Need Some Feedback!

EininOctober 28, 2012

My Fiance and I are in the process of looking for land to build our Dream Home. This is the layout of the Main, Second, and Basement respectively. We started with an online plan, but many things have changed from there, it is pretty much an entirely custom house that we have spent the better part of a year working on.

Any comments/critiques would be appreciated.

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Second Floor

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Note - We decided on the exercise room.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 7:23PM
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How many people will live in your house, and what is the floor area? It seems rather large. Will you have a weekly cleaning service? And perhaps wireless connections to talk to those on different levels?

The number of bedrooms suggests the number/size of bathrooms may need to be reconsidered if many of the bedrroms will be occupied at the same time.

Looks like a good ski lodge!

Good luck on your project!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 7:39PM
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I agree with virgil that 3 1/2 small baths seems insufficient for a 6 bedroom home. I'd at least want to put double sinks in the upstairs bathroom. Also, I'd hate to have to walk all the way from the end upstairs bedroom to the bathroom to shower, or worse have a sick/newly potty-trained kid need to make that trek. While I'm talking about bathrooms, since it appears you plan to entertain, would you prefer having your powder room closer to the public parts of your house, instead of sending your guests through your mud room? Also, your main level has no coat closets, and no storage at all aside from the kitchen and the master bedroom closets.

I don't know where you are in life, but if you anticipate having children, I'd recommend you design in a nursery of some kind on the first level. It's nice to have little ones close so when they wake up in the middle of the night, it's easier to deal with it.

Considering the scale of your project, have you considered hiring an architect?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 8:33PM
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It's usually not a good idea to design a house without knowing the site but it's an unusually thoughtful layout and I like it.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 8:52PM
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I don't really like it... To be frank (and not mean), it reminds me of the hog buildings I built growing up... Not the main part, but the bedroom/garage wing in particular. Everyone has their own "pen". (probably has something to do with the shape as well.)

Maybe, at least, move the doors to the 4 bedrooms so they are in pairs, near each other. I realize this messes up your beautiful/organized arrangement of closets for these rooms, but the person in the last room has to run, what 50 feet(?), if they are sick in the night to the bathroom because the door is all the way at the end of the hall.

Again, I think it would also be helpful to know a bit about your family/who will be in this many-bedroomed house.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 10:43PM
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1st floor - Powder room is in the mudroom and open to the laundry. Your guest will see all that. The mudroom is VERY tight for a house this size. Really there is no room for any lockers or proper storage. No coat closets in the entrance or the mudroom. Laundry room is far from every bedroom in the house. A house this size needs two. With all those bedrooms one of the laundry rooms should be on the second floor and very large. Very small vanity in the master bath for a house this size. The carve outs in the pantry and island are awkward and makes that end of the island almost unusable. Be sure your research the pros and cons of a cooktop in the island before you go ahead with that. Many do not like it and it can be dangerous with kids.

2nd - One bath for all that space? At least 2 or three should be on that floor for a house this size. Also whoever is in those bedrooms would have to walk a football field to get to that bath. I would also think walk in closets should be included for all bedrooms in a house this size. I guess I just don't under the second floor. All that loft space and a teeny tiny study area and a dining room near the bedrooms? One tiny bath? Also open great room with an open loft above...Noise nightmare. I feel like I am missing part of the story because that floor is strange.

Basement - Again with the size of this space and number of bedrooms you need a larger full bath AND a powder room closer to the entertainment space. Also I feel like the basement is lacking in cold storage. A home of this size and that many bedrooms will generate a ton of storage needs.

I agree that I think an architect is needed to iron out these pitfalls, but perhaps you are waiting on that until you find land as that will really dictate what you can build.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Also do you plan on a suspended slab for the theater room since it under the garage? Those can get expensive and has issues.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 10:53PM
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While I like the overall relation of the first floor rooms, there are some major "real life" issues with the plan. It appears that you plan to fill it up with children, but you don't really consider the children with the design, other than providing bedrooms. You will definitely need a more dedicated mudroom/locker/hooks area. Where are the 6 backpacks going to go after school? Where are the shoes going to go when they kick them off? And the coats? I know where they're going to go- in your dining room, since it's the closest open area to the garage entrance.

You have one bathroom upstairs (with one sink) for 4 children, but don't even have a linen closet in which to store all the towels, soaps, hair spray, deodorants, etc they amass.

With the bedrooms being over the garage, you will need to pay special attention to the insulating- they will be hard to heat and cool because of their location. Also, the children will probably be awakened by the garage door opening while they're sleeping.

Am I reading the plan correctly- you plan to have an open-to-below great room and dining room? Nightmare. Gives me goosebumps just thinking of the danger, noise level and energy bills.

Definitely keep the u-shaped stairs. Little bodies falling down the stairs will do better when they're stopped halfway by a landing.

If I were you, I'd keep the first floor (with a larger mudroom and the powder relocated and add foyer closet) and rework the 2nd floor entirely. Put your loft, study area and reading nook over the garage, and fill up the rest of the space with bedrooms and bathrooms.

I'd also add, just on a personal note, that it's not always a good idea to have so much space for your children to spread out. From my personal observation, it seems like it contributes to a disconnected family. This may not be the case for everyone, but I've seen enough to decide that our house will have a couple of small "retreats" but will remain cozy; this decision gives me great hope for our family!

From a mother of 4 children.......

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 10:09AM
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The first floor does not look bad - as above there are some opportunities to tweak it to make it better. However, being honest I think the second floor is awful. The bedroom layout reminds me of what a prison must be like

I would turn the upper dining room (there is no kitchen so why an upper dinning room there?) and upper great room into bedrooms and add at least two additional bathrooms. Maybe at the end of the over garage space you can add a reading room etc. but right now the bedrooms are secondary to these other spaces.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:16PM
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I took upper great room and upper dining room to mean that those rooms are two stories high... NOT that those rooms are on the second floor.

NO storage and ONE tiny bathroom for 4 bedrooms - and potentially eight people - ???

Not good at all!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:31PM
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I like the master suite, great room and kitchen setting. I also like the window placement.

The pantry setting could be better.
There is waste of space between pantry and breakfast nook.
The dining room is too isolated.
I am in favor of walking but that is quite a walk from the stairs to bedrooms no matter where you are in the house; I'd hate to do laundry in this house.
Calling the hall a Mud is just misleading. A real Mudroom would make a big difference.
The second floor bedrooms setting is hotel/boarding school like.

You could:
Place the pantry between kitchen and laundry, then you could have more counterspace.
I'd switch dining and library or place library at the stairs spot (then the library could double as a nursery) and the stairs closer to kitchen and laundry. This will place the dining room closer to the social areas and not as isolated.
The second floor bathroom is not sufficient. Make it bigger with a separate toilet/shower area and 2 sinks or add another small full bathroom

Good luck

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:36PM
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