House Plan Critique

bwasek03August 17, 2014

Hey Everyone! I've been designing my own home, and my wife and I think this is the one. I'd like to know what everyone on here has to say about it. Any and all comments are welcome!

A little background info: Its just over 2400 sq. ft. and will be built on 18 acres in Michigan. We will have a full unfinished basement to be finished later on. The kitchen/dining/living rooms will all be open to each other and have a vaulted ceiling. It will be heated with hydronic radiant heat in the basement, main level, and garage. Yes, that is a kitchen in the garage. My wife's grandpa has a kitchen area in his garage, and it works awesome for cleaning fish and processing deer and other game. The front of the house will be facing the west, and out the back the lawn will be surrounded by woods and a pond and orchard beyond that.

The only thing I'm not real fond of in this plan is where the dining table is located. To me it just seems like it's stuck in there as an afterthought. So if anyone has any ideas on how to make that better without adding sq. footage, that would be excellent.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Chase Dika

Maybe turn the island sideways and put table to the right of it?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 11:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
junco East Georgia zone 8a

Post on the kitchen forum. They can help you a lot. Right now you don't have nearly enough space between table and island. I would want a much bigger window onto the porch so you will have more light and view from the kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the feedback.
cdika17 - I thought about that, but then it will block my path to the French doors. Ultimately my goal was to have good flow throughout the house while keeping each room separated from one another without using walls.

junco - I'll add a post to the kitchen section to get some insight from them. There is 4' between the edge of the table and the edge of the raised eating bar, that won't be enough? I don't think both of them will be used simultaneously, and will probably have backless bar stools that will tuck under the bar when not in use. The French doors that lead out onto the deck are 6' wide and will be full glass, and there is a 3' window above the sink. Do you still think I will need more light? I thought about adding a skylight or two, but don't want to deal with the headache when they start leaking.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 7:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How do you plan to differentiate rooms without using walls? I'm seeing the dotted lines to differentiate space on the plan - but how so in the actual house? Half walls? Ceiling beams? Change in flooring?

Without the differentiation, you have one huge rectangular space in the middle of your house. You walk in the front door, you have a huge foyer shown, and have a view of the back side of the sofa. The foyer looks like a waste of space. But also without the differentiation is space, you have a table and a sofa floating in the middle of space- space that was designated by a dotted line on a piece of paper.

I'm not fond of the stair location. It's on the front of the house and has a window in the middle of the stairway. Maybe swap it to the side of the living room, creating a noise buffer between the living space and the bedrooms.

If you keep your stairs in the current location, you should take advantage of the space over the bottom of the run. Either put the coat closet from the foyer there. Or you could add a broom closet for the kitchen there.

It's also a long walk to the powder room from the main living area. The full bath for the bedrooms is closer. Maybe put the powder room on the opposite side of the office, and create your office L in the other direction.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Those are some great ideas pixie! I will definitely switch the powder room to the other side, which will also help to seclude the office making it a quieter space. The stairs will be open to the basement, so there won't actually be a wall between them and the kitchen/dining - just an open railing. The window was put there to catch the cross breeze that always comes from the west. I could move them to the other side of the living room but that would shrink the living area significantly, and then at the bottom they would run directly into the basement wall.

The differentiating between the rooms will be done with flooring. Carpet for the living room & bedroom hallway, and tile everywhere else. I'm thinking of going with oversized tiles or some sort of pattern with both because of the amount I will have.

Currently the dotted lines on the plan are not exactly where the flooring will be different. This is still a work in progress, and I haven't quite nailed down all the details yet. So any other GW'ers out there that have some suggestions I'm open to trying anything.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How about moving the stairs to the left of the pantry, with the opening next to the opening to the laundry room? I think you could still have the pantry in the space over the bottom of the run. Then you could move the dining table down a bit and give more space between it and the kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your basement is unfinished. Are you sure you want an open stairway to the unfinished basement?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So I re-vamped the whole thing. I moved the stairs over towards the back door. I also was able to keep my stairs from the garage into the basement - I just tied it all together. I managed to re-do the kitchen/dining room to create a new dining room, which will help differentiating the spaces. My wife thinks that monstrosity of an island with the sink in the middle is cool, and to me it looks like a whole lot of extra cash in granite and cabinetry. Am I right to assume that having that big of an island is a bit of an overkill? Or does anyone have something like that and knows the advantages?

I'm still interested in what the GW'ers have to say about the plan. Since this is my first build, it's easier for people that have already built to point out things that I probably never would have thought about. So I appreciate all of your comments, and encourage everyone to keep them coming. This is probably the 10th or 12th plan I've put together, so I'm not afraid to keep trying!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 11:32PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Finally under way but concerned...
So our home is finally being started and moving along,...
Clearing land - Forestry mulching
We bought our land and are anxious to get it cleared...
Mitch Ginn Elberton Way photos and feedback?
We have chosen Southern Living's Elberton Way to build...
NEW to New Build - A/C Option Input Needed
I've been lurking around this board for a few weeks...
homeowner's association
totally OT, but... would you, did you, or will you be...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™