Thoughts on this house plan

mcargalJune 22, 2012

My husband and I are ready to build. We want to keep it around 2300-2500 square feet. We really like the 1 1/2 story. Anything you think we should change from this house plan?

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The upstairs

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 4:33PM
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But, before I say how I'd change it... What is your family like? What will it look like in 7 yrs?

(Any kids?)


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 4:55PM
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We have two kids(5 & 3). No more in the plans. We live in Illinois and plan to stay in the house for a long time as it is on family land.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Okay. That is helpful.

Depending on how you use the study, I'd eliminate the pocket door between the study and the mudroom. I think that is a weird place for a door.

The master bedroom has WAY TOO MANY doors. Where would you put your bed? It is also unfortunate that the master can only have windows on 1 wall because there are closets taking up the entire other wall. And, I think it is odd that the bathrooms on the 2 floors don't line up anywhere close to each other. If it were me, I'd figure out how to get the bedroom on the outside walls so you could have windows on 2 sides. And eliminate a door or 2.

Your kitchen: The fridge is opposite from the main living areas, and your family and kids will have to walk through the main work area to get to it for a drink, snack, etc. If it were me, I'd figure out a way to get the fridge on the end of the left wall near the dining area/eat in area. (What will you use your dining room for?)

I think the kitchen needs at least one window (it will be dark as it is drawn). And, I think I'd get rid of the peninsula. Not sure how I'd replace that function, but I am sure the kitchen forum would have some good ideas.

I think the upstairs is configured fine (although with wasted extra hallway space in the bathroom configuration); but I very much dislike 2 story great rooms. Esp when the kids will be sleeping upstairs, and you will likely be relaxing in the evening downstairs. All sound will travel up. As will all your heat.

I'd be a little wary of the "opening" at the top of the stairs when moving furniture in. I am not sure how wide the hall is there. It might be nice to reconfigure that hall bath to get double sinks, and an angled wall at the top of the stairs to soften that corner (that you walk into as you go up the stairs to the hallway).

Can you get a second window wall in any of the upstairs rooms?

Will you have a basement? (I'm back to downstairs again). If not, you could tuck the 1/2 bath partially under the stairs. Reconfigure your back entry/laundry/master closet and bath to get your master in the corner of the house.

I feel like this house lacks a sufficient drop zone--something I am particularly sensitive to. In Illinois, you probably have all 4 seasons. And, activities all 4 seasons. Where do you imagine your children will "drop" their backpacks when arriving home from school? put their hockey gear? soccer balls/cleats? mouth guards? violins/clarinets?

From the kitchen sink, you will be able to see the powder toilet. (I consider that a major design flaw, and another reason to reconfigure that whole side of the house).

That is where I'd start. I'm sure others will think/see other things. How are you at spatial reorganization? I don't have a way to draw things out and post them here. If you are good at that, I can give you suggestions. Or, others like Bevangel, mydreamhome, etc might be able to give you a better layout for back...

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:40PM
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I agree with a lot of what kirkhall said. Specifically...

- Too many doors in the master.
- Master closets config is strange. Blocks a lot of potential light.
- Need a window in Kitchen.
- Lack of a drop zone is killer. A coat closet and a locker/cubby system can be a life saver when you think about shoes, sports equipment, coats, backpacks, other bags, winter boots, scarves, hats, gloves, etc.

One other thing I noticed was the Dining room is fairly small. I suppose your family is only 4 but the breakfast nook area is actually bigger than the formal dining room AND if you ever have guests over, fitting more than a table for 4 and a china cabinet in that dining room will be nearly impossible.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 2:16PM
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I would say
No pantry in kitchen
Two story great room is waste of space because it would be cheep to make that a room.
No mud area
Master looks hectic with all the doors...very bad layout.
Three linen closets upstairs? Not sure why.
Dining room seems very tight to be functional. I would combine dining areas to make one large flexible one perhaps.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 9:10PM
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If it were me, I would make the current dining room the study & close off the door to the kitchen. The study would become a large laundry/multi-purpose room. The current laundry room would become a mud room. I would make the kitchen L-shaped with an island. Also, great idea to close off the 2 story family room and turn that into a play room for the kids. I think that would give you more rooms that are really used by a young family. But, most important are your families wants & needs. It is easy for me to nix your dining room, but does that work for you, etc.?!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 5:20AM
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Sophie Wheeler

This exhibits the typical "garage with house attached" affliction that is way too common in smaller suburban lots. The affectated hitch in the plane of the wall doesn't do anything to add character or disguise the fact that it's a three car garage FIRST and a house second when viewed from the street. If you don't have the property width to have a side load garage, then pull the garage back from the house body in stead of placing it in front of it so that it doesn't completely dominate the entire structure. The HOUSE should take center stage here.

The front porch as shown is useless. It's too shallow and too small to ever hang out and enjoy. If you don't envision that scenario, might as well just narrow that up to a plain covered entry.

I also want to echo the other points about the dining room being too small and the master and kitchen layout being non functional. Shift the foyer over to make the study smaller and move the kitchen to the rear of the home so it can get some light. Now the combined breakfast area and dining area is still connected to the kitchen enough to be usable and it's large enough to actually use.

For the master, the closets should be the buffer between the family room and bedroom. That would allow better privacy and more light into the room.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 1:54PM
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One thing to consider - the distance from garage entrance to kitchen. That seems a mighty long way to haul groceries.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:40PM
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