Summerfield, bevangel and other GW drafters;) Lake house help!

madisonkdMay 7, 2012

We are looking at purchasing a lake lot, and the foundation is already poured on it. I think it was supposed to be a spec home originally, but the builder went out of business. I love what summerfield, bevangel and others have offered up for suggestions on other plans! Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Here are pics of the lot:

The rough measurements of the foundation are 51' wide, x 45' deep. That depth covers the main floor, but not the bumpout for the porch in front, or in back (I think these may be ~5' deep?) The garage is ~21x21, and is included in the width and depth.

I LOVE this plan...

and the basement....

Definitley want this great room ceiling...

But don't need the beams in the kitchen/dining room. A standard 9' ceiling would be fine there.

Some other changes/wants:

Garage needs to be 2 car (this plan only has 1)

Bedroom 2 would be my office- I would change the powder room to the closet for this space.

Want to change the stairs to a U shape configuration.

Hate! the master bedroom door straight off the dining area... needs to be around a corner or something!

Need a mudroom/laundry off the garage (not in basement). I also want a window in the laundry.

Powder room needs to be relocated. Do not want it in foyer.

The space for the screen porch can be taken up by the master bedroom bath if needed. I would like some screened area if possible. At our house now we have a vaulted patio cover (looks like the great room in this plan)and do not have need for screening. On this lot, I think there will be more mosquitos;)so we will need a little screened porch.

The basement plan has the laundry in it now... maybe this would be taken up by the U shaped stairs? I think the bedroom location will work with the foundation? What do you think?

Any thoughts or comments would be much appreciated! I know the measurements I have of the foundation are rough; nothing has to be exact yet;) Thank you in advance!!!

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Have you gone to the building department to see what plans were filed for this lot? That might give you more accurate dimensions for the foundation so you can plan a layout around the foundation. Or where you planning on tearing out the foundation and starting from scratch?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:14PM
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The realtor is looking for the plans, but the construction co. is out of business now, so it's been harder. I will check with the village to see what they have. I really like the plan I have here, though, and would like to modify it to fit. I'm also hoping to save some money by not pouring a new foundation;)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:03PM
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What if you moved the master bedroom, to the screened porch location? Then, maybe the master bath/closet, mudroom, laundry and half/three quarter bath, could be located in the bedroom space? A 3/4 bath would allow the office to serve as a main floor guest room, if necessary.

Is that house to the left, staying? If so, I don't know how you're going to fit in a two-car garage...unless there's more space than it looks like in these pictures...or you can add another garage, on the right side of the house, in front of the deck? If you screened the side deck, that would let you have a bug-free area and a fireplace in the master bedroom :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:04PM
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I have a few comments about the plan, apart from how it might or might not fit on the lot.

On the first floor, when someone comes in from the garage, it appears that the path is through the walkin closet and then through the master bedroom. I think that would be a problem for most people.

Bedrm #2/Study is a nice size, but unless you add a closet and a shower (besides the master) on the main floor, it really isn't a bedroom--it's just a study.

For the kitchen, for as big as it is, there isn't much workable counter space. THere's an area to the left of the sink (which will be used for dirty dishes) and some on either side of the stove--not really that much for a kitchen that size.

The two walk-in closets in the master don't have much more space than a reach-in would since they're too narrow to use both walls. The "L" looks good, but in practice, the corners aren't really very usable.

Downstairs, the person in bedroom 3 has to walk around the bar and near the social room area to get to the bath. Personally, I'd rather have the bathroom closer to the bedrooms.

10" is really narrow for a bedroom. 140 sq ft is reasonable, but I'd prefer 11x13 or 12x12.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:32PM
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I'm not a builder, so this question has to be for someone who knows...
But, I thought footings are poured based on where load-bearing walls are located (and then, slabs are finished etc)... but, is it correct that a "slab" is all the same thickness everywhere, or thicker at "footing" locations?

I'd be concerned with knowing where the "thick spots" are in the foundation to make sure my walls line up structurally correct.

As my disclaimer above states, I don't have a good understanding of construction, especially of slab construction (we just don't have those around here).

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:31AM
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Very pretty lake lot. I can see why you're interested in it. But, before you take the plunge, have you had the slab evaluated to ensure that it is structurally sound?

Also, with a slab foundation, the freshwater pipes and drainage pipes are set in (and run under) the slab. Have you verified that this plumbing is still in good working condition?

Have you considered the fact that your design will be constrained not only by the footprint of the slab but also by the location of the underslab plumbing? (Your kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry will all have to be located where their plumbing lines can connect to the underslab plumbing.) Are you willing to live with whatever those constraints turn out to be?

Until you have an EXACT diagram of the slab (including the exact locations where freshwater and waste water lines enter and leave), I think it is impossible to even begin thinking of how the your floor plan might be laid out on the current slab.

You don't want to buy the lot and then find out that you can't possibly design a house you like that will fit the existing slab. But neither do you want to spend a lot of time/effort/money designing a home to fit the slab, come up with a plan you love, only to call the owner all ready to buy and find out he just sold the property to someone else!

So, step 1 is to verify that the slab and underslab plumbing are good. Step 2 is to find a copy of the original building that was planned... or get someone out to basically survey the slab and make a very accurate drawing of it. Step 3 is to make an initial assessment of what the kitchen, bath, and laundry room placement options are and decide whether it is likely to be at all possible to design a home you can love around those constraints.

Step 4 would then be to talk to the current owner and see if he won't sell you a 3 to 6 month "option to purchase for an agreed amount." Basically, under this type of agreement, you and the seller agree on a purchase price but you don't immediately buy. Instead you enter into an "option" agreement underwhich you pay the the owner a sum of money to basically take the property off the market for an agreed period of time. Even if someone else comes along during your option period and offers him more money, he cannot sell the property without breaching your agreement. And, with a option agreement, if the seller breaches, there should be language specifying damages to cover all monies you have expended in preparing to purchase the property. (i.e., architectural fees to design a house to fit the slab, etc.) Your lawyer can draft up an option agreement for you.

At the end of the agreed period, you must either go ahead and purchase the lot or walk away and lose the sum you paid for the option.

This kind of agreement would give you time to try to come up with a finalized floorplan that would fit the slab and meet your needs/desires.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:38AM
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Thank you for all the responses so far! To answer some questions:

lavenderlass: The slab for the garage is already poured. The houses are in a bay, so the street side is wider than the lake frontage. The house is probably 50 ft. away. I do want the master, powder, laundry and mud room to be on the left side of the house (and 2 car garage). I'm just having trouble figuring out a lay out.

bethohio3: I want the garage side changed, so don't go by this layout;) The study would have a closet (the powder room on the plan now). A powder room needs to fit in on the left side of the house. I want to take out the pantry from the kitchen and add it somwhere else (maybe a portion of the closet in the study?) I also want to make the access door to the outside a window and continue the counter on that wall. The access door would then move to the next window opening in the great room. For downstairs, the laundry will be moved to the upstairs, so maybe that becomes the bathroom (and the bar can move location?).
bevangel: I am trying to get the original plan for this slab. I do want to find out about the foundation quality as well... I think it's been there a few years. The bank will not accept any contingencies on the lot (the construction co. that went out of business owns it). I want to figure out this plan first... if this lot does not work, there are a few other ones that we could get. All will accommodate a walk out basement, and the views of the lake will be straight on like this lot.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:18AM
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Sounds like the bank either foreclosed on the property or got it in the bankruptcy action. In either event, the bank wants to sell it they should be willing to do what they can to help you get the info you need to make a decision on buying it.

The bank will have a record of the construction company that originally owned the property. And that company will have had individual human beings at the helm. Either a president or "owner" or somebody. One of those human beings may still have a copy of the original plans, or know who has them. It is even possible that if the company went thru a bankruptcy action, the plans may have wound up in the hands of the bankruptcy trustee. Your secretary of state's records might be able to provide names. Or the bankruptcy court may have records.

Trying to move forward without the plans is more difficult and makes the property less valuable. So suggest to the bankers that they help you find the plans and, even if you wind up deciding NOT to purchase, the bank will likely find it easier to sell the property (and for more money) if they can provide the slab plans to potential buyers.

Just a thought. Let us know when you have more to go on and I'm sure we'll all jump in and try to help you pull together a viable plan ASAP.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Ahh, I like that plan too. Which one of Garrell's plans is that?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 12:08PM
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This plan is Walker's Cottage. The entire left side of the house is pretty useless (to me) the way it is laid out though. If anyone can give me suggestions using my above criteria, that would be great! I am thinking more about just building this house on another lot than trying to make something fit the foundation I posted. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:01PM
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I got the foundation/house plans from my realtor today. If anyone could look at it and suggest changes to make it more like the plan above (with my changes)that would be great. Also, I do not want a separate dining room, like this plan has. It also has a 2nd story, but I will make it 1 story with an exposed basement and 2 bedrooms down (switch out media room for bedroom)

Here's the 1st floor:

and basement:

I had these pics edited in photobucket, but when I transfer them here, they revert back to the original. Tried a million times to make it work.... frustrating!!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 6:41PM
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Well, the good news have your two car garage! As for the rest of the plan, I think it could work very well for you, with a few changes. I'd make the dining room into the office and move the bathroom and enlarge the laundry mudroom...where you have the den, now. You'd also have room for a bench (maybe with hooks over it) in the entry.

Then, the kitchen and breakfast area (your dining room) could be bigger...and the kitchen could have a more functional layout. Maybe even a walk in pantry? And, if there's room, I'd put the screened porch on the right side of the house, with french doors from the dining room, to access it.

Do you like the master suite? It looks good to me...and if you're not doing the upstairs, I would vault the master, living room and kitchen/dining areas. Maybe the screened porch, too. A peak ceiling will give you more height and more window space, too! :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 7:20PM
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The "up" stairway is very prominent. Where does it go?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:43AM
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This plan has a second story. I just want to keep it a one story with exposed basement. So, the up goes down;) I was thinking of moving the stairs to the front of the house where the den is now? Maybe have the landing area on the same wall as the window...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:16AM
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I think that sounds like a good idea. Then you could have a full bathroom, where you have the laundry room now...and move the laundry/mudroom back, to the stair location. Having your door into the garage, along the back wall makes more sense and is probably safer. Also, easier to unload groceries, from the car, through the mudroom, into the kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 2:23PM
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I'm bumping this message up to see if anyone else has more ideas on merging these 2 plans?? Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 8:20PM
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Sorry, I'm out of town for the next several weeks and don't have easy computer access. (Looking at the floorplan on a borrowed laptop with a VERY tiny screen and can't see the dimensions. Plus this laptop doesn't have my CAD program or even a PAINT programs that I can find. Can't wait to get back home to my 26" monitor and the computer toys I'm used to. LOL!)

Hopefully Summerfield will weigh in cause she always has great ideas. But, if not and this drifts down too far, bump it up again in a couple of weeks and I'll take another look see.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 3:26PM
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    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:52PM
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So we are getting a lot of interest in our house (currently for sale), I have had the foundation checked, and now I just need to tweak these plans with my above criteria.... any thoughts on moving the stairs and creating a better laundry/mud room/ powder bath area?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 1:27PM
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It's hard to say with absolute certainty what will/will not work without knowing the exact dimensions of the slab and, unfortunately, the images you posted simply don't show up clearly enough for me to read all the dimensions. Based on those that I could read (and by counting pixels and doing some math), I came up with the following dimensions for the slab and then based the proposed designs below on these measurements. If you like the concepts, you'll still need to have your own architect verify the exact dimensions available and then do any necessary tweaking.

This is the basement design I came up with. Note that I used 6" framing instead of 4" just in case. If you're okay with 4" walls, that would give you a few more inches to play around with and make things fit just in case some of my slab dimensions are off. FYI, I moved the guest bedrooms to the side because I would want the best views from the more public rooms and I'm guessing you would too. Code requires that bedrooms have a window that is large enough to escape from in case of a fire so, you may need to a window well for the front bedroom windows.

And finally, here is the main floor. Note that part of the great room cantilevers outward by three feet so you might need to add a support post to that corner. I added a deck at the back for enjoying the view and a raised screened porch at the side but of course, depending on how close the slab sits to your side property line and what your set back requirements are, you might not be able to add a porch to the side. But, I really didn't want to put one on the back side because that would have destroyed your views from the great room.

Looking forward to hearing what you think.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 1:12PM
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Oops, just noticed that I forgot to put a door from the foyer into the office.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Bevangel, thank you!! After seeing what you have done I am embarrased at the pathetic pictures I put up of the pdf floor plan. I tried to get it to work, but had to save it as a jpeg and it didn't turn out that well!! With that said, thank you for the time you put into guessing the measurements!!
Things I love...
The basement!
Love the location change of the bedrooms
Love the bar how it is set up.... you will be able to look out at the lake while at the bar;)
Art gallery! My daughter is going to college this fall and is majoring in graphic design/photography, so this will be a great place to put her art!

First floor~
Laundry room has a window... wanted that, but couldn't figure where to put it
Windows in the front of the house by the stairs
Screened porch- perfect location, and love that it shares the fireplace

Things I'm not sure on yet...
Master closet/bath layout. I know putting the laundry where it was pushed out the closets, but I'm not sold on this yet. DH likes the walk in off of the bathroom so he can get ready in one place in the a.m. (without bothering me, how sweet;))
I want to be able to see the lake when you walk in the front door. I've been in other lake houses that are like this, and the view can take your breath away sometimes:)
Dining area- I think I want this closer to the lake?
I think I want the deck squared off with the master, or at least to where the window starts in the mbdr. I'm attaching a pic of our covered patio that we have in our house now. I want to take the ceiling of my GR inspiration picture and extend it outside the house for the covered patio...

I also want to capitalize on cross breezes as much as possible. I didn't take that into account as much with my current house, and I regret it. Add window placement into the mix!! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!

I'm not sure how to make these changes that I want while still keeping the awesome basement that you did? Ideas?

Your measurements were SUPER close! I would have 6" outside walls and 4" inside. If you start in the top left corner of the mbdr, and go clockwise, the measurements are as follows (outside to outside walls)... 16'6, 11', 16'6, 3', 12', 40', 17'6, 4', 11'6, 4', 21', 40', 5', 14'.
You rock!!! Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:28PM
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Glad you like so much of it!

How funny that I called that wide basement hallway an "art gallery" when your daughter is going to be an art major in college. The wide hallway just "happened" when I put the two bedrooms and bathroom in along the right side of the basement. The leftover space wasn't quite wide enough to be the bar/kitchen area (and besides I wanted that by the windows at the back) and I couldn't see any other use for it. But just calling that wide space a hallway seemed so mundane when it was wide enough that it seemed like it OUGHT to be useful for something. Then I thought, well they could put bookcases along walls or hang artwork so voila it became the "art gallery". Serendipity! LOL!

Thanks for posting the exact measurements of the foundation. I was off enough that there will HAVE to be some changes to the design...especially to the main floor bedroom/bath area. But you wanted changes there anyway so that's okay. I don't think the new dimensions will force any dramatic changes to the walkout basement.

By wanting the dining area "closer to the lake", I'm assuming you mean that you'd like a view of the lake from the dining room. I don't see any possible way to actually put the dining room along the back of the house without either a) moving the master bedroom to the front of the house somewhere or b) turning the great room by 90 degrees.

Option "a" won't work with your foundation unless you're willing to have a really skinny, winding hallway going from the front door, around past the office and master bedroom and bath to reach the public areas at the back of the house. Since you've already mentioned a desire to have a view of the lake from the front door, I'm guessing that's out.

Option "b" would turn the "vaulted" ceiling of the great room so that it faced towards the side of the lot instead of towards the lake. Pretty sure that is out as well!

So, no way to actually put the dining room at the back of the house. BUT, I could basically swap the kitchen and dining room areas so that you would be able to see the lake thru the great room windows when seated at the dining table. However you wouldn't have as good a view of the lake from the kitchen if I do that. So, which one do you prefer?

I can easily open up the view from the front door by getting rid of the office closet and the entry way closet. You don't HAVE to have either closet.

I might be able to fit in an entry way closet if I change the staircase from a tight U to a loose U. (i.e., have two landings instead of one big one with some steps between the two landings.) Actually, since that space I'm putting the staircase in is almost two feet narrower than I thought, there isn't going to be room enough beside the stair for a chair so a loose U that spans the whole 10'-6" ft wide (interior measure) space would probably look better anyway. I'll play around with it and see what I can come up with.

I THINK it might be possible to move the laundry room to where I currently have "her closet" and then put the two bedroom closets between the bedroom and bath. The laundry room would probably have to be a bit smaller but you would still be able to have a window in it. But, before I do too much rearranging, could you verify a couple of other foundation measurements? (the ones shown in red below) These will affect exactly how much room is available for the master bath/mudroom area and with plumbing, sometimes inches can be critical. So I want make sure I have the available dimensions right.

As for getting cross breezes through the house, for really good breezes you need windows directly across from each other that are oriented in the direction of the prevailing winds. Obviously this works best in skinny houses that are only 1 room deep and your foundation isn't right for that. But you can get reasonably good breezes by having windows on two walls in most rooms. Even if the walls are perpendicular to each other and neither faces the direction from which the wind blows, you'll still get some breeze. And, you can improve the flow of air thru a house by installing operable interior transom windows above doorways so that even when interior doors are closed breezes can flow thru the house. Or you can use ceiling fans to stir up a breeze artificially.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 2:05AM
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Left side of the garage going up is 23'6 and then 16'6. Back of garage is 13'7, notch is 1' and leftover is the remaining wall (msmt.not on plan).

For the main floor, what about taking the original plan and moving the stairs to where the dining room is? Then using the space for where the stairs and current mud room are to reconfigure as mud room/laundry/powder room/hall closet/pantry area? Don't want much do I?

The den/office could stay in the same location. I want one full wall of closets (opposite the window). I work from home and need lots of hidden storage.

The laundry would lose a window, but I would put a solatube in instead.

This would keep the dining area along the lake wall, and the kitchen could be reconfigured. I also want to include a "buffet" type area for serving appetizers or meals when entertaining.

Do you think it would mess with the basement too much by moving the stairs? The second bedroom would probably get smaller, and the storage and bath would need to be reconfigured...

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 9:42AM
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First off, I've fixed all the measurements to match what you've given me and changed the interior walls to 4" instead of 6". So, if you like this design, you should be able to get a local architect to draft actual plans for you to use. But make sure he checks the location of underground drainage pipes. You may very well have to cut through the slab in some places to move the pipes because the bathrooms and kitchens in these plans are nowhere close to the locations of the originals.

I moved the staircase like you suggested. Revising the basement level was no problem. Note that the closet for bedroom #2 fits under the upper flight of steps leading to the main floor. I forgot to erase the steps to give a cut-away view before saving the image.

Note also that I added in an extra powder room downstairs because you have so much space available. You could just make that area additional storage. Or, get rid of the powderroom and most of the storage space and you would have a space large enough to use as another sitting area instead of an "art gallery" if you wanted to go in that direction.

The main floor however turned out to be MUCH more problematic.

First off, those new garage wall measurements showed that I had a lot less room than I thought for the masterbath and closets. And, there isn't a whole lot of room along the back wall to position BOTH the dining room and the great room.

Here is the best idea I've come up with thus far. By bumping the dining room a little way under the bedroom, I was able to keep the great room a reasonable size and keep its long axis along the back window wall so that you can still aim for making the great room look like your inspiration picture.

I personally don't like that the kitchen and dining room are separated from each other... but if you only use the dining room for formal dinners, this might not bother you too much. I do like that this plan lets you fit in an extra row of cabinetry and countertop along the left side of the kitchen. Perfect for serving those buffet dinners from!

I'm also not sure whether I like the angled hallway leading to the back door - but it was either that or a hallway with several jigs/jogs to get around the dining room. I do like that you can see down the hallway towards the master bedroom but don't look right at the garage door. The smaller triangular closet that is formed should be useable as a broom closet and the larger triangular closet can be used as a small pantry. Sorry but there isn't room for a larger one. I also don't like that there is no place for any cubbies or other coat/boot storage as you come in from the garage. But I really don't see any space for carving out space for cubbies except possibly from the edge of the shared closet.

And, as you realized when you suggested making the switches, the laundry room loses its window.

But, on the plus side, you do get that view of the lake from the front door that you wanted!

Anyway, I think that this is about the best that I can do. I keep hoping Summerfield will jump in b/c I've no doubt she'll see possibilities that I've entirely overlooked.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 9:19PM
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Just occurred to me that the front door should probably be flipped so that it swings the other way. AND, that wall between the stairwell and kitchen COULD be a 42" high pony wall...just high enough to hide the stove and cabinetry from the front door. Use a ceiling mounted fume hood over the stove but have the wall open on both sides. Then you could REALLY get a view of the lake when you come thru the front door. And the kitchen would get light from the front windows as well as from the side window.

Only problem would be that you wouldn't be left with many places to have wall cabinets in the main kitchen area. You would still be able to have 10 feet of wall cabinets over the buffet serving counter on the left tho so that might compensate.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:29PM
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Bevangel, we are on the same page with your last post!! See what I have drawn up here... the bottom of the den is cut off a little...

I have a 42" wall drawn in on the opposite side of the stairs- that's where I put a buffet. I changed the laundry/mud room and added a full bath. With our house now, people are wanting a 4th bedroom (or additional bedroom besides the master on the main floor). I have a den that could be converted into a bedroom, but only have a powder room. I don't want to make that mistake again;)

I think I would put guest coats in the den closet (to the right).

The laundry room... do you like where I put the door (from the hallway), or should I put it where the bench is- closer to the master bedroom? Then I could do an L shape counter where the old door was. What do you think?

I like how you changed the lower level. I would probably take out the powder and use it for storage.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 11:17PM
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ummm - I'm not sure you CAN shift the door out to the garage to the side like that. Garage floors are usually a few inches to several feet LOWER than the floor of the house. (I think the reason is so that poisonous vapors -which are heavier than air- have a place to settle in the garage rather than entering the house.) Depending on how tall you make your ceilings in your walk-out basement, your garage floor could easily wind up being a a foot or more lower than the house floor...which means you would need 2 or 3 steps going up from the garage into the house. Your garage simply isn't wide enough to have these sticking out on the side. They'd get in the way of your tires...and be in the way when you tried to open the car door. I suspect the whole reason for that notch is to provide room for a couple of steps down into the garage.

I totally understand the desire to have a full bath so that the office can be converted to a fourth bedroom if need be. However, it has always been a huge no no to me to put a bathroom where one can look directly into the bathroom from the kitchen or any designated dining room. It's just too unappetizing a view. Plus if anybody makes a stink, I don't want the vapors drifting to my eating or food prep areas before the they've had plenty of time to dissipate. LOL!

Also, in my experience, guests sometimes seem uncomfortable using a bathroom that opens directly off of ANY public living space. There is just a sense that such bathrooms are not really private... that maybe someone will hear you flush or something. A friend of mine has a house with two poweder room downstairs. One opens right off of one corner of her great room. The other is 30 or 40 feet down a narrow twisty hallway thru her mudroom next to the garage. She regularly throws parties with 50 to 75 guests in attendance. You would think the powder-room that opens off the great room would get a lot of use and the one that was hidden away would almost never get used. Instead it is the exact opposite. People will actually stand in line in the hallway to use the hidden away powder room even when the one up front is standing empty. Everyone just feels that the front powder room isn't private enough.

Perhaps you could take the bathroom and office closet space and divide it vertically to create a bathroom that opens off of the office and a walk in storage closet next to it. Having guests go thru your office to reach the powder room might not be really appealing to you but it would be better than having the bathroom open up directly into the kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:47AM
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The plans that were drawn by the builder actually had the garage door more where I have the laundry sink drawn in (with a few steps). I thought it would actually be more out of the way if it was towards the corner more. On the plans, the bump out area says "shelves".
I totally agree with you on the bathroom placement. That is why I drew in a little notch so the door would have some privacy. It would be private from the great room, but it is still close to the kitchen. Maybe I switch the bathroom and laundry room? The laundry would end up in it's original location, but I would still have the issue with the door to the bathroom.
If I split the closet and bathroom vertically, do you think there is a way to create a notch so the bath door is still off the hallway, but faces the front door? Kind of like what I had drawn, but with the door moved?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Re the garage door placement - oh my gosh, you're right! The original plans do show the garage door on the side. For some reason I got it in my head that it was in the "notch" at the back of the garage and then I never looked again. My bad. It would have freed me up so MUCH to know that the garage door didn't have to be at the back of the garage. And I see that the original basement plan says 8'9" walls. That's probably plenty tall. So if the original designer figured no steps would be needed with 8'9" ceilings, you should be fine putting the door on the side too.

Re revising the front bath and closet. No, I don't think you would have room for an offset like you currently have if the bathroom is rotated. I was thinking you would have the bathroom open out into the office so you wouldn't need an offset.

Definitely if the bathroom opens to the kitchen or foyer, you need some kind of offset. Part of the purpose of an offset is that, psychologically, it suggests to people that the sounds they make beyond the second door won't be heard. The other part of the purpose of an offset is that having two doors creates a kind of "tunnel" effect that limits the view into the room beyond the second door. But, the further apart the two doors are from each other, the more the view beyond the second door is restricted. Your offset is so small I'm not sure it would really do much to restrict the view.

So, how about this instead...

Leave the bathroom where it is but flip it so that all the fixtures are up against the laundry room wall (better for running pipes anyway if you kind of keep things clustered). Then, instead of an offset opening, go ahead and include the linen area with the vanity and divide the entire space in half so that the toilet and tub are in a separate room behind a second door. That way the entire vanity room acts as an offset for the toilet/tub room and that toilet/tub area is what really needs to be made more private. With 5 feet between the inner and outer door, the tunnel effect will very much limit the areas of the kitchen and foyer from which you would be able to see into the toilet room at all.

You could use two 28" wide doors or, if you want wider doorways, make the inner door a pocket door.

And, with the fixtures up against the laundry room wall, the two doors will be pretty much be lined up with the edge of the kitchen countertop next to the stairwell. So, only folks standing along that one edge of the kitchen will have a view of anything more than the blank wall of the vanity room.

The trade off would be that the vanity would be visible from the stairwell and a portion of the foyer as well as from the edge of the kitchen. But I don't think most people are all that concerned about privacy when washing hands. And I don't think I'd really mind seeing a pretty vanity from the foyer and part of the kitchen. Toilet tho, that is a different matter.

Wonder if they make some sort of device that automatically slowly and softly closes a pocket door that is left open??? Or maybe you could just have the installer put the pocket door in so that it is ever so slightly out of level. Than gravity would probably make the door slide closed on its rollers. At least that is what happens with the pocket door I have separating my garage and workshop areas...only in my case, the door tends to open by itself if I don't latch it closed.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Summerfield, do you have any opinions on these last plans? Any other ideas? Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Summerfield is very generous with her time and talents on this forum and may not have chimed in this on thread simply because, without the slab dimensions she didn't feel that there was much she could do to help you. And by the time you had the exact slab dimensions available, she had quit reading the thread.

So, you might try dropping her an email and asking for her input now that you've got more to work with. To do so, find a thread where Summerfield has posted and click on the "My Page" link next to her name. That will take you to a page where she has a link that says "Send me an email". Click on that and GW will forward your email directly to her.

It will probably help if you reprise the high points for her and let her know that you now have a sketch with exact dimensions for the slab and what you think is a pretty good start on a plan but that you would really appreciate any suggestions she might have to make it better. Copy the address for this thread so she can go right to it but offer to email her the pictures and detailed sketches so she doesn't have to read clear thru this thread.

I'd love to see what Summerfield could do with this!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 6:38PM
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