Please help review our floor plan

trojancaiNovember 18, 2012

We are building a two-story house on a 6800 sqft lot. The house will be around 3500 sqft including the 2-car garage. Please criticize the floor plan so that we can revise the floor plan before the architect developing the full elevation views. We have two questions:

1. Should we open up a hall way between family room and living room ? So that the living room will be more accessible and usable.

2. Should we consider using free-standing stairs so the family room area will become larger.

Thanks !

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Second floor

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:47AM
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I'm not sure where you'd open up something to the living room and still be able to arrange furniture so you can walk around in there. I kind of like that it is a bit away and sort of a quiet space, but how did you plan to use it?

I don't like how you see straight into the powder room from the living area. I would see if there was a way to make it seem more private and not in straight view.

I also don't like the placement of the master. Way too little privacy IMO. You would have to work really hard at Sound insulating then walls and the door area there, and even if you do and it works ok for you potential buyers won't see that in the future. I personally like the master to be more a retreat with a feeling of privacy.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:16AM
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I would not open the two public areas up to one another. If they're open to one another, what's the point of having two? Also, the living room gives you a more private, quieter spot. This is a very open plan, and I think you'll appreciate that quiet area.

I agree that the powder room is a problem. I'd consider making the guest bathroom serve double-duty as a downstairs bath. You'd need to flip-flop the bathroom so that the tub would be against the wall, but it's do-able.

I think the placement of the master bedroom is fine. It's convenient as you walk up the stairs, and it has a door. I think it's private-a-plenty.

In the kitchen, I would switch the refrigerator /pantry and the range. This will keep your main work items all together in one spot and will move the less-needed items to the farther side. Also, I like the shape of the island in your space (though I am rarely a fan of odd-shaped islands), but can you reach it to clean it? This always occurs to short people.

You have devoted a massive portion of the house to the foyer and the curved staircase (I read something recently that said curved items are the same shape as a dollar sign for a good reason.); do you really want to allocate so much of the budget to a hallway?

No, I would not go with the expense of free-standing stairs. I can't quite read the room sizes, but I'm thinking the rooms are a comfortable size. Also you have a lovely bank of windows in the family room; it's not going to feel small.

No fireplace. In my area, in a house of this size and scale, the lack of a fireplace would be noted.

Your lot is very small to support a house of this size.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:40AM
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I agree; the plan is a good one as is. Having a "public" gathering place and a "quiet" gathering space is a very good idea for large families. It's probably an unnecessary luxury for empty-nesters, but then so are 5 bedrooms!

Free-standing stair--I wouldn't.

If the current powder room is bothersome, it could become a closet (2'-0 deep) and the bathroom could be reversed with the door accessible from the corridor (hidden from the family room).

Ms. P is right: large footprint on small lot. Probably good for reduced maintenance in a neighborhood of similar development.

Good luck on your project.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Since the guest bedroom shares a wall with the family room/great root area, it will be noisy for them. I'm not sure how you plan to use that room, but I would sound-proof it as much as possible.

Similarly, bedroom #3 will hear bathroom noise as drawn. I would move the closet in #3 to the bathroom wall.... and maybe put the head of the bed where the closet used to be (near the staircase.)

As mentioned, bedroom #4 will get to hear whatever mommy and daddy are doing in the master... Like the guest bedroom, I'd do everything possible to soundproof that wall if you can't move things around.

That two car garage is small. It looks you would really only be able to fit one car in there easily. (Maybe two small cars if you are a contortionist in getting out and very precise with your backing up skills.) If you are prepared for that, nevermind.... just pointing it out if you don't realize it.

Bedroom #2 ... will they have a place to store linens in their bathroom? If not, maybe have a little access door on their side of the hall linen closet to be able to grab a towel without going in the hallway?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:36AM
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Lower Level on the common area half bath-I'd at a minimum swap the toilet and sink so your not staring at the commode when your in the greatroom. How often do you have guests that stay over? I ask because I'd reconfigure the guest and common area bath.

I think if you went with a straight stairs and passageway to the living room with a cased pocket door entry between the living and great room and rework the baths or possibly make a door to the shower/tub area and a larger sink and w/c room. On the left side laundry looks good. If your interested in a bigger pantry you could turn the washer and dryer slide it toward the hallway and make the pantry a walk in and eliminate the corner in the kitchen countertop with access there.

I like your plan overall, even if no changes are made you have a nice layout but the stairs seem so inefficient to me even in a larger home I'd want the ability to have an entry closet (rather than great room) and room for a bench and wall space (flat) for some family photos or art pieces. Good Luck on your build:)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:22PM
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Sophie Wheeler

That stair swallows up WAY too much $$ and space for a house this size. It's a resource hog. Those resources would be better directed to rearranging things so you have buffer zones between the private space and public spaces as well as actual room to put the weedeater and something other than a Fiat 500 and a Smart car.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I like your plan a lot. The only concern I have is that, depending on your site, the glare through the West facing windows across the back of the house might be unpleasant in the evening. You may have something outside the house that will block the glare, but if not, it's something to think about.

Also, right now all of your upstairs bedrooms only have one window. I'd add a second window on the other exterior wall to as many as possible.

Where will your family's coats/shoes/etc... go? I don't see a closet near the family entrance. Do you expect to store those things in the closet in the great room?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 4:04PM
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I second the thoughts about the small garage. Our current garage has interior side to side dimensions of 19 ft. and it is VERY tight to have two cars in there. It's a huge pain getting in/out of our vehicles.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 11:28PM
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