Floor plan... any suggestions?

PeteleyJune 5, 2013

We received the floor plan from the designer for our forever home. We live on a 40 acre farm in Minnesota with southern exposure. The entry is on the North side and the covered porch is to the west. We are planning to build using ICF for the walk out basement and are still debating between ICF or stick built main floor.

We are a casual family of four, daughters are 6 and 9yrs. The kids bedrooms will be in the southern exposed walk-out basement (this is common in our small farming community). We have not started working on the basement layout yet.

There is only the one bathroom on the main floor. We did consider adding a small bathroom but we are trying to maintain a small footprint. We plan to have another full bathroom in the walkout basement and we already have a full bathroom in the shed for use when we are outside. We would like to have a separate shower and soaking tub.
My main concern is the bathroom/closet layout, but I would be interested in what you think of the entire floor plan. I am cross posting this in the building forum and small house forum. Thank you for taking the time to review this with us.

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I'm all for small footprints, trying to do the same, so I know the challenges! I am one of those who finds rooms with windows only on one side to be uncomfortable, and until I read A Pattern Language, I didn't know that was a "thing." So when I see a corner to a house devoted to a windowless closet, that's something that jumps out at me. If you are on a big property, I'd put in windows wherever I can and not give a nice corner to a closet, if the bathroom could have it instead. I'd want windows on the other MBR wall as well. If you thought that would compromise furniture placement, you could put them up high.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:10PM
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I had never heard of A Pattern Language so I had to google it : ) Our reason for maximizing the windows on the south is because of the passive solar designs as well as our views to the south and west. But I also like windows in every direction of the house to get some good air flow through the house. I am not satisfied with the bathroom and closet layout so that area will probably change but I will keep the window idea in mind. I was thinking a bigger (or more) west windows were needed in the bedroom so I'm glad you agree. I do pictures that I've seen with windows above the bed. We have a queen size bed so I think another window would easily fit with the furniture. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:58PM
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I borrowed the book from the public library and I really really recommend it for anyone designing a house. He describes things that he believes are universally needed or universally appealing, some of which are fairly subconscious preferences for many of us, like the idea that rooms with light coming from more than one side are just more pleasant. After I read that, I realized that we only have one room like that, and it is the one I least prefer to spend time in.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 8:28PM
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the only thing that jumped out at me was the north entry. How close is it to where you park your car? I am picturing Minnesota winter winds whipping snow around and you unloading groceries, trying to get them into the kitchen through it. It looks like you will have to use the porch or the front entry to get to the kitchen. Will that be a problem for you? Having lived in the country for many years, I know grocery shopping does not happen nearly as often as it does for city dwellers, and you will pick and choose your timing, just wondered if you had considered the floor plan in relation to bringing in the groceries. Looks like a nice open plan to me! best wishes

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 1:23PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

You might post over building a home forum if you haven't...lots of great insight there on floor plans.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 6:27PM
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The Build forum has commented on the stove placement, lack of mud containment area, perhaps too large pantry, and others. For others looking, do look for that post as it has more dialogue and back-and-forth commentary.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 12:15AM
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Is that a pocket door between the bathroom and the master closet? That seems like wasted space that could be used for cabinets, hangers, etc.

I'd be fine with one bath on the main level; I've always thought that the tiny bathroom "in" a kitchen was a poor design choice when there is basically no privacy with a kitchen full of people three feet away.

I like the foyer, almost mud-room type entry. You could maybe shrink the pantry in exchange for more storage space in the foyer if you wanted.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:29PM
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I love your plan! The one main floor bathroom is great, since you have another one downstairs. I'd much rather have the larger pantry...don't shrink it. Instead, have you thought of a small sink under the window, at the bottom of the U? That would be great for prepping veggies or a baking area, as well as a handy 'drinks/punch area' during parties :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 2:02PM
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Would this work for the bathroom? You could have the closet squared off and the shower/toilet area out of sight, from the doorway. The tub (claw foot?) could be under a window, with another small/high window in the shower. From Farmhouse plans

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 4:12PM
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