Feedback on layout

cattailsJuly 19, 2013

I found this site not too long ago and love all of the information. Some background.....this will be a traditional farmhouse design with basement on an 8 acre wooded site in the south. This is the second go around for the main floor. We like it so far but think there needs to be a door into the garage from the pool area. We're concerned if someone is occupying the pool bath you have to enter through the great room, which I personally would like to avoid. Also, I feel like the refrigerator is placed far away from the stove/sink. However, I like that if we're coming in from the pool for drinks or snacks that it's close to the mudroom doorway.

Anyhow....any feedback/thoughts on what we have so far? Thanks

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Hi! Your plan looks very thoughtfully laid out. I'm not very good at looking at floor plans and finding flaws but there were a few things I noticed.

I do think you need a door to the pool other then through the pool bath. I couldn't read the dimensions on the garage but I've seen some garages that have almost no space to maneuver around, especially with an SUV parked in it. If you plan on using the garage as a walk-through to the pool just make sure you have aisle space.

In your guest bath, if you think you'll have elderly parents or others visiting with limited mobility you may want to use a walk-in shower or a tub that is easy to step into.

I was also thinking (never a good sign) about going from the pool to the fridge for snacks and drinks. It would be really cool if you had a small refrigerator which opened in the front and the back built into an outdoor kitchen (which I don't know if you're going to have). You could build the fridge into the patio kitchen and back it up to the pantry and build an access from the pantry. That way you could keep it stocked from inside. Of course, this has nothing to do with anything but it sounded rather awesome to me. Maybe this heat is getting to me :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 4:04PM
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Hi Green....I'm not sure about the width of the garage aisle either. The three car garage is my husband's domain, but I will make sure to mention this so we can maneuver easily between the two doors.
Thanks for the idea about the guest bath/shower. I hadn't really thought about that, but it's definitely worth setting up with future mobility in mind.
I love the idea of having fridge access from both the inside and outside. Is that even possible? What a great idea if it is. Right now we are just planning on a pool and not having an outdoor kitchen....just the standard grill. Maybe we can put a second fridge in the garage that can be accessed through the door that we want added??

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 4:51PM
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The pantry is quite a hike from the garage. Will it bother you to tote bags of groceries that distance? If you decide to leave the pantry where it is, you might want to consider replacing the pantry window with a half-lite door which would give you a second path into the house from the pool area and would make it easy to get drinks and/or carry food out to the back if you're having a bar-be-que.

If you use your formal dining room regularly as a dining room, then I think it is too far from the kitchen. Carrying food in and then clearing off the table and carrying dirty dishes all the way to the dishwasher on a regular basis is going to get old fast! But, if the dining room will basically be a showpiece or will be used for other purposes most of the time so that the only time you're carrying food/dishes between the two room is for major holiday gatherings, then the distance may not be an issue for you.

IMHO, the kitchen needs work. The island is a "barrier" between cooktop and pantry/ovens and a partial barrier between cooktop and fridge which will make cooking a chore. Plus, as you've already mentioned, the fridge is too far from the cooktop. And, you don't have enough room between the back side of the island and the door to the pantry for any barstools. Thus no one could sit at the island and converse with the cook while he/she is putting a meal together. Consider posting the kitchen plan on the kitchen's forum for feedback and advice on making it more user friendly.

I do think a pool bath is a great idea and having it easily accessible to the laundry is smart.

However, I'm not so sure about having two sets of staircases. Do you really feel that the house is so big that two staircases are necessary? Stairs are expensive to build (all those spindles, balusters, and treads add up to $$$ quickly!) Plus a second staircase often takes up space that could be put to better use.

Alternatively, you might want to consider whether it would make sense to put in a home elevator instead of the second staircase. A home elevator would take up a whole lot less floor space on each floor and would make the entire house accessible to someone with limited mobility. Cost for a home elevator is in the $20K to $40 K range but, remember, you would not be buying nearly as many stair parts.

Will the guest suite be occupied all the time or most of the time? (perhaps by elderly parents?) If not and you expect to only have occasional overnight guests, would it make more sense to have the guest bathroom do double duty as the downstairs powder room?? ...especially since you will also have the pool bath downstairs that could be used if the guest bath is tied up? If you are going to keep all three downstairs bathrooms, then I'd swap the guest bath and guest closet so that the guest bath could have a window (to make it more pleasant) and so that the guest bath could be truly a private bath for your overnight guests.

Just some...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 8:17PM
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Hi Bev....thanks for all of the comments!!
@ the pantry....It doesn't really bother me as that distance is similar to what we have now. I thought about a door to the outside in the pantry, but then I wasn't sure about wet kids tracking through the food area, kwim?
@formal's mostly for show and will get used possibly twice/three times a year, so the extra steps aren't too much of a worry.
@staircases.....we have tossed around the idea of the elevator and will have to talk about that further to see what might be better. I know we would use the "back" stairs more than the front, but the main floor isn't going to be so large as to really "need" a second set. It was just something we thought about from others' homes we've been in that had them. They are very handy!!
@ the guest will be occupied at least six times a year for various lengths of time. It's possible one of our mother's could end up with us as well. We did originally have the guest bath open to act as the powder room too. Mostly, I'm concerned that if one of our moms have to stay with us permanently then it will give them more privacy being closed off to their room. I know that would be important to me if I was losing a lot of my independence.
@kitchen.....this is where I have the most concerns as well as I spend a lot of time here. I want the island turned 180 degrees and I still have reservations about the refrigerator location. I love where the sink/dishwasher is because one of my stipulations was that the sink had to be in front of windows. I love feeding/watching the birds and looking outside while I'm at the sink. I'm one of those weirdos that still likes to wash dishes by hand sometimes. Love to daydream while I'm staring out the window ;)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:59PM
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btw, the idea about moving the closet and guest bath so it will have the window. Done!!! :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 12:08AM
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I'd flip the kitchen and the breakfast area. This'll be very easy to do, and it'll fix two problems: 1. It'll allow you to have a handy to-the-pool door on hard-working tile (make it something non-slippery). 2. It'll eliminate the walking-by-one table to get to another table problem, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

Actually, since you say you'll use the dining room so infrequently, I'd consider doing away with it altogether and having just one really nice eating area.

Then I'd get rid of the second half-bath and the second staircase. These are both very pricey items, and you really don't need duplicates. Speaking if staircases, is the staircase 3-something? Most staircases are 4' wide, making them more comfortable if two people pass on the stairs / easier to get large furniture (like mattresses) upstairs.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Hi MrsPete....One of my must haves is the kitchen on the back wall because I want windows over my sink area looking out over the backyard. Although you are right that it would be very helpful with the door.
@ the stairs...the plans say they're 3'-6". Our rental has a nice set of wide stairs, and we like them a lot. I will mention that at our next meeting. Still not sure about the back stairs. It'll be so handy with three kids, but we're not married to them either. Maybe put in an elevator closet so we can install in the future??
@the front half bath....definitely a duplicate, so that's something that could be eliminated. What would go in that space though?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 10:24PM
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Overall this plan is great and very well thought out. I do however agree with some of your concerns. If you are willing to give up the second stair in the mudroom then your mudroom and kitchen could become much more functional. If you are concerned that the main stair in the entry is not going to work well, you can flip it so that you go upstairs from the back of the house.

Here is my very crude revision.

I got rid of the second stair and moved the laundry to that location. Can the one car garage be the same depth as the other 2? That could give you a nice size laundry that's not a walk through area.

Put the powder room to where the pantry was located and
created a hall in the mudroom that leads to the back yard. Move the pantry to the current laundry room. If you are willing to leave the pantry door in the mudroom, it would open up some wall space in the kitchen. Or you can leave it off the kitchen.

In the kitchen, since the pantry door won't be there or even if you leave it in the kitchen, it would be all the way at the bottom end, you now have a nice long space that can fit both the range and the fridge. Move the prep sink to the right side of the island between the fridge and range.

Seating would be on the left side of the island and out of the way. If you play around with it, I'm sure you can find room for a second fridge in the mudroom. It's a big space.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 3:39PM
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pps7....Thank you for the drawing :) I really like this idea!!!
The little hallway would definitely address the bath/door situation. Plus, we could move the fridge so it would be more functional in the kitchen. I have always wanted a half door on the back of the house and the little hallway would be a perfect place for that. I don't know if my husband will want to lose the extra space in the single garage. But as long as he has a place for all of his stuff, then I think that he would be ok with it. We'll have to talk about that and losing the extra stairs. Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 7:16PM
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Here's a possibility of rearranging the access to the utility areas that has gives the wet bathing suits a place to be dumped and still has almost direct access to a bath. You could also do a "walkthrough" pantry with another door through to the mudroom if you wanted to. That would give you a direct route to dump off groceries. I still think there's a better arrangement, but this is going in the right direction.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 7:43PM
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