finishing an addition: layout help?

kirkhallJanuary 4, 2012

Hi Small Homes folk!

I have been fairly active on the Home Forums of GW for a few months. I love layouts and floorplans. That said, I don't have a good resolution for my layout/floorplan.

In Sept, I posted in the Build forum and got some good feedback from Summerfield Designs and Bevangel. I'm going to post here now, because I think some of my restrictions are better suited to this forum. I am remodeling, not building new. My house is smaller (4 people and dog in less than 2000 sq ft, no basement, etc).

So, goals with this upstairs renovation of our Cape Cod style home in the PNW (where you don't see a ton of capes):

1) Get the girls their own rooms (right now, they are sharing the tiny bedroom labeled "office". Luckily, one is a toddler, in a toddler bed, so she currently fits under the eaves which are drawn as dashed lines running E-W.

2) Get a Master Suite (eventually). This might be a 2-phase thing. But, my contractor says adding a bath to the master later wouldn't be difficult to do and for $ now, we can just frame and finish the addition as our master.

3) We are gaining more than our addition of 300sq ft on this second floor (couple years ago we did a 2 story addition out the back of our cape, but only finished the first floor. Right now, we have the shelled upstairs addition of 300sq ft, plus the additional area we will gain that used to be under the eaves (about 6ft by 18ft).

Here is what upstairs looks like now:

From GWfloorplans

Here is a proposal:

From GWfloorplans

My questions:

How would you finish out, ultimately, that master space? Would you keep the hard line wall of the 15x20 addition as the space boundry (with a 1' wall of storage in the hall bath), or would you jog the wall, as drawn and put in a 2' wall of hall bath storage?

And, how would you do the closet/bath? I am struggling a bit with that. We can have windows on the S and W walls, but not the E wall except right at the very end of it (like I've drawn) due to a cantilever in that wall.

Inspiration comes heavily from Summerfield and Bevangel's suggestions as seen in this post:

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Hi, Kirkhall :)

Is this the post you're talking about? I thought I'd link it, to make it easier to find.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kirkhall's post

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Hi Kirkhall, hope you don't mind me chiming in again.

Re your drawing above, I can understand trying to give each of the girls their own vanity space but I would definitely NOT jog into the master bedroom space in order to get a 2 ft deep closet. For linens and stuff that one generally keeps in a bathroom closet, 2 feet is really too deep. Except for the shelve that are right at eye level, you can't see the stuff that is at the back so it tends to languish there unused. Instead, I would opt for a shallower space and build a cupboard rather than making a closet. With cupboards, you don't waste 4" of space on the front side with another wall. I have 16" deep cupboards in my master bath and laundry room and they store an amazing amount of stuff.

If you need a deeper spot to store the vacuum cleaner, brooms and things like that, how about tucking a small (low ceiling) closet in under the eaves there near the top of the stairs?

It also looks like you've made girl's bedroom #1 almost big as the master bedroom and a lot larger than girl's bedroom #2. Bedroom #1 is basically 12'x14' plus the additional approx 20 sq ft of low-roofed space by the window (total = 188 sq ft). Once you cut a closet out of girls bedroom #2, it will be a 12x12 space (144 sq ft total) plus it has slant ceilings on both sides which limit what can be done with the sides of the room. (I don't think you intend to change the roof-line in the second bedroom.) Just mentioning this because whichever daughter gets the smaller room may wind up a bit jealous.

So, if it were me, I'd probably push the secondary bathroom north toward girl's bedroom #1 by 12" to 18". That would make the two girl's bedrooms a little closer to the same total sq footage PLUS give you more space to work in designing a bathroom and storage to fit between the master and bedroom #1.

Actually, it also just occurs to me that you could swap the masterbedroom and girl's bedroom #1 by pushing the wall between that bedroom and the bath further south. The low eve space in the northwest corner could become a tiny seating area in the masterbedroom and you could have his and her's closets! Maybe something like this....

Note that instead of a storage closet, I've indicated built-in cupboards all along the hallway. Their depth would depend on how wide you want the hallway to be. Since you can't put any windows in that wall anyway, you might as well make alternative use of it.

Anyway, just another idea...

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Bevangel- I like this plan! The only thing I'd change is to put one sink in the hall bath and not use the pocket door. Maybe a small linen closet, behind the door?

Those built in cabinets would be great book/toy storage for the girls, too :)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 12:46PM
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Hi Kirkhall

I don't have time to really study your plans right now, but a few questions will keep me from going off in the wrong direction when I look at it later.

In the other post, you said your main goal was to have the master bedroom downstairs, and convert the upstairs to 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a bonus room? Is that still true?

Where do you want the half bath? Upstairs or down?

You're not adding on any more space now, just finishing the space that is there, right?

Do you need/want an office or is that just stuck on there as an option?

Any reason for wanting a separate laundry room?

Is the downstairs plan shown on the linked post the way it is now, or the way it will be?

Does your budget allow for moving plumbing or just moving a few walls? I guess I'm wondering if your budget is set for gutting the upstairs and redoing it all, or working within constraints, and if so what are they?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Hi All! Wow, out volunteering at the hospital this morning, so I didn't get to this until now, and there is a lot of feedback! This is great!

I also have one to add that I dreamed about last night (the mind works at night, no doubt in my mind), which I have to scan and post still. It also makes the NW girl room smaller.

And, Bevangel--of course you can chime in again! You are very talented!

As for the original post:
Our budget is limited. We spent most of what we spent/can spend on our house 2 years ago. This time, our budget is much smaller and the intention is to finish the space so it works for us.

I don't think we need 5 bedrooms/spaces that live like a bedroom/office. 4 is what we need, and what would be best for this house, I think. We'd like to use 3 as bedrooms, and then 1 as other--guest when they visit (which is several times a year, but not for long periods).

I have come to the conclusion that requiring my guests (my parents and in-laws) to use the stairs won't work. And, I'd rather not give up my master bedroom downstairs when they visit. So, I am happy to have the Master upstairs now.

I originally thought I needed a 1/2 bath (if master was down), but I do not think that is the case. And, DH is dead set against more toilets than necessary.

The upstairs W side will be gutted, essentially. Although some plumbing will stay (there is an oven vent, and the main stack. Our Water Heater is down stairs in the center of the house in the bathroom. That is okay with me. It seems efficient there.

I'd like a separate laundry space because right now, I do all my folding on the guest room bed (downstairs, north bedroom). And, I don't particularly like that arrangement. A mudroom/drop zone and garage entry to house are must-haves for me (we are in PNW--Seattle area--it rains a lot and I spend a lot of time with pine needles all over my carpets because we have to come in the house from the garage via outside.)

2 more posts coming: one with my dream-storm
and one with the current downstairs layout.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 3:00PM
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My dream-storm from last night--
This one keeps us from having to straddle the beam. I drew it out before getting Bev's advice not to go too deep with storage, so I will narrow that down. If I narrow it, I might also then turn the hall bath tub/toilet so that the 5 feet runs in the N-S dimension, and the 6 feet runs in the E-W dimension.

I thought of this I think to solve a few problems: straddling the beam; having really unequal bedroom sizes; and getting the MBath toilet on the other side of the beam--which would save on plumbing. It also helps to make the Mbath a little smaller leaving the bedroom a little larger.

Also, sorry, it doesn't look like I got the one wall blanked out that is running through the "vanity area" in the hall bath right now. Ignore it and use the pencil lines as the real wall line. Also, it only really focuses on the West half of upstairs, so assume I close off the other girl's bedroom as I did before. From GWfloorplans

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 3:07PM
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Current downstairs on left (well, the East half of it anyway), and what I am thinking after the one wall moves, on right:
From GWfloorplans

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 3:09PM
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You've got some good ideas, and I think everyone had the same idea to flip that upstairs bathroom to the other side of the wall to gain space in the oddly shaped bedroom.

Here's another idea moving as few walls and plumbing as possible. It's great that you have so many possibilites. I should have asked where the sloping walls were going to be raised upstairs. I like your upstairs bathroom better, but didn't want to duplicate it. Also, I wanted to make the master sinks wrap the wall, but the software wouldn't put anything in the corner.

I didn't add a half bath downstairs. If that bedroom is just guest room, one bath should be ok. You could even put a door into the bath from that bedroom so your guests didn't have to come out into the hall.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 12:35PM
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Wow! Thanks Marti8a. I like to see how someone else might arrange my furniture (I am horrible at that and right now our family room (part of the great room) is empty of actual furniture. It is lined with toy storage shelves and a big play room (which is great for these years, but in a couple more, I will want a more sophisticated layout). :)

On the upstairs, the only place the roof slopes will be changed are on the addition. The roof slope where the addition meets the upstairs will now be flat ceiling. But everywhere else up there will have its same sloped ceiling.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 12:57PM
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Thanks. It gave me a chance to try out a new-to-me design site. Can an adult stand up under the sloped side? I guess that will mean moving furniture and closets to the higher side.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 1:42PM
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The slope starts at the dashed line and is 7'6", I think. Then it goes down to about 5 feet at the walls in the current bathroom and the E bedroom. And, approx 2 feet in the current closet and the extra space of the small "office".

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 2:48PM
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After another night, I have awoken with a couple more questions/thoughts.

Bevangel--I really like your idea of using the windowless wall in a good way for storage. And, I think I will definitely do that. For the overall design, I am concerned about the amount of beam straddling that has to happen in the Master Bath. I sort of figure, if there is somewhere that there will be shifting, it will be from old to new construction. Maybe I am wrong on that.

The other thing at appeals to me on this plan is that it puts the Master near the stairs--in a little better position for oversight of the stairs. OTOH, I kind of like having a get-away. And, DH keeps saying someday it might be nice to have a deck out the back (south). Which is another point for Master in back (south).

I'm curious though, for anyone who wants to chime in, what you think of having the utility room/office offset like Marti8a did for the downstairs (essentially just taking what we have now and converting one bedroom). Originally, that was my thought. But, I wasn't sure how efficient the space would be having to take 2 corners to get to the main living area. (Corners mean wider hallways imo). However, it does make the garage entry less visible from the living spaces. But, perhaps having the utility/mudroom down a hall, in any case, makes it not so visible? (If you take my proposed downstairs wall layout above, where I am seeking assistance with the mudroom/laundry/utility space and the door to the garage is centered in the house and build in "lockers" as a wall to make a hallway, and put laundry behind that...) Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

I feel like I am still gathering some feedback/inspiration. If anyone has personal pictures that might apply, I would love to see them. (I've tried Houzz a few times, but I have a little difficulty navigating that site. It seems anytime I go back to look at something, it isn't there or has moved. Any tips on that would probably be helpful too).

Thank you all for bearing with me! I am a details person when it comes to planning big picture things--research, research, research.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 11:35AM
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I thought about that winding pathway too. The pros are as you said that it isn't visible from the living room, and the room will act as a bit of an air lock. My in-laws garage door opened directly into their den and every time someone went out that door in winter, a cold breeze came into the house. It will also keep your winter coats and hats out of sight if you want cubbies next to the exit.

The biggest con is having to schlep groceries and other big items around those two corners and through the house.

I thought of putting the bedroom there, but it is so much nicer to have a bedroom closest to the bathroom, especially if you wanted to put a door from the bedroom into the bathroom.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 12:11PM
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It would be tempting to keep the master in the back, if it has the better views...and a deck would be very nice!

As for the downstairs, I think Marti's plan is very good. The laundry/mudroom is easy to access, but it keeps the work areas, out of view, from the rest of the house. I think one downstairs bathroom is all you need (plus two upstairs) still have to clean them all! LOL

The only thing I'd change is to put the door to the garage up 'north' a few feet, so the back of the bedroom closet could be the mudroom area. It would be a great place for cubbies or just hooks and a bench, with boot/shoe storage underneath. Hope that helps :)

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 12:13PM
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That's a good idea LL. I wasn't sure exactly where that electric box is, and how much of a pain or expense it is to move it.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 12:30PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

kirkhall, I'm not good with floor plans, so I'll leave that for others. However, I recently happened upon a DIY blog that I found interesting. You may be able to get some ideas for techniques and finishes, if not layout. Check the archives for other projects.

Here is a link that might be useful: Better DIY blog

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 2:01PM
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@LL, thanks for the feedback. I think the 2 bedroom options downstairs results in the same size bedroom, so it is really a matter of which will work best. And, that might come down to cost in the end...

@MamaGoose, thanks for the link. I definitely have though a lot about how I could do built-ins in the upstairs E bedroom to use some of the nonfunctional space under the eaves (esp. a built in dresser.) The pictures there are good, and I will dig through a little more.

I love how helpful people are on this site, and I appreciate everyone how has weighed in on my puzzle.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 6:42PM
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Thinking about the downstairs (I have a plan I like for the upstairs, at this point, I think)...

Marti's plan for downstairs makes me rethink spending the $ on moving the support wall, since the bedroom we'll end up with will be the same size as the current bigger downstairs bedroom. What will be different will be hallways/walking paths.

If we leave downstairs as is (do not move the support wall), the guest bedroom would be nearest the bathroom, and its door would be seen from the living room. The new utility room with garage entrance would be hidden behind the stairs. This would also require taking 2 corners to get to the living area from the mudroom/laundry. (Presently, those minor hallways (only a few feet long) are only 3ft wide.

That is THE con to not moving the support wall--having to walk through 2-90* turns.

If we move the support wall, we will have the same size guest room in the new location. The old larger bedroom would become the garage entry/mudroom/laundry room. The space would be squarer, with the main walkway on the one side (rather than through the middle in the other option). From the living room, you'd see the door to the mudroom (if there is a door) or all the way through to the door to the garage.
There would be a straight shot from garage to the living spaces of the house. Guest room might be a little more private (behind the stairs).

What would be your thoughts on these 2 layouts if you walked in to buy? Would one appeal especially more than the other? (or, is it essentially 6 and 1/2 dozen the other to you)?

What am I missing?

In option 1 (not moving the support wall), we could make the 90* hallway leading to the mudroom wider by taking out a linen closet (the space of which is easily replace by the old laundry closet in the bathroom).

In option 2, we don't have to put the garage door straight down the "hall". Would it be better to move it over a couple feet so there is room for the mudroom lockers along the "hallway" wall, with a more diagonal walking path to the main living area (but still no true 90* corners to take)?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Kirkhall- Can you post the plans, for Option 1 and Option 2? That might help, since I feel a little lost and I'm guessing I'm not the only one :)

Also, are you ready (or almost) to post your plan, for the upstairs?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 9:25PM
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From above
Left side is simply remodeled to option 1--putting in lockers/cubbies and w/d in this "north" room and door to garage in the East wall.

Right side is moving the bearing wall and having the garage door on the east wall; w/d/utility/mudroom room is the south room here.

Sorry, it won't embed at the moment... but I've linked it.

Here is a link that might be useful: plan

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 12:22AM
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Here you go :)

From [Kitchen plans](
    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 1:39AM
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If it's not too difficult to move the load bearing wall, I think I'd pick option 2. This keeps your plumbing all together and it should be easier to move the laundry, just to the other side of the wall, than across the house.

I think it's a good idea to jog the garage entry, so you don't have the cold air coming down the hall (quite so much) and view, into the garage. What if you did two L-shapes, with the laundy on the window wall...and maybe a bench with hooks, across from it (on wall to bedroom). You could have cubbies, across from the hall entry...and maybe a laundry sink, across from the garage entry?

I like this bench, if it gives you any ideas :) From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 1:52AM
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Here are a couple of pictures of pretty laundry areas...I think you just need to turn the longer run, into an L-shape. It's up to you, whether you'd rather have the sink under the window, or the washer/dryer. Just a few possibilities :)

From [Kitchen plans]( From [Kitchen plans](
    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 2:07AM
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Lavender--You are fabulous. :) I do have that first laundry room picture (with the blue-stripped rug) on my pinterest page. I like it quite a bit.

Thank you for that feedback. I guess it is time for me to play with that room layout a bit to see what would make the best sense. Glad to hear that someone else thinks it would be okay to not have the door lined up. I think that little bit of jog makes the space more usable.

LL--one more question. Would you put a door on the utility room space to the rest of the house, or leave it open? I'm leaning towards a door (to stop drafts...but that is probably because I am staring out at more snow than I've ever seen in this area before (we are W. Washington. Where you are, you get this every year, or more).

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 11:55AM
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I would definitely put a door, for many reasons. Heat is a good one, followed by...what if I have a dirty dog or messy laundry piled up in that room, and then there's drafts, privacy if you need to take muddy clothes off child and throw clothes in washer! LOL I know what western Washington is like, especially in the spring :)

Seriously, a door would be a good idea and I think you're idea of jogging the entrance to the garage is a good one. Since you have such a nice space, I'd really take advantage of it and include anything you need to make life easier. If you have dogs, do you need a little dog shower? If you sew, do you need an ironing board? Maybe another linen closet or more pantry space? Cubbies are also great, so there's lots of options.

Have fun with the space and create something perfect for you and your family :)

Oh, and it's snowing, right now!!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 12:10PM
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Kirkhall, I'm not able to keep up with the flow of the floor plan, but I have some ideas about the chests in the knee space too low for head room.

Take a look at what IKEA sells, they are very reasonably priced, and you can easily modify just the frames and the front panels, and install the drawers and cabinet frames or whatever, to be all concealed. Blum hardware is great. It is good for many rooms besides kitchens, you know. And, IKEA now has lots of wardrobe ideas, which is exactly what you are describing. Blouses and shirts do not require full height hanging space, so some of those would work in the sloped lower spots too. Line those spaces with CEDAR, and you'd have room for your out of season hanging clothing.
Then in the more limited full height hanging storage areas, you can store things which need the whole height. I also think that shoes can be on pull-out shelves or racks, and even if your under-eave space is really deep, these racks could make a LOT of room for your possessions.

Houses really do present a lot more space for storage than we are accustomed to using. I heartily recommend that you browse through a paper catalog from IKEA to get excellent and CHEAP storage ideas.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 10:14PM
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@ Moccasin--
Thanks for your feedback. I really do like IKEA a lot--and have one nearby. Sometimes I have difficulty finding what I am looking for (especially specific parts) in the catalog. But, I suppose I should continue to dig through it for ideas.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 6:47PM
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New idea. Do you like this layout?
It gets laundry upstairs. Master bath isn't fancy, but is master bath. And, it gets closets in where I need them--which is difficult given the slant of the ceiling...

I still need to work out if it will work with plumbing... Probably need an extra stack, and that location might be difficult/costly with joists, but I am trying to figure that out.

Also, I am going to post this in plumbing for comment there, before I post into remodeling for general comment. From GWfloorplans

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 7:46PM
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I REALLY like that! You've got all your plumbing together which will reduce costs, and made all the rooms a good workable size. Are all the closets walk in? Very nice.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Thanks Marti!
The master is definitely walk in closet (and my DH says it is too big. No one needs a closet that big...yadayadayada.) It fits nicely though.
The other 2 closets are semi-walk-in. Due to the sloping ceiling, in order to get a full height door on them, I have to keep the closet door in the full height ceiling area. Which meant, it wasn't going to work, I don't think, to just make them regular reach in closets. By making the angle, I can keep the door on a full height wall. And, they can be semi-reach-in/semi-walk-in. I have a pantry that functions this way, and I like it. You get the benefits of the 2 storage walls that a walk in gives you, without losing floor space to "hall" within the closet.

Now, I need to hear from a plumber or two to see if it will work.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Newest post with "final plan" for feedback and help with 6 spots... Will you considering weighing in?

Here is a link that might be useful: new post in Build forum

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 4:35PM
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