Asking help on a builder's plan already at dry walling stage

nightowlrnDecember 29, 2013

Hello. I have a builder with a property we could live with and at a price we are okay paying that is at the drywall stages. If I can make a few changes and stop the current cabinet order, it might get us in a place we wouldn't be unhappy about by April. So. Below is the plan. What we LIKE is the MBR on the main floor, a study, open kitchen to the living room, PR off the garage, simple lines. What we DON'T LIKE is that fact there are hardly any closets, the pantry is an after thought, the kitchen doesn't look ergonomic.

We think we can put a laundry room on the second floor and a w/d in the MBR. That frees up a lot of space in the back hall. I don't think it is too late to put the PR at the front, turn the rest of that area to a proper rear foyer area with a pet station, and create a great pantry.

Help -- any creative types want to take a stab at the kitchen and back hall area? I think I am okay with a coat tree in the front foyer, but would really prefer a build-in bench with hooks or a closet.

This post was edited by nightowlrn on Sun, Dec 29, 13 at 16:26

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Annie Deighnaugh

I would want an L in the kitchen so would think about moving doorways...from the garage up, and for the DR to the right. To me lazy susans are critical storage units. I would then try to put the sink/DW on the DR wall for a clean up area and move the stove down and put the fridge on the end of that run by the bkfst nook. Put a prep sink only in the island. I'd also look at changing the short walls to columns to try and integrate the "hallway" space into the great room.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 4:55PM
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Swing of the door into your master toilet closet needs to be out.

Who will be using the loft? There is no bath access from the loft without going through a bedroom or downstairs.

I would replace the butlers sink with a bench and hooks or lockers for a mudroom instead.

If you want laundry upstairs they'll need access to put in the plumbing in walls and for the drain. You may also want extra joist support depending on type of washer you want to use.

Sink and stove directly across from each other may or may not work well depends on the aisle space and how many are cooks there are in the kitchen. With the dishwasher in the are you'll need a minimum of 42" to easily be able to get by.

Where will the tv go?

Double doors into the master bath sucks. I will re-work ours soon as they are a pain. We have the stationary ones ie no t-molding or handles that move. They are noisy and light comes out through the little gap. Now we could change it to have t-molding and install a latch to make one more stationary and have the handle down, but then you have to have one in a lock position and need to open in a certain order. I will reframe and change to a single door.

If you want an entry closet you could make one in the top left corner of the study to open out into the foyer, but it will depend on the size of the study and what you plan to do with it.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 6:22PM
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Sophie Wheeler

At the drywall stage, you are talking about making some expensive changes. You're talking making structural and framing changes, as well as one of the single most expensive portions of the builds---the cabinets. The rough pluming and electrical has already be done. The cost goes way up to start opening up walls and moving things around. If you can't live with what's there, move on to something else.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 6:37PM
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At this point, I don't see how you can do much differently:

You could add a closet in the study -- kind of parallel to the staircase.

You could add a similar closet in the dining room, but it could really only be a china closet.

You could eliminate the wall between the hallway and, pantry and laundry, combining them into one combined area and making the door immediately to the right as you enter from the garage.

Fortunately, you still have complete control over the kitchen cabinet layout. You could make the island "double deep" by backing two sets of cabinets up to one another, but beware of creating an island with a middle you cant reach.

You have a great room and a study downstairs . . . Do you really need the loft upstairs? You could close off half of it, which would allow you space for a sitting area, and the remaining half could be a large walk-in attic /closet space.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 7:04PM
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Thank you all. Yes. Moving a lot would be a silly expense at this point. The builder is going to explore the cost of the 2nd floor laundry. If that doesn't happen, there is just no way it will work for us. I don't think moving the PR is a problem. Mostly, what do people think about the kitchen? That island with the cabinet row behind just doesn't look right.

Annie -- thank you and I agree, but I think it is too late to move the garage door.

Lyfia -- thank you -- I will explore the bedroom door and W/D support concerns.

MsPete -- We don't need more upstairs closet space, but thank you for the idea. However, as this plan stands, there isn't a place to put brooms and a vacuum or guest coats on the first floor. We live in the midwest, there is no place for coats and hats going out to the garage ....

Thank you all -- I was hoping for a miracle solution perhaps. Finding a place to live on a 900K budget just shouldn't be as difficult as this is turning out to be!

This post was edited by nightowlrn on Sun, Dec 29, 13 at 21:05

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 8:06PM
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The builder can put a proper laundry room on the second floor. That opens up a lot of possibilities.....

update -- meh -- too late to cancel the cabinet order. The hunt goes on.

This post was edited by nightowlrn on Mon, Dec 30, 13 at 17:49

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 1:56PM
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I don't think moving the PR is a problem.

Except for the need to move the toilet's connection to the sewers ... maybe not. But that line is far bigger than a washing machine's drain, and it might not be economically feasible.

Sketch out the changes and ask for a change order price. But "at drywall" means there's a lot of stuff already nailed, screwed and soldered inside the studs that would have to be moved.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Thanks LG -- There was a 2nd floor toilet above the LR, so I was guessing it wouldn't be a problem. But, you are correct, I did not know that for sure. That said, we went and looked at the house again yesterday and sadly it was just too far along. One thing this exercise made us realize was the kitchen configuration is definitely something we won't want. As AD said above, corners are important.

This post was edited by nightowlrn on Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 12:52

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 12:01PM
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Good luck with your search as it continues. Yeah, that kitchen needs traffic signals.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 12:46PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I'd expect all the changes to be around 20K at least. Just because he can do all that you want doesn't mean that he won't charge you the change order fee on top of the cost differences. You're talking doing a remodel in the middle of new construction. All the important stuff has already been done and needs to be changed.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Thanks HS -- he said $5K to make a laundry room upstairs and put a W/D in the MBR. I thought that was pretty reasonable and wouldn't be surprised if he does that in his next build. I would then have had an added expense of putting in shelving to make a proper pantry, but I will never know what that would have cost. I didn't ask for a quote to move the PR because we already decided to move on. I don't know how much it would have cost to frame a closet toward the foyer.

I appreciate you insight.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 2:14PM
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