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I can't pick a layout!

Posted by gingerjenny (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 29, 12 at 21:16

I have been looking at layouts for weeks now. I can't seem to pick one i like. I am really torn on the whole open concept thing. On, one had they make the house look bigger. I think they are hard to decorate around though. If you want to change one rooms wall color i feel you almost have to change them all. The spaces are not defined.

My kitchen isn't usually the cleanest so i don't know if i want it open to the rest of the rooms. Maybe if i actually liked my kitchen it would be better/cleaner and i'd want to show it?

my list of wants
3 bedrooms
split floor plan
kitchen with room enough for an island
double vanity in kids bath (separate or jack and jill)
1/2 bath for guests
master bedroom bath-garden tub, full shower, double vanity
master walk in off bedroom or bath..don't care
dining room would be nice but not necessary.
great room size one that is good for furniture placement
gas fireplace

the kid bedrooms not to be crackerjack size 10x10. 10x14 would probably work.

i had one i kind of liked except i didnt like the bathrooms. the builder bumped the bathtub out to make room for a double vanity. The bathtub then had 3 exterior walls? Won't that be cold? Seems weird to me.

does it seem like a lot to ask?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Gingerjenny- We like having the kitchen separate from the living room, but not cut off, so in our plan, we have one room that is family/living room with the fireplace on one wall and the TV on the other. Great place to watch movies, read a book, visit, etc.

The other room is the kitchen/dining/keeping room, with an L-shaped kitchen with island, dining area with bay window seat and a corner fireplace/wood stove, with a couple of comfy chairs and an ottoman. We wanted a cozy/inviting kitchen, with plenty of seating and warm place to sit by the fire...but no TV. With DVR, you can watch TV when you want, so why not take advantage of that.

Whether I'm in the kitchen by myself, with my husband, or with family/friends...we want the focus to be on the food and the conversation :)


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Photobucket

this was the layout they gave us after changes. What do you think?


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

I'm sorry I don't have better things to say about your plan, but there are a lot of issues, IMHO.

I'm not sure why there are bumpouts on the two bathrooms. The entry closet makes a 'pinch point' with the staircase. The living room shares a wall with the bedroom, which means extra insulation or too much noise, in the bedroom. The kitchen is too small and the layout is not good...the sink and range should not be separated by your main walkway. If you add stools to the sink counter, you'll be blocking the access to the dining room, from the living room. I also would not have a pocket door to the master bathroom...there seems to be plenty of room for a regular door, swinging towards the toilet. And, if you can only access the closet, through the bathroom, make sure you have excellent ventilation, so the moisture doesn't go into the closet area.

Honestly, I think there's a much better plan out there, if you keep looking. When you find a plan you like, put int he furniture and see if you can get through the room, while people are using it. As mentioned earlier, could you enter the dining room, from the living room, when people are seated at the stools? Do you want to walk so far, to enter the kitchen, from the living room? Will you be able to use the patio door, when people are sitting at the table?

Do you need a formal dining room? Your other spaces seem so small, maybe the square footage would be more effective in other areas?


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

I really don't like anything about this one, sorry. The other plan you presented had some strange angles and things, but was more workable than this one.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

just to say a few things.
this kitchen is huge compared to my current one. Besides i really don't cook much.

i've had my walk in closet off the bath before and its never been a problem.

what spaces seem small? its 2000 sq feet. my current house is 1600 with no basement.

i do agree with the foyer closet and i may remove it all together since i have a lot of space in the mudroom.

he has changed the bedroom sizes to prevent the bump out in the bedroom. I may put the closets on the walls facing into the house to help a little with sound. Tv will be above fireplace. I think i'm switching bath to jack and jill


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feedback

here is the one i'd like to shrink
Photobucket

Here is one my husband came up with

Photobucket


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Oh, that's a MUCH nicer plan :)

See the way the entry invites you into the house? You're not met with a tiny entry, between closet and stairs, as in the other plan. If you need to shrink it, what about getting rid of the office and sliding the bedroom wing down, even with the entry? This would put the entry closet behind the front door, but much better than too close to the stairway. I think the stairs in your other plan, will fit in much better, now.

The kitchen is SO much better. It's not the size, it's the layout in the old plan. Too awkward and 'too small' around the pantry area...not on the other side. Now, it's got much better flow and traffic can go around the island, rather than between the sink and range. More room for the stools, too!

The living room in this plan is great, because you have the fireplace on the window wall and the natural place for the TV is on the other wall. You also have the closet between bedroom 2 and the living room. I'd think about changing the bathroom a bit...moving the sink by the toilet and making the entry, from the hall. This way it could be used, from the entry and living room and the powder room would be more of the mudroom area.

I really like the screened porch! And the access from both the morning room and the bedroom. The closet and master bath are much better, but you could rearrange these and the laundry, to be more like your other plan...if it will save you square footage. Good to know you haven't had any problems in the past with the closet/bath situation. Just make sure you have excellent ventilation in the new bathroom.

This is so much better! How much square footage do you need to 'shave off' to make this one work?


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

this one is 2500 sq feet. We need to take off at least 500 for it to fit in our budget i would think. We would probably have to do the screened in porch later due to budget reasons.


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re: layout

what do you think of the one my husband did?


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

I think your husband's plan is better (definitely better kitchen) since it's more like the new plan. I would still change the two bedrooms and especially the closets and move the entry closet down, so it's not crowding the stairs. I guess that's my pet peeve about the other plan.

So, I'd just copy the bedroom wing, from this new plan, but slide bedroom 3 down, so the entry closet is even with the wall is even, with the front door and entry closet is behind the front door. Maybe not as practical, but much better for flow, into the rest of the house. And, as I mentioned before, more sound barrier, between bedroom 2 and the TV.

I still think you should change the master bathroom door to a regular swinging door, rather than a pocket door. You have the room and I think it would give you a little more privacy. Hope that helps :)


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

I don't think the size is the problem with the plan at the top, it's the adjacencies and the traffic pattern.

I think the new plan is better and you could certainly shrink it by eliminating the study, making a 2-car garage, and reconfiguring the laundry/mudroom area.

You could also shrink it by putting the master bath where the screen porch is and eliminating that although it's a nice feature.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Are you limited to Berkey?


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

no, we are currently open to others. did you have someone in mind?


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berkey

LOL - I misspelled Birkey on this recent search and it led me to different plans. How funny that BERKEY's seems to have your wishlist!

So, this one is from BERKEY, not BIRKEY. 3 bed, 2395 sq ft.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

I think i have it...maybe. May go back to the other kitchen style. I 'm very unsure what style kitchen I want at this time.

Photobucket


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Gingerjenny- If nothing else, flip the kitchen, so the range is on the wall to the living room and the sink peninsula is coming off the master bedroom wall. Still not the best layout (unless you minimize traffic between the range and sink) but at least you'd have more room for the stools and a shorter walk, from the kitchen to the family room...and the dining room. Would that work? :)


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

i see what your saying. I'm not sure i will even use the bar actually. How many places does a family of 4 need to eat? lol Do you like G shaped kitchens better? i'm not sure if i want it open. i'm finally happy with the rest of the house but i'm still debating on the kitchen layout. out of everything i'm most excited about my cubbies! :) lol


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Gingerjenny- More storage is always wonderful!

As for the bar, it's not only for eating, but also great for kids helping bake cookies, have a snack or just visit, while you're in the kitchen. The table is more for eating and the dining room can always do double duty, maybe as an office or library.

Do you plan to use the formal dining room everyday...or is it more for holidays? Sometimes it's more fun to have flexible spaces that can be used for more than one activity, but it just depends on how you'll use the house and the other spaces you have. It looks like you have a basement, so maybe you don't need the extra space, but it's still nice to use every foot, with the cost of building! :)


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

We mostly plan on using the dining room for birthdays and holiday get together. Usually we have both sides of the family come and we don't currently have enough seating for them. Currently I can only have about 6 people eat at our one table. I have to bring in a card table which is sooo fancy :)

I would like it to double as something else but I don't think the size is there and I really can't go any bigger on this house. I think its a tad too big as is now. We will have a full basement but its something we won't finish with construction.

The most i can see needing seating for is about 12. We had a bar at a rental house we lived in for about a year. I think we used it twice. :)


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Your new plan lacks a front closet space (there is a tiny one by the bedrooms). What climate do you live in? Will you have guests coming and needing a place for their coats/gear? Where will that be?


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

We don't entertain a lot. We always come in through the garage door. So i would take their coats and take them to the mudroom. I can't see getting a foyer closet in that space. Any suggestions on that?


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am i crazy taking out closets?

Photobucket

here is the latest with the kitchen flipped (husband not sure if he wants exhaust fans on that side. foyer closet removed, hall closet removed. bath reworked


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

anyone see any areas i could improve the laundry room/half bath/cubbie area? i want to make sure i use that space the best way possible


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

I like this much better! The kitchen looks great and you always have the option of opening that wall up and overlooking the living room. You could have a downdraft or vent above...or just take out the upper cabinets to the right of the stove. This would only be, if you wanted to see the living room/kids while you're cooking.

The master bath/closet area is improved, too. As for the powder rooom/laundry area...I think it looks good! Maybe just some upper cabinets, over the washer/dryer...and you have benches in the cubbies, right?

The only other thing I would change is to have the Jack-n-Jill bath made into a hall bath, for more convenience, from the living room, dining room and entry. I can't really picture a fancy holiday dinner, with guests going through the laundry or kids' bedrooms, to use the bathroom. Just an observation...


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

*How big* is your mudroom? I am concerned it might be narrow/short, but I can't tell, since there aren't any dimensions.

I also would turn the double sinks in the boys' bath to be on the same wall as the length of the tub with entrance from the hall. I think it will be more versatile this way and more welcoming for guests. It also will cut down on the doors from the bedrooms/to the bedrooms making more usable wall space. You *could* then narrow one bedroom slightly to maybe get you an entry area closet. (I know you said you don't want small bedrooms, but really, what all are you going to put in there? I've seen comfortable masters that were 13x13 with a king bed. Your house isn't huge (thankfully), and so allocating that much space for 1 child seems like a lot!

Finally, remember that carpet comes in 12' rolls. If both dimensions of your bedrooms are longer than 12', then you will be paying extra and throwing out extra carpet when they go to carpet the bedrooms.


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kitchen

Also, I don't think your kitchen is set up ideally...and here is why.

You mention that you aren't sure about wanting the kitchen open to the great room... ok. But, consider this:
When/if you have guests over, or your kids have friends over, or... you will be in the kitchen--separated from everyone--with no view of what is going on. For me, this was THE REASON that my kitchen was always a mess. Even in the evenings, after dinner, I'd want to go be a part of the family and not stay in the kitchen and pick up/do dishes. After we opened our space, they can be in the great room and I am in the kitchen, and I feel a part of what is going on. Dishes get done.

If it were me, I'd consider moving sink to where the stove is, and stove against other wall (with pot filler), or ??? Not really sure since your pantry fills up the whole corner, but if you put a pony wall at the new sink location (old stove top location) that can screen any "mess" that you do have around the sink, you will still be able to be a part of the family.

And, no matter what, take your final "plan"'s kitchen space/layout to the kitchen forum for comment and rearrangement. They will be able to tell you that you have divided prep space; or no prep space; or the fridge is too isolated/kids will need to walk past stovetop to get to it (from dining area) etc. They will have better suggestions and help you with the layout to a tremendous degree. (They may suggest an island-like layout rather than double peninsula/G shape that you have now, etc).


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kitchen rearrangement

I just had an idea for your kitchen (but I don't know if it will really work--dimensions). But, this is what the kitchen forum is really good at:

I'd make the corner "south" of the stovetop be the corner pantry. Door to kitchen from hall gets moved over a bit to the right.
Clean up sink north of pantry with a pony wall.

Stove along hallway wall to right of new door from hall. Fridge and prep sink along master wall... OR Fridge and stove along master wall, with prep sink to right of new door to kitchen.

This is just one configuration that opens your space a little, still gives you defined space (corner pantry gives you a definite corner and walls defining that dimension of the kitchen), etc. But, it moves the stove out of the way of the walking paths, and moves the fridge to a good position from dining area. The kitchen forum peeps could do an even better job, I'm sure.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

I had a couple of hours (DH is working) and decided to sketch your plan out of curiosity.
I think this plan has a good resale value, specially if you are building it in a subdivision. It is also a nice size.
For this size of home, I am ok with having mudroom and laundry combined but there is not absolute need for your visitors to enter the laundry to use the powder room.

Where are you at? Sorry I did not read every comment. This sketch shows a 2x6 exterior wall. Keep that in mind if that is what you will use because your plan shows 2x4 exterior walls. I also show the walls including the drywall (not stud to stud as your plan).
You asked where to place a coats closet. I think the foyer/dining still works the same if you place one in between. there is not absolute need to have a wall between dining and great room but you will need some bulkhead and maybe columns to create some definition, in addition to the railing if you do not want the dining to be isolated.

This is a possibility:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And here is a sketch showing the kitchen a little bit different. I flipped/mirrored the powder room.
What I do not like about a corner pantry is that it interrupts the counter flow. I only use them when there is no other possibility and I have enough counter space. The kitchen is not to big but it is efficient and in proportion with the overall size of the house.
I am showing a ledge over a pony wall, kind of a raised counter in case you want some openness but the wall can be extended if you want the kitchen to be enclosed.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Martha,
Thank you so much for taking the time to create those sketches! How very kind of you :) I like them and they give me a lot to think about. I like how you did the powder room so guests would not have to go through the mudroom! :) Thats a great idea!

I like the second layout mudroom too because if i left a basket in front of the dryer I wont have to walk over it coming from the garage.

The whole reason I'm doing the powder room is so guests do not have to use my kids bathroom and looks at their toothpaste messes or kid toys in the tub. so it really makes sense not to have to have them go through the mudroom too.

I will have to get dimensions for everything from the builder. We are still in the beginning stages and i only have dimensions for the main rooms.

I like the coat closet there but its so hard to picture. Do you think it will make it seem closed off with the stairs being there too?

I've considered doing the stairs at the back of the garage but then the garage sticks out even further and i'm not sure how costly that would be.

Can i ask how you can tell the planner made 2x4 drawing instead of 2x6? not sure what i'm looking at here.

As far as the kitchen i'm still undecided. I may completely change my mind and make it super open. LOL One of the main reasons I don't want to see my kitchen now is its so ugly. Maybe if I liked the look of it I'd want it to be more open. I worry if I do it L shaped with an island I'd lose counter space.

Kirkall,
The bedrooms for the kids will have a bed, dresser, and desk. The both have cubbie toyboxes. I'm worried my son will need a full size bed as he grows and I want to make sure that fits. My daughter currently has a 10x14 size room and that is a great size for our family. I have seen the 10x10 size though and I know that wont work at all. So i thought 12x12 was a good compromise. The builder made it 12x12'8" when he changed it to a jack and jill.
Ah decisions!

ps. looks like i lost the linen closet for the kids arranging the jack and jill. think i'd regret that one?


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Gingerjenny,
You can tell by just looking at your drawing. Interior and exterior walls have the same thickness. If the exterior were 2x6 they would look thicker - and I know for sure because I copied and pasted the drawing in the AutoCAD program, scaled and measured it.
You can scale it using some of the known dimensions shown on your drawing.
Believe it or not, 2x6 exterior walls will add about 30 s.f. to the total square footage (but the price does not increase proportionally), otherwise, the rooms will be a couple of inches smaller and not just that, some doors will not fit, like the one at the masterbathroom.

Have fun selecting the plan for your home.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

If you use a vanity cabinet with under counter storage, I think you will have enough room for towel storage etc in the kids' hall bath. You'd have to store their sheets some place else.

What is upstairs on this plan? The stairs take up a lot of space and flow, and I'm not sure what you plan to put there.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Kirkhall,
I think the stairs go the the basement.
About your kitchen suggestion, I tried it but there was not room to place fridge and stove adjacent to the master wall.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

The dining rooms in these plans are actually quite small, and will only carry a table that is about 6' long, which seats 6, or 8 in a pinch. So, to seat 12 you may need to be able to turn and extend the table L-R into the foyer area. With it open, this is a possibility, and a decent use of "flex" space for when you need it.

For this reason, I would take the closet that Martha placed by the door, make it smaller, and carve it out of the bedroom closet. If it is for guests only, it doesn't need to be too big.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

yes, the stairs go to the basement. The seating needed for 12 is total. So, the 6 in dining room 6 in breakfast nook/bar area is fine. We don't do formal dinners.

we havent decided yet if we are doing 2x4 or 2x6. it will be optioned out and we will decide based on the cost.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

I strongly advise you to use 2x6 for exterior.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

If the stairs go to the basement, then why not move them over to the right so they don't create a pinch point from foyer? I assumed they went up (with butler space under them). But, if they are going down, I'd eliminate the butler space and move them to the right.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

martha- We just have to see the cost. If its reasonable i'm all for it. If its 10K then I don't know. I have no clue on the cost aspect.. i'm trying to learn though. :)

Kirkhall,
not sure i can move those stairs or not. But i think by doing so it would cut off the path from the kitchen. I'm already considering removing 2 closets so that would be the only one left other than the bedroom ones.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

meet later this weekend to discuss costs...sweating already. lol


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

2x6 isn't code in your area? I wouldn't build anything without minimum 2x6 construction.

When my mom chose her home (downsized) we got a smaller home than she planned, but very well built and it shows! Her heating/cooling bills are very low and it's much more quiet, too. Quality over quantity every time...IMHO :)


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

LL - I think there are lots of places that don't require 2 x 6s. They are probably required mostly in locations that have to worry about snow load.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

It is not currently code. I think in april of this year it will be required to label the house as energy star or energy rated...(however its worded). I'm not sure if its going to be code in april or just to get that title. I'm still researching all that.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

That would explain it...we get snow. A LOT of snow!!! LOL


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

gingerjenny - Will the new code require 2 x 6 construction or since it is concerned with energy, will it just require a certain amount of insulation?


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

no, the information i read acted like it was 2x6. I am meeting with our builder on Saturday so I hope to remember to ask about it then.

yes, in indiana we get quite a bit of snow too.


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where we currently are

Here is where we currently are:
Photobucket


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

I like it! The hall and master baths are much better...and I like the powder room, too. The laundry/mudroom looks great and the entry closet and stairs look so much nicer :)

Just a few questions...where are you putting the dishwasher? Where are you storing the dishes?

If you don't use the breakfast bar, why not switch the sofa and put the fireplace on the back wall, with TV across from the kitchen?

Also, I'd think about patio/french doors, from the master bedroom, in case you do add the screened porch.

And can you add two feet, to the front of the dining room, making it 12' x 14'? Even it out with the front porch? Can you add the porch across the bedroom, so you have room for a couple of chairs or a bench?

Overall, I think you're much closer, but the kitchen and dining room still seem a little small...other rooms look great, though!


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

we are considering adding a slider to the breakfast nook and possibly a door or slider to the master. We would love to extend the porch but we are waiting to see what the bid is. We want to make sure its in our budget as it is now. I'd like to make the master smaller if it would make the kitchen bigger but I can't quite figure out how that would work and still get my closet/master bath and a door in there.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

6 feet is narrow for a walk-in closet with rods on both sides.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

Ditto dekeoboe.
Especially for a closet 12' long.


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RE: I can't pick a layout!

I current walk in is only 5'8" wide and its plenty to walk in with clothes hanging on both sides.


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