Ok, here are our plans - let me know if there is anything ..

andryMay 30, 2012

Hi all - I am (hopefully!) attaching my house plans. A little background - I live in a house I'd never thought I'd leave. But life happens - last year I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and my father is living alone at 82 and in great health, but is not comfortable living alone forever.

Then, a double lot became available and dirt cheap (bank owned) in our neighborhood. And here we are.

So the house is designed with a 1st floor Master suite that will be for my dad, for now. The other bedrooms are on the 2nd floor (I can still do stairs ok for now) The central coat closet on the 1st floor and the large linen closet on the second floor are being framed so that an elevator could easily be put in there. It is still possible we�ll just put one in now.

Some notes:

1st floor master suite is set up as my Dad wants it - sitting room will be more of an office as he likes. Not sure about the windows over the bed area v. next to the bed.

Office will be a den as well. Desks may or may not be built in (budget!)

Butler's Pantry will actually be more of a wine bar.

I know some don't like fireplaces. We will have sealed fireplace. We have one at the beach house that we use all the time. I'm not 100% sold on one in the upstairs master bedroom, but DH wants it.

Mudroom I haven't quite figured out. We have 4 cubbies in our current house, and that hasn't worked out as well as I had hoped so I'm working on other ideas.

Flooring will probably be American cherry in a natural finish everywhere except mud/laundry area, baths and bedrooms. I wanted cork, lost the battle with DH. My RA is really hard on my feet and ankles, so that's why I chose a softer wood.

Windows will more likely be a 2 over 1 configuration, more in the Craftsman style. Stone will wrap around the garage doors too. Front door will be Craftsman style.

Kitchen � there is a prep sink on the wall on the other side of the island. I have a full kitchen plan I will post in the kitchen forum.

Screened porch is small on purpose � the cat and I are the only ones who will use it. My DH hates to eat outside anyway because of his allergies. So picture a cute bistro table for me and my coffee and the cat watching the birds!! Door will be at the back of it, not in the middle. And yes, there is a door into the house there, it just didn�t make it on to this version!

Master Bath- yes, I know that's a weird little alley for the dormer, but I think it will be nice. We will have built in shelves on the sides, and a cute little chandelier.

Piano upstairs I know is weird. It was the only good place to put it and I really wanted to keep it � baby grand, family heirloom.

Finally, the style is what I would best describe as Craftsman-esque. I like the style, and plan to bring Craftsman design touches inside too, but in a limited way. I don't intend to be totally true to the Craftsman design with furniture, etc (partially because I don't have any!)

Thank you for any suggestions - we're about to sign off on the plans to go to construction drawings for permit. Hope to break ground in July.

The first floor:

The second floor:

The front exterior (South facing)

The west exterior (also facing a street - corner lot)

The rear elevation

The east elevation

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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

A lot of windows shown on the elevation drawings are not shown on the floorplans. Be sure your architect makes all the drawings show the same things...otherwise there could be confusion down the road.

So sorry to hear about your RA. Planning for an elevator is a smart move! But may I ask why you've decided you want/need two staircases going up to the second floor? Building staircases isn't cheap and your house really isn't all that big. If it were me, I'd skip making the staircase behind the garage go up to the second floor and put the savings from that into going ahead and having the elevator installed now. (I assume the elevator would go where the 2nd floor linen closet is.)

If your father is in good health at 82, he could easily live with you another 10 years...maybe even 15. And, the last thing you need to be dealing while suffering from RA and assisting an aging parent is the mess of a home renovation. I'd do the elevator now if at all possible and cut back on things like maybe granite countertops instead.

Getting rid of the second staircase up would also allow you to make your 2nd floor laundry larger and more user friendly. Right now it is basically three skinny hallways. UGH! I'm sorry but that is a horrible design.
(Speaking of which, I don't really see any need for a second doorway into the guestroom/bonus room. and having that second door just forces you to have a second hallway.)

I'd get rid of the staircase, move the laundry room door up near the master closet and then incorporate that back hallway that currently lead down to the second door to the guest room into a nice large closet for the guest room...or maybe some linen storage to take the place of the linen room that is going to become the elevator shaft.

Also, by cutting out the second staircase up, you can enlarge your first floor mudroom and make it more user friendly as well. So, unless you have strong feelings about keeping both staircases, you might want to consider cutting one out.

As for having the piano upstairs, my only question is how are you going to get it up there? I've never owned a baby grand so have no idea how hard it would be to get one up a flight of stairs. You might want take the house plans by a piano moving company and get their input before you sign off on the plans.

Also, while I see no need for two doors opening into the guest/bonus room from different sides, if you are going to have the piano up on the second floor in that "piano room" alcove, have you thought about possible putting a set of double pocket doors between the piano room and the guestroom/bonus room? With double 36" or 42" wide pocket doors, you would have the option of leaving them open and turning the guest/bonus room into a listening space where people could sit and enjoy a piano recital played on the piano in the alcove. Plus, imagine how pretty that nice large bonusroom/piano space could look with the doors pushed all the way open. And, when you do have guests, closing the pocket doors would still give them plenty of privacy since there is likely to be little reason for someone to wander down to play the piano when guests are staying in the bonus room.

As for the kitchen, so run your plan by the gurus on the kitchen forum. Right off the bat it strikes me that while the fridge is in a reasonably good location for access by folks in the breakfast nook, it is not in a very good spot for use by the cook who will have to walk around the island to reach stuff like butter/milk while in the midst of prepping dinner. Also, a prep sink on the back counter is not likely to get much use because it is "around the island" from the stove. I suspect you will find that you wind up using the main sink all the time because all you have to do to reach it from the stove is pivot around.

Just my thoughts. Hope some of it proves helpful.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 11:31PM
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kirkhall

No comment on the shutters? Well, I'll comment. I like shutters, and am not a shutter purist, but some on here are. They won't like your shutters since there is no way they would actually be sized to be functional.

Generally, I think your kitchen design, as posted here, has a long way to go--for many of the reasons that Bevangel stated, but also, the stove top in the island. That is also not a good arrangement. One option would be to reverse your kitchen direction--ie put the bar stools on the other side of the island; cooktop on inside wall (where I think you described the prep sink will be) and clean up sink on the island, for example... That would actually work with traffic flow, but it doesn't give guests any "view" out a back window if they are sitting at the island.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 11:57PM
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andry

Great comments so far - thank you!

Funny, i have never really seen the point of the second set of stairs, but my husband likes it. I will point out what we will gain by losing them and see what he goes for. Builder likes losing them too, because it gives him a good place to put in a chase for hvac, etc.

Funny, ANY laundry room is such an improvement on what I have (in a closet right at my back door/mudroom) that the skinniness of what is on the plans didn't bother me! Ha! Now it does . . .

I've done several variations on the kitchen, so far this is what I like best, BUT I see your points and will tinker more. DH likes the idea of the cooktop in the center, as he loves to cook and would love to cook with people sitting watching him ;) His own little food network. We'll see though.

I know the windows aren't on the inside plans yet, we've talked about it, they will be on future plans, he just did the elevations to show how they would look from the outside where he plans for them to go. We already changed a couple.

Shutters -eh. Its the style of the neighborhood. We'll see, but that's something we can decide on later.

I think you're right about just putting the elevator in now. So does my builder. I'll start researching.

Keep em coming!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 9:05AM
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minneapolisite

Visit the kitchen forum for a ton of advice on your kitchen. I'm just popping in to add my PSA about island cooktops--if there is a possibility that children/grandchildren will be in your kitchen while the cooktop is hot, I'd advise against it. I wasn't a dumb kid and my mom was a very attentive mom---but somehow I managed to get a VERY serious burn on my palm from an island cooktop. They moved it when they remodeled.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 9:12AM
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andry

Thanks! The cooktop will be induction with 27" before the stools. My kids like to be with me when I cook, now right next to the stove. Figured a big island might even be safer.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 9:51AM
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