House plan critique

8mpgJune 18, 2012

Well, I have been lurking a while and soaking up some GREAT information. I found a plan I really loved but it needed some changes. Here is the original:

http://www.houseplans.com/2847-square-feet-3-bedrooms-3-bathroom-ranch-house-plans-3-garage-34912

So we bumped it about 500sq ft which Id rather not have. Id like to see where I can make the living space slightly small at 3000sq ft to fall below budget. We will see. Anyways, the pdf attached are my changes. Drawn up in Chief Architect.

Id love to hear any positive or negatives about the floor plan. There is an option upstairs which is on the original plan was 1000ft but with the 4th car garage it could be bigger (1500ish).

A builder I know (unfortunately not in my area) said I could realistically build for $280-300k (with 1500sq ft garage). We are really hoping to come to those numbers. Building on 2.34 acres. The upstairs will have electrical and plumbing stubbed and I will finish it myself in a couple years. I love building and remodeling.

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auroraborelis

There are quite a few floor plans that are very similar to this one out there that just have some small modifications, finding those and comparing might help.

That said, a few thoughts on your plan
- There is too wasted floor space in your master bath and the first plan made much better use of the space.

- Are you really okay with your laundry room being open to the garage entrance with no door into that space?

- The nook is much larger than it needs to be.

Regarding the cost to build, you need to get quotes in your area regarding costs, as where I live it would be impossible to build for that amount.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:12AM
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8mpg

Thanks for the reply Laura..

There is a door between the laundry room and the garage. The master bath is a bit large but see the attached pic of the shower and bath which is our plan. I have actually made it bigger since the copy above.

I agree with the nook being too big...just dont have an easy solution to make it smaller.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:22AM
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auroraborelis

I love your bathroom inspiration, however I still think you have too much wasted floor space in the middle of you bathroom. Personally, bathroom layouts were the most difficult thing for me to figure out and once we hired a good designer it was amazing how it could all be fit into half the space. Have a look at other floor plans for ideas.

Regarding your nook, you kitchen is quite small for the size of the house, if you took some space out of the back of your master closet you could extend the size of your island and kitchen counter. Doesn't cut down on the overall square footage, but gives you more useful space.

Do you also need to include septic and a well in that cost?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:44AM
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kirkhall

My initial thought was--
Wow! Look at those rooflines! Are you sure you can build this for what you think?

Now, on the layout, I am with Laura. I think you can contract the plan in the Up-down/N-S plane and have it still work.

And, yes, while you literally have a door between the garage and the mudroom hall; you do not have a door/separation between the mudroom hall and the laundry room proper. ie, as soon as you go through the garage door, you see and are in the laundry room. I think what she meant was, are you sure you want to immediately walk into your laundry room from your garage, with no separation between the two (except, the fire/fume-required door).

Also, your bathroom, if you like that space of huge shower/bathtub is still too wide--from vanity to shower. You could fit a bed in that space (just saying).

Also, what is the "minor" closet that is a pocketed door from the Major closet? Is that a master laundry?

If so, I think it would make more sense to try to simply get a door between the laundry and the master closet; again making it easier to contract that space some.

And, you have, what I call the "dreaded" J&J bath for your accessory bedrooms. It is best to figure out a way to get only 1 door between the common space and the toilet room. Only 1 door to lock or unlock. Only 1 door to close or open. Privatize that toilet and I don't mind J&J baths.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:09PM
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dekeoboe

Lots of corners and lots of roof lines and you are hoping to build for under $100 sq foot. You really need to check with builders where you will be building to see if this is possible.

Where are you building? I don't see any coat or hallway closets. What is the room with the pocket door that is off the master closet?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:18PM
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chicagoans

I like Laura's idea to make the MB closet a bit narrower so you can straighten out that kitchen wall and extend the counter much further. As she pointed out you could make the island longer too. You could move the refrigerator to the end of that new long counter so that someone coming from the nook for a drink doesn't walk past the cooktop / through the work area. Then you could put wall ovens where the ref is currently shown. I'd highly recommend posting the space on the Kitchens forum - they'll give you some great ideas.

We have a fairly large M bath too, but it's not larger than the kids' bedrooms as yours is, and it could be smaller and still perfectly functional and comfortable. I agree with Laura that your Mbath could be trimmed down.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:18PM
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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

If all those dotted lines indicate the roofing plan, that is an incredibly complex roof! You also have a complex foundation, a HUGE amount of covered outdoor space that is not counted in the square footage but cannot be built for free. And, that very open livingroom/diningroom/kitchen area is going to require some careful engineering and some very expensive joists order to keep the second floor and the roof from caving in on you.

I too think you need to get a second opinion on cost to build from someone in your area who might actually take on the project. In my area I'd guesstimate that that house would cost you close to a million to build and I'm in an area where building costs are probably about mid-range for the country.

I can tell you that the foundation, roof, and exterior walls of your design are far more complex than my 3200 sq ft home, 3 bedroom home with semi-detached 3 car garage (900sq ft) which we finished in mid 2010 at a cost of slightly under $600K.

And no, we did NOT run up the cost of our house with expensive finishes throughout. Our tile, which is used thru half the house was bought on sale for less than $3/sq ft and the hardwood flooring used in the rest of the house was bought on sale for less $5/sq ft. Our baseboards and window trim are stained pine, not one of the more expensive hardwoods. Our countertops are silestone, not granite, and they do not have one of the fancy ogee edge that can run you $20/linear foot... just the simple rounded edge that is included at no additional charge when you buy silestone. All our appliances came from Sears on sale. I purchased every single piece of lighting in my house on sale and and my biggest lighting splurge was for a stained glass chandelier for the dining room that cost less than $250. I admit also splurged on a clawfoot tub ($3K) for my masterbath but I doubt you can find a tub like the one you've pictured for less than $3K. And yes, we installed a home elevator at a cost of about $30K but we did all the interior painting and staining ourselves so saved the labor cost on that. We also splurged on windows and doors. Probably could have saved $20K by going with a builder's basic. So I figure $550K to build my house without the elevator and with less expensive windows but with someone else paid to do the painting. To build your design, even if you are equally frugal on fixtures and finishes, would probably cost 1.5 times that much. And if you want granite countertops, fancy light fixtures, hardwood trim, etc., I think your costs could easily be double mine.

I think you should look for a house design with a similar room layout but with less exterior jigs-and-jogs and a MUCH simplified roof plan.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:48PM
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8mpg

Thanks for all the great feedback. I will have to work on trimming down the master bath and like you guys said, expand the kitchen.

The island in the picture (kitchen) is actually 9' long and 4' wide already. Going to 10' will max out a single lab of granite and the island will have to do a 2 piece.

The separate part in the master closet will be a safe room.

I have a large gun safe. The room will be hidden with a very large mirror and no one will know the room is there.

The roof line is a problem but I think it is not correct. That is the automatic roofing job that the program did. I plan on trying to make it simpler. It is set for a 12/12 pitch but plan on changing it to 8/12.

As for price, I live in Texas where labor is cheap. My friend built a house similar in size with a TON of maple cabinets and what not for $70/ft average with a 1100sq ft garage attached. My parents built a house 10 years ago that was 3800sq ft with granite floors and countertops for $56/ft then. I wont be getting formal quotes for another 6 months as we are not ready to build. I will have the land paid off. Not sure if you guy's quotes for with or without land, but the land is valued at $180k and will be paid off before we start building.

Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming. I will try and modify the plans some more and post the new image tomorrow.

Tim

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:30PM
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8mpg

dekeoboe - The utility room will also provide as a mud room with plenty of cubbies and coat hooks.

bevangel- I will work the foundation to make it more square and reduce the roofline issues. I appreciate the advice. The kitchen and living room will be open to the roofline as there is no 2nd floor in that area. The only area with a 2nd floor will be from the master bath to the office to the garage area. The house will be built with SIPS and not traditional stick framing which has a much more strength than In Texas, granite prices are very affordable at $30/ft or so for a decent selection of granite.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:07PM
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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

I'm in Texas too. Just outside of Austin. It's a big state tho so I'll grant that building costs could be significantly lower (or higher) where you'll be building than they are here. What part of the state do you live in?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 9:47AM
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