Final Floor plan, with Summerfield's help!

eoz3106August 1, 2011

I have posted various versions of this over the last year, but with Summerfield's offline help, I think we might be done. I'd love everyone's input as we need to get this bid out soon so we can determine what this will cost.

A little background, we are a family of four, with 2 boys, ages 5 and 7. This will be built on 5 acres north of Houston. We've incorporated a guest suite downstairs in order to accomodate aging parents.

There will be a detached garage which you can see on the left side of the front elevation, but I did not include it on the first floor plan I'm posting in order to make that larger and eaiser to read. If people want me too, I can add it though.

Thanks and we look forward to hearing your comments! From House

From House

From House

From House

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Wow, this will be a beautiful home.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:27AM
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There are many very nice things about this home! My only advice is to post the kitchen layout on the kitchens forum. They will help you get the very best functionality out of the kitchen in your beautiful new home. For example, I notice that the range and sink are back to back. OK for one cook but not so much for 2. Not sure where the ref is but you'll want people to be able to get a drink without crossing through a major work path (e.g. past the range.) OTOH the ref needs to be handy to the stove and either the main sink or a prep sink. So some shifting around of the various kitchen elements might be in your best interest.

I bet you're excited - it's going to be lovely.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 1:32PM
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I think it is going to be gorgeous! I like how you have everything centered and aligned, the lines of sight will be beautiful in your home. I did the sink back to back with the range wall, and the big center island with the fireplace on the opposite side of the room. I love it. I just posted a pic of it on the August progress thread. Here are my couple of comments....

1.) The game room off the mudroom is great from the pool area, but guests will always have to pass through the mudroom otherwise. This is probably one of those, "we know how we'll use this space" deals that makes sense, but my mudroom is already a mess!

2.) Your study shows the desk in the bay window. On the front elevation, this looks like it comes down pretty far. How will your desk fit / look in that nook from the inside and outside? I try to avoid furniture up against a window if it will be higher than the sill.

Is your staircase a really grand set? If not, I would make the front door swing the other way so that upon entry you see your pretty entry table instead of the fxnal staircase. If the staircase is the better looking of the 2, then keep it.

Can't wait to see it!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 1:57PM
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Stunning! Summerfield Designs is soooo talented!

Chicagoans makes a good point about the range and sink being back to back. I can see that symmetry is important to you so I won't suggest offsetting the stove and sink from each other. LOL! But do make sure you have room enough for two people to stand, back to back without crowding in that space. 48" is probably wide enough if you only very occasionally have two cooks in the kitchen - and neither cook is a "plus-size" person! But, if you regularly have two people working in the kitchen at the same time, I'd want a 54" to 60" wide aisleway. Since your island is curved on the living room side, it looks like you could move it 6" to 10" closer to the living room if need be.

I'm assuming the fridge will be a built-in counter-depth model at the end of the island. You might want to consider putting a small "beverage refrigerator" under the counter in the dining room area to alleviate trips thru the cooking zone to get drinks. I'd probably also put in an undercounter wine fridge there, a bar sink, and maybe a small ice maker. (Wine fridges typically operate at about 50 to 55 degrees, beverage fridges can be set much colder for beer, sodas, milk, juice, etc. and a couple of months ago, I saw a matching pair with black glass doors which would allow you to keep your dining room looking very symmetrical!)

My only other major concern would be that the laundry room is quite a long distance from the bedroom closets and bathrooms... and the bedrooms are widely spread throughout the house. I wouldn't want to be toting laundry all over the house and up and down stairs. Fortunately, you have plenty of room upstairs to put in a second laundry room if starts to bother you. You could also fit a stacking washer/dryer into your "dressing room area."

One last thing, since the exercise room is partially over the master bedroom, noise from someone using the treadmill may carry along the floor joists to the master bedroom area. There are sound muffling materials that can help alleviate potential problems. See the link...

Can't wait to see you start posting "building progress" pics. It is going to be a gorgeous house.

Here is a link that might be useful: soundproofing materials

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 2:40PM
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Thanks for the feedback so far!

1. The staircase is not going to be a grand one, so that is a great idea to change the direction it opens.
2. I hadn't thought about the height of the desk compared to the window sill, thanks for pointing that out. I'll have to think on that one.

1. We have a laundry chute to the first floor, it's hard to see on the floorplan, but hopefully that will help.
2. Thanks for the link on soundproofing, I'll take a look.

1. The kitchen layout isn't final yet. We've prioritized getting the entire floor plan done and bid. We know we need to tweak the layout of hte kitchen, but know moving things around will have a minor impact on overall cost. We've been designing over a year now and wanted to "push through" to get it bid. Now that we are there, we are planning to focus more specifically on the kitchen layout. I will definitely post over in kitchens once we have a more detailed kitchen layout.

Thanks for the feedback so far, this is such a wonderful forum!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 3:28PM
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wow, there are lots of windows in your house. However, I think the family room and kitchen may still be dark due to the porch roof. You might want to take this into consideration when doing your electrical plan.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 7:04PM
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For me, getting the dirty clothes downstairs was never the big problem. I would just stuff dirty things into pillow cases and toss the the whole bundle down the stairs. The problem was always getting everything BACK up the stairs and put away. Seemed like half our clothing was always waiting down in the laundry room to be carted back upstairs. I can't begin to tell you how happy I am in my new home to have the laundry room upstairs where all my bedrooms are.

A laundry chute won't carry the clean stuff back upstairs but it will save wear-and-tear on your pillowcases. LOL!

I'm really curious though, since your laundry room is not underneath any of your upstairs bedrooms or baths, where exactly on the plans is the chute is located????

I see a couple of small gray squares that I thought might represent the laundry chute. (One is downstairs just to the right of the desk in the office and one is upstairs in the little closet that is just above the stairs.) The only problem is, those two gray squares DON'T LINE UP OVER ONE ANOTHER...and I don't think a chute will work if clothing needs to travel horizontally 12 ft on as it drops 8 to 10 feet.

If those two gray squares were supposed to be the laundry chute, then you have a bit of a SNAFU on your plans that needs to be fixed. To be lined up the lower end would need to be tucked into the lower left hand corner of your living room. Or, alternatively, you need to move the top of the chute to the lower left hand corner of the the dressing room for the bedroom on the left...which wouldn't be at all convenient for the child who gets bedroom on the right.

Since I can't read what the lettering on those two gray squares says, I realize I could be wrong and I'm hoping they are NOT the laundry chute. Still, these kinds of snafu's sometimes happen which is why it is always good to have fresh eyes look over your plans carefully when you think they are completely finalized!

If that was supposed to have been the chute, would you be at all open to swapping the laundry room and exercise room?

Washers and dryers run pretty quietly these days and, if you swapped, you could easily run a laundry dumbwaiter from your master bedroom closet up into the upstairs laundry room - solving ALL the problems of transporting clothing both up AND down the stairs. And having the exercise room downstairs might tempt you to exercise a little while dinner cooks... You could still have a washer and dryer (maybe a stacking set) down in the exercise room to handle pool towels, kitchen linens, etc.

Course, if you swapped, you would lose any possibility of turning that upstairs room into another bedroom some day. And, if you actually do laundry while cooking, it might be more convenient to have the laundry room downstairs. But, its an idea....

RE - dark living room and family room because of the back porch: Putting some skylights or solar tube lights into your porch room so that light is directed down onto or near your windows will help brighten the rooms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Laundry dumbwaiter

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 7:37PM
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I know I'm naive, but the boys will be trained to carry their laundry upstairs! ;)

You have a keen eye, the laundry chute doesn't line up at this point, but we are aware of it. Summerfield acutally has it in an archway, but we will most likely relocate to the bathroom on the bottom right on the 2nd floor and have it drop into the master wardrobe.

There are lots of windows, and we will probably reduce by 1 in each room on the second room for starters. I'll have to think about the lighting a little more and the concern for darkness in the kitchen and living room.

What are your thoughts of making the roof stop in line with the dining room exterior wall and having a pergola run the length of the skinny section from the game room to the master bedroom?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:13PM
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I don't think you have too many windows! I love light-filled rooms. In fact, I was thinking of suggesting another window on the side walls of each upstairs bedrooms (so that light could enter from two sides) till I realized that with your steep roof, the side windows would probably have to be a different size than the others. Plus, side windows might make furniture placement difficult. But, those bedrooms are too big to each have a single window. I definitely would not take one out.

Re the pergola idea, I think it would look a bit odd to have half the deep section of your porch covered with a solid roof and half with a pergola. I also think you would wind up having to have some support posts in the middle of your porch where the solid roof changes to pergola and that would make arranging patio furniture difficult if not impossible.

It might look great tho if you did a pergola over the ENTIRE porch. In Houston you would probably want fairly closely spaced purlins so that at least half the sunlight is blocked. Might even want to angle the purlins so that they block even more of the sun when it is at its hottest.

Of course, a pergola would not protect your porch area from rain but, if you built it with a bit of a slope on top, you could cover it with something like clear or translucent polycarbonate panels. (You would need some slope to the top of the pergola so rain would run off.) Done properly, the polycarbonate panels would not be very noticeable from out in the yard but would provide rain shelter.

BTW, tho the plans appear to say "flat roof" over the dining room and porch areas, I'm assuming you are going to have SOME slope there. Maybe 2/12 - 3/12? Truly flat roofs (0/12) are notorious for developing leaks and you don't want to chance a leak over your dining room.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 12:53PM
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Sounds like you're working out the laundry room chute issues fine. We also had one for our DD's and then I had a basket for each so that when laundry was folded and ready, they could grab it off the counter and go.

Now that same DD has her own new home and laundry room is upstairs with kids' bedrooms (ages 6 & 7 1/2)--the eldest one is being taught to do the washing with new front load washer, and both kids are to do the folding. I can hardly wait to see how that works out for them!

If I were you, I'd not send out for bids until the kitchen plans are finished. Just went through nightmares with a project I simply helped with where bids were sent before kitchen finalized and electrical and plumbing upcharges were incredible for the changes needed when things were revised--in what we thought were going to be minor issues.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 2:10PM
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PHENOMENAL! I think this plan looks gorgeous - I'm very jealous, I must admit. if I could afford to build a house this size, I'd be tempted to steal your plan!

Just my opinion -- I don't see the back-to-back sink / range as an issue. I also don't see the amount of natural light as an issue either. That comes up in comments a lot on here. And people are always suggesting skylights!!! I'm a realtor, and I see them, but in houses from the 70s and 80s. I suppose they've improved them since then from the standpoint of potential roof leaks (maybe, I really don't know). But aesthetically, they're definitely not my thing (no offense to anyone on here who has them).

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 7:30PM
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I'm so glad that people seem to enjoy our floor plan as much as we do. The living room is going to have an 11 foot ceiling, so maybe that heigth will reduce the potential darkness issue.

Dash3108 - You do have a point, I don't see many skylights in new construction around here, Texas. Maybe it's regional, but I'm leaning against them. It's always nice to hear a realtors perspective. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 8:51PM
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Skylights inside a house in Texas would tend bring in way too much heat. I've seen them in a few homes built in the 60s and 70s but in every case, the owner had gone out on the roof and covered them over.

Skylights in a porch roof tho are a different matter entirely. Heat doesn't build up the same way when you have air circulation like on a porch. I have seen skylights in porch roofs fairly often here in central Texas. Usually only see them in very large homes with very wide porches. They do a nice job of helping to bring some much needed light into the house.

And yes, they've gotten much better about not leaking since the 70's.

An alternative to skylights would be "solar tube" lights. They cut down on the heat transfer but, in my opinion, don't provide quite an "natural" a light.

And, for absolutely fabulous use of skylights in Texas, one need look no further than the Texas Capitol's "underground extension" in Austin.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 9:20PM
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Love the plan & so envious of the mudroom/laundry area.

FYI: I'm in Central TX and have a covered patio off our livingroom. It's 12 ft deep and faces east. Our livingroom is not dark at all.

I'm curious - did Summerfield help you offline for a fee?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 7:34PM
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Id be tempted to replace the doors from the dining room to the patio with a two-way ventless gas fireplace with a window above so you keep the natural light. It would be useful on the patio in winter months, and would give great Xmas ambience for the dining room. And you really wouldnt lose much flow, because the doors from the living room to the patio are right around the corner, which I would consider to be the main entry point, rather than having much foot traffic in the dining room. It would also give you a great reason to buy an outdoor dining set, so you dont need access to the dining dont want a group of wet kids in your nice dining room anyways!

I also think it would be unique to make the three windows in the circular part of the game room into full roll-up garage-ish style doors. It would be a great spot for those beautiful 60 degree nights to roll all the doors up, and have an "outdoors" game room feeling. Or fall evenings with the football games on tv or whatever.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 1:40PM
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Great plan! I have seen Summerfield referenced a few times, but I can't find a link to his site. Could you let me know where to find his plans?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 1:18PM
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To my knowledge, Summerfield does not have plans the way Don Gardner, Bill Poole, Frank Betz, etc have plans available for sale. Summerfield helps others on the site who already have at least a sketch of what they want. Then you have to take Summerfield's drawings to an architect/designer to have them formally drawn up & stamped. Summerfield is truly talented & has helped alot of people on this site, myself included. The best way to reach Summerfield is through the email link on his/her GW page. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 11:10PM
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    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 5:08PM
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eoz3106, I was just looking at your plan again, and I was curious, what is the square footage?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 2:38PM
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Laura, click on Summerfield's blue name on a post somewhere. Then, click on the email me link to email directly.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:28PM
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Laura- The square footage is printed on the bottom right, of the first level. I believe it says 3449.375 square I'm guessing that almost rounds up to 3500 :)

I don't know if that is counting the upstairs or not, but I didn't see a square footage number, on that picture.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 7:09PM
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