Floor Plan Modifications - Help me Critique

autumn.4June 30, 2012

Hello all.

I've found a couple different plans that I like but neither are *perfect*. If you could help me with the pros and cons of each I would be grateful!

A little bit about us:

Building on a wooded lot within the next 2ish years.

2 kids (7 & 9)

1 70# dog

We are drawn to the split bedroom plan because dh works different shifts and we'd like to keep foot traffic/noise down by the boys bedrooms. I did find one that seems to be the best of both worlds with all bedroom on one side but different hallways.

We do not need a formal dining room and would find a media/office room much more useful. We need to stay around 1900-2000 sq. ft. We do hope for this to be our forever house so it will need to span our current season of life as well as when we are empty nesters. I do have family that comes out of town to visit and they stay with us. Likely we will either opt for finishing the bonus room above the garage or put a bathroom and bedroom in the basement which is very common in our parts.

The first picture is around 1900 sq foot - not sure since I did some handy work with MS paint.


No stairs.....where could/should they go?

I would like a half bath somewhere.

Is the kitchen TOO open and TOO far from the entry?

No foyer - is the room big enough for an entryway of sorts for guests shoes, etc.?

Mudroom - took that from something Summerfield drew up and I LOVE IT but it wasn't the same dimensions as what this plan had.

I really want a screened porch (too many bugs in MI, esp in the woods) but not over the kitchen as I need light and in the woods I think it'd be too dark. Any thoughts on how that would be best?

Is the master bath layout efficient? I like the separate closets but that is a lot of doorways. Also I don't need a vanity and wonder if I could move the shower over by the tub and then move the closet door. Not sure if that matters.

Now for the second one, it's too large as is - 2,149 sq feet. It's a Don Gardner Plan - The Whitney


Quick entry to kitchen

Feels more open?

E-space in kitchen area


Mudroom is way too small

No half bath

Breakfast space is really too small for much - if it was bigger I could ditch the dining room

Are there too many entry's to and from the great room?

How can I shrink it?

I couldn't get both pictures to link so I will post the first one next. Sorry! Anything you can point out would be helpful. We didn't make it to any parade homes this year and I am terrible at visualizing off of measurements alone.

Thank you in advance for whatever you've got to give!

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Here is the 1st one I was referencing.

Sorry I couldn't get them both to post at once!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Facade to the first home plan. We really like the craftsman feel.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 4:25PM
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I hesitate to comment because I'm certainly not among the experts.

But, what if you pulled the breakfast room wall across the full 19' of the kitchen in plan 1 and did away with the dining room? Or, you could use just part of that space to save on ft. Having windows on all three walls would really open it up for you since 10' is shallow.

You'd have up to a 10'x19' space, which is larger than the dining space in the other house you posted, from what I can see.

Here's something similar that came to mind. It is 10x13, but the way.

With windows on all the sides, it would feel quite large. Cutting sqft is tough, isn't it?

You'd be giving up the media space, but it it's like others I've seen in his plans, it's just a lowered counter with a cabinet above it.

Is there room in the basement for a media space, or do you need it upstairs? (I know having a place where you can monitor the kiddos is probably pretty important.)

Here's the 10x13 example...

in the background, but a somewhat similar flow to yours as far as it's proximity to the kitchen and LR. Just flipped a bit...


(I'm afraid I don't know how to resize the photos)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 6:20PM
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My quick, non-professional observation is this: on the DG plan, you have what starts out as a nice big great room- 19x18. But it basically has 3 walk-ways around it. At ~3ft per walk way, your furniture has become VERY cramped.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 7:43PM
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Young-gardner - It's so hard to try to shrink things - esp when at the same time you need to add things. Not sure it's going to be possible but I am trying! As for the kitchen - that is what I was thinking 19' is HUGE. My current kitchen is a tight 10x10 which is small but 19' - I have no idea what I'd do with all of that length - seems to be awkward being so long and narrow. Thanks for the pics, that helps since I am a very visual person! I did some more modification like you suggested and then again another way in that area and it is just an odd shape to try to adjust I think. :( I haven't given up yet. I do really like having windows facing 2 sides in the kitchen (even though part of them are really in the dining area).

Kelhuk-thanks for your thoughts. I was wondering that very thing about the living room. I definitely do not want to get into that type of situation since I basically have something similar now. It has so many openings at opposite ends that you have to literally walk through the middle of living room to get from the hallway to the kitchen. There is no way to walk a perimeter. Makes for awkward furniture placement too.

Thanks for you comments - hoping others will chime in a well. I am wondering since the 1st plan (which was really the second picture) will be easier to modify since I need to add a 1/2 bath but in it's current state I have a little bit of wiggle room with sq footage. Any ideas on how to add a screened in porch on that first one?

Back to the drawing board. Every time I feel like I'm 'close' the more I look at it not so much. Good thing I'm starting early.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 9:03PM
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young-gardener: Will you let me know where you found that floorplan? It looks interesting but I can't find it anywhere.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 2:30PM
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    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Autumn 4 . . . I could have written your post. We are essentially looking for the exact same thing. We have two kids, pets, hubby works shift work, love the craftsman feel etc. However, we are planning to not exceed 2500 square feet (but the less the better, we have 1900 sq ft right now) I am determined to have two living spaces so my kids have somewhere to go with their friends, perhaps a bonus above the garage. We have one living area right now and I would just love to go sit in another room for a change =) I too have been looking at plans forever . . . I feel like I get close but then when I go back to the plan, I am not to sure what I got excited about in the first place. Ugh. Sorry not much to add but I will keep you on mind if I come across anything!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Thanks Momtoblondie. I'll do the same! I haven't figured out if it's 'easier' to start with a smaller sq. footage plan and increase or one that's a bit to big and decrease. Every time I do either I run into trouble.... Right now out home is 1450 sq foot and we have one family room PLUS one in the basement that we finished a couple of years back. I am certain we will need 2 spaces also when they get older and with how fast time goes it won't be long and we will be there!

Good luck to you also. I am now working between a 1600 sq foot house and an 1800 sq foot house and trying to 'merge' them. Spent many late hours trying to figure it out!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Here is my current plan I am working through - it's 1816 sq. ft. I feel like the master bath has a lot of wasted space. We would make the garage wider which may help in reconfiguring the master and if I can get the stairs together I'd extend the mudroom all the way to the far wall with an entry door there. Also still want a screened porch but I am a little worried about it blocking light into the house???

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Yes, it's from Southern LIving. They recently renovated (rebuilt, really) an old house here in GA, and it's that plan. S.L. actually has some really nice plans in your size range. Have you looked at their site?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 8:13PM
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Younggardner - I'm not familiar with Southern Living - thought it was a magazine. I will surely check it out! Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 7:43AM
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