Top ten architectural design flaws
When I posted an draft of a house plan I was working on to this list awhile back, I received several recommendations that it turns out are hard to follow. The first was to look though the on-line plan-sales sites to find one I liked, and then customize that. The second was to hire an architect and let them do the heavy lifting. But after looking at literally hundreds of plans on-line and dozens of custom houses in our area (Boulder Colorado, a slow real estate market apparently making for a real glut of open houses!), I'm finding far more to dislike than to like. Indeed, if it were up to me I'd pull the licenses of the architects who designed some of these abominations. And I'm not talking about features where personal preference plays a major role (e.g, formal dining/living rooms, two-story entries, etc.): these are much more fundamental mistakes and I see them being made over and over. I'm wondering if it's just me being picky, or are these things really serious problems:
The top ten architectural design flaws
10) No closet near the entryway, or even a wall to put hooks on.
I've seen this one in houses approaching $3M in price. I'm supposed to put my guest's coats on my bed or something?
9) The shower-cave
I'm sure you've seen them, a 3x3 closet with no light or window in it. Besides being very claustrophobic, they also never dry out and so are mildew farms.
8) Kitchen island between the fridge and the sink
Is the work triangle really just a rule of thumb?
7) Garage as facade
All you see from the street is a massive 3 or 4-car garage door. Sometimes you can't even tell where the entry is...
6) "Peak diarhrea" (i.e., more gables than you can count on both hands) and "peak constipation" (none at all, i.e. a flat roof)
I don't even think either looks cool, but I do know that your risk of leaks from both is vastly greater, and that reroofing is going to cost you a fortune. It's also impossible to properly insulate any roof that's more structure than sheeting.
5) Clear glass shower surrounds.
This one I worry about: Some of these showers are huge and certainly don't need walls at all, why not just make a walk in shower? Bad enough having glass where you don't need it, but *clear* glass? I hope there's a special place in hell for architects who specify these where they spend eternity wiping down walls so they don't spot...
4) Jack and Jill bath to a public space.
Having lived in a bedroom with one of these, I'm not a big fan of Jack and Jill baths, but putting one in a hallway or off a family room is a recipe for disaster (maybe in the form of the therapy bill for the poor kid who has to live in that bedroom with his parent's friends cruising in and out of that bath).
3) Putting the kitchen on a different level, or at the opposite end of the house, from the garage.
Yeah, like I really want to turn what should be a 5-minute unloading job into a 15 minute workout...
2) Forced air heat with registers in the ceiling
IMHO *all* forced air heat systems are heinous, but I hope there's another a special place in hell (a place where your feet are forever numb) for architects or builders who hobble them even more by making sure that none of that heat ever reaches the floor. And yes, we've seen exactly this in plenty of $2M+ houses.
1) Shared wall (or floor) between the kitchen or family room and the master.
I see this one a lot, and maybe it's OK in a two person household, but otherwise in my experience people never seem to go to bed (or get up) at the same time, so whoever uses these rooms is going to wake up the master and mistress of the house. Maybe if they had concrete walls/floors, but alas, even in $2+ million dollar houses, they never do...
Anything I missed?