Return to the Building a Home Forum | Post a Follow-Up

First draft of our plan - please critique

Posted by JenBL (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 11:35

We just got the first draft of our floor plan back from the designer and I would like to get some feedback before we meet with him again.
We are building on a 2.7 acre lot that is 200 feet wide. Our intent is for this to be our forever home. We want to keep the main level at around 2000 sq feet, with the master, laundry, etc on that level. Upstairs will be 2 bedrooms and a bath for our 2 daughters, ages 13 and 9. We will also have a daylight basement with a guest bedroom and bath.
I want to have an open flow from the kitchen, living, dining area. We want to have a dining room - doesn't need to be big, but we did use our dining room in our last home. As for the large laundry room, my dream is to have a space that functions for laundry, sorting, folding as well as an office space for the household stuff, and could be used as a project area. I like the idea of having two sliding doors for that space as well as having it near our bedroom.
My biggest issue is the stairs, the placement here is not working - I don't want to have the flow of traffic to the basement be through the living room. I am afraid that to get the stairs that I want, I may need to sacrifice the dining or laundry area. And I'm fine to offset the front door to one side of the porch to accommodate the changes, just not sure how!
And the living room is a bit small. I don't particularly care for the covered back porch area - so I'm thinking we could expand out there.
As for the kitchen - the layout that is there needs to be worked on, but I do like the opening from the mudroom so we don't have to walk all the way around to get into the kitchen. I also want to have the sink at a window and not in the island. Maybe the cabinets and the breakfast nook could be switched? But then that makes the pantry farther from the kitchen . . .
I feel like we have a good starting point - but there is still so much to figure out! I will appreciate any help we can get!
Thanks - Jennifer

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: First draft of our plan - please critique

What happens if you flip the stairs, so you enter them to go to the basement from that front hallway? Now you start to go upstairs to the girls' space from the great room. Can you then re-work the upstairs space with the new stair entry to your satisfaction?

RE: First draft of our plan - please critique

Ideally, I would like to be able to go upstairs and down to the basement from the front hallway. We have plenty of space upstairs to play around with so that that doesn't limit us with the placement of the stairs.
Just to give you an idea - here is an elevation picture that is similar to the feel that we want.

RE: First draft of our plan - please critique

OK, so to do this it's GOING to cost you a chunk of main floor space from something else, since that means your two staircases won't be stacked upon each other.

How about switch the laundry room with the dining room, combine the new laundry location with pantry space, and make an entry to basement stairs from what is now the back wall of the pantry, stairs heading down into the basement toward the direction of the new dining room. So your two stairs will be off different ends of the main hallway. I really like that LOCATION for an entry to the basement, too. But now you need to get clever and do your best to recover pantry space, now incorporated into your laundry space, somehow.

oh, and

You'd have to flip the powder room with whatever that is behind it, too, so the entrance to the powder room is off the garage hallway, next to the entrance to the basement stairs. Then incorporate whatever that is in that hallway now (I can't read it, maybe a closet?) into the mulit-space that is now laundry, desk, pantry, and (closet)?

Or, you could re-locate the powder room to the back notch in the great room, where the entrance to the basement stairs is currently, then leave alone your garage hall closet. Now you can use what was powder room real estate to re-coup your pantry space.

Also, critical problem: you have no front closet inside front entry. Take a notch out of that laundry room to make a front closet off your entry hallway.

If you want to re-coup your launrdy room/desk space, then bump out the notch in front of the now powder room to make the house flat across the front there instead of notched. This should approximately get you back your space you lost from the staircase coming into that room.

This post was edited by beautybutdebtfree on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 13:12

RE: First draft of our plan - please critique

That is a good thought - to flip the dining and the laundry room. Thanks so much for your suggestions!
I found a picture of ideally how I would like to configure the stairs, but not sure how much room that would realistically take.

RE: First draft of our plan - please critique

Jen-nice elevation inspiration. I think a good place for stairs would be where your powder room off the garage is. You could have a window there still that will bring natural light to them. That said I'm not sure where you would incorporate that stuff unless you widened that area.

Our stairs are just as the picture you posted shows and they take up about 8 feet in width and 9 1/2 feet in depth if that helps. I like your sort of breezeway type entry there by the garage. Great idea for the laundry. Multi-purpose is perfect.

The positive of the stairs where you have them is a sound barrier between the great room and master bedroom. But I get why you want to move them too. Sorry my comments don't have any solutions to them. Those are my thoughts and maybe the measurements will help.

RE: First draft of our plan - please critique

Flipping the laundry room and the dining room puts the dining room too far from the kitchen.

Do you have a proposed second floor? The inspiration staircase is very nice. Your inspiration elevation shows a 1 1/2 story house. That means the location for your stairs going up is limited by the roof line. The stairs have to be located where you have the necessary headroom.

Don't forget to make the door on the master bathroom toilet room an outswing for safety.

RE: First draft of our plan - please critique

Here's our proposed 2nd floor. My issue with this is that we aren't making use of the front dormer.
Another thing that may make a difference is that we don't plan to keep the front door to the mudroom, we will just have one door going to the back. That gives us a bit more flexibility with that area.

Autumn.4 - thanks for the measurements of your stairs, that does help.

dekeoboe - I hadn't thought about the safety factor and the door swinging out, nor the headroom issue with the stairs.

Thanks everyone for the helpful information - it's great to hear different perspectives! I'll take all the help I can get! :)

RE: First draft of our plan - please critique

I rarely give opinions on floor plans .... maybe because I just don't have a vision of what it would look like ... or not knowing the lifestyle of the people living there makes it difficult to judge. Anyway, I just wanted to say I like your original plan a lot. Don't think I'd change a thing except the kitchen. Not terribly fond of the actual layout, but you have sufficient space to make it exactly what "you" want.
We have two stairways to our basement, and use them both often. The one from the garage is so convenient. Can't imagine building a house without that feature.
Our exterior looks a lot like yours. After living here 4 yrs, we still get lots of compliments on the house. Can't wait to see this house when finished. Do keep us updated!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Building a Home Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here