Thoughts and Opinions on Plans

LilyPeteSeptember 24, 2012

We just closed on our lot last month and are starting to interview architects tomorrow-Wahoo! I've been messing around with a floor plan since we went under contract and would really appreciate thoughts (positive and/or negative) about our rough draft before we meet with the architects. The lot has good views of the mountains and we want the kitchen and great room to be the rooms with the views. This is a ranch which will hopefully wind up somewhere between 2,400 and 2,600 sqft. The drawing is in Visio so the room sizes are pretty accurate but definitely not perfect. I tried to include all the measurements but may have missed some...

My big concern with the plan is the layout of the pantry and the WIC off bedroom #2 and their possible effect on the great room. Is it odd? I added the WIC because I thought the great room might end up with a lot of unused space. A pantry is a must so any other ideas would be appreciated if your think it won't work as drawn. I also haven't put much thought into the master bath with exception of making sure everything would fit. Thanks!

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Unfortunately I don't have the vision that a lot of the people on here have, but I like the plan a lot. How many sqft is it? I know one of the big items on my wifes list is a kitchen sink facing the backyard.

Are the stairs leading down to a basement?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 5:50PM
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I think your plan is generally workable, but here's some thoughts to consider:

--Your stair run doesn't look long enough for going to another level. Generally speaking, one needs approximately 16' of stair run in order to get to another level, assuming 8' ceilings. Higher ceilings mean more stair run
--Your kitchen/pantry area is huge! Do you need all of that space there?
--Your master bath/closet is huger! Do you need all of that space there?

Just some thoughts. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:15PM
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Overall I truly like your plan. It is very similar to mine and here are some recommendations. Our main living area which includes kitchen, dining and living is 19x44.

1) Will the fireplace set out in the room? Ours takes up approximately 2' additional space, thus reducing usable space. We could have modified the space on other side of the wall to reduce the fireplace footprint in the living area.

2) If possible, consider reducing the pantry length to gain more open area for foot traffic.

3) Walkway around dining table - We have not entertained in the house and I know we do not have enough walkway between the dining room table and island. Without people seated, there is approximately 7' and less between the sofa.

4) The stairs to the lower level can be changed to an L shape that will give you space for a closet (possibly media closet for the den). Will there be a TV in the living room area?

5) Remove the W/C closet from the bedroom by living room to gain more living space.

6) Laundry - consider flipping the laundry room cabinets and W/D to the opposite wall. This will allow you to have a door from the master closet into the laundry. Something I regret not doing!

7) Will a 14x13 bedroom be large enough? Ours is 17x15 and every bit is used. Doorways and windows cut into wall space.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:16PM
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Do you have kids (or plan to)? I'd definitely want space for a mudroom, even without kids (or pets.) If you're near the mountains, you may do a number of outdoor activities, and when you come in want a spot for shoes/boots, jackets, etc. With kids, multiply several times (backpacks, sports equipment, etc.) Maybe the architect can help you relocate the powder room and change the laundry into a mudroom/laundry space.

BR2 WIC/family room: It looks like you don't have room to walk behind the chairs/loveseat. That would be fine with me if I could extend the WIC wall far enough to have the furniture against the wall, but I can see that would mess up your sight lines from the entry way. Another thing to ask your architect about. (Also, I wouldn't be keen on passing by the BR door to get to the closet.

Definitely post your plan (maybe next revision after architect review) on the kitchen forum. It looks like your spacing will be tight between the table and island, especially if there are times when people are seated at both.

BR1 WIC takes up a corner, which is generally not recommended for closets because it takes away the opportunity for windows on 2 walls.

To get from BR2 to/from the restroom, you have to pass the main hall. Could be awkward. So I'd want a pocket door to make that end of the hallway more private. However then the only coat closet near the front door would be blocked, so it's a trade off.

I don't mean to sound negative as there are things I like, for example the short walk from garage to pantry (with groceries) and the nice closet sizes. (OK the MB closet is pretty huge! Maybe you'll have a drawer stack or bench in the middle? Otherwise open floor space is kind of wasted in a WIC.)

Since jogs in a house shape tend to make the house more expensive (complicated foundation and rooflines), it might not cost any more (and might even be less) to extend the right side back wall so that it's even with the rest of the back of the house. Then you could shift BR2 and the bathroom up, and shift BR1 to the right (it now gets the corner) and have a reach-in closet along one wall (where the current hall closet is, just flipped.) Then the BR2 WIC gets the door relocated and it is your new hall closet.

Just a few ideas with the caveat that I'm not an architect! Just thinking about how I use my house and what I'd want. YMMV

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 8:10PM
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I really like this plan. I think the bedroom sizes are fine and I don't think you need a bigger master because you have a nice big closet. My master is only 13x12 and we have a king size bed, two endtables, a chair, and a tv stand. The WIC off bedroom two is a bit awkward, but maybe your architect can rework that better. And I do agree that you should try to find more space for whichever entry you plan to use the most. Even if it's just a bench and some hooks, it makes such a big difference.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:38PM
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Thanks so much for the feedback!

Amtrucker22 - I'm hoping the square footage ends up somewhere between 2,400-2,600. The stairs will go to the basement.

Vigilcarter - Thanks for the information regarding the stairs. I used the Visio staircase template and it hadn't even occurred to me it wouldn't be workable :). Maybe switching it to an L shape would work.

Motherof3sons, Chicagoans and Bjewell1 - Thanks for all the great feedback! This will hopefully be our forever home. We don't have kids so the extra bedrooms will be for out of town guests and since most of our family is here that's pretty infrequent. I agree that the extra WIC in Bed #2 should be removed to make more space in the great room. I hadn't considered the usable space we will lose due to the fireplace against the outside wall (not shown in the drawing). I'm planning on putting a TV in both the study and great room. The TV in the great will be against Bed #2's wall so that during football parties people in the kitchen can also watch the game. The master bath is huge and that is something I haven't addressed yet. It may be possible to shorten the length by a foot or two and recoup that space in the kitchen/great room to help with the spacing between the island, table and couch. We entertain a lot so the spacing between the island/table/couch is definitely something that will need to addressed. I'm hoping that the master closet will be big enough to put cabinetry in the middle. We made the master a little smaller in hopes that we wouldn't need any storage besides night tables. As far as a mud room goes, I'm still on the fence. We are only moving a couple of miles down the road and in our current house, we don't often use the mud room. But I agree it would be a good idea to have a place to hang snowy clothes. Maybe the laundry can be reworked to so that it's a pass through between the garage and the house. All great things to consider! Again, thanks!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Also, please make sure you end up with a pocket or outswing door on your master WC.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:30PM
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Hi Lily,
You found a beautiful but simple plan that is easy to work with. Here are a few of my ideas :)
1. Taking out a WIC is not a bad idea although it does make your living room cozier & more defined. However, now that's a perfect place for your Christmas Tree & it does open up the space. Sometimes a little wasted space is OK. It feels good to move around.

2. I think reach in closets instead of WIC are also OK for the bedrooms. It looks like you already have a reach in closet in BDRM # 2 so that's taken care of. You can invert the hallway closet into BDRM # 3. Now an entry closet is very important so here is an idea. a) you can add on a closet to the back of the pantry - not sure what that extra little wall is there for or b) you can cut the back of the pantry a bit (it is a huge pantry & it's great to have but if I'm not mistaken, it's 9' long. If you took 2 extra feet off it & made it the entry closet that is 2' x 4' it'll still be a 7' long pantry.

3. You can also increase the size of your great room by cutting the pantry in half length wise thus creating a long row of cabinets 2' to 3' feet deep. With good organization, you'd be surprised how much you can store in a pantry unit like that. It would require more cabinetry, however, it'll give you more space between the island & the dining room table because now the table would be to the side. You could push it closer to the sliding door or towards the pantry. It's like one would not have to maneuver a dining room table to get from the couch to the island.

4. I love French Doors & I would replace the sliding door with them. People just always seem to like them.

5. I would recommend a bigger bedroom but I came up with an idea that would increase its size by just a little bit. I'm not sure if it would cost a lot more to do but (IF the area behind the master bed pillows is a sitting are in the master bath) then you could take it out & make a niche for the bed. Or you could simply move that whole wall into the bathroom. If it's 8' wide minus 2' for the vanities you would still have 4' to 5' left to move around, which is plenty. So you could move the bedroom wall 1', 2' or create a niche. I love niches & think they give a room a real pizzazz & are so romantic. It kind of defines the bed & shows off the space in the rest of the room, in my humble opinion.

5.This is minor but you would probably reconsider the sitting arrangement in the study as the TV is against the window & you'd probably rather have the couch across from the TV.

6. Our plans also had a door going out of the garage but we took it out because we always use a garage door. Saves on door costs.

7. By the way, coming back to the guest rooms. If you take out WIC out of both rooms, you now have 15' for the bathroom. You could have 2 baths - if cost allows (one for each bedroom would definitely add to the resale value & always keep that in mind even if you think this IS the house you'll live in because life just happens.) I'm not a fan of the tub/toilet combo just because even though it's everywhere it really does not make sense. One can't do both at the same time but it occupies the entire room. We designed a bath with a separate compartment for each & sinks in the middle. I haven't really figured out how it would work in your bath but just an idea to think about.

8. Definitely keep the size of your master WIC. It adds that WOW factor & a bench with a raised back would add storage. You know the ones where you can put shoes inside the bench & then its back turns into sort of a shallow cabinet (like 1' deep) that you could use for jewelry or socks :) An island is great for packing & ironing but you would have to put it against one wall as there is no room to walk around one 3' long. 3' long really the size that makes any sense in the middle with drawers on each side. You could also put a tall dresser, say 42" wide on the back wall of the toilet & create more storage that way. There is no reason for clothes to be in the bedroom if you have a nice closet:) you'd think anyway! You'd lose some wall space but you have plenty of it.

9. Another factor is where will you put your shoes when you enter the house? In the garage or right in front of the powder room? If you have a small set up in the garage for shoes/coats then you could get away without a small entry room but'd probably be better to have something in the garage. There is just so very little space to work with.

  1. And lastly, if you opt for the laundry room the way it is & have a stacked washer/dryer make sure that light switch on the left wall is right by the door & not farther down on the wall. That's how I found out I couldn't have a stacked washer/dryer even if I wanted one & there was nothing anyone was going to do about it. Anyways, just some ideas...Also, what is the box next to the master tub? What are the 2 X boxes in the master bath - 2 person shower? And WHY are you not your own generals on such a simple plan!? No offense, just curious.
    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:34PM
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I don't see how an outswing door on the master WIC would work? It'll hit either the shower or the toilet door. Also with a pocket door you can't put hooks on it or anything over it for extra storage. A light bulb went on when I wanted to do it! :)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 2:13PM
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