Summerfield...what do you think?

lavender_lassJune 2, 2011

Hi! I hope your friends are doing well, after the tornadoes in North Carolina. I know you've been very busy, so if you aren't able to respond, that's okay. I just wanted to let you know what's happened recently :)

We've had record breaking amounts of rain this spring. My poor farmhouse roof has definitely taken a beating and our GC thinks we'll have to completely replace it. This is actually good news, since this means it will be much easier to make a few changes to the roofline.

Combined with that, I found out that a smaller wood stove will fit in the corner with plenty of no problem with the doorway into the kitchen. And, the chimney can go up through the house and out the roof for very little added expense, since this area is being remodeled anyway.

Finally, I showed our original plans to some of the family and they loved the kitchen! The whole cottage, cozy feel was a big hit, so no more worries about tearing out the non-load bearing wall, between the kitchen and dining room!

Anyway, this leads me back to our original plan, with a few modifications, thanks to suggestions from friends and family. I took out the window seat in the living room (it doesn't fit, as we discussed before, because the fireplace's raised hearth sticks out almost three feet. I added a desk under the window, in the dining area (which can use one of the chairs at the table) and put in a back hall. By bumping the hall bath back, it can now be my fancy 'girlie' bathroom and also be used as the powder room. The washer/dryer are on the back wall, so venting is much easier. The mud room opens onto a small covered porch, or the greenhouse.

I added single french doors, at the entry into the hall, from the dining area to the pantry, the back hall to the laundry area and to the basement. Broom closet and linen storage are on the cabinet run that backs onto the kitchen sink, while the freezer is with the washer/dryer...along with some cabinet space, with storage for pull out hampers.

My favorite change is probably the bathroom, since the back hall allows me to flip the plumbing, so that the sink and toilet are on the wall to the other bathroom...and the sink next to the claw foot tub, looks much better than having the toilet there! :)

Here's your plan, with a few modifications...and the second plan shows the perfect greenhouse! Thanks for all your help and I'd like your opinion on these changes. I'm so excited, because I've always loved this kitchen...but I don't think I realized how much, until I brought it back. It's very 'me' and that's the point, isn't it? Thanks again!

And I love the greenhouse you drew on this plan! It's just the right size and will be wonderful during those five to six month winters, we've been having lately.

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Sophie Wheeler

You have a lot of wasted space in your plan. 3 bathrooms, with the large bath not even being the master??? And only one bedroom?? Doesn't make any practical sense, and will be a big waste of money to have that much unneeded and duplicate space.

You have a lot of space devoted to hallways, entry ways, pantry, laundry, mudroom, and other non public spaces that still adds a big burden to your HVAC without adding any significant public space to benefit you or your guests. Yes, all of those spaces are necessary, but they are too large in proportion to the rest of the house. Much too large. Utulity areas should be as small as possible. You could easily add another bedroom from all of the space you are wasting for the utility areas and passageways. That would be more practical in terms of home usage and for resale value.

You aren't placing a premium on windows or sightlines from those windows. Your home will be dark, and if you have 8 ft ceilings, it will be claustrophobic.

It does have some nice details. The kitchen is nicely laid out and the large bath would be great as the master bath as shown on your second drawing. Maybe consider swapping the kitchen with the dining room in order to get more light.

All in all, I think you need to consult a professional. Remodeling is a very expensive endeavor, and you aren't getting your money's worth with this layout. A professional can help you to cut down on the wasted spaces while still giving you a lot of what you need.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 12:50PM
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I'm your name Summerfield? :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 2:21PM
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Well, that's rude lavendar_lass!

YOU posted on a public board.
If you ONLY want summerfield to reply, message him privately.

Otherwise, accept all opinions!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 2:55PM
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Actually, my understanding was that on all the forums, when a post is addressed to a certain person, it's common courtesy to give that person a chance to respond. Once another person responds, the post drops down and might not be seen as easily.

As for being rude, that's not my intention. However, if someone wants to respond, they should take the time (IMHO) to read the post and look at the plan.

There are two bathrooms (not three) and there is an upstairs...with more bedrooms. This is a FARMHOUSE, on 100 acres, in a snow belt, that's 30 minutes from the closest store in the summer...and up to an hour's drive in the middle of winter. Telling me that it's a waste of time to have a large pantry and extra storage seems uniformed to me.

Also, anyone who has ever owned farmland knows the land is what makes resale valuable...not the house. Remodeling with an eye for 'resale' would be silly and again, uniformed.

While I thought the smiley face somewhat diffused the comment, I'm sorry if you, Luann, feel I was rude. However, I had such nasty/negative responses on the kitchen forum a few weeks ago (which Holligator frequents) that I did not need a repeat on this forum. If Holligator did not mean to continue in that vein, then I apologize and ask that she READ the plan and LOOK at the pictures, before she comments.

Since this is obviously in the middle of a conversation/remodel, it might be nice to ask a few questions, before making observations/comments. Just my two cents :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 3:16PM
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After a long day at work, I reread this and realize I came across as sounding more rude, than I originally thought. I want to apologize and I hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings.

I know I should wait to respond to a post and let it sink in, but I didn't. Now, I'm off to hopes of finding a more positive way to work off some frustration :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 6:10PM
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i see what you mean LL. someone didn't realize that it was an actual farm. With all the processing you need a lot of work and storage space.

I've always liked this first one the best. I think it's a great blend of preserving the old and updating where needed for the lives we lead today. Giving yourselves some spaces - like the sun room and the porch - for alone time when wanted and needed is a great part of it all. it'll also give you different areas for different family members when all are gathered and a segment of them want to talk quietly while another group wants to bake cookies and another group wants to play a board game.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:20AM
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Desertsteph- Thank you, so much for the kind words. I like the way you pointed out the different functions/uses of the spaces. We have a huge family (on my husband's side) and it's their family it's important to have room for everyone to gather, but still have it feel cozy, when it's just us. As for the smaller spaces, you're right, I did include them more for a little private time.

While I could store more food, etc. in the basement, I do not like going up and down stairs, especially while I'm the big pantry and extra storage is worth it, to me. Since we don't have kids, we don't need more first floor bedrooms, but the two upstairs are nice for guests.

There's no bath up there right now, but we hope to add at least a small one, during the remodel. Probably just a 3/4 bath (with a small stand up shower) so that's another reason I wanted the hall bath to have the claw foot tub. It will be a great place to have a good soak and easily accessed by everyone.

I have a few teen age nephews, who tease me they're going to 'live with us' over the summer, once the farmhouse is redone. They love all the room to run around and help out with the horses and other chores. Probably because it's so different than what they're supposed to do at home :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Excuse me for thinking your sunporch was another bathroom. The drawing is not that clear, and it appeared to contain hand drawn bath fixtures. Google Sketchup is a free program that you can use to make your drawings clearer to you and to others. There are also several low cost programs that work well for layouts including a homeowner version of Chief Architect. If your whole roof will need to be replaced, it's a good opportunity to work with an architect or at least some software to rearrange much of your space for better flow. Maybe add some dormers upstairs to get more light into the space there?

Approximately 60% of your space is devoted to storage, hallways, and other non public areas that do not add anything to your living space. I never said that you don't need those spaces, just that they are too large given the size of the rest of the home and they duplicate functions. This makes them an unwise use of precious HVAC. Especially in a cold climate. You're spending a lot of money to heat and cool those spaces. You can achieve much better use of your square footage by combining some of those areas and elminating the many dead areas that exist.

BTW, I'm not holligator. I've been on GW since 1994 when Spike ran the joint and regularly sent folks whose posts he didn't like to Disney. Literally. I was a regular and respected contributor to the Rose Forums for many many years before my job got in the way. BTW, that job involves being paid to space plan, to work with traffic flow patterns, and to use ergonomic studies and industrial psychology to make a home environment functional, comfortable, and decorative. I've never had anyone object to getting free advice from a professional before.

I stand by what I said. You have some good ideas as a jumping off point, but you badly need an in person professional to help you realize those ideas more efficiently. Renovation is extremely expensive, and there's nothing more frustrating than to regret how you spent those precious dollars. As one of my old professors said, bad design is obvious. Good design is invisible. You never notice when things are placed correctly. Just when they aren't.

Please consult a professional for help. It will be the best money you'll ever spend on the project.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:38PM
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LL I also understand the need for larger pantry and processing spaces. And I would imagine family involved in some of this processing.

Hollysprings, No disrespect for your credentials. It is always nice to have professional help and advice. I think the rub comes when your area is so different from LL. I live about 200 miles from LL in same zone and experience close to the same weather conditions. There can be winter days strung together we can not get out either to shop or just a breather from husbands or just the house itself. Lots of different spaces to use helps over come what is called cabin fever in our area.

I have friends that live in the South area and they can not even begin to imagine the living conditions in weather we have.Just like I have a very hard time imagining living in the South without deep snows and hard freezes and all that heat and humidity.

LL's mudroom / pantry food storage area and washer and dryer space is a dream come true in our area. Having a second space to do canning in besides kitchen or just to prep fruits and veggies for canning is wonderful to have. I used my extra deep kitchen sink and counter space in my laundry room for my milking kitchen when I still had my cow. Was so much nicer to process the milk away from my food prep area. These are real working areas of farm houses.

People with out livestock some times have a hard time understanding the need for for a large mudroom.A place to park muddy boots or just wet garden shoes to dry.Leather gloves coats. Hang halters for emergency get aways/escapes which does happen with livestock.Park the snow shovel because of the need to shovel the snow away from the door from the inside. No one really wants to have to look at these things in their house proper.

I hope to someday see this house in person.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 12:49AM
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I have to agree with Chris.

As someone who now cans and processes a lot of our own food. The pantry is very much a priority in any design we would want.

I am also daily in the horse paddock and chicken coop. A large mud room with room for all our wet and muddy gear is far more important than extra space in the living area. All that extra storage means that I can use the living space to better advantage instead of cluttering it up with bookshelves, hutches etc.

If I could have a separate room for each activity I would be in heaven. The ability to leave out my office work or my canning equipment and close the door is my idea of dream home.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 9:19AM
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