Floor Plan Review

vtjonJune 28, 2012


I am currently working with a design/build firm to come up with a house plan. We are trying to get come up with a rough floorplan so we can get a ballpark price. They developed an initial floor plan for us but I did not really like it. Therefore, I have given it a shot and I would like your feedback. This plan is very rough as far as dimensions go. The numbers may not exactly work out but I will leave it up to the firm to work out the exact details.

Here is a bit of a background about my family:

We recently had our first child. We expect another child in the next 2-5 years. I also work from home. We currently live in a 1970s 2,000 sqft ranch that although probably has enough space, is not laid out in a useful way. My office is currently in a finished basement and is relatively large. I wish to move my office to main area so I can be nearby now that we have a child especially when I work long hours. However, I do not want your typical 10x10 "home office". I will spend 10+ hours a day in there so it needs to be roomy.

We would like the master, 2 bedrooms and laundry on the second floor. The first floor should contain a guest bedroom, full bath, powder room, open kitchen/family room, mudroom/hall and office. We do not need a formal dining or living room. I am also not married to this layout so if anyone has a better suggestion I am more than open to it.

We like this exterior design and is the basis for our footprint:

Plan/Source of Design: http://www.eplans.com/house-plans/epl/hwepl03220.html

My two floors:

I feel that space may not be optimized in the best way. I ended up with some random space on the back side of the downstairs bathroom. This could prove to be useful for family room storage though (games, etc) so I'm not opposed to it. I also know we don't have a foyer closet. I think we are okay with this as I like the idea of a bench and some hooks to the right of door. I have put fixtures in this design however that was just to give me some idea of where things might go. Leaning towards a cooktop (induction) in the island but not required. This design is probably about 200 sqft larger than really originally desired but things seemed to work out better with the additional space.

The original design had the stairs in the entry with the basement door as you come in the entry and the door to the office to the left of that. I really didn't like that layout.

Thanks for your help.

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If you want your house to look like the one in the picture, you simply can't put full height rooms on the second floor where the original design doesn't have a full height roof.

If you look closely at the original floor plan, you'll see that on the second floor, the space in the left hand side of the design is "attic". That is because that side of the house has a one-story roof. Only at the very center (under the ridge of that roof and a few feet toward front and back from there, would you have enough headroom to stand up in the attic. And, if you can't stand up in the attic in the original design, you can't put in a room like the masterbedroom and bath that you have sketched on your design. YOu just won't have adequate headroom.

Yes, there is a dormer window and you could possibly fit a small bedroom into the middle of that attic space, but certainly not the 19x16 masterbedroom and bath that you're trying to put there. Make sense?

Same issue in the space over the garage. Only the very center of the attic space over the garage is going to have enough head room for a room...and I'm not certain that you could even travel from the main part of the house over to that garage attic space without making some changes in the roof design.

Now, if you don't mind changing the roof design so that you have two full stories over the entire foundation, you CAN probably do what you've designed. But the house won't look at all like the one in the inspiration picture.

And since you've been very careful not to adjust the foundation lines at all, I'm assuming you really want your house to look like this one. It just won't if you change the roof lines.

Because of these issues, I'm not sure it makes much sense to give you a lot of detailed feedback on this design because I suspect you're going to want to pretty much start over at square one.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:26PM
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I have young children....trust me you want a room to keep their toys. My current house is all open downstairs and it just breeds chaos and mess.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:35PM
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Thanks for responses. We know that it's not going to match the inspirational photo exactly. We actually plan to get rid of the dormer and there will be a second floor to the left. We mainly like the porches layout and the siding/stone combo. The roof lines in my design aren't accurate and we know that the roof lines will change some.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:51PM
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I love the look of the inspiration exterior, and there are a few things I'd address in the plan. It seems that since the second floor would only be of use to your family, it might make more sense to flip the staircase so that you wouldn't be walking all the way around the stairwell on the second floor to go downstairs. It would also be easy to get upstairs from the porch entrance off of the kitchen, though I don't know which entry you plan to use more (probably the garage), and you could make good use of the space behind it upstairs, possibly for more closets. You might also consider a switchback stair. I'd also try and get the upstairs common bath access to a window, possibly switching it with your walk in closet. Moving back downstairs, I think it would be best to try and get windows on the left wall of the family room somehow, and I think the guest/bath/half-bath area could be more effectively arranged for privacy and efficiency, possibly by combining the two baths and making a very small hall off of the foyer to access the bath and guest room. The only other concern would be the mudroom/pantry, as the width really only allows for storage along one side. Making it wider and shorter to allow both sides to be utilized with a window at the end and a generous walkway would be nice, and maybe a door to the deck. Good start and good luck!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:16PM
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Just thought you might like to see another version of your inspiration- it's officially the Foxborough Hill by Stephen Fuller. I really like the outside look, too!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 10:06PM
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mvjc - thanks for the advice.

kelhuck - I think my wife will love that green siding and no copper! Do you know where this was taken? With the sign out front, it seems like it might be a model home?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 3:26PM
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I think maybe Portsmouth, VA. Here's the website where I found this picture:


Here is a link that might be useful: Sasser Homes

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 4:43PM
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