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Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Posted by degcds (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 17, 12 at 12:46

Hello all,

We finally received our plans after many many changes. We are very excited- we are closing on our construction loan this week and are about to begin permitting. We are so happy we found this place it has helped us in SO many ways.

A little background on us, there are 2 of us, with kids in the plans in the next 2-3 years, we both work our butts off at work and we were tired of living in a community where you can look out of your window and see into someone elses. We decided to purchase 9 Acres just out side of Columbus, Ohio. We were fortunate that our home sold in 9 short days and we are currently in a small condo while we are building. Our goal for the home was to have a retreat after working all week, a place that was just a place we were excited to be instead of just a home. On our land we have plans for a pool, as well as a small acre- to an acrer and a half for a Vineyard, we are total wine nuts.

We love being outside and have really focused on out door living as well as many windows to bring the outside in. We are going for the french country- so any ideas to bring the french country on the exterior and interior would be greatly appriciated. The large carriage garage is for our boat, we were tired of leaving it in storage and having to go get it to take it out on the water. Our landscape design was done by a friend, I'll attach that as well!

Let me know what you think!!

This post was edited by degcds on Tue, Dec 18, 12 at 20:45


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Nice house! Big house! (with lots of garages. Is that normal for where you'll be?)

My first look is only a first look. I usually come back several times.

But, the thing that you need to do is make sure you don't have any inswinging doors on small rooms--your Master WC is dangerous as drawn. You'll want that to be either a pocket door, or an outswing (most likely a pocket door). The shared hall bath upstairs might also have that problem, but I *think* there is enough space there to where it shouldn't be.

Now, why? you ask?
In-swinging doors have the hinges on the inside of the room. When a person has a medical emergency within a tiny room (happens a little too often on a toilet) and collapses in a small room, the only place for the body to fall is right in front of the door--blocking the door. Paramedics or any one else trying to lend them assistance have to first figure out how to move them away from the door. In a larger room, you can use the door to "push" them out of the way. But, in a small room (like a 3x5' WC), there is no place to push them to. Anyway, all of that to say/explain it is dangerous to have an inswing door on a small room and you'll save yourself a lot of guilt should there ever be an emergency in that situation.

This house is also large enough I would expect to have a tub or shower on the first floor (or an elevator) for any injured or disabled (temp/permanently) person.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Kirkhall-

Thank you for the feed back- I already sent an email to the builder telling him to do an outswing on the Master Toilet closet, I think we will leave the jack and jill the way it is.

As well we are building in an area that almost every house has a dettatched garage as well as a 3 bay attatched. So we are fitting in with the other homes. Plus need storage for the pool stuff and lawn toys. :-)

As for the downstairs shower- we talked about it, we have it on the back burner turning the office into a bedroom god forbid anything bad happens- and we have access to everything we would need plumbing wise because of the bathroom in the basement!

As I type this we just got our final clear to close from our Lender!! SO EXCITED


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Nice proportions. I'd rather see the stone all of a piece on the garage or a complete section of the home rather than at high water level all the way around like high waisted pants.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Please make the bottom band of masonry flush with the stucco or eliminate it altogether.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Live wire- Is there any reason you would do it that way? We saw some that felt it made that part feel too bulky and took away from the rest of the home...

Renovator- I dont understand what you mean?


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Just realized...
Can you get to the inside of your house from your accessory garage (and therefore the driveway)? Is there an entry to the mudroom or a man door somewhere on that side? I am not seeing one, and that is also something I'd think you'd want.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

It's a pretty house, but here are my concerns:

1) For an outdoorsy family, on acreage, in a place that gets snow, your mudroom is tiny, especially considering the size of the house.

2) You mention wanting a lot of windows, but there are almost no windows in the sides of the house-- why is that? Having natural light from two directions makes a room much more pleasant.

3) The deck off the master bedroom is huge, and is going to block essentially all light from reaching the windows into the family eating area and kitchen. Does it need to be that big? You aren't likely to use it for entertaining, given that it's accessed through the master bedroom.

4) Which way is North?

5) What is the space between the library and stairs in the "grand foyer" for?

6) I'm not seeing a coat closet for guests near the foyer. Or a broom closet on the main level. Where will you keep your vacuum, mop, etc...?

7) What direction is North?

8) Have you spent time in rooms that have the proportions you've got planned for your great room? Some people love 2 story great rooms, but while I find them initially impressive, I don't find them comfortable. But your house should suit you. :)

Good luck with your build!


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Nice, big house! The floor plan is pretty well thought out. I did have a few suggestions:

1. No laundry upstairs or did I miss it? I would move the laundry room upstairs and use the extra space for the mudroom.

2. If you are planning for a pool, how do you plan to enter the home from the pool? Though the kitchen? You may want to consider access to the mudroom and add a shower to the powder room. This will solve your full bath problem on the main level.

3. I don't know much about this but isn't wine storage better in the basement?

4. Not a big fan of the gable on the 3 car garage. If it were me, I'b put in a dormer instead.

5. There has been much discussion about 2 story great rooms that you may want to consider before making your final decision.

6. How big is the home theatre? I can't read the dimensions but if you that is meant to be a serious home theatre, you will need at least 22' in length for a big screen and 2 rows fo seating.

7. Have you ever had a house this big? If you cannot hire help to clean it, I would reconsider-LOL!


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Zone- Thank you for all of your ideas,

For us the mudroom is large compared to what we had previously- I wanted to take out the wall between the mudroom and laundry room and have them open so I could fit a sink as well as cabinets in, and that is still being discussed do you think that would help?

As for the windows- when we did room placements and furniture placement we found it difficult in many of the rooms to have windows on both sides, I have been pushing for smaller windows above some of the night stands but this might give me a recourse with the other half!

The deck off the master is that large because we wanted a large covered porch on the first floor for entertaining and couldnt figure out a way to make the upper smaller with out making it look weird or like an after thought, and since we do have many parties and a lot of them took place on our previous patio, we wanted as large of a covered porch as we could do!

The space between the office and the stairs is actually a long closet for our holiday decorations- so we dont have to drag them up and down steps! the front actually has a removable shelf/bar to make the front like a coat closet so we have one for guests, it just kind of is a dual perpous!

And as for a broom closet, we use to keep our vacuum and swiffer and steam mop in the closet off the mud room, out of the way and we tend not to keep too many items in that closet anyway.. I am just curious where you think would be a good place?

As well the home faces east/west with a slight angle. basically the sun sets in the back of the home a little to the left.

Our previous home was close to 3500 sq feet with an unfished basement but we had a two story great room with a 2 story foyer and a catwalk from one side to the next so we do have experience with 2 story great rooms, I guess we are a select few that love the open space. We also made the great room bigger as it original was 16x19 and felt it might be too small for what we are wanting to accomplish! We are also doing foot deep cofferred grid in the great room! A big reason is I love huge Christmas tree's and its a great way to fit our 15ft one in :-)


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

pps7-

Laundry up stairs? Well its on the first floor, I just don't know where we could put it upstairs?

The pool issue is actually something we have decided on already! We want to do a small 700sq ft pool house/ loft so we have a bathroom outside and no need for trucking through the house- another big reason for the pool house is to have an equipment room for all the pool pumps and heaters, I absolutly HATE seeing that stuff in plain site or right against the house.

I think long term storage of wine is best in dark places, sadly wine doesn't last long in our house :-p haha from what I have read many of the red wines need dark and most "patio wines" are fine being stored in regular temps.

As for the great room, as I just posted talking to Zone- we had one previously just with less windows!

The media/theater room was the other halfs idea, wanted a riser built in too. I think the room is 18x14 or 16 I can't remember. I really dont want a projection screen but may be giving that idea up to get some other things I want such as the wall taken out between laundry and mud room- building a home is all about meeting in the middle LOL.

Thankfully we have a loyal house cleaner- she has been with us for 5 years and has enjoyed us being in an 1800 sq ft condo for the same we were paying her previously! I wonder if she'll want a raise when we move :-p haha.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

I don't know precisely how large your mudroom should be, but I think you need to imagine having snowpants for all the kids, winter coats and boots for the whole family, plus sneakers for the kids and whatever boots you use to tend the vineyard all in that space. And backpacks, and perhaps sports equipment/musical instruments. Once you have kids, your storage needs will change dramatically.

Personally, I'd be inclined to move the laundry upstairs and add the space to the mudroom. And I'd definitely add a door so kids could get to the bathroom from the outside without tromping through the kitchen, and to allow better access to your detached garage.

Have visited your land in the early evening (before sunset) and looked in the direction the greatroom window will face? I would worry that the glare would be unpleasant and make it hard to use the room in the late afternoon/early evening. But there may be trees or something on your property that make that less of an issue.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Here is a picture of the lot, it is 2/3's wooded and the sun really falls below the tree line right around 6-7ish, and in the winter more like 5ish. :-)


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Nice looking home. Other people can recommend how they think your home should look or be laid out. My recommendation is probably one not even considered...that large of a house in Ohio...please put some focus and money into the shell. It will be a monster to heat and cool unless you put in upgrades now and plan for it that will continue to pay for themselves for years and years to come. And please dont say its efficient with 2x6 and fiberglass batts. Oh, and please dont say you are wasting money on spray foam, with again, 2x6 framing. Would love to see any wall sections they have if you want professional recommendations, even though I would guess it is too late at this point to add to the plans.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

lzerarc,

What suggestions would you have for the shell in Ohio? I see what you are saying not to have, but we are just starting out the process and I would like to know what I should be researching as far as energy efficiency the shell.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Izerac, I guess I don't know what you mean? I am a little slow when it comes to the in depth items!!


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Double wall 2x4 construction is the cheapest most energy efficient route for the walls, and dense packed cellulose in the attic. You'll need to plan for the deeper window wells and doorways, but it's worth it.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

I see you've removed your plans, so maybe you're done here, but based on my memory of your plans, I think you could whittle some space for an upstairs laundry room out of the master bedroom closets. If you really need that much clothing storage, maybe you could put a closet in the basement to keep out of season stuff? I think having a family entry to the house that works well would be worth the inconvenience of swapping out winter and summer things twice a year.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Sorry!! Not done at all- the other half told me I could get introuble for posting the pictures on an open forum -

Here is a link to it!

Here is a link that might be useful: House


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Alternatively, you might be able to switch the walk-in closets for bedrooms 3 & 4 into reach-in closets that are back-to-back where bedroom 3's WIC is, and then turn bedroom 4's WIC into a laundry room.

You have a tremendous amount of storage space upstairs, and kids grow so fast, it's hard for them to accumulate clothes the way grownups do.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Anytime you can put money into your shell, it benefits you in various ways. Sure, there is the typical reduced energy costs. But there are things that you do not put a price on that you gain from. A lot of people put in elaborate hvac equipment to provide comfort. However what about instead, spend less money on shell upgrades that will give a bigger effect on the performance and not require maintenance? Upgraded shells actually require less elaborate hvac and makes your home more comfortable. drafty and cold spots are eliminated in the home. This means you can sit by your wall on a cold night and not feel a radiation draft off the wall.

One size doesnt fit all with the design, however most homes can benefit with similar applications depending on climate. One that works in all climates is air sealing. NEVER let a contractor tell you your house is too tight and it needs to breath. Make your home as tight as possible and then you can control the air inside the house. its easier to control humidity. easier to control fresh and stale air. spray foam is the typical go to for a lot of people. while its a great product, does not give you the gains many claim, still can give you the cold draft feel I am talking about, and you can achieve a similar air tight effect with cheaper products.

While I have done some fairly extreme energy saving design, its obviously a commitment for the home and design does suffer due to it. But you can still greatly boost the performance of the home without adding much cost. A cost that would pay for itself in a very short amount of time.
At a minimum, try to achieve these goals. They are not too hard, but can provide a life time of comfort and lower bills as we all know energy will continue to increase in cost.
1. Air seal. Number one. Stop air moving through your walls. This is coming from everywhere. sill plates, through the wall, around windows and doors, through outlets, can lights lose tons of energy. List goes on. ALl of these locations need addressed and there are plenty of products on the market to do so that in most cases do not cost much more. Make your exterior sheathing your air barrier plane. Caulk and tape the exterior sheathing (Huber Zip sheathing is a great product I recommend). Stop the air before it even enters your house. Note- not to be confused with a vapor barrier.

Do not forget your ceiling. Just as important. The common trend is to load the ceiling with can lights. Google thermal imagining for can lights and you can see how much for your energy goes through can lights. If you must use them, use air tight insulated cans, sealing the gyp to the can rims. This will reduce (not eliminate) energy loss. eliminating it requires a little more effort. Electrical boxes both in the ceiling and walls should also be sealed for air infiltration.

2. Insulate. Add exterior foam board insulation. Consider at min. 1", 1.5-2" all the better. Once you get over 1.5" however, you need a designer familiar with the details. That will help seal the exterior wall if joints are taped and foamed. This reduces some of the air infiltration. More importantly it creates a small thermal break at your exterior studs. You have studs going 16" oc (some cases 24" if you want to add more insulation). So every 16", you have next to no insulation. On most houses this accounts for a framing factor of 20-25%. Lots of big windows, this factor increases due to support studs and headers. Assuming 25% for your design, a typical r19 batt (2x6 framed wall) actually reduces its whole wall r value to around r14. Adding 1" of exterior foam board adds a continuous r5, bumping that up to r19. This puts insulation on the oustide of the stud and helps to reduce the cold draft off the interior of the wall. More foam, the better. It doesnt matter what you put in the wall, it all gets reduced by the framing factor. Advertised r value is never what you actually get in the real world.

For the interior of the studs, consider a blown product such as cellulose or fiberglass. Batts are cheap, but you get what you pay for. They are rarely installed correctly. blown products fill all of the voids, around outlets, pipes, etc. Blown products will come with an upgraded price, but still a lot less than foam walls and gives you similar r value. If you stop the air at the sheathing line, spray foam is useless since you are already stopping the air. (FYI- fiberglass or cellulose does not stop air movement like closed cell and open cell foams can)

if your head is spinning, its probably normal. There are many ways to enhance the performance of your shell. Remember, if you increase r values and add exterior insulation, get your hvac company to recognize that and run their manual J calcs to reflect that. You will most likely be able to down size their equipment, which reduces the upfront cost of the gear, sometimes offsetting some or most of the added insulation costs. Check with your local utility. They often offer energy enhancing rebates. For example, mine offers up to around 7200 in rebates to hitting certain energy efficient goals. Oddly enough, a code min. 2x6 wall will not hit it. Adding insulation and air sealing to hit the goals, factor in the rebates, and your upfront cost of construction is LESS than a code min, worse performing house.

Take your time to read and research. Green Building Advisor is a great resource. They are freaks about conservation there, but lots of good stuff to pull from.
Check out Building Science website as well. see the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Building Science high r assemblies


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

how many sqft is your home?
Is there a closet for the front entrance?
I think the mudroom should be larger. I don't see an entrance to the mudroom from the backyard. I think that's very important to have with children...or else they'll be tracking all the dirt through your kitchen. You could cut your pantry in half and add the door at the back. Then maybe bring your laundry upstairs. Children make a lot of laundry...so you don't want to be lugging clothes, bed sheets, towels...up and down a large home.
With the laundry out of the way you can add a shower in the mudroom (not sure you'll need that with a pool house though).
We are designing a home that is kind of similar to your layout and the mudroom is where i spent most of my time and energy. It really is 'home base'.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

lzerarc, I am interested in what you're saying about energy savings, and I have a question:

Lights in the ceiling -- I understand what you're saying about sealing them off to prevent heat loss, but does this matter if you're building a house with an attic? If I have can lights in my kitchen, for example, and the (insulated) attic is above the kitchen, do I still need to seal off those lights? Or is sealing just necessary for a room with a cathedral ceiling or similar?


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Mrs. Pete--
Will your attic be conditioned?

If not, then yes, you want an air-tight IC rated can for every can in that ceiling.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

Conditioned?
I don't know what that means.


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RE: Final Drafts!! Input please!!

MrsPete
If you ceiling is drywall and insulation blown on top of that, then use, you definately need insulated air tight cans. Blown insulation in ceilings is NOT an air sealer in any way unless it is spray foam.


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