Floorplan for those that like to help!

Parkview603October 29, 2012

Thoughts on our plan?

We have 6+ acres and plan to have a walkout basement. We have 2 girls, ages 3 and 1. The downstairs bedroom will be their playroom until they are old enough to want to be in the basement. We wanted it close to the kitchen/breakfast nook.

We have adjusted plans from the website - so not all the measurements are correct. We plan to have the original architect make the changes but wanted to check here before we submit to him.

Thanks for your suggestions!

Here is a link that might be useful: Garrell Associates

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dpusa

Parkview603

Each plan is very subjective to ones own needs.

1. Personally, I would have my master on the same floor as my kids if I had the choice especially given yours are younger.
2. I would change the two story great room into a one story and reconfigure upstairs to allow for the master, master bath and closets including the utilization of the bonus area. This will allow you to free up space downstairs and add both a small playroom where the guest bedroom is, and then turn the master into a guest bedroom with ensuite, and perhaps even add an office.

Again just IMHO.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:00PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

I would like to see a coat closet for guests and a bathroom for the guest bedroom. Will guests shower in the master bath?

Where are your linens to be kept?

If the TV is in the "grand room" the upstairs will be really, really noisy....

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:40PM
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Parkview603

Thanks, dpusa!

We have decided to keep the master downstairs since this is (hopefully) our forever home. My parents - who will be on land next door - have a 2 story home with the master upstairs. Now that they are aging they are having trouble getting up the stairs. We want to prevent that.

My husband LOVES two story great rooms. I have tried to convince them that it might not be the best idea, but it is his one "thing" that he wants. So I get my mudroom and his and hers closet, he gets his great room. Compromise!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:59PM
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Parkview603

Thanks so much, LuAnn!
I think we have planned to use one of the small closets next to the kitchen as a coat closet. I will keep my cleaning supplies and brooms in the mudroom or laundry room so the remaining closet will be strictly for that. I know it isn't directly off the entrance but it will have to do. And in all the years we have had guests over (we mostly entertain our families during the holidays) we have never put their coats in a closet - usually we throw them on a bed! So formal! ;o)

Linens will be kept in the closet that is in the hallway toward the master. Either that or in the larger of the two closets - which is what we do now at our current house.

We changed the full bath by that bedroom to a half on the other side because our actual "guest suite" is downstairs in the basement (not shown) and I don't imagine we will ever really use that space as a bedroom. Initially it will be a playroom for the girls, and as they get older I imagine it as their own study - with a computer desk and work space for homework.

I agree about noise/TV. I replied above that my husband is one of the few that LOVES a 2 story great room. We have discussed the pros and cons but it really is something he wants. I really wanted the mudroom off the back door. This was our compromise!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:08PM
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kirkhall

I would want a man door in the side of the house facing the driveway--people, you includded, will park on your driveway and want to come in the back door. Perhaps one in the mudroom or laundry room?

Also, make sure you have a pocket door in the upstairs hall bath between the vanity area and tub/toilet area--as is, it is an unsafe door.---same if you plan to door off the master toilet/shower room. I can't tell. If you do, make sure that is a pocket door as well.

I am certain we've played with this plan on this site before. I cannot remember for whom. Perhaps they will see this post and chime in with what they decided and/or offer their thread so you can review all the iterations/suggestions from the forum before.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:23PM
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lazy_gardens

To get from the guest bedroom to ANY bathroom, the guests have to walk through the kitchen? Or across the great room?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Parkview603

Kirkhall,
YES, thanks for reminding me of a man-door. We definitely need one! Agreed about the pocket doors. I have searched for this plan before on here with no luck, I would love to find someone else that has used it!

lazygardens,
I mentioned to someone else above - the plan says "guest bedroom" but I doubt it will ever actually be used as such. We will have a full basement downstairs (not shown here) that will have the guest suite with full bath. We want to keep the closet for storage but the room will ultimately be a playroom when the kids are little and a study room when they get older.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:46PM
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zone4newby

I like your plan overall. The thing I've always wondered about the decision to put in a main level master in a 2-story/basement house so you can age in place: how do you anticipate caring for a home if you can't get to all of it? Is the thought that you would be able to climb the stairs occasionally, but not routinely? Or that you would have levels of your home that you had not seen in years?

Less philosophical feedback: If you envision your kids playing on your 6 acres, I'd want a door from the outside to the mudroom so they aren't tracking who-knows-what in through the foyer or kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Parkview603

zone4newby-
That is a good question! For us, I imagine that our girls will come back to stay with us (once they move away to college and/or eventually get married) and will be upstairs again then. I see us staying on the main level most of the time and using the basement for entertaining - holidays, especially. So we would go up and down occasionally, but not routinely. For my parents, they aren't disabled but they definitely wish the master was on the main level.

I think that is a great idea. We were trying to add a man-door to the garage but don't have space - I think we will play around to see what we can do in the mudroom space. That was precisely why I posted here - ideas we hadn't thought of! Thanks!!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 2:36PM
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mommyto4boys

Nice ideas for your plan! I would definitely have the master on the main floor too. This coming from a mom of 6 boys...6 months-13 years. Little ones can stay in your master or an office can work as a nursery for a few years if you want them in the same floor. My Grandmother lived in her house for 90 years! She hadn't been in the basement or the upstairs for the last 25 years of her life. She had everything she needed on the main floor. Her kids and Grandkids checked on things for her and did rare maitenence.

Good luck with your plans:)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:07PM
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Parkview603

Thanks Mommyto4boys! And SIX boys, that must be fun!! I agree about using the spaces downstairs for a nursery, if needed. We keep our babies in the room with us as long as possible. As much as I hate the idea of walking up and down stairs in the middle of the night, we really want a 2 story house and so that will just be part of it while they are young!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:30PM
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chicagoans

Since your DH is set on having a two-story great room be sure to check with your builder as well as 3rd party resources about the best ways to heat the space. I've read here that without some extra items (like blowers and returns or at least ceiling fans) the downstairs gets cold and the upstairs gets hot (since heat rises.)

Also make sure you have a way to change light bulbs in any fixtures you migh have up there.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 6:20PM
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mrspete

Like several others here, I'm not a huge fan of extra-tall rooms. They're expensive to build and expensive to heat/cool; however, I do understand the idea of one spouse considering any little this-or-that the MUST HAVE, even if it's not particularly practical. This is a big house with lots of bells-and-whistles -- you both have lots of splurges here.

If I were in your shoes, since you're going cathedral in the great room, I'd cut out the two-story foyer and make it into extra space for the front upstairs bedroom. If I'm reading those tiny numbers right, the back upstairs bedroom is larger, and it has the cool bay window. This would give each girl something special in her room. I can imagine a girl using the front part of that enlarged bedroom as a sitting area, and keeping her bed in the back portion /over the foyer.

Still on the open floorplan /cathedral thought . . . TVs in open floorplans like this can be annoying -- everyone in the house ends up hearing your show, whether they enjoy it or not. Ditto for the upstairs landing area, if you ever use it for a kids' TV room. I'd consider making either the living room or the guest room /kids' playroom into a TV room. Either one would do because they're "away" from the action and could be closed off with doors.

I don't particularly think the room labeled "guest room" is all that good for a kids' play room. Kids want to be WITH YOU, and that room is way in the back. I think your kids' toys are still going to be out in the great room.

I have two teenaged girls, and I suggest making the upstairs bathroom a one-sink room. Cutting back to one sink means they have greater drawer /storage space, and they have more room on the counter for make-up /curling irons and so forth. My two teenaged girls actually have two sinks, and they don't care a hoot about them -- but their bathroom drawers are stuffed full. Actually, I'd do the same in the master bedroom.

As for a master bedroom on the lower floor, I'm fine with that. The only time I could see this being a problem would be when the kids are sick. If you're happy with this arangement most of the time, I'd allow the kids to sleep on the downstairs sofa or put a blow-up twin bed into the master on those rare occasions.

As for not being able to use your upstairs bedroom once you're elderly, I don't see this as a problem either. My 99-year old grandmother CAN go up and down stairs, but she does it very slowly and can't carry anything while she does it. If she lived in a two-story house, she wouldn't want to go up and down the stairs multiple times a day, but she wouldn't be totally unable to access that portion of the house. Also, if you have one of your children or a paid caregiver living with you in your elderly years, they'd probably appreciate a little separation from you -- and they could have one upstairs room for a bedroom, the other as a private sitting room.

This is plenty of space for a four-person family -- it's generous, in fact. I don't see any point in having the basement.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 9:28PM
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mrspete

Like several others here, I'm not a huge fan of extra-tall rooms. They're expensive to build and expensive to heat/cool; however, I do understand the idea of one spouse considering any little this-or-that the MUST HAVE, even if it's not particularly practical. This is a big house with lots of bells-and-whistles -- you both have lots of splurges here.

If I were in your shoes, since you're going cathedral in the great room, I'd cut out the two-story foyer and make it into extra space for the front upstairs bedroom. If I'm reading those tiny numbers right, the back upstairs bedroom is larger, and it has the cool bay window. This would give each girl something special in her room. I can imagine a girl using the front part of that enlarged bedroom as a sitting area, and keeping her bed in the back portion /over the foyer.

Still on the open floorplan /cathedral thought . . . TVs in open floorplans like this can be annoying -- everyone in the house ends up hearing your show, whether they enjoy it or not. Ditto for the upstairs landing area, if you ever use it for a kids' TV room. I'd consider making either the living room or the guest room /kids' playroom into a TV room. Either one would do because they're "away" from the action and could be closed off with doors.

I don't particularly think the room labeled "guest room" is all that good for a kids' play room. Kids want to be WITH YOU, and that room is way in the back. I think your kids' toys are still going to be out in the great room.

I have two teenaged girls, and I suggest making the upstairs bathroom a one-sink room. Cutting back to one sink means they have greater drawer /storage space, and they have more room on the counter for make-up /curling irons and so forth. My two teenaged girls actually have two sinks, and they don't care a hoot about them -- but their bathroom drawers are stuffed full. Actually, I'd do the same in the master bedroom.

As for a master bedroom on the lower floor, I'm fine with that. The only time I could see this being a problem would be when the kids are sick. If you're happy with this arangement most of the time, I'd allow the kids to sleep on the downstairs sofa or put a blow-up twin bed into the master on those rare occasions.

As for not being able to use your upstairs bedroom once you're elderly, I don't see this as a problem either. My 99-year old grandmother CAN go up and down stairs, but she does it very slowly and can't carry anything while she does it. If she lived in a two-story house, she wouldn't want to go up and down the stairs multiple times a day, but she wouldn't be totally unable to access that portion of the house. Also, if you have one of your children or a paid caregiver living with you in your elderly years, they'd probably appreciate a little separation from you -- and they could have one upstairs room for a bedroom, the other as a private sitting room.

This is plenty of space for a four-person family -- it's generous, in fact. I don't see any point in having the basement.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 9:29PM
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