Floorplan Help

donnamabobNovember 4, 2011

Hi there,

My husband and I are trying to "flip" our home, as we only plan on living in it for a few years.

We were able to purchase a basic ranch at a low price because one of the previous owners put a very awkward addition on the front of the home.

Here's what it looks like now:

(the pink part is the addition)

Here's what I came up with:

(sorry that's so hard to look at) The red lines represent load bearing walls. The center room is split into a laundry room and master bath. Here's the 3d so you can see it better:

My goals are to expand the master, get the laundry out of the kitchen where it currently is, add more kitchen cabinets, and hopefully add a bathroom. I figure that you can never have too many bathrooms, and that they add value to a home. However - everyone keeps telling me that my floor plan is too cluttered. No one likes how it is now, and no one likes whatever I come up with too fix it. I'm just starting to get the impression that we made a huge mistake and purchased a home that simply cannot be fixed :(

Can anyone help? Please? I'm getting desperate. Thanks!

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I think I would cross post this to the building a home forum as well.

But at first glance, you certainly can have too many bathrooms.

Just a few things that jump out at me that I don't like...

*Too many tiny/awkward bathrooms.
*Closets too small in kids bedrooms; closet too deep in master.
*Don't like entry way with that small closet jutting out into the hallway.
*Would need more room at kitchen door
*For a laundry room that size, I think a closet setup would be better since it will use less real estate. I don't think you are gaining anything by having it in it's own little room.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 10:31AM
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Thanks, I know it's bad - and I guess I'm mostly going to start over with the re-design plans, but is there anything that I was heading in the right direction with?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 10:45AM
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Donna, having a separate laundry area is a nice thing. Which means you are right to want it moved away from the kitchen.
However, think along the lines of a STACKING unit, and maybe doing a TANKLESS WATER HEATER. And where is your heating system and any air conditioning system?

Will you need to do any updating of the electrical system in the house, or is it already a 3-wire system?

Which direction is NORTH? That is very important when you consider the amount of light entering the home, where you will require shelter from your local storms, and, where is your driveway or car parking? What is the way you enter the home if not by the front door? Do you have space for your trash and such outside the kitchen door?

I'd also wonder if the entry could be taken OUT of that 5 x 5 area, which is so important to your square footage and could well give you the room for some nice closets.

Are you ADDING a bedroom, or is there already FOUR bedrooms including the Master?

Oh, I think you can do what you like to make this house a nice place to sell in a few years. Just set your priorities and have at it.

I note that your living room seems to waste a tremendous amount of space at the end toward the deck extension. Is there any reason for that? You really need to have STORAGE in this house, not just kitchen cabs.

I'm glad you came here with your questions, because we have many who can provide an original approach to your solutions. And like Marti says, take a look at the design a home forum (words to that effect).....

Be sure to let us know how the house sits on its lot, where the street is, how much yard space you have, and the windows. I'd really like to see that entry be put on your deck, with its closet out there too. One of our forum members, IDIETOLIVE, turned a small porch she had into a sweet entry sitting area, and while it had the roof already, adding your entry out there could give you a chance to really bring importance to the entry, which seems to be sort of hidden away and insignificant when someone approaches the house.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Thanks for taking the time to respond to my issue. The heating system is in the crawl space below the house. We live way up north, and most houses around here don't have an air conditioning system, so it's at the bottom of our priority list.

Both entries to the house are on the south side, as is the drive way. Typically we enter the home through the kitchen door, but we would like the main entry to be the one that currently enters the family room.

I don't know how we could easily move the front door because of the location of the window in the living room. I can't imagine a scenerio where it wouldn't look out of place (not that it looks good now, but why invest in something that won't be an improvement...)

Right now, there is 3 legal bedrooms and one illegal bedroom because it does not have any windows. I really want to have a legal 4th bedroom, but I'm starting to see that it's probably too much to cram in here.

The living room really does waste a ton of space, and no, there's no reason for that other then the fact that the front window is seemingly making it very difficult to do anything with the far end.

Our house sits towards the back of a 1 acre rectangular lot. Our front yard is probably 2/3 of an acre. The street is just directly in front of that.

I really like the idea of enhancing the entry by adding a porch, but would that yield a profit, or would it just help sell the house faster?

I guess my main goal here is to make the highest profit with a minimul investment. We already did a significant amount of work in skim coating the living room and dining room walls, which were textured. We were pretty sure that was one of the main reasons that no one wanted to purchase this house when we did. It was on the market for almost a year, so we got a really good deal on it.

Thanks again for your help, I'm at such a loss for what to do. Its so frustrating wanting to start working on this, but not actually knowing what to do. We're open to any suggestions, there is no way they can be any worse then what I came up with haha!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 2:13PM
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I think your cluttered feeling is because you only have one living space with four bedroom and three bathrooms. I'd hate to see the family room go, especially if you don't have a basement.

What if you keep the bathroom, closest to the dining area and make the current master bathroom, the laundry area. This would give you more space for your kitchen and still utilize the plumbing for the laundry. I'd leave the family room, but close off the doors to the bedrooms.

The 'new' bedroom would be the master closet and bathroom. Although that's a load bearing wall, you should be able to add a nice closet and bathroom in that space. Your master is still fairly small, but no smaller than the original...with a much better closet and bath space.

This way, the family room is still very usable and if you don't want the entry there, move it to the living room wall. You could still add a coat closet, if you like, to the wall on bedroom 3, but leave enough space to enter the family room. Just an idea :)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 2:43PM
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Oops, I just read more carefully and saw your concern about the front window, in the living room.

So, one other idea...what if you make the entry changes as you have them in your plan...and put the master bath, where you have the little bedroom (formerly the family room)? Then, I'd change the master closet to closets all along that wall, rather than a deep closet on one end. This would give you a seating area, which is always nice for resale.

I'd still make the former master bath the laundry area and keep the two 12' x 12' bedrooms. This gives you an excellent children/guest wing and keeps the master bedroom suite very private. Another big plus, for resale.

Now, that illegal fourth bedroom...who wants a bedroom without a window? So, why not add french doors to the wall that goes to the living room and make this an 'away room' which could be an office, library, craft room, music room, playroom, etc. You'd get the light from the living room, but you'd still be able to close it off, when needed...and it would look so nice! :)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 2:53PM
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I'm really liking the idea of turning the current master bath into the laundry area. I also like the idea of adding the french doors to the center bedroom. I also had the thought of opening that center room up to the current living room and moving the kitchen to where the living room is so a bar counter could separate the spaces. I guess a den or office would go where the kitchen currently is. Not sure if the idea is worth all that work (or if it is all that much work) though. Maybe I'll sketch that up later...

I really like this "what if you make the entry changes as you have them in your plan...and put the master bath, where you have the little bedroom (formerly the family room)? Then, I'd change the master closet to closets all along that wall, rather than a deep closet on one end. This would give you a seating area, which is always nice for resale." I'm just not sure about the bath there because there are two large windows where you are talking about. Would that be okay? I can see windows being both desired and not for a nice big bathroom like that. Love the closet idea, makes a lot of sense.

Thank you so much for this feedback!!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 3:24PM
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Here's a quick sketch...with the laundry in the master bath. You should have room for a laundry sink or freezer, where the master bedroom door is, now. The laundry area should fit where the sink and toilet are...with the doorway, where you currently have the shower.

For the master bedroom, the closets are now along the entire wall and there's a seating area by the windows. The master bath will easily fit in the area that used to be the family room.

The entry way will still work, as you have it drawn, with either a closet or bench with hooks, by the door. You could also tuck in a small closet (possibly) where the master bedroom closet meets the front hall or recess the hall closet, into the master bath area.

The 'away room' has french doors and there should be space for built in shelves/storage, behind the bed 2 closet, where you have that little indent. Hope this gives you some more ideas :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 3:36PM
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This really does give me some more ideas, and I so very much appreciate you taking the time to sketch it out for me. I think I definitely was trying to cram too much stuff in a small space, because this looks like it would flow much better. thanks!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 3:57PM
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Hmmm...for the big windows in the master bath....could you put the double sinks and toilet on the wall to the hall and the shower and tub on the opposite, outside wall? Maybe one window, between the tub and shower and the other, over the tub? Depending on your facade on the addition, you might be able to easily change out the windows and make them smaller, higher or just eliminate one.

However, if you want to keep them and have more privacy, here's a link to a similar post, from the Remodeling forum. I will have some bathroom windows that overlook a porch, so I'm trying to find a way to make them pretty, but more private. Hope this helps :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Remodeling forum post

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 9:02PM
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What kind of porch is over the front door now? Can you post a picture of it?

If someone had 3 or more kids, would the original living room be enough space? Is that why the previous owner added another living space?

Are you sure the middle wall is a load bearing wall all the way through? Is the living room a vaulted ceiling to make both sides of it load bearing?

I think LL is onto something with her master bedroom & bath change. I think buyers want to see a big master suite, and the illegal bedroom would make a great office or even media room, and leaving the closet and door to the hall would make it a nice guest room (or 4th bedroom if someone really wanted to use it that way). I also like LL's idea of turning one of the original bathrooms into a laundry room, and here's another idea to use one as a laundry and half bath, which would be nice if the office/away were used as a bedroom.

As far as economical, bathrooms and kitchens are the most expensive to remodel. The cheapest flip would be to only change the illegal bedroom to an office. But having that one new bedroom where it is, open to the den and with the bathroom so far away is probably going to be a problem.

You could do the office/away/media and change the new bedroom and den to a master suite and leave the other two baths as is. Someone may have a mother-in-law type situation where a private bath for a 2nd bedroom, and away from the master bedroom would be a very good thing.

I would only change the 2nd bathroom to a laundry room/bath if you have no other laundry area inside the house. Like someone else said, you could put the washer & dry in a closet.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 12:40AM
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That's a pocket door in the first bathroom between the half bath and laundry area.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 12:42AM
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I am absolutely loving these master suite suggestions, and also the laundry room ideas. My hubby and I are working on different floor plans that use them, I'll post a few of them in a little while once I get them on the computer! You guys are a lifesaver, thanks so much!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Donna- Have you seen Domino's remodel, on the kitchen forum? She has a similar kitchen to yours and may move the kitchen door over, so that it doesn't open up into the counter. With 12', you could have the sink area, then about 4', the door and still have a few feet 'behind' the door for a pantry. Maybe pantry, fridge, counter with uppers, range, counter with uppers, and prep sink on the angle of the peninsula?

This would give you the main sink/dishwasher/trash for clean up and maybe have a hutch type storage, between the french doors and the main sink, with a nice place to store dishes and a little division, from the work area. You could also put glass uppers on the wall, by the door, to display more dishes. Also, so your dining table is not so crowded, you might want to think about sliders that look like french doors, or doors that open out...maybe to a screened porch? Just a thought :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 3:44PM
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Moving the kitchen door is something that never even crossed my mind, I think that's a wonderful idea. I can see that it would provide a lot more counter/cabinet space. I can't say that I've ever been in love with the current location of the door, that's for sure.

We actually came up with a couple of ideas to throw out there that involve moving the kitchen entirely. I'm not sure if we're really willing to do this amount of work or not, but it's just a couple of thoughts.

It seems as though a lot of the more modern floor plans we've been seeing do not have the kitchen off to the corner of the house like ours is. However - My problem with moving it is that we either have a very small kitchen or a very small living room, depending on which one is in the center. I'm also concerned about natural light, but I think that if we were to take the entire wall down, it might not really be an issue, especially if we put sky lights in.

Also, not so sure about the half bath I threw in there. I thought that it might not be too difficult since the master bath is right behind it. I was also kicking around the idea of making that a walk in closet.

Otherwise, I think that we're most likely going to go with the idea to just add french doors to the weird center bedroom and call it a "library". Either that or just open it up and make it like an open library/sitting area. The living room has a lofted ceiling, but the weird center bedroom does not, so that would visually separate the spaces if we did tear the entire wall down.

Thanks again to everyone for all of your help! You really have no idea how much you actually are helping. I'm starting to really get an understanding of what it is that people are looking for when they house-hunt. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 7:25AM
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You are almost there. And if I understand you correctly, SOUTH is the skinny end of the house where the long deck is located. Just what shape is the roofline on that end of the house? Does it peak low into a flat gable above the old kitchen door?

If it does that, I'm still telling you to make the entry some other place besides where you have it. That is prime realestate right there, in the middle of your house. By putting it up there where the KITCHEN DOOR once was, you have the direct shot from the street (even if it is a long distance away), and since it is no longer your BACK DOOR, you can make it the most prominent door for the main entry.
I'm wondering anyway how you get the groceries into the house, and the trash out, without walking through the living room with them.....

I know you are in a cold climate, so keeping the plumbing as centralized as possible will help with weatherizing them. They need to be protected, those pipes in your crawl space.

The other idea I have is about the front big window. I think that has given you more problems than it is worth. I still think it would be quite economical to take that window area and open it into a really wide door-like space, maybe all french doors, which close off, and no structural changes would be made to the wall...except lowering the bottom to the floor level. Then, add the outside door about 4 feet onto that deck. A depth of 4 feet finished inside would give you room for a small coat closet at one end, maybe function as a mudroom, and provide some insulating space to keep the cold winds confined to the entry area.

I also think that such an "air lock" would work at the old kitchen door area, with a little entry outside that door to make an entry/mudroom, and give you the chance to add a nice window area on the south end of your house. I dearly love the idea of having that area mostly glassed in, so in the cold cold weather you can go out there with your cup of coffee nice and comfy and see how cold it is outside!! I'm thinking that old kitchen door is the key to freeing up the heart of your house. This would be easier to do with the kitchen moved.

Another thing, while I like the kitchen moved back a bit, I think you would be well advised to keep it with some natural light and keep the interior of the house from becoming a cave. This house is long and narrow in feel. It will be easier, continuing the thought of an entry at the kitchen door area, to have the folks come in and land in the dining room instead of standing in the kitchen. And I know that load bearing walls can have passageways cut in them. So at that top end of your house, have a passage cut throu that wall at the top end of the space, into the living room. If there are no windows on that south wall, why not? And if not, do some built in floor to ceiling storage.

Is that a wood burning stove in your living room? Is it your main heating backup if power fails?

Anyway, I'm saying move that entry to a spot where you don't have to devote so much square footage to it.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 8:36AM
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Yes, it is a wood burning stove. It's currently located right in the front of the house (you can see the pipe in the photo). We're planning on moving it, and already got some estimates on that project because we're afraid to do it ourselves.

Here's some photos, I should have posted these right off the bat, sorry!


Interior looking at dining area:
(that horrific pink thing on the ceiling is GONE as of last week)

Large Front Window: Either way, this is being replaced because it's in terrible condition

I can take more photos if that helps!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 9:53AM
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Oh and yes, south is where the long skinny part of the deck is located.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 9:57AM
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Wow, moving the kitchen is ambitious, but it also looks expensive. Adding the master bath is already going to be an expense, but moving the kitchen can get really expensive. Have you talked to anyone about prices, yet?

It's so easy to get creative with a floor plan (believe me, I know!) but then, it's important to think about how much this is going to cost and if you're going to get that expense back, when you flip the house. Have you checked in your local real estate market, to see how much profit you can expect, with these changes? That might help you decide how much you want to move rooms around.

If this was your 'forever' house, then you'd be able to enjoy the home, even if you overspent on the renovations...but if this is for a flip, you have to approach it like a business and figure out how much you can spend and still make a profit. Not as much fun, but usually a better plan, when it's time to sell :)

Oh, and if you do the 'away room' or library, I'd add the french doors. It's much easier for a buyer to think...I'll take those doors off and open up the space...then, I'll have to find a way to enclose that area. Try to think as a buyer, when you're planning the home, while staying within your budget. I know, much easier said, than done!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 11:41AM
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So I kinda figured the measurements out from your drawing. The main problem I have is the living room is way to small for four bedrooms. I tried putting the living room where you are purposing the master bedroom but then the bedrooms didn't seem to feel right putting them over on the side where the current living room is. After messing with it this floor plan feels the best. The only downside is the long hall. What I think you should do for the living room is put a huge bay window in, think long enough for a couch.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 12:35PM
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Sorry the link didn't work, let me try again...

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 12:40PM
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Traybob, too small for my eyes, and your Picasa account would not enlarge it.

But from what I can see, you have done a good thing with the bay window bumpout, and keeping the front door into the living room w/o a separate entry. The house is too small to have a separate entry area. I LOVE the location of the stove, centered on that end wall. (Lavender, looks like YOUR living room setup)

Keeping the kitchen where it is is by far the sensible thing to do, if this is to be a "flip."

I thought the two doors faced SOUTH, so now I am confused. The street was supposed to be along the right hand side of the house.....

PLEASE orient your house by the compass points! You cannot plan proper exposures without knowing this very basic bit of information. If SOUTH is the direction you face looking out that big window in the living room, then your kitchen door faces EAST. And the French doors of the dining room face NORTH. That will be a cold cold exposure for the dining room.

What I'm now proposing is that you put that "air lock" as a wind buffer off your dining room. It will surely help keep the house warmer in the winter, and give you a place to enter when you have heavy clothes or boots. Adding a narrow width of decking (say 4 feet) down as far as that set of doors will let it function as a mudroom.

Hey, after being up north for a while, this ole southern gal totally buys into the concept of a MUDROOM. And I think it would add to the sellability of your house too.

Your lot looks really pretty, but it does appear that you are located at the back of it....unless you also own that forested area behind you. If you own it, make some attempt to open up a path or view into this spot, because some folks might be put off by the appearance of deep dark woods hovering so near by. When spring comes, hang a hammock there and put a picnic table. By golly, you might have BEARS in those woods, so don't leave any fragile goods sitting around. :)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 5:30PM
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I can't see it well Tracy, but I think you nailed it. It looks really workable with the least expense.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 7:43PM
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Tray- I like your plan, but as you said...that's a lot of bedrooms, for a fairly small living space. Also, the bedroom that could work as a den (double doors) is on the other side of the bathroom and laundry...kind of a trek from the main living spaces.

I really like the way you've done the two bedrooms in the front (what used to be the family room). If that middle window is closed off, the other two would work well, as is.

You know, looking at this plan, I'm wondering...could the bedrooms in the front (family room) stay as Tray has them and the master suite could be where Tray has the double doors and back bedroom...that would open up some living space where the bathrooms are now and it would have access to the backyard.

If the kitchen stayed in the same area, then the front room could be the living room with a country kitchen (dining/seating area) off the kitchen. Or, the front room could be the dining area and the back could be kitchen/family room. The nice thing is, you could set it up either way, depending on what works best for your area and resale :)

Something like this... From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 8:18PM
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Lavender, This was a plan I messed with for awhile. You could open the kitchen and family room up with a beam. It appears from the pictures that the room vaults in the middle. I was thinking fireplace in center and then huge living room. However, there is no define area for the dinning room, which some people like. I just couldn't get the furniture layout to feel right. Also I am stuck on that hall, if you lose the french doors it feels dark. I love the master bath room there but I thought the french doors really seem to break up the wall. Of course it all comes down to budget. From November 7, 2011 From November 7, 2011 From November 7, 2011

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 11:11AM
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Sorry for the small size, this should be better.
From November 7, 2011

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 11:16AM
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Actually, I was thinking of leaving the load bearing wall and opening up the space, to the left of the current dining room. This would give you a bigger 'country kitchen' (table with a small seating area) or the 'front room' could be formal dining and the back could be kitchen/family room space. I would like the country kitchen option, but what would work best, in your area?

I actually like the kitchen where it is, but opening up more living space to the back, might be nice. I would NOT take out the load bearing wall, because it's expensive, too open, and leaves less places to put your furniture. Just another idea :)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 12:10PM
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Hmmm, I like the idea of French doors in there, but I do not see any windows inside that den/office.

There is no reason why the the office could not have its door be a single french door visible from the living room, a straight shot down the hall. In fact, what I did with my MoccasinLanding bedrooms, which were at the end of a short hall and the doors were at right angles to each other, was to put in a french door for each bedroom, so they gave the effect of a pair....only at right angles. It sure brought in a LOT of light to the hallway. Single french doors are nice, and in the den, it could be a sheer courtain. In the other room, a more opaque curtain to block view...or maybe even a door with the blind or up/down shade between the glass panels. I LOVE the frosted glass look, and to let light into my new master in Mobile, where I put in a closet that meant I lost TWO nice windows, I added clerestory windows in the closet, and then bifold french doors to the closet with frosted glass so the light still reached the bedroom. I LOVE clerestory windows, shutters, french doors, you name it, to let as much light into a space as possible.

Now about the laundry and bath in the core of the house.
I'm all for stacking laundry units. I like where it is, but I think that the spot where the utility sink is now shown could be where you put the coat closet facing into the living room. Then, that linen close now in the hall could be moved to the other end of the bathtub so it opens in the laundry room. Change the swing of the laundryroom door so the linen could not be hidden behind that door.

I'm also thinking that this homeowner has some small kiddies, and it would be nice to put in a pocket door between that bath and the laundry area, to make quick work of the laundry.

Also, are those french doors opening out on the north side of the house GOING anywhere? If not, and if you presently have no doorway there, why not add a bumpout there (like a bay window) similar to the living room area, but put in a window seat (with storage beneath and beside) and put your large table there. It would work nicely I'm thinking.

In the kitchen, is your stove now where it is shown in the drawing above? Is it gas or electric, and do you plan on keeping it? If you are considering adding an island instead of a peninsula with a small bar, I'd do that. I had a kitchen set up like that before, and it was not the best option for me. I'd locate the range in the island (or the peninsula if you plan to keep it) so traffic would not be creating a hazard walking past the stove. Then move the fridge down some, maybe to the middle of that wall where the stove is shown in the drawing above. Having all storage there, ceiling high, as a pantry on one side close to the "back" door will give you lots of chance for unloading groceries and keeping traffic out of the kitchen. Do not put any overhead cabinets over the stove if you put it in the island/peninsula. Not a good idea to lose touch with the rest of your house. But Have the stove LOW in the peninsula, then the bar HIGH in the other area, to sort of HIDE that function while keeping the cook in the family circle.

About the walkin closet. If you have the door CENTERED in the wall at the narrow end of the space, you need 24 inches to hang clothes down both sides all the way. That means 24 per side, and an aisle down the middle of 24 inches, which will be fantastic. We made our walkin closet in our cape up north 8 feet deep, and 6 feet wide. The door is centered on the short dimension, so we have enough room to put the rod 12 inches from the wall, which gives clothing space to hang freely w/o striking the back walls. We even built in a tower of drawers and open shelves which lets us keep our socks/undies/boots in there, and the rod does not need reinforcing because it only runs about 3 feet and 4 feet and can take lots of weight. The tower is about 14" wide I think. DH built the whole thing. Also, closet doors open OUT and not INTO the closet, or you lose a LOT of space. We have the bifold doors, again a real blessing, and if it is a FIXED LOUVER BIFOLD, it ventilates the space nicely. If I was doing the plan shown above, is it more desirable to have plumbing pipes on the OUTSIDE WALL in a cold climate, or on the INSIDE WALL? I think I'd swap the bath and the closet, so the closet door could open OUT, and allow light into the bath in its interior location by putting in a LIGHT TUBE with TWO TUBES.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 7:24PM
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Hi Everyone,

I apologize for not responding for a few days - I really needed to just step away and clear my head a little. First of all, let me just say in response that this is by far the best renovation forum I've come across - you are all such an unbelievably huge help to us. I mean, I really can't believe that you guys are actually taking the time to draw out your ideas and everything. I guess I'm just trying to say thank you very very much. We really appreciate it!

@Traybob - I really love what you've done with the floor plan, and it's actually a direction that I haven't even thought about going (I was convinced that I'd thought of every option lol). I'm just not sure it's what people are looking for these days. I mean, I would love to have a plan like that if it was for us - but I've already proven to myself that what I like and what todays typical buyer likes are two completely different things :/

Anyway...I think I'm actually getting somewhere now, and I'm starting to see that there might be some hope for this house! I learned that most people who look at my options (not just on this forum) are attracted to an open floor plan and 3 bedrooms. They want to see more storage, but less "clutter". A lot of people agree that a house of this size does not need a laundry room, and a lot of people also agree that having 3 bathrooms would either be a selling point, or it would not prevent anyone from buying the house (its actually more work/money for us to end up with 2 bathrooms then 3 in the end). Also, people seem to want a large kitchen, and I haven't heard anyone complain about a large master suite. Having more then one common area also seems important to buyers, but it's not usually at the top of their list - especially with this size house.

So here's where I'm at now:

Some of you highlighted the fact that with a flip, I need to spend the least amount of money that's necessary - I strongly took this advice into consideration with this plan, and here's how:

- I left the laundry in the kitchen, but enlarged the kitchen so it doesn't feel like it's stuffed in there. This eliminates the need to move the washer/dryer/water softener/hot water heater, and the work to remove the closet/electricity/plumbing that houses all of this.

- I left the private bath in the current master bedroom. Not too many people that I polled are complaining about having a 2nd private bath. It seems like a lot of people want to spoil their children with one, or thought it would be a great guest suite, or even thought it would be great for an elderly parent who might occupy that room. Removing it seems like a bad idea, financially, with so many people who either like or don't mind it.

- I left the closets as is in the kids bedrooms. The current master closet is plenty big for that bedroom (it's 2.5 X 7.5), and I don't think that having a 2X4 closet in the center bedroom is all that terrible. It actually seems kind of standard to me. I also left the "weird center bedroom" closet as is, just as general storage for the living room, or whatever.

- I utilized the door going into the current family room as the doorway to the hall leading to the new master. I also kept the door leading to the current bedroom #2 (bottom right corner), and the closet (for the most part) as storage.

- This is a big one - I kept the wall that currently seperates bedroom #2 from the family room. This means that we do not have to re-do the entire floor for the master. I just added a new door to the new master bath.

- I also kept the main hall way the same for the most part, just changed the direction in which you access it and added storage.

With this plan, I really wanted to put a kitchen island in - but I realized that it would force the dining room that I drew in to only ever be used as a dining room. I would want buyers to have the option of using it as an office or something else if they wanted to, while having room for a table in the kitchen. My concern, of course - is that there won't be enough natural light in this plans living room. What I did to combat that was put in french doors in the kitchen, and lots of windows in the dining, with interior french doors to let the light through. The sun is on the south side of the house all day, which would help that. If we tear down the wall and find that it really does feel like a cave - we have the option of lofting the rest of the ceiling and putting in sky lights - but I would only do that if it was necessary (again, to spend the least amount of $ as possible). I'm not in love with the idea of re-structuring the front of the house to accommodate a front door, but I have to agree with the majority of people who said it's necessary. We have to replace the current front window anyway (it's a wreck) - so I guess it's not terrible to take it a step further.

Also, not sure if I should fill in the current front door, or put in french doors to the master. Don't know if that's considered weird or nice. Also don't know how easily I can match the siding.

So, what do you think? Is this getting any better? Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 1:12PM
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I like the dining room with the french doors! The master bedroom is brighter, too, and the possible access to the deck is a nice idea, depending on your location. A window seat might be another possibility :)

I think this plan would work much better, if you flipped the living room and the bathrooms. The living room would then be on the outside wall, with windows overlooking the yard...and maybe a door to the outside. The bathrooms (do you really need three?) or bathroom and laundry room (my first choice) would be in the center of the home. You don't have to have windows there, as long as you can vent things properly.

I think a kitchen that opens up to a family/living room will be MUCH easier to sell...than a family room with no windows that has to be walked through to access the bathroom and bedrooms. It kind of makes your main living area a hall way and I think the view of the backyard would be a far more popular choice!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 4:16PM
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"I think this plan would work much better, if you flipped the living room and the bathrooms. The living room would then be on the outside wall, with windows overlooking the yard...and maybe a door to the outside. The bathrooms (do you really need three?)"

I really like this thought, and I am certainly going to take some time to see if I can make it work (when I get a few minutes to fiddle with it that is). We definitely don't need 3 bathrooms, but with most of the plans that I'm coming up with, it costs less to do it that way. I keep figuring that less money for more bathrooms can't be a terrible thing haha.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 6:48PM
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Maybe something like this?

I took out the french doors to the dining room, because I think it would be better to open up that space....giving you more flexibility with your two main living areas. The second bedroom could be the office, if necessary.

There's room for linen in the hall, by bedroom one and little cabinets in the hall bath, by the tub and master bath, by the toilet. The attic space is now a bigger closet for the study/second bedroom, which could have double doors, if you like.

The laundry is off the hall, with washer and dryer and a cabinet space...with a coat closet in the corner, that opens behind the front door.

I added a window seat in the master bedroom, with bookcases on either side...and a comfy chair and ottoman, in the corner. This is the kind of seating area I would want, rather than access to a deck...that I believe faces the street. Hope this gives you some more ideas :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 6:50PM
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Lavender - Thanks! I really like the idea of putting in that window seat. If we do decide to put the master in the front there, it currently has a wood burning stove right where you drew that little chair in. I personally would LOVE to keep the wood burning stove in the master suite, (I would also love to put that jacuzzi in the bedroom facing it), but I'm assuming that most people might not appreciate that, right? If I find that at least 50% of "buyers" would like that, then it's totally staying!

What are you using to draw those plans in like that? It's really neat the way you've been doing that!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 7:23PM
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Thank you! My 'white out and pen' plans don't get much appreciation, over on the kitchen forum. (LOL)

It's just the plan printed off, then white out what you want to change...draw over it and scan it back in. Not as nice as software, but pretty easy to do :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 7:51PM
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Donna- You might post your plan over on the 'Building a Home' forum and ask Summerfield to help you. Make sure you put your before and maybe an after...or just say what you want (like three bedrooms/two bathrooms and more access to the backyard) and see what Summerfield comes up with. I ended up with a fabulous plan, thanks to Summerfield...who is supposed to be gone for a few days, but should be back pretty soon. Just an idea :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 8:02PM
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I think I did post it on there as well when someone else first suggested it - but I didn't get as many responses. I think I'll try again though! You're awesome, I wish I had friends like you in real life! :)

OH and about your white out and pen plans - haha, I thought you were using a tablet pen or something. I'm a graphic designer, so I've always got my head up in the digital design clouds I guess hehe.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 7:56AM
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LL, are you rearranging photos in picasa? I can't see your last pic here.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 7:07PM
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