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starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

Posted by laurensmom21 (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 4, 14 at 13:57

Hello all!

If you've been here long enough you probably remember me. I was here several years ago asking for feedback. From wonderful users here, was referred to Mitch Ginn - worked tirelessly to perfect the perfect plan, dh worked hard to bid everything out (we are self building) and it was too much over budget :( boo.

So I'm back at it (I've been at this for around 5 years now and am almost ready to just give up the dream!) If I got paid for every hour I've spent looking at and reworking floorplans I would get a pretty nice fat paycheck!

Some history on us:
Building in IL on 10 acres of pasture
married w/3 kiddos 10,8,6
forever home! or at least till the kiddos go to college
very casual lifestyle
Need master down, large mudroom, lots of storage, 3 bedrooms up
goal is 3000 sqft or under!

Started out wanting to build a big fancy shingle style home with all the character in the world, now I'm down to a simple AFFORDABLE farmhouse! LOL :) I'd still love some character but will have to add that via wood plank walls, hardwood floors, etc...

So here is my latest plan - nothing is set in stone - disregard door swings etc... just looking for feedback on basic layout. I don't have the upstairs (can't figure out how to do that with my program) but hoping to get the downstairs perfected then hand off to a draftsmen. Dh is done spending money on architects (had 3 so far with nothing to show for it except $$ out of our pockets!!!)

hopefully you can see this!

 photo feb2014_zpsd591ee4d.jpg

exterior idea:
 photo maxfulbrightexterior_zps58c1bb9b.jpg


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

Will you have a basement?

What is on this 10 ac? (any animals/livestock? any gardens? just forest/trees?) If you are only planning to live there maybe as few as 12 yrs, will the next people likely to buy be small town farmer types (farmer hobbyists) even if you aren't?

I am having trouble with all the "wasted" space in hallways in this plan. It has quite a few areas that are just a way to get from one place to another. And, the 90-90-90 hallway to get to your master bedroom will make it impossible to get things (larger things/laundry baskets/smaller things) wound around and into your bedroom. So, I can't say am crazy about that at all. There is again some wasted space around the stair case (unless you have a basement).

It also seems you have a lot of ext doors.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

thanks for your feedback kirkhall. there's nothing on the 10 acres right now except we do lease it out for alfalfa. When we do finally build there, we plan on adding a small barn and/or pond down the road. There is a hedge of trees on the west boundary - the rest is fairly flat ground. Our land is about 2 miles north of a small town where our kids go to school and our school district is very good and land in the district is VERY scarce. We have had numerous inquiries over the years to sell. We are also a short 15 min drive from our state university, so there are other potential buyers. Not really worried about resale at this time, but as dh is building himself we will have lots of sweat equity in the place.

I do agree with the halls, but not sure how to solve it. I stuck that little wall with the piano on it, to sort of use that space otherwise it's wasted. But I never thought about getting furniture around that turn so you are right there. Yes, we will have a basement - just couldn't figure out how to draw it in there correctly.

the main reason I like this plan is for the large kitchen/pantry/mud/screen porch areas. That ext. door in the hall will probably be a friends' entry.

Keep the comments coming please! Also, do you think the rooflines, foundation corners, etc... will be fairly cheap to build? That was one of the problems before - the vaults & roofs killed our last plan.

thank you so much :)


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

I love the exterior, but I don't like a lot of the hallways and awkward layouts. The closet by the master seems odd to me, along with the entry way.

Based on what we found when we started building last year, you have a lot of corners and bump outs. Each corner adds a lot of $$$ onto the build.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

Laurensmom...oh no. I remember you. We emailed. I'm an hour south of you. I figured you were well into building that gorgeous Mitch plan. I'm so sorry about your disappointment. Your new plan looks like it might be spendy as well.

It seems to me that maybe you need a farmhouse design that is very simple in design to keep cost down.

I wonder how much something like this would be as far as cost? This plan really appeals to me...or some variation. It looks Midwest.

Here is a link that might be useful: Farmhouse


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

I don't like it either. It's really, really choppy. Too many hallways and short walls and winding around to get anywhere. And I don't like your front-door guests traveling clear across the house (through the kitchen!) to get to your family room. What is that in the way, just to the left of the dining room table on that short wall? There won't be room to walk through there when someone is seated at the table.

The master closet is awkwardly-shaped. Will that long skinny extension have useable space on both sides?

If you are watching your $$, why don't you have straight exterior walls, instead of all the bumpouts?

The utility room seems to have a lot of wasted space in the middle. Are those desks along the bottom wall? The adjacent closet also seems awkward as it is drawn as a hallway from the garage door to the utility room.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

I agree with the others about the hallways. They'll cost a fortune, and I'd rather spend that space on "living area" instead of "transitions".

I'd consider switching the study and the utility room. Why? The utility room would still be located down that little hallway, so it wouldn't be "public", yet it would be right next to your master closet and bath, which would be wonderful. The current utility room has lots of empty space in the middle, which is really just a waste. The study would still be private and would function as an "away space". Since the utility room is smaller than the study, this would go a long way towards flattening out the front of the house, which would be one of those money-savers for which you're searching.

I like the bump-out on the living room at the back. Since it allows in extra light and provides needed space, this is a bump-out that earns its keep.

I also like the connection of the table to the living room; however, if you could make the dining table and the kitchen fit back-to-front . . . you could have a great space with natural light pouring in from both sides, which would be nicer. See if you can work all those "closet type things" to the edge next to the garage . . . and then turn the dining /kitchen 90 degree.

I don't like the kitchen. It's too choppy, and you'll expend lots of extra steps walking back and forth. I hate to say it, but the kitchen's a gut-job. Back to the drawing board on that.

The pantry /mudroom /hall /closet area is way overdone. Too much space, too much repetition. This could be cut in half, and you'd still have a comfortable amount of space.

I see that your master closet "backs up to" a set of stairs. I would absolutely harness the empty space under those stairs as part of the closet. Even if you're talking about reaching behind the clothing to store big plastic boxes or suitcases, you have a great deal of space under those stairs. Don't let it just be boxed in.

You could lose some square footage in the master bedroom and never miss it.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

has anyone found an average on how much each additional corner adds to the cost of construction?


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

$2,000 a corner


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

I did a quick sketch to find a way to make your spaces relate better to each other and to put the garage where it belongs: as far as possible from your living space. Obviously each space would need a lot more work.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

The exterior doesn't match the house. I think if you moved some things around, it would work a lot better. You need that strong vertical element by the porch, for the gable.

I also don't like the hallways. The family room seems cramped and I don't see any windows in the dining room. The bump outs will be expensive and the garage is blocking all the light on one side of the house.

I know there is a much better plan out there, which will be perfect for your needs. Maybe something like this?

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to eplans


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

I dislike the hallway wasted space too. I'd lose that closet and the whole set of walls it's attached to. I'd slide the stairs up and make the master closet fill the vacant space, basically making an L. I'd use some of the last bit of the new Master Closet space to put in the closet I just axed as a simple reach in. I assume this would be a coat closet for guests. Now you're Master Bedroom has a simple 90 degree "vestibule" off the living room, instead of a jagged hall, and the wasted hall space finds itself in your Master Closet. And the Living Room feels bigger.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

wow, thanks so much for all the great ideas! the kiddos are home from school with a snow day today - but I'll be back soon to discuss more. Renovator - thanks especially for taking the time to sketch that out! I appreciate all your help :)

for what it's worth - I've linked to the original plan that I modified below

Here is a link that might be useful: plan


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

That plan is a lot better but I would not put a free standing column in a major traffic area unless it was attached to cabinets dividing a room.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

If you can handle another Mitch Ginn plan, this one is simple and may suit your needs. Perhaps add a full front porch?

Here is a link that might be useful: Mitch Ginn Brickyard Road


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

I agree the plan you posted is too choppy. As said the kitchen is a gut job. Renovator did a nice plan for you.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

I love Renovator's sketches!! :)


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

I like the original plan that it came from. Fewer hallways, a lot less choppy.

What didn't you like about it - why were you modifying it?


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

Renovator - I agree about the columns. I have never liked columns on the interior of houses. Much too formal for my taste.

Funny that you guys don't like the kitchen layout as this is my preferred layout - the counter against the closet wall will likely be used as buffet service or maybe a baking center. I have pinned many kitchens with this layout on pinterest.

 photo kitchen-trishatroutz_zpsa6d154b1.jpg

I know the hall by the master is hideous, but I love the halls by the mudroom/pantry. I've always wanted a nice hall/storage space for cubbies or whatever instead of a tight little entry from the garage.
 photo hallbuiltins_zps49e17617.jpg
 photo hall_zps42e92e76.jpg

Also, due to the layout of the land we need the garage to be side loading on the right side. The problem is, the sunniest spot will be the master corner so that's why I bumped out the living room to get some more light.

I will try to do some tweaking and post soon. The kiddos are going crazy though. This polar vortex is killing me - they've had more snow days this year than the last 5 years combined!

thanks again for all the feedback!


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

neroselover - the main thing I did was bump out the living room area so I could get some light into that space. that is the south eastern spot and I wanted a nice sunny spot to curl up on the couch somewhere. BUT when I bumped that living area out, I felt like it gave me some wasted space between the stairs and living room - so I tried to utilize that space but obviously I didn't do very well! LOL

So then I put the screen porch where the porch was and just added the pantry/mud hall between the garage & kitchen. I also feel like the master bath/closet space was a little tight on the original plan... We don't need a formal dining area so I made that the utility/craft/homework area.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

Your inspiration kitchen picture is gorgeous. However, that layout and the layout you have on your plan aren't the same. The island runs the other way giving you more work space opposite of the range. Yours is giving you the narrow end for counter space. There is also very little counter space by your range in your drawn layout.

This floor plan just popped up in my email. What about it?

Here is a link that might be useful: Farm house

This post was edited by neroselover on Wed, Feb 5, 14 at 15:17


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

thanks for that link - it looks very affordable with fewer corners but the main problem is once I put the screen porch on the back - I'll lose all my light in the family room...

thanks for posting it though :)


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

I actually prefer your kitchen layout, but I if there's a 'gut job' it's the kitchen from the original plan, you modified.

Your inspiration pictures are really nice! I think you're right about more storage between the garage and kitchen. The only thing I don't like is the dining area's lack of view. Since you have the access through the (pantry?) maybe a french door off the dining room would give you more light and views!

The master bedroom hall is a bit of a mess :( I can see what you're trying to do, but I think you need to start over on that side. Also, your bathroom/study placement does not match what you want the front facade to look like. While it would be nice to have the extra sun in the living room...it does make it more challenging.

The garage...I like the side entrance, but it's blocking light and views for your porch! A corner porch would be nice and moving the garage forward would allow you to do that....and maybe put storage/access in front of the 'hall' area.

Something like this? Just a quick sketch...I'm sure there's room for improvement :)

From Kitchen plans


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

thanks for the sketch lavender! it always amazes me how helpful the gw community is :) I'm torn about moving the garage up but maybe that would give us a nice spot for a deck or patio?

I just switched the stairs on this version and like it a lot better. what do you all think now? I'm also going to try out renovators sketch to see the sqftage...

 photo feb52014_zps9ca4a928.jpg


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

(I think that some may not realize your exterior is mirrored to your floorplan, at least I think so--it isn't a direct match either way though, as I look at it more closely).
LL's interior changes are better.
So are yours--with the change of stair. I'm just not sure if that stair actually will work in the space (someone like Renovator will need to count them and tell you).

But, you still have 3 ways to get from back hall to other places in the house:
back hall, pantry, kitchen, out
back hall, past fridge, past island stools, past dining chairs and out
back hall, closet, utility, foyer, out.

It is very circuitous. And, the most cramped option is probably the intended option (past fridge, past stools, past dining table).

Just my observation.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

Maybe something like this could work? I didn't realize until I was close to finishing it that the room sizes are a bit on the small side, but they could all be enlarged. It definitely simplifies things and straightens out the circulation problems found in your original plan. I combined the living and dining into one big sun room of sorts-not sure if you like separation between these spaces or not.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

kirkhall - yes you're right. the exterior pic would be reversed minus that bit on the right with the garage side flipped as well. It was not an exact match, but the closest (and what I thought simplest) exterior I could find.

wow, nicke - thank you! your plan is great and very similar to a bubble plan I did a while back. How many sq ft is this currently? I've got a lot of thinking to do.... what program did you use? It's very very nice!!


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

I like that plan that nicke posted a lot. It flows nicely. It has a nice mud room and kitchen set up.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

Here's another idea that keeps the stairs up front and the kitchen in the back. I make these using Google Sketchup.

The first plan was 1920 square feet on the main level, this one is just over 2000 square feet. Whoops, looks like I forgot dimensions on the study. Its 14'x13'11.


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

wow nicke I really like this plan too!! Thank you SO much for taking the time to do these for me - it's so helpful and I really appreciate it :) Is this garage a 3 car? any idea what the exterior would look like with this layout? thanks again!


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

Here's what I was envisioning, but there are a million different ways you could go with it. Because the normal rectangular garage elevation was a little overpowering, I shortened one of the three garage bays to make a smaller gable up front.

 photo lauren1_zps3231a5f5.png

 photo laur3_zpsfe69e737.png


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

That exterior is very close to what I was envisioning as well! These trusses look fairly simple - right? Just trying to think of expense during the build. One thing I'm not sure I"m crazy about is that long hallway going from master to garage...is there a better way to utilize that space? Could we switch the stairs and put them where the study pocket doors are and open to the living room sort of like this:

 photo norwoodarchitectsstairs_zpsa9cb9dac.jpg

could I possibly see the back exterior? Also, do you have an upstairs (would need 3 bedrooms plus 1 fairly large bath with double sinks for my 3 kiddos to share). If you don't have time for this I totally understand or if you want to email me instead that's great too. thanks again everyone! :)


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RE: starting over (ugh) please critique new plan

Nice stairs! I think with Nicke's help, you're going to have a wonderful plan :)


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