New Home Plan Check

MikeDelta1November 15, 2012

We were going to build a one story craftsman style plan about 6 months ago but the final numbers didn't come out to where they made sense for us financially, so we went back to the drawing board and this is what we came up with We have 2 of the three bids in now and they are both in our budget so we will be moving forward within the next couple of months. I just wanted to get a gardenweb check on the plans.

Little about us: Married, One daughter in college and the other off to college in about a year and a half. We will be in this house until I retire in about 12 years or so. We are currently in about 2700 square feet two story with basement, 4 bed, 2 1/2 bath, garage in the basement. The house has a formal dining, formal living that are never used, a family room, large kitchen with eat in, and laundry on the first floor. The second floor has all the bedrooms.

We were looking for a more open plan with the master on the main, and the other bedrooms either up or in an area where the HVAC can be turned down when not in use. The basement of the new plan will hold a third garage and workshop, along with an area that I will finish out later. The lot to be built on is on a golf course (other reason besides money that the style has changed). The back or the house will be facing the west with the fairway about 200� from the back of the house.

I�m pretty much stuck with the size, I don�t really want to go any bigger, because we want to downsize space from the current house not add it. I originally drew the plan with the family vaulted and an open stair case but I�m not a big fan of vaulted ceilings so I closed it in and will add a trey with coffered ceiling, but I'm still wavering on that. The main floor will be 9ft ceilings with 8ft on the second floor. We will use the study/dining area as a study but I designed it so that the pantry can be easily turned into a butler's pantry by adding a door to the dining room (for resale down the road).

Let me know if you see anything you would change or things that are wrong space or door swings etc.

I'm still not 100% on the window placement on the front especially on the garage. The house will be all brick with stucco on the section over the porch and on the dormer. Thank you for your input.

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I like most of it (although I'm not one of the experts here, so take my opinion for what it's worth).

I am wondering why you've put a kitchen in a windowless room in the basement. It seems to me that it would be hard to ventilate and never a very pleasant place to be. If the plan is to add an in-law suite, I'd try to move things around so that the kitchen got a window. I think a windowless bathroom is much better than a windowless kitchen/eating area.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:05PM
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It isn't a kitchen really more a bar that might have a stove in it. It would be more of a pulling appetizers out of the oven during parties type oven. The family room area in the basement will have a large screen and the other half will be a pool table.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:10PM
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I don't think, in this case, you could really call your study a dining room--it is SO far removed from the kitchen (without a door). If you put an opening or door (or framed for one) next to the pantry, then you might could get away with it.

I think the right hand bedroom upstairs is an odd shape. And, I'm not real sure about the door placement. How would you place furniture? I think I would think about just making the far wall in that room be a reach in closet all the way across. It would give you a little more flexibility and get rid of the dead end by the closet (unless you have a plan for that dead spot.)

How do people get to your front door from your driveway? It appears that you have a railing in place for your man door garage entry... That will actually invite people to your man door garage entry (instead of your front door). Will you have a second drive to your front door from the right side of your house?

Your closet seems to have A LOT of wasted space between the 2 hanging rods. What is your plan for utilizing the space a little better (between the windows?)?

From mid-way into your foyer, you can look right into your bedroom. Is that okay with you? (a fix for this would be to remove the linen closet in the bath, and put the master door there... You'd enter and turn left to get to the bedroom and right to go to the bathroom.)

Finally, I am having a little trouble discerning your kitchen layout.

Overall though, I think the flow is pretty good!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:31PM
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I like it a lot other than the master bedroom sharing a wall with the family room. I wonder if you could swap the MBR with the master bathroom and closet. If not I would definitely insulate that wall. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 3:41PM
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The pantry is sized to be turned into a butlers pantry with a door opening on the right wall of the pantry with cabinets on the left and bottom wall. When we build I will have them frame it like there will be a door there, no wires or pipes but covered with drywall. If needed for resale value we can open up the doorway finish out the pantry with cabinets. We never use our formal dining room now but thought we needed the ability to have one so I came up with this idea.

Good catch on the upstairs bedroom, I missed that wall, the closet in that room use to be just 2 ft deep but there was room under the roof to make a walk in so it was extended back, there will be a 2 ft deep bump in there for a built in desk though.

The master closet will have a dresser between the two windows and shoe storage benches under each window.

I didn't see the view into the bedroom from the hallway, I have tried to swap the bedroom and the bathroom, but I need a hvac chase in that general area for the register and to run the copper to the second floor hvac from the basement, it is a bit bigger then I need and could have added an extra foot to the shower, but the wife saide it would look like a cave, I wanted it to be 6 foot so we wouldn't need a door to the shower, she wants a door.

The kitchen layout is pretty simple, range/micro on the left wall, refrigerator on the bottom wall in a 4" recessed to make a standard refrigerator counter top depth. The dishwasher and sink will be on the island, we are still trying to decide on raised bar for the island or counter level.

I'll post a couple with furniture in the plan. Thank you so much for your input.
If anyone has any input on the window layout on the front and the back I would appreciate it, something just seems out of proportion on the front, the windows will have some brick trim with keystones at the top so that might help, but I stil feel like I'm doing something wrong with all the shutters and stuff.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:12AM
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Which way should the door swing on the powder room, if I leave the way it is you can see the sink if the door is all the way open, if I change it you will have to walk past it in the hallway then open the door to use it.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:52AM
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I would use a pocket door on the powder room.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 2:45AM
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I don't see the basement kitchen (that's no kitchenette -- that's a full-fledged kitchen) as accessible to the "action" in the basement. I'd save that deep, dark corner for the future bedroom/bath . . . and move the kitchen out where it'd be adjacent to the pool table and would have a sight line to the TV.

Also, with all that bar seating, do you need the table?

The laundry is very far from the master bedroom area. I'd give up the size of that laundry room for the convenience of having it closer. You could have a stack-up unit in that small closet outside the master bedroom, or you could have a stack-up unit actually inside the master bedroom closet.

I love a closet IN the master bedroom, but I notice that you have a dresser in your bedroom as well. I think if you're "in" for the closet in the bathroom, EVERYTHING needs to stay in the closet. You can't, for example, keep your undies in the bedroom and your clothes in the bathroom -- you're not going to want to walk through two doors and around a bed to get that pair of underware. I'd see if all your clothes could fit into the closet, and make that spot between the windows for a small desk, bookcase or something else.

As for the study/dining, I would plan on that being 100% study. You have seating at the island, a very large casual dining area adjacent to the kitchen, what looks like an outdoor dining area, then more dining area downstairs. How many spaces do you need to eat?

Why do you need the study downstairs . . . and also a computer loft upstairs? Especially since you're planning this for a retirement house, I'd eliminate the upstairs area. I'd use a fixed skylight above the stairs instead of the dormer. I think it'd be odd to walk up the stairs looking into a dormer.

In the mudroom and in the master bath you have doors that swing open onto one another. I'd let the mudroom be one large, open closet. As for the linen closet, I don't really have a suggestion.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:01AM
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A rather efficient plan with no glaring issues, so long as it works to support the way you live.

Your right and rear elevations are going to be rather planar, bare and boring. Why not add a dormer in the attic on the right side and two to the rear, so that the attic space could be expanded and used in the future? The three additional dormers, matching the one on the left, would greatly improve the appearance of those elevations and add future flexibility (and perhaps resale value).

Good luck on your project.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:44AM
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I think that kitchen is going to be very dark. The dining room will also be on the dark side. I suggest using your computer program to show how the sunlight will enter the house in order to see how much sunlight reaches into the kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:01AM
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I have been somewhat concerned about the kitchen being dark, but the rear of the house will face directly west and in TN the covered porch will be used alot. I do think I will get some some light from the three windows in the family room.

As for the kitchen in the basement, it is a home bar, I homebrew beer and will have taps coming through the wall in the basement garage to taps, the table is there for a poker table, I'm not worried about it being dark in the bar area, I see it being finished out like one of my favorit bars called the Cellar, dark wood bar, low lighting, tv on the barback, maybe some faux brick thrown in for that dark Irish Pub look. I'm having a hard time trying to get my wife to see it also. If I move the bar to where the bathroom is I wouldn't have the space required for the pool table, unless I went with a small table.

I do need two study areas, one for me upstairs, and one for my wife who is a teacher (mostly because I'm tired of moving stacks of grading around before I can use the desk)

You might laugh at me but the reason, I want the closet where it is located is because my wife must take out 10 outfits out every morning to pick her outfit and since the closet is right next to the bed in our current house they end up laying on the bed and since I'm a controller and work strange hours I'm still in the bed, so I'm hoping if all her clothes "including her undies" are in the closet, she can get ready all in one space without waking me up. This is just a dream and probably won't happen but I have to hold out hope.

For those that have pocket doors how hard are they to open and close, if you didn't have a door swing problem would you still do a pocket door?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:47PM
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Have you considered rotating the dining area and swapping the laundry and kitchen? That would bring add a lot of light to the kitchen/ dining area. Right now your laundry room is occupying a prime corner location at the back of the house.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:50AM
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I made a few cut and paste adjustments adjustments to your front elevation...

If you like this better, here are the specific changes I made,

1) The window on the far left of garage is now the same size as the other two garage windows.

2) The windows for the bedrooms upstairs are now smaller... (They are now the size as you originally had that smaller garage window). The two windows that were above the porch really needed to be made shorter anyway because you need some more space between the porch roof and the bottom of those windows in order to properly flash the roof and keep water from splashing back from the porch roof onto the window glass. (Note that even tho it doesn't show on the front elevation drawing, you will want to adjust the side-facing window in the bedroom over the garage so that it is the same size as the other bedroom windows.

3) I adjusted the position of the bedroom windows in the stucco section so that one is centered over the front door, and one is centered over the two study/dining room windows you originally had.

4) I then decided that your front porch area would look better if, instead of two study/dining room windows, you switched to a single wider "picture window" in the study and moved the porch posts. So, instead of two porch posts, I gave you three with two of them butted up against the walls at the ends of the porch and the center one adjusted a little bit closer to the door. (Depending on the kinds of porch posts you plan to use, you might want to split the ones on the ends so that they can actually be butted right up against the brick with no space between wall and post.)

5) Finally, for the sake of consistency, I gave your central eave the same kind of eave returns as you show on the right hand eave.

Moving the bedroom windows will probably require some revising of the upstairs plan. But, you had mentioned that you wanted to be able to close off the upstairs bedrooms so that you can turn down the HVAC once both kids are off in college BUT you also mentioned that the upstairs computer loft is for YOU to use. Those two desires suggest that you really need a door you can close between the computer loft area and the bedrooms so that you can be comfortable in the loft even when the HVAC is turned off in the bedrooms. And, it is really not a good idea to have a door open outward so that it swings into the top of the staircase. You might be able to get away with it if the offending door only leads to the attic and therefore will seldom be used but I still don't think it is a good idea. And, if you need to stick in another door between loft and bedrooms, that one is either going to also open into the top of the staircase area OR interfere with the bathroom door.

I also notice that you have an HVAC chase on the first floor that is positioned directly under that one upper bedroom closet. Depending on how they run your ductwork, it seems likely that you could wind up with a chase running thru that bedroom closet which would severely reduce it's useable space. So, with all those things in mind, how about something like this instead...

This would allow you to close off the bedrooms and bathroom while still getting heat to the loft in the wintertime from downstairs. (Temp in that upstairs bath might be a bit uncomfortable when the upstairs HVAC turned down but, if you were only dashing in there to occasionally use the toilet, it shouldn't be too bad.) If you want to use the loft in the summertime without cooling the upstairs, you should definitely run an AC duct from the system that cools the downstairs area. AND put a ceiling fan in the loft.

Finally, I think your kitchen (the main one) may wind up being awfully dark due to that covered porch. While the idea of making it possible to turn the study into a formal dining room by changing the pantry into a walk-thru butler's pantry is clever, I rather doubt anyone will EVER actually do it because you already have plenty of dining space and formal dining rooms are pretty much going the way of the dodo bird. Meanwhile, the kitchen is the most-used room in the house so natural light there would be of paramount importance to me... much more important that the possibility that some future owner might someday want to turn the study into a formal dining room. So, I'd give up the idea of a transformable pantry/butler's pantry in favor of relocating the kitchen to an outer wall so that I could have a window or two opening directly into the kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:19PM
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