Different main level floor plan. Better or worse?

TammyTEOctober 16, 2012

I am trying to make this work within the same exterior footprint. The only exterior wall I moved was cutting the width of the front bump out by a foot.

Things I like about this new plan:

-Dining isn't a high traffic area from both directions.

-Master bath isn't as cramped

-Main level laundry is roomier but still near master

-Dh has easy access to master bath without walking all through the house in work boots.

-Half bath isn't right outside master bedroom door. (although it's still close so not a big change.)

-Bigger living room!

Things I'm not loving:

-Lost the music room. I was really liking the idea of having a small room for piano and other instruments with a door that could be shut so we didn't have to hear someone practice if we didn't want to. ;-) Also, the door keeps the sound out of the 2 story foyer. I like the instruments on the main level (as opposed to the basement) because I need to keep an eye on them to help and such.

-Exterior back door placement? Not sure what to do with it. I wanted to be able to get to a grill on the back patio easily from the kitchen.

-Kitchen - I really liked the layout in the original plan. Now I feel like it's too choppy or something. Is there anything I can do to fix that?

-I feel like we lose a lot of wasted space in hallways in the mudroom/back door area.

-I'm not sure how much space to leave at the bottom of the stairs. They open to the back of the house. Not sure if it's clear on this plan.

I'm going to work on it some more, but I wanted to get it here to see if anyone saw something I could do to fix the problem areas.

I'll attach my original plan in the next post so you can compare.


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Here is the original, although I have tweaked it some. I'll include the tweaks in the next post in case you want to see them.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 10:55PM
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Here is a layout I did of just the areas I was changing of the original plan before I decide to try to completely revamp to the one in the OP.

I'm sorry it's so confusing.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 10:58PM
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Well it works, but it is totally different.
I grew up on a hog farm, and can totally relate to needing a close "wash up" location without going through the whole house. In this regard, this new plan is a huge improvement.

But, they are so different, I wonder if there is anything you should be taking into consideration on your lot that you aren't. Like orientation of the house and lighting at certain times of day. Or best views to backyard area where kids will play. Or, ...

Does one of these fit better to those?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Thanks, good questions.

We will be on 90 acres. The house will probably face to the North/East. Directly to the east a ways over is a corn/bean field. To the west are woods. In back there is a clearing, but we need to clear some more. The clearing is sort of tucked into some woods. I would say it will end up being about 2-3 acres cleared.

I don't think the view to the play area in the backyard would change really.

I think I actually like how the sun would shine in the dining/kitchen in the morning in the newer plan.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 11:20PM
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Here's how the newer plan looks with some tweaking.

-I still don't have my music room.
-Now the living room has a traffic path through the upper corner, which I was hoping to avoid. (The invisible walls you see in the living room are the actual dimensions of the original plan's living room with no traffic through it.)
-I don't like how the school room looks off the back. Not sure how to fix that.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:25AM
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The first plan on this thread - I would not want a pocket door from a public hallway into the master bath. I have never met a pocket door that will latch securely and I wouldn't want a visiting kid/teen/adult walking into my bathroom.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:30AM
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You think it should be a swing or lose the door entirely?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:32AM
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I like the new floor plan better, but I'm wondering if you've looked at any of the floor plan websites for ideas? I added up your square footage, and you're at about 3000 square feet, which is a decent size for a 4 bedroom home-- We're building a 2300 sq. ft. 4 bedroom home and found a few ideas to work from online. If you want to stay fairly square to keep construction costs down, modular home plans might be a better place to look. I mention it because it sounds like you aren't happy with what you've got at this point.

We homeschool too, and since we don't want a formal dining room, I got in the habit of looking at each plan and mentally replacing "dining room" with what we use the dining room for now, basically a place to do big messy homeschool stuff. Do you have a school room now? My kids seem to like using the kitchen table or even the family room as a spot to work if they want to be near people, or they go up and sit in their bedroom if they want quiet, so I'm not designing a true school room.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 9:15AM
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What is the room at the back of the house?

How many s.f. is it?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Your plan is improving, IMO, with the last plan above being the best to date. It finally begins to understand the relationship of the entery and the stair, and what one sees when coming through the front door. None of the other plans did so.

Some thoughts:
--Excessive area devoted to circulation; lot of corridors making the house larger without any benefit;
--Each room is difficult to furnish/use because the rooms are entered from two or more directions and the circulation takes as much or more space than the furnishings and functions for each room (living, dining, kitchen);
--No views from the house to the outside in the back (except for one small kitchen window); all views from living areas are to the entry side of the house and to the left side;
--To capture views from the rear of the house and to have a covered porch/deck/patio, why not relocate the "schooling room" to the left of the dining room and enable the dining room to have several windows or glass doors for view to the outside and light into the interior of the house;
--Shower in master bath is too narrow; should be at least 3'deep (same is toilet enclosure); why not have a double sink arrangement in master bath adjacent to shower?
--Not sure what small room is between stair and master bedroom.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 10:07AM
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Would something like this work for you? It's slightly less square footage, but you'd have a 'study' on the main floor that you could use either as a music room or for a main level nursery, and there's a large bonus room upstairs so that you could let your older girls have their own rooms, or you have space for more kids if you have them.

Here is a link that might be useful: a house plan

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 10:48AM
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zone4 - Yes I have looked at online plan a lot over the last several years. I am trying to make this specific footprint work since that's what our builder quoted from. He based this footprint on some ideas I gave him and found an exterior pic I liked that he thought he could do within budget. That's what is making it so hard is I haven't changed the exterior walls when adjusting things in this plan. I need to get with him to see if I should just start with a whole new plan entirely.

reno-It's a school room. About 15x14 in size.

Virgil-Yes, I would love to put the school room off that end of the house but the way it will sit on the property I'm not sure we can. I'll have to check. We are wanting a walk out bsement out that end of the house. I agree though, I'm not loving the room just stuck off the back.
It would have at least 3 or 4 windows in the school room.

The excessive halls is what dh didn't like about this plan. Said it was wasted space. I'm not sure how to do it otherwise. I'm trying so hard to make it all work and meet every wish we have but I don't think I'm getting it. :(

Yes I want to have a big shower.I have told builder that. I just left some room and I have to see how big he can do within budget.

The small rooom is a nursery for any children that are too small (for my taste) to sleep upstairs away from us. :)

zone4-I'm going to check out that plan right now.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:36AM
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There s no benefit to being married to a footprint; it just makes the design process more difficult and limits opportunities.

You need to start thinking about the spaces created between the room you are moving around. I know that is very difficult but if it was easy anyone could design a good house.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:51AM
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I can't read much of the labels or dimensions on the small plans so it would help to know the area of the house.

Can't you create a larger file?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 12:33PM
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Zone4 - I love a lot of things about that plan. I'll list the immediate things I see that wouldn't work. If anyone has any way to make those things work then I would gladly suggest it to my builder. I like the exterior a lot!

-I would like the main level laundry (we hope to have an upstairs laundry with kids rooms) to be near or even in the master.

-Not sure about kitchen. Would have to work on the layout. Are the dimensions wall to wall? Does anyone know?

-We are hoping for at least 16 feet (would love 20 but don't think it will happen) for dining space to accommodate our large table.

-Upstairs beds and baths seem to be on the small side but not terribly small.

-Would like a laundry upstairs.

Reno-I'm finding that to be very true. It has made me stay in check on size though. When I would make plans before I would bump a wall out here or there and end up with 8000 square feet. LOL Okay, well not 8000 but you know what I mean. I'm not sure I understand what you mean about "thinking about the spaces created between the room you are moving around". Do you mean the room I am moving to another location in the plan or the main focus room (ie., living room or kitchen or...) that we think is highest priority and making the plan work around that?

I keep reminding myself that things that take a lot of work are usually worth it. I'll keep trudging along. I appreciate your help!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 12:39PM
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Lager file? I'm not sure how. I make the plan in 3Dhome then save as PDF so I can email to my builder. GW doesn't accept pdf so I do a print screen and save that in paint as a jpeg.

Is that the best way to do it? Is there a way to make the pic bigger?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 12:52PM
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In order for me to help you layout the floor plan I need to know what your area limit is on each floor minus the garage and porch. I can't find this information in the thread.

What is the actual name and producer of your software? Is it 3D Home Design by Livecad? or 3D Home Architect Deluxe by Broderbund? or one of many others that use the term Home Design in their name?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 1:30PM
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Reno - It is borderbound. We got it years ago. It only works on our old computer as the laptop won't recognize it. So I work the plan there then save to a thumbdrive because that computer isn't online. Then run to the basement to put it on the computer with print to pdf options. Then run back upstairs to email it. Hi tech set up huh? You think my floorplans on here are bad you should check out the house I live in now. LOL It doesn't help that I'm not real tech savvy.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:07PM
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The original plan is:

Main floor is 48'wide x about 31' deep. Not including the 2' bump out in the foyer, the 14x15 school room or the mudroom/music room jog between house and garage which is 20'x10'.

Upstairs is 42' wide x 31 deep.

Basement - would love full but will probably just be a square of about 30x30 under the left end because of the walk out.

I don't even quite understand how the builder comes up with the estimated cost. I assume he looks at simple exterior without a lot of bump outs, nooks and crannies. A simple roofline without a steep roof pitch (which of course I love a steep pitch). Maybe measurements that work well with sizes of boards/drywall and such so there is minimal cutting and waste?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:17PM
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Any photo program should be able to convert a PDF to a JPG. Or you can use a free online service.

Here is a link that might be useful: Convert PDF to JPG online, PDF to JPG free converter

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:19PM
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I got the pdf to jpg but then couldn't figure out how to post it here. When I saved to my computer it was a zip file and that wasn't allowed. I used the file inside the zipped folder but it had no extension so it didn't work. I can't see a way to link to the pic on that site where it was converted.

I'll try in a bit to see if I can get mine bigger. I'm sorry I'm not good at this.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:31PM
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