Please Review Our Hodge Podge Floor Plan

jwillis96September 7, 2012

I would like to get some feed back good and bad for our house plan...Thanks

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Some windows seem oddly small and some are paired when one larger one would look better and cost less. If they are intended to be small "punched" openings they would be better as awning windows and it wouldn't cost much to make them a bit larger so they don't seem lost in such large walls. The tiny sash of small double-hungs just seem odd.

A kitchen sink window at a porch is a difficult design problem because a casement or an awning window would open into the path of people on the porch when open. A double-hung is difficult to open when leaning over a counter. I usually use an awning window and put some kind of element on the porch to keep people from walking into the open window sash. I never use a two leaf casement because the meeting rail is right in your face when using the sink. When the porch is covered a "hopper' window works well.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:48PM
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I'll look more closely in a bit, but first off, I see that I'd switch the door swings to bedroom 2 and 3. It is awkward to have the door hang open against nothing into the room.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Refrigerators next to walls are problem when it comes time to clean it. You can�t open the doors all the way and so in order to pull the drawers/shelves out to clean them you end up pulling the whole darn fridge out to clean it. May not be a big deal to you but something to think about.

Do you want any sort of drop zone space when you walk into the house from the garage? As is, the first flat surface will be the kitchen island.

Think about switching the door between the kitchen and laundry room to a pocket door.

The transitions from wood to carpet and back again are odd to me. Natural transition between types of flooring is at doorways, not in the middle of a space. The hallway should be wood, not carpet. IMO, the great room would be better in wood with a rug on top (if you want the softness). Flooring switches in the middle of a space make rooms look much smaller.

In the master bathroom, you might want to think about switching the location of the tub and shower. As is, you would end up hanging your towels behind the door on that wall/glass and therefore the door will open into the towels every single time.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:39PM
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Overall I like it...however

The powder room is jammed in a spot with alot of doors and it is in the laundry room. If guest visit they will have to see all that to use the bathroom.

Could you remove the door from the laundry to the kitchen and add a door to the laundry area. I think if you put a wall beside the washer and dryer a pocket door would fit.

You kitchen is going to be VERY dark. The one small window in there is under a covered deck. The only solutions would be to rework that entire area or make sure you budget for several sun tunnels.

Also think the hardwood/carpet pattern will look choppy. Are you able to do hardwood in all the public spaces and carpet in the bedrooms/office. Otherwise I think it will look a bit hodge podgey.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Those are some great suggestions...We will get rid of that carpet in the great room and do all hardwood. The door swing suggestions all make sense and we will implement them. The six small windows are on the west side and will all be casement or awning, our window header height is 7'8" with 9' ceilings (doors 6'8" w/12" transom) the bottom of the windows will be 62" just high enough to see out but still allow privacy, but maybe a 3'x3' window would look better. All the suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:21PM
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I don't like the location of the powder room for two reasons. One has already been mentioned above. The other is that, if doors are left standing open (and they ALWAYS seem to be left standing open at the most inopportune times) anyone sitting at the middle seat at the kitchen bar has a straight view of the toilet.

You don't mention where you'll be building so maybe this isn't an issue for you, but I don't see any closets or place to hang wraps near the front door.

Are the small boxes labeled storage in the laundry room, meant to be cubbies? If so, I'm wondering if there might not be some way to rethink the laundry/powderroom area so that the washer/dryer, laundry sink, and laundry cabinets are moved toward the back of the house, the cubbies are moved down next to the entry door and the powder-room is situated between the cubbie area and the laundry room. Might need to incorporate some of that space the is behind the sink in the garage so as to widen the laundry room a bit. Is the garage sink a "dog bath", or for car repair clean up?

Only other thing I see that hasn't already been mentioned is the fact that the plumbing in the secondary bedroom will run thru the masterbedroom wall. Not a huge deal. Just make sure they sound insulate the pipes good so that you aren't bothered by toilets being flushed in the middle of the night.

Other than these few things and items already mentioned by others, the floor plans looks pretty functional.

Small windows on the west side are not necessarily a bad thing. Especially if you are building in a hot climate, you don't want a lot of hot afternoon sunlight coming into your bedrooms. I would keep them short tho I agree that awning windows would look better than double-hungs. You might also want to consider using a hip roof with a deep overhang on the east and west ends of the house instead of the gabled roof. A hip roof on the ends would shade those east and west facing windows a bit more. Especially if the windows are short and are set high on the walls.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 1:03AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Sorry, I haven't even looked at the interior....I can't get over the exterior. I'm sorry, but that ridgeline that is above the ridgeline for the main body of the house looks very odd and having the one car garage face forward looks odd. And the massing seems very off with the front door area, which should be most important in the facade, receding behind the garage that juts out and the extreme mass of that wing, especially with the 2 shed dormers added. The weight of the building looks out of kilter.

Then the mix of materials only adds to the cluttered look...shingles, clapboard, metal, stone, brick, vertical siding. It's all too much and will significantly damage the curb appeal of what I am sure is a very expensive home.

Sorry to be a harsh critic, but at this point, you can make changes which is far easier than after the 2x6's go up and the windows go in. You can get the spaces you want and have a far more attractive exterior. The designer can do better...or at least another designer could.

I would suggest you go to the library or buy "What Not to Build" to get a sense of the principles behind designing an attractive, well massed and well balanced building exterior. I think you would find it very helpful.

As Frank Lloyd Wright said, even a doctor gets to bury his mistakes, but an architect can only plant vines....

Here is a link that might be useful: What not to build...

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 8:44AM
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I agree with the comments above, in particular the exterior comments (which I don't usually look at.) But, what, exactly IS upstairs? The garage wouldn't be SO heavy without such a high (back) roof, and without the shed dormers... So, they must be there for a reason. However, you seem to have lots of room downstairs, and several bedrooms, so what is up?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:14AM
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Master bath:

* I would switch the shower and tub, assuming you use the shower more often. This will move the morning-shower-noise further away from anyone sleeping in the master.
* I would try to enclose the toilet so it has a private space/room. The pony wall is ok, but it looks like you have room to just enclose the toilet with the existing layout.

Hallway closet
* I would flip it so the plumbing was on the side adjacent to Bedroom #2... again, for noise. Of course, this means the person in Bedroom 2 has to deal with it. :)

* Is the fridge counter depth or is it drawn for a standard size w/ room for the cords to plug-in? I can't tell... but I'd make sure it has plenty of room for a standard size fridge unless you want otherwise. (I have an almost exact kitchen layout, btw. I am not sure what the comment above means about fridges built into walls not opening to clean them. Our french doors can swing open completely.)

I don't know codes, but is the wall between fridge and garage shelving to code? (The size looks different.)

* Consider adding a space for a freezer or additional fridge. It depends on how you live, but I wish I would have done the same in my laundry/mud room (which is next to our kitchen also.)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:32AM
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Thanks for all the great input. I really appreciate new perspectives.
Some background we are building in the west on 7 acres overlooking Cache Valley....As far as the exterior we had planned on single colored horizontal siding with a white trim, maybe shingles on the shed dormers and gable but probably not (thanks for the input). The top part of each gable will be basically a bump out consisting of white trim with a vent and corbels below.
The Garage Layout provides functionality for us, we will park an RV (redneck style) along the single garage wall and the double garage allows a place to have a beer in the summer shade while watching kiddies on trikes/bikes.
Upstairs is basically a big playroom in front and storage in back. The gable that starts in the top of the roof bothers me as well but we need it to get our head room coming up the stairs.
I really want to re-work the mudroom/laundry area so we could have a door to the deck for the kiddies to avoid trouncing through the dining/kitchen.
Thanks again for all the advice I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 4:09PM
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Unless you have a real need for all the space in the laundry room (crafts, office, etc.), I would indent that back wall that is shared with the porch by two feet, and use that space for an outdoor kitchen.

For a better idea, I've included that utilizes similar space for a small outdoor kitchen. Counterspace and a large sink are very handy outdoors. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: house plan with outdoor kitchen

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 4:54PM
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And if you think you might sell this house anytime in the next several years, I would remove the linen closet from the masterbath and add more counterspace for a second sink. One sink wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me, but apparently it is for a lot of people. :(

And about that built-in outdoor kitchen: you can keep the window in the laundry room if you don't add upper cabinets. I would think the window would be more important to you. Outdoor kitchens are very popular and definitely add value to your house.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:00PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I would consider making the 2 car garage into 1 and the 1 car garage into 2....make the house a little longer and then the bump forward can be eliminated, then you may be able to change the stair configuration to the room over the garage and perhaps eliminate the big bump up in the roof line. Eliminate the shed dormers on the garage and add dog house dormers to the roofline of the new 2-car garage. Or add the gable over the new 2-car garage to balance with the gable over the front door. Then I would make the office larger so it bumps out more than the new 1-car garage and matches the bump out of bedroom #3.

It will help with the massing and the balance of the front facade. May not be there yet, but I would play with it to see if it cant be improved.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 9:32PM
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