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Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Posted by Harmon (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 23, 14 at 14:06

[Also posted in kitchen forum.]

For those who have been following my floor plan saga & those who have been graciously providing advice & suggestions ...

We met with our builder again yesterday for about 2 1/2 hours. (I do really like how accessible he has been to us.) The floor plan I thought addressed 98% of all my concerns unfortunately won't fit on our lot.

Our lot is 85' by 117' but with setbacks (15' to the street & 5' to the neighbors property line) the building area width is only 65'. That plan was 74' and we just couldn't find a good way to chop it down to fit, and the developer said the city would not let us turn the house to face the other way ... something about storm drainage lines. (This sounded sort of like BS to me. I think the developer just doesn't want us doing it ... builder said they had allowed it a couple of other times & have received complaints).

BUT ... our builder said he could make our current design look essentially the same in regards to the kitchen layout ... so I said ok, let's try! Here is what he (& we) came up with. We still have time to make additional modifications so I would still appreciate suggestions & constructive criticisms. I have to say I am much happier with the plan now.

Thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Kitchen close-up ...


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Spare bathroom close-up ...


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Honestly, it needs some work. Almost all the rooms seem small. I can see what he was trying to do, but here are a few concerns....

Your powder room toilet is squished into a corner. I don't think anyone would want to use that bathroom, especially women.

The jack-n-jill bath is much larger, but there's no door between the front bedroom and the toilet area. And the other door leads to the hallway, not the bedroom...so why the powder room? And now there's no privacy for the front bedroom.

How large is the living room? How would you set up furniture? Would the fireplace work better in other corner, if study wasn't squeezing entry over so far?

While the laundry room does access the master closet (nice) there is still a wall there that is completely under utilized, due to lack of space. If the laundry has to be next to the garage (not sure why) I'd rather have some cabinets or cubbies there. If not, why not move it to an area that has a window?

The stairs...where are these going? Could they be moved to another area and not take up valuable dining room (only dining) space?

The master bedroom...also nice, but that doorway opens right into kitchen area with sight line to living room. Not very private.

Kitchen...I almost started with this one, but it needs the most work, IMHO. The doorway to master is taking up too much valuable space. Your range/cooktop should be opposite the long side of the island and there's no room with the doorway. Instead, your view from the living room is...the fridge! Is that really what you want?

If you aren't going to have any windows in the kitchen (or laundry, or powder room) then make sure you have something nice to look at...like a fantastic backsplash behind the cooktop or shelves on each side. Some kind of focal point. Just my two cents :)


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Lavender,

Thanks for the quick & detailed response. I'll try to respond as best I can:

"Almost all the rooms seem small."

Can you be more specific? They seem pretty normal to me from what I have seen on other 23xx sq ft floor plans, but I'm open to ideas.

"Your powder room toilet is squished into a corner. I don't think anyone would want to use that bathroom, especially women."

Yeah, the powder room is kinda smallish. Do you have another suggestion that doesn't add square footage to the house?

"The jack-n-jill bath is much larger, but there's no door between the front bedroom and the toilet area. And the other door leads to the hallway, not the bedroom...so why the powder room? And now there's no privacy for the front bedroom."

There would be a door between the front bedroom & bathroom. Builder mentioned it ... just forgot to draw it in.

"And the other door leads to the hallway, not the bedroom...so why the powder room?"

That was my suggested solution for the much criticized & convoluted jack & jill bath of the original design. Do you have a suggestion on improving that?

I looked at the floor plan I wanted for guidance, but don't think we can do the same thing here (which was extend a portion of the width of the house 4' or 5' feet for closet & bathroom space) because that would put us over our 65' width limit.

"How large is the living room?"

19' x 19' 8""

"How would you set up furniture?"

Our thinking is that sofa will have it's back to the kitchen, love seat will face windows, TV will be on wall opposite the kitchen, and the lower left hand corner will have a built-in bookcase with lower cabinets to house A/V gear.

"Would the fireplace work better in other corner, if study wasn't squeezing entry over so far?"

Which other corner?

"While the laundry room does access the master closet (nice) there is still a wall there that is completely under utilized, due to lack of space. If the laundry has to be next to the garage (not sure why) I'd rather have some cabinets or cubbies there."

Yeah, that's a good idea to put something on the wall opposite the washer/dryer. Guess I assumed that there would be at least shelves there to house laundry detergent & miscellaneous items.

I don't think the laundry has to be next to the garage, but where else would you put it where it maintained easy access to the master closet?

"The stairs...where are these going?"

To an upstairs unfinished bonus room.

"Could they be moved to another area and not take up valuable dining room (only dining) space?"

Maybe ... but not sure where. I realize the dining area is kind of small. I have been thinking about extending dining area 1.75' and taking a corresponding 1.75' from the length of the master bedroom so that those exterior walls meet. That would make dining area 12' x 15' and master bedroom 14' x 17.75'. Thoughts?

"The master bedroom...also nice, but that doorway opens right into kitchen area with sight line to living room. Not very private."

I suppose it could be more private, but we could always just shut the door. :) Also, there is about 4' of hallway there leading up to the master bedroom door which helps a little. Hopefully, it won't bother us.

"Kitchen...I almost started with this one, but it needs the most work, IMHO. The doorway to master is taking up too much valuable space."

I agree that it takes up space but we need a doorway, and I don't see any other option other than at the stairwell landing area. I don't like that option because as the bonus room will not be finished there will be a door closing off that area so that would require creation of a second door just four feet away from the first one in order to enter the master bedroom.

"Your range/cooktop should be opposite the long side of the island and there's no room with the doorway. Instead, your view from the living room is...the fridge! Is that really what you want? "

Why should it be the cook top rather than the fridge? Is that for practical or aesthetic reasons or both? Builder initially had drawn in the cook top where you said but moved it to the horizontal counter once we extended that counter all the way to the entry of the kitchen.

Actually, I think stainless refrigerators are nice looking. However, the builder we originally were going to use had the vent hood cover in the attached picture in a couple of his houses. I like it and my gf really, really likes it so we are hoping to be able to do something like this. If so, we would definitely want it opposite the island. (I was thinking maybe it would be cool if we could do the island with the same finish/color so that they match or would that be too much?)

Maybe we could put the cook top where the fridge is, put the fridge where the oven/microwave are, and make the oven/microwave angled at the intersection of the two counters?

"If you aren't going to have any windows in the kitchen (or laundry, or powder room) then make sure you have something nice to look at...like a fantastic backsplash behind the cooktop or shelves on each side. Some kind of focal point."

I think that is an excellent idea. Hoping we can do something like that although we have not quite reached the backsplash choosing stage yet.

Thanks again for your time & input. It has been and continues to be invaluable!

This post was edited by Harmon on Sun, Feb 23, 14 at 18:39


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

The kitchen island looks strange as drawn. It blocks walkways and doesn't fit in the actual kitchen space. Also, the sink isn't convenient to the cooktop. So, turn the island 90 degrees so the sink and cooktop share the same aisle. The island might need to be shorter to fit without blocking the fridge; however, it makes the sink much more useful to anyone cooking.

I agree with Lavender that the powder room location is redundant since it's so close to the other bathroom. Perhaps that powder room can be a coat closet for guests (and/or spare storage for you.)


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We HATES it. It took a bad plan and made it worse. You need another plan entirely.


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Lolauren,

Thanks for your suggestions!

"The kitchen island looks strange as drawn. It blocks walkways and doesn't fit in the actual kitchen space. Also, the sink isn't convenient to the cooktop. So, turn the island 90 degrees so the sink and cooktop share the same aisle. The island might need to be shorter to fit without blocking the fridge; however, it makes the sink much more useful to anyone cooking."

I agree that the cooktop is not very convenient to the sink, but I really do not like islands that are oriented the way you suggested so I think our solution is to put the cooktop where the fridge is now. Also, moving the fridge may allow me to resurrect my plan for the Frigidaire twins. :)

I realize the island interrupts a straight line to the master bedroom door, but given that there is 10 ft from the island to the MB door I don't think that will bother me too much and the alternatives of a much shorter or re-oriented island are less attractive options to me.

"I agree with Lavender that the powder room location is redundant since it's so close to the other bathroom. Perhaps that powder room can be a coat closet for guests (and/or spare storage for you.)"

Again, I agree with the redundancy statement, but I do not think redundancy is always a bad thing. Having guests and/or kids it seems that having a 3rd toilet is never a bad idea. Two or three weekends each summer (used to be much more often than that) I stay a long weekend with friends at the lake. With multiple overnight guests invariably one or more people need to go potty while someone else is showering, brushing teeth, etc so I don't necessarily view that as a negative. BTW, I'm not set in stone on the left side bathroom(s) setup if someone has a better idea.

Thanks again for your input!


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

"We HATES it. It took a bad plan and made it worse. You need another plan entirely."

Holly - Thank you for the constructive criticism. ;)


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

LOL! I think that's LOTR..."Master betrayed us", that type of thing. It is direct and to the point...and probably true.

Keep looking on eplans and see if you can find something that works better and will fit your space. The outside facade, covered back porch, bonus room, etc. can always be added later :)


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Another option?

Here's an idea...could you make a few changes to this plan? It's only 56' wide, so you could stretch the living room a few feet...and rework the kitchen and add a few feet to dining room and even bedrooms. ALWAYS easier to make rooms bigger, rather than smaller!

The powder room and kitchen could be squared off, to avoid awkward corners and the formal dining room could be enclosed to make the study. Also, a foot or two could be taken off the width of the walk-in master closet, to make space for a little more laundry room storage on the opposite wall.

Notice the location of the stairs. the coat closet built under the stairs and another by the entry...even if you don't need coat closets, you do need to store vacuum, cleaning supplies, etc.

I think once you 'square off' the powder room, the bathrooms are much better. The Jack-n-Jill is nice and the powder room is closer to the garage entry or living areas. The master bath length could be stretched, to make room for a larger shower. Again, always easier to add on than take off square feet! Hope this helps :)

From Kitchen plans

From Kitchen plans

From Kitchen plans

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to eplan page


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

I can see people hating front facing garages. However, when a lot is not wide enough to have so many rooms on the main floor, the house layout is sacrificed. I know that doesn't help you right now, but it seems like you are trying to fit to much into the wrong lot. Stock plans are very good at that. Is there a reason you aren't building a 1 1/2 or 2 story home? Seems like you could accomplish a much better layout if you did that?


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

HollySprings has the right of it.

You've received a mountain of discussion on the shortcomings of this plan, and what you don't want to hear you've dismissed as "non-constructive", even when solid reasoning has been provided. The biggest issues -- the kitchen proportions and the over-complicated J&J bath -- have been talked to death, yet the same problems remain.

This general plan is very popular right now, so dozens -- possibly as many as a hundred -- versions of this plan are available on different websites right now. I'd suggest you ask your builder for firm numbers on how wide /deep your plan can be (so you won't waste time with plans that are just too far outside reality for a 1/4 acre corner lot -- you can even use the "advanced search" features and put in a maximum width and depth) and start searching. When you find a plan that's close, note that many websites have a "see other plans by this designer" option. Lots of times a designer creates a plan . . . then makes a slightly larger, slightly smaller, whatever plan, and that might be just the thing you need.

Other general thoughts on how to fit a house this size onto a 1/4 acre lot -- these are a break with the above-mentioned plan. They're more a think-outside-the-box thing:

- Consider going with a two-story house. A two-story footprint is smaller than a same-square-footage one-story house.
- Reconsider the three-car garage. I know you said you have a "hobby car", but do all cars have to be parked inside?
- Consider going with a 3-bedroom rather than a 3-bedroom plus study. One bedroom could be used as a study.
- Consider a plan that has one large eating area instead of a breakfast room and a formal dining room -- this option seems to be gaining popularity today.
- Is the lot next door available? If you could buy it, you'd have space for a wider house. If not, are any double-lots available in this neighborhood?


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Sorry, I can't make changes to this plan...it won't let me use Picasa...and I don't know any other programs :(

Hopefully, this will help and you can think about some other options, too. If you like a one-story plan, I think you can find something that will work. This one has a lot of potential...just show it to your designer and have him see if this is easier to work with, than scaling back a larger plan!


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

If you are set on using a stock plan, I think you could find something that would require less modification than your original plan. Maybe dig around some more . . . what about something like this for a starting point?

Here is a link that might be useful: Another plan


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Since you have a corner lot, I think you should try to take advantage of it. I realize this linked plan is bigger than what you are looking for, but it's just an example of a house designed to be on the corner . . .

Here is a link that might be useful: corner lot plan


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

"If you are set on using a stock plan, I think you could find something that would require less modification than your original plan. Maybe dig around some more . . . what about something like this for a starting point?"

Lavender,

Greatly appreciate your suggestions. I do think our tastes are a little different though. To answer your question if we change floor plans we will be out the $1,200 our builder paid for the original plans. I am totally willing to eat that if I can find a different plan that I love and that will fit and have all of our desired criteria. So far I haven't seen it.

For instance, when I search eplans for 2,000 to 2,500 sq ft, side entry 3 car garage, optional bonus room, max 65 ft width, and max 100 ft depth, it returns 7 results none of which I am crazy about ... so I keep looking and also keep trying to make the original plan work. Our builder has been very open to making modifications (said he used to be an architect) so I do appreciate that.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Nix the bonus room in your search and you will get 326 results. You can add a bonus room to any plan with your builder.
Don't search for 2400-2500 when your max sq ft is 2300.
Try to think outside the box a little when looking at plans. A 2300 plus 3 car garage is a big footprint. Your lot may not be big enough for what you are trying to do.
You are getting constructive critisism. You just don't want to hear it. I am sure you have read through other fliirplan posts though. If your plan is getting toelrn apart by everyone, you can choose to get a better plan, or keep it and build a house just like all the other houses. It just won't be as efficiently and pleasantly laid out. It will have many things you "wish you had done differently". That is okay though. Most people are only in their house 7 years, and if you have kids, it will be only a few years before you are wanting to move anyway!
I do think your tastes and LL tastes are different. But there is a difference between saying "I don't like side load garages" or "I don't like J&J baths" and saying "Your lot and house requirements don't work with the garage you are trying to have" or "This J&J bath doesn't work".
The reason you aren't getting any comments saying someone likes the plan is because nobody is fond of it. There are a lot of other people not even commenting because they just can't see anything interesting about your plan or an easy way to did it.


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Hi Harmon,

I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to build. But I think you have an opportunity to take advantage of your lot/siting that is likely to be wasted if you stick with an internet plan. Since your builder is an architect, perhaps he would be willing to help you design something that is better suited.

One drawback of the internet plans is that they typically are not designed for corner lots. So the side load garages are typically placed awkwardly near the front of the house for access and to avoid long driveways. It seems to me that the optimal location for the garage on your property would be at the rear corner, street-side. Not prominently in the front corner breaking up the flow of your rooms. The internet plans have this arrangement out of necessity for interior lots -- in my opinion, that's a bug, not a feature on a corner.

The area where we live has many, many one-story 1500-2500 homes on lots of a quarter acre or less. Most originally were built in the 1940-1960 time frame. So the good ones have been remodeled, the less desirable ones torn down and replaced since the land value is too high . . . The homes on corner lots that are still standing tend to have this "L with rear garage" formation that maximizes backyard privacy and space. Some still look like the original ranchers, others have had facelifts (and even roof lifts) so that they are now "Mediterranean" or "Tuscan" or "French" or "Craftsman." That's a long-winded way of saying that if you get your siting and space planning right, the style details can come later.

If I might paraphrase from the decorating forum -- design for the lot you really have, not the lot you wish you had. Or if you are wed to a design, find the right lot.

Good luck!


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

I like the first floorplan Oaktown presented. It's considerably smaller than the OP's houseplan, but it's a reasonable size for a couple . . . and will even be fine with a couple + two small children in the future. It lacks the jig-jogs that would be so expensive, has a simpler roof. I like the kitchen and pantry. The closet and bathrooms are not as luxurious as the first plan, but this IS a first house.

I'm not so sold on Oaktown's second plan. The rooms all look very long and narrow, and I wonder if 1) they'd be a bit uncomfortable. 2) the house might be too wide for the lot.

OP, if you're using the search features and are getting so few results, that means you're looking for something outside the norm. I don't think the house features are all that outside the average . . . it's the three car garage and the small lot that are throwing you out of the ball game. I think most people who are looking to build a house this size with these features are looking at larger lots. If my assessment is correct, that leaves you with several options: 1) Have plans drawn up for yourself. 2) Downsize the options to fit the lot. 3) Choose a different lot.


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Sorry, the second plan I linked was just meant for illustrative purposes to show a massing relationship between house and garage spaces on a corner lot. Together the "wings" create a private backyard area, and the house presents nicely to the street. Not suggesting the style, size, or room arrangement.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Thanks for everyone's input. I truly appreciate it.

Is an 85' x 117' lot really considered small (or small for a 23xx sq ft house)? I was under the impression that was decent sized. I guess because of the street setback it has the same building width as a 75' interior lot ... oh well. I'm still not ready to give up on the corner lot & side garage.

As I mentioned before I really like the second plan that was 9' too wide. Well, I was looking at it again last night and based upon my handy-dandy ruler it looks like that garage is 27' or 28' ft deep where the first plan is only 22'. While I would love to have the greater garage depth if I'm correct that gives up to 5' or 6' that could be shaved off the garage.

On the other side of the house is a jutted out portion for closets & bathroom space that appears to add 4' or 5' to the width. By eliminating the formal dining room I think I can do without this space. If I can eliminate 5' on the left side and 4' on the garage (or vice versa), I still have a 22' to 24' deep garage (I think) ... will have to get exact dimensions from design company.

I made these changes and some others below. What do you think?

At a minimum out of all this I have gained a very rudimentary understanding of how to use MS Paint. ;)


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Yeah, 1/4 acre is considered pretty small -- and not just by people like me who are building on 45 acres.

If you're dead-set on this partiacular house, I think your new thoughts on cutting down slightly are realistic, given that you only need to eliminate 9'.

One thing I'd say about the above plan: I'd shorten the cabinetry on the short end of the "L" just a bit -- is that the refrigerator on the left side? I'd scoot it just a few feet to the right. The purpose: Allow a doorway from the kitchen to the study. Why? You want a study. Someone who buys your house in the future may prefer a dining room. It takes very little to put in a single door, but it makes your house more versatile for a future buyer. You might call that room a "flex room" rather than a study . . . just to widen the appeal.


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Just commenting on the garage...I think that 22 to 24 feet deep is enough space. My van is just under 17 feet...I think an F250 is around 18'. More than 24' is certainly overkill in my opinion unless you have a workshop or serious storage plans. However, what about that stairwell? I'm assuming it's between 3 and 4 feet wide. So if you only have 22' feet in depth, it will be mighty tight in front of that garage stall. And is your only entry from the garage into the breakfast room? So no matter which garage stall you park in, if there's another vehicle parked in front of the stairwell, you'll have to squeeze through there to get into the house?

This post was edited by dreamer16 on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 13:45


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Move your garage stairwell over to that closet thing area (by your master closet). The closet thing can go in the garage bump out toward the far end.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Went by the design firm over lunch ... got some good & bad news. First the bad:

(1) The garage isn't as deep as I thought. It's 26' deep in the larger area but only 22' where the stairs are. Guy I talked to didn't think the stairs could be repositioned, but I'm going to talk to our builder about that. If the stairs stay, I would be comfortable taking 2' off the garage ... maybe a little more.

The area I lopped off of the left side is 4 1/2 ft ... so we're only 2 1/2 ft away ... so close! Might be able to take another 6" more on the left side but more than that and the bathroom gets pretty narrow. The living room on the original plan is 19' wide where this one is 20' so cutting a foot out of the middle is basically a wash and we have some room to make up for it by extending the length of the living room. Now we're down to 1' to 1 1/2' and it starts getting more difficult ... still thinking ...

I know the response will be find a new plan & quit trying so hard to make this plan work, but not only do I like the layout, but I really like the front facade/elevation/whatever you call it. The symmetry just seems to work, and even with everyone's suggestions (which I do appreciate) I haven't found anything else I like as well.

(2) Now for the good news. I asked the guy about a credit towards a new plan for the $1,200 our builder already spent on the original plans. Guy was in the middle of saying sorry but no dice when another guy (who was later identified as the owner) interrupted him and said "we'll work something out". So I feel fairly comfortable that we will get at least a partial credit if we change plans. It was nice to get a little good news!


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"Just commenting on the garage...I think that 22 to 24 feet deep is enough space. My van is just under 17 feet...I think an F250 is around 18'. More than 24' is certainly overkill in my opinion unless you have a workshop or serious storage plans. However, what about that stairwell? I'm assuming it's between 3 and 4 feet wide. So if you only have 22' feet in depth, it will be mighty tight in front of that garage stall. And is your only entry from the garage into the breakfast room? So no matter which garage stall you park in, if there's another vehicle parked in front of the stairwell, you'll have to squeeze through there to get into the house?"

According to Yahoo & AOL my truck is 19' 1"" and my Boxster is 14' 4"". Maybe it would be ok to cut 3' off so that it is 19' deep in the stair well portion & 23' deep in the other part? I don't want to make it unusable for resale purposes.


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"According to Yahoo & AOL my truck is 19' 1"" and my Boxster is 14' 4"". Maybe it would be ok to cut 3' off so that it is 19' deep in the stair well portion & 23' deep in the other part? I don't want to make it unusable for resale purposes."

My DH's truck is over 20' long. We always measure garage space. The idea you are having would be a deal breaker for us.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Not enough garage space is a really big dealbreaker for resale. Square peg. Round hole.

Frankly, you're suffering from the "having it all" syndrome. You can't. And you're only making yourself crazy to try on a limited budget. Even those with higher budgets have compromises. There's no such thing as the "perfect" house. There are those that hit 90-95% of what we want as well as 99% of what we need. That's the best that anyone can shoot for, but to achieve that, you need a higher budget or larger lot, or both. You have neither.

Time to reign in that "having it all" wantfest and concentrate on whether or not this plan will be livable enough for the next 5 years. (It wouldn't be, for me, but this is you.) And then sell the house and move on to your intermediate house. This is a STARTER house. So stop trying to make it---or a different plan--- be the ultimate dream. It will never be that. "Good enough" "for now" is sometimes as good as it gets.


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What about something like this? You could make that study into an amazing master closet and rework the bathroom to make it something fantastic.

Here is a link that might be useful: House plan


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

"What about something like this? You could make that study into an amazing master closet and rework the bathroom to make it something fantastic."

I do really like that one. The exterior style fits my taste and I like the living room/kitchen layout, but ... I would want to keep the study, GF would not think it had enough closet space nor would she like the laundry room being so far away from the master closet.

The biggest problem I see though is that it looks like that driveway would require a lot of concrete which would bust our budget. We made the decision to pay a little more for a corner lot rather than pay more for the concrete required for a swing-in garage like that. Plus with our sized lot I think it would make the front yard mostly concrete.

Curious ... what sized garage do you & DH consider acceptable to fit his truck?


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"Curious ... what sized garage do you & DH consider acceptable to fit his truck?"

Minimum 24' deep. That gives you enough space to be able to walk in front of it, even when carrying things.

Our last house was 27' deep and it was nice because then he could have shelving and/or a bench there no problem.

Be mindful of making the garage too small because you don't have a basement.


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Great news about the partial refund! I hope you find a plan that you like :)


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

I agree that it's just not wise to make the garage that small. It would still barely be workable for you (if at all) and it would seriously affect resale.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

I'm getting some good info from this thread. Interesting to hear that you look for a minimum of 24' depth in a garage, Carly. In my current design, I have a 3 car garage. Two stalls have 22.5 feet and one has 24.5 feet. Thought that would be wise for resale if someone has a big truck or SUV. I don't have one so I'll be using that space for shelving and workspace. But now you have me thinking that maybe I should add another foot.


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Be mindful of garage door size. Our last home had a 2 1/2 stall garage but a small door (14' I think). I had to pull in on an angle to allow for a decent door swing when getting in and out of the car. Total PITA. So while the garage itself wasn't small it was not a good set up at all.

We are currently building and started with a 24x24 garage and ended up with a 26x26 but we have a basement stairwell entry in ours that required more room. Our door this time is much larger at 18'.

edit: garage door sizes were incorrect, my apologies, I have corrected them.

A roomier garage also helps when kids are trying to get their bikes, sleds, scooters, and whatever else out without scraping them along the vehicle to get through. ;)

Good luck. I really believe there is NO perfect house. There will always be something that you over analyzed that in the end didn't matter and something else you overlooked and can't believe you missed it! :D

This post was edited by Autumn.4 on Tue, Feb 25, 14 at 7:04


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

I agree that 24' is a good minimum size. Honestly, though, we can't fit our truck in our 24' deep garage because we need room for the water softener, central vac motor and such along one wall. Truck + those components = 24'. That means no room leftover for a walkway. If you don't have any other garage stuff on the walls, 24' might be fine for larger vehicles. We would never build with less than 24' depth after living with it, though.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Thanks for all the feedback and discussion ... very helpful.

I would definitely like a 26'+ garage but don't think it's going to happen with this house ... can't have it all, right? ;)

I think I've got an idea that will make the new & improved floor plan work. Not going to draw it up tonight because I need sleep, but here's what I'm thinking. Very similar to what I posted earlier but with a few adjustments:

(1) Two feet off the garage. That will make one 20' bay and two 24' bays. Swap the single & double garage doors. Not my dream garage but definitely usable.

The garage in the other floor plan was 22' the whole length. I think I prefer the 24/20 plan over that especially since I have a small car that can fit in that bay and still have 5+ ft of clearance. No one who said I should downsize to a two car garage is allowed to criticize this decision for obvious reasons. ;)

(2) 5' off of the left side of the house. That will narrow bedroom #2 by about 6" and will probably widen bedroom 3 (former study) by about 6''. (These will be very similarly sized to the bedrooms in the original plan ... basically 11' x 12')

My rough estimates are that each bedroom will have a 7' x 3' closet and that between the two bedrooms will be a 7' x 12' bath with access via a door to the hallway. (Small but usable I hope?)

(3) That leaves two feet to go so ... two feet off of the living room taking it down to 18 ft wide. Looks like that will also mean losing the coat closet by the entry. I think I'll make the linen closet a coat closet & just try to do a linen shelf or cabinet in an empty corner of the bathroom.

(4) I'm estimating that in addition to narrowing the house to 65' these modifications do away with around 250 sq ft. We should be in budget to reclaim about half of that or so. Thinking about extending the living room so that it is 18' x 19' (+60 sq ft) or 18' x 20' (+78 sq ft). Extending the breakfast area to include the area marked "covered patio" (+54 sq ft). Also, might extend bedroom 2 by 6" so that it is an even 12' long (+5.5 sq ft).

Comments? Suggestions? Accolades? Hate mail? Did I miss something? :)


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Good luck. We are in a similar plight as you. I am not experienced, so I cannot comment on your plan. What I do know is unusual lot situations call for unusual and creative thinking; sometimes an ill-placed hallway or room is the cost. One nugget I can share is that if you are hesitant to make a decision, there is a reason and you must explore what the reason is. Do not be rushed. And, make a list of your needs and wants --two very different things.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

I don't understand your insistence on stock plans. It seems penny wise pound foolish. Your lot seems very small for the type of house you want. This plan seems ill suited for not only your lot but for a functional home. Speak to an architect.

We have now interviewed 5 architects toured some of their in progress and completed projects. I think we've chosen our architect today. She was fantastic, very transparent in her fees and most importantly understood our priorities. The cost wasn't that bad considering she and her studio provide so much oversight through all phases of construction. In other words they aren't merely handing over a plan. I anticipate the architect to cost 15-17 per sq ft. It seems very reasonable. We will pay at each phase of their involvement. This means the 22-28k is broken into 4 installments. She understood where we were coming from. I was impressed by the openness, light filled, energy efficient homes with no wasted space! You really are limiting yourself by sticking to stock plans.

What is the point of a 7 by 3 closet? It's unwieldy for a reach- in (28"-32" is needed for coats but regular clothing fits nicely in 24" deep. Some advocate a 22" closet depth for kids if the width is over 60". If you wanted to do shelves in the closets the 3 feet is again unnecessary as Shelves should be 11"-15"deep. Finally 3 ft is not big enough for a walk in.

Plumbing cost money especially when things are not stacked stacked. Given the PR proximity to the jnj bath, why not nix it? And nix the jnj. Just create a large hall bath with access from the hall not the bedrooms. 7x 12 is oversized for a bathroom in a 2000 sq ft home. Many bathrooms across America are small yet totally functional at 5x8. 7x9 could be a nice sized with breathing room at 7 by 12 you'll have plenty of space. But how often is a BA used? Does it need to be so big? Would that sq ft be better utilized in the bedrooms?

If it is just you and you fiancee why do the study? Why do you need a 4th room? What makes you not want to use a spare bedroom for now as study then build a study along with a bonus room down the road? seems that would solve your sq ft issues, but would require so much reworking of plan, that it would be best to just find a different plan. See a common thread? Kitchen still doesn't work... Garage is being sacrificed... And the list goes on. Personally I would rather have all living space finished now and would consider building up rather than out. An unfinished bonus room? No thanks. It seems like the unfinished basement that everyone intends to build but end up waiting 20 years before tackling as life gets in the way.

You keep trying to put lipstick on a pig. You post for feedback yet present revised plans with most of the problems still present. Why waste your time? Move on to a different plan or better yet hire an architect. You can find one that will draw a plan for much less than one who is involved to a greater extent.

I agree with night owl prioritize wants versus needs. Then start over.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

"Great news about the partial refund! I hope you find a plan that you like :)"

Thanks, Lavender! I was due for some good news!

"Good luck. We are in a similar plight as you. I am not experienced, so I cannot comment on your plan. What I do know is unusual lot situations call for unusual and creative thinking; sometimes an ill-placed hallway or room is the cost. One nugget I can share is that if you are hesitant to make a decision, there is a reason and you must explore what the reason is. Do not be rushed. And, make a list of your needs and wants --two very different things."

Great advice Night Owl RN ... thanks! And your screen name holds true posting past midnight ... I thought I was the only one who did that. :)


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Nashville,

I'm glad you found an architect that you like. If I was building a $400k+ house, I would most likely go the same route. Just don't see it in our budget especially since we are looking for a pretty basic layout and there are a proliferation of floor plans out there. Also, our builder has been pretty good at making the changes that we want.

"What is the point of a 7 by 3 closet? It's unwieldy for a reach- in (28"-32" is needed for coats but regular clothing fits nicely in 24" deep. Some advocate a 22" closet depth for kids if the width is over 60". If you wanted to do shelves in the closets the 3 feet is again unnecessary as Shelves should be 11"-15"deep. Finally 3 ft is not big enough for a walk in."

Good points ... maybe I'll scale them back to around 30" deep. I could deepen them to 4' but that would cut back the bath to about 10' in length. Is 4' enough to walk into? Other input on this issue?

"Plumbing cost money especially when things are not stacked stacked. Given the PR proximity to the jnj bath, why not nix it? And nix the jnj. Just create a large hall bath with access from the hall not the bedrooms. 7x 12 is oversized for a bathroom in a 2000 sq ft home."

I think I've confused you. I'm back to talking about the "New & Improved" floor plan which does not have a jnj bath and has the PR on the other side of the house. I have already modified the plan to have access from the hallway instead of the bedrooms. Couldn't figure out a way to make the closets and bedroom access to the bath work in that space. I think hallway access actually works better for our purposes anyway.

Good to know that 7 x 12 is decent sized though. I was worried that it was too small. It will likely be the main bathroom for guests so I don't want it to be too cramped. The biggest reason we chose the subdivision where we are building is location. We could have gotten 1+ acre lots for less money farther out but we love the area (I live close to there now), and it is close to many of our friends' houses so hopefully they will come see us often!

"If it is just you and you fiancee why do the study? Why do you need a 4th room? What makes you not want to use a spare bedroom for now as study then build a study along with a bonus room down the road? seems that would solve your sq ft issues, but would require so much reworking of plan, that it would be best to just find a different plan. See a common thread? Kitchen still doesn't work... Garage is being sacrificed... And the list goes on. Personally I would rather have all living space finished now and would consider building up rather than out. An unfinished bonus room? No thanks. It seems like the unfinished basement that everyone intends to build but end up waiting 20 years before tackling as life gets in the way.

You keep trying to put lipstick on a pig. You post for feedback yet present revised plans with most of the problems still present. Why waste your time? Move on to a different plan or better yet hire an architect. You can find one that will draw a plan for much less than one who is involved to a greater extent.

I agree with night owl prioritize wants versus needs. Then start over."

I don't have the time or energy to respond to all the negativity in your posting and again I'm pretty sure you and I are not talking about the same floor plan, but to answer your question about 3 bed + study/office there are several reasons:

(1) Resale.

(2) Possible kids in our future. I won't want to give up the office later. Adding on is expensive and usually looks like an add-on which is not aesthetically pleasing to me. People have said this is a short term house for us. I never said that. In fact, I said I expect us to be here 10+ years. I do not consider that short term.

(3) 144 sq ft for the office is about 6% of the total house size, is worth it to me, and will be used often.

(4) Home office tax deduction.

(5) I don't think we have a square footage issue. We have a width of house issue. While they may be related, they are not the same.

(6) Several differences we would make in constructing a study/office versus a bedroom:

(a) Office/study - french doors with lots of glass. Bedroom -regular door.

(b) Office/study - wood floors. Bedroom - carpet.

(c) Office/study - bay window. Bedroom - regular window.

(d) Office/study - probable built-in bookcases. Bedroom - No built-in bookcases.

You suggest not having an unfinished bonus room because it will never get finished, but in the same breath say just add on a study later. Terribly inconsistent philosophies.

I do appreciate your input on the closet and bathroom size. Thank you.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Not horrible inconsistencies in my philosophy. I would opt for no office and no unfinished space. If I were you trying to build under width constrictions, I would opt for a better two story plan and have completely finished space within my budget. Nothing saved to do llater except maybe landscaping. However since you are currently planning for a to be finished later bonus room I would think you could if needed later when kids come along build a study upstairs just as you are planning to finish a bonus room. Again not my preference but you seem happy to defer costs on a project that may it may not get completed. Or if the study needed to be downstairs, then a bedroom built up there. Meanwhile you shave off width and sq ft downstairs and currently use the 3rd bedroom as dedicated office as kids may or may not come along. However given your job and tax write off of home office then perhaps the study makes sense. I merely asked a question.

As for the price if home dictating use of architect, I think that is antiquated thinking. An architect is needed at lower budgets to really maximize building dollars and space. And depending on level of involvement you could actually have a plan in you budget within your constraints for less than you think. If this is a 10+ year home for you it seems even more imperative to not use a stock plan. Your builder may be making changes but he's not helping your kitchen function any better or helping the home feel open or light filled.

I've never felt comfortable with a walkin less than 5ft wide. 7-8ft wide minimum if wanting to hang clothes on both sides. I'm sure the experts on here could give you hard dimensions. I think looking at most plans you see the defacto walkin at 5 by 7? Bigger would be preferable.

I'm sorry plain talk is taken as negativity. I'll refrain from future comments on your thread. Good luck


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

"Hi Harmon,
I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to build. But I think you have an opportunity to take advantage of your lot/siting that is likely to be wasted if you stick with an internet plan. Since your builder is an architect, perhaps he would be willing to help you design something that is better suited.

One drawback of the internet plans is that they typically are not designed for corner lots. So the side load garages are typically placed awkwardly near the front of the house for access and to avoid long driveways. It seems to me that the optimal location for the garage on your property would be at the rear corner, street-side. Not prominently in the front corner breaking up the flow of your rooms. The internet plans have this arrangement out of necessity for interior lots -- in my opinion, that's a bug, not a feature on a corner.

The area where we live has many, many one-story 1500-2500 homes on lots of a quarter acre or less. Most originally were built in the 1940-1960 time frame. So the good ones have been remodeled, the less desirable ones torn down and replaced since the land value is too high . . . The homes on corner lots that are still standing tend to have this "L with rear garage" formation that maximizes backyard privacy and space. Some still look like the original ranchers, others have had facelifts (and even roof lifts) so that they are now "Mediterranean" or "Tuscan" or "French" or "Craftsman." That's a long-winded way of saying that if you get your siting and space planning right, the style details can come later.

If I might paraphrase from the decorating forum -- design for the lot you really have, not the lot you wish you had. Or if you are wed to a design, find the right lot.

Good luck!"

Oaktown,

Thanks for the super helpful post! Somehow I missed seeing your post before, but I had actually been wondering why side-entry garages were stuck on the front of all these plans I've seen. Your explanation makes sense. I do prefer more of an L-shaped design to frame the back yard. Being able to articulate what I like and why though is helpful in my search.

I might go by the design firm's office again over lunch today and see what I can find although I'm still trying to find time to draw out my ideas on revising the other plan. Thank you!


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Nashville,

"I've never felt comfortable with a walkin less than 5ft wide. 7-8ft wide minimum if wanting to hang clothes on both sides. I'm sure the experts on here could give you hard dimensions. I think looking at most plans you see the defacto walkin at 5 by 7? Bigger would be preferable."

Thanks, that's helpful.

"I'm sorry plain talk is taken as negativity. I'll refrain from future comments on your thread. Good luck."

I appreciate your input and the time you've taken to give it. My only issue is that I've asked for advice not a lecture. There is a difference.

You are certainly welcome to continue to post on my thread. Your suggestions have been helpful and are much appreciated. BTW, I was in Nashville this past summer for a wedding ... what a cool town. Wish I had been able to stay longer than a weekend.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

I think this plan is an improvement over your prior plan.

I suspect the reason you are getting comments about this being a short-term house is that things change once you have kids and those changes are hard to anticipate. While this floor plan might be great for a couple, maybe you'll want something different down the road.

Will you see clients in your home office? If so, you might prefer that to be a bit more isolated.

When you have young kids, will you want to navigate the breakfast room and great room furniture if they need you in the night?

Just some questions you might think about in terms of needs vs. wants -- no need to answer them here. Folks really are trying to help.

As you modify your floor plan, you might ask the builder/architect to do some massing sketches for you, because your changes will impact the elevations and roof. Good luck.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Oaktown,

"I think this plan is an improvement over your prior plan."

Do you mean the marked up plan that is at the top of this thread or the one I posted roughly in the middle of the thread?

"I suspect the reason you are getting comments about this being a short-term house is that things change once you have kids and those changes are hard to anticipate. While this floor plan might be great for a couple, maybe you'll want something different down the road."

Good point. Understood. We love the location and there's not really any more land in the area for new construction after our subdivision sells out later this year so that has me thinking we could be there for a long time ... but who knows.

"Will you see clients in your home office? If so, you might prefer that to be a bit more isolated."

Thankfully, no. Work in the home office will be confined to the computer and phone calls.

"When you have young kids, will you want to navigate the breakfast room and great room furniture if they need you in the night?"

Excellent points and things I hadn't thought about specifically.

"Folks really are trying to help."

Yes, I know, and I really do appreciate it. I have learned so much from this forum and other sources in the last month.

"As you modify your floor plan, you might ask the builder/architect to do some massing sketches for you, because your changes will impact the elevations and roof. Good luck."

Again, great suggestions. Thank you.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Harmon- Welcome to the club....the first few posts can often get a LOT of responses and it's easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. Some responses are constructive criticism, some are meant to be helpful, and some can come across as just negative.

Everyone has ideas of what they would like or want....but that's not necessarily what you would like or want. When it's a question of function (here and on the kitchen forum) we can all be a little vocal in concerns over a poor (or what we deem to be poor) shall we say...less favorable layout.

Not everyone needs or can afford an architect. However, if you make too many changes, you may end up wishing you had spent the money up front to work out some issues that may arise later on. Not all architects prevent problems, but if you don't have a draftsperson or builder with a lot of experience, some things may get overlooked. Like that corner powder room, for instance....

Anyway, I hope you have a VERY GOOD experience with your build and it all comes together to make your house a wonderful home. And remember...it's so much more difficult with online conversations, because we lack the nuances and non-verbal cues, we would have in a face-to-face discussion. A little patience by everyone, can go a long way :)


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Serious question: Why do you want to build? You say you want a fairly simple floorplan. You're not looking for a special lot. You don't intend to stay in this house a long time. And you seem to be stressed rather than enjoying the process.

Why not just buy something that already exists? Buying an existing house would cost less, and you'd probably come out ahead when you resell.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Harmon, to clarify, I think the plan you posted on 2/24 at 13:16 is an improvement over the one at the top of this page. The main drawbacks in my view are (1) "brkfst" is a major traffic zone -- but while it is just the two of you, you could easily could use the "study" as a formal dining area and the front bedroom as an office; and (2) I personally would prefer the garage to be in a less prominent location.

I still think that you might do better starting from scratch with some design assistance. If you use an architect/designer you would say, e.g. I'd like to place the garage here, bedrooms in this area to maximize privacy, laundry should be close to the master bedroom, it is important that the kitchen be close to the garage, would like the living room to flow to the backyard for entertaining, etc.

This post was edited by Oaktown on Tue, Feb 25, 14 at 22:08


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

"Harmon- Welcome to the club....the first few posts can often get a LOT of responses and it's easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. Some responses are constructive criticism, some are meant to be helpful, and some can come across as just negative.
Everyone has ideas of what they would like or want....but that's not necessarily what you would like or want. When it's a question of function (here and on the kitchen forum) we can all be a little vocal in concerns over a poor (or what we deem to be poor) shall we say...less favorable layout.

Not everyone needs or can afford an architect. However, if you make too many changes, you may end up wishing you had spent the money up front to work out some issues that may arise later on. Not all architects prevent problems, but if you don't have a draftsperson or builder with a lot of experience, some things may get overlooked. Like that corner powder room, for instance....

Anyway, I hope you have a VERY GOOD experience with your build and it all comes together to make your house a wonderful home. And remember...it's so much more difficult with online conversations, because we lack the nuances and non-verbal cues, we would have in a face-to-face discussion. A little patience by everyone, can go a long way :)"

Lavender - Well said, agreed & thank you!


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Harmon-I probably shouldn't say it BUT....just as you don't intend on this being your forever home, you might end up in it longer than you plan to so keep that thought in the back of your mind as well. Our first home we purchased as newly weds that 'had everything we needed in case we started a family here but we don't intend on staying' and 15 years 2 kids and a dog later we moved. That seemed to happen so quickly like a whirlwind. ;) Haha!

So fast forward 15 years and we have sold that home and are now building our 'forever' home which after our last experience I know could be our forever home or short term home or ?? as you never know how life will unfold.

I have skimmed this thread several times but didn't see what is driving you toward a ranch. Is there any reason you are not looking at a 2 or 1 1/2 story? We had lived in a ranch and planned on buildling another but ended up with a 1 1/2 story with a main floor master to avoid giving all the bedrooms the windows keeping the main lived in rooms windowless. I was nervous I'll say since a ranch was all we had known but so far I love it (not in it yet) and am completely content with it not being a ranch. Ours is about 1700 sq feet on the main floor and 650 upstairs.

Good luck!


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Autumn, I've heard that the average person stays in a house seven years.

My husband and I bought our first house, very much a starter house, and thought vaguely we'd stay in it perhaps 5-10 years. We ended up staying 11. We moved not because of the house but because of the location. It was far out in the country, and once we had two small children, we needed to be closer to work, to day care and school, and to other things we needed. We couldn't afford to be in the car an hour each way each and every day.

We moved into our second house because it was very near the high school the kids would attend, and that's turned out to be a good choice. Once they were teens, they needed to be run back and forth to school very, very often . . . and once they were driving themselves, we liked that they weren't traveling far. We said we'd stay here 'til our kids were all out of high school. Our youngest will be a senior next year, and it'll be 14-15 years total that we've been in this house.

We have our land in the country, and we're planning our house. Now we're just waiting out the time for our youngest to finish high school. Of course, as things look now, I think she's going to stay home instead of going away to college . . . so we may choose to stay here and put off building another year or two. It's not what I want, but it may be best for our daughter.

In contrast, my sister bought a nice little house for herself . . . and surprise! Within a year, she met Mr. Right, married, and wanted to move. BUT that was just about the time housing prices plummeted, and she found herself forced to rent out the house. Finally she gave up and sold it at a loss.

So, yes, things do happen that you don't expect. That's why you should always be cautious about putting too much money into a house and why you should keep resale in the back of your mind.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

mrs. pete-I have heard that same thing and cannot imagine moving that frequently. You do 'clean out' but what a royal pain! Resale is what kept us from building a ranch with main floor master, 2 bedrooms downstairs. Would have been less expensive by far but not smart for our area.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

"Harmon, to clarify, I think the plan you posted on 2/24 at 13:16 is an improvement over the one at the top of this page. The main drawbacks in my view are (1) "brkfst" is a major traffic zone -- but while it is just the two of you, you could easily could use the "study" as a formal dining area and the front bedroom as an office; and (2) I personally would prefer the garage to be in a less prominent location.

I still think that you might do better starting from scratch with some design assistance. If you use an architect/designer you would say, e.g. I'd like to place the garage here, bedrooms in this area to maximize privacy, laundry should be close to the master bedroom, it is important that the kitchen be close to the garage, would like the living room to flow to the backyard for entertaining, etc."

Oaktown,

Ok, that's what I thought you meant. Thanks again for the good advice. I went driving around the subdivision we are building in looking for garages on side-front versus side-back and definitely like the side-back better.

This second plan isn't quite that, but at least the garage is even with the rest of the house and the master bed/bath extend back to create something of the L-shape you mentioned. Now that I've been looking at design plans specifically for garage placement in addition to orientation, I'm really surprised that so few have that seemingly obvious and logical L-shaped configuration.

After viewing the large diagrams of this second plan (maybe I should call it "Plan B") at the designer's office yesterday, I've made some more tweaks and posted them in the new thread linked below since this one is getting long and confusing as to which plan we are referring to. Would love your input ... thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: A Leaner, Meaner


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

"Harmon-I probably shouldn't say it BUT....just as you don't intend on this being your forever home, you might end up in it longer than you plan to so keep that thought in the back of your mind as well."

Thanks, Autumn! That has certainly occurred to me because I'm not sure what area we would move to that we like better and because with kids and other priorities not sure where upgrading houses will fit into our budget if at all.

"I have skimmed this thread several times but didn't see what is driving you toward a ranch. Is there any reason you are not looking at a 2 or 1 1/2 story?"

Two stories on new construction seem to be so rare around here for under 3500 sq ft houses that we never seriously considered it. Upstairs bonus rooms are becoming very common, but that's about it. Maybe that's because land is relatively cheap here compared to most parts of U.S.

Can't say I know much at all about two story construction. In your other post you implied it was more expensive which makes sense. I've also always heard/assumed that it is more expensive to heat & cool than a 1 story of similar size.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Two stories on new construction seem to be so rare around here for under 3500 sq ft houses that we never seriously considered it. Upstairs bonus rooms are becoming very common, but that's about it. Maybe that's because land is relatively cheap here compared to most parts of U.S.

I don't think that is it. If land is so cheap, why are the lots only 1/4 acre. On such a small lot, you have more room for the children to play when you have a 1 1/2 or 2 story.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

Harmon-to clarify. Our build is more than we thought but I don't think it's that it's a 1 1/2 story....more so that it has an angled garage and the trusses for that are quite complex and more time consuming to frame = higher labor costs. :(
Don't get me wrong, I love the angle but yikes, it was more costly than we had anticipated. So I wouldn't chalk it up to being a 1 1/2 story at all.

The ranch we moved from was 1450 sq. feet on 3/4 of an acre. Have you calculated what space you will have around the perimeter of the home for green space and privacy?

You may be too far down the ranch road but it's something to consider.


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RE: Back to the Original Plan ... Sort of ...

What is the point of a 7 by 3 closet? It's unwieldy for a reach- in.... If you wanted to do shelves in the closets the 3 feet is again unnecessary as Shelves should be 11"-15"deep. Finally 3 ft is not big enough for a walk in.

I grew up in 60's homes with 2' deep closets with sliding doors. I am now retired (in another 60's house) and have an 8' wide, 3' deep master closet. That extra foot of depth makes it possible to use, see, and reach the ends of the closet (the parts beyond the sliding doors): if I had enough clothes, I could fill the entire closet and still access everything.

As for the deep single shelf above the hanging clothes, I use long plastic storage boxes from Lowe's and slide them out of the closet to access what's inside. It's not a modern walk-in closet -- which I could never hope to have in this house without sacrificing the largest of the other two bedrooms -- but it works.

And it's much better than the 4-room apartment I rented 40-some years ago, which I was thrilled to discover had four closets. Unfortunately, three of the closets were so shallow the doors wouldn't close unless the hangers were bent at a 30-40º angle. Nothing like hundred-year-old apartment buildings.... (The largest of the closets was in the living room, and had probably housed a Murphy bed. Never did figure out if the arched niche by the doorway to the dining room was for an old-style telephone or a statue of the Virgin Mary.)


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