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New House Construction Draft

Posted by glamppa (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 29, 13 at 17:20

We are looking to start construction on our first home in the next month with a local builder who is very open to customization.
The 2nd floor loft is actually going to be turned into another bedroom.
This is being built in a northern Minnesota. In floor heating throughout every room with a natural gas boiler and a couple Fujitsu mini-splits for supplement.

Any feedback is appreciated.


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RE: New House Construction Draft

I like it. How many people will live here? Will it be your primary home, or is it a vacation home? Any kids?

The master is a long walk from the upstairs bedrooms, which is great for guests or older kids, but not so great for babies and toddlers.

You have very few windows on the sides of your house-- unless there's a good reason not to, I'd recommend adding windows to all the corner bedrooms. Rooms with windows on two sides are more comfortable.

I encourage you to take your kitchen design over to the kitchen forum. I'm not sure if the design you've got makes the best use of your space-- they can help you with that.

A suggestion, since your garage will block the view of your front door from people approaching from the right, think about which direction people are most likely to approach the house from, and if it's the right, flip the house so the first view is of the house, not the garage.

Good luck!


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RE: New House Construction Draft

Thanks for the feedback!!
It will be our primary residence. 2 adults and are expecting out first child right around completion (talk about a stressful and busy next 5 months).
Since this was created we did add windows to sides of the house.
We are also open to using the upstairs bedrooms more while our child is young but have also had the same thoughts about the master location. Though we are in our early 30's now we wanted the master on the lower level for the future.
Most traffic will approach from the left but that was a great idea on flipping it around.
The basement will be 9' and be partially finished with a sauna and media room.


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RE: New House Construction Draft

FWIW, I would focus on making the plan work well for you over the next 5-7 years, instead of planning for 30+ years from now. Unless you're building on the family farm or something, odds are you will move before you reach retirement age, and even if life doesn't lead you to move between now and then, a house that's a good fit for raising a family probably won't be a great fit for retirement.


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RE: New House Construction Draft

Nice plan, well laid out. The area about which I'd be most concerned is the dining area. You only have space for a small table. I personally would want a pantry somewhere.

In the mudroom/laundry, I'd omit the closet doors and go with open shelving. As it is now, you have too many doors and will always be knocking some door against another. With fairly limited storage, I'd go with stacked machines. That'd give you space for dirty basket storage under a folding table.

I hate garages that stick out so far in front of the house, but you see them all the time these days.

I do not share the previous poster's concern about children upstairs.

I agree with the poster who says plan for 5-10 years. At your age, you're likely to move a couple times for work. This is a nice starter house, but I do predict you'll want something with more living space as your family grows.


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RE: New House Construction Draft

I would never build that house with a new baby. You are either going to have to sacrifice your nice, new master bedroom and bath for a few years or leave your baby unattended far from you on a different floor. And if you have another child, is there room for all of you upstairs?

We bought our current house with a master down when my youngest was a year old, but I had teens upstairs, which did make it workable. However, it was still a royal pain in the rear, as my baby was my responsibility - not theirs. And my bedroom was a lot closer to the staircase, as well.

You also seem to have a very large island and bar, and a rather small dining area. Is that really what you want?

Frankly, "I" would start over.

Good luck.


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RE: New House Construction Draft

i am not a fan of front facing garages. if you have the room to push your garage to the back and enter the garage from the side, then you should consider that. garages shouldn't be so in your face.

could you put one tiny bedroom downstairs to serve as a nursery later guestroom once baby moves upstairs? otherwise, you may have to camp out upstairs with the baby for a couple of years. keep in mind that some babies don't sleep through the night until they are 2 or 3. my 18 month old still wakes up at least twice a night. of course, you could use a monitor and walk upstairs to tend to him or her, but having a room close by would make your life much easier.


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RE: New House Construction Draft

I think we will be stuck with the garage up front.

The little one might be sleeping in the master closet for 2 years :)

I really appraise all the feedback. We have been researching like crazy for the last 6 months so hopefully everything will go relatively well when we start the actual construction process.


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RE: New House Construction Draft

A few comments:

1. I would try to define a foyer of some kind. Either with furniture or a wall.
2. I can't figure out what's going on between the living room and kitchen. Is that a header? I might make the opening a little smaller. You can see straight through to the kitchen from the front door. I'm all about the open floor plan but you may want to go with a cased opening of 7-8 feet or so.
3. For the size of the home, the master suite is huge. Do you really need a tub in the master bath? I would borrow some space from the master suite and make the dining area bigger.
4. I hate those angled islands. I'm not sure why they keep popping up. Put in a rectangular island. This will also making the eating area less crowded. Babies definitely don't eat at islands until they are 3 or so.


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RE: New House Construction Draft

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RE: New House Construction Draft

Sleeping in the closet works. Our babies stayed in our room for the first year - not exactly common in the era of the designer nursery. :)


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