Final House plans critique...all welcomed

Bridget19July 9, 2014

We FINALLY have our house plans drawn out and ready to go to the architect.

On that note...should we add a shower to the pool bath?

Working on the configuration of the Jill/Jill bath too.

It's taken us a long time to get to this point and had to sacrifice some big things, but gotta stay within budget. I really wanted HIS/HER walk in closets, but that didn't work out. I wanted a study, but settling with the drop zone.

So, what do you think??

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You could do an outdoor shower for the pool, right next to the bathroom, just to rinse off before going in or eating. But all this makes me wonder who will be using the pool? Is it mainly for family, like for exercise and daily fun, or will you have a lot of visitors (kids' friends, your friends, family, etc.) using it? Will they want a place to change? If so, move the shower indoors.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:09PM
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I like it. My only suggestion would be to do a pocket door to the play room instead of a swing door. You could do it off the media wall. Seems a little crowded to have a door there. I also really like your safe room. I would like to add that to our house plans.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:11PM
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Hi Bridget!

First off-We both wanted his and hers closets too and it just didn't work and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised after it was finished. Ours is a pass through between master bath and laundry room, he has one side and I have the other-plenty of room. So that might not be as bad as you think. :)

What is that beyond the closet?

Overall I have to say I think your house is going to be very dark. You don't have a single window in the main living area of the house with direct light. I think you may regret that. I love natural light though so that is just my opinion.

Which way will your house face?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:25PM
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Can you make the pantry wider to utilize both sides for storage? Also, maybe consider a pass through of some sort between garage and pantry for ease of unloading groceries.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:16PM
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bpathome- The pool bath will be used by any one who needs it. I think we decided the outside shower will work fine. We were just thinking of accomadating guests when we have them...but I am not sure it really matters, does it?

amoore1205- Yes a pocket door there will be much better. I really wanted to do something like a barn door, but I'm afraid it might not fit. The safe room is hubby's favorite part too.

Autumn.4- good to hear on the closet situation...we share now, and it's fine. I just really wanted our own space, but it's not worth giving up sq.ft. in the master bedroom for. The space beyond the closet is a safe room. We are going to lots of windows in the back, more than what are on there. Our house will face west, the pool will be on the east side, garage on north side. We live in Florida so we will be okay.

Michelle1973-I think the pantry will only be one sided...we will see. We might be able to go wider but I think we may have to be happy with what we got. It will be about 10ft. long, which is a lot of storage. As far as carrying groceries, it won't be bad, less than what I deal with now. This kitchen is right around the corner.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 8:51AM
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I think I would eliminate one of the sinks in the bathroom connected to bedroom 2. That is the only entrance to the bath, and I can't imagine more than one person using the bathroom there. I would also eliminate the door and wall inside that bath. I think it's unnecessary for how it is likely to be used. Without the extra door inside the bath you might be able to move the sink closer to the bathtub and add a door from the playroom for friends to use it without going through the bedrooms.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:09AM
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So, if your kids are playing in the playroom, and need to quickly go to the bathroom, they'll need to run through a bedroom to one?

If it were my house, I'd figure out how to make one of the bath's available to the playroom/hall.

What is the skinny room to the left of the foyer?

And, are you going to be okay walking through the main family entry, every time, you go to your master bedroom? (In my family, that would mean tracking into my bedroom pine needles at our house, or farm dirt at my parents' or Brother's...) Your family/house site might be different.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 6:58PM
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rrah- I like that idea. I will do that!!! Thanks!

kirkhall- I like the idea of opening one of the bathrooms up, good idea! The room to the left of the foyer is a dining room. My hubby is going to build a harvest table to go in there. Do you mean having the bedroom door right by the garage? I've thought about that, but can't figure how else it would work. You are right, that's a drawback that I don't like. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 8:59PM
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could you swap your pantry and drop zone/garage entry locations?

If so, we could sketch that so you'd "see" it.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 1:39AM
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kirkhall- Yes, I could swap those...I would love that! That would flow better.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:22AM
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Love your floor plan. We actually wanted to build one similar, but due to the expense of a ranch, opted for a two story build instead.

Here's a pic of the one we were close to building. This plan could fix your master bedroom access as well as a full bath access that doesn't require walking through a room. You can also add an upstairs bonus room, which would be nice if/when your kids outgrow the downstairs playroom.

The cost to build on this may not be representative in your area - it wasn't in ours! Excited for y'all and a tad bit jealous! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Plan

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:04PM
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I don't remember how old your kids are, but mine would never play in that playroom. They would drag all their toys into the family room so they could be around other people. We also want to be around our children, and not have them off in a separate enclosed space. If they need a bit of private time, that's what their rooms are for.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:24PM
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What will the architect's role be?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:06PM
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Our youngest is 6, so the playroom will be more like a kids living room. I love this part of the house.

runnergirl79- I love that plan too. Very similar.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:46PM
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kirkhall- just wondering if you had any ideas on how to make that swap work?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:40AM
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Um, yes. But not tonight. I'll try to find this post again tomorrow (or email me... been a busy week).

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:03AM
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Thank you..looking forward to seeing your take on it.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:48AM
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Okay. I'm working on it.
3 questions--
Can you extend the depth of the garage footprint (for example, line it up more closely to your master's outside (left) wall?

How would you feel about swapping the location of the kitchen and the "nook"/dining? (of course, as I think about that, that puts 2 dining areas right next to each other... How often will you need both? use both?)

what is the "L" square just outside the pool bath? Is that supposed to be a linen closet?

This post was edited by kirkhall on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 21:20

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Bridget--a few more

What is the drawn-in depth of the pantry as you drew it?

what is your necessary dimensions of the formal dining room?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 10:02PM
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Here is one idea... I am not a photoshopping person, so I hand draw. And, without dimensions, I can't guarantee it will work. But, maybe you have a program you can plug it into, or someone else will jump on/in with their program. Or, your architect/designer can fix it up...

And, a close up of the changed areas:

Or, you can bump to the left the garage a bit more to make room for the current pantry to be wider to accommodate a bench-full mudroom and put the pantry where you drop spot was before...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:47PM
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No idea what a "safe" room is, (perhaps where a/the safe is kept?) but could it double as a WIC?

I wouldn't bother changing the bathrooms to be closer for toilet breaks. It they are outside playing they will have a bit of distance to travel to get to a toilet.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 3:49AM
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Kirkhall - I love your suggestions. I hope this is not a hijack, but if you have time would you please take a peek at my "Request for Layout and Design Help" thread.

I'm looking for just this type of feedback.

Bridget, I'm not sure where you are located, but everyone here in Oklahoma knows what a "safe room" is. Not only is it a room for tornado shelter, but also it is a panic room in case of a break in. Good luck with your project!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:36AM
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Gerty, I'll try to find it.

Bridget, one other thing that might not be clear. I've drawn in an "office" nook and the pantry behind the fridge location. But, the function of these spaces could be swapped--with pantry or butler's pantry where I've drawn the office.

Just think about your children and what they are likely to need. I liked the idea of having the pantry near the fridge (and sink) so they can get their snacks without being in my cooking zone. If, however, you would have your butler's pantry function as a snack station, then that might not be a concern and you'd prefer your office nook nearer your master.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:05PM
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Oh my...sorry, we were out of town and things got busy. Meeting with the builder tonight, so I am going over this now.
I hesitate on bumping garage out anymore, b/c it's adding so much sq.ft. to the house. We did that originally and he told us it put us over the 4,000sqft. mark. We'd like to be no more than 3500sq.ft.

By adding an office in that dining room would shrink it down more. It's already a narrow dining at 12x15.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:23PM
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I didn't shrink your dining... I turned it. I made the new Left wall even with the old "pantry" wall that you had drawn in on your original design (IIRC, your front wall of your garage was not even, I've made it even). When even, I turned the dining room 90*--still same size-ish. And, created an office 'nook'. Whether or not it works depends on final dimensions, but I didn't move your garage exterior/door wall.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:55PM
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I don't think you can add a shower to the pool bath -- not in the current footprint. I do think the pool bath looks awfully minimal. I'd consider taking in the adjacent linen closet so that at least the doors don't come within inches of touching one another. Since this bath isn't for actual bathing -- thus, less storage is needed -- I'd go with a pedestal sink; I'm not a huge fan of them overall, but in this mini-bath, it'll enlarge the room visually.

You have the safe room -- admittedly, we don't have those in my area, so I really don't "get it" -- but I see that right next to it you have an essentially same-sized laundry room. I'd consider building the laundry to "safe room code" so that it could function as a laundry every day . . . but in an emergency, it IS your safe room. If you store emergency supplies (i.e., water) in the safe room, you could easily install shelves above the hanging space and use that area for emergency items. It'd save you some square footage . . . and you might get those his and hers closets without sacrificing anything from your plan.

I'm not usually quick to jump on the "this house'll be so dark" bandwagon -- but I think this house's public areas are going to be dark. Between the foyer and bedroom covering the front side and the covered porch filtering light in from the back side, you'd better invest in good lighting!

I also second the idea of widening the pantry. I personally like the idea of a small-to-moderate sized kitchen, but it only works when you have ample pantry nearby for storage. Your pantry is okay as is, but if you add just ONE MORE FOOT of width, you'd almost double your storage space. It's a huge value /bargain in the world of square footage. I don't see how you can pass that up.

That outdoor fireplace is nice, but it's a very expensive luxury -- several thousand dollars, even when backed up against the other fireplace. Lots of people say they never use theirs -- are you sure you will?

Like a number of other people, I think the playroom is a disaster. It's going to be dark, and it has too many doors -- furniture placement will be essentially impossible. I understand the idea of wanting a "kids' living room", but I don't see this one working out nicely.

Thumbs up on the kids' bedrooms (though I think I'd double the windows in #2 and #3). Good size, good closets, good bathroom access.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 9:33PM
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Thanks...met with the builder last night. We are going to add solar tubes in the playroom for lighting, that'll help a bit.

I need to understand the turning of the dining room and tweaking that. We were trying to subtract sq.ft. from the original plan, granted I really like the idea of turning that, but I think the office will be teeny tiny. We may be able to widen the pantry a foot that, then that would give more room for the drop zone, which would be for the computers.

The only way we could add a shower to the guest bath is by expanding it, but honestly this is just a bathroom for when guests are here or we are in the pool. Guests that stay over will use on of the kids rooms. They will bunk up with their siblings then. :)

The safe room has to stay where it is. It will function perfectly there. I don't want to cramp the laundry room anymore but doing dual purpose in there.

Widening the pantry will happen. The outdoor fireplace would be used, we entertain a lot and it's nice to sit and enjoy a fire.

As far as the "playroom", it's what drew me to this plan so many times over and over again. It would not be ladden with toys. I will have a futon or sleeper sofa and a TV, that'd be about it. It'll be a place for them to go when we were are watching our show or if we are entertaining and they want to watch something.

We will be making the windows bigger in the bedrooms and adding high windows in the bath just for lighting. They will be a solid window, no opening them. (I think)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 8:39AM
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