Please review addition floor plan

dylan67April 13, 2013

I posted in the Building a Home, and am x-posting here.

Here is the current floor plan of our 1950's tract home. The architect has figured out how to maximize the square footage within setbacks. However, I revised his floorplan because I really wanted the laundry and a walk in pantry on the first floor, and we don't need a larger bedroom. We plan to be in this house for at least 20-30 more years (so 70+). Any feedback or comments are greatly appreciated.

The original home is about 950 square feet, not including the right side where the family room is, which is an old addition that will be replaced by the new one. The addition will include the basement and two floors, basically all on one side, if our budget allows. If not, we will nix the basement.

Proposed floor plan and more info coming.


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Here is my revised version of the architect's floorplan. Will include more info in the following post, also x-posted.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 7:04PM
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We've been in this house 15 years, and are used to living in small spaces (NYC apartments, etc.), but are busting at the seams. In our neighborhood, many builders are tearing down and building new 1M houses on small lots. Right now we are in the preliminary planning stages, i.e. how big of an addition can we afford, which is why we are starting with a three-level addition (basement, 1st and 2nd floors). The original house has a crawlspace. Yes, having a 2-story front gable addition next to a 1-story front-gable house is not a great look, but I definitely want to expand the first floor so all our main living is on one floor, with upstairs/basement as secondary spaces. The proposed addition is maxed out on all sides in terms of setbacks.

We are two adults with one elementary-aged child. Our living style is very casual/comfortable/functional. Love light and bright spaces, though bedrooms for us are mostly just for sleeping (a large master bedroom suite is not how we live).

However, in the far future we may downsize to an apartment and rent the house for passive income (hopefully retired by then, and the house is in a much desired HCOL area with great schools). That is why I am keeping the three small bedrooms, which would be good for parents, child, and nursery.


2nd bathroom with shower (no tub) on main floor
walk-in pantry
laundry room on 1st floor
efficient storage and lots of it
open up the living space in the front of the house, with bedrooms at the back
a deep portico for shelter from rain

Nice to have:

slightly bigger kitchen with more counter space
foyer/transition-type entry space (drop zone for shoes, coats, bags, etc)
access to powder room from family room, thus the 2 access doors.

Second floor has a bedroom in the front (maybe for when my daughter is a teen or post-college) that would be used as a guest room, a small bath with shower, and a small office space in back.

Basement would be finished in front (playroom/exercise room) and have a storage/utility room in the rear. As I mentioned earlier, if price is too high, we will nix the basement.

We need to be very budget conscious i.e. trying to keep construction costs in mind, thus all new plumbing on the addition side instead of having to move plumbing into the original house, keeping the stairs oriented that way saves on having to cut joists (I think), etc.

What do you think of my floor plan? Any suggestions/feedback would be helpful. I know there are many wise people on this board, and would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 7:08PM
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I think the new family room will be way too small. What I'd do is get rid of the extra first floor bathroom you've added and put the pantry with the utility room.

Here's a thought. Why not put the dining room where the new family room is, and combine the old living/dining room to make the new family room? The new family room would be much bigger if you switched the rooms out.

When we added on, we put up a wall in the old LR, and made one half a big utility room w/lots of storage, and the other side an office.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 7:38PM
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That kitchen is really odd. The kitchen sink faces the hallway to the utility room? I think it would seem very closed off. And the majority of the counter space is pretty far from the sink or oven, so I don't think you would use it for prep.

I think you've got to decide whether you want a small galley kitchen or a larger kitchen partial used for entertaining. If the later, I think you've got to rework the kitchen significantly, maybe expanding it into the area where the toilet is. Does that make sense?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 8:34PM
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I think the double bump-out on the top wall will run your costs up and complicate your roof line.

If you make the stairway/pantry wall continuous with the family room bump-out, it will simplify things. Then you could move the stairway two feet "north," along the door to the utility area. Reconfigure the laundry and bathroom so the shower is where the washer/dryer now are, put the washer/dryer where the toilet and sink are, and wall the bath and laundry off from each other (add a door through to the bath if necessary). Rework the bathroom to include the toilet and a larger vanity. By doing this, you could also gain two feet in the kitchen.

Bring in a kitchen designer to work on the layout. I agree with CamG that the room needs reconsideration. Is it open to the front hall? Maybe you're neater than I am, but it's not a view my guests would find welcoming! Also, right now there's no straight passage from the kitchen to the dining room.

It's a good start and just needs a little tweaking.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 1:28AM
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Uh, revise the second paragraph in pp to read:

,,, "Then you could move the stairway two feet "north," along with the door to the utility area. Reconfigure the laundry and bathroom so the shower is where the washer/dryer now are, put the washer/dryer where the toilet and sink are, and wall the bath and laundry off from each other (add a door between the two rooms if necessary)." ...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 2:44PM
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I agree with prior comments regarding your revised proposal looking chaotic with an expensive roofline. With interest rates so low, have you considered buying another home or building one? It seems to me you're going to spend a ton of money with a poor return on your investment. Leaving three small bedrooms with one small bathroom on the first floor makes absolutely no sense in today's market. If you can't affort to move, then I would look into the cost of moving your current breakfast & livingroom forward to be flush with the front wall of your familyroom (flush across the front). A porch could be added across the front of the house. Then expand your current kitchen forward toward the front, make your current familyroom one large eating area with additional cabinets and pantry. Your current living/dining area then becomes the familyroom as someone has already suggested. I would combine the two back bedrooms to make a nice master bedroom with master bath and a large walk-in closet. This leaves a two bedroom home, but there are plenty of empty nesters or professionals out there who would like this arrangment. In fact, my current home has two bedrooms, and there are plenty of others like mine in this area. The downside to this is that your child has a small room and the two bedrooms are close together. I suggest extra soundproofing and build-ins in her bedroom to maximize the space. As a sr. citizen, I can tell you kids grow up and are gone before you know it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 9:34AM
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I like Texasgal47's suggestions, especially regarding moving the current living room and dining room wall forward.

I am curious what the architect came up with based on your criteria. Are you planning on ripping off the addition with the current family room and laundry area and putting a basement under the addition that is on that entire side of the house?

I like your idea of connecting the master bath with the laundry room, but I don't think you'd be happy with a toilet in there and not in the master bath.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Thank you so much for all your thoughtful responses. I just spent an hour responding to each person's comments, then hit the wrong button and it all disappeared. I don't have the energy to do it all again, so I will try to touch on the main points that you brought up:

-another bathroom is a must. My husband spends way too much time in there.
-the view from the family room is of the backside of my van, since the driveway ends right at the window, so the views from the other front windows are much better - we like to look outside when sitting at the dining table.
-the architect opened up the space above the kitchen where there used to be a window. I agree that this probably doesn't make sense because there's no view.
-the added counter space is actually not far from the sink/oven, probably 3 normal steps in either direction
-trying to keep kitchen plumbing and gas lines in same location to save money, and am wary of putting kitchen too near to bathroom
-there's actually only one bump-out in the rear. The front wall of the old addition is staying (or we will lose the 50 sq. feet of space) and the rest of the addition is on foundation, but jogged in because our lot tapers toward the back
-will work on the idea of moving the stair two feet "north" and rethink the pantry location
-don't really want the washer/dryer right next to the bedroom, and would like them on exterior walls so the dryer can vent out
-may rework the toilet/sink/shower
-plan to have a high pony wall with a narrow ledge in front of long kitchen counter to hide some of the clutter; also considering back wall of all cabinets for the same reason
-we love our location. Buying would get us more of the same around here, and we'd have to move very far out to build, which is a deal-breaker
-unfortunately, due to setbacks we cannot move the front of the house forward to be flush with the addition's front.
-we may configure the bedrooms, although it's really my daughter who needs more space and it would be strange for the bigger bedroom to not be the master
-proposed addition includes a basement and two floors, with only the front of the original addition remaining.
-the architect came up with a nice, standard layout with a larger master bedroom, but put the washer/dryer in the basement and did not include a pantry, both of which we really need on the main floor.

Please keep the ideas and suggestions coming! I hope to have a revised plan to post soon. I'd especially appreciate ideas for creating more of an entry/foyer, since right now we just have coat racks and shelves for shoes, bags, etc. right when you come in the door. Many thanks!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 12:24AM
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I suggest you post either the architect's renderings for the proposed remodel, or make a drawing on graft paper, with dimensions, on the kitchen forum. There are very talented people there, including several professional kitchen designers. I'm wondering the following:
1. Is there is any other place you could place your front entrance, such as to the right, where the projection justs out from the familyroom?
2. Since your DD is to have her bedroom upstairs, what do you think of removing the walls to the front bedroom so that it would become part of a larger livingroom? From your drawing, that area looks too small to be a family gathering place. Extend the counter to the right of the sink and then have the counter turn to the right to form a peninsula. Stop your counter about 27" to the left of the cooktop. This would leave you an opening directly to the diningroom, which if I understand you correctly, is your only eating area. People on the kitchen forum may suggest an island for you. With your proposed study upstairs, this would still leave three potential bedrooms for future buyers.
3. If you follow the suggestions in #2, This would allow you to enlarge the hall bathroom currently in place into a master bathroom by widening it to the bedroom wall on the other side of the hall.
4. Carefully consider whether you want to raise a kitchen counter on a pony wall into the kitchen. Leaving a kitchen counter one height significantly gives the illusion of a much larger space. How do I know this? Originally, I wanted to retain a raised bar to somewhat obstruct a view into my kitchen since it was easily seen from the front entrance. However, once I saw for myself how much larger a kitchen looked when the bar area was lowered to make if one level, I was converted. There are no regrets in living with it on a daily basis.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:02PM
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