Yet another floor plan....

flgargoyleJuly 24, 2010

I've posted so many floor plans over on Building a House, I'm sure they're tired of me! You guys probably are, too, but are too nice to say it! LOL

This is my fine-tuned version of a small cross-gable plan that I've been re-designing for 3 years now. I keep going back to the cross gable because my major rooms all have windows on 3 sides for light and ventilation. Remember, this is in the middle of the woods, so privacy is not a consideration. There is the possibility of a second floor in the main gable, and there will be a walk-out basement, again, at least under the main gable. The second floor likely will not happen, but it makes for a really cute house with the center gable going up 2 stories instead of one. The mountain view is at the end the kitchen is on. The MBR is on the east side. Please disregard the word 'kitchen' outside of the house; don't know how that got there!

I still have issues with the plan, but I'll bravely keep them to myself until the conversation is underway. Thanks in advance for your opinions!

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I never get tired of looking at floor plans. I like the idea of your plan, but it looks like it would be hard to heat & cool with each room having an exterior wall on 3 sides, plus more expensive to build with that many gables. But the views would be incredible.

The only change I would actually make to it would be to flip the master closet & bathrooms, so you could access the 2nd bathroom from the privacy of the kitchen, and the stairs would help soundproof it from the living area.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 7:05PM
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Jay I never tire of looking at floor plans either so let them come all you want. REALLY.

Here is my concern. We have our front porch on the south west side of the house and it is too hot. I would much rather have it on the north east end. I think it would be wonderful to have a screened porch off the kitchen master.

You might have wonderful trees there so this point might not be a problem for you. Wish we had trees here but we do not and no way to do it because of the road.

The rest of your plan it good. Are you entering the foyer from a door from the garage? And from outside? If so I would make the end of the garage even with the house and this would make the foyer a little bit wider. But then will it make the gable off?? Those things I do not know about.

Is the 18 on MBR the length of the room? What is the other measurement? Looks like you have a nice open plan. Even company can bunk in the living room and still have privacy at night and a bath to use.

I really like the washer and dryer in the master closet. Other than be sure to vent your dryer to the out side. The lint is awful. Ask me how I know!!! Ugh.

Marti has a point on the heating but you might already have that figured out depending on what kind of heat you will be using.

I do like the cross gable look to this house.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 8:05PM
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I agree- the porch is going to be hot at times. We do have tall trees in all directions, but they won't be very close to the house- too much risk of damage during ice storms. The way the land lays, and the direction of the view pretty much locks in the orientation of the house. It is a sloping lot, so if I put the garage behind the house, it would require walking up stairs. On the kitchen end, the main floor will be some 10' off the ground. I originally wanted to put the porch off the kitchen end, but that would make the kitchen dark, especially as it is already on the north side of the house. The same problem arises if I put the porch on the northeast side- it would block the morning sun, which I want to have in the MBR and kitchen. I could mirror the entire house, and have the living room and porch on the east side, but that might make the MBR hot in the evening. You'd think with 7 acres, this process would be easier!

It's true that this design will cost more to build, and, all else being equal, a bit less efficient to heat and cool. I plan a pretty aggressive approach to insulation, looking for about R-30 in the walls, and R-50 in the roof. That, coupled with our tolerance for temperature changes should keep it affordable to condition. We like the windows open between about 55 to 80 degrees, so much of the year, we won't be using the conditioning. I'm thinking about using mini-split heat/A/C units, which will allow us to selectively condition the room(s) we are using.

I should have put more room sizes: The parlor is about 15X17, the MBR is about 12X17, and the kitchen is about 14X19. The foyer is about 6X9, making it the biggest foyer I've ever had! We very rarely entertain, and then it's only one or two couples, so we don't really need a grand entrance. I'd rather have a modest foyer, and 'wow' guests as they enter the rest of the house, rather than the other way around. This plan I consider to be a luxurious layout for two people. The rooms could certainly be smaller, but that leads to problems finding room for all the other stuff, like stairs, laundry, and a second bathroom.

The foyer would have the front door, and also a door to the garage. I might slide the garage back to be flush with the house instead.

What else- If there is no upstairs, the basement stairs would be accessed from the parlor side. On the opposite end, a pantry could go over the descending stairs. There's pretty good chance that one of the corners between the kitchen and the BR or parlor will have an open deck. If I mirrored the house, the deck could go in the north west quadrant, making a warm and protected spot during fall/winter/spring when there are no mosquitoes.

As it turns out, there is no plumbing under the parlor or the MBR, so I'm going to compare costs of only having a full basement under the main gable, and having crawl space under the wings. If it's only a few thousand $ difference in cost, I'll go full basement- it's cheap expansion space. I don't plan to finish the basement, unless DS moves back into the nest. It will be storage, and maybe a game table or small workshop. With a big barn, most of my tools will be out there, but it would be nice to have a comfortable spot to work during very hot or very cold weather.

Another thought (Haven't I had enough already?!) If I go 2 stories for the main gable, I could use shed roofs over the parlor and MBR wings. Not nearly as cute, but much cheaper and easier to build......

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 9:45AM
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Jay, I am going to make a suggestion which has nothing to do with the arrangement of the rooms, but it does have to do with the direction of the natural light.

You said the MBR faces EAST. So that puts the garage getting all the nice southerly light. And the kitchen getting primarily the northern light. Very nice consistent light but not the most cheerful in the winter time.

I suggest, all other things being equal, that you FLIP THE PLAN, putting the garage to the NORTH, and the kitchen to the SOUTH. Leave everything else where it is, because it is a flip from top to bottom, not a flip from left to right.

Of course, I do not know how your property is oriented, like where the road is or where the power supply comes into the house, but I think you have totally unimproved land at this point? Have you even built a driveway yet?

I will now go back and look at your plans, which I am very happy to have available for my viewing pleasure. Yes, always a pleasure to look at something which relates to a real person and their needs, don't cha kno.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 12:12PM
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Follow up questions:
1. Is it a single car garage or a two-car garage? It looks almost big enough to have 2 cars come into it from the long side, and not one car coming into it from the short end beside the front door area.

2. Is there a doorway into the house/foyer inside the garage?

3. With the front foyer bath, is that to have a shower as well as a toilet/sink? It seems big enough to have a shower in either end.

4. With the kind of roofline you will have, are you planning to include some rainwater collection on the four sides where it would be easily collected? Or at least on two of the sides away from the parlor area? Even some underground pipes could be run to a common low storage area, and then a pump used to water your lawn during dry seasons.

5. You say that the major rooms will all have windows on 3 sides. Glorious!!! Does this mean that upper cabs in the kitchen will be few and far between? And will the area beneath your stairs serve as your pantry area? A great place to build in your microwave and ovens also?

6. How high will you make the ceilings? A standard 8 foot or up to 9 feet?

7. Will you be stubbing any plumbing into the attic for the future ease of using that for a small bath and maybe flooring the space to use as a guest room?

8. What kind of roofing insulation is going up? Anything to insulate the roof itself, like the foil heat reflectors, to keep the attic from getting too freaking hot? Then you could just have an actual-height ceiling for that space?
As you see, I'm not too familiar with the issues of heat moderation while keeping down moisture intrusion leading to mold and mildew.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 12:34PM
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I got it on the Foyer then I thought it looked really small but 6 by 9 is very good sized.

We have east facing bedroom and honestly I do enjoy the morning sun but I get up from bed and leave the bedroom so all that pretty light and bright is wasted. I would rather have the bedroom on the other side of the house,. You can always control the heat with window shades. just my two cents. I thought the same as you on the sun in the bedroom being wonderful. Unless I put a sitting room in there and that most likely will not happen I do not get to enjoy it.

Also ML has a good point on the flipping the garage for kitchen. I totally enjoy the sun through out the day in my kitchen. Course like your plan it is open to the living room so also lets light in there too.

If I had had my choice I would have turned this house around front to back or just had the pretty porch put on the back side. But we only have a half acre and it is a triangle and sloped off like your land and we know how that creates difficulties in placement. I am pleased I ended up with a small area I call the court yard between the house and the hill. Some day I hope to have it more enclosed with growth. The trees are planted and growing.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 1:28PM
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The east facing bedroom would likely never be appreciated in our household- we are both VERY early risers. I get up at 4:30, and my wife is just leaving for work! Believe it or not, we like it that way.

Having the garage to the north has two problems. One, the the garage would block the mountain view! The other problem is the slope of the property. The back (north) side of the house is fully 10' off the ground, with a walk-out basement underneath. So the garage would actually be at basement level, which eliminates the problem of blocking the view, but it would require climbing stairs, either inside or out, to get into the house. That's fine while we're still (relatively) young and healthy, but as we get older, or if one of us is incapacitated, the garage would be rendered useless. It also would require driving the car up and down more of a hill, which could get dicey in bad weather. The garage is a largish 1 car, allowing plenty of room for people to get in and out of the car from either side. I wouldn't want the garage door facing south, as that would have the driver coming downhill into the garage. I feel it would be safer coming in sideways.

Other things-

Yes, there is a door from the garage into the foyer.

The front bath is a full bath.

The house will have gutters all around to keep water away from the basement. I'm planning a pond to serve as a catchment area, with a pump for irrigation as needed.

There will be few or no upper cabinets. More likely, just some small shelves for everyday glasses and mugs, with silverware sitting in mason jars out on the counter. Everything else will be in the lowers, which will be mostly drawers.

Ceilings are planned at 10'. I'd like coffered ceilings in both the parlor and the kitchen, with bead board infill in the parlor, and embossed tin panels in the kitchen. Overhead lighting in the kitchen will be pendants with schoolhouse globes or some such. The foyer, bathrooms, and MBR will be 8 or 9' to make them cozier.

The decision on a second floor will have to be made before I ever break ground. The stairs are pretty tight, but meet code. The construction of the house will be quite different if I go 2 floors, so I have to decide well in advance. I really only want the second floor because A) It will make a cuter house, and B) It would give me access to a little balcony off the back for looking at the mountains, or looking at the stars with some soft jazz playing and a little red wine.

The roof will be very well insulated. Over the plywood sheathing, there will be at least 2" of foam, plus furring strips to hold the metal roofing off of the foam to allow condensation draining, and to help vent hot air. Inside will be conventional R-19 batts as a minimum.

I played around with a mirror plan; it works OK, but people driving in would have to go past the garage to see the front door, or I'll have to make a U-shaped driveway, which is entirely possible.

As y'all can see, I've put a LOT of thought and research into this, and it's on-going. I appreciate the comments- keep 'em coming!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 3:44PM
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It would give me access to a little balcony off the back for looking at the mountains, or looking at the stars with some soft jazz playing and a little red wine.

That statement alone is worth putting on the 2nd floor!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 8:03PM
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