Floor plan - your comments, please

prescotthouseAugust 5, 2012

I posted last month with our initial floor plan for a house we are building as a vacation home, which will eventually be our main home. It is just my husband and I, with kids and grandkids visiting occasionally. Our lot has an expansive view to the north/northeast and is steeply sloping from the curb to the bottom of the lot, approximately .5 acre. We're in a fairly warm climate so don't need a mudroom. We're okay with a small master bath and closet. There will be a partial walkout basement of about 660 sf that will initially be unfinished, but eventually contain a bedroom, family room, bathroom and office/workshop. On the plan below I want to push out the left wall of the guest closet to match the wall of the master bath so that the guest bath could be a couple of feet longer. The wall of windows in the great room/dining area will have two floor to ceiling windows with a sliding door inbetween them. The windows on the west wall of the bedrooms will be long, narrow windows about 5' above the floor. The deck will be covered and will be our main outdoor living area, although I would like to have a small patio in the front (south side) for cooler times of the year. We're trying to build for around $200/sf and we don't plan to use high end products. I like the tile that looks like a wood floor for the great room/kitchen area and carpet in the bedrooms. Thanks for your help.

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Your kitchen clearances are too tight. Although you have written in 3' between island and outside counters, in real life, you have 15' overall there. With 2' outside counters, plus 3" or so for the outside counter overhangs, plus 5' island plus 3" island counter overhang, you are at 9.5 feet leaving only 5.5 feet for aisles divide by 2, you are only about 33" aisles. Add that the fridge isn't flush with the countertops (even if you get a counter-depth fridge), your right hand aisle will be way too tight.

If you can't get another foot of depth (from garage to your back porch) in the kitchen area, then might should consider a peninsula design kitchen instead of the island.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:29PM
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What do you think of a 4'x4' island in the kitchen? I'm concerned that the 6' between the range and the island is too much. Or should we place the island farther back into the kitchen?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

A number of comments...

Do you really want to come in from the garage into your dining room? Regardless of weather, I would want some kind of space there, esp if kids and grand kids come and go with all their stuff.

Kirkhall is right about the island...you'd need to put it the other way, but then having to go around it to get to the fridge is awkward. I think I would want the fridge on the outside wall next to the dining space, slide the sink down and the make use of the garage wall for pantry and entry space to work together.

We have a finished walkout basement and didn't want it to feel like going to a basement so we put in a full sized staircase and railings and no door....so the lower level really is part of the house.

From the front facade, your garage is going to be the largest and most prominent feature...are you happy with that?

Northern exposures can be pretty dark...do you want the guest room to get the sunshine, or would you rather have it? I love eastern light to help me wake in the morning. Perhaps you'll want to put the sink with a window over it on that wall instead.

If that's a linen closet next to the pot in the master bath, no one will be able to get into it. Are you going to have any linen closet space, broom closet, etc?

Overall, the plan to me seems to lack the functional design elements that are gained when you think about actually moving and living in the space on a day to day basis. Think about furniture...where is the tv? Where will you pay bills? And so on. It will determine if the space will work for you

Also there are books full of hillside home plans. I would suggest you look at some for ideas to see how they handled the space.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:21PM
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Thank you for your comments Annie. After reading your suggestions I've looked at the post about mudrooms in the garage and am considering a row of hooks and drawers there. I plan to have the refrigerator flush with the counters by having a setback in the garage wall. Here in Arizona we don't worry about having enough sunlight - the freaking sun shines every day (can you tell it's August and I've had about all of the heat I can take!) Unfortunately our lot is not wide enough for a side load garage and due to the slope it's placement has to be in the front of the house. Also because of the slope we're building as close to the front of the lot as possible, but once inside the house it's all about the view. I want to make the best use of the laundry room as possible as it's quite a bit bigger than my current laundry room and will probably be used for linen and cleaning storage. I'm also wondering about having the left wall (view wall) of the kitchen be all windows with no upper cabinets. I'm not sure if it's worth giving up the upper cabinet storage. As I get older the lower cabinets are harder to use and we intend to live here full time after retirement.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:49AM
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