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Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

Posted by dlm2000 (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 13, 13 at 16:49

We've been playing around with floor plans, rough sketches with room sizes generally in proportion to our needs/wants, cutting out the pieces and moving them around to start our 'process'. We get stuck with the attached garage and screen porch because they cut out window options or suck the light where they join the house. We'll either have to accept that with a porch or do without it but a garage can be detached. Is it possible to do a porte cochere garage set up and still have a bonus room over the garage that can be accessed from the main house? Or is that complete overkill when we are looking to build a one story empty nester house? I'm trying to wrap my brain around the access, what it would look like and how it would function. I sure don't need an elevated hallway to try and heat/cool and that's what I think it would end up being.

Does anyone have suggestions where to look at plans with that feature so I can see how it works? Or can you explain/show how this might work? Or do I need to be talked down from this pie in the sky idea?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

A porte cochere is an entrance that a vehicle can drive through.

A bonus room is usually a space that occurs over a garage as part of a two story design and can be finished or unfinished as the owner wishes.

I think what you are describing is a two story garage attached to a one story house. It would probably be more energy efficient, cheaper to build, more comfortable and more attractive to put that space above the main living space.

A major factor is the climate but we don't know where the house will be built.

It is better to start a design without preconceived ideas and let your circumstances and needs guide you. For instance, how would the bonus room be used?


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

Yes.

Take a look at the "Hally's Point" plan by Stephen Fuller. All the homes in his Classic Suburban Collection feature portico and detached garage. I really like the look.

(keep in mind that you'd really want to insulate the heck out of that space.)



Here is a link that might be useful: Hally's Point - Stephen Fuller


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

My terminology is a bit off because I though porte cochere was not just the passageway but also the connected garage portion.

oicu812 that's beautiful but a true 2 story house and we need a one story this time around. Thanks for finding that and I will look at the other plans on the site.

Renovator I'm trying to do exactly as you suggest and let our needs guide us. But life is fluid and we're also trying to anticipate future needs, thus the bonus room. We're empty nesters but no where near retirement,. We anticipate visits from our young adult sons and girlfriends/someday wives ( and grandchildren at some point), other family members and friends who many of whom have middle school to college age kids and would likely visit in groups. We'll be in western North Carolina so a great destination for anyone but especially our flatlander Chicago family and friends - we expect lots of visits. A bonus room would be well used at those times.

For our day to day needs we want one level living but I was trying to picture a story and a half garage connected to the house. It would require a stairway in the house that goes up to that level and then across to the bonus space, but that would be the only finished space needed in the house going to that level. It could have a door to access and be tempered but not fully heated or air conditioned till needed. Most rooms in the house will have flat ceilings and perhaps the great room would be vaulted so other than that stairway, no elevated living space in the house itself, only the garage. With that information, does this make more sense to you as a possibility? Or am I dreaming?


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

" Is it possible to do a porte cochere garage set up and still have a bonus room over the garage that can be accessed from the main house?"

No such thing as a porte cochere garage...


ETA: Oops! That was already mentioned; sorry!

This post was edited by LuAnn_in_PA on Sat, Dec 14, 13 at 15:27


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

If you are in western NC, does that mean you have a sloping lot? How about building a house with a walk-out basement? You could live on the main level and have the walk-out basement for visitors.

We get stuck with the attached garage and screen porch because they cut out window options or suck the light where they join the house.
What about putting skylights in the covered porch to bring in some light?


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

Why not make it an enclosed breezeway, with the bonus room access closer to the garage entry? Something like a narrow mudroom, with doors on each end and maybe one out the back. The front can be windows or cutouts with lattice...or maybe windows covered with lattice/plants?

This would give you an enclosed walkway to the garage, but open up more light to the main house. At the garage end of the breezeway, you could have a door to the stairway that will go over the garage and access your bonus room.

You could even have the screened porch on the back of the breezeway, maybe accessed from the living room or kitchen/nook area. This would provide privacy from the road but not block so much light.

The breezeway would make the bonus room more private (and quiet) and you might even have a caregiver live there, if you ever needed it. Or it would make a wonderful guest area. All it would need is a bathroom, which might be a good idea, anyway, given the distance from the house. Just an idea :)

From Courtyard Garden album

From Courtyard Garden album

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Sat, Dec 14, 13 at 17:47


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

You didn't say why you don't want to do it the easy way by attaching a one story garage to a 1 1/2 story house. Is the garage larger than the house?


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

I did go see one house where the owners built a cozy closed one story 'breezeway' (more like a sunroom) in between house and garage, then built a bonus room over the garage. I liked the sunroom but didn't like the bonus room.

This setup is inefficient for guests in my climate (which freezes in the winter) because having a guest space in the garage is extremely inconvenient without a bathroom, but plumbing and then heating the garage so as to support unfrozen plumbing is also inefficient (these people didn't plumb the bonus space).

Running plumbing along a second story space open to the elements underneath would be extremely difficult in my climate and would almost inevitably lead to frozen pipes. I realize this might not be a concern depending on where you are in NC.

Plus (separate issue to yours) they left the garage open to the bonus room, which is probably really illegal for a bedroom and made the bonus room hard to heat.

With a detached garage, I would think a bonus guest space would be much better (cheaper) in a basement and second cheapest in a half story above the house. Otherwise I would consider building a completely enclosed and separately heated, plumbed guest apartment with a mini kitchen above the garage. It could be winterized and opened up just like a mini cottage.

If the bonus room were to be used rather as a playroom or studio, a lot of my concerns above wouldn't apply.


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

If you want a guest house setup, then do a guest house on the property. If cost concerns prohibit that, then a guest suite in a basement or upstairs is your most cost efficient space to construct.


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

dlm, we are currently building an empty nester one-story house with a bonus room over the garage.

Although our house is one story, our vaulted great room ceiling is quite tall, so the two story garage doesn't look out of place.

Here's our bonus room layout:


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

Here's our front elevation:


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

By the way, we worked with an architect on our customized plans but used the linked stock plan as a starting point.

Here is a link that might be useful: Robinson Craftsman house plan


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

Sorry I was distracted and didn't get back here right away. A little clarification - we know we are very much putting the cart before the horse because we have not yet found our land but feel the need to get an idea of where we are headed. We spent almost 2 years house hunting and couldn't come close to finding what we want or what could even be remodeled into what we want and have been looking at land a few months now. This will be a long distance move (suburban Chicago to Asheville/Hendersonville NC area) so we're not able to be there at the drop of a hat to look at houses or property but get there every few months. We won't build on a hillside but rolling land that would work for a partial walk out basement is what we are looking for, 2 acre minimum. I would love a 1-1/2 story house (first floor master) but my husband is adamant about it being one story - he wants gutters and windows easily reached and no more high wire act for exterior maintenance! Even a one story with a steep drop off in back is out of the question. That's really important to him and he will go along with anything else I want so I'll be fine in a 1 story.

We've been in and out of more houses than I can count and after looking at new build models found a floor plan that works well for what we want EXCEPT I want more windows in the main living areas. It's a split bedroom plan so bedrooms get 3 of the 4 corners, and with an attached garage and screen porch off the family room...... well you all know floor plans far better than I do and know without even seeing the plan there is little light in the interior. Hence my idea of a detached garage but I'm understanding better from all your comments that isn't really the answer either. So..... back to the drawing board and paper cut outs!

dekeoboe if we have the walkout on one of the short sides of a rectangle footprint, that's a possibility because it minimizes the need for any 2nd story window/gutter stuff.

lavender_lass - you're kind of in my head with your inspiration pictures and suggestions!! How do you do that? Love that stone and mill work - yum!

Renovator8 - if I could talk him into a 1.5 story house it would solve a lot of problems. Perhaps with a metal roof, big overhangs, no gutters and casement windows, a lot of the high level maintenance issues would be negated and his need for a 1 story house would become a moot point. I'll work on that.

robotropolis - everything you outlined has been rolling around in my head before I even asked about it here - you just said it better than I ever could. Thanks for the reality check.

GreenDesigns - I'd love a guest house but as you say, it's not the most cost efficient way to do that and my money tree has yet to produce a crop :-/

jujubean71 - I love your elevation and could easily be happy in a mini-me modified version of that floor plan - where did your sq footage end up? I need to catch up on the How Is Your Build thread - have you been posting pics there? I'd love to see what you're doing.

I know we're doing this bass ackwards and against every suggestion I've read here! We just want to have as many ducks in a row beforehand as possible. The idea of selling here next spring/summer, moving into a rental there and THEN starting to look for land and THEN starting to work on house plans after the land and THEN waiting the 6 - 10 - 12 + months for a build after working on plans for who knows how long ..... that could take another 3 years and we're looking to make a life change far faster than that so I hope you'll all be forgiving if I bend the rules a bit! I so appreciate all the contributors here and think this board is a phenomenal resource and source of information.

Deb


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

It's a split bedroom plan so bedrooms get 3 of the 4 corners, and with an attached garage and screen porch off the family room...... well you all know floor plans far better than I do and know without even seeing the plan there is little light in the interior.

Is there a way to do a clerestory in the family room? Or put skylights in the screen porch? Those are both ways you might be able to get more light in the family room. If you post the plan here, perhaps you will get some other suggestions.

Renovator8 - if I could talk him into a 1.5 story house it would solve a lot of problems. Perhaps with a metal roof, big overhangs, no gutters and casement windows, a lot of the high level maintenance issues would be negated and his need for a 1 story house would become a moot point. I'll work on that.

We are in central NC. We built a house with a metal roof, big overhangs and casement windows. We were going to go with no gutters, but with the amount of rain we get and the rate it falls, we needed gutters. We are going to get some type of gutter guard to cut down on the amount of gutter cleaning needed.

This post was edited by dekeoboe on Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 14:37


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

I haven't posted photos to the "how is your build" thread in some time but will soon.

Our main floor is just shy of 2700sf plus we have a full walkout lower level and the bonus area over the garage, so it is not a small house. However, the plan I linked can be scaled up or down to your needs. I think the woodsy craftsman style finished in deep colors would look lovely on rolling hills in NC. Did you happen to view photos of the rear elevation? That was a major feature we were drawn to, and we in fact expanded our veranda to 14x70.

Since we wanted a one story plan, we eliminated the second story loft but kept the dormers (made them shed dormers vs. barrel dormers) to provide the flood of light from the clerestory windows described by dekeoboe above.

We also completely opened up the great room and chose coastal finishes such as shake siding and heavy white trim since we are building on the beach along Lake Michigan. If I didn't have the constraints of a narrow lake lot and instead had acreage to work with, I'd definitely consider a breezeway to the garage.


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

dekeoboe - thanks for those suggestions - clerestory on the back of the house is a great idea and might work. I thought of skylights on the porch and that could help but I'm thinking it would be better to have it run perpendicular to the family room instead of parallel for more light. I will post the plan that started us on this path although we already know there will be changes. I'm curious why you decided you need gutters after all - what didn't work the way you expected?

jujubean71 - I did a quick look at that plan last night, showed it to my DH and we both want to look more closely when we can concentrate. There are some things I saw right away that might incorporate well in the plan we have been working on so maybe a cross between the two will get us what we want. Western MI is so close to my heart - honestly, at times I think we should have just rounded the lake and looked there, but a milder climate is in our top 3 requirements for a new location.... sigh. I hate the though of leaving our lake. I'll have to study the plan and think about the changes you made - it sounds absolutely heavenly.


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RE: Porte Cochere + Bonus Room = ???

dlm2000 - The rain comes off the roof in sheets. Without gutters it would really erode the soil and leave a mucky mess. We found that gutters and downspots are really needed to direct the water away from the house.


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