Ending the the never ending search, can you help?

momtoblondieMay 1, 2012

I have been looking at house plans for what seems like years and I have found plans I like but not love . . Our house isnâÂÂt listed yet but we may have a possible buyer. Great, but I kind of need to fast forward my plans here. I am thinking I will have to have a designer draw something up for us but thought I would check here one more time and maybe someone can direct me to a website, floor plan, etc that I have not yet seen. Final attempt, I need to reclaim my life from the never ending house plan search . . Cause I Can Not Stop. Anywho, here is my wish list

Backstory: Minnesota, family of 4, maybe 5 in the future.


No more than 2500 square feet.

Simple roof lines . . . Our roof lines now are complicated and over the top. I am sure my neighbors appreciate the view, but the next build the money is going IN the house. I really like the two story look, simple gable roof with maybe a post and beam portico on the front (for example) but I am open to anything simple/affordable.

Two story - Downstairs: Kitchen with island to fit 4+, one dining area, Main floor master, mudroom with cubbies, laundry, desk area, pantry, powder room, etc. I love the "clutter rooms" with the islands, but I don't think our square footage limitations would allow for that. No formal rooms, dens etc . . . we just wont use them and no two story vaulted ceilings. I would love a screened in porch.

Upstairs: 2-3 bedrooms with a bonus room (over the garage or not, whatever works)

Every plan I look at seems to have a lot of fluff that I am just not interested in. Anyone have any insight into some new plans that I may not have seen? Thanks so much!

Here is a plan to give you an "idea of what i like. I like the general layout with some tweaks (do not like lofts, etc)


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

here's the link

Here is a link that might be useful: the link

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 11:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for adding the link =)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 11:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It definitely sounds like you need to talk to a designer. You can either get one before you talk to builders, or you may find that a custom builder can help you redesign the plan or has an architect on his team. If you get your own, they can be expensive (up to 15% of the build I've heard) but with some you can negotiate a set price.

We went the second route. We couldn't find the 'perfect' plan either. Our builder recommended a designer. We took her a plan we basically liked and then had it altered. For example, we got rid of the dining room. Her fee was wrapped into the total cost of the build. I'm sure it was a lot less expensive because she didn't start from scratch.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 12:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Where in MN? I'm up in Duluth, hoping to build someday, if our house ever sells, and if we can get the numbers to work.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 4:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We're in Minnesota as well. Our builder recommended we tour model homes during the Parade of Homes. (The Parade is over now, but many of the models are still doing open houses on the weekends.) It was really great to see a LOT of different floor plans in action. When we found one that was "almost perfect" our builder drafted up a similar floorplan with our modifications (and some of his own modifications as well). We ended up with a floorplan that we're very excited about, without the scary guesswork of building a floorplan sight unseen.

Our needs are similar, so it might be worth taking a peek at our floorplan (see link below). It's a little bigger (3136 sq ft). Either the sun room or formal study could be converted to a first-floor bedroom. And you could reduce the overall square footage by rearranging the 2nd story.

I do want to warn you that 4BR in 2500 square feet might result in fairly small bedrooms. If that's what you want, that's fine, but make sure you visit a model home where you can "feel" the size of the rooms before committing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Floorplan: 2-story, 4BR, 3136sqft

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@frozenelves8 . . . small world I am originally from that area!!

@minnespolisite . . . I couldn't see your plan, when I click on it I get a picture of a big lock, hmmmm. Thanks for your suggestions. I should plan on traveling to a bigger city during a Parade of Homes tour. That is a good idea =) I know sometimes I can go in a house and fall in love with it, but maybe on paper the plan would not really jump out at me. I worry about the 4 bedrooms being too small also. I am open to 3 but my two kids fight so much right now the thought of them sharing a room gives me the sweats!!

Since I have so many Northerners on here . . how do you guys feel about basements. We go back and forth, obviously they are pretty common here (although we are on a slab now) but I am always leary because you always hear of problems or I would get worried of problems down the road. I really lean towards a two story on a slab, but I always have a walk out basement in the back of my mind. I do like the safety aspect of a basement as well. Oh decisions decisions.

Thanks for all your help!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I grew up in a 1-story earth home (so no basement) and we currently live in a slab townhome (1500 sq ft).

If you don't need the storage/rec space and if the lot you choose is flat, I don't see the need for a basement. Our lot is angled for a side walk-out basement so we're going to have a basement (unfinished for now, possibly forever.)

I'm going to try posting my floorplans directly here.

Looking at my floorplans and comparing them to your requirements, I think you could make 2500 sq ft work for a 4BR. We have that formal study (I work from home full time) AND the sun room (this will be our piano room)--two spaces it sounds like you wouldn't need.

It's basically a modified version of this model home.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really like your plan! I wish I was good at laying out spaces. I always see plans with the den or study, etc. and I just never know how one would reconfigure spaces or cut them out . . . I guess that is where a designer would come in. I would love to be able to have that kind of "vision". I like the position of your sunroom . . . I could easily make it a screened in room. I really really need a second living area, and it concerns me that I wont be able to fit it in 2500 sq feet even if we do three bedrooms.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We're working with a Twin Cities builder who has 30+ years experience. We've sat down with him a few times and he's just an artist, the way he can move things around, or tell us why moving something is a bad idea.

I'd highly recommend planning a weekend driving around the Twin Cities and visiting as many model houses as possible (call ahead to make sure they'll be open--sometimes the website times aren't accurate.) The more you see, the better idea you'll get for layout and square footage.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love having a basement! I grew up in TX without one, and I wouldn't want a house if it was slab. Mostly, though, I want it for the kids to play and storage. I'm not worried about water problems if done right.

Our builder says that by our code here, even slab houses have to be dug down pretty deep and it doesn't cost much more to just dig out for a basement. If you leave it unfinished that is.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 11:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would not recommend a double back stair with equal runs in a home. One of the runs should be shorter than the other for too many reasons to go into here. The efficiency of equal runs would be appropriate in an office or a school where this type of stair is not only expected but virtually unavoidable.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Renovator, I'm curious about those reasons. Can you elaborate?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm curious about the stairs, too! I thought they were safer, so that's why we've included the 'double back' in ours. But I could probably make an L shape work, if needed. Can you elaborate, Renovator, or show us a link to a previous discussion?

@momtoblondie- I could have written your post! In our case, we have our plans out being bid, and I'm already re-thinking lots of stuff (and now I apparently need to rethink the stairs!). I, too, wish I could just find a perfect plan and buy it. I guess I don't really have any advice other than to say that you're not alone and someday this headache WILL be worth it! :) (At least it'd better be........)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the input. I find it kind of funny (for lack of a better word) that there is a whole bunch of use looking for the same features/layout in a house but yet we can't find one that fits us . . . well I am sure there is not a one size fit all option but why is it out of a gazillion plans we can't find one we would want to build almost as is. I always think it would be fun to have someone on here that knows about layouts and such to put together a plan sort of to "please the masses". We could all offer suggestions, etc. Kind of a middle of the road plan for the "average" family . . . would be interesting, but I am not sure it would progress beyond the master up vs down debate ;-)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@kelhuck, I'd love to see your plans since our needs are all so similar. Link? :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 12:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@minneapolisite- Sure! Here's a thread with an early version of my plan. We've made a couple small changes since I posted it. And it's ballooned to 3600 sq ft.....much bigger than my 2500-3000 goal! I'm trying to decide if we should scrap the plan or deal with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: thread with an early version of my house plan

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 6:38PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
New Build Floorplan, timberframe house, input appreciated
So I’m yet another person looking for input on a floorplan....
window cuts in concrete foundation pour question
Hello, I had a quick question regarding a 9' poured...
Master Bedroom Floorplan Review
Hello, I am currently working on building a new house...
Door heights and sliding door
We are remodeling a small apartment in a modern high...
Master bath/closet suggestions
My wife and I are planning on building a house. We...
Sponsored Products
Mediterranean Style Trumpet-shape Iron Wall Sconce with Organic Glass d�cor
Drifted Arm Chair in Mustard
$154.99 | Dot & Bo
Hopson Chaise - Key Largo Grape Purple
Joybird Furniture
Muse Red Six-Light Chandelier with Bordeaux/Red Royal Cut Crystals
A & L Furniture Sundown Agora 75 in. Swingbed Cushion - 1003-BURGUNDY-3711
$254.99 | Hayneedle
Flameless Pillar Candles - 4"H x 3" dia.
Grandin Road
Serta Perfect Sleeper Luminous Euro Top King Mattress and Foundation Set
Progress Lighting Wall Mounted Valera Collection 2-Light Antique Bronze Wall
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™