Floor plan opinions

runnergirl79May 13, 2014

Hi all!
I am new to the group and wanted to get some input regarding our floor plan. We've made some modifications to the plan.

1) We turned the garage 90 degrees so it is side entry and also made it a 3 car garage.

2) We added 2 ft in width and depth to the house primarily to increase living room space.

3) The formal space will become an office (going to use french doors into opening.

4) The butler's pantry will go away. The space will become a pantry on one side and a hall closet on the other.

5) Increased covered porch to a 10 ft depth.

Thanks for any feedback you have! This forum has been a wealth of information for us.

This post was edited by runnergirl79 on Tue, May 13, 14 at 15:28

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and the second floor:

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 3:22PM
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Anybody in the game room upstairs will have to enter a bedroom to get to a bathroom. Will you/they be okay with that?

This plan is very similar to the houses that are being built behind me. I am not sure of the sizes (if they are equivalent), but if they are similar in size as well, they are very livable floor plans.

I would prefer to have the laundry up, near the bedrooms.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Thanks for the feedback, kirkhall.

Yes, I've definitely thought about the game room and access to the bathrooms. I think we'll be OK with it as is since the game room will mostly be used by our kids.

I considered laundry upstairs, but during the day I rarely spend time upstairs so I figured keeping it down would work best for me. I also tend to watch TV in the living room while I fold clothes! :)

With our modifications, the house is about 3300 sq ft. We like the plan because it is an efficient use of space and also puts the space where we want it (ie living and kitchen instead of formal dining/formal living/keeping room).

With the simplicity of the plan we are going to pick higher end finishes - soapstone counters, reclaimed wood floors, all brick/stone exterior. Hopefully that will jazz up this build!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 5:56PM
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The laundry and mudroom are a little tight, it looks like there is less than 40" for walking and moving around. My laundry room is about the same size, and I wish for a foot more depth and length. My mudroom is the same width for part, too, and it's a squash.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 6:00PM
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Hi bpathome - thanks for the suggestion. i should have mentioned in the modifications that when we flipped the garage 90 degrees, we changed the mud/laundry. it is now 8 x 19 and will have lots of locker space for book bags, coats and such.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 6:10PM
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Will the increased depth also increase the size of your breakfast area? I'm wondering if it will be large enough as your only dining space. Do you ever host family holidays or have friends for dinner? Try drawing in a table and chairs, to scale, to see if the room works for you at its current size.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:29PM
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Hi Chicagoans - yes, the breakfast space will become 13 x 12.5, which is close to the size of the original formal dining. I think it should be large enough for a decent-sized crew.
Thanks for the feedback!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:38PM
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Are you going to have a clothes drop in the game room down to the laundry room?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:09PM
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Did enlarging the first floor enlarge the upstairs? How did you use the additional feet, to widen the hallway or the rooms? Hallway in my preference, because the rooms are sized just right as is, and because I just don't like narrow hallways :)

Consider putting a solatube in the jack and Jill bath's tub/toilet room, and for that matter in the upstairs hall and over the stairs. They make a big difference!

See the linen closet just outside the bedroom? What if it moved to the game room. Then that bedroom would have a much nicer closet.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:12PM
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robin - that's a good idea. we don't have a laundry chute in the plans as of now, so i'm going to look into that.

bpathome - we used the additional space upstairs to increase the master shower size, master bedroom, and suite 3 (which now makes that a larger closet and more equivalent in size to suite 2 - gotta have those rooms similar with our two daughters! :)). with that additional width in suite 3, i think the linen closet should be ok to stay there. we hadn't considered increasing the hall space. i'll have to look into that because increasing the master br didn't seem necessary; perhaps the space would be better used in the hall.

we'll also have to look into solatubes. we hadn't considered those.

thanks again for all the input! we have our plans out for bids and hope to get started in the next month or two. this is so exciting!!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:44AM
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Do you have a plan with your changes? It's kinda tough for us to envision the changes and critique.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:55AM
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Here are the modified plans. I'm sorry they're so small. I couldn't figure out how to make them bigger.

This post was edited by runnergirl79 on Fri, May 23, 14 at 8:03

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:02AM
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And second floor:

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 8:04AM
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Will there be no windows in your family room except the ones under the deep covered porch? And clearly no windows in the kitchen, since there are rooms in the way...

In my climate, that would make for a very dark living space, but I guess if you're building somewhere with very intense sunlight/heat it might be perfect.

From here, this is a house that feels like a townhome-- very narrow and deep with no windows on the long sides of the house. If you have enough lot width for a side-load garage, it seems like windows on the sides of the house should be possible, and they would make the space a lot more pleasant, even if they were small and high up because of sight line issues.

Aside from the window/natural light issue, I like the plan.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 8:35AM
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zone4newby - that's a really helpful suggestion and we will definitely look at adding windows. Perhaps we will flank the fireplace with windows above the built ins?

maybe something like this?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 8:55AM
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Measure your cars width with both side doors full open. Use this as the car width. See if your garage fits your cars without you banging doors into the other car. I suspect your doors will be dinging the other car with the present spacing. Just because standard plans show certain sizes doesn't mean they work at all in reality! You need space between cars, space at the front of cars, and space between a car and the side wall in a garage, unless you want to slink between surfaces every which direction. Or bang up your car doors or walls. And remember you will want space to store stuff in the garage too, some low down like ladders, etc. that are hard to lift up high.

Garage space is some of the cheapest, best storage space, so make sure you plan this space well!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 7:11PM
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Hi beautybutdebtfree - Thanks for your comment. I left the garage sizing to my husband, as that's his domain! :)

He said it measures 36 wide by 26 deep and is bigger than most designer plans for garage space. I think that should be adequate space. Do those seem like appropriate dimensions?

Thanks for your comment. Please keep all suggestions flowing! This is unbelievably helpful as we look to finalize our plans within the next couple weeks.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 7:42PM
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It all depends on what you want to put in there. It may be great, it may be tight. That's why I suggested measuring car sizes/widths and storage stuff, etc., to be sure.

Nothing worse than custom building your own dream home and having to curse yourself every time you come home because you have to suck in your breath and squeeze out your car, or ding the one next to it! I can't see the measurements on the picture when it's blown up so was just making a generic suggestion. You won't regret that third bay!

26 deep is a good size for walkway and storage in front of the cars, unless you are parking a full size work truck or something very long. 36 wide, you have to look at the room between things, depending on what's going into the space. Some vehicle doors are very wide when opened plus you have to take into account anything you may want to store along the sides, and what space those things may take up that your car door may then be hitting if there is not enough space.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 10:24PM
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I like your idea for the windows on either side of the fireplace! Very nice picture.

Have you considered moving the garage and mudroom apart (with covered porch in between) and creating space for windows on either side of the range? This would give you more light and view...and create an outside access to the mudroom, without going through the garage.

I also flipped the door to the patio, added a front porch (with plants in front LOL) and made the kitchen island longer, with room for dishwasher to be open without blocking range. Just a few ideas...hope they help :) From Kitchen plans

And an example of windows on either side of range... From Kitchen tables and vintage kitchens

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:15PM
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lavender_lass - Thanks so much for the time and effort you put into your feedback! It's greatly appreciated!

The windows on either side of the range are GORGEOUS! Unfortunately, we are pushing our budget, as is, so I don't think we'll be able to add the porches as you've recommended. Also, my husband think the side porch may cause problems with our current roofline.

Here's a link to our home building website. It shows what we are desiring for our exterior look.


Any other suggestions?

Thanks again!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kasten Home

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 12:47PM
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Runner---looked at your inspiration pics and love them. Your house is going to be beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 1:36PM
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Thanks, red_lover!

Lavendar_lass - we will definitely increase the island size. I'm thinking about 8 1/2 feet wide. Thanks also for the tip about the dishwasher. We're going to move it to the other side of the sink and make sure it doesn't interfere with the cooktop.

We are going to get a double wall oven. Any suggestions on placement? I was thinking either next to refrigerator (is that a bad idea?) or next to pantry. Thoughts?

This post was edited by runnergirl79 on Sun, May 25, 14 at 15:31

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 3:18PM
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I really don't like the location of the laundry. You'll have to carry baskets up and down the stairs, then across the great room, thread through the kitchen /eating area, through the mud room, and then finally into the laundry -- it's a long trek.

To improve this -- not fix, just improve -- I'd switch the laundry and the pantry. Think about it: You'll carry laundry down the stairs, and the laundry will be right there at the foot of the stairs. Better. And when you come home with groceries, you'll drop them off before entering the house -- as it is now, you have to bring groceries all the way through the kitchen to reach the pantry. This switch will improve both areas.

In fact, I think I'd like to see the mudroom all the way to the back, where the laundry is now . . . and the pantry closer to the kitchen.

I love the picture with the windows on both sides of the fireplace!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 4:49PM
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junco East Georgia zone 8a

Post your plan on the kitchen forum for advice from those experts. For starters, try to move the refrigerator to the other side of the range so it will be convenient to the eating area.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 8:51PM
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Thanks, MrsPete, for your comments. I think we may reconsider moving the laundry upstairs. We have additional space above the garage that we could finish, so perhaps we will put the laundry room adjacent to the game room.

Junco - I posted to the kitchen forum. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 6:29PM
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Hi, I've built three houses, so I've been through a lot! Just glancing at the layout, I would consider pocket doors between the MBR and MBA and between the mudroom and laundry room. They need to be solid core doors. I would make sure all of your doors are solid core if possible, or at least the bedroom doors and the pocket doors.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 12:26PM
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kkohlb - if we keep the laundry room downstairs, we definitely plan to have a pocket door between mudroom and laundry. Based on feedback, however, we may move the laundry upstairs. What are your thoughts on that?

Why do you suggest a pocket door between master bedroom and bath? On paper, it seems like a regular door would work.

Thanks for the solid core suggestion. We will definitely look into that.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 1:06PM
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Hi everyone,

I wanted to provide an updated floor plan to see if there are any additional suggestions. These are the changes:

1) We moved the laundry upstairs, and also have a mechanical room up there.

2) We added windows to the living room. They are above the built in shelving.

3) The kitchen isn't clearly labeled on here, but the refrigerator is now near the dining table. It's not labeled, but the sink/dishwasher are still on the island. The stove is across from the sink. There is a double wall oven and microwave on the closet/pantry wall.

Please let me know if you see any issues with the layout.

Thanks for your help and input!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:19PM
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and second floor:

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:20PM
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I would have the pantry door swing into the kitchen rather than the pantry. That will make it easier to access the corner of the pantry. You can arrange the kitchen so that it is unlikely someone would be opening the kitchen cabinets behind the door while you are in the pantry.

Also, the master bathroom toilet room should have an outswing door.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:35PM
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Dekeoboe - thanks for the suggestion. We'll be sure to adjust the doors accordingly.

Anyone else?? We're close to finalizing and would love feedback!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 7:20PM
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Can you utilize the space under the stairway? I may be misjudging it, but it may give you more closet or bath room. This is a beautiful house. Congratulations! You must be sooo excited.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:39PM
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Which wall is your bed on? Are those high windows to the back? Just curious with your window configuration where you are planning to have it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:08PM
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Why not line up your master bed left wall window (I am suggesting you put 2 in instead) with the family room windows below it? Then, you can put the bed on that left wall.

If that is an inswing on a toilet room in the master bathroom, that is a danger I'd remedy--outswing, bifold, pocket...anything but inswing on a tiny room.

Same for pantry, as mentioned--pocket door there or an outswing.

What will be the guest bath fixture arrangement? That room seems a little awkward to try to get a toilet and sink in, with the shower where it appears to be placed.

I'd probably reverse the swing on the downstairs door to patio/porch--so you can easily go out it from the kitchen side--as I'd probably use that patio for evening summer dining, or bbqing. Do you anticipate using that door from the direction of the family room or the kitchen?

As I mentioned before, this plan is VERY similar to the ones behind our house. They are very livable.

One more observation on the lower floor--from the eating area, you can see your mudroom. Are you a tidy mudroom keeper, or a a messy mudroom person? I am messy. So, I'd want to be able to close off the space occasionally, like when I had guests. I'd opt for another pocket door from mudroom to kitchen. It'd be open most of the time, but having the option to close it off would be important to me.

Neither of the upstairs bedrooms closets appear to be deep enough to be walk-ins, therefore, I'd put reach-in type closet doors on them--either double doors that open into the room, or double bifolds, or bipass doors. A single entry door doesn't make sense (things will get lost at the ends of the the closet.)

Make sure your door to the laundry, and to the family room upstairs, are large enough to accomodate a laundry basket without scraping your knuckles as you pass through. Love my 34" doors. Used to have 30s and I had to turn the basket awkwardly, or risk my knuckles.

Finally, a tiny 2 things--I'd see if I could move that little square (chase?) in the master closet to the utility area. And, I'd probably move the door from laundry to utility to nearer the utility entrance. That is just me. (I'd prefer to have the far end of the laundry be just laundry and baskets, etc, and not have to worry about also accessing a door). If the utility was rarely going to be accessed, I'd even put the door immediately behind the laundry door.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 1:36AM
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Thanks so much for the feedback, everyone!

Voila - we plan to have storage under the stairs.

Autumn - we have a transom window, which would be above the bed, but I like kirkhall's suggestion and will probably just have two small windows flanking our bed instead.

Kirkhall - thanks so much for taking the time to provide all this feedback. We're going to change the windows as you've suggested. I like the idea of two windows flanking the bed instead of the transom window in the plan. We'll also take a look at how all the doors/closets function in the home and adjust accordingly.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Which is your egress window in the master bedroom?

I was suggesting (but you don't have to do it my way), to put the bed on the left wall, not the "top" wall, and add another window on the left wall, so the 2 windows on the left wall would line up with the lower windows (you want to take a look at how your outside looks--with window placements, etc). And, then your transom wall could be your egress window instead. You need to make sure at least one of those windows is egress-approved size and height.

For me, I prefer to have the foot of the bed face the doors. In this case, the left wall is where I'd put the bed because you have the main door entry, as well as the bathroom entry, at the foot. But, I understand if you choose differently ;)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Runner-I wasn't suggesting removing a window. We have transom also and thn 2 centered on the other wall. I like kirkhalls suggestion for exactlythe reasons stated but mostly for doorways at the foot!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 6:47PM
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This is what I'm thinking (and I believe we're all on the same page). The window on the left side of the room was the transom - it looked really small before. We're now going to get rid of the transom and flank the bed with windows instead. The adjoining wall is a triple-mulled window.

What do y'all think? (Yes, I'm in the South! NC, to be exact!).

Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 7:42PM
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And a simple 3-d rendering:

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 7:44PM
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I played around with window sizing, and this is what we're considering. Please ignore the hideous furniture! :)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:17PM
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Love it. :)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:36PM
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Yes! I think that will 'live' well. :). I regret not having both doorways at the foot.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 10:14PM
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I don't think you need the double doors into the master bedroom.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:53PM
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