Building a House and have questions

ashleyhadamsJune 21, 2014

We are very close to start building and have a few questions regarding sizes of stuff. It's hard to realize how big something is by just numbers. We feel like everything has decent size except maybe our his and her closets. We have 2 separate closets and both measure 5x6.5. This worries me not just me but for my wife. I know she would like a nice walk in closet because she has a ton of clothes and loves to keep them organized. I don't see another way to change the plans to accommodate any changes to make them bigger. If you see anything else we may need to change interior wise let me know. We are closing off the living area for additional bonus room. Sorry not everything has measurements but the person who did our plans gave us the numbers on each section of the house.

Sorry couldn't get the house plans to load... Try the link

Also what do you think of the exterior. Does the porch look proportional to the rest of the house? Man I loved the plans but as we get closer to starting I'm starting to second guess alot of stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: house plans

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If you wanted a house plan with nice walk in closets, this is not the plan for you. At 6.5x5 - these are barely walk in. A rack of clothes takes up 2 feet of space. You need 3' of space just to maneuver around. So you ended up with only 6.5' of hanging space. So you have a tiny reach in closet that was turned into a walk in just to get that pretty little label that makes buyers go ooh and aah, and feel like they can brag about their walk in closet. These closets are made to look bigger on the plan since the hanging rod is drawn in, not the area where the clothes actually hang.

Since the closets are so small, you most likely will just walk in, grab your clothes and go somewhere else to actually get dressed. You won't have the room in these closets to keep your dressers, so now you will be walking in and out of the bathroom all the time with your clothes.

I see a ton of other problems with this plan that makes the closets the least of your concern.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:01AM
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I know and understand that it seems that our closets will be a problem for us. Something we have to deal with or make the decision to fix it. What kind of other problems to you all see in the plans? With you saying there is several other issues it makes me really nervous and considering finding another set of plans. We have already got an appraisal from the loan office for these plans and all so we are really close to starting these but making me second guess our plans.

We like the country / ranch style homes with front porch and dormers and needing to keep the square footage around 2500-2700 sq feet heated without the garage.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:37AM
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I think you could do a more efficient master bath with either a large shower only or a tub shower that is larger than standard but not a large garden tub as shown. Most people don't use the garden tub enough to warrant the amount of space it takes. Then you could get a bigger walk in closet, I don't think it's necessary to have his/hers in a small plan.

The entry to the master bedroom is in a very odd location and you will see right into the bedroom from the great room unless you always keep the door closed.

There is a lot of wasted real estate in the shared bath with essentially 11 feet x 3+ feet for a "hallway" with the toilet at the end of it. 35 square feet, in a different layout is a "standard" small bath. Your plan has the same amount wasted on circulation.

The uneven end wall in the great room created by the fireplace wall and the wall for the (oddly located) powder room would drive me crazy.

It's also going to be very hard to furnish the great room and the living room because of their openness and relationship to each other.

I don't think you are getting a lot for your 2500 square feet with this plan. I am not trying to be harsh but you have reservations already and I see some things about it, like pixie does, that make it -- just odd. Right now it's on paper. I realize it could delay your build, but I think you could find a better plan for your 2500 sq. ft.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 12:22PM
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If you went ahead and built this (it's cute on the outside) I'd totally do a service door instead of a window next to the kitchen desk (and do something other than a low desk), then you could have some potted herbs in that little courtyard.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 2:41PM
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I would really dislike the master bedroom directly opening to the kitchen. I would want anteroom or a liitle hall or SOMETHING that keeps the room from being directly open to another room.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:49PM
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I like the plan. I think you could re-design the master bath to get a bigger closet. I would suggest putting it on the Bathroom forum or starting a new thread on this forum and ask for ideas. Someone on here can figure out how to do it and your worries will be eliminated.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:51PM
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The garage is too small to be usable unless you drive compact cars. An SUV is 18' long, so you need a minimum of 22' INTERIOR just to be able to park the cat and walk around it. You'll also need at least 22' Interior in width so you can open your doors to get out with both vehicles parked in the garage. Once you take out your wall widths your garage is 20x20 interior. And you haven't even attempted to store a bicycle, law mower, snowblower etc. your bump against the house isn't really usable for storage because your door is there. And your bump out in front is an expensive bump out to build that doesn't buy you any space.

Entering from the garage is no mud room or coat closet. So everyone will come in and go straight for the kitchen desk and throw everything there. And then will walk across the whole house in muddy shoes to get to their bedroom closet.

Also, the flow into the house from the garage is odd. You come in, are facing the laundry room. Turn left and walk smack into the desk. You have to walk into the kitchen, and then decide to manuever around the wall into the dining room, or around the kitchen island into the eating area.

The front porch doesn't seem deep enough to be usable. You'd want at least 6' to have chairs with space to walk around, more space if you wanted comfy chairs like rockers or Adirondacks.

Similar problem entering the front door. No cost closet to store guest coats. Not even space to put a little bench, or entry table, or dirty boots.

The closets in bedrooms 2 and 3 are about as useless as walk in closets as the closets in the MBR. I would bump the entry door for bedroom 2 to the wall adjacent to the powder room. Combine the 2 closets into 1 reach in closet for bedroom 2. That bedroom would then have 10' of closet space. You'd only have to have the closet 2.5-3' deep. No need to pretend to be a walk in.

Both bedrooms could use more windows. I'd add windows to the side wall of bedroom 2. And I'd add an additional window or 2 to the back wall of bedroom 3. I know the architect was going for,symmetry, but it's the back of the house. I think natural,light in the bedroom is more important.

I'd be tempted to skip the jack and Jill bath, put bedroom 3 in the corner, and do a shared bath off the hall, opposite the powder room. It would give bedroom 3 more windows and light, you could design a more efficient bathroom with only 1 door, and and you could get a more efficient closet in bedroom 3.

Because of the big stoop on the deck, the deck isn't very usable. You probably have room for a grill, but really no room for seating. Why not just make the deck level,with the walkout. Why not have the deck extend across the back of the great room? Or even across the mbr as well? Make it an outdoor living space?

There are no walls between great room, living room, dining room, and even kitchen. So it ends up being one large space without definition. It will take a lot of skill to decorate and define. You want to have defined spaces, yet be harmonious with each other. Even if you can achieve that, there is no privacy anywhere. Think of having a few couples over. After dinner the guys want to watch the football game, and the ladies want to go sip wine and chat. No way to separate the 2.

As others have mentioned, entering the mbr off the kitchen is odd. Not just because it is off the kitchen, but because the door is opposite a run of counters. Either plan on keeping your door closed all the time, or change the entry.

We've already discussed the problems with the mbr closets. The master bath and closets are a huge area - almost as big as your bedroom itself. The whole area could be redesigned to make the area a lot more functional.

I also hate the courtyard between the garage and the house. Being surrounded by 3 walls, unless this faces directly south, you have no hopes of getting any sunlight there and being able to grow anything. Plus being enclosed, you won't get much light in the window adjacent to the desk. It adds additional jogs to the foundation, corners to frame and build. Why not make it a straight run, use that space as entry to the garage, mudroom or laundry or powder room, or anything useful?

As others have mentioned, this is technically a generous sized plan. However so many areas are skimping on space to make the house feel cramped. Or so big to be unusable.

This post was edited by pixie_lou on Sat, Jun 21, 14 at 22:25

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:15PM
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I like the plan also. IMO, I see no problem with the door to the MB in that area. How can someone look into the MB from the Great Room????? You can walk in their first thing and make a cup of coffee. I agree about the Mbath. Does 'anybody' really use a soaking tub these days?????'s really just eye candy that helps sell the house.....but h@ll nobody 'actually' uses them...but you still have to keep clean.....dust! Look at making a really nice walk in shower in this area and that should give more room for the least for the wife. As for the garage......anybody these days that drive those honking SUV's usually end up parking in the driveway unless they built their house with a garage especially to hold those monsters. In those plans, you can always make it a few feet wider but I doubt longer with the window there.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:26PM
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Robin - you bring up a very valid point - if the garage you build isn't big enough to hold your vehicle, then why bother to build it at all?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 11:22PM
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I really like the exterior of this house -- but I agree with much of what's been said thusfar about the function of this plan. I think one of the big reasons for building instead of buying something ready-made is that we all want a house that'll flow well and work for our lives. I see too many issues with this house:

- If more than two people live in the house, it's nice to have a separate living area . . . but it makes no sense to have a great room and a living room that are open to one another. You'll have no privacy either in terms of sightlines or sound, so these two rooms do not work well.

- The pantry takes up the space of a walk-in . . . but provides only the storage of a reach-in. If you could add just 1' to it, you could have storage on two sides and could justify this space.

- I agree that the master bedroom entrance isn't ideal; however, it alone wouldn't be a make-or-break for me.

- You have a 20' wide bedroom -- even with a king-sized bed, which is 76 inches wide (I think), that's a wide bedroom. You could easily add a reach-in closet on the wall shared with the breakfast nook.

- The bathroom, though indicative of today's style, is awful. It's overly compartmentalized and no bathroom should contain FIVE doors -- plus a shower door, actually bringing the total up to six. And two of the doors knock against one another. The tub's going to look "squished" between those two closets, and the sight line upon entering the bathroom is poor. With so much space allotted to the bathroom/closet, you can have a show-stopper of a bathroom . . . instead of this.

- The secondary bath suffers from the same problem: Too many doors, too much compartmentalization. Overly complicated and bloated in size, but not functional. Note that you don't even have enough floor space in this bathroom to place a trash can and a hamper.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 11:27PM
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I don't know why, but this plan popped into my head when I saw your potential plan. Not sure that it meets all your criteria and I'm sure tweaking would be necessary as well, but you might want to look at it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kensington Park by Frank Betz

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:39AM
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I know what you mean about second guessing yourself on the details when it comes to building your house. We are in the same boat as you right now as we are having our final blue prints drawn up this week.

In my opinion, I like most things about your plan. I think the porch is just fine and makes the house look really cute. As far as the closets go in the master bathroom, yes they could be a little bigger, but I also want to assure you that these closets are still very usuable closets. Our last house had a master bathroom just like this. Me and my husband loved having separate closets. His closet was never full. Mine on the other hand was full, but I still felt like I was able to get all of my stuff in there. Plus I still had room to get dressed in the closet itself if I wanted too. We had two hanging rods on one side of the closet with a shelf right above the lower rod. The other side was one single rod higher up for the longer clothing items. Plus we had a shelf above both upper rods to store things above the clothes that were hanging.

However, the one thing I didn't really like about our bathroom, or yours, was the shower, It always felt so small to me. It was fine for my husband, but coming from a women who has to shave her legs all the time, it drove me nuts!

Also, could the desk area possibly be made into a coat closet since you don't have one? Maybe even combine the desk area with the laundry area into one room so that you could have a small mudroom?

I will agree that your garage is small.

When it comes down to it, however, the decision is completely yours on every detail of your house. What others think will work better, cannot always work for you depending on several factors. I got a lot of great ideas for our plans here on GW, but I also went against the grain when it came to some of the suggestions. Just do what you think will make you happy in the long run.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:17AM
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Thanks everyone for the comments... We made several small changes to the house plans extended the porch, we closed in the living room for an additional room or play room/ man room, and a few added and subtracted on some of the rooms dimensions. Thanks for the help!! We wish we could put everything in a house we want and build a 4,000 square foot house so we could have every room the dimensions we wanted but financially we are building us a comfortable and affordable house.

Thanks again for the help and this site is a ton of help when it comes down to asking questions and getting some help and opinions.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 8:13AM
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