Please review/critique my floor plan!!

joallen001September 24, 2013

Time is ticking and the wife and I are getting closer and closer to building. Based on everything we read on this site we chose to get a designer verses a house plan from the web. We finally have a schematic design and the designer is waiting to hear from us on changes. The image is a little hard to view but it will make sense if you stare for a minute or two!!!! Please take the time!! You will see he sketched in some furniture. I will also post a couple of close up shots showing the two halves of the plan also. The wife and I have been saving up for this day. We have been renting for a while now so this will be our first home. I had a tough time convincing her to wait on building a home. The plan is to build once and do it right the first time. We are both 30 years old and plan to start having kids (2 not in the same year!) next year. The house style will be greek revival. The one thing I know I want to change is the size of the garage. The depth is only 23' and I dont feel like that is enough. The garage doors are 9' wide and that concerns me a little also. More than likely I will have an enclosed trailer at some point for my rc airplanes and helicopters that needs to go in a garage. Since the plans are hard to read, I will list out the dimensions of the rooms also. Sometime in the future we plan to build an outdoor kitchen also. Again thank you for taking the time to critique!

Front porch 8x22
Billiards/Formal Dining 14x17
Office 12x12
Foyer entry is 7' wide
Great room 21x21
Kitchen 11x15
Dining 12x14
Laundry 8x8
Pantry 4x8
Mud room 5x8
Bedroom 13x12 and standard bath
Closet 5x6
Bedroom 12x12 and standard bath
Closet 5x5
Master bedroom 14x17
Her closet 7x10
His closet 7x6
Master bath 42"x72"shower, 42'x72'bath,
Vanity area is 8x16
Outside Porch attached to master 6x15
Back porch off of great room 14x22
Pool is 16x32

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Right side of house

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 6:07PM
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Left Side

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 6:09PM
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One thing that I see is how far a person has to travel to get to a bathroom when they are out at the pool.

I like the semi private porch off the master bedroom.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:18PM
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One thing that I see is how far a person has to travel to get to a bathroom when they are out at the pool.

I like the semi private porch off the master bedroom.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:30PM
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I really love your design! The only thing I notice is that I would close off that one wall between the pantry and laundry. Why keep that open?

Also do both those bedrooms need their own private bath or could you consolidate the powder and full on Bed #2? Seems like a lot of toilets to clean for few people.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:25AM
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I agree on the pantry/laundry wall. You'll appreciate having the extra storage space along the walls in both rooms there. I don't know why you left a door, but I assume you had a specific reason. Still, I think you should reconsider.

Master toilet room door should swing out or not "swing". It appears to be too small a room to be a safe room with an in-swing door.

I would figure out how to get the fridge nearer the main eating area. As it is, you will have family/kids walking through your work zone to get to the fridge at meal time. (will beverages be allowed in the billiard area?) Just my thought.

Unless you have a pool house equipped with shower and toilet, I think I would reconsider my powder room placement in relation to the pool... Your great room/dining/kitchen will always be wet (or else, your master bedroom if the toilet of choice is the master.)

I don't like the front bedroom's angled closet door. I can see why you did it--because of the window--but I think you need to do something different there altogether. Maybe swap the closet and bathroom for that bedroom and put the window in the bathroom. Also, have that bathroom be larger and open to the hall. and get rid of the powder, for example. That little corner is just strange as is.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 1:14AM
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The garage should be bigger. I like the general layout (except I'd switch the toilet and shower area in the master bath) but everything seems very open.

Have you looked at Sarah Susanka's 'Not So Big House' books?

I do like the billiard/dining room. Is that going to be a family area or more of a 'mens' or 'adult' area? The reason I ask is that every family member should have a little space, besides their bedroom. It might be a nook, rather than a room. Some place for kids to play, each adult to have a space to read, if the other (or kids) are watching TV, etc.

There don't seem to be any stairs, so I'm assuming this is one floor only. I think I would give up a bathroom or two, in exchange for some 'me' space. Sarah Susanka calls these spaces 'away rooms' or just a small area 'sheltered' within a larger one. She's very fond of window seats and nooks...I'd recommend you make a trip to the library and see if these books give you any good ideas :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:26PM
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We have certainly looked at the location of the bathroom based on the pool. We are not sure where else to locate it and are debating having an outside bath. But that is one more bathroom to clean also!

The designer did discuss the pantry and laundry with us. He said would could flip the two and/or take the door out joining the two. The purpose of the way he laid it out was for when walking in from the garage you can walk straight through with groceries, dirty clothes from working or sports, etc. The three doors for the laundry pantry are pocket doors. Do these types of doors hold up well? I am sure we will at least flip the laundry and pantry, making the pantry closet to the kitchen area.

I purposely chose for each bedroom to have a full bath. I guess making one of those a poweder/bath would be an option. After reading (Designing Your Perfect House by William Hirsch) he made several points as to why its important for each bedroom to have its own bath.

I did not catch that on the master toilet. So a pocket door there or the door needs to swing out?

What would you recommend for relocating the fridge?

As of right now the pool house with a shower and toilet is up in the air. That may or may not happen and if it does it will be several years in the future.

i do agree with the closet in the front bedroom. i asked the designer about this and it was the only way he could get the window in. I will make mention of somehow re working this. I am not a big fan of the angled walls in a house. The problem I see with putting the bathroom there is the privacy considering it is on the front of the house.

These are great comments and my wheels are turning!!! Thanks for all the input so far. keep it coming!! So far it looks like most of the changes need to take place on the left side of the house.

Any thoughts on a new location of powder room?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:29PM
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The billiard/dining area is going to be a family area. The dining room alone always seems like wasted space. We have family over a lot so this room would be well used.

There will not be any stairs in the house. My brother and law is handicap so a single level is a must. Plus everyone I talk to says a single floor is way better as you age. I will have to take a look at Sarah's books!

If we move the toilet and shower in the master it looks like that will mess up the window placement? I am worried that this office area will rarely get used. I thought maybe a small desk area in the kitchen may work better, but then what would we do with the office? Decisions decisions!!

This post was edited by joallen001 on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 12:39

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:38PM
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The office could be your 'away room'. It's recommended that the away room be different than the rest of your living space. If the great room is light and airy, consider a darker, cozy reading space. If the main area is rustic, wood and stone...think sunroom and plants. It should be a place that has french doors, where you can close out the noise of the other spaces.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Is there enough room in the billiard room to play pool? Is that a pool table? I'm not sure 14x17 is big enough for pool sticks.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Yes, 14x17 is large enough for an 8' table and standard cues.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 2:13PM
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Office and master bath have double-entry doors. Imagine walking through those doors. How do you turn on the lights? Answer: You close the doors, turn around and feel around in the dark for the switches, which are installed behind the door. Those doors look fancy and nice on plans -- not so practical in real life.

I like the concept of a pool table where a dining room would be expected . . . and if a future buyer wants a dining room, it'd cost little for him to change it. You have plenty of space for a moderate table in the kitchen.

I agree that the office is a nice away-space, if you're following Susan S's Not So Big House concepts. It has a door, so you'll have acoustical privacy.

I'm not loving the kitchen. It seems rather disjointed. However, you have ample space to include everything. I would flip-flop the washer/dryer to "back up to" the kitchen. This would put the water-containing wall back-to-back with the range wall and would make it cheaper to install a pot filler. If you could get your refrigerator on that same wall, you'd save more still. As it is, your plumbing is spread throughout the kitchen, and that's expensive.

I'd consider flipping the pantry and the laundry. This would allow you to use a pass-through door between the pantry and the kitchen. Very convenient.

Do you have a pocket door between the mud room and the dining room? I'd want one. If you have a nice dinner party, I wouldn't want guests to see into a storage area that probably won't be neatly organized at all times.

I disagree with the idea of "needing" a bathroom for every bedroom (I read Hirsch's book, but I don't love every word he said). What happens so often when people build for quantity is that once they reach the finishing stage, they find themselves forced to skimp on quality -- so they have loads of bathrooms, but they can't install the nice tile and accessories that would've made the bathrooms really nice. A bath for every bedroom is expensive and unnecessary; if money is no object, do it -- otherwise, one bath for two bedrooms is plenty . . . AND it can serve as the guest bath. You and your spouse'll be sharing a bathroom -- why is it hard to say that two children can share a bathroom? I'd build one good-sized bathroom between the two bedrooms, opening into that little "hallway". I also wouldn't like to clean four toilets each week.

If you do keep both baths, I would at least move the baths both to the "center" of the house, allowing them to sit back-to-back. Again, this'll save on plumbing costs. Also, it'll allow the back bedroom to have windows on two walls -- always a plus; makes the room seem bigger and provides for cross-ventilation. Oh, no it wouldn't -- there's an oversized garage back there.

OR if you do keep all these bathrooms, flip the back bedroom's bathroom and closet. This brings the bathroom (and its expensive plumbing) closer to the laundry room, saving you money.

I wouldn't do all those doors onto the porch. Instead, a bank of windows and one stationary door would be less expensive, more energy efficient, and would provide for easier furniture placement in both the great room and the porch.

The living room may be a bit . . . cozy; that is, cozy once you have furniture placed in it. Your walkways are kind of minimal. Do you have space enough for the Christmas tree?

Why two closets in the master bedroom area? Wouldn't one long closet be more versatile? And you could eliminate one door, which provides for more wall space in the bathroom. Doing away with the farther door would allow you to have a really nice-sized linen closet or a longer vanity.

I'd do away with the closet for the master bath toilet. I dislike all toilets in this pattern, but yours looks especially long and narrow -- not a comfortable place to enter, not a comfortable place to be closed up in. And cleaning a toilet in a closet (worse, cleaning behind a toilet in a closet) is a pain.

Note that the master bath door and the shower door hit one another. I'd be tempted to put the toilet where the shower is . . . and make a corner shower where the toilet now sits; it could be a nice big shower with an angled door.

Think about your sight-lines as you walk through doors: When you walk through a door, you want to have either a window or a door or another attractive focal point (i.e, fireplace, artwork or especially nice furniture) straight ahead of you -- this makes entering that door pleasant, and it "invites" the person to walk on in. When you walk through the master bath door, dead ahead you see . . . the door to a toilet. Less than inviting.

Similar, but not so drastic, is the front entry. You walk in, and dead ahead you see the side of a cabinet. If this could be shifted a bit, you could see a window leading out to the porch -- that would be very nice.

The master bedroom looks a bit skinny. I'd be tempted to take in that also-skinny porch and have a more comfortable master. You could still have a single-door to the porch, but it'd be angled the other direction. I'd add windows above the nightstands; again, windows on two walls are always nicer. Also, with windows only on the porch side, you're not getting all that much light in the bedroom.

I would lose the window in the closet in the secondary bedroom. Windows = faded clothing (true in master closet too). Plus you're losing closet space that could've held hooks for robes, scarves, or jewelry. I see that you want the window for symmetry, but I'd place something else outside in its place: Perhaps a climbing rose on a trellis. Or a set of shutters, implying that there's a window but it's closed.

Big positive: Your plan is a simple shape. This'll be less expensive to build.

This post was edited by MrsPete on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 15:55

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 3:33PM
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Wow MrsPete thats a lot to think about! I was not expecting to have to request so many changes to this plan. Considering we hired a professional designer to do the plan. I will do my best to address all the issues mentioned. Again thanks for everyone who has chimed in..

Great point on the double entry doors. I did not even think about turning the lights on. It looks like the master bathroom has double entry doors too. I am not sure I want to shut two doors every time I go in the bathroom.

So if we flip the washer and dryer to the kitchen wall and make it come off the mudroom. What about the door entry from the mudroom ? Looks like the washer and dryer would hang out some past the doors edge. But I think this may be ok if they are placed on down the wall verses right beside the door.
With the fridge I actually like it where it is for the most part. I like that when you look back towards the kitchen from great room, you dont really see the fridge. But this is also one thing I told the wife she could make the call on the layout of the kitchen. Also as far as all the plumbing goes I will be running everything. I have done a few houses that are rental properties and have all the tools to run pex and the drains.

Ok, so maybe we need to make plans to eliminate a bathroom and add on for the pool area. When you say you would build one nice bath between the two bedrooms and having into opening into the hallway for a guest bath, do you mean the bath will have 3 entry doors, 2 from bedrooms and 1 in hallway? It seems like this would also put it really close to the half bath. Also what are the thoughts on a jack and jill?

On the closets this is one thing I requested. I want some space for myself!! Otherwise the wife will take it over! I thought the divider wall would actually give you a little more room to hang things also.

I do like the idea of putting the shower in the corner and moving the toilet. But at the same time I like the privacy of it being on the outside wall away from everything else.

With the windows in the closets I am not sure what to do on this. I do agree its not the best scenario. I also do not know if I want a large window in the toilet room. I know the designer said he had a very difficult time making the windows work on the front of the house.

We do plan to make changes to the doors leading out to the porch. I am concerned about furniture placement with all those doors. Also if your looking outside from the great room who wants to see the backs of outdoor furniture? I am kinda at a loss on how that will look.

You all have been a great help so far, I am sure we will get this all worked up and build pics will be coming before you know it. I will also try to attach some pics that I gave the designer for ideas on what the wife and I liked. We basically gave him some pictures and he had us fill out a 3 page questionnaire.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 4:58PM
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This is a great start to a plan. I would flip the pantry and powder room. The latter will be closer to the pool and the pantry will be the same amount of steps in the opposite direction.

Every bedroom in our home is a suite for adult kids that return with little ones. The space is used about 30% of the time, but it makes life easy when the house fills up.

Doors on small bathrooms should swing out or be pocket. I learned this after building our new home. It is a safety precaution if a person passes out.

You are wise to post the plan to this board. I did not and we made a couple of bonehead mistakes. #1 powder room placement. :-)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 5:01PM
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I thought about putting the powder room where the pantry is but that means everyone has to go through the mudroom to get there. The mudroom will be one of those hard to keep clean areas. I work outside daily so I will be shedding my boots, the mudroom.

I will have to keep that in mind on the doors. I dont think I have every noticed them swinging out but it is tight when they swing in.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 5:07PM
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Will the washer /dryer stick out? All these rooms are completely within your control. Anything can be shifted a foot or so, if you think it's worthwhile to have the plumbing all in one wall.

Going through the mudroom to get to the rest room (if you have a pool) doesn't sound like a bad idea to me. I'd like to see a door from the exterior into the mudroom. I think it'd save a lot of mess in the main house later.

Three doors in the secondary bathroom? No, not what I meant. I'd have a simple bath between the two bedrooms, and it would have one door, which would open into the small hallway. It would serve the two bedrooms and guests. I would ditch the half bath.

As for the number of bathrooms, you'll never find agreement on this board about this topic. After you've ruminated over it carefully, if you're still uncertain, I suggest you build a bath-sized closet (in an appropriate location, of course) so that later if you find that you need/want another bath, you can create a bath in that space. On the other hand, if you realize later that the extra space is needed /affordable, you can add in the fixtures to make it a bathroom. Remember, too, that anything that's mortgaged costs you 2-3Xs the initial cost in the long run. By blocking out the space but not building an actual bathroom now, you'll save money.

This post was edited by MrsPete on Thu, Sep 26, 13 at 14:13

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 9:25PM
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I think the Kitchen still needs work. I suggest posting on the Kitchens Forum for help on the Kitchen design. There are many knowledgeable people on that Forum that can offer great advice. Linked below is information concerning asking for layout help.

Here is a link that might be useful: FAQ: How do I ask for Layout Help and what information should I include?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Thanks buehl. I will head over to the kitchen forum now!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 9:42AM
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I'm just commenting on the bath-for-the-pool issue. The way it's set up now, a wet kid has to go through the living room and kitchen to get to the powder room. And that also means that wet kid stuff (and towels, and trunks and suits) will find themselves in what is meant to be your nice/cute powder room for guests.

Option One (leaves you without a fancy powder room): Make the powder room into the front BR's private bath. Make the front BR's private bath into the back BR's private bath. Detach the garage and create a breezeway. Swap the position of the back BR's bath with the back BR's closet. Make the back BR's bath into a bath that opens onto the breezeway. This also allows for friends parking in the driveway to have a walking path straight toward the mudroom door.The breezeway bath could also open onto the mudroom for indoor access.

Option Two: Keep the powder room. Make a Jack & Jill bath between the two kid rooms. Treat the back bath as noted above.

Even without all those bathroom shenanigans, I think the breezeway might be helpful to you. Unless guests are meant to park in front (circular drive?), they're going to need an easy way into the house.

Oh, and with a frequent guest who uses a wheelchair, you're going to want an option for a flat or shallow-grade entry. This might be accomplished with the breezeway, even if the garage itself is "lower" than the rest of the house.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 6:12PM
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Oh, that's a good point about pool to bathroom access! I remember reading in a magazine that one couple remodeled their master bathroom, just to get the kids (and all their friends) to quit using it as the 'pool' bathroom.

Would you have room to move the garage back a few feet? This would give you the opportunity to put in a breeze way or mudroom, with access to the backyard, then the garage. Then a powder room could go right by the mudroom, close to the kitchen...and consolidate the kids' bathroom into one space. I know everyone has mentioned that...but I think you could really use the access from backyard and pool :)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 6:20PM
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I think I am gonna have to sketch that out. I like the breezeway idea. I am just trying to put all the other things together! Gonna have to sit down and put it on paper. The original plan for this piece of land was for my wife's brother to build a house. Needless to say he is in a wheel chair and his health is not going to allow that. So he sold us the piece of land. I definitely want him to be able to move around the house easily.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 6:34PM
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We should easily have more room to move the garage back a few feet. I am worried about garage space as well though. I for sure want it deeper than 23' and I am thinking of another garage added on to the end. Maybe not as deep though.

We are for sure planning to get a bathroom back at the pool area and consolidate the bedroom baths to 1 larger bathroom.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 6:39PM
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