Upstairs bathroom/laundry layout?

TammyTEOctober 15, 2012

This is our most recent upstairs layout. Would love some thoughts! (I know the stairs say "up". Sorry, it's just my software since I didn't lay in the entire house plan.)

Quick history:

We have 5 kids, 4 of which are girls. May have more but don't know. There will be another laundry downstairs...probably in the master bath/closet area. Kids are currently ages 8yo boy and girls 10,6,4,2.

Things I am unsure of:

1. Should laundry room just have one single door? If so, where? If it's from the hall then you can see it from the front door.

2. Should the girl's bathroom (bigger one) have a hall entry instead of coming in from the bedroom? Not sure if we would lose counter space by doing that.

3. Unsure of how to make the doors into the girl's bedrooms. I have played around with one single pocket door from the hall, making it a very large bedroom with closets in the middle. Or just having separate doors, which makes the bath entry weird if it's in one bedroom and not the other.

4. Should the boy bathroom have a door to the sink area? If so, where?

Any other thoughts on how to make this more efficient? The exterior size is what it is. Can't get bigger. ;) The stairs have to stay where they are. Otherwise it's pretty open to change as needed.

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Can you post the layout?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:54AM
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Thought I did. It showed up in my preview post.

I'll try again.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:55AM
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Hi there,
My thoughts are: I would extend the hall a little and separate the girls' bedroom into 2 distinct bedrooms. Then I would move the sinks so that are inline with the other counter and have the door to the bathroom off the hallway. You might lose a little counter space, but I think it's worth it. Otherwise, it'll be miserable to have the back bedroom, because they'll get woken up anytime one of the other girls needs to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. From a resale perspective, having two fully separate bedrooms would be better too (life's uncertain!)

For the laundry, I would put the machines against the wall shared with the girls' bath and have the door as far as possible to the left, so its not in line with the stairs, and even if the door is open, all anyone will be able to see from the foyer is the wall.

Given your large family and limited floor plan, I don't think I'd want to give up any square footage to a 2 story foyer. Have you considered either enlarging the front girls' room (at the moment your boys' room, for one child, is larger than either half of the girls' bedroom), or making a loft area?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 8:37AM
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Some ideas:

--Just use a hinged door for each of the two girl's bedrooms;
--Too much wasted space in the bathroom and laundry due to excessive circulation, making the large bath room very inefficient. Eliminate the access to the bath from the girl's bedroom and make all access from the corridor. You can make both baths much more efficient and may gain back enough to place the laundry between the two bath rooms.
--Closet space in the bedrooms seem out of scale. Boy's closet looks out of scale compared to girl's closet. Are you allowing a 2' depth for clothing and at least 3' for circulation? Normal closets should be min 2' clear depth, unless it's a linen or other special storage closet where it could be less than 2'
--Overall closets: Could you get by with one linen closet, centrally located?

Hope this helps. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:27AM
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There are a lot of fixtures far apart. Do a diagram of the plumbing pipe layout to be sure the horizontal and vertical runs are compatible with the framing and the spaces below in terms of avoiding excessive joist cutting/reinforcing and noise.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Zone4newby - That is pretty much what I was thinking I should do for the bath and laundry, so that's a good sign. :)

For the foyer, I have toyed around with ideas but can't seem to get it right. So you think the downstairs would look okay with the closed in foyer? The downstairs has 9'ceilings and the foyer is open to the living room to the left and opens to the dining/kitchen in the back. The landing of the stairs is open to the foyer. I was really liking the idea of more light from the middle window upstairs going into the hallway. I thought about just making the foyer a sitting area with a half wall (even open to just the girl's room) but then I just figured someone would get thrown off the side. LOL The practical side of me would love more space/closets.

virgilcarter - My dh measured our current walk in closets and they are 6'wide. He felt comfortable with that measurement so that's what he told me to do with the closets.

Renovator - I wouldn't have a clue how to do what you described but I can certainly ask someone else too! The builder told me it didn't matter to him if I kept things sharing water walls or anything as long as I kept them in a close proximity. If I were to move things, would have any suggestions on how to make it more streamlined? The master bath is directly under the smaller(boy) bathroom. The master closet stops just midway across and then the rest is dining/kitchen under the girl side.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:45AM
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I can't read your dimensions, but I think Renovator's point about joist location is imperative. I assume the joists will run "N-S" as this picture lays, ie, across the narrow dimension. With that in mind, it might make the most sense to run the bathrooms across in the N-S direction as well, rather than the current E-W.

It also appears that the girls' closets are too narrow, though I can't actually see that dimension.

You have a "fun challenge" of a house to design because you have specific needs with such a large family who are all fairly young still, and in a limited amount of space (others here wouldn't have to think this hard because they are building houses with a bathrooms attached to every bedroom).

We'll help you think this through, including for resale because, you just never know (unless you are building on farm acreage)...

I agree with a true division of the girls' rooms to have 2 doors. And, with getting bathroom access from the hall. I think you can reduce some of the walking space in the bathrooms and/or improve circulation with fewer dead-ends (which would be important to keep people moving in the mornings).

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:55AM
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If the dining and esp KITCHEN is under the girls bedroom area, then that may be even greater reason to put the bath/laundry on the girls bedroom side, and put the girls bedrooms across the back.

Can we see the downstairs too?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Normally I would overlay a rough framing plan and the two floor plans at this point in the design process to avoid having to drop the ceiling in the living spaces below, having noise issues in those spaces or putting pipes in the outside walls in a cold climate.

A vertical waste stack is big and needs to be pretty close to the toilet so try to locate them first and keep them out of outside walls or in the walls of living spaces or at least leave space to insulate them. Tub drain lines will run through the floor framing to the waste stack but they can only penetrate joists in certain locations if at all but they do not make as much noise as toilets. Lav drains and vents can run in walls if they are thick enough but it is difficult to carry them around corners so they often go in the floor framing.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:48PM
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I hadn't thought about putting the girl's room along the back. Hmmmm. I'll work on that and see what it does.

As for the entire house plan, I have a picture that I've been working off of. I don't have the entire plan in my computer. I have obviously made some changes but you can get a good idea of layout from this pic.

Changes I have made to this plan that are not noted:

-moved dining wall over to get more space in master
-lined up school room with dining making the option available to extend the table a bit if needed.
-Cut kitchen down and moved exterior back door over
-kitchen layout is a bit different. I'm actually pleased with the kitchen layout. Now I'm just working on finishes and I might check in about cabinet/drawer sizes later.
-the "pantry" in the mudroom hall is now a music room entering from the living room.
-I did keep a few feet in the mud hall out of the music room for an extra fridge and a small closet for the music room.
-the mudroom is not a laundry. The laundry is in the master. I wanted that laundry as a laundry closet in a little hall going from the master bath to the master closet, but I think it's going to be in the closet as we had to cute some square footage. So the mudroom is just a big space to put the many coats, gloves, hats, boots, shoes, snowsuits and any large kitchen items I rarely use.
-the stairs are one foot closer to the front door. This allowed more space upstairs for a wider hallway. I also made the stairs 1 foot wider taking space from the master as well as a bit from the foyer.
-The closets in the bottom right corner of the master are all one room entering from the master. It's for little children we don't want sleeping upstairs just yet. I figure later I can use it as an office, library or big closet.
-I talked to the builder about the size of the master shower. Hopefully the space I made by cutting the kitchen and dining will help with that. Otherwise I might nix the large bathtub.
-Ignore the drawing I made in the upper right. I was just thinking about school room furniture. :)

That's all the changes I can think of.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 2:07PM
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If you reverse the up and down on the stairs, it would give you a better space above the foyer should you decide to enclose it. I have 7 kids (5 girls) and so I know what it's like to need a specific space. I agree with the bathroom changes upstairs. You have too much space dedicated to the bathrooms in the present layout. It sounds like you homeschool, I did too for many years. For me, I would need more closets other than for clothes, a huge pantry that locks, a bigger mudroom, , and a place for playing. My kids range in age from 17 to 1 and I've found that over the years we all really need to take a break from the togetherness. With so many of us, an open floorplan is not ideal but what we basically have now. My goal in our next house is to be able to have rooms that feel separate when needed but can be open too. (Think big pocket doors) It's way to crazy to have the TV on, the kitchen dishes being cleaned, the piano getting practiced, little ones playing their whatever, the dogs running around. The older ones need more quiet I've found but not necessarily always in their bedroom. So, that's just my observations for us and maybe something you can relate to.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 12:43AM
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Thank you frozenelves. I appreciate that peek into what my future could look like. Yes we home school. I would LOVE a bigger mudroom but doubt it's going to happen. It's just not feasible. Good points about open space.

We will also have a basement if that helps any.

As for switching the stairs I'll look at that closer. That's just how the builder had them. I'm not sure his thoughts on it exactly other than maybe blocking the dining room from direct view from the front door.

A locking pantry! Love it! We need that now. :) So many times I go to make something and my ingredients have been eaten.

I do want more closets but I'm not sure where to put them. I guess if we closed in the foyer I could add a closet in the hallway?

I redid the upstairs in another layout. I basically switched the girlbath and laundry with the one bedroom. So now the back is bathroom, bedroom, bathroom. I like that it doesn't have any doors facing the foyer in case we do leave it open.

Wow. I really need to think on the open foyer bit. Our currrent home is so dark and the foyer is the itty bitty space that you can't even open the door and let someone in the house without having the back up out of their way. I just really wanted it to feel open and roomy.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 12:55AM
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The only reason to put the up stair against the bedroom wall is to avoid the expense of a railing open to the foyer but that leaves a blank wall facing the foyer and living room. The stair is just a big box that you run into when you enter the house like a stair in an office building. I would reverse it.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:52AM
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I just found this blog of one of the long-standing very helpful Kitchen forum women... Her family is also large and they designed their house with lots of kids' needs in mind...
You might want to peruse it--esp the laundry/bathroom part.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rhome's house

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 11:30AM
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This might not work with your other program needs but something needs to be done with the entrance hall and stair whether the entire hall and stair is open to above or just the stair. It needs to be an identifiable space that relates well to the upper floor and the living room.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 12:17PM
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Kirkhall - I have studied her blog and she has actually helped me quite a bit with the kitchen!! Isn't she just wonderful? Thank you though for thinking to link her blog. You are right in that she and I have a lot of similarities in our household needs and preferences. :)

Reno8 - I like what you did with the stairs in that drawing. Really, really like it! Thinking on that one and checking with dh for sure.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 11:05PM
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