critique 3rd round please

laurensmom21October 2, 2012

I'm back with round 3 and more confused than ever... I had him move the stairs to the middle. I did this to get more room in the craft room but now I'm not so sure if I like this better or not. He also forgot to put in our stairs to the basement, so the powder room will have to move somewhere else...but where? I wanted to keep a powder room back there so the kids wouldn't have to trek through the whole house to use the bathroom, but maybe I should take it out? I already have 4 bathrooms - plus we will probably put one in the basement in the future.

Then I asked him to put the pantry in the back of the kitchen. I just like the symmetry better this way (having a door on either side of the stove - similar to this pic - but now I'm thinking that maybe it cuts down on my counter space too much. What do you think?

I also don't like the bridge thing upstairs. I told him to take out the previous loft area to save sqft. but I hate bridges, so I will put it back in.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! I just want this process to be done so I can build. It always feels like I take one step forward and five steps back - ugh. Thanks so much :)

here's the previous 1st floor for reference:

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I wouldn't be as worried about counter space in the kitchen as I would be about loss of light. How will your light be in this 3rd draft?

As for the 1/2 bath, I recommend tucking it under the garage stairs. Just bring your right side wall out even with your pantry wall and tuck it there. It will fit fine.

I a not sure why the office 1/2 bath is oriented that way (and with 2 doors)... I'd flip the location of the toilet and the closet for a more square/regular/less windy 1/2 bath.

be back later.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:00AM
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I like the new layout. I was never thrilled about the windows into the screened porch. They would not have given you any light. I also like the new craft room size.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:09AM
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I like the new layout of the kitchen, with the pantry actually in the kitchen as opposed to in the hall. There will be plenty of light in the kitchen with the three windows over the sink. I would think about moving the screen porch door/wall and mudroom door/wall to be even with the pantry wall. That way you can have the screen porch door swing into the kitchen beside that storage closet so that the hinges are inside for safety reasons. Unless I don't know about some exterior door that is outswing but with the hinges inside.

Also, I love the screen porch extending out to the extra garage.

With the extra garage, in the front sketch drawing, there is a window above the garage doors - is there going to be a loft space above? Do you need stairs up to that area? Also, both of the garages are shallow. If it were my house, I would make both garages deeper. To me, the extra garage should be extended out to be even with the back of the house. I am guessing that would make the roof line simpler (I am no expert). The 2013 Chevy Equinox (midsize SUV)is 15 1/2 feet long, and an Toyota Sienna is 16 1/2 feet long. That would only give you about 2 - 3 feet in front and behind the car when parked in the garage depending on what kind of car you have. That doesn't even count storage in the garage. Just something to think about.

In the guest bathroom downstairs, I like the 2nd round bathroom set up more than the 3rd round version.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bigger craft room/laundry room. I love the possibilities of that room. My only nit-pick - I would center the washer dryer in the counter top. I prefer the counter space to the right of the dryer for a place to put freshly folded clothes.

Upstairs, I would highly encourage you to get rid of the jack and jill bathroom. Please do a bathroom with double sinks with access from the hall. You can still have an additional door to the toilet/tub area for privacy. But as is, where will the towels be hanging for when you step out of the shower? With two doors to the private area inevitably one door is going to forget to be unlocked. If you only have one door to the private area, it frees up a wall to give you a place to hang towels. It will also solve the door unlocking problem. And an added bonus, you would be able to do bigger walk in closets in each of those bedrooms.

Another thought to help with the bridge issue you don't like. You could trade out the two story foyer and replace it a bathroom which would then have that window. Then I would get rid of the bathroom that has the attic access. Do you really want to go through the bedroom, past the closet, through the bathroom to access your Christmas decor (or whatever else you want to get to) in the attic storage area. Another benefit - bigger closet in that bedroom too.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 2:21PM
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re: putting a bathroom in the basement in the future: I recommend asking about the cost to rough it in now. We added a full bathroom to our basement years ago and it was easy because the POs had roughed one in (plumbing and toilet stack.) I think it will be easier to do all those lines and hook ups now.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Also, if you pull the right side even, to get that 1/2 bath tucked under the garage stairs, you can put in a butler-ish pantry on that near side door of your kitchen. And, you can get an even shorter route, if you want, between mudroom and kitchen for groceries (not that you have far to go anyway).

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:36PM
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thanks so much for all the great feedback! I finally feel like we're on the right track (although the house is still bigger than we'd like...oh well)

not sure I'm envisioning some of your ideas right, but thought I'd do a sloppy tweak in photoshop. Is this what you were thinking by pulling the right kitchen wall out to meet the edge of garage, etc.. this should save me some $$ also by cutting corners right? dh will love that!

kirkhall - love your idea for putting a pass through there by the back door to the kitchen area, but can't seem to visualize where the butlers pantry would go? love the space for the half bath too - thanks!

chicagoans - we'll definitely rough in a space for the bath when we build. we built our current house 5years ago and roughed in a bath in the basement. Even though we haven't finished it, it's nice to know it's there and would be an easy finish for the new owners.

georgia - thanks! I am super excited about the craft room - which will actually be more of a laundry/homework/art space for all of us :) The current "office" as he has it labeled will be a small den with another space to watch tv for dh.

dreamhome - thanks for your great ideas! I do love the idea of aligning the pantry/mud/garage wall and think that will save some $$. I'm also thinking of putting a window in the pantry area that will let me open it to serve from - maybe create a small bar/countertop overhang on the porch side for barstools? that would be fun!

I'll have to check our current garage's depth - thanks for that thought. We really don't need a 4 car garage, so most of the detached garage will be storage space for our mower, bikes, etc.. I would love to have a loft/living space above that other garage - but we are on a tight budget and am not sure if we can afford that. But will try to talk dh into at least putting trusses up there or something to where we can potentially finish off the space in the future.

also, I'm not sure about the j&j. My 2 girls (9&7) will share that space and I can just imagine them shoving each other out of the way if they share a bath w/2 sinks. I do need to think about where towels will go though. Also, the attic space will most likely turn into my little guy's (age 4) hideout space. We'll keep our storage items in the basement. But definitely great ideas to think about - thank you!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:53PM
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OK, now I'm getting house envy!

Love the inspiration pic of the kitchen.

If this were my house (which it's not, but I want it) I would take @kirkhall's advice and bring out the interior to the storage under the stairs. I would then extend the wall all the way across to the pantry and use that area as a sweet little pocket office (homework desk?) just between the kitchen and screen porch. The butler's pantry to the screen porch is a fun idea, too.

OR- get rid of the second set of stairs and put the 1/2 bath there, instead. Like @dreamhomedreamer says- put the upstairs bathroom in the space over the foyer, then you can make a little connecting hallway to the bonus room and then you could get rid of the second set of stairs altogether.

I also concur with the garage size- you need to seriously consider adding about 2 feet. I've heard that 24x24 is the minimum for a 2 car garage; this is exactly the size of my current garage, and I would emphasize the word *minimum*.

LOVE the plan, overall. I definitely need to have Mitch draw up my house when we're ready.....

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:55PM
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Forgot to day that I love the new kitchen. Nini804 has a similar kitchen but without the right wall.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 5:50PM
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thanks kellhuck! I'm actually starting to get a little excited :) now let's just hope I can afford this darn thing when we get all the bids back!

I'm still a little unsure as to what you all are talking about - is my tweaked version what you were thinking? pulling the pantry wall over to meet up with the mudroom/garage wall and then putting the 1/2 bath under the stairs like that? I would love to put a little homework computer in that space behind the kitchen! I think I should be able to fit all that - maybe some hooks for jackets coming in from the porch?

thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 6:12PM
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I've got chili simmering on the stove, so I had a little time to cut & paste! :)

You're right on with kirkhall's suggestion (as I understand it). Here's the version with my homework desk. Alternatively, you could put a butler's pantry there. Or, flip the desk over to the storage closet and leave the mudroom wall side open as a shorter entry to the kitchen from the detached garage (although I'm not a big fan of that one, personally).

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 6:39PM
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laurensmom--It looks great! I love the pantry off the kitchen the way it is in the new floorplan. We have a similar setup in our kitchen with a doorway on either side of the range/counter area and it works well. From the dimensions shown on your plan, you will still have plenty of counter space on either side of the range.

The basement stair/powder room issue is actually quite easily solved with just moving a door--move the door to the basement around the corner 90 degrees so that it opens off the family room wall of the staircase at the far end of the staircase. I've been in numerous Parade homes that have this same setup and it works fine. As you've found out, just about any change you make to one area affects another area in the house. This is one spot where it doesn't have to be difficult and can be done as simply as possible.

Hope this helps & can't wait to see when you break ground!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 6:48PM
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I had also thought of getting the foyer closet in that corner of the mudroom. Kelhuck did it well.

As for the butler's pantry... Kelhuck has it close. I'm not sure what you have for dimensions there, but that would work. Or, turn the desk 90*.

But, I actually like the open pantry that you have posted in this version: 16:53. I am not sure you need another desk location since you will have your huge craft room, but if you did, I'd actually put it at the sink end (maybe with a window) of the pantry area. And, have the pantry access nearest the mudroom entry.

Also, other places--take another look at your guest powder arrangement.

And, then make sure your WC in your master is an outswing or pocket door, rather than an inswing.

And, sorry if I've already said those in other places. Running on thin brain power tonight.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:52PM
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kelhuck - that's so funny, I made chili tonight too :) It's just a chili kind of day here. Thanks for cutting & pasting that for me - now I understand what you're saying. I'm almost thinking of taking out that small storage closet in the pantry and replacing it with a pocket door and just making the whole pantry sort of a computer/pantry/place for jackets, and various things that come in from the porch. I also think I'll put a window in the there (on the sink wall) and maybe even one on the wall shared with the porch. I really like having these options for unique features.

mydreamhome - thanks for your suggestions. It's good to hear from others who have similar layouts!

thanks everyone! I feel like I'm getting a little closer :)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:00PM
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kirkhall - definitely! I am also thinking of putting a window & maybe computer on that sink wall in the pantry - and then just a pocket door on the other end/mudroom side. These are all such great solutions and really make me think we're making progress - yippee!

We're doing pocket doors on the master wc - thanks for thinking of that.

re full bath near office - I had to change the layout here from previously because I needed more wall space in my office (which is actually a den w/tv). So I'm going to put a couch under the window and chairs on the left hand wall facing a tv/media center which will be on the wall shared with the bath. He drew a door on the wc but I don't need one and will take that out. It's actually a full bath - not sure if you can see it, but there is a shower/tub combo drawn where the x is. Would it be better to switch the shower & toilet?

re the foyer - I'm considering doing something like this pic with 2 small closets flanking a chest or something.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:16PM
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here's my pantry inspiration for the wall right behind the stove. Love it!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:20PM
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pantry- YES! I love it! You could put an extra fridge or freezer in it, too, if you need one. This will be such a unique feature and reminds me of my grandma's "back room".

For the guest bath, i think if you switch the swing of the door, you'll avoid an awkward entrance in to the bathroom. Also, if you switched the toilet and closet, I think you'd have room to add a linen closet next to the sink. I'm a visual person, so I c&p'd again......

Ok- I HAVE to get off the computer now!!!! :)

Can't WAIT to see your build pics!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:45PM
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LAurensmom--have to say, I'm really enjoying following this thread. Love your house and really love your master/office wing. Your office could double as a guest room in the years to come if need be.

Watch your door in that powder room under the stairs. I have a tiny powdder room and the door opens into the toilet. Hinges are inside. Safety hazard if someone fell against the door.

Love the two stairways. Love the giant pantry...

Definitely need to try to make the garage a little deeper. When I had my longer vehicle, I had to leave the garage door open when my back was up to unpack groceries...a real pain. You want to avoid that.

Love the inspiration pictures posted of the kitchens and pantries. You are almost getting me in the mood to think about building again.

Loving Mitchell Ginns work here. And the suggestions you are getting are wonderful.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:26PM
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I am so loving this. It is similar to my original plans for our addition but I was cutting back on sqftage, seeing this, I may reconsider! The one thing I'd consider is to have one door to the exterior on the kitchen/screened patio side and screen the entire area in (breezway and patio) That way you could use it for overflow if needed for an event (buffet table,...) also it makes a nice nook by the bath for a desk. I'm imagining walkin in with groceries and would rather have a straight shot to the pantry. You could also expand the footprint of the half bath for a mudroom/half bath... I think the changes to save money (portico/deck...) will not be missed. If you need to further your cuts I'd consider the back porch as it could always be added later or just do a smaller path to a chaired/firepit or seating area but living in the south I'd always pick the screened area over the open air for dining. So glad you are seeing this plan through, we have the same architect (thanks to ga:) and I'm hopeful we can have something that works this well. Can't wait to see this moving forward!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 1:29PM
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I'm not good at helping with floor plans but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your elevation! It will be a really nice looking home! Hurry up and build it - I'm anxious to see it finished! LOL

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 7:59PM
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THANK YOU everyone! I sooo appreciate all the feedback & positive comments! While I don't mind constructive criticism - it helps to know that this is a likeable plan and we're not just building something that only appeals to us :)

I'm going to talk with my architect today and make some final (hopefully) tweaks so then we can move on with actual drawings! So excited! I'll be back soon - thanks again!

one more thought - dh has informed me that he does NOT want to use Hardie shakes (is adamantly against a painted product - does not want to go through that upkeep). So what do you guys suggest? He is ok with stain - so cedar shakes? Any idea the cost on those?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:05AM
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I think cedar shakes would be STUNNING! I would start a new thread on this specific question. Mitch may be able to help with that one too...he suggested board and batten for mine. In my area the actual cedar shakes are the most expensive option.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Cedar shakes are FAR more maintenance than hardi. FAR MORE!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:24PM
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I know you don't necessarily want this, but I still think I would, so I'll mention it. With the wall extended to the right downstairs, I think you can now easily connect your mom space to the rest of the upstairs with a door. (and, I think you should... just think if one of your kids NEEDED you and you were on the wrong side of the wall, but you had to run down the stairs, and up the others just to get there.) You could keep the door locked the majority of the time or have it be a concealed door, but I think it would be wise to have a physical passthrough for the 2 spaces.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:44PM
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yes, cedar does seem like more work huh? He does not want the maintenance of a painted product (as he would be the one scraping off the old and repainting) - we are huge diyers. Is there another product similar to hardi but uses stain instead of paint?

kirkhall - still not sure on the stairs. I can just see my kiddos coming in every 5 minutes if my space was next to theirs, but it's something to think about. thanks :)

So my newest tweak is the guest bath. What do you guys think of this layout? It allows me to have a 60" vanity 4' shower and makes for a shared closet/walk thru area which I think could potentially be pretty cool. thoughts?

(measurements are approx.)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:36PM
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We are using 2 coats of Duration paint on our hardi....should last a really long time.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:26AM
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I like the original. This bath has wasted space with the built-ins. Also the walk through closet wouldn't leave a lot of room to hang much.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:42AM
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With reference to your new guest bath layout. What will do you think will be in that closet? To me you are turning it into a hallway. I really think you had the correct layout in your 2nd round drawing. I know you said you needed the wall space in the study - so just switch the bathroom door from access in the study to in the hallway/foyer like the current drawing. Plus, others always say to put more closets in than you think you need. You have the option to have multiple closets in that area and to me you are pretty much eliminating them all. The walk-through closet sounds cool, but in reality it is just a hallway.

Also, have you had a change to read through the post "Small thing that get forgotten"? I have linked it below - lots of good points/ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Small things that get forgotten - Building Advice

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:35AM
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I remember several years ago this product being very hot on the forum. I also seem to remember something about it being discontinued maybe. I know this house used it and it was beautiful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Siding

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Have you considered spinning the stairs around so that they come down into the kitchen? Then when the kids come downstairs in the morning, they're right in the kitchen, where they need to be, and it would be a whole lot more convenient for laundry, since most of it is going to come from the upstairs. It also means that if you finish the basement into an entertainment space, people won't have to go into the mudroom hallway (which is more of a private family area, IMO) to get to your fabulous rec room. :)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:43AM
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