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critique 2nd round of plans please :)

Posted by laurensmom21 (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 22:01

I'm back again :) Here's our 2nd round with our new architect. If you remember from last time, we had the 3 car garage that stuck way out in front. We asked him to split the garages and create a breezeway to go between them. However, this makes the little 1 car garage look a little tiny so now we're thinking of making that a double also... This house keeps growing - ugh! And of course it would be stupid to build a garage and not utilize the space upstairs, so I'm hoping to talk dh into at least framing out space in the upstairs of that garage also. who knows at this point...

My biggest worry about this plan is I might not have enough wall space for furniture placement (which is what I hate about my current house). What do you guys think? Also, I think the screen porch may need to be bigger. I envision spending all our time out there and we have extended family close by which would put us at 6 adults and 6 kids hanging out on the porch. I want to have room for a dining area and lounging area. What is a good size for a screen porch?

Also what do you think about moving the stairs to where the pantry is and making them a straight run? would that free up some space to make the laundry rm bigger and turn into more of a multi-purpose room?

all suggestions are greatly appreciated! thank you :)

front elev B

1st floor B

2nd floor B

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

I like the idea of the steps being accessed from the mud hall since the kids will be mostly using them. Where would you put the pantry?

The only thing about the porch is that half of it's view is the side of the garage. I think you should extend it to the garage and put the fireplace on the back wall.

You may have to use a room planner to see how the furniture will fit. I did that recently as my house footings looked too small to me. It was so big on paper that it took me a few days to be reassured that the footing measurements were correct. We frame this week so I'll see how that goes.

Anyway I use icova as a room planner but there are a ton of them.

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

So, it looks like the only way to access the bonus room is to come up from downstairs via the mudhall. (no direct connection between upstairs and bonus). Is that right?

What do you envision in that space? Office? MIL? As is, without a specific plan, I am not sure it'd get used very effectively.

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

If your using the 2nd (smaller garage for yard tools,...I would put an exterior door on it that goes directly to the backyard. I would extend the screen porch also as ga mentioned as I see seating for 12 via dining table and lounge area. I'd consider a laundry chute, your back and knees will thank you. You'd have room in the small closet on the right side of the bedroom to drop into the half bath. If you do a rolling basket or hampers you could just roll out when a "drop" is warranted.
Also, this maybe how you wanted it but it seems like a lot of doors upstairs in the jack and jill bath and bedroom access area. I know I did this with my architect's on the spot questions and now I'm trying to rework the number of doors. Your plan is looking quite nice.

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

thanks for your thoughts everyone!

georgia - thanks - I would like to extend the screen porch, but dh is worried about cost (of course!) Why is it that I feel like this house is ginormous, but yet still doesn't give me what I want? I don't want to shrink room sizes so much that they're tiny, but neither do I want or need a huge house. ugh! Can't wait to see your framing pics - how exciting!!! I will definitely check out the room planners - thanks!

kirkhall - I actually made the bonus room not accessible to the upstairs bedrooms for a reason - it's my mom cave/art studio. MY place to get away for some peace & quiet :) But we might have to put a spare bed up there too, so we'll see.

houseofsticks - thanks for the idea for the ext. garage door. Yes, we'll mainly be storing mowers & bikes, etc.. in that space. I'm not really fond of all the doors in the j&j either and will probably make the ones in the toilet area pocket doors. Otherwise there will be way too many doors in the way!

Here's a pic of the stairs I was thinking of doing along the pantry wall with the stair entrance facing the family room similar to this pic. Would this give me more room in the laundry area and also a little more space in the loft upstairs? thanks again! I'd love to hear more opinions :)


RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

If your not using your front porch as a sitting area you could shave off some area on the right side and make it match the left. Have you decided on how your using the back porch area? I'd be in favor of cutting back on this and the front entry porch to have a larger cohesive space to sit all 12 guests.

Here's my big screened patio eyecandy, yes it's more than seating for 12:

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

Hi there!

What if you made the garage attached to the house a single and put your double attached via the breezeway (which you might now consider enclosing)?

However, instead of reducing the footprint of the attached garage from a 2 to a 1, reduce it to a 1.5 type footprint and use the extra space to rework your half bath/laundry area so you can have a multipurpose room. The room over that garage could just be attic storage accessed thru the bedroom.

Your mom space can now be the room over the 2 car garage.

The new 2 car garage can be pulled down and over a little bit giving you more view from the screened porch, which I would also widen.

I know some people think garages should be hidden. But I'm not opposed to it, as long as the doors are nice and kept closed most of the time. Since your garage is pushed back from the house, it's obviously not the dominant feature.

Here's what I'm thinking:


RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

Do you like this elevation with the breezeway better than your original one?
It seems like you have waste of space in the mud hallway.
I emailed you pdf with an idea to solve the garage issues. Please let me know what you think.

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

I'll chime in on the screened porch size-- IMO it should definitely be bigger. From how you describe using it, roughly 1/2 of it will be taken up by the dining area which I 'm guessing will be just as you come out the kitchen door due to walls for furniture placement reasons. Having just gone through the furniture sizing for our back porch, the 14' is just enough to set a table in longways. Count on the table and chairs taking up ~10 feet in width give or take a foot. That leaves ~8x14 feet on the other side of the porch for casual seating. Our casual seating area is 16x17 not counting the walkway between it and the table and it could have been longer--maybe 16x19 or 20.

If you run the table the other direction (running parallel to the fireplace vs. perpendicular), you lose way to much space all around and the space isn't efficient.

If you ran the porch around to the back and connected it to the deck, you would have plenty of room for everything including a grill area if you wanted like in houseofsticks' picture. Just running it straight back beyond the house doesn't quite look right to me.

Beautiful inspiration staircase, BTW!

Hope this helps!

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

thanks for all your suggestions. I'm just torn what to do - whether I should try to make this plan work or have him work up something totally different. My dh will probably kill me if I start over again.

houseofsticks - you are right about all the porches. I don't really envision us using the front porch at all, but I do love the curb appeal it provides. but I could probably make it a little smaller to save $$. I'm also not sure about the back porch yet because he hasn't given me a back ext drawing to look at. I feel like we need to have something back there otherwise the whole back of the house is nothing but a flat expanse. I do love your porch pics - I have a ton of similar pics on pinterest :)

kellhuck - I do really like your idea of creating more space in the mudroom but dh is already worried about sqfootage so I need to try to reduce things and not add any more (although I love your idea!)

naf naf - thank you SO much for taking the time to email me your idea! that was so nice of you! I do like the ext with the breezeway and really need that extra hall space in the mudroom for my 3 kiddos' stuff (shoes, coats, backpacks. etc..) I'm going to try to do a built-in w/cubbies in that hall somewhere. but thanks again for your help!

mydreamhome - thanks for your thoughts. I don't really need a table to fit that many people to eat. We're casual and many will probably just eat in their chairs or on the sofa or whatever we put out there. But I do need room for a least a 6ft table or so. I can't really run the porch around the back, because I want to be able to look out my kitchen windows and see yard, not the inside of my porch. My windows/sink will be on the back side of the house - not looking into the porch like he has them drawn.

any other ideas? thanks again!

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

laurensmom12--I don't think you need to start over at all unless you're unhappy with the majority of the plan. The screen porch and garage areas are just places that need tweaking to fit your needs. From your earlier posts, it seems that the rest of the house works great for you.

As far as room for a 6' table or so, if it's a dining table, figure 6' table + 2' on either end for the chair to scoot out, so that's 8'. you'll likely need walk-behind space on at least 1 end so add another 2.5-3' and thats 10.5-11' in length minimum. Figure the table is at least 2.5' wide + 2' on either side for chairs to scoot out puts you at 6.5' + minimum of 2.5'room to walk behind at least 1 side takes you to 9' wide. It sounds like you're planning a similar size table & chairs to ours. Our porch dining table sits in a 12x12 area and it works perfectly with plenty of space on the sides to not make it feel cramped.

One thing that really helped me was to make some to-scale cutouts of furniture that I planned for the space and placed them on the house plans themselves to see if they will fit and still have adequate walking clearances. That will tell you if you have enough room on the porch for what you have in mind. My design program has been down, but if I can get it back up and running, I will do a quick view layout for you & post it.

Hope this helps!

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

Also, I don't think anyone has addressed this, but I really don't feel like the 1 garage off "by itself" looks too small/lonely/out of place. If size is an issue, I'd not make a priority to make that a 2 car garage for looks. I think it looks fine (dressed up--plain door, plain front might be different).

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

I agree with kirkhall about the separate 1 car garage. It looks just fine to me and is rather cute. There are a lot of houses in my area that have an attached 2-3 car garage and then another detached 2 car garage. Yours looks better than most I've seen since it's attached to the house.

If I remember correctly, your previous front elevation only had the porch over the front door and didn't include the right side/laundry room. I prefer the more symmetrical look of having the porch only over the front door.

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

Shortening the front porch to a portico will save money as well.

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

I would stay with this general design as you could go back to 40 different architects and well if your like me the money has to come from somewhere:) You've said this plan works well previously as dreamhome mentioned.
I do agree with Kirkhall on the cute factor as the design is drawn. Also, babbs711 did a layout similar to this and is part of my inspiration pics for the kit/dining/living areas. I can forward if you need for visualizing furniture layout, it was stunning:) Here's a link:
Good Luck, I know these decisions are difficult.

RE: critique 2nd round of plans please :)

thanks again everyone. It's so great to be able to come on here and throw around ideas with others who understand :) You guys are right - I have totally over thought this and just need to stop changing my mind and get the ball rolling! I've been at this constantly for 2 years (and had our land for 5!)

I am going to try to play around with a few ideas in chief architect and then post them soon for review. I think I'm going to try to convince dh to extend the screen porch to the 1 car garage, then I'll slim down the front & back porches if needed to save $$.

houseofsticks - thanks for that link! I love to see similar layouts and she did a great job!

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