Where do I put the front door? Design issues

CamGJune 8, 2012

Hi everyone,

I've posted this plan in this and the kitchen forums before. It's currently out to several contractors for estimates, and I think I'm as close as we're going to get until I get a better idea on costs and put it into a more accurate CAD program. I will repost a full set of plans for another round of your wonderful suggestions what I can. But, in the meantime, I noticed the other day that the front door is not centered on the house:


The front of this place should look something like the front of this house (other than the garage and bump out on second floor):

Which obviously requires the front door to be centered. However, if I center the front door, our small foyer gets crowded:

What do I do? I can try to make the house asymmetrical by moving the garage forward and in front of the house, but that would push the whole house deeper into my fairly shallow lot and really cut down the backyard. If the front door is nearly in the center, but off by a foot or two, I think it will look very odd. Thoughts? Thanks!

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I would do as in your second alternative, but I would also try to move the staircase backwards as I feel it looked tight even with the door in the original location. What's underneath the stairway, a pantry/closet or basement?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Thanks for the thought. There is a stairway to basement underneath the stairs. If I put the door in the center of the entry and move the stairs back, I begin to really cut into the dinning room area, plus it creates some wasted space to the right side of the door. I wish there was some way to make the house look asymmetrical so it wouldn't be an issue--then I wouldn't have to have two big windows into the mudroom just to be the same as those into the den. But it's hard to see how to do that without increasing the size significantly or moving the garage around a lot, which again reduces the size of my backyard significantly (not to mention increases the amount of exterior walls and thus cost).

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:16PM
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Put in 6' wide double front door. Use the right hand side as main entry/exit. When you need to move a couch or fridge or something, you will be thrilled that you have a 6' opening to move it through. Plus, furniture for upstairs can go right up the stairs with the left hand side open.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:32PM
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Keep the centered doorway and swing it the other way, against the stairs. That gives you a better traffic path into the home and achieves the symmetry that you wish.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:37PM
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I would want the doorway more centered...but I can see you not wanting the entry too small. What about taking out the broom closet and moving the entry wall over about 18" so you can have a wider entry? I would want a window on each side of the front door, for symmetry.

This would make the mudroom narrower than the den, but that's true in many of these country plans, where the living room is wider than the dining room (usual front rooms). The mudroom would still have two benches for family and the entry now has room, for a bench and hooks for company. Also space for a hall table, across from the powder room.

One other thing...you're only showing 3' between the island and the desk. If that's the measurement, before the chair is pulled out (with someone sitting there) that's too close. I would add another foot and make the island a little smaller...or move the powder room down into the closet area, so you can recess the fridge/desk area and have more room, without shrinking the island. From Cottage house plans

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 3:01PM
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I like the idea of a double door entry to keep it symmetrical. It bugs me when a house is traditional like this and looks nearly symmetrical but it's not.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 12:56AM
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I agree with theballs & done_again. The single door in the original with a single sidelight will look "off" and would bug the you-know-what out of me personally every time I drove up to the house. Even with the door centered with a single sidelight bugs me. Even in the similar house photo, the door is centered with sidelights on either side. The double door option gives you plenty of light in the foyer making it seem more airy, the right hand door opens in the same space as the original door giving you plenty of space in the foyer when the door is open, and you get your symmetry. Double doors do make moving furniture in and out soooooooo much easier and saves alot of touching up paint & sheetrock later! I took your similar house pic & replaced the doors with the ones theballs posted so you could get a visual.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:21AM
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