Please help !! Attn: all lay-out guru's

go_figure01November 19, 2012

I have been on GW for awhile and am calling out to AboutToGet Dusty, aokat, babs711, berardmr, breezygirl, dolode, draonfly08, jbodie, jeanallsopp, michelle16, rhome, rtwilliams, tearose, yardboi,... and so many others to long too list.

I am in desperate need of your help! I have a small house approx 1500sqft w/a difficult existing lay-out, and am in dire need of more living space and storage.

The entry puts you right smack into LR (16x18) that shares a kitchen wall (11x6") which has a 15ft ceiling wall at the peak. I lose about 5ft of space currently in the LR because it is the walk-thru to the kitchen. The existing kitchen is 13x18.

I would like to remove the LR/kitchen wall and combine the ideas of aokat, breezygirl, dragonfly08, michelle16, etc. If possible - I would like to have a counter with a visual opening to be able to see the flatscreen that is in LR above the fireplace. The fireplc is not centered and makes placing furniture extremely difficult.

I am thinking of adding 6ft out (max. that I can go out) to the entire length of house LR to back of kitchen wall (6x36). If I remove the LR/kitchen wall (11'6") I will have to move existing range, frig, and upper/lower cabinetry which I don't mind losing. The uppers are mostly wasted space because they are so high (not quite up to the ceiling tho).

I don't like alot of upper cabs & like the idea of using more for windows (like aokat and breezy did). I also want to add a walk-in pantry in the add-on space and will house most of the "stuff" in there.

I like the ideas that aokat,babs711, breezygirl,dragonfly08, michelle16 used by placing everything along one wall. The existing kitchen wall is 18' long.

If I do the addition of 6ft, the kitchen will be 19x18. The problem is the peak of the ceiling. I cannot figure out the layout and am afraid it might look weird. I want to have a cooktop w/hood, farmsink, one wall oven, frig, and counters, plus ?

I don't know what the heck to do. I have spent countless months and endless nights drawing things out, etc. to no avail. I have "retained" an architect- who is sooo expensive just to "retain" and now I realize I have paid him for nothing as of yet, at least, because he is waiting for me to come up w/the ideas!!

Building costs are extremely high -I was quoted approx. $200-225sq ft. and I want/need to get it right so that I can avoid any costly mistakes. I hoping ANYONE can offer some suggestions. I have followed all of your posts, and am TTTKO. Will try and post some pics of what I am thinking.

Thank you for reading such a long msg. I am with out a doubt, on overload.

Please bear w/me. TY so much

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Trying again to post the graph layout

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:36AM
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there is probably an alternative at the front entry door area with a jog to the right upon entry and creation of a semi-hallway/with closets-borrowing space from"study" and bringing those closets and heater down into that garage door/entry zone in a reconfiguration. The walk thru, upon entry of the home would be furthur to the right and segregated with some wall creation or pseudo-partition for a bit of a hallway effect,and then open back out to the middle position where you would be removing the wall between kitchen/living room. The pic is not showing enuf of space off to the right, but that's where some juggling could be done. Adding on, for what you will accomplish, would not interest me. Your liv room and kitchen are generous enough-and you are willing to embrace opening it appears to be traffic and "smartening up" space issues.....but showing more of the layout to the right would help.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:58AM
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TY herbflavor ! I have followed you for a long time too, and I respect your comments.

I am trying to figure out to put multiple pics in one post (reading buehl 3x's!)but cannot figure it out. I have put all pics in photobucket.

Once you see the floorplan, you will see that I am unable to move the front entry, etc, altho that was a pretty amazing idea ! It would be alot easier and less costly too.

Here is the footprint. The kitchen is pretty much as it exists now.

TY for your time!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:22PM
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Sorry about that. I guess when you edit a msg in "preview" it deletes the file that was uploaded. Hope this works!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:23PM
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here are some inspiration ideas if I remove the LR/kit wall

then to put everything down one wall w/no uppers and use windows

or to combine somehow

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:50PM
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Is this more or less the space you expect to have to work with?
Where do you want windows? What walls have the best exposure?
Where is the tall peak? Which way does it run?
Where do you want exterior doors?

Have you done the sweeby test? It might help you let us know more clearly what you want/need.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:56PM
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You must be in a prime location.Seriously-your house is sized right to have good market value. You are ahead of the game with 2 full baths. I'd want to: get the laundry inside the home....have an improved entry from garage into a transitional zone....split the 4th bedroom sq footage between living room and the "transitional" zone. Ask the architect therefore for his involvement since he's waiting in the wings....devise some interior reconfiguration with those goals.Giving part of study to liv room,and part to a new transition area ,think laundry,create a run of counter for desk activity/sitting with computer/bookshelves/cubby holes/etc. The kitchen/living room will fall into place eaily,but the home lacks that transitional core for
the "misc" things that people need a little extra space for. With 2 full baths already-the house is a step ahead of many others in this sq foot package.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:51PM
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Is there currently no access to the garage from inside the house? If I'm seeing the FP correctly, you have to go out the front door to enter garage?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:03PM
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I'm thinking... I like herbflavors suggestions. Do you need 4 bedrooms? Making the 4th bedroom into a larger entry/mud laundry room makes sense.

Maybe that is a better more cost effective area to expand the home.

still thinking : )

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:05PM
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Hi gofigure - I'm wondering what your bathrooms are like? Do they need to be updated? This may be too out there and too expensive, but I was playing with the idea of moving one of the bathrooms into part of bedroom 4 and then making the kitchen bigger that way. You still have all of the same number of bedrooms this way, storage, etc - but you gain a bigger kitchen and also a bigger master bathroom and closet. This would avoid adding on but may be just as costly in redoing the interior...

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:33AM
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hi aokat! TY for cking this out & responding. I am so all over your kitchen. It is one of my flavorites :)

Wish I could go into those bath areas to redefine the area. Unfortunately, we dumped alot of $ into both about 7yrs ago.
DH is resistant to it, ergggg.

So I have been on graph ppr ALOT and working w/the footprint and ALOT of white out so that I can get them posted to view.

I am at a very uncomfortable point, I have been working on just the design-plans for well over a yr (more like 2 !) and am getting anxious the more I look at it, which is why I reached out for help. I am gonna take the sweeby test AGAIN.

I want to remove the LR/kit wall, it just seems to make sense. But I think I will have to def. add space onto the back of the kitchen into the bkyd because I need another room.

The 4th bedrm is currently used as a den. It has an opening fr the L/R and a pocket door into the small hallway that leads to the bedrms.

The laundry is out in the garage, which entails me going out the front door, opening the garage EVERYTIME. I do ALOT of laundry, am known to be out there in the wee hrs of the morning. WELL. As I writing this, our neighbor (w/the same f/p) is installing a firedoor into the garage fr the den. It
is in the only space that it can go into-on the pic where the W/D are now, but everything is moved down now. There is also an exit door in the bk of the garage into a side yd, so good for a clothesline - which I have always wanted...

ANYWAY. This saved us alot of $ because I was going to build a laundry rm inside somewhere and it really was too expensive and since space in this small home is a commodity.

I hope to get those diagrams that I mentioned and some layouts posted soon.

TY again aokat - I am welcoming any comments & ideas.

Happy Turkey!!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 4:47PM
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I can't find if you've said if the window and sliding door on the back of the kitchen need to stay put? I was imagining something just like Breezy's kitchen, but the angled ceiling above the pantry throws me...

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:27PM
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hi rhome. TY so much for staying w/me. :)

no, the whole kitchen can be gutted. yes, i love breezy's plan alot too. DH said that peak wall btwn LR/kitchen is only 12'- not 15'. But yes, the peak is currently above my existing kitchen sink and pantry area.

The roof line is why I think I am having alot of trouble visualizing a plan. I also have found joan2121's plan intriguing. Trying to make sense if I took the LR wall down.

look forward to hearing any comments.

I hope to post more plan layout & pics soon. hopefully 2nite if possible.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:44PM
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Hi go figure! thanks for posting me as an inspiration- Love the idea of opening up the 2 rooms. I'm not good with studying layout's, but I will help if I can, as you post more! Good luck! and Happy Thanksgiving! Michelle

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 9:20AM
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Hi michelle16, I LOVE everything about your home. TY so much for sharing. I hope to get more pics posted soon & look forward to your comments. TY :)

Happy Thanksgiving.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:16PM
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My kitchen is still a work in process. I have varying ceiling heights. I was not originally planning on this; plan called for all the ceilings to be 8ft. However, when the addition was built, we liked how the ceiling was higher in the working area of the kitchen and our dining area. We had one enormous support beam that was added in the addition to support our existing upstairs. Instead of covering all the beam with ceiling, we decided to wrap it in knotty pine and leave it exposed. We then added additional faux beams to make it look more planned. I love the way it turned out and it might help you visualize different ceiling heights (still deciding how to stain the beams):

Beam running toward range hood is the support beam. All the rest are faux.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 8:10AM
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I am attempting to include some pics of the layout so that you can see the flr pl better. I apologize if they are confusing. But I wanted to let you see how the roof line runs because it confuses me when I am trying to envision changing the kitchen layout.

Bellsmom: Y, the kitchen & L/R are the areas that I am attempting to reconfigure/add-on to. The length of the house is 36'. The width is approx. 42'. The LR is approx 16x18. I lose about 4ft because it the walk-area to the kitchen. The kitchen is 13x18. The wall bwtn the kitchen & LR is 11'w and
12' high. On the kitchen side of the wall is the fridge, counter, range, and more counter. On the long wall is the sink and counter with a peninsula. Behind the peninsula is a very small eating area that we do use hardly at all because it is so small. The back wall has a window and 5'slider leading out to the bkyd. There is a wall of built-ins (pantry) parallel to the sink wall.

herbflavor(LOVE your name): Yes, desirable area is Irvine, Ca. But VERY pricy and in this economy - insane for the cost of wanting to improve/add-on. I have been really trying to envision what you meant by entering more to the right but don't knw how it would work due to layout.

drybean: YES - HUGE PIA to to do laundry. This wk we had a contractor come and move the water heater, and W/D down so we can add a door into the garage that will enter into the "4th bdrm" which we use as a den. It has an opening into the LR in the same walk space used fr the front door entry leading to the kitchen. DH & I thought we would try putting in the garage door as the least expensive option. But now, we have no den! 2 DS w/girlfriends and we are all in the LR !! erggggg. See why I need help?????

rtwilliams: 4th bedroom: as you might have read above, is used as "den". also has window right at front porch next to front door, don't want to use as bedrm but is also very small room!

aokat: I like your idea. But you may be right, moving baths could be just as costly, as there is no main plumbing in that area.

rhome: the window and slider can go! Also we can add out into backyd by 20ft if need be.

dilly: I like what you showed and the idea of varying ceiling heights. I do think opening the wall is a great idea. where is the entry to your home?

TY so much in advance for any suggestions.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:03PM
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I would just add a new living room in the back. I would extend it so you would loose the window in the master bath and then the 20ft out. Then you have two living areas and the den could be used as a mudroom, laundry and storage.

I would think this gives you a nicer view from the living area than the side of the neighbors house too. Seems simpler and less of a mess to other parts of the house too. Ie I assume you will be living there during construction.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:42AM
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TY lyfia. Your idea was similiar to the original plan when I first started started thinkning about adding on space.
It would be alot easier to do. Yes, most likely, we will live here while construction is being done.

The idea to use the den as mudroom etc, is a good idea too.
We are currently in the process of installing a door into the garage. I had to move the couch that was against the wall where the door had to go. I put the couch into the living room w/the other couch, sort of looking like a sectional and moved one chair into the den. It really is too small of a room to do anything with. I have a built-in and computer across from the new door and there is no room to put any other furniture.

I am going to concentrate on adding onto the back like you suggested. TY for your help.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 1:00PM
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If you had the w/d hookups on the other side there it would be fairly simple to move those into the den too and no more laundry in the garage.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 7:46PM
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This is me, again feeling anxious and bummed :( !!

We just spent $4k moving the water htr, & W/D down so we could put a door into the den for access to laundry. I thought about putting it in the den area inside. It would have made more sense. But was in doubt because of the entry to the den is in the LR. you can see better what I mean in the pic. Now though, after all this $ spent, the den is no longer a room to flop because there is no where to put any furniture w/out congesting an entry! Ergggggg. Would have made sense to do what you suggested and made it a laundry/mudroom. This is why I am pleading for suggestions for the other areas (LR/kitchen/add-on) because I do not want an even larger costly mistake!

I am beginning to hate this house and feel very guilty about that (could be a whole different blog). I REALLY would like to fix it to sell, but DH sees it totally differently and not a fan of change (another blog), moving is out.
Its just that this plan has always been so hard for me to live in and almost 22yrs later- I am the closest I have ever been to changing it. I just cannot, for the life of me, find a plan (yet) that I am happy with!

The biggest prob is the main door entry. It is in a terribly awkward place and cannot be moved because of the way the driveway is.

I am torn btwn living w/the entry/LR as is, and refocusing on the kitchen, adding-on to the back.

I am riddled w/angst, this project has been on my mind for 22yrs and now is beginning to consume most of daily life! I wish it were easier, I want to have the joy I used to in the first few yrs looking forward to making it better. Now is seems, that the "thrill is (just about) gone" and I am not a happy camper. DH says, "ya- if we had all the $ we wanted, we could do what we want to the house" - dont' we all wish?

I have tried the Sweeby test. made me more angst about the floor plan.

Thanks for listening. . . .

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Hugs to you! I went through that with my old house. Stuck with it after a divorce, but in the end I started liking it after doing some things to improve it more to my liking, but still had a room without a window. We can rarely get it all and even if you built a custom home you would later find things you wish you could do differently after moving in.

Don't worry about the laundry in there. Mudroom and office space sounds great and you no longer have to walk outside to do laundry. Can even use it as a staging area before taking out the laundry and it is out of your main entry. Even though you have an opening there now you could add doors if you are bothered by the view.

I'm not sure what the dimensions are, but I would add on the back So it lines up with your master closet. Then you'd have to figure out if you want to move the kitchen, dining, and the new living around. If you want two living areas keep the front the same and just look at the rear. If you are fine with one large living area you could use the front room as your dining and then expand and turn the kitchen to use both the current and old dining.

You have lots of options with the floor plan you currently have to still have a good flow after adding on. That isn't always possible without a lot of rework or it being glaringly obvious there was an addition.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 10:59PM
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TY my comrade lyfia. I am so happy for you that you are content in your space now. You are so right, we can rarely get it all.

After reading your reply and sitting here at the computer in the den, I am trying to look at the lay-out with a fresh pair of eyes... hmmm.

I briefly pondered "what if" the LR became the kitchen and the den stayed as is now, or could even put a dining table in it (like some of the same homeowners have)?

I am trying to not think in terms of cost at this point (TY Sweeby) but in terms of function. what would work best?

I am dizzy w/graph paper. dizzy w/thinking about it all.

I try to walk away for a few hours/days but it so hard when it is what I live in !!

Anyway. You gave me an uplift w/your message. TY so much.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:30PM
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Go-figure, can you post pics of the front of your house? I know you said that it's tough to move the front door given where the drive-way is, but maybe there is a creative solution...? Also, when I read lyfia's post about a mudroom/office, I thought of this pic which I have always LOVED. If you go that route, there are a lot of great inspiration pics out there on houzz, etc...

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 2:48PM
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TY aokat for being part of my journey. I LOVE your home - such a warm & inviting space.

Yes, I will take some pics this wkend of the front entry because you really have to see it to know what I mean. It is supposed to rain the next several days here (very much needed) but I will wait for a break & get out there.

Thanks again for your consideration

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 1:59AM
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Here is the entry to the floorplan. You can see where the front door is and how it is in relation to the driveway and where the garage is.

Notice the 2 windows flanking the front door. The left one is in the LR which is right upon entry, and the one on the right is in the "den/study" - which as you come in, is to the right of the entry door. Notice also how part of the den window looks out onto a part of the garage (where the clock is).

I am not able for some reason to load more than one pic on a post at a time, altho I see many people do it...if you knw how can you pls share? I have looked at buehl's postings on how to load pics, but still can't do it. So, I will put 2 more pics of the entry on next so you can see where the end of the house is and that is the part that I am thinking of adding the walk in pantry area in. brb

This post was edited by go_figure01 on Sun, Dec 9, 12 at 16:39

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 1:50AM
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This is the side-end of the house. We are thinking of adding an additional 6ft out, possibly down the whole side (36ft) or only in the space bwtn the 2 windows that you see running down the side. The farthest one is the kitchen, the closer one is in in the LR. There's about 9ft in bwtn the window in the LR and the wall that separates the LR/kitchen. I am thinking about adding a pantry 6x8 in this area that would be accessed from the kitchen side.

This post was edited by go_figure01 on Sun, Dec 9, 12 at 16:38

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 2:00AM
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