House plans,would you please help?

SnbtwinsApril 11, 2012

Hi. We are looking to turn our ranch home into a colonial. We have our first set of plans and I was looking for guidance. We are a family of 4 with 9 year old twin girls. I don't see a spot for a linen closet upstairs and I'm not sure if having two large closets in the foyer is overkill. He also put the laundry room under the stairs, which I am not sure I love.

Thanks for looking!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The roof plan, floor plans and the elevations need to be coordinated so they show the same front portico and the left column needs to be engaged in the wall and become a pilaster or moved away from it.

In my opinion a traditional Colonial Revival should have a more traditional Palladian window, sills that extend under the jamb trim, a window above the entrance door and classical cornice returns. I would make the corner boards wider unless the siding is vinyl and make space for a facia board under the eaves on top of the windows since you have them at the rakes.

You will need a smoke detector in the first floor bedroom.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 5:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Colonial Revival most common features:

- Symmetrical facade
- Rectangular in shape, with the longer side facing the street
- 2 to 3 stories
- Clapboard, stone, or brick exterior
- Classical cornice and other classical detailing
- Entablature
- Gable roof, often with dormers
- Double-hung windows sometimes with shutters (no casements)
- Palladian window
- Symmetrically placed windows, often in adjacent pairs or triple windows treated as a single unit
- Entries with sidelights and crowned by rectangular transoms or fanlight and broken pediments
- Sunrooms or porches with columns
- Plain chimneys centered on gable ends

Since this design does not have a symmetrical front facade the classical portico is awkwardly jammed between a projecting bedroom wing and a front facing garage. Because the portico cannot be the typical classical centerpiece of the facade, the formal round columns seem overpowered and out of place. I would use square columns and put them close enough together and far enough away from a wall that they are seen as pairs.

The center gable attempts to mirror the portico and establish the characteristic symmetry of the Colonial Revival style but its modest size and the pair of strongly detailed split eave dormers render it ineffective. I would make the center gable larger or omit it.

The large cornice returns on such small dormers is an awkward modern idea rather than traditional. Such dormers would have had simple close cornices with no cornice returns and crown molding at the eaves and rakes (dog-house dormers).

If you want a strong asymmetrical traditional facade you should look at the Shingle Style.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't mean to sound negative, but I'm more concerned about the interior do realize that your view from the front door is the range and the microwave, on the end of the island? You don't have any direct access to the family room or dining have to walk through the kitchen, to reach these other rooms. The breakfast table is too tiny to be of much use and you have a downstairs bedroom, but it's nowhere near your only downstairs bathroom.

Your architect could do a much better layout, IMHO. Can you flip the kitchen and family room? Even better, I would turn the downstairs bedroom into the dining room...move the columns to where you have the wall between the current bedroom and dining room...and then put the kitchen where you have the dining room. It would go further back, but there would be space at the end (by the back windows) for a lovely breakfast area. The family room would open to the kitchen/breakfast area (but lose that second island with the columns) so that there's enough room for a proper seating area.

If you need a downstairs bedroom, put it behind the bathroom, behind the garage. That would put the guest bedroom (maybe sometimes study?) back by the bathroom, where it should be. I would also move the laundry back to that location. You're right, under the stairs is not a good either move it back by the bathroom or you could put it upstairs, by the bedrooms.

As for the entry, I would move the pantry between the new kitchen/dining room area...and maybe make that space a walk in closet for coats (nice luxury) and put a bench with hooks above, in the entry area. Or widen the entry and make the walk in pantry a regular closet and have a bench and/or hall table where you first enter.

The upstairs is better than the main floor layout, but if you change the downstairs layout (and add the bedroom back behind the garage area) you would have more space upstairs. This would allow you to make the hall bathroom a bit better (kind of tight as you enter) move the closets between the bedrooms (more privacy/noise control) maybe add the laundry upstairs, and even move the master bedroom so that the main windows face the back. That might be a better view and more privacy...maybe even a seating area :)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Renovator8. I am more concerned with the interior layout at this point.

Lavender_Lass - Thank you. I should have mentioned that I need to keep the footprint the same. I cannot bump out anymore walls due to my budget constraints.

I do need to keep a bedroom/office downstairs.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Where does the stair in the back hall go to?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The stairs in the mudroom go down to the finished basement. Due to budget constraints, we do not want to move the stairs.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What if you move the front stairs...over the the other wall. You'd have to change the pantry (maybe put that under the stairs?) but it would solve a lot of problems. Then you could access the dining room, from the front hall. I'd still flip the kitchen and family room, so you wouldn't be looking right into the kitchen as you enter (but then, I'm a messy cook LOL).

On the kitchen forum, you said the island between the family room and kitchen is for support. I'd replace that with a nice arch between the two rooms. You'd still have the opening, but it would give you a much better flow.

I'd suggest you check out the 'Not So Big House' books, by Sarah Susanka. You might want to talk to some other architects, too. I know there are more constraints with a remodel (believe me, I know!) but this could be a much better plan, IMHO. And don't get frustrated with any negative feedback. It's so much easier (and cheaper) to move things on paper! :)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So up means down. There seems to be an inordinate number of drafting errors in the drawings.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 1:22PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Please critique plan.
Please critique plan. Thank you!
Raised basement
For a level lot, a basement is usually underground....
Smaller 2nd story possible in two story home?
My husband and I are in the beginning stages of figuring...
Lauren McLellan
Considering buying an odd lot
We've been planning with the assumption that we'd build...
Nantahala / Amicalola / Tranquility / Garrell and Associates hous
My husband and I have been planning our new house for...
Sponsored Products
Well Traveled Living Stainless Steel Natural Gas Patio Heater
Beyond Stores
Terrell English Bronze Three-Light Pendant
$324.00 | Bellacor
Wright House Outdoor Lantern Post
House of Troy Swingarm Pharmacy Antique Brass Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
Set of Two Pro Series IV Uplights
$79.50 | FRONTGATE
Mushroom Style White Home Decor Table Lamp
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™