Critique on 1st floor design

bob4321June 27, 2012

Thanks to GW for helping on the second floor - time for the first floor.

Some basic info

- Kitchen - have not been to kitchen designer yet, so layout is preliminary. Island will most likely be one level and rectangular.

- Dining room - want very long room to hold dining room table + extra table for overflow when required.

- Side entrance by the garage will be the day to day entry to the house.

- I talked over with the architect and don't mind the powder room by the front door. Will insulate the room for sound from the dining area. Remember, the front door will not be used that often, and having the bath removes it further from the kitchen which we like.

- there will be a door to the garage on the right side to yard

Thanks ahead

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mydreamhome

How many kids again, bob4321?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 9:21AM
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whallyden

I would be very wary of the unprotected views of the casual dining area from the front door. I would argue that the family dining nook should be among the most private spaces in the house.

Disconnected formal living rooms often go unused -- do you have a plan for yours?

Just my opinion: I hate corner fireplaces.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 9:34AM
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mommyto4boys

My first thought is do you want/need two sets of stairs? Removing the stairs by the mud/laundry area would really give you some extra space to rearrange the area into a spectacular mutil-purpose area.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 9:38AM
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bob4321

mydreamhome - have 3 grown 'kids'. The girls are 24, 23 and 18. They've returned home and 2 will be probably with us for at least 5-10 years (happy to have them home). We have large family gatherings and expect grand kids at some point to come stay over. So space and privacy becomes important at this point.

whalleyden, - not too concerned with the view of the kitchen eating area from the front door. It is a central hangout point in the house. The front door will be rarely used and is solid with hazy or opaque side lites. No real peeking in from the street

You are totally correct about the living room - we rarely use ours now and will probably not use it much. It is more of a music room - piano, vocals and violin that a couple of my kids play, and having it secluded lets them be loud and not bothers others. Major pain point in my house now as the living room is open to the rest of the first floor.

Fireplace was a tough decision, but I don't like the TV over the fireplace and am okay with the corner look.

mommyto4boys - the back stairs is something my wife really wanted after seeing it in a few houses. It also gives my older 'kids' privacy in coming and going to their bedrooms upstairs. I did think of getting rid of it to really open up the back right corner, but for now am staying with it. We are making use of the storage area under the right part of the scissor stair to expand the closet to have room for a small second fridge tucked under the stairs.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 10:00AM
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kirkhall

Could you flip your back stairs so the up to closer to the mudroom?

Why I would do this:
1 By flipping the stairs, you can have your pantry space all in one space.
2. This isn't the primary staircase, and is for the adult girls to have a more private entry/exit from the upstairs. So, the up doesn't need to be nearest the main living space of the house
3. You could more easily flip the cubbies to the right wall of the mudroom. Why do this? Better walk pattern. Right now, you come in the garage, and immediately have to make a tight corner. With cubbies on other side, you can have a "wider" corner and you are less likely to get stuck behind someone coming in that door who has stopped to take off shoes, etc.

What will you put under the back stair landing? Seems like that is wasted space ATM. Could you tuck another set of laundry machines there? Or, maybe your primary set? If the primaries fit, this would be a good place for them; opening up the outside wall for more cubbies/counters/cabinets. I'd also think about removing the door separating the laundry from the mudroom and let it all be one space; perhaps moving the door from outside to the left so that my garage door entry could move "up" so that there is less cramping in the mud-hall. As is, the mudhall seems rather small, now that I describe all of this. What is the width dimension?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 10:30AM
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bob4321

kirkhall,
The stairs were originally flipped with the up towards the right side of the house. I forget the reason for changing them, but we did tuck the fridge under the rise of the right stair.

I totally agree that the landing is wasted. Would make great storage in the laundry area with deep shelves for items like suitcases, mega packages of paper towels....
Guessing the area is approx 5 feet high - so putting washer drier under there would only work for front loaders.

I also like the idea of getting rid of the door to the laundry from the hall and opening it up to the doorway. Could even make the door to the garage open into the garage to clear up more room.

The hallway from the back door is 5'10" so is pretty roomy.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 11:48AM
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kirkhall

The 5' 10" is wall to wall at the back door/garage entrance area, though right? Once you get cubbies in there, it will be more like 3'. What is the distance from the garage wall to the closet bump out wall under the upper stair? (That will give a truer sense of how narrow that hallway is).

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:30PM
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bob4321

The clearance between the bumpout and the garage wall is 3'7". Is a bit narrow.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:48PM
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kirkhall

One more question...
If you aren't planning on frontloaders (and, I know not all people are frontload-people), what do you expect to do with the machines infront of your window? Is that a high window in the mudroom? Will the machines block the window? Will the lid of the washer block the window?

(Okay, that was more than 1 question, but it was one topic).

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 3:41PM
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bob4321

We (my wife) are not front loader people. So, in the current plan, the open top of the machine would block the window. The dryer is front loading, so not an issue. The plans have the windows at approx 4' up.

Not sure it really matter that much to block the back window, but in reality could put one window above the dryer and another window between the countertop and the washer so as not to block it.

The washer and dryer could also be partially tucked under the stair landing. That will have a bit under 5 feet of space under it, and even if just the rear control panel for the machine was under the overhang would save some space.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 4:03PM
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bob4321

As with the 2nd floor, advice on GW has been invaluable and I will appreciating all the advice for many years to come. These plans are going to the construction drawing phase.

kirkhall - thanks for the the input on the rear staircase arrangement. Have switched the stair sides (go up on the right side), moved the mudroom closet to the back so that the hooks and bench are near the front door access. Put the second fridge in the pantry under the stairs. Opened up storage under the stair landing.

Also changed the window in the laundry to a single larger window not over the machines. Not on the drawings but the door to the laundry room will be a pocket door.

Thanks again for the help

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 2:05PM
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kirkhall

(And, will your fridge be recessed into the pantry?)

It looks great Bob. Enjoy your new spaces!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 3:36PM
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bob4321

The fridge will be recessed under the stairs in the pantry. Plenty of clearance for even a 30" door.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 9:31PM
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kirkhall

(I am not sure if you and I are talking about the same fridge... I meant your main kitchen fridge).

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 9:33PM
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bob4321

Sorry, i was on the wrong fridge. As of now, the fridge is not recessed but is counter depth built in.

Not even sure if that is the final fridge location. Will start scheduling time with a kitchen designer to discuss, but is probably a good time to post under the kitchens forum. The basic kitchen layout I like, but questions to wall oven and fridge location are up in the air.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 10:41PM
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mydreamhome

Hi bob4321--didn't want you to think I forgot about you. I've been in the middle of a little craziness of late with my computer and my programs. I'll post something for you over the next couple days...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 9:31PM
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bob4321

mydreamhome - thanks. I did post some comments on whole house audio with sonos on your other post. If you have any questions on it, let me know.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 11:18AM
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mrsmuggleton

I would remove the wall between the meals area and the family room and open that area up for family gatherings.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 4:26AM
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bob4321

We had thought about opening the area, but want the separation to allow for hanging out, watching TV, or reading in the den ( which are the main purposes in my house) without disturbing those in the kitchen area hanging out and talking or eating.

Played with various layouts such as French doors between the rooms, but eventually decided on just a simple opening at the rear affording some noise and activity control.

Leaving it a simple opening also allows the wall to be opened up at a future remodeling if desired.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 8:37AM
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landngarage

It's not terribly expensive to add 16" inches here and there if you leave the windows the same. What I am suggesting is 16" to either side of the window in your living room and 16" to either side of dining room window. You will love the extra space.

How deep is your front porch? 8 feet is a minimum if you plan on using it. Ten foot is better of course.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 3:24PM
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bob4321

The front porch is about 6'. We are not going to use it that much- will probably have a chair or two and a small glider. If it faced a beautiful country meadow or lane, would go with the extra space, but faces a street 40' away.

Not sure what you mean by adding 16". Are you thinking to expand the width of the rooms 32" by adding 16" to either side of the front windows?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 3:54PM
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landngarage

"to expand the width of the rooms 32" by adding 16" to either side of the front windows?"

Yes. Exactly. Symmetry is preserved, big big difference in room size, not much more expensive. 16" is the typical spacing of studs and rafters etc. Your slab would be 64 inches longer. So long as you're not adding windows, extra cabinettes, etc.... shouldn't be too expensive.... IF ...you have builders competing for your business, as you should. You will notice the extra room when you start moving in your furniture into the living rooms and during big family holidays in the dining room.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 4:59PM
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dekeoboe

Symmetry is preserved, big big difference in room size, not much more expensive.... Your slab would be 64 inches longer. So long as you're not adding windows, extra cabinettes, etc.... shouldn't be too expensive.

Really? Where are you building that this is true? Bobs's house is 38' deep; making it 64" longer adds an additional 202 sq ft per floor. Where I live, adding an additional 404 sq ft would not be considered not much more expensive.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 7:45PM
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landngarage

Not all square footage is the same, a point you seem to gloss over. Builders know this... customers who know this get better deals.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 10:49PM
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bob4321

I agree totally that open space is much cheaper to build than area such as
baths or kitchens, but it is an incremental cost to a project that will most certainly cost more than I wish it would. It adds up even quicker when you look at radiant heat per sq foot prices, fancy ceilings, moldings and wainscot.

I have some very generous room sizes for rooms such as the dining room, kitchen and den which we will use, but left living room smallish as rarely used.

It would be great to add the extra space as it would probably make the dining room truly banquet sized, but my original plans for 4300 sq ft are already close to 5000. I added on 4 ft in each dimension to the garage as it was cheap space and I will use the extra room.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 12:14AM
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SummerfieldDesigns

had a chance to tweak your plans , a bit ... perhaps , you can utilise something from these ...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 6:07AM
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auroraborelis

Summerfield, you really pulled together a lot of great elements with this one!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 10:22AM
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bob4321

Summerfield, all I can say is WOW. You really have put together quite a new and innovative design. Will take me some time to digest.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 11:36AM
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DreamHomeDreamer

Summerfield,

What program do you use to draw floorplans?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:41PM
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