floor plan help

Kitch4meAugust 23, 2012

Hi GW's!

DH would like to keep current layout to keep costs down, but I would like to get an estimate on an improved layout before I settle.

So, here are the basics -

New cabinets,counter tops and appliances.

This is not our forever home. We'll be here maybe 3 to 4 more years.

I cook, DH cleans. No kids.

I cook simple meals, no baking, microwave is important.

This is a pass through kitchen. LR to Kitchen to FR.

I would really really like a pantry!

We are open to moving window and checking into moving sink.

Thank you for all suggestions and help!

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Can you survive with a smaller window?[not sure moving the opening benefits you-thats more expense]...gain some wall run with closing up lower part of the window opening for counter/cabs and get a U or L configuration across. Or,perhaps shift openings to liv room/family room to the lower area by existing window and do a U with current sink wall at top being center of U-cook is out of traffic flow pattern then and huge benefit with contiguous counter. Pass thru kitchens usually have potential for a great galley,but your pass is across the axis-so,I'm seeing a compact U as the first thing I'd sketch up in detail,instead. Is an island with some part over into family room a possibility? That may/may not work, given your measurements.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 12:13AM
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Thank you herbflavor!
Yes, I'm willing to go with a smaller window. I would like to have more of a continuous run of counter space.
I will draw up your ideas when I get home from work and repost.
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 11:07AM
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I don't believe a u shape will work for me. There isn't enough prep space between stove and sink.
If I keep current layout, what are your opinions of KD design with a few tweaks? (I would really like a pantry)
1 of 2 pics

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Sorry I don't know how to post more than 1 pic!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Tight space! There will have to be compromises.

How's this? Take the window-moving, sink-moving dollars and commit to a counter depth fridge. Fridge goes on the sink wall with the sink bumped to the left, DW left of the sink. Center the range with some landing space either side of the range, preserve the other penninsula for prep. For the pantry, would you consider giving up a bit of the family room and framing in a pantry right of the fridge, incorporating that wall as its left wall?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 8:38PM
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preparation to sell will arrive quicker than you know if that goal is 3-4 yrs away. this is not really a great kitchen plan. I think for all the trouble there has to be something at the end of the tunnel. If you wish a pantry and to keep the footprint shown, I would at least get a french door frig with the freezer drawers below. I would place range in peninsula with a chimney hood.Extend the peninsula counter overhang on the family room side with stools. Probably extend the peninsula to 66 inches and then have more inches on the sides of range-that will feel like a big feature compared to the range set-up shown. Get the microwave below a counter somewhere[less appliance top heaviness]. Forego the plate rack and wine cubby-get regular cabs for more storage. With a range in better placement and a chimney hood installation, buyers will understand this as a good working kitchen,even tho small. I think the plan you show will leave people thinking they must redo it...it might be a waste of your money.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Honestly? Not a very good plan - at least if you plan to use the refrigerator, that is! There is no way that freezer door will open all the way to allow you full access to the interior.

The range has no work space whatsoever around it (other than the tiny sliver b/w the refrigerator and the range) and I don't think you even have enough room for emergency landing space! In addition, do you know if your municipality has a Code restriction concerning the amount of space that is required b/w the range and a doorway? Some require at least 9" - and you definitely do not have that.

I don't see the support post in your KD's drawing, did she forget it? How much does it stick out into the room?

Are you open to an "L" shape? something like this:

  • It has plenty of prep space b/w the sink and range (approx 12" + 15" + 18" = 45") plus "around the corner".

  • The Prep Zone is in front of the window - very nice since prepping is by far the most time spent in the kitchen. (Studies say 70% or so for prepping - in my case it's probably more like 90% - I don't use the cooktop much and when I do, I spend very little time actually standing in front of it watching food cook or even stirring)

  • The corner susan is a great place for pots & pans. It also acts as "filler" to allow the drawers/doors on the sink side to clear the range's oven doors.

  • It has a 48" (4') wide "snack center" with the MW

  • It gives you a 24" tall pantry - I suggest a either a pullout pantry or drawers on the bottom and rollout shelves on the top.

    Another option is to reduce the snack center to 36" and get two 18" pullout pantry cabinets (in case you cannot get a 24" pullout pantry). A pullout pantry has the shelves attached to the door so the entire pantry pulls out and you can see everything at one time.

It has 9" of space b/w the DR doorway and the range. Enough for emergency landing space and much more than you have now and what your KD is suggesting. The refrigerator is against a wall that's only 25" deep, so the doors will stick out past the wall and you will be able to open them fully.
The refrigerator is on the FR end so it does not stick out into and open into the DR doorway - that's a relatively narrow opening, so you should not put something there that will stick out into the doorway. Note that even counter depth refrigerators are approx 30" deep when you count the doors and handles.

"Counter depth" refers to the refrigerator carcass/box only - not the doors & handles. In addition, the doors must stick out past any walls, counters, and cabinets so they will be able to be opened fully both for accessing the contents and for removing bins and shelves for cleaning.

When a refrigerator is against a wall or other obstruction that is deeper then the refrigerator carcass/box, you need filler b/w the wall/obstruction and the refrigerator...

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 9:19PM
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BTW...if I was looking at houses and saw the refrigerator the way your KD has it, it would be a possible deal-breaker for me. The range arrangement would definitely be a deal-breaker!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 9:21PM
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I love these layout questions....each house has different challenges and it is very personal.

I would suggest, in order to save the possibly high costs to move the plumbing, to go with two smaller windows flanking the range --- which would be located where the existing window is today. I'm not sure which costs more, but this would provide some added light and interest. And this layout allows you to keep the penninsula. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:24PM
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herbflavor - I considered putting the stove in the peninsula, but I thought that took away counter top space and everyone seems to vote for counter top space. So, I guess the question would be, what is more of a deal breaker, less counter space or bad range placement?
I for one only use the peninsula as a drop zone. I think this design would be more in my budget. Something I will really consider. Thanks!

buehl - wow!
That design looks great!
I will definitely give to contractor for an estimate. I know it will be the most costly, but like herbflavor pointed out, I would be wasting my money if we don't do it right. Thank you for your time and effort!

Jeanniemer - Thanks for your response, this kitchen is a challenge. I had even thought of putting the stove under the window, but DH did not like that idea. I don't think 2 windows will work out because we have a water heater cabinet hanging on the outside to the left of our window.

Celticmoon - while the replies were coming in, I was working on your suggested layout. I will post.
opinions on new plan?

Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:04PM
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celticmoon - pic of range wall
I really like the looks and function of this. With less prep space at the sink I would have to get use to using the peninsula.
Would this be a deal breaker for anyone?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:07PM
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Unless you're on a slab, moving plumbing isn't that expensive - it's actually pretty inexpensive. Splitting the window into two would most likely cost quite a bit more than both moving plumbing and installing a new window in an existing space - just higher off the floor.

We did both. We had a bay window that was 22" off the floor. When we remodeled, we replaced it with a window in the same space except it was 36" off the finished floor so we could put a counter under it...it was one of the best things we did! It made such a difference in added counterspace! In 2008, it cost us around 2K for a replacement 8' x 18" deep bay window with UV blocking glass. Bay windows are generally more expensive than "straight" windows and yours is much smaller, so I would think it would be around the same or less today for a smaller/straight window.

In addition, we moved our sink across the kitchen from an interior wall to the exterior wall.

As to keeping the peninsula and putting a freestanding range b/w the peninsula and whatever is across from it (if that's what JeannieMer is talking about), there really isn't room - at least not to have a freestanding range and still be able to use the cabinets on either side or even access the counters on either side of the range. You would need at least 3' on each side of the range. That would mean needing 36" + 30" + 36" - not counting any cabinets...so 102" b/w the two cabinet runs - which Kitch4me does not have.

Eliminating the peninsula and creating an "L" really opens up the space and puts counterspace where it's most needed and most useful. Right now, that peninsula is pretty much useless for prepping...there's no water and it's not near the range. In fact, you would have to cross the kitchen to get to the sink, then back to the peninsula, then cross the kitchen to get to the range - that's a lot of criss-crossing and walking!

Prep Zones work best when they have a water source either in them or nearby and near the range. Even when people "plan" to use a space for prepping w/o water & proximity to the range, they usually don't end up using it that way - they gravitate to the sink and/or space near the range, even if there's not enough workspace.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:13PM
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You are right, the peninsula is useless for prepping. I always prep at the sink, even though there is less space. Basically, it is our drop zone.

I missed one of your questions: Support post -
Contractor says he could install in the wall. It's a 2x4 with a wood veneer wrap around.

Unfortunately we are on a slab. Although we do have plumbing on that side. Contractor says approximately $2000 extra for moving plumbing. Does this seem reasonable?
Should I check with a separate plumber?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 1:15AM
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Oo, thanks for laying out my thoughts. Fun to see in 3D. But Buehl's is better. (I'm a little rusty and I didn't opt to move the water)

Buehl's plan has a number of advantages. Note how the fridge and the DW, and the range for that matter, can be opened easily. Now look at mine and see how the DW or fridge doors could impede traffic.

Buehl's comments above are spot on. It would be far better to have water access at your prep area. (I almost suggested a prep sink into the prep penninsula to address that.) You'll have to price out moving the sink and decide if it is worth it.

A final thought - more counter space isn't necessarily the goal. The key is counter space that supports specific work in specific places: 1-2 ft either side of the range, 2 ft either side of the sink and 2-3 ft for prep are all essential IMHO. Covering those basics trumps maxing linear feet any day. And since you MW, be sure you also plan for a landing spot at the MW.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 1:21AM
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If the peninsula doesn't provide useful counter space, then eliminate it. Use a moble cart that can roll around the room and be stored in front of the window or next to the sink run. Then put the fridge where the peninsula was located. You can roll out the cart to the middle of the room to provide prep space. No, the clearances are NOT ideal, but with it being mobile, it rolls one way or the next, whichever provides the best pathway if it needs to, and rolls out of the way entirely if it needs to.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 1:49AM
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before you abandon the idea of peninsula-what is the connection between kitchen and family room-I'd wonder about aligning something left to right,connecting the spaces,making BETTER use of square footage. Is there a step down or obstruction in family room? If you took a counter run[call it whatever-peninsula/island]..at 30 inches depth-have a walkway on either side...36 in near sink and down near window-32 inches[lesser used path]...how many feet could you make this run? In the family room-couldn't the end be enlarged with a curve... stools/pendant lights...great for entertaining and atmosphere. Or align a table right up to end of the run/on family room side for eating[you haven't mentionned the eating meal location]...

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 9:02AM
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If I was looking to buy a house all layouts but Buehl's would make me think I would need to remodel the kitchen and thus subtract money for what I'd be willing to pay for the house.

Since you are planning on selling in a few years I think it would cost you less now to get a good layout than people subtracting what they think it would cost later as they will most likely over estimate.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Where is your dining room in this layout. Give us a bigger picture (and diagram) of the kitchen's relationship to the rest of the home. Perhaps some of that space elsewhere can be utilized for better flow.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:09AM
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FR was an addition by previous owners. It's a small 2 bedroom house.
Unfortunately is has more strikes against us when the time comes to resell: awkward kitchen, no DR, tandem driveway, 2 bedroom :(
This house DH bought when he was a bachelor. These issues didn't seem to bother him! So, our buyers pool will be limited.
I appreciate everyone's comments, DH is starting to see the light! I think he just needed to hear (besides me)that this was not a functioning kitchen.

Step down - no
Dining room - no, just a drop leaf table in FR. Seats 4 when pulled away from wall.
30" doorway is to hallway, to the left (other side of sofa wall)is bedroom, straight ahead is 2nd bedroom, to the right (other side of sink wall) is bathroom.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 1:06PM
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"...Although we do have plumbing on that side..."

If there's already plumbing on that side, why will it cost $2,000? From what I've read here on the Forum, the biggest expense to moving plumbing when on a slab is the cost to break into the slab and repair the slab when done. If you already have plumbing on that side, what else is there to do other than to "turn it on"?

Where on that side is the plumbing located? It might make a difference in what's possible w/o breaking into the slab...

Even if it does cost $2K, I think it would be worth it, assuming it will fit in the budget...I would even consider scrimping on something else to be able to afford it...e.g., skip the backsplash for a while.

Let's see if we can address some of the other problems as well (and possibly help you sell the house much faster when you do sell)...

First, a couple of questions about the patio door in the FR. You show a 12' patio door...

  • How much of it is actually a door and how much is full-length window?

  • What end is the actual door on? Or, is it in the middle?

Would you be willing to do one or more of the following?

  1. Switch the LR and FR? I notice the LR is approx the same size as the FR (3" narrower)
  • Make the current FR a combination DR/Nook and Sitting Room (or other use).

  • You might also be able to add back the Peninsula if the kitchen could be extended to the 72" window in the current FR.

Turn the LR into a DR and Sitting Room If you keep the rooms as-is...Would you at least be willing to move the TV and sofa around to accommodate a table & chairs?

Some ideas:

Something to think about...if you remodel your Kitchen and the rest of the house so you really like it, you may not want to move so soon (unless you have plans to expand your family size...but keep in mind that one more can still fit in a 2-bedroom house, at least for a year or two...)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 2:05AM
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Just another vote/voice to say that your KD's arrangement would tell me (as a buyer) that I need to gut and redo the kitchen after the sale.

My instinct was the same as Celticmoon's, but Buehl's #1 is better. Green's is good, too, and wouldn't cost so much.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 12:23PM
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Thank you so much!

It occurred to me after I posted, that just because we use it as a FR doesn't mean it couldn't be used or staged as a DR. Okay, it took awhile to make that connection :) So, yes, we are willing to do that.

In response to your questions, I should have stated that we have water/sewer lines running on the side of the house where the window is. The Contractor said he might be able to tie into those.
Our patio door opens in the middle (6').

Thank you for the alternative layouts. You are so kind!
We have a lot to think about!

Thanks for your voice/vote.
DH is getting the message!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 6:28PM
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Just completely a different perspective...
If you are moving 3 or 4 years, why are you redoing the kitchen? I would really be really careful analysing where the money would go farther: redo the kitchen versus saving that and putting that into the new house.

Often, the money goes farther if you can come up with a bigger down payment and reduce the terms of the new loan or being able to afford more of a house rather than putting it into the old house where getting that back is marginal. No kitchen remodel EVER gets your 100% back.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:31PM
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Sometimes, you need to redo the kitchen or do other work that costs money to (1) enable a house to sell at all, (2) to sell it in a timely manner, or (3) not have to reduce the price so much that you can't afford to sell.

Kitch4Me has already stated it's going to be tough to sell the house b/c of it's size, etc., so sometimes doing more than you might normally do is an advantage in the end...e.g., being able to sell the house in 6 months instead of >1 year and, in the meantime, having to pass on houses you might like and be able to afford now (once the current house sells).

In some respects, this is a buyer's market...

And, if you have to do it anyway, why not do it so you can enjoy it for a while?

One thing to consider when you finalize your design is materials. Find out what's the norm in your area and go up one step (and only one step) to increase the house's marketability but not over-spend for the area. Any more than one step up probably won't help.

Consider Ikea cabinets as well. If done right, they look high-end for a fraction of the cost (I do mean a fraction!)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:57PM
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i disagree with Bueul.

putting in a functinal kitchen will not make a bad house into a good house. You need to talk to a really GOOD realtor (or a few) and get 'realistic' opinion of what your house can do.

Price is everything. If you drop the price enough, someone will buy it. In a house like this, finding an investor (not someone that will live there) and make the numbers work so that it is bought as an investment (rental) property maybe the way to get out of it quickly.

It may boil down to it that if you have to lose money, the less you lose, the better it is for you. This is a bitter pill to swallow, but many people are in this situation.

Another option is to save all your money and create a downpayment and buy another house and turn this (dysfunction house) into a rental house where this carries itself (and may even have a positive cash flow). If there is enough equity, you may be able to tap it to give you money to put toward something else. These types of things require strategic financial planning AND tightening your belts to make it happen.

You need to crunch the numbers to see what will cost you less money, IMHO. Most people cannot just follow the numbers that make the most sense when it comes to their house. Most people make very emotional decisions that can cost them alot of money. I made exptremely emotional decisions that were very expensive in my own house. I am just as guilty of it.

If you want a kitchen because you can't stand the kitchen as is, then you should know before going into the remodel that this may not be the most cost effective to have the 'next/better' house. Again, you won't know until you have crunched the numbers with various scenarios.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 2:52PM
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I used to be an appraiser, and the question is the neighborhood and how your house compares to its competition. If it's below average, a kitchen remodel--*good design for modest budget*--should be at least economically worthwhile. Time is an economic issue and waiting 5 months for a property finally to sell, with price reductions to help it along, can be a serious problem. If it's way below average in appeal, a good but budget remodel may more than pay for itself and even be necessary if you're not to lose money for lack of it. If it's above average in appeal already, even a budget remodel would probably not increase your profit.

What would a hard-nosed businessman "flipper" do with that property? If it's just a sprucing up, that's your answer. If a light remodeling, that's your answer. If it's a teardown, don't remodel, don't even paint, and let the next buyer bring in the bulldozer.

I raised my eyebrows at that $2,000 for jackhammering the plumbing and running it across the kitchen. This is why I always suggest people whose time and budgets don't make playing cash cows a fun thing cut loose from the remodeling industry. In any case, your contractor has found plumbing on the outside wall, so turn "might be able to" into "this is what I want done."

I think Buehl's initial plan is excellent. It leaves the window right there and achieves a layout that works very well, is appropriate for the size of the house, and would have a fair number of buyers smiling. Once the plumbing was moved (and the window resized?), i.e., the room ready to put a kitchen in, you could do most of the rest yourself, perhaps with the help of a handy friend or relative, or local handyman. With that in mind, anything you pay someone else to do it should take that reality into account. In other words, no standing still while the milking stool is pulled up. If you use Ikea or another good-looking but VERY low price line of cabinets and put in a couple of nice details that please you and will show well (pantry pullout, a couple stacks of full-extension drawers), you should come out with a kitchen that's a pleasure to live with and helps sell that house. Keep all finishes simple and classic. No expensive or "dream" tile, etc. Forget sinking money into a banquette, and definitely do not expand your kitchen into the family room. You will lose. Cabinets similar to the color of the walls so it looks spacious and airy. And definitely continue the remodel outside by making sure the views out the windows are pretty, etc. Forget really expensive hardscaping and concentrate mostly on trees and shrubs with handsome, mostly evergreen foliage to add richness and privacy and edit the view to hide ugly fences, neighbor's garage, power poles and lines, etc.; they'll have 4 years of growth on them when it's time to sell. Again, think in terms of creating pretty views. They are a delight to live with and a great asset when selling.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:01PM
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I'm sorry if I gave the impression that our house is bad, it's actually quite nice for two!
I just meant our buyers pool would be limited because of its size.

In regards to why I am redoing the kitchen if we are selling, I think I've been watching to many DIY shows:)
They all say a kitchen sells a house.
I also happen to enjoy projects, decorating and coming home to a nice home.

When I moved in (12 years ago) I started going room to room (including outside) updating. I did what I could (DIY) in the kitchen...painting cabinets, new hardware, crown molding etc, but now the doors are sagging, the hinges are breaking (can't find the same type to replace)and I have rubber bands on the knobs to keep them closed.
So, I thought it was time to replace.

If our plans change, I would have no problem staying here...as long as I have a new kitchen:)

BTW, I mentioned to DH if we could DIY the kitchen...his response was "who do you mean by we". lol

Thank you everyone for your input!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:31PM
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