed all the time - we're in and out with garden tools, bikes, sporting equipment all summer.

You could move the bedroom to the front - more or less rotate your re-work (and rework it some more) so the garage entrance comes from the side, and closer to the kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Michelle, I used

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 4:41PM
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