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A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Posted by Harmon (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 12:50

Thanks for everyone's input so far. After spending two lunch hours at the design firm looking at plans, borrowing and reviewing eight or so plan books from my builder, and looking at many plans on the internet I still keep coming back to what I earlier called the "New & Improved Plan". Of course, it was 9' too wide for my lot, BUT I think that I've gotten that plan down to 65' ft wide. Basically the modifications are:

(1) Shortened the garage by 2 ft which makes for two 24' bays and one 20' bay.

(2) Eliminated 5 ft of width off the left side of the house. (Mostly closets, bath, and third bedroom. Original study converted to third bedroom & formal dining converted to study. Only took 6" off one remaining left side bedroom and widened the other.)

(3) Took 2 ft out of the center of the house (living room/left side of entry/patio).

(4) Lengthened left side of house aprox 5 ft. to make walk-in closets.

(5) Lengthened living room to 20'.

(6) Lengthened portion of breakfast area to include previous "covered patio".

(7) Squared off master bedroom where bay window was & added bay window to office. Thoughts on bay window on front office? (I'll attach pic of elevation.)

Comments/Suggestions?

Revised dimensions are estimates. I'm estimating that bathroom #2 will be about 7' x 12'. Thoughts on that size and layout improvements?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Elevation ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Elevation


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Something minor that just jumped out at me - I wouldn't put 2 sinks in the secondary bathroom. Would there ever be a time when 2 people are using that bathroom? And is there really room for 2 people to stand there?


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I forgot to add - no closet near the back door? I don't remember if you are building in the south and don't ever need coats. I HAVE to have a closet by the most-used door for all my stuff. Everybody has stuff, don't they?

Or maybe there's closet space in the utility room - I can't tell.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I like it.

I'm no expert and I know the posters here can be tough but I think you accomplished a lot. You cleaned it up and were able to keep what appealed to you. It's not perfect for everyone, but it sounds like it's perfect for you. I admire that you stayed here in the midst of the criticism. If you are that determined, you will end up with a great house when all is said and done.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I like it - with some adjustment.

It looks (actually, I know because I measured/scaled it) like some rooms will be a few inches smaller that the number shown on this plan.
Some online plans show dimensions that include one of the walls so the rooms are sometimes about 4.5" smaller.
If the total width is 65' then the square footage as it is now, is about 2,430 s.f.

I like that you will get a good garage and your fiancée will get a nice island and a good size walk in closet.

If your lot is on a corner, you could consider placing the garage on the back and the master suite up front - this change will make the ventilation system work better (IMO). and you will not need to spend money on fancy windows for the garage.

Are you going to have bricks only up front?


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

harmon-your breakfast/dining room looks large as in large enough to easily move through the master/laundry area without going around the table as an obstacle I *think*. Just throwing out there moving through that area with baskets of laundry if/when the kiddos arrive and that chunk of laundry goes to the opposite end of the house.

I am by no means poo-pooing the laundry by the master and the walk through as that is exatly what we are building now. Just think about the traffic pattern and what you will be carrying and the size of your table.

I really like the elevation too.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Well done! I like this one much better and having the bedroom or dining room as possible 'study' areas is wonderful. Also better for resale, if that's ever an issue :)

Here are a few minor changes/suggestions. No time to elaborate (late as it is) but I'll check back later. Congrats on sticking with your plan!

From Kitchen plans


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Nice LL. That should make the master more quiet if doing wash while someone is sleeping. It looks a little less congested also, plus a locker space/drop zone it appears.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

"Would there ever be a time when 2 people are using that bathroom? And is there really room for 2 people to stand there?"

Probably never & I don't know. I had actually thought about that, but drew it in like that because that seems to be the "norm", but I agree seems like the additional counter space would be more useful and might be a slight cost savings. Thanks for the suggestion!


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I also think the 2 sinks in the 2nd bath are a waste. I would not even want 2 sinks in the master. Who wants to spit toothpaste side by side? Both are bathrooms have 1 sink plus extra counter space. I can't imagine living without it.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Nan Nan,

"I like it - with some adjustment. It looks (actually, I know because I measured/scaled it) like some rooms will be a few inches smaller that the number shown on this plan. Some online plans show dimensions that include one of the walls so the rooms are sometimes about 4.5" smaller."

Thanks. It's entirely possible that some of the numbers are off but it's probably even more likely that my drawings are a little off.

"If the total width is 65' then the square footage as it is now, is about 2,430 s.f."

Ok, thanks. I had not yet tried to add it up. Thought I was probably a little under 2400. Will have to talk to builder about how this affects budget. Hopefully, by nixing the turret and adopting a more straight line plan it will be a wash.

"I like that you will get a good garage and your fiancée will get a nice island and a good size walk in closet."

Thank you, me too! She has been getting frustrated with me since we had initially settled on the first plan and is ready to be done with this, but I think she is warming up to this one.

"If your lot is on a corner, you could consider placing the garage on the back and the master suite up front - this change will make the ventilation system work better (IMO). and you will not need to spend money on fancy windows for the garage."

I would really prefer this. Any ideas on how to accomplish it?

If master bedroom is up front where would the entrance to it be? Through the formal dining (which will be used as an office) seems awkward or through the kitchen where it diminishes counter & cabinet space? Also, I would have to figure out how to fit them in there without going over the 65' width limit. Looks like combined they are 30'+ walls wide which I can't make work. If I stack them end to end with the garage behind them (which is how I drew it up before) then I go over our max length which I believe is 77' (117' - 20' front setback & 20' back setback). Then there's the stairs which probably could be repositioned, but I can't figure out how to make the dimensions work within my width & length requirements. Not sure if I can turn bed & bath sideways and make it work or not. I forget their length.

"Are you going to have bricks only up front?"

Brick & stone. Thank you for your helpful suggestions!


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I think your kitchen would be more efficient if you swapped wall ovens and fridge.

I don't love the corner fireplace, but I can totally respect needing a wall for the TV (if that is your reasoning). I am the same way.

Overall I like this very much.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I like LL's changes.

What is the size of the WICs in the two secondary bedrooms? I think if you make them reach in instead you won't loose anything as they are not quite big enough for WICs.

How big is the vehicle that will be in the 20 ft deep garage? I ask because that vehicle will need to be short enough that you can easily walk in the front of it carrying stuff as all garage traffic will go in front of it in order to get into the house.

Don't forget to make the toilet room in the master bath have an outswing door.

Also, lay out your furniture in the great room and decide if a corner fireplace is the way to go.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

What is the distance from the garage doors to the property line? Will there be enough room to turn into the garage and back out?


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

"I like it.

I'm no expert and I know the posters here can be tough but I think you accomplished a lot. You cleaned it up and were able to keep what appealed to you. It's not perfect for everyone, but it sounds like it's perfect for you. I admire that you stayed here in the midst of the criticism. If you are that determined, you will end up with a great house when all is said and done."

Thanks Carly! Well said & I'm glad you like it. The invaluable suggestions & advice that I have received on this forum have far outweighed any distracting noise.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

LL - Glad you like it & love your modifications! Thank you so much for all of your suggestions ... they have been super helpful.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I'm glad you like it! A few more small changes...and I did swap the fridge to be closer to the dining area and put the ovens on the wall to the formal dining/study area. That gives you a baking area a little out of the way and keeps the fridge close to the table :)

From Kitchen plans


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I don't have anything to offer other than that was the original plan we selected as the base idea for our plan we are working on and I still love it. Congrats. I look forward to seeing how the build goes.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

LL-what about traffic to and fro from the fridge to the pantry while you are at the sink/stove trying to cook? It does look like a nice sized aisle for traffic though. Not an expert, just throwing that out there since my peeps seem to always be underfoot while I am cooking.

Harmon-we had a corner fp in our last home and then TV on that other bedroom wall and it laid out quite nicely (my spot was always by the FP, very toasty). I'd definitely follow dekeoboe's advice and lay it out to be sure it works with your furnishings though. And, I think 18x20 looks like a good size to accomplish what you want.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I think there would be more traffic from the dining room to the fridge. So many times people do not walk around the island, but seem to want to cut through the main work area.

While I know a lot of people like a walk in pantry IN the kitchen, I'd rather have a narrow pull out by the fridge and move the pantry closer to the laundry area. Yes, it's a few extra steps, but it could be larger and out of the way of the main prep area.

Everyone has different things they like in the kitchen, but I have a friend with a corner pantry like that...and it seems to take up some valuable real estate for not that much storage. But then, I like really big pantries :)


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

My last pitch for different garage placement. And if you'd be willing to put 2 beds and a bath upstairs that would give you lots of options.

If you are going to work with this plan, how do you plan to use the space under the stair? In the kitchen (possible pantry?) or in the garage? Maybe do some mental walkthroughs to confirm that it works for you and your fiancée. Where will you put the bed in the master? Those sorts of things can help you sort out windows, etc.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

There are many things I like about the plan. But that is a awfully LONG hallway to bedroom # 2 that will also be dark during the day unless there is a skylight. And to me a hallway is wasted square footage. Perhaps you could achieve your decreased width by making the great room deeper and less wide and put the bedrooms and bath on the left closer to the original configuration which has better flow to me. Also there seems to be a lot of space in the entry foyer area that is a lot of square feet that could be used differently. The "covered front porch" could be moved out, so what is now outside becomes the foyer, and the greatroom starts where it is now. Which could make the formal dining room less isolated as well. lafdr


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

"There are many things I like about the plan. But that is a awfully LONG hallway to bedroom # 2 that will also be dark during the day unless there is a skylight. And to me a hallway is wasted square footage. Perhaps you could achieve your decreased width by making the great room deeper and less wide and put the bedrooms and bath on the left closer to the original configuration which has better flow to me."

Lafdr,

Good points ... thank you. I've already narrowed the living room from 20' to 18' and would prefer not to go any narrower. I could possibly shorten the length of the bathroom or make the walk-in closets more shallow reach in closets like dekeobeo suggested. If we need to cut square footage I think that's where we go first. I wasn't even thinking how a foot off a closet's depth would shorten the hallway and translate to about 11 sq ft savings. (I know that's a relatively cheap to build 11 sq ft, but the overall number of sq ft seems to matter to our builder. Perhaps he wants to keep the overall $/sq ft at a certain level for future business reasons.)

"The 'covered front porch' could be moved out, so what is now outside becomes the foyer, and the greatroom starts where it is now. Which could make the formal dining room less isolated as well."

Good ideas ... thanks! (What's labeled as "formal dining" should say "study". Forgot to change that.)

This post was edited by Harmon on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 15:49


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

"What is the distance from the garage doors to the property line? Will there be enough room to turn into the garage and back out?"

It's a corner lot. 15 ft to the street.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

"Just think about the traffic pattern and what you will be carrying and the size of your table."

Good points ... thanks Autumn! So many things to consider that I never have before! Much better to consider them now than wish we had later though, and even though we will have to sacrifice/compromise on certain things at least we can make informed decisions on what we're choosing and why. Thanks!


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

"I don't have anything to offer other than that was the original plan we selected as the base idea for our plan we are working on and I still love it. Congrats. I look forward to seeing how the build goes."

Thanks, Gold! That's good to hear that you still love it. Do you have pics of your build? Would love to see them!


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

"My last pitch for different garage placement. And if you'd be willing to put 2 beds and a bath upstairs that would give you lots of options."

Oaktown,

Met with builder today. I should have asked him about that. Is there usually a cost premium for building up or is it about the same? I can't figure out how to make the garage on the rear of the house work on a one story given our size limitations (65' x 82'). We are going to meet with him again probably next Saturday. I might throw that out then.

"If you are going to work with this plan, how do you plan to use the space under the stair? In the kitchen (possible pantry?) or in the garage?"

I was thinking storage shelves in the garage. I am open to using it as a pantry, but here is my rationale:

(1) If use it as a kitchen accessible pantry it adds to square footage of house (which as I noted above seems to matter to builder for our overall cost), but as garage space it won't count towards house square footage.

(2) Given the narrowed dimensions of the garage I think I could use all the storage space there I can get there.

(3) Much of the area under the stairs is going to be of limited use given the reduced height. It might be more accessible from an open area like the garage versus an enclosed area like a kitchen accessible pantry would be.

(4) The loss of counter/cabinet space for the corner pantry wouldn't be drastically more than the loss of counter/cabinet space for an entry door into a pantry under the stairs (plus where would you put the door?), and hopefully a corner pantry would be more usable since it wouldn't have the height issues."

Thoughts?

"Maybe do some mental walkthroughs to confirm that it works for you and your fiancée. Where will you put the bed in the master? Those sorts of things can help you sort out windows, etc."

Good idea. We are trying to do those as much as we can. We would likely put the bed against the wall the bedroom shares with the master bath/closet.

Thanks, again for all of your awesome advice & suggestions ... always appreciated!


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Update:

Have been going over floor plans/elevations all week. GF has some reservations about this elevation which I agree with. Although we both like it, we both prefer something a little more distinctive. Not freaky/sticks out like a sore thumb/can't ever resale distinctive, but something that makes it not look completely the same as every other house on the block ... so we (mostly me) kept looking for something with the same basic layout but a more distinctive exterior.

I came across the attached elevation/floor plan. I had seen it before but discounted it because it's size is so far out of our budget. Then I noticed that it is basically the same floor plan as this one. It just has some extra rooms and some slightly larger rooms.

Today I met with our builder and he thinks he can make this floor plan that we've been discussing work with the attached elevation (with some fairly minor modifications). The far right won't have all the curved lines that it does in the sketch which is fine by us. It's a little much.

Anyway, he's going to get a bigger set of those floor plans to make sure it will work and to see where we are at on our square footage. I gave him exactly what I posted at the top of this thread and by his rough calculations we were in the 23xx's which is where we need to be.

Thoughts? (I realize everyone won't like it.) I'm going to go by the design place Monday and see if they have any addresses who have used this elevation. Thanks again for everyone's input!


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

"What is the size of the WICs in the two secondary bedrooms? I think if you make them reach in instead you won't loose anything as they are not quite big enough for WICs."

I think they are 5' x 7' but might be slightly smaller. We might do exactly what you suggest here. Thanks!

"How big is the vehicle that will be in the 20 ft deep garage? I ask because that vehicle will need to be short enough that you can easily walk in the front of it carrying stuff as all garage traffic will go in front of it in order to get into the house."

The car is pretty short ... 14' 3.6"" ... so it should work for us fine. I'm a little worried about resale though. I don't like narrowing the garage, but not sure what else to do given our 65' width limitation assuming we don't build up as Oaktown suggested.

"Don't forget to make the toilet room in the master bath have an outswing door."

Ok, thanks!

"Also, lay out your furniture in the great room and decide if a corner fireplace is the way to go."

Will do ... thanks! Do you favor/disfavor the corner fireplace? I don't want to put it in the upper left corner because that will cost us a window. I am open to the idea of putting it on the left wall but (1) it seems to shorten the width of the room slightly and (2) that probably means TV above the fireplace which I'm fine with but GF doesn't like.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Harmon, we are still working on the floor plan! My patience is being tested. I hope we can start by May or the latest June. Thrilled we found this forum the knowledge here is helpful. Our architect probably would disagree with that though!!


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I like it! But then I love 'fairy tale' style :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Gold - Haha ... your architect, my builder & girlfriend!

Do you have a pic or link to your current floor plan? Would love to see the choices you've made especially since we still have the ability to tweak things.

I think we will have concrete poured by the end of March or at least the first part of April so maybe we can learn from each other's successes and mistakes.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

I like it! But then I love 'fairy tale' style :)

LL - I like to think that marrying me is a fair tale in and of itself. ;)


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Harmon.
I am not sure if you changed the plan or just the elevation.
Attached (see PDF) is a posibility with the garage to the back.
This is not meant to be a floor plan so it is not detailed but can give you an idea.
The total area is 2380 including exterior walls.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: What about something like this?


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Naf_Naf,

I love this ... thank you! I'll have to show this to our builder.

FYI- hopefully we are just changing the elevation & not the floor plan.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Naf - Do you know the dimensions of the master bedroom?


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Harmon,
I can not measure it as I am at work and I did the sketch at home but if I recall correctly, it is 14'x15'-4"
It can be enlarged. And some rooms/areas could be a bit smaller and still work ok, for example, the master closet/laundry/mud/closet.


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Harmon, we have the very first drawing but there are some things in it that I just don't like so I am not showing it to anyone until they get fixed and I am happier. We will meet with the architect this week to show him the things I have changed (yes I drew up my own version) and then he can take that and make it work! Plus take off the extra 200 sq ft that we do not want or need.

I really like your first plan but I also like Naf's plan as well. Naf does a fantastic job of tweaking the plans to make them just right. You have a tough decision to make!


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RE: A Leaner, Meaner "New & Improved Plan"?

Concerns about the garage:
15 ft. To the street means a car parked in front of the door will block the sidewalk?
It's often a play area, this is pretty close to traffic.
Will you be allowed a full width curb cut or be restricted to some arbitrary width?


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