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draft house plan for review

Posted by jeff2013 (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 4, 13 at 23:27

I am glad to find this forum. I am going to blog my building process here.

We just purchsased a lot and would like to finalize our floor plan to move forward asap. It is a corner lot with front facing south. There is a west street to right side. The lot is somewhat narrow (70ft by 130ft). The max buildable width is 53ft. We would like to have a rear entry garage without alley access. I have been working on the plan for the last two months. I found a designer and I am waiting for him to draw the preliminary plan for me. Here is what I have for the main floor. Any comment/suggestion on how to improve the plan is highly appreciated. Thank you in advance! Jf


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: draft house plan for review (2nd floor)

And here goes the 2nd floor.


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RE: draft house plan for review

I like the layout, but I fear that you may need to resize some rooms. Your laundry room is very narrow. A front loader with the door open is 51". Add in 6" clearance behind, and you've got 10" to spare. I think what you've got is likely to be on the claustrophobic side. I'd prefer putting closet doors up to giving the laundry its own room, if it needs to be quite that narrow. Your guest bath on the main floor is unworkably small too-- I know the graphics program makes it look like it works, but you need closer to 5' for a toilet and the floor in front of it. The toilet itself will need @28".

Also, you will probably need to use stairs with standard treads and landings to turn, instead of using pie-shaped treads. Others more knowledgeable than me have said it's a code issue.

Good luck! I'm sure it will be a beautiful home!


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RE: draft house plan for review

.Thank you zone4newby! It would be a nightmare for someone to have a 'beautiful' design on paper, to get it built to the specs, only to realize it cannot be put into good use or doesn't work at all. That is the part I need most help from professional designer or forum veterans here like you.

1. Laundry room. We propably would use top loaded machines. I heard some bad things about those front loaders.But the laundry room shall accomodate such machines. I will definitely look into the right size. It can be easily fixed as I just need to move the garage up a liitle bit.

2.Guest bath. Yes. I realize it has to be at least 5ft each side. You have a great point there regarding the false sense of space provided by the floor planning software. This is the first time I am drawing a house plan. While the program is handy, it is hard to visualize the thing on paper regarding size and proportions.

3. Staircase. No pie just standard threads.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Floorplanner is nice and all, but you need to get this cleaned up by your designer; work out the dimensional kinks (you have more than the laundry and downstairs powder that are off); and then repost a clean designed plan.

Generally, I like it. But, I think to spend too much time on commenting is futile at this point as a 3'10" wide powder room is not possible; nor is the little toilet room you have for the upstairs.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Kirkhall, thank you for your comments.

OK. I am posting the preliminary done by the designer on the first floor that I just received. He is waiting for my inputs to start the 2nd floor. It is nice to see that half bath was increased to 5'. I do have some comments that I am going to discuss with him later today.
1. Starcase. The current design has the entrace blocking the direct way between living and guest bath/coat. Would there be better flow to align the stare entry with the powder as in my draft?
2. Sitting area/Patio. The sitting area looks too small to me in comparision to my draft. I would rather to have a smaller patio.
3. Kitchen/Breafast. Again, the current design has an increased area for breakfast at the cost of the kitchen. In addtion, the second sink on the island and the triangle arrangment are missing. Why is that?
4. Columns. Two additional columns are added I gueess for structural support of the ceilings. They look out of place to me. I am not sure if any trusses can eliminate one or two. Maybe there is a better placement, say to put one close to the upper right corner of the stair entrance.
5. Masterbath. I do not like the ideas so far. The entrance hallway is kind of narrow. And there is a 90 degree corner between shower and tub.

I cannot wait to see the 2nd floor from the designer. I guess he just doesn't want to spend too much time on drawing and redrawing. Really like to move forward so I am going to call him right now. Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

5'6" isn't deep enough for your laundry space the way you've designed it. The machines stick out about 3 feet by the time you have the hoses and drains and vent pipes connected, leaving only 2.5 feet infront of the machines for you to stand or have a basket on the floor etc.

I'm not crazy about the master bath setup. (one the door is missing from bedroom, as well a WC door), but also, I think the closest spot (only spot?) for towels is in the void between the tub and vanity. That is a long way from the first sink location. It is also pretty far away from the shower.

You will dislike your kitchen, if anyone is a cook. You have a "classic" barrier island (island between sink and fridge) which means you'll constantly have to walk around the island to get from fridge to sink, etc.

The rest of it mostly works for me.

If you are new to the forums, you may want to be a fly on the wall of the kitchens forum to learn some things about kitchen design dos/don'ts before you go ahead and post up your kitchen space for comment.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Where is the entrance to the study?


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RE: draft house plan for review

I don't see a door into the study. It appears to be a closet where I would expect the door. I will assume missing windows in many rooms will be added later.

I've had a laundry room of a similar size and with a wall right next to the garage door in the past. At the very least I would recommend eliminating the wall and the separate door into the laundry room. Make it one big area and place a door between the laundry and breakfast nook.


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RE: draft house plan for review

As a general comment, remember that every jig/jog in your exterior walls increases the complexity of your roof and reduces the ration of interior floorspace to exterior wall surface area. That means a more expensive project. Your design has quite a lot of jigs/jogs in the exterior walls. If you're willing to reduce the number of exterior corners, you'd probably find that you could build more for your available dollars.

But, few people really like a perfectly rectangular house plus, extra corners, if properly used, allow more rooms to have windows on two or more sides for better natural light and a greater sense of livability. So every design is a trade off between competing concerns. Still, you might want to explore the idea of lining up the east walls of the garage, nook, and kitchen to gain more square footage and possibly decrease your cost to build.

That said, the overall floorplan isn't bad but a few issues do jump out at me.

At 6'4" wide (wall to wall) the walk-in closet in the master bedroom is rather narrow. Hanging clothing sticks out about 24" from wall. So if you have rods along both sides, you'll only have 28 inches down the middle for an aisleway. If the closet were only 6 or 7 feet deep, that wouldn't be too bad. But a narrow aisleway in a 12 foot deep closet would feel like a claustrophobic tunnel to me!

Since the stairwell backs up to the masterbath, I'm wondering if there isn't some way to incorporate the space under the staircase landing INTO the masterbath/master closet. It looks to me like you have 13 steps leading up to the landing. If each step is 7" high, the landing will be at 91" (7'7") high. Subtracting out the stairway framing still leaves you with more than 6 ft of headroom under the landing. So, If the closet and vanities in the masterbath were swapped, the headroom under the staircase landing could be incorporated into the closet so that one end of the closet could be a couple of feet wider. That 6ft high headroom space would be perfectly adequate for hanging clothing. I'd also consider putting the closet door on the side of the closet so that it is nearer to the bedroom.

It is good that the downstairs PR is tucked down a bit of a hallway HOWEVER, with no wall between dining room and foyer, you still have a straight in view from one end of the dining room directly the toilet. This will be more obvious once the PR doorway is shown.

And you need somewhere to put the door to the study. There really isn't room to open the study directly to the foyer because the left-side of the front door opens into the only POSSIBLE place to put a door to the study. So, you pretty much have to put the door to the study where the little hallway closet is now. Once you do that, then the powderoom/closet area is going to have to be reconfigure. And since you have to reconfigure that space anyway, think again about how you could maybe use MORE of the space under the staircase for powderroom or storage or a hallway that gives more of a sense of separation between dining room and powderroom.

I hate to say it but the kitchen design is horrible. The "barrier island" would make cooking a major PITA! The dimensions you had the kitchen in your original design would be better. Then you might be able to turn the island by 90 degrees and move it out of your work triangle.


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RE: draft house plan for review

I have not read all posts but I have done the very thing you are doing for our house. I took a plan that was already designed that I liked and tweaked it to our particular needs.

One thing that is not accounted for are plumbing walls. All walls that will contain DWV need to be 2x6. From personal experience 3' for a WC is pretty tight. 42" even though only 6 more inches makes a huge difference. You master bath will feel much smaller than it is b/c it starts with a narrow hallway for vanities.

If you already have a builder I would ask them to go over your prelim plans for their input. They will know what to avoid b/c structure is very hard to change once it is in.

I would make the closet in bedroom 3 run the full length of wall if there is enough space to get door in. It will feel like someone added it on later the way it is.

GL on this exciting time of building.


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RE: draft house plan for review-kitchen

Thank you all for the great comments. I met with the designer yesterday. Actually I mainly talked to a college/high school kid who is assigned to do my preliminary. They are going to give me updated drawing today.

Based on feedbacks here, I think the main areas need to be fixed include
1. Kitchen: better work triangle arrangement. I have attached something that I showed to the designer here.
I would like to see if the layout is doable or I need to totally change the U shape to something else.

2. Laundry: increased width to 7ft (?) and close the hallway. This is an easy fix at the cost of increased sqft.

3. Masterbath: I have been struggling with the design. As the available area is kind of narrow and my wife would love not to lose the front wall for tub and shower. That leaves only two options: CL/WIC to both sides of the entrancy hallway or only one side as is now. Apparently we failed to come up a good design to acheive that goal. She is now ready to give it up. I have plan to move WIC to the front end wall. That will free up the space for everything else.

I am still not sure about the powder room under the staircase, the foyer area linking it along with study, dining,and living. I used to think of ways of putting the half bath to close to the master bedroom entrance hallway, maybe cut out some area from the masterbath. I also tried to use the area close to the garage/laundry/patio. I am waiting for the designer to show me the next preliminary to see if current design works or not.

While there are many things to think about and I am feel inadequate and sctracthing my head from time to time. I am learning a lot in the process and do feel it is a once a lifetime experience. There is still a long long way to go. For now, I am enjoying it. Thanks again for so many sparkling ideas. Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

If it was my kitchen, I would give it some breathing room by taking off that entire sink/DW wall. I would make the island bigger, and just do the sink and DW on it. That isn't ideal...but it would be worth it to me. Those u-shaped kitchens with an island make me claustrophobic unless they are really big. Basically, you'd be changing it to an "L" with an island.


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Thank you nini804. We did not think of that way. The kitchen is open to living area. The counter between the kitchen and the breakfast is about 3 ft high. I choose to make that space leveled without a raised bar and 3ft wide to allow some leg room under the counter in the breakfast eating area. The U with an island also gives me uninterrupted work triangle, and additional areas for dish washing and baking.

I do see some problems with the current layout. It is not directly open to either breakfast or dining. So grabbing foods from either place will take over ten steps.

We have always been looking for a kitchen of good size with lots of counter space. The current dimension is 16ft by 13ft, which is probably the largest we can go. If that still makes people claustrophobic, then I need to seriously consider other designs.

My previous plan had a L and big island (5ft b6 8ft). Maybe I shall revisit the idea to see if it fits into our needs better.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Stitz_crew, have you finished your house yet?

We have not selected a builder but plan to get builders involved after we feel good about the preliminary. I think it is a very good idea to get builder's feedback early on before we do the final blue print.

OK. I will make CL in bedroom 3 cover the full wall and move the door.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Bevangel, wow, thank you so much for taking your time writing such a detailed review of my plan.

Let me first explain the uneven walls sticking out to the west street side. The garage and the kitchen are to the rightmost line. We do not like the garage to get in the backyard view from the living. There is still about 2ft in the way but that is the best we can get. We would like the kitchen to be large so it is sticking out too. The breakfast and the dining are indented just not to kill the overall sqft.

If we really need to align the breakfast, kitchen and dining without increased square footage, there is one way to do it. Move the kitchen up to the living area. open up a hall way between breakfast and dining. Will you like that idea better?

I will keep working on the masterbath and kitchen layout . The current design have serious flaws but they are fixable I guess so I am not that worried about them.

I cannot wait to see the drawings from the designer regarding the revised 1st floor, 2nd floor, and site plan. Hopefully I will receive something later this afternoon.

Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

Well, to Bevangel's point--
Why are you so concerned about square footage? Her point was that you may end up with the same cost to build with those "jogs" in the foundation and building structure and smaller square-footage than to just line up the jogs and have a little extra square feet.

Do you have to stay under some square footage number to satisfy local code or regulation? Or, are you just ball-park guessing on your costs by using that "square footage" calculation? If the latter, you might be surprised to find that the larger square footage without the jogs is less expensive per square foot than the smaller with the jogs...

This is where having a builder in the loop is helpful.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Thank you for your comments, kirkhall. Attached is the preliminary plan done by the designer today. The total area is about 10% over what we had planned. Yes. The number is based on cost-per-sqft method from serveral builders that I had interviewed in the past. I understand that it is very rough as they are giving the estimation based on preliminary plans. I do need builder's feedbacks to make sure the design is cost effective and the building cost stays within my budget. It is a dilemama here as accurate estimate can not be made without final design. So I just try my best. I will make an appointment with builder over the weekend to go over the current plan as is.

In the mean time, I am reviewing my plan to see if anything else needs to be fixed. I will aslo think of cost reduction strategies if I have to modify the deisgn to save money, say remove the jogs, delete wasted areas if any, or reduce some living areas of less priority.

I really appreciate all the help that I have received here. I am not there yet but I do think I am making progress.

Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

Thank you for your comments, kirkhall. Attached is the preliminary plan done by the designer today. The total area is about 10% over what we had planned. Yes. The number is based on cost-per-sqft method from serveral builders that I had interviewed in the past. I understand that it is very rough as they are giving the estimation based on preliminary plans. I do need builder's feedbacks to make sure the design is cost effective and the building cost stays within my budget. It is a dilemama here as accurate estimate can not be made without final design. So I just try my best. I will make an appointment with builder over the weekend to go over the current plan as is.

In the mean time, I am reviewing my plan to see if anything else needs to be fixed. I will aslo think of cost reduction strategies if I have to modify the deisgn to save money, say remove the jogs, delete wasted areas if any, or reduce some living areas of less priority.

I really appreciate all the help that I have received here. I am not there yet but I do think I am making progress.

Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

Here is the site plan. The map rose arrow shall point to South not North. I need to make sure the drive way has big enough turn around radius for me to make a U-turn from the stree to reach the rear-entry garage.


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RE: draft house plan for review

How do you get into the study?

How do guests who park in your driveway get into your house?


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RE: draft house plan for review

Has the exterior been studied at all yet? If not, I think you should step back from the plan and start to undertstand some of the implications of your plan decisions: to the elevations, roof(s), and the overall shape. If you wait until you have a "perfect" plan you might have some surprises. I don't recall you mentioning whether your designer is helping you with that but it sounds like you just have a draftsman who is redrawing what you and the forum come up with. One option is to just dress up whatever the extrusion of the plan is and throw a big roof on it, whatever the shape. But maybe the outside should push back against the plan. And you have two street elevations, how will they be similar or different?

Just something to consider. Good luck.


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RE: draft house plan for review

LuAnn_in_PA,

1. To get into the study, the front door shall back off a little bit and open to the right. That hopefully would allow a standard size (?) glass door open to the study from the foyer bottom left area.

2. It is a corner lot. With two streets to the front and right side of the house, there shall be plenty of parking spaces off street I guess. Guests shall walk and enter the house from the front. If they are really close, I do not mind if they parking on the driveway and come in from the garage.

Thanks!


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RE: draft house plan for review

Dadereni,

Thank you for your comments. I like it here because of the much needed experience and persepctives are really helpful to me.

It is a good idea to think about the elevations early in the design process. Yes. It is a house close to the gate and facing two streets so it is kind of challening task for elevations. I am corncered with the right street side as there are no rooms above that side. Maybe having various ceiling heights will help it a liitle bit.

The designer will take care of elevations and final blueprints for us. I hope he always have that consideration on his mind. He is just relucant to draw it right now as he do not like to waste too much time unitl we are OK with the plan first. You can tell that doors and windows are intentionally missed from the preliminary.

It sounds that I just started and was underprepared. But I have been working with the designer for over two weeks. As a matter of fact, he did some preliminary with front elevation when I needed a plan for HOA review before I purchased the land. I even brougt that plan to different buildings and got cost estimates on that. I may post the previous plan here if that does not disrupt the current thread.

I realize that design is an iterative process invovling homeowners, designers, builders, etc in the loop.
While there are many areas to be fine tuned, if I see it generally OK, I need to go to the builder and also ask the designer to start working on the elevations.

Talking about the desinger redrawing according my plan and everybody's inptus here, it is a delicate story. Basically, it is a college kid / high school student asigned by the designer drawing the plan for me. I guess that is a common practice as the house is not a big project for him. But I do hope the designer himself shall have reviewed and approved the plan. And you can see that there are some areas he missed (like the barrier island). We have met and talked over 6 meetings so far, he had some strong oppions sometime (e.g., the laundry shall not be put to the side of the dining), and sometimes I do. He will say OK it is your house. I was, yes, but I need you feel good about it too. lol.

Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

Will you have a basement? If not, you have unused, wasted, (expensive) space under the stair landing that should be incorporated somehow.

Your upstairs bedrooms closet situation has not been resolved in this new set.


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RE: draft house plan for review

It sounds that I just started and was underprepared. But I have been working with the designer for over two weeks.

If you have only been working with the designer for three weeks, then I would say you have just started. Don't try to rush the process. Hopefully, you will live in the house for many years, so spend some time getting the design right for your family. Sometimes you need to study things and then walk away for awhile and let it just sit in the back of your mind for awhile.

And, your designer should be working on the elevations and floor plan together as they go hand in hand or one will suffer at the expense of the other.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Kirkhall,
Houses in our area do not have basement. Thank you for pointing out the storage area under the stare landing. We definitely need that dear space. I am not sure if we shall use it with drawers for better organization and easier access or a crawspace for bigger items.

Dekeoboe,
You had a great point there. It is just hard not to think about it everyday as it is such a huge project for use in many aspects not just financially. I am kind of addicted to it now. You are absolutely right that the process take sometime and many iterations. Eventually, it will come when we hear a click and that is it, without perfection for sure.

Some updates here.
1) I met with a builder over the weekend. He made a good suggestion on increasing the bedrooms on second floor and he sees that family area as a hallway. Regarding the building cost, he told me that he basically used a fixed cost per sqare foot price base on his past project of similar layout/complexity. I specficially asked him if I shall avoid the jogs in the sitting area/front and right side walls to be cost effective. He told me that the difference is so small that it is a non-factor to him (say, a couple of hundred dollar difference).

2) I came up with a revised design. Some changes include
a) new kitchen layout. The kitchen now opens to both breakfast and dining. Between kitchen and living area, there is strip of counter space with one small section covered by wall and the the other part opening above the serving area/counter.
b) relocate the coat from the powder room to the upper right corner of the foyer connecting to the dining area
c) further increased laundry space
d) slightly decreased area for breakfast and dining
e) swap the toilet and shower in masterbath
f) redo the 2nd floor layout to have a bigger game room and increased sizes of two fo the three bed rooms.

Let me know if you have any comments. Thanks,

Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

And here is the revised second floor.


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RE: draft house plan for review

I think that the back entry hall from the garage is much too narrow. I would widen it by at least a foot, and then take another bit of space for a drop space/cubby. Larger laundry rooms are wonderful, but I think you could lose 3 feet in there, and still have a nice laundry room.

The hall leading into your master bedroom is also very tight. You might have to move your furniture in through your windows. :)

Doorway into bathroom four is ridiculously narrow, imo. I'd rework the whole upstairs to include one nice large bathroom.

And there are other tight areas, as well.

The overall floorplan "works," imo, but in order to make it work you have several tight spots in the house. The interior won't look right, feel right, or live right. :)

I would also delete the bump out for the kitchen, and simply add an extra foot to that entire side of the house, and then rework the kitchen again. You'd get a larger breakfast area, dining room, and sacrifice nothing in the kitchen with an improved layout. And it would be simpler and cheaper to build.

One more thing - do you not have at least one bathtub upstairs? It looks like both bathrooms have showers only.

This post was edited by bird_lover6 on Tue, Jun 11, 13 at 9:48


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RE: draft house plan for review

Bird_lover, thank you very much for your comments.

1. I really like your idea of integrating some of the mudroom functions into the laundry room. We need hangers/drawers for backpacks, coats, shoes, etc. I am just not sure what is the right way of doing it. If I move the right wall of the hallway to the laundry side 4 ft, that will give me almost 11ft x 7ft laundry and 7ft x 7ft mudroom/hallway area. The problem is I have three doors plus an archway to deal with. Maybe I can replace the door to the laundry with an archway or pocket doors.

2. I was concerned about that too. When I raised the issue with the kid doing my preliminary, he did not think it is a problem. I tried to see if we need to move furniture from the back door of our bedroom. That will not be fun. I will definitely do a test move of some good size furniture in my current house.

3. Regarding bathroom #4, is 8.5ft by 12ft too small for a wic? Maybe I need to think of the idea of using reach in closet in that room.

We are not using bathtubs that often and think we may get rid them in the kids rooms. If I find space of a tub, we can add one easily as it cost much less than a shower I guess. Another idea is to do a shower/tub combo.

I do like the general layout of the current 2nd floor as it has a much bigger game room area and can be easily accessed by the 3 bedrooms.

One good thing is that 2nd floor layout can be redone easily assuming the first floor area below it is fixed.

4. Right now, I am still not sure about the kitchen layout and how the breakfast, dining, and living areas are connected to it. Personally, I like straight walls better than the walls with a lot of turns. However, the designer has always been pushing me away from that and the says he will need that for better side elevation. A builder told me it makes no difference in building cost. Right now my budget (based on the numbers giving to me by some builders' estimate on per sqft price) does not allow me much bigger area in the breakfast and dinning area. The kitchen is about 15ft by 15ft, which is a good size to us and we prefer to have a big kitchen. I am giving the current design some time and will keep working in the area. It is the most challenging part for me now.

Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

To add to the previous message, regarding the potential problem of not being able to move furniture inside in the current hallway to the master bedroom, the wall for the TV shall not be extended that much. If shrinking that wall is still not good enough, then we may need to to increase the hallway width by 8" by taking some area out from the master bath. Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

Another possibility - you have a lot of unusable floor space between the upstairs stair railing and the bathroom three. You would still have nice flow without feeling cramped if you grabbed some of that space for the bathroom.

Of course, if you were not committed to that two story foyer you would have numerous more possibilities for the 2nd floor. (Since your staircase is not in the foyer, I don't think you'd be losing too much "wow" factor, anyway.) Besides, all that open area is noisy. (Written by someone with six kids....ha)

You could then claim about 1 1/2' in width to make the landing more spacious. And uou could make an awesome bathroom in the space that is now dedicated to the two-story foyer. :)

IF you you chose to omit the 2 story foyer, you could then delete bathroom 3 and dedicate that space to a larger game/family room upstairs, but don't forget to move the closet in bedroom 3 to act as a buffer between the gameroom and that bedroom. I think you'd really appreciate having that larger room if you have children.

Anyway, ifyou are working within a tight budget, that might be the best way to maximize space.

Other options would include enlarging the third bedroom by removing the old closet, making a walk-in closet using the back half of the old bathroom, and using the front half of the old bathroom for large linen closet or perhaps a 1/2 bath.

You could also get rid of the bath in bedroom 4, and split up that space for walk-in closets for bedrooms 2 and 4.
You could enlarge bedroom 2 by eliminating the reach in closet. Or you could use that closet space for a built in desk in bedrooms 2 and 3.

Just some more possibilities. :)

Good luck!


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About the tight hall leading into your master BR.

I would simply eliminate the hall and make that part of the bedroom. Put a wide door on the living room wall (a solid door for soundproofing), and eliminate that interior door and door frame completely. It will feel more spacious and will actually be more spacious!

I think this will go a long way towards eliminating that "too cramped" feeling.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Thank you for your comments. That really helps. I will get to you later. I made some revisions and come up with a new floor plan that I am going to bring to the designer later today or tomorrow morning.

Attached is the first floor.


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RE: draft house plan for review

And the second floor. While it feels good to see so many possibilities, at some point I need to put it to rest and go with what I have.

I hope that I am going in the right direction so that day would come sooner than later. My designer just emailed me to meet with him to finalize the plan. But I don't think I am there yet.

Regarding the budget, it is about 8% over original planned area. I am not sure if that really matters or but one builder just told me that he went by the sqft number. I still like to take care of the floor plan first. Make it work (livable, good flow, etc.) and will talk to more builders to seek bids and possible ways of downsizing a little bit or building it in an inexpensive but right way.

Thanks! Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

I think that looks better. :)

I know contractors will quote based on square footage, but that's usually after they take a look at your plan and how complicated it is.

You have to remember that kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most expensive real estate, so, for example, a 2500 square foot house with a smallish kitchen and two baths is going to be less expensive than 2500 square feet with a large kitchen and 3 1/2 bathrooms. Bathroom and kitchen fixtures, cabinetry, countertops, sinks tile work, etc., add a lot to the final construction cost.

I'm anxious to see the final plan. Good luck!


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RE: draft house plan for review

Here is the latest plan for the main floor. I did it in sketchup and it is a new tool for me. You can see the labeling is kind of messy.

I have some ideas for possible improvement.
1. Align the left wall with the mud/laundry left wall as I am a little bit bothered by the block view from the living by that wall. However, I have maximized my building width.
Possible options include: a) reduce the 2-car garage width from 20ft to 19ft; b) move the TV wall left by 1ft AND move the master bedroom bottom wall (close to master bath) down 1ft.

2. I am still not sure about the kitchen layout. I am thinking about the idea of recessing the right side items( refrig, cooktop,pantry,etc) by moving it out 1ft and cut 1ft from both breafast and dining areas AND then talking out the wall seperating kitching and dining. Basically, that will give me three vertical strips.

3. The 5-to-6ft by 10ft empty space in the masterbath seems a little bit excessive for me. I do not know how to cut it yet. The problem is that I canot simply move the staircase left tward the masterbath as I need that 11'3" for a second floor bedroom.

Let me know if you have any comments. Thanks! Jf

P.S. Some separate issue. I decided to change the designer (mainly due to different expectations). I contacted several architects in the local area and none of them is willing to do residential floor plans. I will need to find another home designer for the job.


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RE: draft house plan for review

The problem is that I canot simply move the staircase left tward the masterbath as I need that 11'3" for a second floor bedroom.

Consider a cantilevered bump-out for the 2nd floor bedroom.

While on the subject of stairs, your winders in many of the plans are quite funky. Check your local building code for details on winders. What you'll likely find is that you're permitted one winder and that it can't turn more than 90 degrees. To execute a full 180 degree turn you'll have to use a winder + a landing (which must be at least the width of the stairs squared) or a long landing adjoining both flights and no winder.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Updated main floor without the messy labeling.


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RE: draft house plan for review

I am concerned your laundry chute won't reach to where it needs to with proper slope to function. (and, make sure laundry chutes are allowed in your municipality).

Your foyer seems out of proportion in this latest rendition and the study "squashed".

And, realistically, you won't be able to set up your master closet that way. You'll be able to put rods around the outside, but you won't have the width necessary for the rod peninsula or even an island/peninsula there... You could put a nice little bench in there for dressing though.

Where in your kitchen do you think you'll do your baking prep? I think somewhere along the way, you may have lost some functionality in your kitchen. Make sure it was worth it.

With your stairs winding the way they do, consider that you might be able to tuck your powder toilet under the stairs, which can affect your powder size/orientation in a good way to affect your study. Make sure you "see" those under stair possibilities.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Alex,
Thank you for the comments. A cantilevered bump-out for the 2nd floor bedroom sounds an interesting idea. I am not sure if that will be a problem with the side setback given that the first floor wall is right on the limit line.

Yes. I dislike those winders too as they seem unsafe. I figured out that I shall have room to use two landings without any winders for a sharp U turn. Currently I have rise @6 7/8", tread@10 1/2" with 20 treads, 21steps with a total one way run of 10' 10 1/2" to reach a floor to floor height of 12ft (assuming main floor ceiling 10ft and floor spacing of 2ft).

>>>
Consider a cantilevered bump-out for the 2nd floor bedroom.

While on the subject of stairs, your winders in many of the plans are quite funky. Check your local building code for details on winders. What you'll likely find is that you're permitted one winder and that it can't turn more than 90 degrees. To execute a full 180 degree turn you'll have to use a winder + a landing (which must be at least the width of the stairs squared) or a long landing adjoining both flights and no winder.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Kirkhall,

I really appreacitae your comments here.
1. Laundry chute. It is a feature we (esp. the kids) would love to have. Right now, I am looking at 7ft (2nd FL opening at 5ft high and floor spacing of 2ft) drop over 9ft distance. I will contact city building dept., do some research and even build a ramp to test it out. I think it will not work as it. However, it is a bonus feature so not too bid deal here.

2. WIC. You caught the back to back rod problem with in the masterbath WIC. I was trying to have two seperate areas.Looks like the space is too tight. On the other hand, if I just do the 3 side walls, there will be a 6'x7' big empty space in the middle and I am not sure if there is a more efficient way of utilizaing the space. Or maybe I can move some room to the master bedroom.

3. Double wall oven. Right now, there is only a 2ft by 2ft counter space to the pantry side. I need to take a few steps to the area close the double sink. I agree that the previous U plus an island is very good to get things done. The current layout opens more to breakfast instead of the living. I am also tempted to remove the wall between kitchen and ding, that will further decrease the functionality of the kitchen for the sake fo better flow and feel. I am looking for a good balance here.

4. Foyer area. I agree that it is too big at the cost of the study. The arrangement has something to do with the partial wall which is there to block some view from the foyer to living and to have a piano behind the wall. If I take out that wall or even reduce the length of it by rotating the piao 90 degree, I will allow the staircase come closer to the foyer entrance.

The biggest restriction comes from the powder room. The original plan has the study of 12ft width, it is now 10ft because of the PR there. If I somehow utilize the area under the landings and some area in the masterbath, then I will be able to solve the problem. That strategy will have the PR door close to master bedroom hallway. Not sure if that is a better idea.

>>>
I am concerned your laundry chute won't reach to where it needs to with proper slope to function. (and, make sure laundry chutes are allowed in your municipality).
Your foyer seems out of proportion in this latest rendition and the study "squashed".

And, realistically, you won't be able to set up your master closet that way. You'll be able to put rods around the outside, but you won't have the width necessary for the rod peninsula or even an island/peninsula there... You could put a nice little bench in there for dressing though.

Where in your kitchen do you think you'll do your baking prep? I think somewhere along the way, you may have lost some functionality in your kitchen. Make sure it was worth it.

With your stairs winding the way they do, consider that you might be able to tuck your powder toilet under the stairs, which can affect your powder size/orientation in a good way to affect your study. Make sure you "see" those under stair possibilities.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Second floor with the detailed dimension info.


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RE: draft house plan for review

And the one with just the sizes of the main areas labeled.


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RE: draft house plan for review

I am at a stage of moving forward so I need make some quick decisions. I feel like it is good for me to sit down and summarize where my plan stands right now and specific areas of concerns needing help. I ended up with something really long and here it is. Thanks for your reading and feedbacks! Jf

1. Family
2 adults, 3 children (13 yr daughter, 9 yr son, and a soon to be born baby boy)
2. Lot constraint and house orientation / zones
The lot is close to 2 streets out side the subdivision and it is close to the gate entrance. There would be noise from the street. The traffic is not that bad at this time as there is a T stop on one and there are speed bumps on the other.
There are about 40 houses inside the community and being in a corner lot I do have concerns about the flashing light from cars entering the gate and making left turn during nights. Besides landscaping, any architectural considerations for this issue?
The bedrooms are to the east and south (except a bedroom for my daughter on the 2nd floor to the front) for reduced noise and better privacy.
More public and service areas like study, dining, kitchen, laundry and garage are to the front north and right west side nearing the streets. The living is in the middle to have good view of the backyard and sufficient lights.
I am most concerned about the west side wall. It will be very hot in the summer here so I am trying to avoid windows as much as I can. I do think I need something in the breakfast so I put one window there. There is another one in the laundry for drying clothes. Windows in the garage would be ok just for appearance I guess. I may still need a small window in the kitchen for better ventilation as we cook a lot at home. We may also consider skylight in the kitchen if it is too dark there.
The garage in the back has rear entry door. I understand we need may about 28ft driveway in front of the garage to have big enough turn radius to enter and backout from the west street.
I would love to have a side entry garage. However, I was told that I need 18ft away from the property line and that would push the garage 8ft to the east and block 8ft, or about half of the current living area view. So I gave up that idea.

3. Types, number and sizes of rooms
My current house have a living area of about 1600sqft witht the four of us and it has a three bedrooms(14'6x12', 11'x10'6, 11'x10'6), 1 small study (14'6x8'4), one eating area (14'x10'6), a kitchen (14'x10'4). The living room is 18'x14'2. The two bathrooms are kind of small. We having been living there for over 8yrs and it is really not too bad.
The new house has a planned living area of about 3200sqft, which doubles what we have right now. So it shall be more than adequate for us.
My wife prefers bigger kitchen and living areas over bigger bedrooms. We would also like comftable bathrooms and can never have enough closets and storage space.
She also insists on separate dining and breakfast instead of one big eating area. She doesn't mind an OK sized breafast like 9'x9' and we plan to use the dinging as a guest living/sitting area or playroom as formal dining is not something we do often.
Masterbed room downstairs. It seems that most of my friends from the north/Canada they have masterbed upstairs and I understand heating in cold weather maybe one big consideration for them. While we love the idea of keeping an eye on the kids, we are mainly concerned as we age we may not like the idea of walking up and down the stairs. We also do not mind letting the soon to be teens to have some of their own activies out of our sight.
Gameroom upstairs. We think we need some open area on the 2nd floor to play or just sit down and relax. It is like a gameroom/familyroom multiuse. I understtand it would be noisy to the 2nd floor bedrooms and the living area below. We need carpet flooring and some noise reduction, floor hardening techniques.
3.5 baths. There would be a powder room/guest bath on the main floor. On the second floor, my daughter will have her own bathroom. The issue is bathroom setup for the two boys. I am proposing a shared bath for them and guests in the gameroom. I tried the idea of separate bathrooms by halving the bath nearby the gameroom. It is kind of tight and it maybe more expensive so I gave it up.
Lundry/mudroom. I think a decent size there would be of good use. The main constraint is budget here.
4. Staircase
As I am planning to use the area to the left of the kitchen upstairs for all the 2nd floor needs, the staircase has to connect to center of that area so that we have hallways surrounding it to access all the nearby rooms. The issue is where it shall start on the 1st floor and which type of stair case is better for us.
I tried the idea of curved staircase in the foyer (starting from somewhere close to the dining left wall). it would be too costly to build. An alternative option is to build a L or even multi turns. We did not pursue it as my wife has the diea of being able to see kids coming down from 2nd floor or people entering from the mainfloor going upstairs from the kitchen. Another concern is that while an open staircase in the 2 story foyer looks grand, it has to be done right otherwise it is too striking and blocking everything from the entrance view.
The proposed U shape staircase is kind of half open to the living and visible from the kitchen and not directly in foyer. For an area of 11' by 7'2" we shall have enough room to acheive the right rise/run for a comfortable stairway.

5. Powderroom location
Once the staircase location is fixed. The next biggest challening is to find the right place for the 5'x6' half-bath. I have tried at least 3 different places.
5.1. Under the staircase off study room. The place can be easily identified. The problem is that is taken space from the study and it has some views from dining.
5.2. Close to the staircase off masterbed hallway and masterbath. It has very good privacy for the guests. However, it is taken some area from the masterbath and make the setup there difficult. It also will have exposure to masterbed room that is not too good.
5.3 Close to the Garage inside the laundry/mudroom area. Privacy is good. Location is OK (it is close to the door to garage). It is taken part of the area from laundry so make the laundry small and difficult to set up.
Additional good thing of not putting the powderroom close to the foyer is that the coat closet would be under the staircase and the study would be increased to its original planed size. Right now I am inclined to place the powderroom nearby the garage door.

6. Kitchen
Right now the kitchen has a size of 14'6 x 14'. There would be some layout tuning to separte the different tasks of cooking, cleaning, and baking. One thing I would like to do is to recess the right side wall so that the frige is not sticking out to block the walk way.

7. Bathroom
Next, I need to examine the layouts of the bathrooms. As kitchen and bathrooms are most expensive and we are using them so often, I would like to make sure we are getting most out of it and setting up them right.
8. Closets and Storage
I already mentioned that we never have enough storage space. Make sure we have access to under the stair space. I also have a door to access the attic in the 2nd floor. There would be some unfinished bonus storage space there.
9. Laundry chute.
I am not sure if it is doable but we (especially the kids) would love the idea of a chute from the gameroom to the laundry/mudroom.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Latest plan for the main floor.
1. Move powder room from under the staircase to the garage entrance.

2. Recess the kitchen west side wall and make dining open to that side.

3. Move TV wall 1ft to master bedroom and shorten the masterbath by 1ft too. Now master is almost square and the masterbath has less empty space (about 5ft wide in the middle).

I am about to sign a contract with an architect. Any comments please? Thanks! Jf


Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

Nice change on the stairs/powder room.

On your upstairs bathroom, I'd not do a corner shower... Choose one that will fit in the full width of the room. Corner showers are just very claustrophobic, and I don't think you gain much (if anything) by using one there.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Thak you for your inputs, Kirkhall. Getting all the feedbacks here really help me a lot.

OK. I will think about replacing the corner shower with a rectangle one. The full width of the bathroom is 5'8" right now and I have 3'2" for the corner shower width. Is 5'8" by 3'2" too much for a shower?

I would be for my 13yr duaghter. Yesterday she said she would like to have a tub there as she would love to give bath to her pet puppy there. I still think shower will work better.


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RE: draft house plan for review

Love the bathroom moved to the back...great change. The foyer seems much too big. If it were me, I would extend the pantry to the left (behind the piano wall) for additional space if possible...google "hidden pantry" and check out some of the images. If not, adding a small closet across from the bottom of the stairs would be helpful for storing the vacuum cleaner, etc. Looks like you are making good progress!


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RE: draft house plan for review

Tkfinn, thank you for your nice comments. I feel good that I am making some proress here. I have lost some sleep dong this myself. Good thing is I have just hired an architect so I am counting on him to finalize the plan and elevations. I know nothing about house styles at this moment.

I like your idea of uiltizing some of the foyer space for storage. There maybe some problem as we are planning a two story foyer if you look at the second floor plan with a rectangular area indicated open to below. Otherwise, an angled wall behind the piano wall as you suggested will work. If we open a little bit more from foyer to dining, that angled wall along with the wall to study will connect living to dining smoothly. Again, I am not sure how the angled wall story high will look good or not from the main entrance and 2nd floor balcony.

Yes. Definetely we shall utilize all available storage space under the stairs. Jf


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RE: draft house plan for review

It's looking a lot nicer. Good job.

One thing - I would grab some of that space in the foyer behind the pantry to make the pantry larger. Your pantry is nice, but could be bigger. You could even "angle" the wall there in the foyer (parallel to the doors entering the study), and it would look very nice. Your foyer would still be spacious.


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RE: draft house plan for review

One more thing - it is difficult to shave one's legs in a small shower. Ugh Although you seem to be set against tubs, a tub/shower is a very nice combination for a teen girl. At the very least, she needs a larger shower, but a tub for a nice bubble bath would probably be appreciated. :)


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RE: draft house plan for review

If you have that much room for a shower, I'd do a nice shower (if you want to spend a lot of money) or give her a nice tub/shower combo. In my area, that would make that bath a "full bath" instead of a 3/4 bath. It needn't be a whirlpool tub or anything, but something of some size might be nice--perhaps a Kohler expanse (what we put in our girls' bath--nice size for bathing and nice size basin for showering.)

I agree, a girl needs to have room in a shower. If you have a shower only (no tub) make sure to have a built in foot pedestal (if not a full bench at one end) to prop the foot for shaving, etc).


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RE: draft house plan for review

Bird_lover and Kirkhall, I will do a tub/shower combo instead of a corner shower in my daugther's bathroom.

I just recieved the preliminary from my architect. I am opening a new thread for that. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks a lot! Jf


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