Colonial/Georgian House Layout

sarah_chJuly 8, 2012


We would like to build a house in a suburban division next year. We have not yet chosen a lot, but most lots in our area and in our budget are around 10,000 sqft (typically something like 80' X 125').

We have been looking at online plans, without finding exactly what we are looking for. So we have started drawing plans that would suit our needs.

Our list of wants & needs:

- 2,700-2,800 sqft

- Formal dining room and nook (prefer a nook over kitchen island with seating)

- Office on the first floor

- Large kitchen that can accomodate multiple cooks

- Large mudroom with access to garage (for us), side entry (for kids) and backyard (for dogs)

- 3 bedrooms (4th bedroom can be in the basement)

- Laundry room on the second floor

- 2+ car garage

- As much symmetry as possible, without compromising function

- No angled walls unless it significantly improves function

As currently drafted, there is a 3-car garage. However, the lot might not be wide enough to allow for a side-entry 3-car garage (24' x 34'). If that is the case, we would go for a street-facing 2-car garage (24' x 24').

We very much like colonial and georgian style houses. We have tried to keep in mind sight lines and symmetry when working on this house plan.

Your comments are very much appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

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Right now, the master bath toilet is a long walk through the closet, around the island, from the master bedroom. You may want to juggle those spaces a bit.

Are you sure you want *no windows on the sides of the house? I think it would be nice to have a window in the stairwell, and perhaps the walk-in closet.

I would consider moving the master to the back of the house, and reworking the master closet/bath complex a bit.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Congrats on the future home! You've already put a lot of work into this plan, and I see a few spots for more consideration. Upon entering, the view through the house ends with the back profile of the couch and a solid wall. If you have an amazing piece of art/furniture this will be fine, but maybe try getting your door to the porch/backyard here. The kitchen will also need some rearranging as it becomes a path between the garage/mud/backyard and the rest of the house, and with the working areas on 3 sides, the cooks might get frustrated with the traffic. Access to your porch as drawn is behind the breakfast table or family room chairs, which would be troublesome. Currently, you haven't planned for windows on either side of the house, which would be especially nice for the bedrooms, office, and stair, even if higher up to block out neighbors. The right side of the house would appear to be a vast two story plane of siding, and has nothing to balance out the garage against the main volume of the house, which might be one of the biggest detractors of the symmetry you seek. Consider a two car front loading garage and adding a one story wing opposite to house your porch, office, family room, or 4th bedroom. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Thank you for your comments. I agree with your re: windows at the back of the house and access to the porch. I think it would be better to have a pair of french doors on the left of the great room wall of windows which would line up with the main entrance door --> (1) would look better and (2) would provide a second access to the back porch.

The kitchen: I have struggled a lot with the kitchen. Initially, I had recessed 6' of cabinets where the powder room currently is, and put a single 8' x 5' island in the kitchen. This allowed for the placement of only 1 useful sink and the placement of this sink would not be ideal because the person cooking and the person at the sink would always bump into each other. Also, this would make me eliminate the already very limited closet space in front of the stairs.

I agree with you that the traffic from the mud room currently could be a little distracting for the cooks, but I figured the "natural flow" would be a walk-through on the main sink side, so the person prepping at the secondary sink and the person cooking would not be bothered. I think I will post this in the Kitchens forum to get additional feedback...

Re: windows on either side of the house. I agree with you. The more windows, the better! I love, love, love natural light. But because the houses are so close together, usually people do not put windows of the side of their houses for privary purposes. I think there might even be regulation about this (where I currently live, there are rules for windows on side walls). I like the idea of putting windows a little higher up to preserve privacy.

Re: putting a wing to balance out the garage. I love the idea and had considered it initially, but unfortunately most lots are not wide enough. 80' width lot is average, but in our top choice neighborhood, the width of lots are around 68'-70'. I'm pushing it with a 55' width and probably could not get a side-entry garage unless we choose a corner lot -- most house plans that are provided by builders are 40'-45' wide.


Thank you for your comments.

Re: master bedroom. The island or bench in the closet can be removed. I think the closet is too small to accomodate either anyway. Initially, I had put the master bedroom in the middle with windows flanking both sides of the bed, with the bathroom at the back of the house and and the closet at the front of the house. Because of the inability to place windows on side walls, I kept the windows in the bedroom and bathroom and put a "galley" closet in between. I will look at what I can do to improve the bedroom/closet/bathroom.

Re: windows: please see comments above.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 12:46PM
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In the kitchen, then, I would consider anchoring the clean up sink counter to the pantry corner, and routing the traffic around the other side.

You also have the upstairs bathroom cantilevered over an open porch which can be a bit problematic, and require extra heating, and insulation and such. If you made the porch smaller, as long as you had a place for the toilet stack to come down, you would be improving the circulation downstairs. You could also essentially make the entire back wall of the LR and the side of the eating area glass.

I would still try to rework the master complex with the master in front or back, most of the bathroom in the middle, lit by windows from the dressing area.

The idea of a bathtub under a large window seems nice and makes a focal point, but you have to analyze whether you actually Ever really take a bath in the day time when you can look out the window. Even if you bathe, it's usually at night and the window is a black hole, or needs to be covered so people can't see into a lit up bathroom.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 1:25PM
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