House Plan Opinions Please!!!!!!

amoore1205July 8, 2014


This is my first post on this website. My husband and I are building a home and believe that we have found a plan that we both like. We are about to take these plans to our architect for some small changes and would love your opinion.

Thank you for your time :)

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This is the 2nd story.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 3:46PM
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Just some random thoughts that I have when looking-

That's a LONG trek from the garage to the kitchen with arms full of groceries.

Might want to do some searching on here regarding pros/cons of two story living room ceilings. A lot of people steer away from that due to noise factors, etc. I think there are several thread on here about that specific thing.

There's something about the master bath/ closet setup that strikes me as odd. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is. Lack of symmetry? I'm not sure.

How cool that you'll have a laundry chute. My son would love that.

What kind of property are you building on?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:08PM
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We walk five blocks with groceries so I don't necessarily think that walking the length of the house once a week carrying something is a big deal, but I agree in this case that the kitchen and master bedroom seem to be on the wrong sides of the house in relation to the garage.

Filling in the porch is going to potentially wreak some havoc on the balance of the façade.

I think the bathrooms upstairs are way too small for a house this size, and the master bath/closet complex is huge.

Furniture layout is going to be Very Difficult in the Great Room. A lot of it is dedicated circulation space and there is an island in the middle for some furniture. The fireplace seems like it is centered but it is effectively off center to the seating area and that would drive me a little nuts.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:33PM
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I agree that the walk from the kitchen to the garage for groceries would get old. And, the great room is super narrow when you take into account the hallway area. I agree with pal that the fireplace seems off balance to the rest of the room. Regarding the upstairs bedrooms, could you change the gables to shed dormers to give the window areas a bit more width?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:43PM
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I like it. I know there is little opportunity for upper cabinets in the kitchen but I would find a way to get a window in it.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:50PM
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I think the problem with the great room is that the fire place (focal point) is on the short wall. The short wall of a long, narrow room. I say move the fireplace to the back wall, and the problem will disappear.

The entryway is overly large. That isn't a place I'd choose to spend money.

The sunroom provides a separate living area, but it doesn't provide any visual or auditory privacy from the great room. I'd consider french doors to this area so you could close it off when it suits you.

I would like to see a door on the end of the closet to shorten the steps between the laundry and clothes storage. I'm not loving the master bath.

I also don't love the upstairs. It's so broken up, so spread out. It's going to cost a fortune for all those hallways, and the space doesn't look worthwhile in the long run.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:56PM
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Welcome amoore1205! I second MrsPete's idea about the additional entry to the master closet -- we are doing something similar. Actually, the room relationships on the first floor of this plan are much like what we will have (only our garage is detached and our laundry/mudroom/pantry area is where "dining" is shown on this plan). Check the dimensions of the master closet -- I suspect it will be difficult to get 4 hanging rows in there comfortably. I think the fireplace is in a fine spot, but if you do move it to the screen porch wall, you could do a 2-sided fireplace, that might be nice . . .

palimpsest, would you mind sharing why you think the kitchen and master bedroom orientation is backwards? Just curious.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:29PM
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I think it is very nice, and your idea to put a wall of windows in the kitchen is great. Don't forget that the window wall will be very visible from the great room, in case you are planning on putting your sink there. (Keeping in mind dirty dishes, etc .)

I would find a way for the utility area to have both direct outdoor and garage access, if possible.

I definitely understand wanting a direct trek from closet to laundry, but I don't know if it would feel weird to have another door into the master suite, like someone could just pop in through your closet.

Curious how you envision your family using the sunroom.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:37PM
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I would probably put the kitchen where the master bedroom is, and the master bedroom where the kitchen and sunroom are, then put the dining room where the library is. Just to keep the kitchen/utility/mudroom/garage together. It separates the dining room and kitchen a bit, but generally people don't use the formal dining room all that often.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:38PM
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Ah but Pal...then you would have the laundry more than a few steps away from the master bedroom ;-)

And that is one of the leading criticisms that I see on this forum.

AMoore---is this a William Poole plan? It reminds me of one that we looked at when we built 10 yrs ago. I generally like it, but like Pal I am afraid your laundry room/porch change will alter the facade. PS welcome to the board.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I would find the upstairs rooms very dark with only the single windows in the deep dormers.

Where would you put the bed in the master? Facing the windows? And then who gets the long trek to the pot in the middle of the night?

Unlike Pal, we grocery shop almost daily and that is a long trek...not only for groceries, but also for whatever else anyone drags in on their feet...I prefer forcing people through the mud room from the garage.

There have been other threads on the open to below balcony areas including how happy the siblings are with each other, how much noise will carry upstairs, how much heat you need to lose from that open space and how cozy you want the room below to feel...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:20PM
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Thank you guys for the response. I am already in love with this site.


I have considered the walk with groceries and completely understand your line of thinking. We are building on our land in the country and really want views from every room in the house. The home will be positioned around beautiful oaks with no neighbors in sight. Call me strange, but I love the idea of being able to stand in the kitchen and see out the front of the house, the side, and the back.

I think that we are going to close the ceiling on the living room. I'm not to crazy about it being open to below, but I will check out the thread.
I'm not to crazy about the master bath/closet area. I'm going to ask our architect for suggestions.

I though the laundry chute was cool too :)

Palimpsest: I agree about the upstairs being too small and cramped. I'm going to have our architect work on that as well as bumping out the laundry room. I am also going to expand the living room to 24x18 and center the fireplace with the seating area (not to include the walk space under the balcony).

I do like the idea of maybe moving the fireplace to the side wall to accommodate a double fireplace. I will have to think about that because I don't want to jeopardize the views to the backyard.

Cas81611: I plan on using the sunroom as more of an adult area. A place for morning coffee or a place for the women to congregate when we have people over. And I agree with you, I'm not too sure how I would feel about anther door to the master bath. It is something to think about tho :)

Oaktown: Thank you for the suggestions. I actually considered a detached garage on that side of the house. Have you posted your house plan? I would love to see it.

Red_Lover: I'm not sure who the designer is. It's house plan W32548WP off Architectural Design.

Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:47PM
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How many people are using the upstairs bedrooms? If they are all occupied, give the left-.hand bathroom just one door into the hall.

There was a laundry chute in a house growing up. The most likely user was the one nearest it. For the others,you may as well carry your laundry with you when you go downstairs. In fact, the chute was surrounded by a back staircase, so that user (me, as it so happens) found it just as easy to carry the laundry down the stairs, too. On the other hand, it had a flat top and was a nice vantage point for the cat :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Amy-I don't think that is strange at all, views are the best! What would trump it for me though is kids coming in from outside to grab a drink or snack and having to walk all through the house to get there-esp living in the country. That may not be your situation at all though and my boys might just be dirtier at play. :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:33PM
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If there are good views, and especially out the back, the upstairs is completely lacking in views out the back and not too generous with them in the front.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:05PM
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This looks like you need to plan for a 3 foot extension on the north side. (Top, or East, West, or South). I agree with the garage being on the wrong side of the house as far as kitchen/ master bedroom. You have a highway through the great room, but the three foot extension should alleviate that. Why is there a powder room right off the foyer? There are too many stairways, which are costly. The closet/ master bath needs to be completely reworked. I personally prefer a large shower instead of a garden tub. I would rework the entire Master/Closet/Bathroom. Gee, can we pick a new plan for you, or would you be offended? Are you really attached to this plan?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:22PM
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Haha, no Voila I would not be offended. Here is what I love about this plan. I love the layout of the foyer, living room, office, kitchen, and sunroom.

Everything else can be changed, including the entire upstairs. I have thought about doing a detached garage on the left of the house and making the dining room into the mud room/pantry. I could put the dining room where the sunroom is and bump out the sunroom.

I do agree that we need more windows upstairs too.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:41PM
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I'll ask the architect if it is ok to post something, or I could do a crude sketch. We also had to plan around a bunch of oaks on our property.

Another benefit of making the garage detached would be getting another window in bedroom 2.

Upstairs, consider using your "open to below" area in lieu of "future rec room." Then you won't need the second set of stairs. You could add additional dormers and make your front dormers larger. Our house is really a two-story house masquerading as a 1.5 with big dormers.

Good luck!

(Edited to add: For inspiration, you might take a look at the Net Weaver's Place and Newberry Park plans from Allison Ramsey Architects -- those have first floor layouts with similar room relationships to the ones in your plan. Our Town Plans -- I believe it is affiliated with Historical Concepts -- also has some nice ideas for homes without attached garages.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Our Town Plans

This post was edited by Oaktown on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 0:30

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:15PM
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Laundry chutes are nice, but dumb waiters are even better as they can go up or down.

What bothers me about the master bath/closet combo is the probable exposure to moisture of your clothing. Even with excellent ventilation, moisture from steamy showers takes awhile to disperse.

A large entryway can have its uses, depending on how you accessorize it. Do you plan to place a coat rack, bench, and mirror there? You will probably not require formal guests to come through your mud room.

There is a security concern for me in the lack of centrality of the kitchen and master bedroom areas; for some reason the sun room being across from the master bedroom with an empty porch in between also suggests security issues to me. If you have older children that would ameliorate some of these concerns, though, as would some sort of paging system. In general, I would not enjoy such a large, multi-entranced home without some sort of good security system (or an alert dog!) in place.

I also agree with the grocery-carrying distance comments. This becomes much more of an issue with age, as does the lack of space for an inclinator to get upstairs, space to sit in a dressing area, etc. etc. Try to imagine being 30 years older and ask yourself what you might like at that point, while you still have the flexibility of choice.

In general, though, to me, this looks like a pleasant home to live in.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:31PM
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oaktown gave you some good choices with the Net Weaver's Place and Newberry Park plans from Allison Ramsey Architects. You can also get books of house plans for houses with views, lake homes and others with a lot of windows. This is a big commitment, so find that perfect for you house.

This post was edited by voila on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 22:39

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:47PM
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Oaktown and Voila, Thank you SOOOOO much for suggesting Allison Ramsey. I have never seen her homes and I am in LOVE!! This is the exact style that I am looking for.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:07AM
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