Final Plans for Dream Home-Any thoughts?

mimiddbOctober 29, 2011

The final plans for our dream home are attached and I would like any thoughts if anyone foresees any problems with layout.

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I think it's a nice plan. But I'm the linen closet police... and I don't see any. Do you have another place for all the towels, hair supplies, medicines, extra TP? Counters will be very cluttered without them.

I can't see the dimensions of the rooms. That might help us give you better opinions? I'm curious to see what the dining room dimensions are- it looks like it'll be pretty crowded there, but can't really tell without the numbers.

Can you tell us a little about you and your living situation? Retired/young couple/kids, etc.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 10:20PM
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We are a couple in our fifties who have chosen to downsize. We won't have a lot of yard but that suits us fine as we plan to have an outdoor living area instead of grass. We do have a linen closet outside the guest rooms and I do plan to make that wider than shown on the print. The dining room is 9' by 14.6. That is the size of our current one and it seems to fit us fine. There is also a full basement which we plan to have a 3rd guest room, family room and office, plus lots of storage area.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 12:16PM
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Sophie Wheeler

This is "downsized"? It's awfully big with a basement etc. for something that uses that term. There's also lots of jogs in the footing, which translates into lots of expense to build.

My pet peeve is that there is no buffering area between the master and the great room. You usually want to plan to have closets or some null space separating the two. You also put your closet on an exterior wall, which means that you stole windows from some other area that could use the natural light. Closets are for inside walls. There is also a lot of room tied up in passageways and staircases. Your storage areas areas are also large for someone planning a basement. The mud area, pantry, and exterior storage space could also be consolidated into one larger space with the extra being given to the kitchen, which is too wide for a real galley shape and too small for it's current awkward shape. The sink on the end like an afterthought makes the whole space almost unusable for both prep and cleanup functions. Placing a real sized refrigerator there will create a huge bottleneck and will be a daily pain to deal with. If the space had that extra 5' (the dining area needs it too) stolen from the reworked storage areas, then it could work as a U shape with an island.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 12:54PM
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I guess that gives me lots of things to think over...

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 2:17PM
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I agree about not wasting outside walls on storage spaces -- or putting often used spaces (like your laundry) in windowless interior space. The house lacks windows; it's nice to have natural light from two sides of a room wherever possible, even if there's no 'view'.

There are a couple of 'mazes' -- into the secondary bedrooms and in the master suite. (Do you want to walk around a shower? Bump backsides at the sinks?) I don't like mixing public and private spaces: porch/MBR.

Kitchen is quite wide. Peninsulas bug me -- a 'walk-around', but maybe not you!

Do you want two staircases to the basement? I don't like turns in a utility stair because it can be awkward to get large items past the turn. I do like landings on 'people stairs' for safety reasons.

You say the lot is small. Is there room for a side-load garage?

What is the square space off the entry near the kitchen?

Overall, this looks like a starter plan, suggestions of where you want the rooms to be, but no integration of those spaces so that they don't intrude on one another.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 6:23PM
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Using exterior walls for storage does not bother me. I think your plan has plenty of windows and I don't really see it as an issue. If there was one place to add another window, it might be on the side of the master bedroom. However, that also depends on what you would be looking at from that side. I like windows if there is something to look at. If not, I find them expensive, a pain to decorate around, and even your most expensive window is probably not going to insulate as good as a wall. With you not showing any windows on that side, it makes me wonder if this was not intentional.

There are a few areas that I would want to change:

Laundry room location in relation to master bedroom. I get the impression that it is just you and your husband permanently living here and the extra bedrooms are for guests. I would rather have the laundry room closer to the master bedroom instead of having to trek across the house to it. Also, I can't see a door on it, but I am assuming it opens to that hallway. It looks a bit small. I would rather have a larger doorway here. I think if you will be carrying a large load across the house either in your arms or in a laundry basket, this would be even more important. Also, make sure to figure out where you are going to vent the dryer.

Not a fan of the kitchen sink location. With that configuration, you might not be able to stand at the sink and have the DW open unless you were pressed right up against the sink. I can't see the drawing clearly enough to see if you have left room or not, but just something to be mindful about.

Is the closet that shares a wall with the kitchen a pantry? If so, I would evaluate having a window in there. Which direction does this window face? Will this make the pantry hot? Are you using open shelving or closed cabinets. If closed cabinets, probably not as big of deal, but if open shelving, a window in a small room might not be best for foods that you want to keep in a dark, cool space. But then again, you are having a basement. What will you store where? Just a few things to think about.

On that same note, if that is not your pantry, do your have another location in mind? Do you just plan to use your kitchen cabinets?

Dining room and peninsula. What size dining room table are you going to have. Are there going to be seats at the peninsula? I would insert those into your drawing and make sure there will still be plenty of room for a traffic path between the great room, kitchen, path to garage, and guest hall. Even though you aren't going to be using the guess area much, the next owner might.

I would suggest posting your kitchen and surrounding area layout to the kitchen forum to get some input now while you can still move walls.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:13AM
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I agree that the kitchen plan in particular needs to be sent over to the kitchens forum. Someone above already commented on the fridge/peninsula pinch point. In addition, the sink is too far away from the stove (to carry a heavy pot of pasta/water to the sink to drain), etc. I think that space in particular needs to be reworked a little.
I also can't see your dimensions. Are your hallways and doorways (in particular into your master) large enough for a walker/wheelchair to maneuver? If this is your last/downsizing house, you will want to make sure that you can get around in it for a great many years and for a great many "imbalances".
I would also see if there was a way to get the Master Bath on the outside wall, and the closet interior. Most people don't want/need a window in their closet, however, it would be nice to have some natural light in your bathroom. Good for you to have that exterior door swing from toilet room--no one will get trapped in there. If you move your bathroom around, make sure you keep that feature. I know, also, that my husband and I would always be bumping bums at a sink arrnagement like that (when we bend down to wash our face, etc).
Otherwise, it is a nice start!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:32AM
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I like your plan and if you're okay with no windows in the hall bath and laundry room, then it seems fine. That's what lights are for, right? And with proper ventilation, you don't have to have a window.

In the kitchen, I think if you moved the sink where you have the dishwasher and slid the dishwasher further to the right, you'd still be able to see the other spaces from the sink, but the peninsula could be used for setting out snacks, seating, etc.

Overall, I think this plan will work well for you and your husband. Best of luck with your project :)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:12PM
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I understand why you might not want to take the space for a closet etc. between the master bedroom and living room, but I would definitely add sound proofing insulation to that wall. Even with two - one might want to watch TV while the other reads or naps. I would also add it to the wall between the dining room and the bath if possible. I won't completely solve the sound problem, but it should help. It is awkward to hear your guest flush during dinner :)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 10:11AM
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