New floor Plan -Opions Please!

liz2-2008June 26, 2008

We are looking at new floor plans, just could not get the other one to work for us.

Please let me know and would love to hear what you think.

Thanks again,


Here is a link that might be useful:

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I'm speechless. That would be an incredibly expensive house to build, especially if the level of finish shown in the photos was maintained. It has a tremendous amount of space, and that has to be the biggest shower I have ever seen in a private residence. Good think there's a bar connecting the study to the master bath, as you could probably hold a party in there.

And yet, there seems to be no coat closet anywhere near the front door. The only coat closet I see is in the mud room.

You didn't link to the upstairs guest studio floor, so I'm not sure if you plan to even construct that floor. If you do, you will find that the door into the garage blocks the stairs, which is pretty poor.

The laundry room is in the middle of the house. It will be difficult to vent the dryer to the outside without exceeding the maximum allowable length restriction. It might have to go through the roof. Dryer lint wouldn't look too good on that pretty roof. The roof is pitched too steeply to service anything that penetrates it without professional assistance.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 6:26PM
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I for one absolutely love this house. We seriously considered it... had a few changes, the garage doors need to face forward for our lot but the angle is just right... but the sticking point for me was that we really want a great room concept. For the amount of entertaining we do, we like everyone to be in one big room and I didn't like the idea of the living room on the other side of the kitchen wall. Other than that, the pictures are amazing.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 8:20PM
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frog_hopper too funny about the shower and thanks for your comments - this has too be the hardest thing ever coming up with floor plans that has everything that you need want in the sq ft that we are looking at.

The dining room is off on this plan to me, we also would like a media room to watch movies.

coysmum - thanks for your input can I ask which floor plan you went with?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 9:28PM
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Well I agree that it is huge and will be expensive to build but if huge is what you want and you don't mind expensive then I think it is a nice house. Please don't think I mean to be derogatory with huge, keep in mind that my concept of the perfect sized house, for me, is 1800-2000 sq ft with the same number of bedrooms... So while it is way bigger than anything I would ever build or want to pay for the heating bill for :) if it is what you want you should go for it. I would suggest you consider putting in more insulation than code requires and even look into some solar heating/water heating. Also make sure you really want a house that big. I know that a lot of people end up with houses that are bigger than they are really comfortable in. Do you have kids?

I like how the house looks from the front, some nice details and the roof isn't overwhelming. The rear elevations isn't quite as nice but not bad. I personally like having the kitchen a little visually separate from the living room and you have plenty of space in the breakfast area for people to sit and chat with you.

I wouldn't have an outside door in the dining room just because it seems redundant with the foyer next door.

I agree that the laundry room should be ideally nearer to an outside wall, you are much more likely to need repairs with a long vent length. I also agree that you might want to look at what you have to store currently and make sure you will have a place for it in this house. Your closets might also be a bit small in the secondary bedrooms but if they will be mainly guest rooms that is not as much of a problem. There is also no quick route from the entry to those bedrooms which could be a problem if you have kids. They would have to walk around, through the main work area of the kitchen to get to the rooms. It could also be a problem for occupants of bedroom 3 to have to go into bedroom 2 to use the bathroom but I don't know what you plan on using those rooms for.

The stairs to the upstairs suite also seem inconveniently located to me. Or at least I wouldn't want guests to have to go through my mud room all the time. However it would work if it was to be more of a in law suite.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 9:56PM
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That's a lot of house, and, presumably, a lot of money to build it...I am just nosey, so I hope I'm not offending you in any way...Any reason you're not using an architect to get a house suited especially to your family rather than having the struggle of finding just the right stock one? Again, sorry that I'm slightly off topic with the question.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 10:03PM
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This does not seem like a primary residence to me. The garage seems small given the scale of the house and the power room is not ideally located for formal entertaining (wouldn't bother me, but...).

The study is small.

I like the way the fireplace is off-center on the wall. That allows you to center one couch on the fp/TV, and have another at a right angle to it looking out at the view. And you can still circle completely around both. If you want two couches. It's probably more high-end looking not to have two, but it makes for a good family space. If you are worried about not having a media room, perhaps this furniture arrangement would mitigate that?

What's with the cheesy, circa-1978 family photos in the dining room!? I feel like I'm looking at a gorgeous new house...staged by Carol Brady!

I think the house is beautiful, but the main theme seems to be the timber-framing details. But it's not a timber frame home. I think that if you are going to build a home like this you should make it a little more "pure". IOW tone it down a little or build a real timber frame structure.

In addition to striking me as a second (or retirement) home, this seems designed for a sloping lot with views. Is that what you are building on? I have the same question as rhome410. Maybe you will end up being pennywise, pound foolish by going with a stock design. For instance, do you really want to devote such a long exterior wall to your closet?

Overall, though I think you get a lot of drama in 3126 square feet. I would have guessed it was bigger. I think it's pretty cool - maybe watch that the finishes don't get too trendy and date the house. I'd keep the stone outside or maybe just use it very sparingly in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 10:29PM
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Hi, Wow thanks everyone with the comments. First we live in TX we have a 4,000 sq ft hm now. We have one child was expecting to have more (different story) we also have family that all live in TX but out of town, that stays with us.

We just bought 45 acres in the country and we were going to build a second home a small cabin on it but we have now changed our minds and want to make it our permanent home and sell this one in the near future. We have some great views out the back so that is what were are planning around. I will post some photos - we just love the views out back.

We donÂt really have the heating problem  but we do get the AC running during the summer months. We put tile down last fall in the all of the downstairs and it sure makes a difference with keeping the home cooler.

As for an architect our builder does not like to work with them he has had too many bad experiences and does have a degree in design. I did post the plan that he had original came up for us but I just canÂt seem to get it to work. He is in the meantime coming up with something else but it is hard to tell him what we would like, so I started finding floor plans off the internet to show him what we are interested in and see if he can modify the plans for us. He is a log/timber frame home builder.
We will also have a large barn being build for storage and the horses.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 11:20PM
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So you have 1 kid, fairly frequent guests that stay at your house, it is in the country, heating isn't a problem but AC is. You want a media room. What is off on the dining room?

I don't think any of these are quite what you are looking for and some might be a bit small but maybe they will give you some ideas...

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 12:18AM
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We put tile down last fall in the all of the downstairs and it sure makes a difference with keeping the home cooler.

As for an architect our builder does not like to work with them he has had too many bad experiences and does have a degree in design. I did post the plan that he had original came up for us but I just canÂt seem to get it to work. He is in the meantime coming up with something else but it is hard to tell him what we would like, so I started finding floor plans off the internet to show him what we are interested in and see if he can modify the plans for us.

Liz, could you expound a little bit on how the tile helped keep your house cooler? We are looking at a design that has a lot of tile for thermal mass, and we have been wondering about its performance in the summer heat.

I also have to wonder about your builder. Maybe I'm reading the situation wrong, be it sounds like he has a little bit of an attitude regarding architects and his vision of design versus their visions. An enfant terrible perhaps?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 7:41AM
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After frog's comments, I was expecting a gigantic house. Here are my thoughts:

The DR is too small. This is verified in the photo - armchair is almost against french door. No way someone could pull it out to sit in. A round table would work better in this room, as is.

The MBath needs to be reconfigured to make the area work better. I don't really like the tub out in the room as shown.

If you don't need the bar in the MBR, I would make the foyer area into the MBR a bit larger (so a chest could go on that wall and not just an empty/wall decorated space).

The fridge wall section does not line up with FP wall in great room. Sofa will not be centered with FP or TV (if to left or right of FP). 20x17 may sound big, but with all the pathways required there is really very little actual furniture area in the great room, imo. Our great room is 24 x 19. *added: I saw the photo of great room. Seating is a bit tight - only shows seating for 5 people. Is that enough? TV in this room? If not, will it be like a LR that is not used often? If so, that would be a shame.

W/D is back to back with range. All I can figure is it's vented through the roof (not good) or ventless (even worse).

I would do away with outside door in mud room to front porch.

Love the outside and don't think the roof is too steep.

You can make the french doors in the DR fixed (not operable). We did this in the DR and the MB closet. Also two of the three sets in our great room are fixed. In our lower level, 1 set is fixed, 1 operable.

Will you have to lower (basement) level as shown in drawing? If so, I would bulk up the columns and arches below. Nothing is worse than a large house form the back with tiny columns and arches. The wider columns do not block our lake views.

Our lower level is all tile (on slab), three sides are exposed/open and it stays very cool all summer. We are also in the south (AL).

This plan doesn't look like a "Texas" home to me. Have you seen the Southern Living home plan called Harrod's Creek? Kellyeng built a version of this. The layout is nice for your kind of lot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Harrod's Creek

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 9:08AM
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Thanks for the floor plans I will look into them.

As far as our builder he likes to build from his designs which works better for him. I have talked with a couple of his home owners and they say he is a perfectionist and does know the business and knows what he is doing building a log/timber frame home. I have seen quite a few of his homes that he has built and I do have to say they are impressive. He can build from small to very Large Log/Timber homes. They all did say being a perfectionist it takes him longer for building. Here in the Houston and the surrounding areas there are lots of custom home builders but not many that know what they are doing with Timber Frame. This builder does have a lot of Opinions, just like the centeral vac system I posted. Also we are new at this building (which our builder also knows) but I am working on that and I am trying to get as much info I can so I can make sure he is on the right track. He is like you Frogg_Hopper with the central vac, but He was surprise with the info I came back at him with everyone's help from here.

The tile was so much cooler and made the house open up and seems like the rooms are much bigger. When the ceiling fans are on (which is most of the time) the floors stay cool. With it being 97 -100 outside we would run our AC pretty much most of the time on 75-76 to keep cool. Know we keep it on about 76-77 and it runs but not all the time. We have a darker Porcelain tile with some greys and tan in it. I wish we had put it in a year ago. We still have all carpet upstairs. The down side of the tile is that is cold on the feet, even more so in the winter - not that we get much cold but 30-40 is cold to us Texans.
We have a good supply of socks. Easy clean up we also have a pool so it makes from coming in from the outside to the bathroom so easy and they are not running a path to the bath on the carpet. I hated having to vacuum all the time with the carpet. We (I) would love to have wood floors on this new build. I am looking a doing a mix with wood and tile.

I am trying to go rustic in the new build much as possible due to the part of living in the country.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 9:32AM
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I don't get it - are you saying that you ARE building a timber frame home? Then you can't just pick out a stock plan. Not every plan can be adapted to a frame.

If your builder is an experienced timber framer and is going to construct the frame AND build the house then I can understand why he might be less willing to work with an architect inexperienced in this type of construction.

If your builder is building using conventional construction and adding decorative beams and calling them "timber frame" and refusing to work with architects then I would suggest you look closely at your choice of builder.

If you want to look at timber frame plans here are some names you could google:

tennesse log homes - they do mostly milled log packages but they used to have a relationship with Moss Creek designs for highly styled timber frame homes. Might be to your taste.

A barn home might be really, really cool in the setting you've described. Especially if you are going to build an adjacent barn too. I think barn hoems frequently have roof lines that seem popular in the Texas area (see the Harrod's creek link allison0704 recommends).

The red barn home you can few at this sight was in a mag I have. It's really big, but I think it's pretty cool.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 10:10AM
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Hello everyone! This is my first post here although I have been lurking for the past several months. We won't be building our dream home for another 8 years, but it's never too early to start planning. Right!!

I love this house plan with the few exceptions already mentioned. I think it could very easily be toned down which for me would be more aesthetically pleasing. The master bath would need to be reconfigured and the bar area could be eliminated. Also, I think I would need to open the kitchen area (between the kitchen and living room) and figure out a way to make the butler pantry a real walk-thru butler pantry to the dining room. I would also partially enclose the dining room. It feels too open and exposed. I have an ideal entry way in my mind that is much wider than these plans depict but it has the stairway leading down to the walk out basement.

However, I do love this plan and was almost totally set on it until I started drawing my own. I love the decking and enclosed porch. I also like the rear elevation. We do have a sloped lot with a lake view, so the plan would work for us.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 2:12PM
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Here is what I was inadequately trying to describe about the Foyer.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 3:44PM
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So I came across this forum after searching topics about this floor plan. I am curious if you ended up using this plan. My wife, our 1 year old and I (hopefully another kid down the road) are planning to build this year and this particular plan would capture the amazing views our land has. If you did use this plan can you let me know how things are going on it and any suggestions you may have? Hope all is well in TX.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 8:53PM
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