Floor Plan Critique

tulip55October 20, 2012

Hello everyone!

I have been reading this forum and have learned so much and I believe all the suggestions are meant in a helpful way, though some posters can be quite tough:) So, with a deep intake of breath, I ask for comments and suggestions on my plan.

Here is a little background on my husband and me. We are empty nesters, and are building our home after recently moving back to Texas after two years and one layoff in NC. We are not big entertainers, and family is pretty scattered so large gatherings will occur infrequently. We are owned by two cats, Maggie and Tiny and they approved this message.

Hubby loves cars, hence the large garage with a house attached. This plan was chosen because it would fit on the lot and a bedroom could be chopped off to enlarge the garage. I am pretty happy with most of it, but am afraid I have missed stuff and will beat myself up about it until the cows come home. Enough already!!!

Thanks to all who respond.



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This might be easier to read

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 3:40PM
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Sorry, but it's really hard to make any dimensions out...

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 4:05PM
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I agree that dimensions would be very useful.

It's hard to read what the rooms are. What is the one to the right just inside the front door?

It looks like you have a totally interior dining room. No natural light, no view at all. This would be a deal-breaker for me. Either do without or figure out something else. It will be an unpleasant room, even at night.

The little bump-in in the breakfast area does not serve much purpose. It won't be usable patio area because of the doorway. Why not expand the breakfast area instead?

You have to walk all the way through the house, past a bathroom and a bedroom hall, to get to the "public" areas.

Could you add a window or two to the right-hand wall of the master bedroom?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 4:36PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The garage with some living quarters attached doesn't work as a houseplan if you want something aesthetically pleasing and want to have guests find the front door.

Have hubby rent space in a commercial garage or a separate garage building elsewhere.

Or buy two lots so the garage can go on the other lot.

Or a deeper lot that a separate garage can go in the rear. That's the option we chose.

Think of the cars as the mother in law that you have to find space for but don't want to make it look like it's her house and she barely lets you live there.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 6:21PM
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There are some things I love like the kitchen. But two big problems are the bowling alley corridor from the front of the house to the back. Also this garage...while I am sure your husband has to have it NEEDS to be recessed so it will not compete with the house.

Currently it feels like a garage that a house was attached to. The whole plan revolves around accommodating it's size.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 7:56PM
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Oh, hollysprings you just made my day! I laughed so hard I nearly cried, when I read your post because your points are so well stated and so true. I have not even thought about how to get to the front door... Builder and hubby are pushing to get started, and I am just not feeling it.

Thanks for your insightful response.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 8:28AM
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Sorry for the awful image. I am working on getting the pdf from my husband and will repost..

Apologies to all.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 8:35AM
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What are your lot's dimensions? Actually, what is are the buildable dimensions once you remove required setbacks? Might it be possible to build that humongous garage as separate building set in back of and off to one side of the house?

If your lot size and the neighborhood association rules allow it, maybe you could do a pole-barn garage out back in place of that overpoweringly huge front load garage. In Texas, pole barns are very common and they're cheap to build. They go up quick and easy too so that you could build the pole barn first and then use it as a lockable staging area for your building materials while you build the house.

Once you remove that garage from the front of your house, you'll have so many more options for designing a gracious beautiful HOME instead of a "garage-with-house-attached."

I just know that there HAS to be a better solution to your building needs than this design.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 1:34PM
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I agree pp comments. I'm not sure where you are located, but is a basement possible? can you move some of the garage spots to a lower level? Why are you building a ranch? can you move the secondary bedrooms upstairs? maybe put in an elevator. That would take solve some of the bowling alley foyer problem. Agree about the dining room. Just make the breakfast room bigger.

Is there no possibility of a detached garage?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 4:37PM
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I quite like the large entry. It looks wide enough to have a couple of pieces of furniture in there, ie.. narrow hall tables. You may be able to have some paintings on the walls...quite a lot of doors so not a huge amount of wall space. But all in all I don't see it as being a problem.
Same with the dining room. I am presuming it is a formal dining so only or mostly used at night. My brother has one similar, makes a nice cosy intimate room, good for conversation over dinner.
The garage does dominate the house, but if you have need of a large garage it is going to, unless you have the room and money to hide it down the back with a smaller one attached to the house.
All in all I think the plan is workable.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:19PM
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What is the area of this plan? It looks rather oversized for 2 people in the "empty nester" phase of life...

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:38PM
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I agree with virgilcarter. 4 bedrooms seems like a lot for the lifestyle you describe. Maybe if you looked at floor plans with fewer bedrooms, you could find a way to move the garage back?

FWIW, I think this floorplan seems pretty workable. The long walk past bedrooms isn't ideal, but they are guest rooms, so I think it makes some sense to have them near the entry.

If your husband works on his cars, and doesn't just collect them, I'd recommend making sure there's a laundry sink in the utility room so he doesn't have to wash up in the kitchen.

Have you considered a 2 story plan? If the house were taller, that might make it visually stronger than the garage.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:55PM
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He does work on the cars, and we always park our daily drivers in it as well. We thought about a two story, but were tired of the stairs in our previous home.

The livable space is about 3500, and the minimum to build in our area is 3000. My husband will have a sink in the garage as well as a lift. The area we are building in has steadily increased in value and with strong sales even during the downturn, so we are probably building more than we need, but it will be more desirable to a family should we have to sell again in two years.

Thanks for the responses. I tried to upload a pdf file to make the writing clearer, but was unable to.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 8:26PM
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Sophie Wheeler

To have a usable lift, you need 15-18 foot ceilings for the garage. You can't do that in an ordinary residential garage with 8' ceiling. I really think you need to drop back and assess what you're doing here because you are at cross purposes.

If you do want a lift, I'd strongly suggest doing the two story house so that the taller garage and entire structure could fit your needs better and better integrate into the neighborhood. Right now, if you have to have architectural approval from any HOA, I doubt that it will pass. They are also likely to get pissy about a "commercial style" garage, even if your hubby never opens the door at all while he's working on something. Ask me how I know about that one!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:56PM
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I'm sorry, but this plan appear to be a huge bulky mass, very rectangular and the only way to cover with a roof is a very large roof shape. The left exterior wall is extremely long and unbroken, the entry corridor is very long; there doesn't appear to be a convenient half-bath for guests; the garage is unbelivably huge and complicated to structure. If this design fits your needs and budget that's wonderful. Clearly, you are a two-some with special aspirations. I hope you have a weekly cleaning service, otherwise it may prove difficult to maintain such a house.

Good luck with your projet!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:03PM
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