New floorplan for ground floor - Last edit - seeking critiques

HiHoHiHoMay 3, 2014

Hi Everyone,

My husband and I have been working with a draftsman on our new home. I think our first floor is just about done. There are a few minor changes we will make, but was hoping for this community to take a look before sending it to the architect for approvals. Any thoughts? Are we making any stupid mistakes that we will regret once built? Any suggestions, comments, complaints, praises are welcome and greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much in advance.

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Is there a door to the hallway at the far end of the FR? If it is just an opening, I'd close that. I wouldn't want to see into the mudroom through there.

Might you want to put your office door on the bathroom end of the hall instead of the open end? (how will you use this room?)

Otherwise, I like it!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:25AM
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I love all of the storage!

The entry seems huge, almost the same size as the living room. So either the entry is too big, or the living room is too small to me : )

There is an awful lot of wasted square footage of hallways, Especially between the garage and stairs. If the garage entry entered the kitchen sooner, with bathroom access, all of the extra hall could be a bigger office.

Should the office be more separate from the kitchen? The door opens to the kitchen now and would be noisy if someone is trying to work. The door position could be changed.

You know best how your family lives and will figure out what is right for you. I just always notice dark interior hallways and have enjoyed living in houses without the dark tunnel effect.

Have fun !


    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:27AM
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I love the huge pantry! We are planning one very similar. And the nook is nice too.

We live in a home currently where the garage is not in proximity to the kitchen, and in our build (still in planning stage) we are placing the kitchen nearer the garage to save steps when bringing in the groceries. Just a thought.

I second lafdr regarding the hallways.

Isn't planning/dreaming fun? We are still researching, and gathering a list of local builders, draftsmen, and architects. Am I correct in that you are just paying an architect to review the plans drawn by the draftsmen? I would imagine that this is a significant cost savings. Would you mind sharing details? I had thought of this too, as the architects fees are so high.

This forum has been so helpful, and we have not even hired a builder yet! I look forward to seeing your progress.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 8:55AM
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The mudroom is so spacious, lucky you! But, and I don't know how many kids you have or how people go to and from their daily activities, but would a mudroom door to the front of the house be helpful?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:04AM
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Thanks for all the feedback so far! Hope none of the following comes off as defensive- I do want criticism :) Just explaining more, and some of the logic. Here are some responses...

kirkhall- I don't know how I feel about the opening either (there is no door, it's just a walkway). We added it due to the long and kind of awkward hallway from the garage to the main living area. This created a shortcut to the family room (most used area) and also let light into the hallway to keep it feeling somewhat open. The logic is that it was cheaper to have the opening now (no door) and add drywall later to cover if it was too weird, than to have it close and possibly not be able to open it in the future due to ductwork and who knows what else in the wall. We will probably be adding a door to partition off the mudroom (right after the lockers) in case it is messy and we want to hide it. I like your idea of switching the office door location. That probably would work much better! Thanks!!!

lafdr- I agree that the entryway is big, but as far as the rest of the homes in the area, we did scale it back as much as the draftsman (actually woman) felt we could. She felt we couldn't cut the opening to the living room anymore so the width had to cover the stairs and the living room entrance. We did modify the stairs from having the 90 deg turn 1/2 way up the run to having it after only a few steps as this made the stairs more shallow, and decreased the entry size. The living room and the dining room are really just one big room so we can make the partition wherever (I think we will actually remove the partition in the drawing and just build some moveable counters or something so we can figure out what works best for us)...we are not the kind of people that really need a living room but we figured it was nice to have in case we had a large gathering and needed to add an extra table for the dining room. Also, it connects the dining room to the front of the house so you can get in from the kitchen or entry.

AnitaLadyRose- Thanks! I actually did want the kitchen nearer to the garage. The problem is, our lot is wide and somewhat narrow (220 feet wide by 150 feet deep)). The house has to be setback 50 feet from the road and I wanted to conserve as much space for the backyard as possible since I imagine we will use that more than the front. By putting the garage inline with the house, rather then say in front of the family room (making it close to the kitchen), we save probably close to 20 feet of backyard space. I completely agree with you- wish we could have it closer to the kitchen but I am not sure it is worth the tradeoff in the backyard...This creates the problem of the long hallway to the kitchen area. We do not like it either. If you have any ideas how to get around it let us know! Wish the lot was deeper than it was wide :(

We are building in a new development. We were able to 'modify an existing plan'. They have tons of plans (or you could bring your own) and then they have a 'cheap' draftsman you an use to modify however you want. I am pretty anal so I took a plan a liked and redrew it all myself many times. In general rooms are in the same location and the stairs (structural) did not move but it is quite different. This is why I need some feedback (this site is so great for this whole house building process). The draftsman just basically draws whatever I ask for! It's cheap and lets me get what I want (none of their plans had a huge pantry, a big mudroom, etc.) But it is a lot of work for me, and since I have no expertise, I second guess everything. The architect will stamp in the end like you said. We interviewed some architects to design for us but it was just too expensive. This is so much cheaper! We got the draftsmen through the guy who sold us the lot. We had to buy the land outright, then we are doing a construction management process to build the house (again to save money). Keep me updated on your process! It is stressful because my husband wants to get building asap but I want to make sure we get things right and take my time.

bpathome- hmm never thought of that? I added the one to the back since I see the kids primarily playing there and then leaving the house through the garage to go to the front (we will have the bikes and toys in there). It is something to consider! We actually only have 1 baby now (but of course are planning for more) so we have no idea how we will use things yet. Just planning for the future!

Thanks again! Hope I didn't leave anything out. In a rush to leave now but will check back later! Keep the feedback coming! We are meeting draftsman today to work on second floor. I will post once it's closer to final.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:05PM
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I love the placement of the stairs when you come in the entry....that's what we were going for! How many bedrooms upstairs?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 2:38PM
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Michelle1973- Thanks! It will be 4 bedrooms and a playroom.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 11:22PM
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I'd extend the family room straight to the garage wall, eliminating that hallway altogether. Instead of having that little jut in the foundation for the covered porch, you could have the porch extend off the back. Or you could place a nice pair of sliders/French doors onto the deck with steps down from the deck.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 7:16AM
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I'm by no means the expert, but in the past we had a home with garage access directly to the basement. It was WONDERFUL and will be a must have in our next build.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:09PM
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