Input on floorplan please?

TammyTEOctober 21, 2012

This is the main floor of the plan. Can anyone think of a way to shave off some square footage? The only places I see are maybe the living room and dining areas.

I plan to use the extra bedroom for my home school supplies, craft items that little kids shouldn't be in, file cabinets and such. We will probably still have a table and desk or 2 in the "family room" and use that for school work.

Things I am debating on:

1. Office - This room could be used as a nursery. There is no window though so I know it can't be considered a bedroom. That's why I put the pocket door from the master. Should I leave the hall door there for futurre use as an office that would be more accessible to everyone? We could put a piece of furniture in front of the pocket door if needed. Thoughts?

2. The open wall into the "family" room right off the foyer. We *live* in our house 24/7. Ideally everything would look nice but that's not always the case. ;-) Would it close the foyer up too much putting a full wall there? Would it help to put pocket doors in that wall that could be left open if we would like? The foyer is 8' wide.

3. I switched the door swing on the master bedroom to give some more privacy from the foyer/hallway. Do you think that would be too awkward?

4. Can you think of a better way to lay the master bathroom out? I have the laundry in the end of it so that needs to have a 36" doorway.

Any other thoughts? I will post the upper level in the next post.

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This is the 2nd floor. The room on the right with no label is a bonus room that I doubt we can afford to build, but I put it in there to see what the builder says.

Ignore the double wall along the hall closets and that little wall sticking out on the right. Apparently I have done something wrong and can't figure out what.

We could also possibly access some attic storage over the garage straight through the laundry room. (The garage is 28'x28')

Any thoughts on the 2nd floor?


    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Tammy, is there some reason why you have not used the plan posted by Reno8 in another thread, and continue to try to develop your own plans?

I'm sorry, but there are so many issues with this plan that positive critique is virtually impossible.

You are trying very hard, but I respectfully suggest you start looking at existing plans, based on user experience, that may fit your requirements, rather than trying to design your own.

If you are trying to save a few $1,000s from using a plan from a house plan factory, it may be false savings for you and your family.

Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:55PM
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I appreciate your honesty.

I was actually the one that posted the original plan in the other thread. Reno8 just made a quick link to it.

I didn't think I changed it all that much. What is the point in going with a custom plan if we aren't going to customize it to our own personal situation?

We don't need a second full bath on the main level, but we would like an extra space for a young child.

I didn't like the kitchen layout so I kept the room dimension and put in what I have worked out already.

We do a LOT of laundry, so I added a second laundry room upstairs.

We have a need for a mudroom and there wasn't room for both a mudroom and a laundry room by the back door. Plus I think it would be more efficient to have the laundry room closer to where most of the laundry is. So I put the laundry off the master bath.

I moved the master entry door to help with privacy.

I wanted a half bath easily accessible without walking on carpet for dirty little kids to run inside and go potty. I also wanted this half bath available for guests without them walking through the mudrooom or laundry room. So we put this in the back hall.

We have our 2 vehicles plus lots of bikes, riding toys, lawnmower and such so we made the garage bigger.

Upstairs I kept the basic bedroom bathroom layout but just added some to the one bedroom and made closets bigger.

I saw no reason not to have more closets upstairs and the space wasn't being used anyway.

We aren't going to be able to do any of the taller ceilings as the first floor will all be 9'.

The only thing I can see that I changed for what looks to be no apparent reason is the staircase. My online friend that suggested this plan has her staircase done this way and I think it looks nice. The landing is helpful if a child would fall down the stairs they don't fall nearly as far. To compensate for the added width I made the living room wider.

With all that said, I would truly and genuinely like to know what you think is wrong. Maybe I am missing something huge. I am no expert by any means, but I do know what I would like out of a house. Of course if I had all the money in the world then some of these things wouldn't be an issue, but we have to be realistic with our budget.

Thank you

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 8:27PM
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I like the kitchen/dining/living/family room part of the plan, but do you really want to have to walk all the way through the master bedroom and bathroom every time you need to move your laundry from one machine to the next? I'd rather walk through the laundry twice a day (morning and night) than through the bathroom over and over. I think the larger bedroom upstairs is not big enough for 4 children. I would make all 5 kids share a bathroom before I put 4 kids in a room that size.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Agree with Zone. I like the kitchen and living area, however the rest of the house needs to be rethought. Too many closets upstairs, laundry room downstairs is in the MB and the flow is awkward. Again IMHO. If you're happy then that's the main thing.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 9:41PM
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I'll give this a try:)
Lower Level:
Your bedroom(craft area) will not be useful as a bedroom ever without a more accessible bath or at least half bath.

Laundry room-I would not be very apt to doing laundry throughout the day unless it was in the living areas (like off the garage or kitchen) I can see myself forgeting the time and that loads are in/done. I do like your idea of having two.

There is a lack of privacy in the living and family room without an actual wall. TV's or company in each room would probably compete.

Stair positioning seems like a lot of wasted space. It would be better if you could use this space. If you changed the position of the stairs toward the entryway you could have a coat closet.

Upper level- laundry has alot of wasted space.

Do you need two dead end baths in proximity to each bedroom area?

"The room on the right with no label is a bonus room that I doubt we can afford to build" Is this why your doing 2 upper level baths?

I think you'd have room for a mud room if you had a more efficient layout.

Your guest bath on the lower level seems like it's in a traffic area.

Is the closet on the lower level a pantry, mudroom or just a closet? You have tons of closets...wish I had more in my own home:) but with an unfinished bonus will you need them?

When your closer to finished plans I'd post in kitchens. Your current plan seems like a lot of walking.

As for shaving off sqftage:
Yes, to dining and living.
Move the laundry into the closet and add appropriate sqftage then keep the natural light for the bath and subtract that space.
MB is large- a nursery will only be use for a very short time so this space could double for other uses. Is it intended to be an office or is it just a lable for flex space?

You may have mentioned on another thread your needs and family both current an/or anticipated. I am only commenting on this layout as per your request. I think you need some modifications to make this work efficiently.

The light from your dining area will be fantastic!
Good Luck:)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:03PM
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I am no expert(i am in the same stage as you of designing my home), but to me the purpose of living room is for a family to be together. The way it looks is that you all will be looking at the stairway and i am not sure where the tv will go, but if your family does watch tv or cozy up to the fireplace i would definitely consider where you will put them. So i would move the stairway away from living room. It doesnt look to me like the house flows well...Some one has suggested to me to read a book by Sarah Susanka - Not so big solutions for your home..i think its great book and i ordered 2 more by this author. Anyway, good luck!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:41PM
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Thank you all for the feedback.

Zone4 - I really do think I would rather walk all the way to the bedroom to do the laundry. I will admit that I have never had a laundry in this area but I have had it other places (eg., near the back door) and it's not been great. Ideally the masterbath wouldn't be this long and narrow but that's how the plan had it and, believe it or not, I was trying to stick with the plan as much as possible.

As for bedroom size, I would love a bigger bedroom for the kids. I'm trying to find a balance between bedroom size and main living space. We mainly use the bedrooms for sleeping and getting ready. You should see the room they share now.

Do you think I could get a better bathroom layout? I was just thinking of the times where they are all trying to get ready at the same time. They are rarely in the bedrooms at the same time unless they are sleeping.

dpusa - Too many closets? I didn't think that was possible. LOL I planned to keep out of season clothing in those closets. We have lots of out of season and growing into/just grown out of clothes. I appreciate your opinion because I don't want to get into this house and find a huge problem.

sticks - lower level extra bedroom - Yes, I thought of that. I mentioned it to my husband and he said to nix the extra full bath. I would love to keep the full bath but it was not high on the priority list. I do see your point though. Thanks for bringing it to my attention in case I had missed it!

laundry - I will be running up and down the stairs helping the kids with their laundry till they are a bit older anyway. I sooo do not look forward to that but I think it will be worth it for later when they are old enough to take care of it themselves. As for my laundry, yes you are right, it is awkward. I would love suggestions on how to make it better, but still having the laundry near the master. I guess I could put it in that office space. (?)

living/family - We will also have a basement for loud older kids to go to. :-)

stairs - I'm not sure what you mean. Do you just mean turn them 180*? Wouldn't that make them enter the upstairs from the wrong place?

Upper laundry - I agree about the wasted space. I actually wanted it to be laundry and another area for dirty clothes, but I didn't want a door right at the top of the stairs that could be open to laundry or dirty clothes. Any thoughts on how to fix that?

baths - I'm not sure what you mean by dead end bath. Are you saying they should somehow be attached to each other in between the bedrooms or...?

bonus room - are you saying that the bonus room would be a higher priority to you than the extra bathroom space?

mudroom - How would you change it to get a mudroom in there? I have it in the room marked "closet" by the back door right now.

Guest bath - I wasn't sure where else to put it where we would be able to get to it without walking on carpet. (We might have to put carpet in the living room and there will be carpet in the hall by the bedrooms.)

closet - Yes that's the mudroom. Software didn't have mudroom as an option for room label. You guys must all be minimalists! LOL Maybe I am overcompensating for the lack of closet space now, but I want as many closets as possible. I was actually thinking I wanted at least one more closet on the main level. I'm not sure where I will be able to put my vacuum. I do have a small broom closet in the kitchen though.

Kitchen - lot of walking? I was pretty happy with that plan. I'll have to go look at it again. I want a space that will be good for several working at once, if that makes a difference.

Nursery - I don't want any child sleeping upstairs away from me til they are a bit older. Right now I know I wouldn't put my just turned 2yo up there, so she would need a place downstairs. So if we have anymore children the nursery would get at least 2years of use for one child. As for future use, I have no idea! Office for me/dh? Private space for older children to work on their school work with some peace and quiet? A closet? (Just kidding...well sort of.)

Yes I am super excited about the dining area! We currently eat in a coffin. blech!


    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:44PM
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kassi-I'll take a look at that book, thanks.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:46PM
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Tammy-- I found "Designing your Perfect House" by William Hirsch really helpful. I like the Not So Big House books, but I thought Hirsch offered more concrete advice (where to put windows, how to hang doors, which rooms should be connected and why...) and discussed a broader range of house types. Also, he has very specific suggestions about what to do with your driveway so that people enter through your front door.

FWIW, we homeschool too, and as my girls get older and the hormones hit, they seem to need personal space more than they used to. Right now it seems like you're prioritizing giving your son a private bathroom over giving your girls a reasonable amount of personal space, and I think it makes more sense to flip those. Could you afford to finish the bonus room if you only got the 2nd upstairs bathroom roughed in? Or give your son the downstairs bedroom, and let the girls have the entire upstairs?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 9:06AM
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Zone4 - I'll check that book out. Sounds good!

As far as the upstairs goes, I see what you are saying. I didn't plan on my son having that entire bathroom to himself. It would be set up boys/girls but if a girl needed a shower or had to go to the bathroom she could definitely use the "boy" bathroom.

I don't know how much a bathroom costs vs. finishing the bonus room, but that's a good question to ask!

As for ds using the bedroom on the main level, that's a thought but then we would definitely need another full bath there as well. It's an option though.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 12:00PM
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TammyTE - I am in the same stage you are also with planning and I am no expert at all! For the master area - any way you can get that bedroom on the outside wall for more light/cross breeze? Also - in the plan we are currently considering the laundry is by the master with the doorway in the hall - very convenient. It also buts up to the master closet so I want to open it up so I can get through to the closet from the laundry room if that makes sense. Very easy to put clothes away as well as getting through to the closet/bathroom without having to go through the bedroom if spouse is sleeping. Not sure if that is ever a problem for you (dh works opposite shifts for me) but thought I'd bring it up just in case! I like your office space but I can't figure out how to move all of that around with the office/bedroom and then the living room. It looks like it is begging for a small hallway for access??? Good luck!

Here is a very rudementary attempt (you have been warned, lol):

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Autumn, that was a really good rearrangement, imo. Also gets the office to an area with light.

I think the upstairs laundry has a ton of wasted space. It is so long and narrow, it can really only be set up that way, but with the door at the far end, nothing else can be done with it except a tiny counter. so, it needs to be shrunk down.

Likewise, the "boy bath" has too much space in the tub area.

As for a girl who needs to shower when one is busy, and will use the boy one--I don't see it actually happening. That can be ideal, and all that, but truthfully, girls have more and different hair and shower products than boys. And, if all her products are "occupied" in the other shower, she is not going to want to use the boy one. Or, you will have to have lots of storage in both bathrooms and duplicate of all products...

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 1:37PM
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Autumn - Yes! You understand what I am going for with the laundry. :) I have been toying with putting the laundry in the office area but running in the a similar problem with what to do with the office/nursery.

What if I moved the office to the back of the house and the bathroom/closet configuration up to the front? Do you think that would work?

kirk- I've gotta work on that area upstairs. I'm trying to keep from having the laundry at the top of the stairs visible from the main level. I just think a wall would look prettier. I also am not sure of all that because it may not work with the roofline. I am going to have to ask the builder because I am clueless about it.

As for sharing the shower, yes I'm sure they will have different hair care needs. I have one daughter that needs special stuff for her very dry, curly hair. I have been toying with the idea of the children having their own caddies (once they reach a certain age) sort of like you would in a dorm. That way they could take their caddy to whichever bathroom is open.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 2:39PM
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For this much square footage (and the cost that would go into building it), I would expect more "live-ability".

Kitchen: The sink and the refrigerator are divided by the massive island -- are you really going to want to walk around that thing multiple times every time you cook a meal? A large kitchen isn't automatically a well-designed kitchen. Trust me, I have a HUGE kitchen right now, but I hate it. I'm building a kitchen about 60% the size of what I have now, but I'm thinking it through so that I won't be walking a mile to get to the garbage can, I won't be toting groceries through the kitchen to get to the pantry, etc. This kitchen could be MUCH more efficient. For just one example, you have loads of counterspace (countertops are very expensive); since money is a concern, consider going with floor-to-ceiling pantries (that is, plain doors and shelves, not cabinetry) -- it's much cheaper than housing all your appliances, etc. in expensive cabinetry. Also, for a kitchen that size, I'd want more than one little window.

I love the light-filled dining area.

The Living Room /Family Room need more separation. The two areas will definitely "compete" with one another. If someone's watching TV in the Living Room, it will prevent someone else from reading, talking, practicing an instrument in the Family Room. A wall dividing the Family Room from the main area would work well -- and perhaps French doors (between foyer and room) to block off sound too.

I'd double the window in the Family Room.

Entry area: With chidlren, the big closet the by the garage entry would be better as lockers. Also, if you go with lockers, you could have a window (even a narrow, high-up window) to bring in some natural light to that area.

Your master bedroom is large, but it contains a great deal of unusable space. Again, trust me on this. It's basically the same shape as my current bedroom. I have loads of space (which I have to heat and vaccuum), but it's all at the foot of the bed. Narrow bedrooms provide more wall space, which is practical in the bedroom.

You're concerned about whether you can afford the bonus room -- your bathrooms are the place place to slash costs. Per square foot, these are the most expensive rooms in your house. With a large tub and a luxury-sized shower, your master bath is very expensive; going with a tub/shower combination would be a big money-saver. Upstairs, could you go with a jack-and-jill type combination to be shared between the bedrooms? I read somewhere (was it in the Not So Big House books? I'm not sure.) that a half-bath costs approximately as much as a car. If you're taking out a mortgage, that means you'll pay for it 3Xs, so a half-bath costs approximately as much as three cars.

Also, on the subject of bathrooms. You're looking to slash square footage and save money -- get your bathrooms and your kitchen closer together. With these rooms so spread out, you're spending a fortune in plumbing costs. Two bathrooms that're "back to back" with just a wall between them are cheaper than two bathrooms on opposite sides of the house. And plumbing isn't all that cheap to maintain either.

I don't like the downstairs bedroom. It's not connected to a bathroom -- very inconvenient. How many bedrooms do you actually need? Could you eliminate the master bath "wing" and shift the master bath into this bedroom area . . . then use that upstairs bonus space for the other bedroom?

Or, could this downstairs bathroom become the office? But, then, why do you need an office, if you're going to use the Family Room for homeschooling /desks?

I have to say that I'm with the others on the laundry: Thumbs down. I agree that having the laundry near the bedroom is a good idea . . . but imagine carrying the loads through the bedroom, around the corner, through the master bath (hope no one was in there), and finally into the laundry room. I don't disagree with placing it near the bedroom-- but you need a more direct route.

Do you have an exterior elevation? I'm pretty good with floorplans, but I'm having a hard time making the first and second floors "line up" -- did you adjust the upper floor? I don't see the roofline working out properly.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 5:29PM
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MrsPete - I'll attach a link to the original plan I started with.

Kitchen - Did you see there's a prep sink in the island? I have a pantry just as you walk in on the left. Yes I would like a larger window over the main sink.

family - I was thinking of putting pocket doors on the foyer wall and maybe a wall with french doors that would primarily be open.

backentry - I like the idea of lockers but I think it would bug me if we had more or less than the number of people in the house.

Good info on the cost of bathrooms. Maybe I can get the upstairs baths closer to each other. Maybe I can switch the larger bath and smaller bedroom?

As far as the downstairs bedroom, I was planning to use it for all the ugly homeschool stuff like file cabinets and then also a place for things like legos, beading and such that I don't want a small child around.

I'm trying to get a better route to the main level laundry. Just having a hard time configuring it.

Maybe I will have to ditch the large tub in the master. I've never had one and always wanted one. I know that if we don't put it in when we build then it will never happen. Dh wants a larger shower than the basic tub/shower unit but I like to take a bath every once in a while. I just figured this would be the best solution.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 5:43PM
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Hi Tammy-
You could flip the bath/closet and the office but it would depend on room size if the closet would still effectively line up with the laundry area. The other slight concern would be bath noise traveling into the bedroom since it runs the full length of that wall. Again - my perspective as we are often getting ready or home while the other one is asleep (in fact in our current home on his work days I shower and get ready in the basement) - talk about trips up and downstairs with clothes, toothbrush, etc. I can't wait to have all my stuff in one closet on one level! I guess I'm getting extra exercise...

I am right in line with your bath tub thoughts also. Hoping to have one even if its not huge. Just the option to take a bath sounds dreamy. :)

Lockers - I think if you had less then that would be irritating but if you have more - not a problem. Good for any kid friends/guests that may use that entrance or heaven forbid MOM have a little extra space. The kid gear just keeps getting larger as they grow. I also saw one that had a corner with shelves and that looked really handy. You could do something like that. Of course I'm not sure which thread - I'll see if I can find it. I know it was on here.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 8:30PM
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Mudroom Lockers: Found it. It's older but you might get something out of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: How deep are your mudroom lockers

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 8:48PM
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The Exterior is lovely -- exactly my taste. But I think the original design was much more liveable ( and less expensive to build).

I also don't care for the original kitchen; mainly it's the corner sink and stove. But even with the prep sink, you're committing one of the big kit hen sins with your new plan: thou shalt not interrupt the work triangle. I maintain that you need a whole wall of inexpensive pantry . . . And move the fridge to the real workhorse side.

I like the original upstairs bath.

As for bathroom, tub, etc . . . Here's a question: are you planning a house that's budget, moderate, or luxury? I ask because I'm hearing two things: you want to cut back on size . . . Yet the house contains quite a few luxury build items. I'm not sure I'm giving advice for the level of house you're planning.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 9:10PM
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The Exterior is lovely -- exactly my taste. But I think the original design was much more liveable ( and less expensive to build).

I also don't care for the original kitchen; mainly it's the corner sink and stove. But even with the prep sink, you're committing one of the big kit hen sins with your new plan: thou shalt not interrupt the work triangle. I maintain that you need a whole wall of inexpensive pantry . . . And move the fridge to the real workhorse side.

I like the original upstairs bath.

As for bathroom, tub, etc . . . Here's a question: are you planning a house that's budget, moderate, or luxury? I ask because I'm hearing two things: you want to cut back on size . . . Yet the house contains quite a few luxury build items. I'm not sure I'm giving advice for the level of house you're planning.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 9:11PM
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The Exterior is lovely -- exactly my taste. But I think the original design was much more liveable ( and less expensive to build).

I also don't care for the original kitchen; mainly it's the corner sink and stove. But even with the prep sink, you're committing one of the big kit hen sins with your new plan: thou shalt not interrupt the work triangle. I maintain that you need a whole wall of inexpensive pantry . . . And move the fridge to the real workhorse side.

I like the original upstairs bath.

As for bathroom, tub, etc . . . Here's a question: are you planning a house that's budget, moderate, or luxury? I ask because I'm hearing two things: you want to cut back on size . . . Yet the house contains quite a few luxury build items. I'm not sure I'm giving advice for the level of house you're planning.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 9:15PM
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Does this look better?

I forgot to put a closet in that extra bedroom. The nursery doesn't have a window so I wonder if I should make it open into the master bedroom.(?)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 11:23PM
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Autumn thanks for the link to the mudroom lockers. :)

MrsPete - I want the kitchen to work for several people at once. If I am making white sauce on the cooktop and dd is baking cookies near the oven and another child is prepping veggies for a salad...someone else can still be loading/unloading the dishwasher or setting the table. I think a triangle is great for one or two people, but not for 7 or more. At least that's what I run into now with my kitchen. We are constantly in each other's way.

I don't know what level we are building either! :) Basically we want to build quality, functional and it would be wonderful if it looked nice. We are trying to do this within a budget. There are things that we would be willing to do without if we could add them later, but you can't add things like 9' ceilings later. So I'm just trying to find a balance.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 11:30PM
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What about this living room layout with the stairs on the opposite wall?

I like that I was able to make a little reading nook or play area behind the stairs. Do you think this flows better?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 11:58PM
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I worked on the upstairs based on moving the staircase. I was trying to get the water closer together. I thought I would just make the left bedroom for boys and put girls in the bonus room. I changed the bath to a shower for the boy side. The girl bath will end up in a front gable and I can't figure out how to situate everything because I can't really put a wall in the middle of that window.

Do you think it will look alright with that wall being just a few feet from the window? Should I turn the laundry and have it open to the hallway?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:53AM
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Many comments:

I like the staircase being moved to the entry area. It just flows better. You could still cut lots of SF by going with a straight staircase.

The laundry area is better, but I'm not thrilled with the idea of walking past loads of dirty clothes to enter the master bath. Also, since the machines "back up to" the master bedroom, if you wash clothes at night, you're going to hear the machines. This laundry thing just isn't coming together.

Consider this for your laundry room: Go with stackable machines (you can get BIG machines that stack) and move them to what is now a closet area. That'll leave you a nice long cabinet on which to fold clothes in the spot where you now have the machines. Storage for baskets of dirty clothes under your folding area. Or, you could move the door to the center so that you'd walk straight into the bathroom (and you'd have a window in the site-line as you walk into the bathroom), have a shorter folding area and use the are to the right (behind the laundry room door) as a large linen closet.

While we're talking about laundry, what's right above your master bath? Is it that closet? Could you install a laundry shoot that'd let the kids drop their dirty clothes right into your downstairs laundry room?

Massive wasted space entering the MBR.

Yes to a window (or French doors) into the nursery. Some light in that area would be very nice. Or, how about opening it up to the MBR and -- in the short periods of time when you want it to be a nursery -- use some sort of screen? I could see this as an adult retreat, a reading nook or a computer area, perhaps.

You've reduced the SF in the master bath, but the tub has a lovely view of the toilet.

Consider those pier glasses that're flanking the front door. Those make it easy for a thief to break in: Just smash the glass, reach in and open the doorknob. Also, with only a skimpy piece of wood between the door and the pier glass, the best dead-bolt lock is easy to kick in.

One more thing about glass beside the front door: Our former house had this, and it meant that our light switches had to be located a good two foot away from the doorway ('cause you can't put light switches in glass).

I am a big proponent of natural light, but I suggest that you consider a door with high-up windows, which let in light but don't allow for these security concerns.

The boys' bath looks better. I like that the toilet and shower are "housed together" and someone can still use the sink while those time-consuming activities are going on in the more private room.

Why not do the same in the girls' bathroom? Move the tub and the toilet together into that small, back room. I'd consider a single sink for the girls' bathroom. My girls rarely go into the bathroom together anyway, and two sinks take away from drawer space. Also, when they're older, the girls are going to want counterspace for make-up, curling irons, etc. Definitely be sure you have electrical outlets on sides of the sink; my girls only have it on one end, and all their stuff congregates down there.

Is that a washer/dryer set across from the girls' sinks? We had that set-up when I was a kid, and although it's not all that attractive, it's practical. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again, though I would consider a stacking unit so that they could have some folding space beside it.

I understand the idea of many cooks in the kitchen, but you're still going to be all over each other with this design. You need the basic work triangle for the main cook . . . and then a secondary spot for a secondary cook (or two). The opposite side of the island is an obvious secondary spot. You need your kitchen to be right, so I suggest that you do some reading on work triangles /work spaces. You need to design a prep area (this is where the cook spends most of his or her time), a cooking area (obviously by the stove), a clean-up area (obviously by the sink -- consider where dirty dishes will be piled), and storage areas (where will food be stored, place glasses and dishes near the dishwasher).

I think the refrigerator is the biggest problem here; whether you're cooking or putting food on the table, your refrigerator is in the worst possible location -- it's close to nothing. I would move the fridge to the far end -- past the sink and dishwasher. This'd put it on the main work side and would make it easy to get drinks to the table.
I would put a trash pull-out on both sides of the island, one of them on the end near the table.
And I would make the whole "back wall" a large pantry, which is a monumental money-saver. This storage space would also mean you could reduce the width of the island to one-cabinet deep + an overhang, giving you more walking room.
Where's the microwave? I'd put it on the "back wall" out of the way so that someone could warm something without interrupting the cook.

Two suggestions on moving foward with your plans:

1. Read some books on housing design. This is almost free, and it'll help you assure that you're getting it right. I suggest Better Houses, Better Living by Myron Ferguson. Designing Your Dream Home by Susan Lang. And the Not So Big House series by Sarah Susanka.

2. Get serious about your budget. You said that you haven't set a price point -- that's why I'm seeing those red flags that indicate you're concerned about square footage (which =s money), yet you're including luxury items that're more expensive than the square footage. Whether you can afford a little or a lot, you've gotta nail it down. Until then, you're going to be making guesses about what you can and can't afford.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Maybe this isn't what you're looking for at all, but a while back bevangel made an amazing plan for me, and things have changed so we aren't able to build it. But I think it might work for you. It has cubbies in the mudroom, a laundry room that is attached to the master but still accessible from the hallway, it has a bedroom with a full bath to use as a guest room or for supplies or whatever you want. You could put pocket doors on the sitting room in the master to be used as a nursery. The stairs would switch to be going up, and you could use the room labelled as office as a kind of den or place to watch tv. There would of course be changes to make still. Like I said, you might not like this at all, but I thought it was worth a try. :)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 11:42AM
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kb1217, That's a great floorplan and so much like the OP's -- but without the little rough spots here and there.

The main living area is more open than the OP's drawing, but given that you have other living areas -- the office, the sitting area -- that can be closed off, it looks fine. Great natural light throughout.

The kitchen's more reasonable /won't cost a fortune in cabinetry, but it's still fine for multiple cooks. The work triangle is intact, but a secondary cook could work at the island seating without interferring with the main cook. I don't care for the pantry being a bit far from the kitchen, but I think I'd do away with the freezer and make that pantry space -- and keep the pantry space too for general storage. I think that pantry under the stairs is going to be a little small.

This master bath - closet - laundry layout works! I liked the concept, but I couldn't say just how to put it together. I'd want a door (or maybe just eliminate the wall) in front of the cubbies. That way, a person walking in from the garage could go straight to the laundry room. I could do without the laundry room's exterior door /covered porch -- that looks like expense for no real purpose.

If the OP wants a tub, the sink area could be decreased a bit,and it'd fit just fine. Given that two huge walk-in closets are adjacent, you could lose that tiny closet too.

Relocating the sitting area towards the back of the master bedroom seems to have worked magic. I'd eliminate the door from the sitting room to the master bath; it's rather silly, given that there's a door literally around the corner. I could see this as a reading nook, a TV room, an exercise room . . . or, to save money, it could be a small private porch.

The one big negative that I see is that the plumbing is very spread out. It'll cost a fortune.

It's still a rather big house, and it's a more-than-average-cost-to-build house. But this one incorporates all the items in a "nicer package".

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 4:46PM
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Oh, yea there was supposed to be a door on the laundry room to the hallway. And I agree with eliminating the door between bathroom and sitting area. We had the oor to outside on th laundry room for letting the dog out and hanging clothes outside in the summer. It's. Nice big bathroom so you could rearrange it to work with a tub, and as for he kitchen, I'm sure you'll want to make few changes there.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 10:10PM
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Thanks for posting that plan. There are things I like about it but several things won't work for various reasons.

I have those books on order and will gladly check them out!

I have been working on the plan more in the mean time. I hope to post it soon. I appreciate all the feedback. It's very helpful.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 11:43PM
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New main level. I'm unsure of window sizes and placement so don't get too worried about that yet. I'm just looking at overall plan.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:32AM
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New upstairs.

I've got built in shelves on either side of the stairs. The laundry looks like it is sticking out in the middle of nothing. I planned on a space for dirty clothes on the left side and the right side I wanted to keep open for possible attic access.

The girl's room will have a sloped ceiling on the right side so I am trying to figure out how the beds would work.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:35AM
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Is that room at the bottom supposed to be the bedroom or the nursery/office, because it looks like you have gotten rid of one of them? The area behind the stairs in the living room seems kind of narrow and awkward, what would you use that space for? Also, the bathroom upstairs; are you sure you want the toilet in a separate room and the tub in another separate room? And then the vanity at the end like that, the vanity area seems huge compared to the other parts of the bathroom. Why not walk into an area with the vanity, and then a separate area with both the tub and toilet? I'm just not sure what it is, the kitchen and dining room look good, but other than that, it seems like the rooms just aren't fitting together right.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:37AM
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