best floor plans ?

trailrunnerbikerAugust 19, 2014

After reading some of the comments about the floor plans posted and also trying to find " good " floor plans for 2 bedroom/2 bathroom homes I decided to ask here. I can't find anything I like. Rather than jump directly to architects and custom with the attendant costs I would appreciate links to what you consider the best floor plans . It has to be 1200- 1500 sq ft and one story. Porches and "green" are a plus. TIA> c

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Are you moving? I love your historic house and if I were to build new I would take floor plans from 1920 "mini" mansion or kit homes. Many were smaller one floor houses and porprtionally feel right to me. There are many original 20s floor plans on line. Just a thought from an older home lover who does not love new open plans that seem to dominate new builds.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 4:18PM
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I'm with roarah - not a fan of open floor plans. Love a separate kitchen and to zoned heating (and cooling, i.e.: by room) to prevent wasted energy. No wasted space, i.e.: cathedral ceilings, huge rooms, etc.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 4:21PM
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robo (z6a)

If you live in the south I really like the southern living house plans, example here

here's another nice one.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Aug 19, 14 at 16:47

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 4:41PM
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We looked at a house on the Eastern Shore of MD last spring. I liked its plan a lot. Although it had two levels, it was a ranch style where you could end up on only the main level once stairs were difficult. That is what ours here is as well, but this one had two bedrooms on either side of the main living areas and kitchen section. It was somewhat open because the dividing wall between the living room and dining room was a fireplace. The kitchen was off of the dining room. There was a screened porch off the kitchen and front and back decks. I thought it was very livable. The owners used the extra bedroom on the side with the master suite as a study/den. I think there was a powder room and there was a full bath on the other side between the other two bedrooms. Best part was it was waterfront!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 5:12PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

TR, you might post in the building a home forum...lots of good people there.

Also, for a smaller home, you might look at condos in your area...not that you want the condo, but they do tend to pack in some good features into compact spaces. Often they hand out floorplans of the various style homes along with their brochures.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 6:15PM
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Actually we are in VA at the moment visiting DS and DIL and grandbaby. We are contemplating a move at some point in the next year and are going to rent first and get the lay of the land.

roarah...great idea ! Hadn't thought of that.

I had looked at SL plans but somehow the ones posted above didn't come up.Thanks for posting robo !

DH and I are used to a fantastic kitchen so will be looking at tiny amazing kitchens :) I have tried to look at Houzz and can't for the life of me get close to the way they do things . Have also looked at pinterest but again it is almost impossible to use because when you try to see where they got the pin it is from another pin !! aargh !

cyn that sounds beautiful , too big, but we will definitely have a wood burning soapstone stove to heat with as an alternate source and as a room divider is perfect !

Tibb...yes we are looking at the ductless splits for zoned heat/cool.

Annie great idea about the condos...and the bldg. forum. Also Small homes but when I google "small home plans" nothing appeals so far.

Here is a link to a house we really like the style of...the truss home that is the solar wedge. we will be contacting him , he is an AU GRAD...and see if it is completed and go view it to get ideas.

Thanks for the suggestions. If you think of more please do post back.

Here is a link that might be useful: truss homes

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 7:34PM
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robo (z6a)

I was actually just looking at a very green cottage up here in Nova Scotia - I do like the layout a lot:

But you can definitely see that it is made for a more Northerly climate where heating concerns are paramount (as opposed to cooling).

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 7:40PM
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My house has two wings ,one of which is on slab, so when I had AC put in last spring, I put forced air in one wing and in the slab wing, put ductless splits in the three rooms in that wing. The splits work soooo well, and the condenser outside is virtually silent. Aside from the big clunky thing on the wall, they're great.

Now, I had a client one who had a wonderful floor plan. I don't have a program to do a drawing for you. would you like me to attempt to explain it? It was my favorite house of all of my clients precisely because of the layout. It was really great.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 7:42PM
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Trail, yes, it was big, but what I liked was sleeping rooms on opposite sides of the living areas. Even with just two bedrooms, that would be great, I think. Gives guests a sense of privacy.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:35PM
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Google "Sears homes floor plans" and you'll find loads of images of small home floor plans.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:38PM
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Did DS return to Red Hen?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:01PM
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robo...some great ideas there ! Thanks for posting it. Wish they had put the brand names of some things. LOVE those

tibb,,,yes if you could describe that would be great ! On the bldg a home forum seems lots of folks are going to the splits. Very economical. Thank you !!

cyn...I agree...definitely want it to have opposite sides of the house for sleep...we have that now and love it.

jmc..will do...thank you !

java: No..the owner of the Red Hen bldg bought Maple Hall B and B and reopened it this Summer. DS is the chef at the 56 seat restaurant . It is wonderful ! Huge area all very historical and 23 rooms in 3 bldgs. Very exciting. We are here for 9 days looking around and babysitting. Thanks for asking . c

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 4:03AM
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That concept cottage in Nova,Scotia is truly innovative! Just the passive solar design and lot orientation means the house will never drop below 15 degrees C even with no heating---- that's truly amazing!

I love those floors, too, C---- I guess they are the updated version of terrazzo, which has always been one of my favorite floors. A friend of mind redid a cottage in Ozona, a small beach community on Florida's west coast, and she kept the original terrazzo floors as they were in perfect shape after 50 years and the colors were perfect for her. They were so cool--- literally, as well as was a great choice and a "green" one, as well, to preserve the original features where possible.

I wish you the best of luck during this process. Virginia is one of the most beautiful states in the country, IMO!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 5:28AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

tr, you triggered a memory I had from the last Architectural Digest Show we went to in NYC...there were some green architects there, but this especially stood out as he was building green out of modular homes. You might want to check it out...pretty interesting stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: Resolution: 4 Architecture

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 6:53AM
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The splits are a lot more expensive to install, though. Fortunately, I can close the vents in the floors in the wing where the forced air AC is so I can in fact "zone" the AC there too, if I want it myself. However, I rent my house, and tenants would likely want all of the house cooled.

So, here is my attempt to describe the floor plan of that house, starting from outside.

Standing in the driveway, you face the single garage door. Forming an L with the garage, to your left, is the mudroom entrance to the house. So, straight ahead, drive into the garage. The left, go up a few steps onto a small porch and into a small mudroom.

In front of you, across from the front door, are coat closets. To the right is the door to the garage, so there are two entrance doors in the mudroom.

To the left of the garage door is an opening into a rectangle shaped kitchen, straight ahead. To the left is a hallway.

Turning left from the mudroom, going down the small hallway, on the left, behind the coat closets of the mudroom, is a laundry room.

Continuing down the hallway, a wall now is on your right, so the hallway is an actual hallway for just a few feet, and you walk through a doorway into the formal dining room.

Continue through the dining room and into what in their house was the old foyer and stairs to the second floor and the formal living room, but in your house would be the second bedroom, perhaps with a small alcove or hall between the dining room and the bedroom.

Okay, so that is the left side of the house.

Go back to the mudroom.

From the mudroom, walk straight into the kitchen.

Large island in the center. On your right when you walk in is the refrigerator, then counter, oven, counter, wall with a china cabinet.

IN the center of the room (remember, it's rectangle in shape)is the large island with the sink in it, and beyond that, at the other end of the room, is a round dining table in front of windows or doors.

On the left side of the kitchen is cabinetry in the corner nearest the hall, across from the mudroom, for a few feet, and then a large opening into the family room.

So the wide opening to the family room is in front of the island/sink as you're doing dishes.

On the let of the family room is the wall that separates the family room from the hallway to the dining room.

At the opposite wall, in the family room, from the kitchen wall with the oven on it, is a raised fireplace with cabinetry on either side.

On the right side of the family room is a wall of large windows with French doors that go out to a deck and the backyard.

Facing the fireplace, with the windows and French doors on your right, walk along the windows straight ahead and through a doorway into a little alcove area. On the left is the entrance to a large walk-in closet (which would be behind the fireplace).

On the right is the entrance to the master bedroom.

Turn right and go into the master bedroom.

Windows on the walls on your right and in front of you.

Make a u-turn and walk through the doorway into the master bathroom, which is on the other side of the walk-in closet.

On the left is the vanity with the double sinks, and to the right of the vanity is a doorway that also goes into the walk-in closet (so, two doors into the walk-in closet).

The tub is under a window across from the vanity, with the shower at the far end of the tub.

In their case, they had a His closet at the end of the bathroom, walk straight through the bathroom through a doorway into his closet, beyond the shower. Or, left at the vanity through the doorway into Her closet.

It's a great layout.

You'd want a second bathroom somewhere, though, for guests and the second bedroom.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 8:44AM
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thank you kswl ! Haha about the "floors"...I never noticed them ! I was admiring the doors..salvage and sliding on barn door hardware and AMAZING ! LOL ! I am the salvage queen and they salvaged a number of things which I would do also. Was very impressed by the 15 C notation too .

annie : thank you ! I will have to spend a lot of time looking at that website ! Great designs. I love the built-ins as I want to go that route as much as possible. I have also looked at the modular and been very impressed. So your link is very helpful.

Tibb...I will sit down with paper and try and draw a schematic to give me an idea..I am not much of a word person ;) Thank you for taking so much trouble to do this for me...thank you. c

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:09AM
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Tr, I wrote it hopefully in a way such that you could draw a schematic. It's really a wonderful floor plan because it's compact but gives the bedrooms privacy and quiet. I LOVED being in that house.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:26AM
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Wow! Congratulations to your son! That is so exciting. Once you are in VA, we should get together with some of the other VA GWers.

Won't it be lovely to be near your son and his family?! I am happy for you.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:27AM
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How exciting Trail! I know you must be over the moon to be near your son and grandchild!

You may like something along the lines of our house. We built our home I think it will be 18 years ago this October. It is very energy efficient, but were we to do it again now - we would definitely go more green.

We have no children and built our home with the thought of staying there. It's a bit larger than what you mentioned. Our home is pretty compact - with no hallways - and large rooms. Unlike mentioned above, I like cathedral ceilings and the open feeling they provide. We have them in the center of the house - which is the dining room/great room. Our house is semi open - being that the dining room/great room are open to each other. We have split bedrooms with two bedrooms on one side and the master on the other. When we built the house, we planned for the third bedroom to be used as an office. It could easily be set up as a bedroom in case if we ever want to sell. Master BR, bath and walk-in closet are to one side. Kitchen is not open and is not a large kitchen but large enough for us - it is long and has a breakfast nook. Office and guest bedroom have bath between. There is just a little "landing" outside the doors on that side of the house. Dining room opens into our sunroom - which is used much like a den for us. We do have a large garage with workshop (garage is long and makes the house and "L" shape. That "L" provides a wonderful area between garage wall and sunroom for patio area. There is one step down from small door leading from garage and door leading from sunroom. Those are the only steps in the house - oh - I forgot the 3 steps (wide and low) leading up to front porch. We should not have any problems aging in this house, should be end up staying there (which is the plan, but who knows?).

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:44AM
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We are contemplating over-55 communities in the Carolinas or Florida in a few years. One thing common to all the floor plans, which I detest, is the MBR seems to be adjacent to the great room/kitchen. Even in the Nova Scotia cottage above, it is next to the "TV room."

I'm no archtect and I'm not sure how this would be accomplished, but there should be a "living wing" and a "sleeping wing." One person should be able to sleep and not hear the other person watching TV or banging around in the kitchen.

Trail......are you ready for snow?!!! I look forward to seeing what you decide and watching your new house being built. Congrats to your son.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:56AM
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C, we'll miss you in Bama, but glad to know you'll be settling near your family. How exciting for your DS in his new restaurant!

Have you considered looking at a good 3 BR plan you like and squishing it down to the size and number of rooms you desire? Then work with the overall house size and sizing of the rooms you need and the basic layout, working with a house plan designer or architect. We basically took 2 house plans we liked and put them together in a sense. Took a few iterations to get it right but we've been happy with it. We also have a split plan with our BR on one side and 2 BR on the other. Wouldn't have it any other way.

One other thing - I'd also recommend heated tiles in your bathrooms. For one thing it's great in the cold mornings. For another, we find it actually radiates somewhat out to your bedroom saving on some energy except in the coldest of times.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:29AM
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Tibb..have been out looking at rentals :(...and getting numbers to call for better leads. A lot of foot work. Your description does lend itself very well to my drawing abilities :) Will let you know how it goes and if I have more questions.

Thank you cyn...and yes too all the above ! Closer and a VA meetup .

Tina do you have a copy of the floor plan you could email me ? I am linked through GW. I like the idea of no wasted space such as hallways etc and your plan does sound quite ideal . I like the idea of the sunroom also...we love to sit outside/screen room. There are definitely mosquitoes here in VA ! Thank you ! folks built a home when Dad was 80 , they had never built one before ! It was a U shape and their area was on the left side with the great room in the middle and all the rest on the right side. Sound wasn't a problem so I guess they had good wall construction between the rooms. It worked well when they had company and later a live in helper. I agree traveling noise is awful ! Good luck with your search. We will see about snow :) For now we will rent and then decide by next Fall what to do.

Thank you outside ! If I can avoid alterations to a plan that would be best. Would love to just have a GC who is innovative like ours was with our reno and able to make plans on the fly and be creative. We will see. Definitely plan on heated tile in the bathrooms. Cat_mom has them and they are lovely . c

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 1:07PM
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Carolyn - I THINK all I have is the large blueprints. But, I have a briefcase full of notes, receipts, etc., etc., etc., from when we built the house. Let me see if I happen to have a smaller plan that I could send you.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 2:02PM
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