Floorplan Comments Requested - 2900 sq. ft

burbmomoftwo_gwJune 11, 2014

Looking for comments on this latest floor plan - my latest drawing provided to the Architect.

Started this process with the Houzz 'dream list' and when that price came back in Feb., it's been a struggle to cut down the size of the house some to meet the budget.

A few notes/comments:

- One Story plan for Husband and me, Kindergarten-age son and 80-year old Mother-in-law. High School son will have a room in the Finished Walkout Basement or possibly the finished area over the garage
- Didn't really want a formal dining room, so have the Kitchen/Dining area all together
- Had to give up the Study/Office for the In-Law Suite. Both of us work at home some, so wish we had some spot for that, vs. the Office we will put in the Basement
- Hallways are LOVED, with formal Chair Rails and Picture Moulding.
- Concerned there is NOT a great play space for youngest son on the main level

Trying to 'right size' this for maximum living space, and wouldn't care about adding back up to 150 sq. ft to make everything fit/flow. I'm told this is about 2900 sq. ft. at this time.


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What about moving the kitchen to where the hearth room is "tucking" it in there in a U shape with a split level breakfast island, moving your table to where the kitchen is then that will help your great room feel larger for more play room

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 6:27AM
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Fairly simple footprint. That'll make it more affordable to build, and that matters as much as the square footage.

Why do you love hallways? Like many people, I see them as wasted space. I'd like to hear the rationale.

Since you're concerned about square footage, I think you could easily cut 2' off the whole right-hand side of the plan -- and you'd still have comfortable sized rooms.

The youngest child has a place to play on the first floor: His bedroom. It's a very nice-sized bedroom, and it shouldn't be a problem providing some shelves for toys.

The Great Room is nicely done.

Things about the plan that concern me:

- A 3-car garage stuck out in front of the house. It'll be the most prominent feature of the house.

- I don't like the dining room table. First, you're a five-person household and this is only a six-person table. More than one guest will send you scrambling for leaves and needing to expand the table. The biggest problem, though, is that the table is blocking a major thoroughfare from the great room to the kitchen -- and if you expand the table, it'll be completely blocked off. Or, it doesn't even have to be expanded -- if the chairs aren't tucked under the table, your passage will be blocked. I'd consider moving it to the large-sized Hearth Room's spot. It would allow you room for a larger table, and it would put that table off to the side in a more comfortable spot.

- I question the usefulness of the Hearth Room. I can see that in a household that includes a mother-in-law and two children of differing ages, you'll want a "get away spot". A place where someone can read or study without hearing the TV or conversation from the Great Room. But this Hearth Room will not meet these requirements -- it lacks both visual and acoustical privacy.

- I vote for giving the whole master bath a re-do. You have a great deal of wasted space in the middle of the room. Space that'll require expensive tile, yet serves no purpose. I hate all toilet closets, but this one is one of the worst: At 7' deep, it'll be difficult to do a "back in" move once you're older, and cleaning behind the toilet in the long, narrow closet will be difficult. I don't understand a "drying space".

- You could easily lose a foot of width in the master closet without loss of spaciousness; measure it out: 24" for hanging clothes on each side, you have 4' of walking space -- measure out how much that is.

- Why a tiny linen closet and a larger linen closet in/near the master? It would be cheaper and more convenient to make one larger closet. If you're planning a pool and want access for pool towels, I'd make one big closet and put doors on both sides.

- You have a lot of bathrooms in this house -- you're showing 3 1/2, and I'm sure you'll have another for the teenager's bedroom that doesn't show. Bathrooms are the most expensive rooms in most houses, and you're talking about budget concerns. One option would be to remove the child's bedroom from the first floor, build two bedrooms in the basement space, and let those two bedrooms share one bath. This would allow you the office space that sounds like a real need, since you work from home.

- On the subject of bathrooms, at 8x5, is your mother-in-law's bathroom big enough to include handicapped items? Even if she doesn't need them now, at 80 years old, she likely will in the future. She also needs storage in that bathroom (with this size, she's going to have a minimal size vanity, and that'll provide no storage), and at that size, I don't think she even has space for a hamper. I'd steal space from the generously-sized mudroom and allow her a little elbow room in this bathroom.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:43AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree with Mrs. Pete.

To me the hearth room is not useful at all. And it seems that you are not getting the function out of the house that you need, which is not a good thing if you are doing a custom build.

Just wanted to add, that if you are finishing a basement for rooms, be very careful about deck placement. Even if a basement room has regular windows, it will still feel like a basement if it's under a deck. You want to make sure you have full natural daylight to keep the room feeling warm and inviting.

Also, a room over a 3-car garage will be enormous and can make an excellent suite or play room or any other function you might need, and it will already have a foundation.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:57AM
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Your not showing any doors to the covered porch.

As others have mentioned, the placement of the dining table makes the kitchen inaccessible to the great room.

You seem to have a love of closets. 2 linen closets. 2 closets off the mudroom. A closet in the laundry room.

I would skip the closet in the laundry room. Instead install a nice counter on the wall opposite the w/d with open shelving above. That gives you a nice folding station/sorting station. It's a laundry room. Who cares if the laundry detergent is visible. Just close the door if you have guests if you care that much.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:38AM
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NIce plan, but still some problems, imo.

Here's my recommendations, fwiw. :)

I would delete the island, and make a peninsula parallel to the table, instead. This would greatly increase your dining space.

I would put a door in the kitchen to the back for a grilling porch if you aren't going to have an outdoor kitchen with grill AND sink on the larger covered porch. This would be so much more convenient to grill. Depending on sun, it might be a nice place for a small herb garden.

The walk-in closet in the second bedroom has space for hanging clothes on one side only. Instead, I would make this a larger, hall bath and ten feet of reach-in closet space for that bedroom.

And regardless of how you label the different "rooms" on this plan, it's all going to live as one big great room. I think you will regret not having another room to get away, especially with three generations in the house. Imo, you are relegating everyone to their bedrooms if they don't want to hear the noisy tv or be a part of whatever is going on in the one big space.

And the m-i-l bath needs to be at least six feet wide, and I'd take that bench space in the mud room to add to the bath.

Good luck on your build. :)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Thanks for the initial comments. Some of the concerns raised are the ones I had. A few comments to posts here:

- I don't want to push to push the kitchen to the back of the house. Wanted the Hearth Room and 'wall of windows' to look out the back of the wooded lot.

- As or Hallways, I just love the formal look when you add moulding, chair rails, etc. Search for Farinelli Construction in Houzz and you can see the hallways in their 2011 Home A Rama Home. That being said, I'd be open to some reduction in hallways.

- Open to ideas on the 3 car garage 'sticking out'. I asked builder about an angled garage, but it sounds expensive and messes up some of the floor plan in the Mud Room area. Not sure what to do.

- Any suggestions on the Master Bath Re-Do is appreciated. Any floorplan / layout of a bath you have a link to? It's to have 2 sinks, claw foot tub, shower and shower drying area (so we don't have a shower door). What's a normal size Water Closet for a Master Bath ?

- Funny you mention the closet. It is purposely large, since a realtor told us our 8x5 closet in current master 'is not large enough' for what buyers want. Was really trying to get a his (5x7) and her (6x10) closet in there.

- Any suggestion/link to a layout for an ADA bathroom for the in-law suite?

- I'm not prepared to have my 5 year old in the basement at this time, so that's why that bedroom is still on the main level.

- The Deck... The layout of the house with the 'U' leaves the covered porch actually being a deck as this is a walkout lot. And I agree totally that it darkens the lower level. That's been a huge concern. Not sure if we could just leave that as a wall of windows and have no deck back there - where do I put a grill?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:06AM
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If you move the dining room to what's now the Hearth Room, you can still have the wall of windows.

Okay, you like hallways because they can be made to look formal with molding and chair rails -- but you're not going to hang out in the hallways, and they're massive space eaters. I suggest that you install the formal look you like in the entryway, which will be visible from the great room -- you'll see it on a regular basis, whereas you will just be passing through the hallways. Since this is a modern design, you don't have much wall space in the great room, but you could use the moldings, etc. there too. And you could install that look in the bedrooms, though the furniture will cover it in those rooms, making it something of a wasted expense.

- I suggest you google Houzz master baths and when you find some you like, look at the questions/comments section -- often they give the dimensions. We are planning a no-barrier, no-door shower, and the drying area isn't a need -- not for that purpose. The problem with your toilet closet is that it's 7' deep -- 7' is a long, narrow, deep space, and it will not be comfortable to enter that tiny room. Mark it off with tape in your house, and you'll see that it'll be a room with odd dimensions.

- ADA bathrooms are easy to google too. I'll draw up the bathroom we're planning and post it tomorrow -- I'm not in the right place to use the scanner today.

- I've been measuring closets in model homes, and 7' wide is a nice, comfortable width; thus, you can lose a whole foot here and be in the nice, comfortable range. Once you have the width covered, the length can be whatever length your space allows. 11' on each side = 22' of hanging space. That's roughly one entire side of a garage.

- I personally wouldn't mind a five year old being downstairs. However, since you do, I'd build his current room with the intention that in a couple years he'd move downstairs and you'd get the office you need.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:09PM
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In discussions with the Architect, he's suggesting:

- Swapping In-Law Suite and Bedroom. The bedroom will do fine for young son until he's ready to move to the basement. It would then become a true office.
- Swap will allow for larger ADA bathroom in the front right of the home. Bath would be by the window, and closet above. Moves the Foyer Closet 'up' some on the wall which is preferred.
- Discussed reworking the Master Bath, even to the point of sliding the Master Bedroom into the Master Bath location and the Bathroom would then be it's own 'wing' off the back of the house. Makes the basement walkout nicer, but not sure I like that arrangement upstairs.
- Increasing the Hearth Room by 18" into the Porch area, to address some 'getting by the table' issues.
- Increasing Hearth Room, possibly up to being the same size as the Kitchen/Dining Area. A Hearth/Keeping room as such. As place to put the fireplace, seating and a desk for use until the Office becomes and Office.

I wish there was a way for the Foyer to 'line up' straight to the middle of the windows in the back of the house, but not sure how to accomplish that. Also wish the fireplace aligned more with the Kitchen/Sink so that TV over Fireplace would be visible from the Kitchen.

I've tried to eliminate some Hallway as suggested, but not sure how to do that with this plan as it sets, without major adjustments.

Thanks for any comments.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:58AM
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If you swap the IL suite and bedroom (which is a great idea - helps to make the area more private), you can shrink the size of the bedroom/office, and move the front door to the left.

My twins were 4 or 5 when we rearranged our bedrooms so that we were on a different floor from them. They rarely got up in the night, and when they did, they didn't have any trouble coming upstairs to find us. I definitely agree that young son will move downstairs before you know it (maybe by the time the house is finished!)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 12:55PM
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The builder got back to me with a totally different take on my floorplan. Any thoughts?

- In-Law Suite and Office/Bedroom have been swapped to allow for larger ADA Bath
- Laundry/Mudroom/Stoop entry has been modified.
- Hearth Room extended slightly
- Master Bath has been moved to 'extend' the back of the house.

This was done to try and open up the Walk Out Basement so that the deck didn't create a huge dark area for downstairs. It looks like the lot will support 10' Basement Pour, so want to have the high ceilings down there. Would put an Office in the 'wing' that is the Bath and Closet and it would open out to a Patio downstairs.

Not sure what to make of this. I've never really seen a floorplan with something like this - looks like an extension added to the home as much as anything. A preliminary rendering looked nice, but you can't really get a good dimensional feel for it. Master Bath will be 20' X 14'6" and about 23' back from the front of the house.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 1:12AM
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Since your floor plan doesn't show windows, I'm curious what this huge wing off the right of the house does to your front elevation.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 1:32PM
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Quick phone pic of front of home

This post was edited by burbmomoftwo on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 22:44

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 3:09PM
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Getting close...another meeting with the builder before the Holiday.

Any suggestions?

This post was edited by burbmomoftwo on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 22:45

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 10:44PM
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The command center seems very isolated. Is there anyway to access it from the kitchen? I don't care for that whole left side of your plan. It seems unnecessarily choppy and broken up into little rooms. I don't like your dining area either. The table and chairs are always going to be in your way.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:06PM
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