Comments/critiques of house plan please

jgardner618August 10, 2011

We are looking to build a 2200-2400 sq ft home in a rural neighborhood in Ohio. We have 2 children, 6 & 3 and I am looking at a open floor plan ranch as my first choice. I really like this plan but would like feedback of challenges or problems you see before we move to the next step with the builder. The garage is changed from the drawing to an oversized 3 car. Any comments are appreciated!

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marthaelena

In general, the floor plan is ok.
If the lot allows it, and if you are not going to have an opening between the laundry and the closet, I suggest you to shift the garage so the front porch can be wider and the garage does not overpower the home. This will allow you to place the laundry where the mudroom is - and you could have a laundry with a window.

Regarding the wall between master and (screen?) porch, are those windows or doors? I would not want to have windows there.
Do you have 2 doors between the porch and the dining room? My only concern with the dining room is the placement of a buffet or hutch (if you have one).

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 10:35AM
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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

Ditto everything Marthaelena said. I wanted to ask tho, since this is a ranch, do the stairs go up to a 2nd floor or down to a basement? What is going to be up/down there?

You're probably going to get a lot of comments from people who don't like it that, from the Great Room, one has to walk clear around the kitchen pennisula to get to the refrigerator or stove. They'll probably suggest you consider turning the pennisula into an island by putting a walk-thru between the stove and the angled portion of the pennisula and then swapping the fridge and stove locations. That is certainly a possiblity it the extra steps bother you.

But I wanted to let you know that my kitchen is shaped like yours...i.e., with a similarly shaped and sized pennisula that one has to walk around to get into the kitchen work area. I did this very deliberately tho because, while I wanted an "open floor plan," I also wanted to subtly discourage my guests from congregating in the middle of my kitchen work triangle. We often have parties with 40 or 50 people and I have a horror of someone getting burned while someone else is moving a hot pot from stove to sink. So far this has worked very very well. The set up allows me - and whoever else is actually working in the kitchen - to remain a part of the party, but idle chatterers seem to stay on the nook/great room side of the pennisula. And I don't even notice the few extra steps I have to take to get INTO the kitchen.

One minor tweak you might consider....
If you push the entry to the master bedroom to the right so that it is even with the wall between laundry and walk-in closet, you could seperate off the top two feet of your walk-in closet and make a wide reach-in closet accessed from the bedroom entry area (maybe with mirrored sliding doors.) This could either be a separate closet for him or could be used to store out of season clothing. While I can't really read the dimensions or your closet, I THINK if you cut off the top two feet for a reach-in closet, the remaining part would still be more than 7 feet wide so that you could still hang clothing on three sides. You would gain a lot of useable closet space by giving up a couple of feet of excess floor space in the middle of your closet. Of course, if you actually get dressed in your closet, you probably want to keep things the way they are.

Other than that, while I'm not a fan of plans with humongous garages on the front side of the house, the living space of this plan seems very workable.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 1:46PM
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marthaelena

Bev,
The closet dimension is about 9'-9" so if jgardner618 wants, there is room for the reach in closet. A variation or your idea is keeping the door where it is and create a closet in the master "foyer" and a little hall closet.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 2:56PM
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jgardner618

Marthaelena - thanks for the comments. Forgot to mention we are actually pushing the garage over about 8 feet to the left. so the 3rd bay can be extended a bit down the left side of the house (hubby's race car hangout place!). We are planning on switching the laundry and mudroom and adding a window in laundry. This is turn displaces the window in the master bath, but we are putting a solar tube in its place. The windows against the covered porch are the high windows so people wont be sitting on the porch looking in the bedroom :) The dinette has a slider on the left side and high windows that a buffet can sit under on the right side. Then large picture windows in the back.

Bevangel - The steps go to a basement where we will have a media room/bar, spare bedroom and bath, as well as unfinished storage space. I like the idea of the kitchen for exactly the reasons you said. It keeps it open, but allows for a bit of a separation. I do love the closet idea. I will talk with the designer about that at our next meeting. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 4:00PM
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nanj

I recently purchased the kitchen design book called Kelly's Kitchen Sync and she has advice about how to put the kitchen sink and dishwasher at an angle like shown in your plan. In order to have room to stand in front of your sink when the dishwasher door is open, there has to be a minimum of 15 inches between the corner at the sink and the edge of the dishwasher.

On your plan, draw the dishwasher door open and you'll see what she is talking about. With the door open, you'll be kind of pinned in to a small space.

(I've mentioned this blog and her book a couple of times lately on Garden Web. I have no relation to Kelly or her blog other than being amazed at the information she is willing to share.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Sync book and her blog

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 8:33PM
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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

Agree with Nanj that when you have sink and dishwasher at an angle, you need some separation. But, don't go too big on the separation. I have my sink and dishwasher at an angle just like your design except that my sink is in the angled section and the dishwasher is on one of the legs. I was worried about not having room to stand while loading the dishwasher and put 24 inches of space from the corner of the sink to the edge of the DW. Even tho I'm a pretty large person, that is too much space. When moving items from sink to DW, I tend to drip water on the floor and wind up having to mop every single time. If I had it to do over again, I'd move the dishwashers 8 or 9 inches closer to the sink! I'd say 15 inches is probably just about EXACTLY the right amount of separation.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 12:46PM
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chisue

I like a powder room near the family entry (usually the garage).

I see a lot of hallway through the middle of the plan, and 'walk-through' in the Great Room.

Can the occupants of the two secondary bedrooms reach the bathroom privately? (Can't quite see.)

Can you angle the garage 120 degrees? It could seem more 'house' and less warehouse.

Where will your dryer vent?

I don't like closet access only via a bathroom, but some do. I don't like mixing public and private: MBR/porch.

I like a fridge on the edge of the cooking action, because 'certain other people' in my household are often trying to access it when I am cooking! You have a LOT of open space in your kitchen -- more steps within 'the triangle' than you need if you are sole cook.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 3:34PM
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jgardner618

Thanks for the kitchen comments especially. I was thinking today of switching the DW and sink so the sink was closer to the stove, but will have to make sure I have those important 15" between them still. Good to know!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:49PM
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