Final House Plan Iteration? Please look/comment!!!

MGDawgDecember 7, 2012

Hello again everyone,

We've asked you for your input in the past and many of you came up with really good critiques about our plan.

Here are the links to our previous discussions...

1 - Background and Initial Plan Presentation
2 - Second Plan Iteration
3 - Front Elevation Discussion

There were quite a few things about the flow of the house that didn't work for you (or for us obviously). Coupled with the fact that the plan had ballooned to over 3100 square feet and would stretch us really thin budget wise... we decide to cut some significant square footage. Out came the extra deep (or 3rd) garage bay along with the sunken family room. Other cuts here and there left us with about approx. 2700 square feet of interior space (not including basement). We found that this was too deep of a cut and left living space a little too cramped in some spots. After going back and forth with our drafter, we think we finally have found the sweet spot: 2870 square feet and a much more "livable/workable" layout.

Front Elevation

Took some of the advice and stopped trying to shove "10 pounds of sh*t in a 5 pound bucket" as someone eloquently commented. We still have different materials, but it less busy and is placed in a more horizontal fashion.

1st Floor

As mentioned, a whole room (and possibly a whole lot of trouble) was cutout from the previous iteration. The sitting/office was converted into a family room with built-in bookshelves. The office part will be set-up in one of the upstairs rooms until kids or whatnot force it to the basement. The fridges in the kitchen are way too wide on the plan - we'll probably aim for a 42" or 48" side-by-side.

2nd Floor

Some rooms are smaller, however due to the new roofline, we're able to have a window at the top of the stairs to bring in some much needed light in the area. Bedroom #3 will serve as a nursery once we have kids and will eventually serve as the guestroom once the kid(s) outgrow it. The fireplace in the master bedroom is still an option (dependant on budget). If it does not make it in, the width of the walk-in closet will be adjusted to give Bedroom #3 a little more space.


The basement will remain for the most part unfinished for the initial build, but serves as a guide to where the plumbing rough-ins should be located and shows location of extra rooms. The "Exercise Room" will have an egress window and will have the option of being a future guest or kids room.


So that's it! I think we're ready to go ahead with the completion of the plans - unless something important or major is raised by you great folks. So please, let us know what you think!

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Can you get the HVAC distribution supply and return from the basement to the first and second levels without any chases?

And the soil lines down to the sewer?

Good luck on your project

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 9:35PM
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At a quick glance, there's a lot of wasted space in the halls on the 1st floor.

On the 2nd floor, the master BR is the least well done of all of the BRs. I would never have a master less than 12' deep, and 13' is better. I'd skip the fireplace to get more space opposite the end of the bed. And there's still wasted space between the door into this room on the way to the master bath. The master bath seems too large.

In the basement, I'd want the game room to have much more space. Maybe put the bathroom in the exercise room, and extend the exercise room into the storage room.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 10:34PM
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Your master fireplace would be better placed in the corner for space utilization... Just a thought.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:21PM
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You call for "Cement Board Siding - HardiePlank Lap Siding" but what you show looks like Fiber-Cement Board & Batten Siding : "HardiePanel" with "HardieTrim".

It can avoid costly mistakes if you use generic material notes on drawings and put the trade names and quality requirements in the Specifications unless your CAD program allows you to globally edit that repeating note when you need to change it. A good example is the warranty period of asphalt shingles. Sometimes materials are keyed to a master list of materials somewhere on the drawings.

Putting a window partially in siding and partially in stone can be difficult, if not unsightly, unless the stone is a thin veneer no thicker than the siding.

Since stone has traditionally been used as a structural wall material for many centuries it looks very strange to see it stop part way up a wall as if it were a decorative material hung on a structural wall just like wood siding. Of course, it is just that but if you want to simulate a traditional material you should avoid such obvious contradictions. If you must do it, the wood wall cladding above the stone should overlap the stone instead of being set back. As a general rule materials should change at a floor line.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 7:50AM
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I'd be a bit concerned about the closet in Bedroom #2. The 4 1/2 foot depth will be a bit tight walking through. I was going to suggest making it deeper, so I looked at the size of the room. That's when I noticed that the plan says the room is 13'0" x 10'7" but the arrow indicates it is 11'. Which is correct?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:03AM
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The plan is well worked out but there are some minor issues.

I would flip the power room so the door is farther from the entry area and there is less of a view of the toilet when the door is open. That allows the vent stack a more direct route through the second floor too. The wall that contains that stack should be thicker.

Is the fireplace gas? If so, the vent should be shown through the wall or passing through the second floor.

Perhaps the pocket door in the hall could be closer to the entry so the basement stair door would be in the back-of-the-house and the hall shorter.

The end view of the desk should be carefully designed since it will be in full view of guests at the dining table.

On the second floor you might try to rearrange the bathroom and laundry (?) so the toilet and lavs are not against the wall of bedroom #3. The same goes for the master toilet.

I would round the prominent corner of the first step of the main stairway.

If the windows are double-hungs, I would put a bit more space between them; tight mulled windows is another detail made possible by modern manufacturing methods and it loses a lot of traditional charm. Even if the windows are casements I would avid putting a mullion at the center of the sink. An awning window will work better there.

The wall between the living room and the dining room across from the entry corner will be an awkward finish/decorating challenge.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:17AM
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There is a hierarchy of information in a construction drawing and a dimension line should supersede a note. There should be a note saying if the dimensions lines are to the face of studs or the face of finishes (usually the former).

The closet in question is actually only 4'-2 1/2" wide which is bare minimum. Many kinds of clothing take up 24" so 4'-6" would much better.

I don't believe there is such a thing as wasted space but the plan does seem to be unusually generous in some places and unusually stingy in others.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:09AM
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How important is your media room? Is was a priority for DH and he wished he had designed it in advance. We just finished our room 2 1/2 years after our build was complete. The room is 15'x 20'. The 20' was a little tight and we would have really used another foot or two. We have 2 rows of chairs.

We also specified that there are to be no HVAC ducts to run in this space to take full advantage of the ceiling height.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Thanks for all the comments. Definitely a few things to bring up with the drafter.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 3:49PM
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Have you considered rearranging things so that the laundry chute is accessed from within the kids' bath, instead of giving it it's own room?

I think it would be far more convenient that way (kids get ready for bed, and then bring their dirty clothes with them when they go to the bathroom to brush teeth).

Also, I know this has been mentioned in the other thread, but I would absolutely put a tub in the kids' bathroom. First, bathing a small child in the large tub you have planned for your master bedroom is uncomfortable. Second, if you do end up selling your house, lacking a tub in the kids' bathroom may make it significantly harder to sell.

Aside from that, I like your plan a lot. As a fellow resident of the North, I especially like your entry. Good luck with it!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:16PM
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I think the living room and master bedroom look too small. The overall plan is very nice (especially the dining room, kitchen and pantry) but the living room doesn't seem to fit the scale of the other rooms. I'd expect a room more like 18' x 20' to match the large kitchen and other spaces.

The master bedroom is only 10'4" deep and seems like another foot or two would make it seem much more spacious. Also, what do you plan to do with the little space, opposite the master bedroom door? The bed is off center in the room, which might be making that area seem even smaller.

I really like your front porch! The front elevation looks great and I think with a few small changes this would be a wonderful home :)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 12:40PM
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