Feedback on house plans requested

westleyandbuttercupJune 15, 2011

We would love your feedback on the house plans attached.

Some site specifics... We plan for the house to face north (or just a smidge northwest). The back of the five-acre lot is wooded, so privacy that direction won't be a large concern. There will be plenty of space between our house and neighbors to the sides, also. We live in the midwest and must plan for climate extremes.

Bedroom 3 will be used as an office for DH, who works from home full-time. Bedroom 2 may also become an office for an intern but will still need to be available as a sometimes bedroom. (Our son leaves for boot camp next month and we'll want a place for him to come home to as often as he gets that privilege.)

We need to add a single door for accessing the garage from the side of the house. The master bedroom transom windows are not wide enough to fit our king-size bed below--the sides of the bed would extend over the double-hungs. Have you seen a bed and windows set up this way? I would love to see any pics you have of a bed set under transoms flanked by double-hungs. Stairs down from the covered porch will be added but are not drawn in here.

We're considering sliding the doors to the master bedroom closer to the hallway and moving the opening of the master closet where the bedroom doors are now. Rods would then run east/west if you consider them currently north/south. That would allow a solid wall opposite the bed for the TV; I envision it wall-mounted above a long dresser. What do you think? Would a pocket door be the best space-wise if that move is made? Anybody else have a "foyer" to their master bedroom (for lack of a proper term to call that space)?

I have reservations about a master bedroom with windows on only one wall, as I've always had windows on two sides and love the natural light. Do you think light from the master bath will help at all? Chisue suggested to another poster that perhaps their bedroom could be moved to the outside corner; I can't see that working here with the single garage stall the way it is. Perhaps you see something I don't.

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Only had a minute to peek. Where will the family dine? A 12 X 12 space is typical; can't read dimensions between kitchen and porch. Looks like a long way between kitchen and formal DR.

Can the 1-stall garage be side entry, like the 2-stall garage? Slide master bath forward and get a second window in the MBR?

MBR bed wall window setup you describe sounds peculiar.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 3:45PM
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I think it's a very nice plan, and the only comment I wanted to make was regarding the transoms you discussed in the master bedroom. We did that, and it does look nice, but not sure I would do it again. Our bed fits perfectly in the space between the side windows. This pic was taken during construction, but I will try to get a picture taken tomorrow of the bed to give you a better idea. The moon is in our faces at night...suppose that sounds funny, and I thought the trees would block it. But it is annoying. Blinds are on order. You have such a nice big room, you have other options where the bed can go.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 5:05PM
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Forgot to add that I don't 'get' the steep roof, along with the 'craftsman' look pilars, along with the gables in gables, along with paneled garage doors and person door (rear). Too many styles going on there. The bottom stonework will probably disappear behind landscaping shrubs. Would you want a stairway to get to the ground from the porch?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 5:33PM
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Is it possible to post so we can see dimensions?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 7:41AM
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Here's a picture of the bedroom with bed in place. The other thing about this arrangement that I'm finding annoying is that you're basically right in front of the window when you take off your robe and climb into bed. As I said, we have blinds on order, but why have windows if you're going to keep them the blinds closed all the time?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 10:02AM
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I think this is a very nice plan. The details on the front elevation add interest and curb appeal, the gables and hip roof keep this from being another bland boring house. I love the fact you are taking advantage of the walkout lot too. Kudos.
My suggestions-
Bump out the area above the kitchen for an informal eating nook (unless you only plan on informally eating at the island.)
Attach a deck next to the covered patio to take advantage of sunny days and your view.
Be sure you want a ton of windows in your MBR. Let's stop and think about it. A majority of the time, you are there to sleep. DW and I have invested a ton of money in big heavy curtains to block out light- we have 9' of windows that look West and sometimes it's not dark enough! Wouldn't it make more sense to invest in bigger, nicer windows in rooms that you don't sleep in?
Consider pocket doors for your MBR closet and bath.
Also, you may want to center the kitchen island sink.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 11:59AM
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Thank you all for your feedback!

Chisue--We plan to eat most meals informally at the island, as that's the way things seem to run in our current home. In nice weather, we'll hope to take advantage of the covered porch. Thank you for looking at both the interior and exterior. We actually don't plan to use the stonework shown on the drawing and I've made a mental note to carefully pick the garage door style to tie in more with the rest of the exterior. We would definitely want steps down from the covered porch; they are missing from the current plans.

Andi--I would gladly post so you could see dimensions easily, but must admit I have no idea how to do that. I have drawings in PDF and jpeg--would I need them in a different format? Ignorance is not always bliss...

Joyce--I so appreciate your photos and feedback about the MBR windows. Your windows are gorgeous and so are your bed and nightstands! How sad to need to cover them...a problem with moonlight hadn't even entered my mind.

Betaiota--How interesting that you suggested a nook off the kitchen! The plan we started with had a nook and DH wanted to swap it out for the covered porch (we're still not in total agreement). Adding a deck off the covered porch is definitely a possibility, but may lose out to more patio space on the lower level. I appreciate your perspective on having too much light in the bedroom. It ties in closely with Joyce's comments wondering about the point of having so many windows if you have to keep them covered all the time.

So much food for thought!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 11:23PM
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I would think you could modify the PDF file, zoom in and crop it...then save it as a jpg to post....Try that?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:51AM
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Sorry, I still see a mixed bag of 'styles' on the exterior. What will be under that huge roof? (We live single story in 2900 sq ft, but have a full-height attic that can become additional BR's and baths for a future owner. Lots in our area are zoned for 6K sq ft.) Our 10/12 pitch roof added a lot of extra cost, but it has an eventual purpose and is appropriate for our French-y style home.

Everyone lives differently. We spend a lot of time in our breakfast room between the kitchen and screened porch. We aren't 'perchers' -- more 'spreader-outers'. Our island bar gets occasional use. If you see the family eating at the bar often, consider a more conversation-friendly shape -- less of a 'row'. Even if your family won't use an eating space in the kitchen, most buyers would want one.

Have you posted your kitchen on the "Kitchens" forum?

I don't think many buyers would appreciate the MBR window setup you plan. Most people are more comfortable having a bed against an interior wall; then your exterior wall may look peculiar. You mention a long dresser for the MBR; won't your clothing all be in the walk-in closet?

Our screened porch is also on the south with a gable roof. We put two skylights in the eastern angle; they brighten the interior rooms (breakfast room and dining room).

That's a large lower level you have there! You have room for a staiway with a landing rather than a straight-away. (Safer) If this is to be a 'forever' home, consider leaving room for an elevator.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 12:51PM
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