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Thoughts on Layout

Posted by pors996 (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 4, 11 at 8:42

I posted a scope of my project a few weeks ago and I am getting close on my floor plan and elevations. There are still several things that I am not happy with. For those who did not see my first post the house is a 1956 ranch that is all original, amazing property though. I am doing the project in two phases. The first is kitchen,family room,study,mudroom,laundry/utility room and the second will be a new master suite. Phase one adds about 2200 square feet and phase two will be about 1200. So here are the preliminary floor plans and elevations. A couple notes.

1. I am not happy with the study in the back, its 21X10 which is to narrow.
2. I dont like the way there is no pass through to the other areas without going through the butlers pantry.
3.The kitchen you see is not the actual layout its just there for reference though the range and hood will go in that location.
4. More windows and doors will be added.
5. I am going to add a Gambrel pitch over the garage and the entrance to raise the height of foyer entrance.
6.The gray shaded box in the foyer is the old fireplace which I am going to box in. I will have bio ethanol fireplace in new family room.
7. Once finalized a lot of details will be added but just trying to get layout done.
8. I also posted the original floor plan which is upside down.

Thanks so much

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Thoughts on Layout

You need a new architect. Any one that would tack on a gambrel roof to a MCM ranch and then cover up an original fireplace should be shot. It's a mishmash of unrelated styles and poorly thought out layout. An architect is supposed to create an addition that is a seamless integration to the original house. This fails on all fronts. You'd be better served by doing a teardown and building completely new than attempting this Frankenstein. The original house only seems to be cramping your style rather than serving as a springboard for an appropriate sized and styled addition.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

I agree with hollysprings. It literally looks like 2 different houses were smashed together. There is no sense of of balance, scale, or organization.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Yeah, it's pretty awful. Tearing the original house down or tearing off it's roof and making it a different two story style than a ranch would be the only thing that could make these two utterly different halves into a whole.

Are you sure this guy actually is an architect and not just some draftsman? I can't see anyone who actually graduated architecture school coming up with this. It's a pretty thorny problem though. People don't usually buy a small ranch home and then try to expand it by 300% because it's not at all cost effective. People who want a 4000 square foot home buying a place like this usually plan to tear it down and build something entirely new instead. And it's usually cheaper to do that than to try to do what you're doing. It's much better in the appraisal department to do a teardown as well.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

I firmly believe, as a general principle, one should not shoot architects. Just add a Palladian window and call it a Colonial Revival.

But making the word A R C H I T E C T on the drawing larger than any other word probably justifies a whipping.


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Oh, and it would help if the plan drawings were shown with the same orientation.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Wanted to respond to a couple things, first off I assure you my architect is well qualified. Alot of the plan is on my direction. Also want to mention I am not tearing the house down, had I wanted a colonial or two story I would have bought one. I have had several and am looking forward to a ranch this time around. Right now I am concerned with the layout and tweaking it. The fireplace is coming out as well but has not been updated on the plan yet. I am going to redo part of the roof lines now and the other when I do phase 2.

Hollyspring are you an architect? If so would you share some of your work? Also instead of saying its a poor lay out why dont you tell me what you think might improve it.

Last thing I want to say is this is not the first renovation project I have done, it's about the ninth including build a 5000 square foot house GCing myself, and I would be glad to share pictures of some of the other projects I have done if anyone is interested. So knowing I am not tearing it down, and it's staying a ranch does anyone have any suggestions regarding the layout.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

You want to improve it? Get rid of any notion of a gambrel roof. Make the addition smaller and skinnier and more proportionate and turn it into a "wing" at maybe a 90 or 45 degree off of the main house and then when you do the master you can do the same type of wing with it on the opposite side of the house. That is one method of keeping the ranch in the ranch house. Keep the same roof pitch and the same height walls as the original. Ranch homes are long and skinny with low pitched roofs they are typically NOT 4000+ square feet because it is difficult to construct a well designed home that large as a single story. Ranch homes are small modest homes and you lose all connection with that style trying to fit a big fat wonky tall box onto it. It just isn't cohesive at all. If you want to do giant fat box additions, then you need to change the style of the main house to go with the addition. Otherwise it looks as though you moved the horse barn next door over and joined it to the original house. No connection. No continuity of style. Just an extremely obvious in your face example of poor architecture.

Yes, I'm a retired design professional although I'm not an architect. The principals of scale, harmony, repetition, and balance are constants throughout any type of design, be it interior design, landscape design, or architectural design. Your proposed design egregiously violates almost all good design principles. Pick up Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language and read it if you want to understand the negative reaction that your plans are receiving.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Gambrel roofs are a hallmark of the Dutch Colonial style. That is incompatible with a ranch/rambler style home. Ranch is derived from Bungalow and Southwestern Hacienda style homes with a nod to Prairie style as well. Look into those relatives for styling cues to help with creating something more integrated. Perhaps also research work from the papa of the ranch house, Cliff May, the founders of ranch tract style, Levitt and Sons, and the height of "style" in ranch, Joseph Eichler.

Long and low Joseph Eichler designed ranch house.

Also, you are talking about a LOT of roof here. Twice as much roof as on a home with another story, about 50-60 square when it comes to buying roofing. That will be the main visual feature of the home, so plan on doing architectural shingles, or if you want to take the styling cues more in the hacienda direction, look at doing a tile roof for the home.

And as was previously stated, if you want to create something with styling cues that are fundamentally so different to the main home, then you will need to change the architecture of the main home to reflect the style of addition you want to add. A Frankenstein is a pretty good description of what you have going on there in your plans. It's parts of one and parts of another and the seams all show badly.Like this ranch house where they just tacked on a modern looking addition. It's absurd looking.

If you want to keep the ranch style, then it's time to completely start over. Ask if another member of your architect's practice has more experience in designing in the ranch style and ask to see what they've come up with.to a California ranch. It rambles on in length, but it's broken up by offsetting boxes and rooflines. It's linear, like the main house, but it belongs to the main house in style.

If you prefer the Dutch Colonial style that the gambrel roof has, look at creating a second story for the main home, probably with dormers. It need not be a true second story if you prefer single level living. It can simply be a higher ceilinged first floor and a roomy attic with dormers. But that would be enough change in style to tie the addition to the main house and make it look like it belonged. Here's an old Dutch Colonial that looks like it could have been a converted ranch. You see how the second floor/attic is tacked on, simply resting on the single bottom floor? You could also do that with your original home portion.

Ranch houses are also pretty easily converted to a more modern architectural style. Create some shed roofs and/or flat roofs with the addition and rework the roofline of the main house as either a shed or flat or a multiple of both. You can see here how using a flat roof and modern cladding with an emphasis on linearity took this 1920 ranch house over to the modern style in it's renovation.


Here's more information about ranch style, and celebrating it rather than attempting to obscure it's DNA. It's homework time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ranch Revival


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Massive Expenditure for Little Financial Return

I also want to comment that it seems that you don't really like this house if you want to change it so much, so maybe a ranch house isn't your style. And if you are contemplating spending so much on renovations, it seems a waste to have bought this particular home as your money could have gone further in buying a larger home that already had most of what you need in a home. In a situation like this, a teardown is much more economically viable than joining new to old. Ask any real estate professional. Please. A 4000 square foot 1970's added on ranch will not appraise anywhere close to what a 2012 brand new home will appraise. Yet you will have spent more to get the remuddled project than the entire new home.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

C'mon, admit it. You're pulling our leg(s), right?


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Live wire oak, thanks for all the feedback, In the area where I am even if I was willing to spend 300 to 400k on house it would have made no difference except maybe 800 to 1000 sqft more. It still would of been a total remodel and would not have given me what I want. The median sale price in this area is 1.2 mil and you dont get a lot for the money.

That being said you have some good points regarding the roof. The arcitecht is in the process of switching the garage to side loading and putting a gambrel on the center part of the house like you had suggested with a attic above. Its a work in progress the plans and keeps changing by the day. Right now I just want to get the floorplan finalized. Thanks for the feedback.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

I believe one of the reasons the gambrel roofs look out of place is that the shape was historically developed in order to increase the headroom of the upper level of a house or barn. That means that for a gambrel roof to look authentic it must be taller than the ones you have shown. In other words do not use a gambrel roof as a low uninhabited attic; it looks silly.

I have renovated houses with gambrel roofs and was able to add small bedroom in the third level under the upper rafter section.

So don't treat these gambrel roofs as attics: either change the proportions of the upper and lower rafters and add dormers and end wall windows and actually use the space or give them up and use steep sloped gable roofs.

Also refrain from using nested gambrel roofs. The proportion that works for the smaller one will not work for the larger one.

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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Um, how much do you think these renovations you have planned here will cost? Really? If 1.2M is your median price, then the economics definitely support a teardown over 2 300K renos. Please talk to some realtors here as well as builders and contractors. I think you are going into this project with a lot of incorrect information, especially about project costs.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Live wire you are right, I am going to be all in well under 1.2. If this property was torn down and you put up a 5000 sqft colonial you would have a 3 million dollar house. I cannot go through that for many reasons rt now. I am also not buying this for investment but to live in, however I will never loose on this property with what I paid for it. I have bought and sold about 10 properties over the past 12 years and made money on all but one, a house that I bought at the peak of the market in 2006 in south Florida and sold in 2008. In addition I have a real estate background so I have some sense of what I am doing from that perspective. I am def thinking about a lot of the things you said and appreciate the feedback but have a little faith this not the first property I have renovated. I am typing from iPad, soon as I get my pc back from getting fixed I am going to share some pictures of other houses I have done. In the meantime I am waiting for next round of revisions, I am leaning against doing gambrel roof now.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

I like the before, just because the fireplace looks like it would be in a good location and the room proportions look better, and more in scale with each other and the home.

Your after kitchen looks like it would be difficult to work in...but maybe it's just too small to see clearly. Where's your fridge? The sink/range area is very small...and I'm not sure what that big counter area is. Would it make more sense to redesign the kitchen work area and have an informal dining area, between the kitchen and family room?

What happened to the former living room? It was cute, but now it looks like a big entryway with a box in the middle. It's a long walk (and you have to go through the kitchen) to reach the family room. I think you could rearrange these spaces and find a better use for them. The family room/master bedroom addition seems like it doesn't work with the rest of the house.

Sorry, if this sounds negative, but I think you could get that extra room/addition that you seem to want...and have a home that still 'lived large' but made better use of the existing space. Believe me, I know it's difficult to put a plan you love 'out there' and have it criticized...but I think you could make a few changes and end up with a much better floor plan. Hope this helps :)


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Thanks for for the feedback Lav, couple of things, this is in the works. I am going to post most recent updates. The kitchen layout has not begun, except the location of the hood. The formal living room is to the left of the entrance now. The new bedroom is not a master, just a guest suite. I will add a master at the other end of the house in a year or two.In can put a informal table in front of the second island. The kitchen fam room is almost 1200 square feet so more than enough room.

DUANETWEAKS


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Making the garage a side-load is a big improvement. I agree with other commenters that the gambrel roof looks wrong on this house. Try sketching it with simple gables in place of the gambrels. I think it would be more appealing and look more upscale than it does now. Good luck!


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Responding only to the floorplan: here are two concerns, of several. Does this plan show two front doors? The connecting corner is all wrong. The kitchen pantry area. You already mentioned this in your first post.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

I don't even know where to begin. This "layout" is so amateurish and size focused rather than function focused that I don't think it can be saved. There is no good traffic flow. The rooms do not relate well to each other, nor to the original structure.

You could get what you need from this space with an addition half of the size but with a better layout. It would also look better and be more proportionate as an addition to the original home. The kitchen is especially egregious. Too much real estate in a kitchen is worse than one that is slightly too small.

You obviously have a home draftsman involved, but do you have an actual architect? The reason I ask this is because it seems that one of two scenarios is obviously at work here. Either your architect is very inexperienced or bad, or you are using an experienced architect as a draftsman. The only design aesthetic that I can detect at work here is an emphasis on size. An experienced architect would not design something with that being the overriding instruction. A draftsman who doesn't have the education level or as much professional image to lose could.

Or, the other alternative is that you are the driving force behind the layout, and you have bulldozed your ideas onto someone who doesn't have the ability to tell you that you are doing the home and yourself a big disservice with those ideas. You were lambasted earlier on form. This is about function. The plans have neither.

You need someone with more experience and a stronger personality involved if you want a functional space that isn't just about the amount of space. This collaboration isn't working to your best interests. Start over with a set of fresh eyes.

You've gotten input from at least 3, maybe 4, design professionals here. (Some posters do not always declare their professional status up front due to the forum's advertising policies.) Very little of that feedback has been positive for your plans. That doesn't mean that a great layout from an experienced professional might not be in your future, just that this isn't it, and the persons involved here don't seem to have the abilities needed for this particular job. There are a lot more design professionals who post on the Building a Home Forum. You might post there and seek their input on a new architect in your area. Or someone there may consult in a professional capacity in your area. Either way, new blood is required.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

At this stage I am not changing architects. I came here to get advice on how to improve the plan, of which I have listened to some of the things and made changes. That being said I am not going back to the drawing board and starting over or hiring a new architect. It's one thing to criticize someone else's work and its another telling them how they can improve it. I posted this on the kitchen forum and a couple people actually posted some reworked floorplans of which I am integrating some of those ideas into my plan. In addition I have redone the elevations based on the feedback in this thread. So thanks to the people who have given constructve criticism, I def appreciate it. I would like to see some of the professionals work who are commenting. Do any of you have a website?

I am posting some new elevations, and plan with a couple tweaks. Note they are not complete. We are adding hip dormers over garage and prob to the right of the front entrance.

Also I am posting a pic of a sample kitchen layout, not complete. Ace of diamonds kitchen on the kitchen forum was one of inspriation for my kitchen and family room.

Front

Back

Garage

Left Side

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RE: Thoughts on Layout

The inspiration photos are not of a real kitchen. That inspiration kitchen is not a real kitchen. It is an image created by someone. The thread that contained those pictures reads like a promoting agency for the products mentioned. In the kitchens forum I posted on that thread.

The thread you opened a few days ago didn't get much traction. Two people posted. You didn't listen to the first person who posted. You didn't respond to the second person who posted.

Here is a link that might be useful: comments you got from bmorepanic and lavenderlass


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

What do you mean those are not a real kitchen? What are you trying to say?


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

the photos you have used as inspiration are highly retouched / photoshopped.
In the simplest photo showing the three pendants and the hood, look at the light: that alone will confirm to you it's all artificial, beyond all resemblance to reality. If you divide that photo into a dozen vertical strips, I can comment about the light and shadows in each of these strips.

the photos were (most probably) designed by a person who had a few goals to achieve.
A goal might be to create envy and become the center of attention. A psychological goal.
A goal might be to get paid by one or more sponsors. Perhaps the employer is an agency that was able to get several payments. Every photo shows products. These company's products are mentioned in the thread.
Also, questions posted about other items are not answered well. That too is fishy and it constitutes sufficient ground all by itself to make one draw the conclusion that the internet is not always exactly what you might want it to be. Billions of dollars are spent on internet marketing; where does it end up on your computer screen? Welcome to the world of envy management. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you say you have no time, you need to get the floor plan right, and that windows and doors can be moved around after you get the floor plan right. That is worth a laugh or a chuckle. Legpullers and gameplayers write things that read like that. Hope this helsp.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

You either have the time to do this right, or you have a lot more time to live with the mistakes. Why not live with the home as it exists for a bit until you get the right plan. It's plenty big enough for a single guy and child even if it's not ideal. If you want a home that will live well, you will find the time to do it right. And you'll find the time to hire the right professional for the job rather than asking a board full of strangers to do a pro's job for them. If you put more time in the planning phase, you would most likely come to the conclusion that doing a teardown is much better economically for the amount of change that you are planning.

Creating drama through declaring rush rush rush unalterable deadlines doesn't help what you are doing. It only makes you seem like a 12 year old with a check from grampa burning a hole in his pocket looking at the first shiny thing that catches his eye. This forum does not offer up blind admiration or envy here just because you are going to spend a lot of money on a lot of space filled with expensive brands. And, because of your lack of emphasis on form or function, it seems as though that is what this project is primarily designed to elicit. That is the furthest thing from crating a home for you and your family.

This is a live and learn situation for you. You will either learn from the advice being given to you to slow down and do this right with the right people. Or you will forge ahead on your bruised pride, spending thousands more than actually needs to be spent, and come out the other side much poorer in both funds as well in equity in the monstrosity in the making. Experience is a harsh teacher. If you will not learn from those who have gone before you, you will learn at her knee yourself. If you have the ability to learn from your mistakes at all.

You've already paid an architectural firm for work, and it hurts both your pride and your pocket to admit that they were a poor choice and cut them loose. If you've been reading these forums for any length of time you'd know that you are far from being alone in that situation. However, you'd also know that the people that were in your situation and forged ahead trusting it would all be made right fare much worse than those who put on their big boy pants and cut their losses NOW.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Green design I think I have been pretty clear that I am not changing architects nor am I tearing down. If one thing you said was correct, is that I am the driving force behind the design and that's because I am going to be the one, ultimately that has to be happy. Forums are for sharing ideas, and I have listened to people's suggestions who have offered ideas to improve what I am working with and will continue to do so. Its hard to give much credit to people who claim to be professionals, sitting behind a computer screen, knocking other peoples work, and not sharing any of their own. As David Dro1 said welcome to the world of envy management.

As stated in an earlier post, this is not the first renovation project I have done. I built my office building in Florida, a custom home, and renovated several houses. two of these were in the seven figures. So while I will make no claim to being a builder, contractor or designer I have some sense of what I am doing and what I want.

So for the people in the thread who have offered ways to improve and better thank you, please keep it coming. I will have more detailed elevations tomorrow.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

I've been quietly reading your posts...here and in other GW forums. And, I've come to the conclusion that you really aren't interested at all in what people have to offer. You are designing this yourself (with an architect without balls), you have way too much money to burn on this project, and you don't actually know how a house functions.

Great! Go for it. Do as you wish. Live with your part time 4 yr old. Certainly this house is big enough for the two of you, no matter what the flow is like. Someday, when you have to sell, it might be to another rich guy who lives by himself and he also won't care about traffic flow. Because that really only matters once there are people in the house.

If you are just trying to impress with size and finishes; you've got it.

tongue. in. cheek.

But, really, think about what most of what has been offered to you as suggestions/criticisms. Too big. Poor flow.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Kirk I strongly disagree with you, the only ones who are not listening, are the ones who continually bash my architect and tell me to teardown. I have made it clear from my second post that I am not doing either. Every suggestion that was constructive and pertains to what I am working with now I have given strong thought. I changed changed the whole roof line, and got rid of the Gambrel based on the feedback here.

I dont need to defend myself on these kind of personal attacks, except to say you are way off in your assumptions. I will not stoop to the level of personally attacking people I have never met.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

The flow is still off--too many long hallways. That feedback was also posted right away in the Kitchens forum. I have a 6 yr old and a 3 yr old, and at times, they can't find me 12 feet away down our 1 short hallway. Getting rid of the Gambrel was wise and also seems to fit the contemporary design you are moving towards in the Kitchen forum better.

I enjoy looking at floor plans (of all kinds--kitchen, whole house, remodeling, and bath) and spend most of my time on these forums doing just that. And, that is my feedback. As with everyone's posts, take it or leave it, and with a big grain of salt.

That is all.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Pors- I really like the exterior drawings! I think they look much better and the side entry garage is a big improvement (as I think was mentioned already).

Your kitchen design seems to be getting much better, over on that forum. As we said, your fridge and oven might work on the long wall, opposite the windows. I know you've mentioned adding a table and I think your little boy will really like that. Nothing like helping Dad in the kitchen :)

Your main entry area still seems a little large...do you have any idea how you plan to use this space? It's an unusual shape and I think you could do something really interesting with it, depending on your tastes, interests, etc. With the way Bmore changed the space, it might even be a nice art gallery, entry area.

I think inspiration pictures will really help, like they did for the fireplace. Since you're going for a more contemporary style, some of these large spaces can be really dramatic, but should still serve some sort of purpose. Hope that gives you some ideas :)


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

the latest set of comments on the kitchen forum thread echo my own.

I saw that you eliminated the washer and dryer completely. That astounds me. But maybe I'm the only one who is affected.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Washer and dryer not sure what your referring to... There is a laundry room behind the kitchen.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

pors,

The images that are now on your flickr.com account and currently being displayed in this thread are not exactly as they were before. I remember that next to your powder room there was another room. ((In it were a washer + dryer?)).

I'm referring to the proposed new floorplan in your posts from Saturday night and Tuesday night. Not the OP post.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

I found the image I thought was yours. It was posted by bmore.. on the kitchens forum thread.

Where you have placed the laundry room and pantry is a more logical place for the kitchen.

It's tight at the inside corner where the patio meets the pantry and kitchen. Fantasizing for you, could you envision a different shape of new build, to get more space at that corner? Or use more of the garage for other purposes.

You can turn the current powder room into a larger room (for laundry too), keep the fireplace, and let that larger room touch the back of the fireplace. On the open side of the fireplace you get a wide run through to the new spaces by sliding your kitchen and pantry back into the laundry and towards the garage. This idea concurs with what live wire oak wrote on the kitchen forum thread. Consider this as a naive-to-naive peer to peer floorplan suggestion.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

David could you sketch that out for me, I dont totally understand, there is no existing power room I am adding it.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

behind the fireplace there is a small room today. That is the one to look at. No need for more images. I'll bet the fireplace is a good feature, and keeping it is a good thing. No one needs to have two ways to walk around a fireplace (although it is impressive.) Where the stairs are (currently) is the new fulcrum point around which everything pivots in the expanded floorplan.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

The thing with the fireplace is I dont like the idea of walking in the foyer and seeing it dead on. Do you have any ideas for this?


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

a big panel of frosted glass.

When you walk in, the left hand side of the fireplace has stuff build around it now. This can be pulled forward towards the front door. The currently square bedroom can be chopped down to a smaller size. The hallway can go through the currently square bedroom. I notice you proposed widening the hallway and actually moving two walls, so it's no big deal in comparison.

The space behind the fireplace can be all used for laundry, utility, storage, powder room, stairs, etc. Not hallway.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

David would you mind doing a little sketch?


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

i can't, for a number of reasons.

take the general idea and run with it.
Anything goes. (It's your space). If I sketched stuff it would be too specific.
It's better to frustrate you and let you draw some other drawing than what I had in mind specifically.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

If you look at large, older homes...many have a fireplace in the 'great hall' or entry area. They also have large, impressive staircases, often with beautiful stained glass windows and fancy lighting. It was the way the owners of that time, impressed their guests as they entered...and it warmed them up, since central heating was not yet available.

I think you could easily take that idea and put a contemporary spin on it. Make the fireplace a feature and decide how you want to use that entry space. You could add a few benches or sofas, maybe some art, a contemporary light fixture that really wows them...making it a destination, rather than a walk through area.

It's the first thing people will see as they enter your home and the dining room will be right off this space. Discuss it with your architect, since you don't plan on changing to another one...surely he/she should have some good ideas. If not, maybe you should think about trying someone else. It will help to look for pictures on the internet and maybe some books/magazines at the library, to see if you can get any inspiration.

Since you're new to contemporary style, do your research and make sure your architect is comfortable with contemporary, too. This is a big project and a lot of money...so be sure you get exactly what you want. I think you'll be very happy, with the results! Also, make sure you remember that a four-year old is going to live here, too. Make some cool spaces/areas for him, not only in the bedroom, but maybe a play alcove, low shelves for baskets/fancy containers for toys, etc. Have fun :)


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Here is a thread where someone posted (on Aug 11) a galley kitchen as an alternative passageway through the house. It was an idea.
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg081707463826.html

Galley kitchens are efficient. You could have a galley somewhere in the area between the garage and the proposed DR and the new addition. It could be an alternative way through the house. The main walk through would be near the patio, from the right hand side of the fireplace to the patio to the new part. Do you have to build the extension in exactly that shape?

2/
Here is a thread with a huge viewblock at the new front door. Upon entering, the eyes hit a built in. It has shelves and buddha's. On the other side, it is a "refrigerator island". It encloses the fridge. Visitors get oriented to look to the side, which they then walk to.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg060141346570.html 1st diagram.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0701325331325.html 5th photo posted.


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Uses for fireplace wall in entry...

Here are a few ideas, for the fireplace wall in the entry.

From Kitchen plans

From Kitchen plans

Or maybe something entirely different on that entry wall. Your son might like this :)

From Kitchen plans


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Thanks Lav. I know the foyer has a lot of wasted space especially if I take the fireplace out, I just dont love the idea of walking in to it when you come in the house.

David, I think I understand what you are saying, is there a way of doing this without doing the whole layout?

In the meantime some more inspiration pictures. One is my buddy's loft in C town.

mill3

mill2

mt_180411_03-940x1241

mill1

family-rm-bbq

Some ideas for the office

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Not the colors on this one.

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35953_0_8-7308-modern-family-room

One of my favorites....

828e823ff9d7

Nice lights.

01marylin01


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Once one has invested in a plan, one might think that changes being made are not a benefit and not helping the project. Change is difficult. It may be especially difficult when it is a required course of action. If drastic change wasn't required, you wouldn't have needed or accepted big ideas in the first place. Be optimistic and positive. Set your goals toward achieving excellence. The action plan to achieve excellence is your guide, independent of my input. There is no other way to make progress.

"is there a way of doing this without doing the whole layout?" = without re-doing the layout. No, no other way. Yes, drawing new lines on paper is necessary.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

So Guido Cheese Modern is your inspiration? Yeah, I can tell you are a bachelor. There is no place for a child anywhere in this house. Thing is, if you ever want to change that, you'll want something a bit softer and homier (less animal print and black leather) to make it more appealing for a child and the opposite sex. You seriously need a designer here to help you put some warmth and humanity into the home. To make it a "home", not a design exercise. You obviously want help, because you are posting here. Take the next step and hire an actual designer. Someone who you will listen to and who's not just there to translate your unmoderated personal preferences like you've done with the architect.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

My favorite picture (of the ones you posted) is the one with the zebra ottoman...okay, the second zebra ottoman :)

Seriously, that room has a lot going for it. It's cozy, but still stylish...open to the kitchen, has some modern touches, but still has a more traditional fireplace...and I love the leather sofa. The stainless steel appliances, flat screen TV and leather are masculine, but the walls, lighting, plants, etc. soften it and make it not too masculine. I think that's a room that would work for a man or a woman, especially for a TV area. I don't like bright colors, when I'm watching TV as I find them too distracting.

While I like the office too (first zebra ottoman) I think the darker wood is perfect for a cozy man space, but too dark for the main living area. The Clint Eastwood room is not bad, but almost too light...and a bit too orange. Wouldn't that look better with a dark brown leather sofa? LOL

I agree with Holly, in that some of the spaces seem to be trying too hard to be 'bachelor' rooms...but the ones I've listed would all work well in your space. But, do me a favor and do NOT do that bedroom, like your buddy's place. Yikes! A bit too Austin Powers, for my taste (no offense to your friend.)


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Lav, the bedroom with the crazy chand over the bed is not my friends place. That is from a website of this designer from vegas. The loft is my friends place.

I know the dark woods are nice and I am torn about going with that style, but my condo and last couple of houses have been very traditional, earth tones and dark woods. I am going to try to get some pics of prior places. I have a virtual tour from my last house but I don think I can upload it, I have the file but not the link. Let me see what can do.


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Room inspiration

Pors- While you're looking for inspiration...check out a few of Candice Olson's rooms, from Divine Design (HGTV). They should be online, but she has had some success, IMHO, mixing dark woods, stainless steel, and white leather, etc. together, for a contemporary look, but still very classic. I don't know if those are the best terms, but I'd say they don't feel traditional, but they don't look like they'd go out of style right away, either.

I'm glad that's not your friend's room. That is one thing that should definitely stay in Vegas! LOL


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Where the new part meets the old building I would use diagonal lines for the grid to layout some of the fulcrum area, pivoting between the two parts. One or more of the kitchen walls could follow a diagonal line. In other words, the space near the garage is a key region and it has to be optimized. This assumes the new part has to be built as proposed. Where are the best views?


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Lav I will check that out soon as I finish this post.

David the best views are if you are standing in the famiy room looking at 9 o clock. Its the yard. I am going to post some pictures of the property and existing house soon

Alright here is the update, met with architect tonight, there is an all new floor plan in the works as well as all new elevations, the room sizes have been scaled down, the kitchen and fam room are pretty much the same but there is a couple of surprises. He gave me some print outs but they are far from done and tomorrow he will email me pdf files so I can post but he is going to need a couple of weeks to complete the new layout. We are going to leave the fireplace.He is also going to design the roof pitch so we can easily add second floor.

Ok next order of business is I transferred my old pictures to my computer. So I am going to post some pictures of my previous places. All these places I designed and gcd myself including the house.

Condo in Miami Beach private elevators open to unit. There is extensive millwork in the foyer but I cant find pics.

December Pics 006

December Pics 005

December Pics 005

Custom built ins by my cabinet guy.

December Pics 013

December Pics 008

Onyx floors and counters, venetian plaster on the walls. The Onyx is illuminated.

December Pics 011

December Pics 012

December Pics 015

Ok only have one picture of my old office but I designed it.

Turbo_Pictures1_005_sized

My last house which I built and sold when I got relocated back to NY in 2008.

front

All the walls are venetian plaster.

House & Founatin 018

House & Founatin 020

MLS2

wallunit

kit1href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71398719@N06/6541073295/" title="officenook_500 by pors996, on Flickr">src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7027/6541073295_6910084c73.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="officenook_500">

ceil

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Gold leaf

Picture 003

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My munchkins first xmas, cant resist.

Holidays 108

House & Founatin 044

as you can see my prior places have been very traditional so I want to mix it up now.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

What climate zone are you now in?


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

David I am in in new York new eng England area now.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

i think you need someone with experience in this climate. For the time being your ideas are too open. Or, maybe not. You wrote that you would add two phases: "about 2200 square feet and phase two will be about 1200." I would think you would use Renovator8 as your guide in planning, after site visits and aerial views.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

David things are changing and the first phase is being scaled down, I am hoping to post something today but its far from complete but you can get an idea of direction.

IS renovater a architect or designer?


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

i dunno if i am the right person to explain. (pls go direct). i think he has a b.arch. but is also a real life hands on person with a few decades experience. (Almost too much knowledge.)


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Very nice rooms...but my favorite picture is the Munchkin with the puppies! What a cutie :)

New England is a very different climate, but I think you'll still want an open kitchen/family area. It might be fun to bring in just a little New England charm/tradition...and juxtapose that with your modern elements. I look forward to seeing your new plans!


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Wow!

Pors- I just found this link...what a house! The exterior is nice, traditional with a bit of contemporary with those (staircase?) windows. The back is beautiful, the garage is amazing...and I love the living/great room.

Now, the elements that I think should stay, in the great room...those beautiful beams, the white moldings/trim around the archways, the windows with moldings/trim and of course, the leather sectional! LOL

I would make the fireplace much more contemporary (but maybe still use a little stone) get rid of all the drapes, change the area rug and bring in more contemporary choices. The chairs could be better and that zebra ottoman would look good here :)

I like the stainless steel and white in the kitchen, but would add in some dark cabinetry accents (like your zebra ottoman second picture) maybe for the island...and white leather stools? The table and chairs are all wrong and I would definitely change the bedroom/bath!

Hope this will give you some ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to New England home


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Candice Olson kitchens

Here are a few examples of some Candice Olson more modern/contemporary kitchens. I like the dark wood, stainless steel, and white together...but I'm not sure about the lights in the first one!

From Kitchen plans

And this one has some great stools, at the island.

From Kitchen plans


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Lav I will check that site out tonight, I cannot access at work its blocked. I am not a huge fan of beans, I prefer the cioffered look over the beams. I have both of th pictures you posted on my laptop. Good minds think alike.

Here is a sneak peak, not done but a different flavor also has new layout.

sneakpeek


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

pors i liked the second exterior elevations a lot, and this new one reminds me of a lynette jennings house i adored, the turret was the entry, and it was positioned in the interior corner, which each wing radiating out from it. very nifty, i think it was called the butterfly house.

just watched a movie today with a fab ranch house, http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/06/07/movie-monday-steve-martins-yellow-house-in-housesitter/

that glass entry and separate master suite is pretty great, is this the type of thing you're looking for?
thanks for sharing the process with us, mine evolved over several years with lots of hard questions from here, and i'm thrilled with my final result.

and someday hope to even build the dang thing!


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Just an update, been very crazy with work, closing on the house this week hopefully. Been going back and forth on ranch vs two story, think I am going to stick with ranch. Working on some new elevations on final tweeks.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Pors- Looking forward to seeing your plan! :)


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Update

Here is the new floor plan I went back and forth with second story but decided to stick with ranch, while I know its not everyones taste I am happy with it. Now we are going to spend a lot of time on the details. I will post new elevatiosn tomorrow. If anyone has any feedback that does not involve redoing the whole plan would love to hear it as I will be tweaking over the next couple of weeks. Thanks

Lav look forward to hearing what you think.

gardenweb


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Pors- I tried enlarging it, but I can't read some of the rooms. I know that's the master bath/bedroom...and does that say 'exercise room' in front of it? What are the rooms in the back (left and right) of the main entry? I can see the dining room, kitchen/great room...and is that your office, in the back (right of great room)? What is just to the right of the dining room...storage?

Now, I'm guessing that's your son's room, off to the right of the great room, below the office? I'm wondering if you have a playroom or other space for him? Since you have the room, it would be so fun to design a little playroom that would be for his toys and books, arts/crafts, etc. As he gets older, it could be a rec room space, for him to entertain his friends...spread out legos, play computer games, etc.

What is opposite the front door, in the entry? Is that access to the back? That's very striking...and I can see some of the details seem like your earlier rooms. I think this has a lot of potential. Just remember, you're in the northeast, so I'd think built-ins, window seats, bookcases, display, etc.

I'm looking forward to seeing more details about the plan, and the overall design, too. I think this is going to be such a fun project...for you and your son. I love decorating for kids and I think you're going to enjoy it, too. It's great decorating 'adult spaces' but kids' spaces can really get your imagination going. Just remember to create spaces that will grow, with him.

Oh, and disclaimer, I'm not a professional designer, but it's fun to help our nieces/nephews create fun spaces, in their bedrooms! They love making a room special for them, even if it's Goodwill, paint and fabric with a staple gun :)


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

turn the tub 90 degrees.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Hey David, thats all I was exacting a lot more. The master bath layout is not done yet, I am debating about laying it out like my old master I posted with the double shower where the tub is and the tub infront of the shower kind of like a focal point, also would be an easier walk to get into shower. What are your thoughts?


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

I opened the thread in two browser windows so I could see the existing layout next to the new proposed layout. (and the first set of proposed plans are still in my mind... but I'd like to forget them.).

So many changes were made, it is hard to compare and contrast. I see more and more changes all the time. This latest layout seems to have a lot more surface area added around the old house, not just an extension tacked on to the side. (?).

The entrance puts the guest into a central square area; it's diagonal compared to the house axis. Very good. Really!

It's like a diamond. It could be tweaked slightly, to be more lozenge-shaped (typical diamond shaped longer on one axis) stretched a little. Not a square. It helps everything when the dimensions along the X and Y axes are different measurements. Firstly, it helps the whole-house layout (because your space defined by your external walls is not chunky but is more "long"), AND secondly it's easier to build since it can "receive" error along the way (no need to make a perfect square and force other rooms to take the remainder).

Finally, a lozenge is aesthetically great too. It doesn't require the angled walls to be on a 45 degree axis. This is a big advantage. It means the lozenge remains perfectly symmetrical and pleasing while it also adapts to your other rooms' needs.

There are two paths to the kitchen, one through the DR, one through a buffer space room that has a powder room. I see a lot of questions arising. What the buffer space will be used for. It may end up being a display area like a wide corridor, whose main purpose is holding the access point to the powder room. Note the powder room points to whoever is operational in the kitchen. In terms of ease of passage there is a pinch point at the end of this room.

Hth


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R7E: Thoughts on Layout

once you get a rhombus shaped space built, using remainder space, you can put a big circle in the middle of the floor (inside the trim tile).

Here is a link that might be useful: rhombus (lozenge) with circle inside


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Worked with architect for a few hours today, I started tweaking the plan, you should pick up a few nice differences.

I think I am going to flip the back mudroom to a playroom for my son though the basement could be finished as well. Let me know thoughts.

jan14

Als0 elevations are not complete but this gives you a sense of where its going. Its interesting to see from the beginning of this thread how the house has evolved.

jan141


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

It's getting much better, but it's not there yet. Better traffic flow and better curb appeal. I still don't think your architect really has the creative or technical skills necessary for this project, but at least it appears that he can take dictation.

Those roof zits really detract from the facade. The small gable dormers should either be more numerous as to make a repeating statement, or they should be larger so as not to appear as afterthoughts. You will have a water handling issue where the garage gable meets the new gable on the main house and the bit of the back gable peeking over is just not attractive. It would look better to eliminate the new tiny gabled bumpout and just carry the main addition's gable forward aross the old house and to the front.

I loathe the powder room location. It too looks like an afterthought and is in a prime location like it is some kind of wonderful showcase feature. It should be somewhere closer to the garage and pantry mudroom area, accessible but not on display. It's a necessity, not a work of art.

The connection of the old and new is still problematic because you are trying to retain too much of the old, like keeping the original entry. Shift the home's entry down more towards the garage, and repurpose the old living area as another bedroom space or even as your office space. The main destination of anyone entering the home is the addition, so make it easy to navigate to that addition rather than having someone go through a corn maze to get there. The rear gable of the addition can bisect the main house and jut forward to provide a nice sized foyer. I would make the gable on the other side of the home match in scale, and when the master addition is done, it will be simple matter to extend that gable rearward to provide you with a huge master. That will simplify the front facade and give it a more dignified and unified look. You could do a shed roof from the main house between the two gables as a front porch if you like that type of connection with the front yard or just leave the original portion as is.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Great idea to shift the entrance to the right! It IS where everyone will want to go. And I like the idea of having the old part of the house be the office and maybe making the office area be the dining room.

Nested gables have far less issues with water runoff than intersecting gables. Those create rivers that can pose problems with both waterproofing the valleys as well as the need for a large downspout at the valley where the two intersect.

Those one foot bumpouts to create those gables will be pretty darn costly and you will not really get any added space benefit from them. Think about that carefully. They represent money that could go towards your master later. If you are going to do bumpouts, then do them in such a way that they also add square footage. It won't really be much additional cost. The major cost is in the first two feet because that will need all new foundation, framing, roofing, electrical, etc. Just adding a bit more length to them makes the cost per square foot of that portion actually go down.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Ok will try to respond, summarize, and ask more questions.

Holly First

I will have him address the issue where the two gables meet. I see what you mean about the water issues. The elevations still have a ways to go.

I agree with you about the dormers they need be more substantial.

As far as carrying the main additions gable forward I kind of like the symetry of the two gables being the same size. What is your opposition to this?

I am not crazy about the powder room area but without really going nutty changing again I am not sure where else to put it. I know you mentioned by the mudroom but I actually on Livewire oaks advice shifted that bathroom in the guest suite so you could have access from the kitchen easily as well as being able to access from the office.

One thing I have to disagree with you on is keeping the old part of the house, there is essentially nothing left from the old part of the house except the garage which has been extended and also reversed.These plans reflect doing a whole new roof line and ripping off the current roof. In addition these plans reflect the master suite which I am doing now at a minimum putting the shell up. So the big gable on the left is the new master suite and if I brought the gable from the family room through it would not match.

Next thing is I am not keeping the original entry, this is a new entry, the orginal entry was to the right of the new entry. I am going to post some quick picks I took with my iphone to see the original house.

Greendesigns

I like the idea of having the entry dead center it used to be to the right. I actually looked at hundreds of pictures because I played with the idea of doing a more narrow foyer and doing to the right but I like the idea of the pass through to the backyard.

I see your point on the bumpouts in the front, but since i have to do new foundation for master is there any cost savings to just leave it flush? I know on the right side its prob wasteful to go out two feet, do you have any other ideas? Also right now the house is 6000 square feet I dont really think I need more square footage lol, its much bigger than I expected.

Can you explain what a nested gable is?

David

If I am understanding what you saying abouy lozenge you mean instead of being equal it would me more narrow and give the foyer kind of like a longer feeling correct?


Lastly give me a little time on the elevations, because I have changed my mind so many times I am been working with one of the firms junior architects because I have racked up a serious amount of hours with changes. The principle will take it from here and tweak everything.

Thanks for all the feedback and I will continue to integrate as much as I can into the plan.

I am also posting a pic of the floorplan, the shading shows what is new and the unshaded is existing for those who are questioning what is existing of the old house.

PROPOSED FLOOR PLAN 15JAN2011 11x17 (1)_0001

current3

current2

current3


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

yes more narrow (on any one axis). This reduces none of the impact. When building, you have more leeway instead of building perfect symmetry identical on both axes.

i agree with the approach holly has expressed: the door area is ultimately where you will solve the corn maze problem. It's the same problem I've mentioned in every post whenever I've mentioned anything being a problem. (I've written pinch point, zigzag, buffer area, views, corridors, two paths, kitchen in the way, pantry in the way, etc). This was just from the view on looking at the layout alone. Add the roof and you have way more reason to adopt the door-shift strategy.

Money spent on time is gone gone gone just like therapists' consulting time. Writing it out is just a means to express anger disappointment or silly little resistance, ultimately a futile exercise. Drop it and you'll be more mature. You could have gotten on a plane and gone to a distant country on a vacation. That's money too. But you spent it locally on some drone doing "yes,sir" grunt work. Who cares. Big deal. All gone. Some people hire personal assistants, some don't. It's neither here nor there, it's irrelevant. Some people spend on may kinds of therapists and expert-o-paths, and some don't. Some spend in one area or another, some save by not spending anything. It's not relevant.

The Fact that a drone architect listened and drew lines on paper is not relevant, because it was an architect whose mindset is to be a follower of orders.

What you have from this thread is a good yield on your time and money invested. You came here for viewpoints. No one is hurting you. The collective feedback has been wonderful.

Hollysprings jumped in at the right point. The points made by Hollysprings are worth the price of all the previous consulting time paid for and behind you now. The previous points made by the top level experts all concur with Hollysprings points. There is a consensus, and I believe it is based on nothing other than an ability to spot problems, and not due to any groupthink or crowd mentality.

One thing you learn in MBA school and everywhere else is that money spent is gone. Water under the bridge is an expression from long ago. Calling it Water down the drain is a way to show bitterness and anger. You choose how to view it.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Dave I think its very hard to shift the door without throwing out off the symetry.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Asymmetry and nested gables would work much better here than symmetry. Symmetry is fine for a Georgian. You're not creating a Georgian. You are attempting to do a modern interpretation of a classic ranch.

This is a smaller version of something to suggest to your architect.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

I did a quick sketch using the original layout posted and expanding on the idea of moving the entryway over and nested gables. It keeps the main addition as a gabled addition 90 degrees from the old house, but takes the gable all the way across the house and uses a nested gable bump to create a foyer and large office in the front. The garage roof gets rebuilt as a gable running the same direction as the main house and becomes side load. (Front load garages are blemishes on houses.) The guest room and bath are all the way across from the other bedrooms for privacy sake. There's a powder room close to the entry and formal sitting room as well as a coat closet off of the entry.

I didn't work on the master wing much, but I think the similar but smaller gable and nested gable for a sitting area would work there as well. The whole thing is beyond rough, and since there were no dimensions on the original drawing, I don't have any ideas of any of the dimensions. It's just a brainstorming sketch---something to have your architect think through the specifics.

Photobucket


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Pors- That big room/space, closest to the powder room. Is that an entry/closet area or does it serve another function? It seems very big, to just have stairs and closet, with access to the powder room and kitchen.

Could you 'do' anything else, with the space? I still can't read what those two small rooms are, on either side of the main entry 'diamond' but could you put the closet there, instead? I'm only wondering if you'd have space for maybe some bookcases and a couple of chairs and ottoman in this 'stair' area and give it more of a function. It would be a great place to sit down and read a book (even a cookbook) or have a more public area, closer to the entry.

Also, just a quick reminder...it's colder up north...and even with heat, it feels cooler. So, people often like to find a few cozy places, to curl up with a book. Large spaces are great, but smaller spaces are important, too. Think of a window seat, within a larger space...or lower area of ceiling, in a vaulted room.

Sarah Susanka (author of the Not So Big House books) has a lot of examples of these types of details, in her books. It might be worth a quick look :)


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Lav I know what you are saying about that area, I am going to play around on thursday with architect with foyer but just plan on tweaking it a little maybe playing with the shape like David said. Also I tried enlarging the font but the room to the left is the laundry room, and the room to the right will be a wine room.

I am thinking of built ins, maybe salt water tank in that area. This is down the road of course.

Posting somewhat updated elevations.

Livewire thanks for the drawing, I have already shifted the garage to the side quite some time ago on the plan.

DUANE FRONT AND SIDE ELEVATION-PROPOSED16JAN2011 24x36 (1)_0001

DUANE FIRST FLOOR PLAN-PROPOSED16JAN2011 24x36 (1)_0001

DUANE REAR & SIDE ELEVATIONS 16JAN2011 24x36 (1)_0001


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

"I did a quick sketch using the original layout posted and expanding on the idea of moving the entryway over and nested gables. "

^^^^THAT!^^^^^

That is the direction that the addition should have taken from the beginning. It keeps the spirit of casualness that is the very essence of a ranch home and provides easy access to both the old and the new portions of the home.

The last design that you posted is veering off into a Disneysque attempt at formalizing what is a very informal house style. Ranch houses are NOT about marble floored two story entries and lots of negative space. They are about single floor efficient living that looks at home in it's natural setting. They connect the resident with that natural setting by bringing it indoors through the use of natural almost rustic materials like slate, wood paneling, knotty pine, stacked stone, brick and by the use of large windows and patio doors. You can still achieve a modern aesthetic within those constraints, but it won't involve attempting to make a ranch into a colonialesque McMansion.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Time spent at the architect's office is like time spent at a psychologist's office. It is money spent for time spent listening to you. Someone gives you a drawing representing your ideas.

The love of oneself can extend to the love of one's ideas. One can love love love the cumulative investment in them. This then causes one to get angry at those who ask you to shred the entire cumulative investment and begin again from a different starting point.

My 100% is behind the comments made by everyone who posted. Every one of them has recommended you not build it as drawn. Lavender lass pointed out some of the negatives. I did too. The others were so strongly negative that there CAN Be no doubt about it.

To be gentler about it, I'll mention that words pro-portio and syn-metr are both the same in their original meanings, i.e. balancing the alternatives, generally, making sure things are not unbalanced. The word symmetry has taken on a greater perfectionistic sense over centuries, but it was originally merely a Greek word for the Latin word proportion, with-(similar)-measure(measure-mean-size). BUT to get to the guest hangout they have to walk thru a maze, a warren, scooting past a toilet bowl a pantry an oven and a sink. Yukk. There is no balance in this zigzag floor plan. It is so unbalanced that it makes methink the owner was in love with his ideas and he had a strong need to feel his cumulative investment in his ideas was a productive way to spend his time and money. The only way to stop a game is to stop. The only way to stop anything that you love is to stop.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Wasting money on a paper plan is a heck of a lot cheaper than wasting it on concrete and wood and then trying to rework what you've planned because it's bloody awful and doesn't work. From what I've seen from your architect, I wouldn't hire him to build a dog house. But, I guess there's always someone who finishes last in his class and somehow still manages to find a job. Nepotism probably.

You've gotten some good advice, and some great advice. All of it free, and worth far more than anything that this draftsperson has given you for a lot of money. If you won't take advice unless you pay for it, then I'll gladly charge you a 1K consulting fee for what's been said so far. You think I'm being funny? What's funny and sad is that you've probably spent 10x that amount and gotten virtually nothing workable for it.

Pretend that you are a guest arriving for a party. Park your car and try to find the front door because the host is out back tending the grill. You know that's where you want to go, but how do you get there? OK, you found the front door. Where the heck is the kitchen to put the beer in the fridge that your brought? Where's the powder room to offload the beer you've already drunk? It's worse than a corn maze, because if you are in a corn maze, being lost is part of the fun. Being lost toting a heavy case of beer and needing to pee in something less than a 10,000 square foot house is just ridiculously bad design.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Pors- Thank you. So, laundry room and wine room. Are you using the wine room, for tasting or just storage? My only concern would be the big windows in this space...great for a counter with stools for tasting, maybe not so great for storage. If you have a basement, it might be more fun to pur a wine cellar down there and have the wine tasting room, back where you have the stairs. Maybe make this front room the powder room and closet area? Just a thought...

Wine cellar...isn't this cool?

From Kitchen plans

And a better view, for the wine tasting!

From Kitchen plans

Hollysprings- Maybe there could be a map, at the door? Much like a corn maze? Would that make things easier for the guests? Or, maybe they could just ask, since one can see right through to the backyard (party space?) when they arrive :)


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

they put blinders on donkeys, mules, asses and horses, so that they don't see anything other than what's in front. With a map, you could leave a batch of blinders too. Or, instead of a map, have a butler and he could pass out blinders, or be so kind as to put them on. That's better because he can lead people through the strange spaces without letting their mind wander and wonder what the main man was thinking when he went ahead and built it this way. There, I knew we'd find a way to save the work already done. It all comes together now.

The alternative is to think about visual asymmetry as a good thing, when one views the house from certain angles.


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Pors- Don't let any of these silly comments get you down. I'm looking forward to seeing your new plans, when they're ready :)


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Also...

Also, when you get closer to a final plan, you might want to post it, over on the Building a Home forum...and ask Summerfield to take a look at it. Summerfield is truly amazing! :)


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Lave thanks for all the feedback and nice comments, I am revisting the two story plan, I bought one of the those apps you can draw 3d on Ipad. I designed this first floor plan, I am going to send him to architecht to see what he thinks. Let me know your thoughts.

width="500" height="375" alt="Capture">


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Pors- Before we look at the plan, itself...I have a couple of questions, if you don't mind :)

The bedroom, by the office, is this a guest room or your son's room? How do you plan to use the living room...seating/conversation, library, wine tasting? How many people do you plan to seat in the dining room? Are you planning to have any fireplaces, in the family room or living room? What will be upstairs, besides your bedroom/bath/exercise area?

Now, for the outside...do you plan to have a pool, hot tub, swing set/play area? Do you have any dogs or cats? Will you have enough room for a pony or any larger animals? Do you garden or just like grass?

Finally, in the garage...do you need a shop area? Do you need to store a golf cart? Do you need any long term storage space? Will you be working on any of your cars or just parking them?

Then, I would think about what you love (if anything) about New England architecture. I know you have some inspiration photos (and they're very nice) but what do YOU really think of, when you picture it? Do you see cozy areas or open spaces...or both? Do you want floor to ceiling windows or window seats...or both? Do you want a wall of glass in the kitchen or just a window or two, to take advantage of the nice view?

Oh, and finally the mudroom. I know you're moving up from Florida...and maybe you've lived in muddy areas before, but in eastern Washington (and on our all clay soil farm) we have about six weeks of 'mud season' LOL So, the mudroom needs to be easily accessed, not only from the garage, but the play area/garden area (if you have them) and if you have a dog or two...think dog shower!

As for the plan, I would also like to know...what is the view to the left (outside the office) and is that going to have any bookcases or mostly windows? Is it doing double duty, as a sunroom (not a bad idea with long winters) and are you sure you want to see your family room, as you walk into the house. Not a bad idea...just asking if this is your entertaining area, or where you plan to curl up, when you have a cold and watch TV. Always think about every situation and how you'll use the space :)


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Plan

Okay, having looked through the plan, the only problem I see is that the bedroom doesn't seem to have any windows. That would be a code problem/fire issue, here.

I like that you're keeping the living room and putting the office in that corner. That seems more private than where you had it, in the other plan. I think I'd rework your grand entry/foyer (I like the other one a lot) and put the dining room on the right, with a smaller butler's pantry connecting it to the kitchen. I like the overall layout of the other kitchen/family room and the way it connected with the outside.

On this plan, I like the placement of the mudroom area and if it fits, I would keep this. Maybe have (from front to back, on right side of entry) dining room, smaller butler's pantry, kitchen/breakfast area and great room. The mudroom should line up with the breakfast area/kitchen...and maybe you could have a little courtyard garden/play area on the side, by the mudroom. It would be great for your son, while he's young and then maybe make it into a little outdoor seating area, when he gets older.

Here's a quick sketch of the left side of the entry...using your original plan. I know you're not big on the fireplace, but I thought a library might be kind of nice. Big bow window seat on the front, with lots of bookcases and a couple of comfy chairs. Masculine and cozy...and perfect for reading bedtime stories.

I'm guessing this is your guest room, but it has a small closet and access to the hall bath. The office has a wet bar (I couldn't resist, as my husband would love this feature) and it backs on to the bathroom, so easy to add the sink. Then doors to the patio (across from the library side door) and maybe a closet and powder room, behind the stairs. It would be nice to have a separate powder room for guests...and then maybe another 'family' powder room, back by the mudroom.

I didn't draw the dining room and kitchen area, but part of the area to the right would be entry/then dining room, and maybe space for the butler's pantry, by the garage? I really like aspects of your other plan I think you could add those back in and have a very comfortable, but still striking home. Great for parties and entertaining, but still plenty of cozy areas, when it's just the 'two guys' at home. Hope this helps :)

Sorry this is so messy...but hopefully, you get the idea!

From Kitchen plans


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Some ideas, for the library fireplace and bow window.

From Kitchen plans

From Kitchen plans

Or you could go with a darker wood...or maybe a combination? If you like the idea, at all :)

From Kitchen plans

From Kitchen plans


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Lav thanks for all the feedback. Couple of things.

1. That was a good catch with the windows, I played with the plan and adjusted the bedroom and bath. let me know your thoughts.

2. I am leaving the existing fireplace and am also going to try to tap into the fireplace in the masterbedroom on the second floor. I did not show it on the plan but I am leaving it.

3. What was it you liked about the family room on the old plan.

4. I have the foyer exactly where you put it on your plan, that is where everyone has been prodding me to put entrance.

5. I was in Florida for work for six years but grew up in NY so am used to the crappy weather in winters. I will use that mudroom for my dogs as well.

6. Second floor plan coming soon.

Here is revised plan let me know your thoughts.

Capture


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Let's see...

1. No problem. I like the new placement, with the windows on the front.

2. I'm so glad! I hope you'll be able to use the fireplace upstairs, too.

3. The family room had a good relationship with the kitchen, the outside and I liked that it was large, but still felt kind of private. I'm very fond of keeping rooms and it had that feel...even if it was much larger, than most keeping rooms :)

4. Sounds like you're not convinced about the entrance. I've found out, through trial and error with my plan...sometimes you just have to let the house dictate some of the design. Unless you're going to tear it all down and start over, it can be a big advantage to work with what you have and improve what needs to be improved.

5. LOL! I love the way you refer to the northern winters! And, good to see you have dogs. They're going to love having all that property.

6. I'm looking forward to seeing the second floor. One suggestion...do you have room for a little loft/TV space? Something for you could use as a playroom for your son, now...and maybe have his friends over, playing video games, when he gets older.

As for the first floor plan, the foyer and butler's pantry look really large for the space. Everyone uses their space differently, so I'm just wondering if the pantry is for dishes, food, wine, etc. and what are you doing with the foyer? Artwork, any furniture, just the stairs?

Personally, I love a butler's pantry, but would want the range/cooktop a little closer to the dining room. Food gets cold quickly, and I wouldn't want to walk too far, when serving dinner. I think the other thing I liked about the other plan is that the foyer gave you a beautiful view of the back (why do I keep thinking you were putting a pool back there?) but anyway, beautiful view, through the house. Then, the kitchen/family area was also open to that patio area, but from the side. I like that you had such great views, from every room.

I've been where you are (I've been working on my farmhouse plan off and on for well over a year) and I'm so glad I couldn't build my first few plans. They were nice, but not as good as my final one. I kept thinking I HAD to do some things a certain way...and when I opened myself up to making the home a little bigger, it all came together much better.

Think about what you want to see, as you walk into the house. How connected do you want the spaces? Would it make more sense to have the old plan for the family room, but have a second staircase, up to the bedrooms? A lot of old houses used to do that and it can make a lot of sense, in a bigger home.

I'm providing a link to my farmhouse remodel, on the Building a Home forum. Mainly so you can see Summerfield's software, but also to see how patient everyone has been, helping me with the details. Scroll towards the bottom, if you want to see the final plan...and how detailed it is. Hope this helps...and when you're ready, I hope you'll post your plan over there, too...just ask for Summerfield's help, on the subject line :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to my house plan on Building a Home forum


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Entry area

I found this picture...kind of an idea, for the entry. I like the stairs, but the top half of those walls really need to be something, besides white! LOL

I know you're probably picturing something a little grander, but I really like the french doors.

From Kitchen plans


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : " The thing with the fireplace is I dont like the idea of walking in the foyer and seeing it dead on. Do you have any ideas for this? "

I missed an opportunity last December to think of moving the front door instead of dealing with the chimney. Someone else later showed a plan that moves the front door.


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Update

Been crazy with work, progress is has been slow. I did finally close on house. Most demo done, they are knocking down part of the house in the coming weeks. House will be a two story,will most updated floorplans and elevations later this week hopefully.

They did test pits this week, property had the highest percolation rate, going from 750 gallon to 1500 which can accomodate 5 bedroom however my house will be 4 bedroom.

Engineer is working on site plan,and drainage calculations, In Westport when you add over 800 sqft of impervious area you have to show how the water will drain off. We are going to use Stormtech gally's I think. Does anyone have experience with these?


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RE: Thoughts on Layout

Pors- You might want to post a new thread, asking specifically about the water issues.

Congrats on closing and I look forward to seeing the progress with your remodel! :)


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