[open] floor plan feedback
codi b
September 13, 2012
we are about to pull the trigger on building a house and before we do i'm trying to get our floor plan before as many eyes as possible to get feedback and input. we do lots of entertaining and have a semi large family with small children.

what flaws do you see? where can we save? what suggestions do you have for me? how should we lay out our furniture in the great room?
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Love that the master closet has a door to the laundry room! Also love that the study is closed off since the rest of the plan is open--what architect Sarah Susanka calls the "away" room. As long as the bedrooms being so far away from the master is not a problem for your young children. Some families are fine with this; in some the kids will all end up piled in the master bedroom. I always like the idea of one bedroom near the master, with the other two in another wing. That way kids can move farther away as they get older.
1 Like    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:10PM
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The study without windows seems odd to me but I assume you have a good reason for that room. It also makes for a very tight corner for your stairs off the entry.
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Hobbs' Ink
First of all, kudos to your designer. You have gotten a lot of function for the space allotted.
My first comment is aesthetic and I suspect you have weighed this against the advantage of having the large garage, but the front of the home will be dominated by the garage. A lot of designs solve this by creating a "tandem garage" where the third bay is behind one of the main bays so that only an apparent two car garage faces the street.
the person who mentions the study not having windows is correct that you may not love it, but I THINK (and you should check) that the building code will not require a window unless the room has a closet.
I would recommend putting the study where the breakfast room is and opening up the kitchen more since it is currently tucked back a bit from the living areas. Then I would create one very large and luxurious island instead of the two smaller ones you have now and make part of it your seating area for casual dining. You could keep a smaller "key drop" area where the study is now.
But, you will LOVE the change to the kitchen and how it relates to the rest of the house.
Just my two cents...
6 Likes    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Congratulations for having the wherewithal to build your own house! However, given the amount of $$ you're about to pour into a house you're going to live in for probably 10 years, I don't think you're going to like this one for long.

As above - the study seems like a dismal place with no windows. It looks like a waste of space.

A1l the bedrooms have only 1 window each. Unless that a really big window, that would bother me. Seems cave-like. And while I can't argue with small rooms (I hope everyone is getting over wanting a house w/a zillion sf), these will seem even smaller with so little light.

That long hallway seems like a great waste of space, too, although I can understand not wanting the children's rooms to open off the great room. However, if you do a lot of entertaining, there's no place for hte children to play if you'd prefer them not to be present.

You're going to regret not going for a larger patio. It would be better to have it span the enitre rear of the house, even the master bedroom bay window, and at least 12' deep. Play space on rainy days, shaded on hot ones, and great entertaining area. Take the window in Bedroom #4 off the back and put on the side (2 windows?). This gives some privacy and sound control (from your entertaining) to that bedroom.

Do you really need a three-car garage? Do you really like a house where the main feature from the street is 2/3 garage door? Can't think of anything attractive about that. DO you have room to shift the garage doors to the side and make the front of the house more attractive with windows or some other architectural treatment?

Do not allow your builder/architect to do your interior decorating unless he/she has credentials in that area. Consult one or decide yourself re: light placement, electrical outlets and switches, paint colors, A/C/Heat vents. (I was living out of state when I had the A/C installed in the house I bought and had to depend on others. Now I have vents in the middle of the ceiling in every room! No one paid attention to my request that they be put next to interior walls.)

Good luck! You're going to need it!
4 Likes    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Interesting comment from above. Emergency Egress would be for bedroom not study, there is no closet. There is a window in study, looking into kitchen. Ventilation is mechanical and can be installed through walls, floor or ceiling and light is, well that is just not worth commenting about.

Change the word on blueprints to library and you might get a better response?

Not crazy about three bathrooms, or their designs. Bedrooms & Closets are extremely small, no room for growth. Not my style of blueprints at all. You could save by removing a full bath. Make sure you have the right size water heater to fit the amount in your family for showers in the morning. Too many plumbers just install a 50 gallon on their bid to make their bid look good.

Don't trusts architects who say that a room cannot meet building codes standards for light? In our state, we hire electricians, after obtaining a electrical permit and they install lighting!
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:50PM
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Can't tell where your fridge is located but it should be in a spot that is easily accessible without interfering with the cook. And, again, that study really bothers me. It just seems that space could be utilized better and with a more open look. Who really wants to sit in a room with no windows? Furthermore, I would open up the access to the bedroom wing with more than just a door, maybe an archway? Or do you close that wing off at times?
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:52PM
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My only complaint is the fireplace location. Why even have one if its not the center of your great room? It seems like an afterthought where it is now
1 Like    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:00PM
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I like the 3 bathrooms. Makes for better privacy when company comes to stay. (Not having to share with the kiddos) The study could also be used as the safe room. (ie. tornados, bad storms, obviously depending on where you live) LOVE the large, open family room/kitchen. Most people gather in kitchen anyway, this will help to keep everyone comfortable and still involved with conversation. If you mainly want your house for entertaining and not being cooped up in bedrooms (which you pretty much only sleep in anyway) smaller bedrooms are the way to go. Unless your house ends up being a bed and breakfast ;)
I do agree with the garage doors being placed on the side of the house. Getting fancy doors just to make it look good can eat up ALOT of your budget. And the patio. That is one thing bigger is better! If you are wanting outdoor furniture, its not to fun to having your PATIO furniture in the grass....
And maybe move the Master door down to the otherside... (you don't want your clothes to smell like bacon before a date)
Other than those, LOVE the layout! Good luck with everything! :)
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:12PM
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Kitchen: bad work flow. Imagine yourself cooking there and see if it really works for you. everything is apart, no continuos counterspace to work, you will be walking a lot and the island will always be in your way.
1 Like    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:23PM
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The Study is a problem. Have it open out to the Great Room to get light and ventilation. Use a frosted glass door with matching long windows on either side.
The second bathroom does not need a door entry from the bedroom. Privacy issue will arise later on as the kids grow. If you really want a door there look at using a pocket door as it will allow more space in the bathroom.

What is on the second floor?
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Building your own home is so rewarding and a wonderful way to express your individual style.

Having the master bedroom separated from the other 3 bedrooms is a great idea since it will allow more privacy for the master. Would it be possible to make the bath that separates two of the bedrooms a buddy bath?

I would suggest that you put any extra money in the items that are most difficult to re-do such as tile in the bathrooms and quality cabinets to mention a couple. Also try to think maintenace: 1) will the materials you are selecting require minimal care and cost 2) What is the longevity of the items you are selecting?

If you are having glass shower doors be aware that there are diffierent types of glass, some resistant to the "water spots" you often see. There are also different types of grout for tile that can be more resistant to mold and mildew. Tile can also be sealed to help minimize those problems.

I could go on and on, but those are some of the big ones. Be a wise consumer by doing your research and asking lots of questions.

Have fun and best of luck to you:-).
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:46PM
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There are some really nice things about your floorplan and some awful stuff. Walk-in closets for all the bedrooms scores big points. I like the kitchen in general. The pantry is small for large families who shop Costco/Sam's. You'll have a lot of countertop with your plan, but not so much in cabinets. Also, think about the traffic to the refrigerator with it being in the back of the kitchen - kids getting in there a whole lot, maybe relocate.

Having the entry to your master bedroom off the kitchen/breakfast is bad; yes someone thought that by angling the door you create an entry, but it is just not in a good location. It will be a nightmare moving furniture in that room, maneuvering a large bed or dresser around that kitchen island. Having a linen closet at the master door is tacky when you'll see it from the great room. Also, you should consider double doors for the master, it's a higher end detail.

The study door should be at the entry or great room and not tucked into the garage entry. You should consider double doors for the study. Also consider switching the breakfast and study spaces.

The entry is pretty darn large and there's no coat closet nearby. Consider 12'-0" ceilings for the great room.

The front door wall should be moved forward in plane with the garage wall. You don't need a window at your front door that looks to the stairs... particularly an upward view (upskirt). Where do the stairs go? No upper level shown. The awkward corner going into the stair area will make maneuving any furniture no fun and maybe impossible for larger size items.

The entry from the garage to the house has a closet adjacent to the door. Move the closet and put a cabinet in this area - a landing space for that bag of groceries and handful of mail, a place to drop your purse, charge your phone, etc.... I also suggest putting a motion detector light switch in this space so you never have to reach for a switch when the house is dark and your hands are full.

The door from the utility to the master closet... hmmm... I'd prefer the 36-42" of closet space and more potential cabinets in my utility.

There is a lot of wasted sqft in the long hallway by the bedrooms. Having the linen closet at the end of that long hall is kinda ugly. If you have to deal with long hallways, make space for art or something nice to look at while you wall down it.

Give consideration to a tandem garage. The view of a triple garage door in the front of house is just ugly. Some other options, depending on your available space, are to seperate the garages to a double and single or to change it so that two enter from the front and one enters from the side.

If you are people who grill, having the kitchen so far from the grilling space is a negative. I like having kitchens near the rear door so that anything food-wise doesn't have to cross entertaining space or avoid carpet and furniture. If I knew more about your location and the corresponding weather, I'd offer more on the exterior living space.

There's no North arrow on your plans, so I cannot comment on natural lighting.
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:49PM
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I wouldn't design a home from scratch. Why not take a professionally designed one that fits your needs and tweak it?

All of the problems listed above were things I imagined for myself if this were a plan I was considering.
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:55PM
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I like the overall feel but I see a few items to review. As a mom with small kids I would design a jack and Jill bath. Also if you entertain a lot do you really want the master entry off the kitchen. Everyone seems to gather in the kitchen at some point so if the bed is not made or you throw coats on the bed anyone would see. I would add double French glass doors to the common wall btwn the library and great room. As the kids grow one will need the computer for homework or to play games and they would not be visible to you in great room. Every time there is a question you will have to walk all the way around. Plus the doors would let natural light in. I would double patio in a heart beat. Ours is 44' wide and I would still go longer. Adding a sliding or French door from eating area outside would be a bonus. Good Luck.
2 Likes    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:00PM
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My question is what are you actually going to use the "study" for?

The kitchen doesn't seem to have enough counter space for prepping food for a large family or a large group of people when entertaining.

The bedrooms are very small. I agree that 1 window that appears to be as small as those are is not enough.

[houzz=Amherst Master Bedroom]

[houzz=Watch Hill Rhode Island Residence]

I second the recommendation for making the patio span the entire side of the house.

[houzz=Country Home]

[houzz=Outdoor Kitchen/Loggia]

What is on the second floor? I hope those stairs are going to somewhere exciting.

I'm guessing that the fireplace in the GR/Bkfst Rm is double sided - but I don't know, it somehow seems awkward.

[houzz=Dining room to living room]

[houzz=Globus Builder]

[houzz=Sleepy Hollow Residence]

With as many people as you seem to be providing for you might want to consider 2 water heaters. Also possibly 2 HVAC systems.

Is it possible to flip the garage to make it a side entry? [houzz=exteriors]

[houzz=110 Golden Bear]

[houzz=Private home]

Whatever you decide good luck and have fun!!
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:13PM
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1. I would move door to study to the entry side. This way if you at sometime want a home business that sees clients, you would have easy access.

2. I would walk directly from garage into utility room, that would make that room larger and easier to drop off laundry, dirty boots off.

3. What bath will guests use? Bath #3? All seem kind of awkward.

4. That hallway is very long and will be very dark. Perhaps if your wall to the great room is say 7 ft. That would allow light to stream in. We also have a long, dark hall. Fixed it by replacing lights with a solar tube/light combo. Have 4 of them and it worked wonders.

5. Not sure why there are 2 doors to enter bath #2.

6. Will you be setting up a large dining table in the great room? Time for the graph paper and furniture cut outs!

7. Your set up is great for when you are a family with older children (privacy!). But for now you are a long way from the kids. I think of those nights when they were sick, scared, etc.

8. Great having laundry near master bedroom, but what about all that dirty clothes, sheets, towels from the kids' rooms. Look at your plan and walk thru a laundry run!

9. Considering laundry: wonder if "study" could be changed into laundry/craft room? If door from entry or great room, easier to get laundry done, set up table for school projects, crafts. Perhaps, this could also house the powder room for guests. Think about tweaking that whole area.
1 Like    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:32PM
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With children of my own the separation between master bedroom and kids rooms would not work for me. I find it to far away. This might be a good thing when they are older:). I dont like the postion of the master bedroom being so close to the kitchen. I love kitchens with big windows and I would change postion of kitchen to were you have your master bedroom. I would not have the garage in this location firstly because your house will have no light and you don't want it to be the focus point of your home. I don't like the idea of having to go from your utility room ( we call it laundry here) through the garage to get outside. We are also in the process of building and I have changed my design so many times. I thought I new exactly what I wanted but with so many ideas and restrictions its becoming a challenge. Good luck. How great is this site!!! Getting feedback from people and the photos are great too!
1 Like    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:49PM
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With children of my own the separation between master bedroom and kids rooms would not work for me. I find it to far away. This might be a good thing when they are older:). I dont like the postion of the master bedroom being so close to the kitchen. I love kitchens with big windows and I would change postion of kitchen to were you have your master bedroom. I would not have the garage in this location firstly because your house will have no light and you don't want it to be the focus point of your home. I don't like the idea of having to go from your utility room ( we call it laundry here) through the garage to get outside. We are also in the process of building and I have changed my design so many times. I thought I new exactly what I wanted but with so many ideas and restrictions its becoming a challenge. Good luck. How great is this site!!! Getting feedback from people and the photos are great too!
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:49PM
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I would eliminate the study. This would open up your entry and give room for a coat closet which I didn't see. Also, switch the master bath and master closet. You won't be sorry.Why is there a door on bedroom 3 to the bathroom?? Not necessary. Gives more wall space in the bedroom.
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Laurie M
I'm also in the process of building a house...its daunting! The great room....you have just one wall, which for me, is a problem, because I'm not great at placing furniture in the middle of the room. Where is the tv going? The placement of the fireplace seems awkward to me as well.

Are you sure you want your MBR off the kitchen?

I would get rid of one of the bathrooms in the kids wing, the bedrooms are on the small side. I prefer a reach-in closet for kids because in my experience, the closet becomes a dumping ground. I have boys, maybe girls are tidier....I would rather have a bit more space in the bedroom and less bathrooms to clean.

I would put the door to the study from the foyer.

Good luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:59PM
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Congratulations on building your home. My husband is a residential architect, and we also are getting ready to build our final home, and our second "custom" we designed. One feature I personally don't care for is 2 doors into a bath; bedroom 3 is so close to the bath around the corner in the hallway I just don't see the purpose of a door taking up space in that wall and it gets in the way. We had an older house with this feature and did not use it. Unless you might have a definite need for it, I would remove that.

The other is I am not a fan of master bedroom entries directly off a public space. Our current pre-owned house is like that and we just don't like it. I don't see a resolution to that problem without changing your plan big time.

That is a very long hall those bedrooms are in and eating up square footage. There are more practical arrangements.

Also look at all the doors in the house and use a marker to plot where all your walking will take you. For instance, the entry/foyer requires you cut a diagonal path to get to the back door. Where willyour TV be in the room? Your seating will be opposite it and it looks to me like it should be on the solid wall which requires your seating to be backed up to the kitchen with a walk space behind so people/kids can get from the kitchen to another space and not walk in front of the TV area. Do you have enough room in your space for tv, furniture, lamps, ends tables and walkways/paths? You really need to measure all your furniture, cut it out to scale, and put it in it's place on your plan. This will tell you exactly how much or how little space you have in any one room. Itemize every chair, stool, table, anything that takes up floor space, and place it on your plan to scale.

Review Don Gardner floor plans for some functional ideas. Sorry to be negative, but if it were me, this plan would not work in any way. I would suggest investing some time with a residential architect. You will get exactly what you want and he/she will provide you valuable and practical design advice. You really don't want to build something that won't work for you. Good luck
2 Likes    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 7:38PM
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I am a home builder so of course when a saw a home plan this caught my eye!
- Push front door out and get rid of bad stay way- think of trying to get furniture through there!
- by getting rid or odd stairway it adds room to a more functional and open study
- kitchen layout is not really giving you the best counter space- may want to rethink wants/needs/ functionality!
- also, linen by bath 2 is it needed there - by moving it the adjoining bedroom could have a larger closet
1 Like    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Wow - I wonder if you imagined you'd get *so* much feedback! :) My main caution is against open plan anything with kids. I had such a house when we were first married, and it was awesome, sexy, great for entertaining. Then we had kids. Who got older, and louder, and need space together *and* apart. I like the glass French door idea for the study so that it can be a secondary family space. You said your family was semi large - I have 4 kids and thankfully, they all have friends! What will be upstairs? Think about a playroom and definitely rethink the master!
2 Likes    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:36PM
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Susan Trejo
Yes, that entrance to your bedroom is going to haunt you for years to come. My house is just like that and i complain almost daily. There is very little privacy. I have had guests arrive as i was getting out of work clothes in to my loung clothes. If that door is even slightly open...

The other thing is how little relaxing it can be when you can see straight in to the kitchen and great room from the master bedroom.

The secondary bedrooms have nice exterior walls, would be great to take advantage of more natural light. If you are buying from a builder you may be able to ask for a custom to add windows. A relatively simple plan revision can take care of this.

The main thing that i see with this plan is where the door to the master bedroom is located....trust me, you will be wishing you had it in a different location with a more private and defined doorway leading in to it.
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:43PM
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Susan Trejo
One more thing is that when it's just "us " we fit very well, but then we have company there isn't a separate room for the kiddos. Sometimes,,,you just need a separate room to get away. Maybe you can use your den for that...?
    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Walker Woodworking
Personally I like your floor plan! I love the open kitchen and family room our home is like that and it works great especially for entertaining. We also have a master bedroom away from the other bedrooms and love that too - more privacy!

As for the study I think it's fine it would look great to have some woodwork put in there and the less windows you have the more wall space you have. There is so much you could do with that room. I have a small office/study and I wish I had more bookshelves.

The only thing I would have you think about is placement of the garage - it drives my crazy when I can't see who is in my driveway -this is due to the placement of my house and the windows on the front of our house and our driveway. Nothing we can do to change this now but I would have moved my garage. You won't be able to see much out of the front of your home.
    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 6:37AM
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I have always had a problem with having to go through the kitchen to get to the bedroom. It makes the room seem like an afterthought or an add-on. Like others have said, the study without windows bothers me, too, as well as the tight staircase. The fireplace is nice and I assume it's visible from both sides. Good luck!
    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 6:52AM
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My only concern is the study .... I would consider putting French doors (with glass) that faced the living room in order to bring in some natural light, and then closing the doorway at the back by the garage. You could install built in shelving/cupboards for effective storage on the shorter wall ...
"Pocket " French doors would be good as no space would be lost anywhere.
    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:36AM
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codi b
you have no idea how grateful i am for the bountiful feedback!!! i pray that when you make a post and need input that people are as generous and willing to offer wisdom to you as you have been to me. thank you!
to answer and give direction to a few questions and concerns…

1] the ‘study’ will be more of a hobby/homework room. lots of cabinet, built-ins and craft area. i am considering an island here also. there will be a french [pocket] door entry from foyer and a single entry from kitchen.
2] the staircase and ‘study’ will be flip-flopped which will give a window to study and open stairs for furniture as well as provide an extra seating area for larger meetings in the great room.
3] the stairs lead to a ‘bonus area’ upstairs used for a play room for our kidrens - for now it will be one large room and a bath. potentially we will add a wall/closet to make an additional bedroom.
4] having the MBR entry off the kitchen does not bother me whatsoever, *but given your feedback i can tell it is a definite issue for resale… so we will brainstorm how to make a new path. all suggestions are welcome!!!
5] shifting the 3rd garage bay to side of house [alongside MBR bath/closet] and rotating garage to side entry
6] yes, the fireplace is open and actually 3-sided. so it will provide atmosphere and heat to great room and dining.
7] i am a pocket-door fanatic! i will use them everywhere possible!!!!
8] double doors being added to both great room and dining - to [enlarged] patio! =]
9] long hallway is to provide sound and visual buffer for children to be able to keep on their [early] bedtime routines when we are entertaining/hosting. i will possible also add a pocket door on this hallway to create even more of a separate ‘wing’ to give them their own space
10] eliminating ‘double island’ in kitchen to create just one large counter space. do we have enough countertop area?

*i’ve attached my own sketch of the updated plan - but it’s flip-flopped… just to exercise your backwards reading skills! =]

again, thank you for your input. i am so blessed and giddy reading your wise words!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:12AM
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My ideas are not so much for the floor plans but details or the wow factors: When I had my house built we had our electrician put eletrical outlets in the exterior soffits (eaves) and in each of the 4 corners of our house then he tied to a switch in the hall linen closet. This way when we hung Christmas lights we could plug them in and with a flip of a switch turn them off and on - VERY NICE FEATURE!!! I also had an outlet installed in my walk-in pantry so I could hide the coffee pot and can opener and provide more countertop space. I installed a countertop tall cabinet on my master bath sink complete with an outlet as well so I could put my toothbrush charger in there without being on the countertop and it was an extra outlet for curling irons, etc. One last thing......I put in a "sensor" faucet in my kids bathroom by Delta. It had cool interchangeable handles and never had running water again, plus my little guys were short and couldn't reach the handles! It was always set on warm and they loved it making them wash their hands and brush their teeth more! It's all about lighting and outlets!!
1 Like    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Heather Estrada
I design/built my own home, so I know what you are going through. The only feature I like is the laundry through the closet. I have that in my home and it will not disappoint! However I would change the seperate entrance and come in straight from the garage and add a mudd cabinet area for phones/keys/backpacks. It is the best feature of my home and keeps the rest of the house neat. This would require you to move your study doors to the foyer, I used pocket doors in my home with glass for natural light. My girls can close it off and t.v. view in their, but we can still see them. It is the most used room in the house and is the smallest! Plus it's right off the bedroom wing for the kids. Kinda keeps them out of our hair when we have people over/other than the foyer when people come/go. I agree with the fridge comment, too many people in the kitchen with it in the corner. Big mistake. Breakfast area is small for a large family. Especially without another dinning area. We also only have one eating area, but it is 13x15 with a built in sink/bar area ext. of the kitchen. I applaud you for not building a mcmansion. Our home is 2400 sq. ft. Perfect size with two kids, and when they leave home! We used 7 pocket doors throughout the home, anywhere I swing would be awkward ie..toilet area, doors to bath, 2nd door in 2nd bed to bath consider a pocket if you must have that door. Utility area between closet - pocket door! Kids closets - pocket doors!!!! you will be surprised how you don't need as much sq ft. with pocket doors!!! Good Luck!.
1 Like    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:27AM
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One comment on the actual floor plan and ideas from a Realtor's viewpoint of having the master entry off the kitchen in my own house. Instead of a caddy corner door opening to the master, I would make it square so that where the door currently swings open it is the opening (see drawing). Have a niche built on the wall facing the kitchen with a mirror cut for the back wall of the niche and a shelf so you can put a pretty arrangement, prop artwork, family photos or greenery. This way you have a pleasant visual instead of a display of your unmade bed! Also would recommend a recessed mini-can in the niche! LIGHTS LIGHTS LIGHTS!
    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:43AM
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S. Thomas Kutch
First off let me congratulate you for your courage in seeking comments from the gallery....tis a brave deed lass. With that said, I have a few suggestions you may want to consider that come from 30+ years in this design business.

1. I would break up the garage front more by extending the single portion out more. I'm assuming that the garage roof front is a gable end and by extending the front you'll create an opportunity to break the gable front up.

2. The covered porch appears you've created the potential for a dark cave entry. Without seeing the front elevation it's hard to tell, but it's as deep as it is wide and this usually equates to a dark hole. The front door will be lost and the window at the stair landing is pretty much useless as far as light..

3. This leads to the stairs. Question. How do you plan on moving any furniture up these stairs?. The offset first riser and landing can only be described nicely as awkward. I'm guessing this stair leads to a game or play room over the garage. I would look at turning the stairs +90 degrees so that the landing is into the kit. / great room area. You have the room to slide it down some to create a smooth transition from the stair to the kitchen or the great room and run it parallel and adjacent to the hallway out to the garage. This will allow you to address the issues in #4.

4. The Study. First off I disagree with some of the previous comments. I suspect the plans review is going to consider this a "habital" space and require a window for natural light and ventilation. It will be viewed as a space that could potentially be used as a sleep area (i.e. nursery), regardless of what you call it. By turning the stairs you can allocate the space between the front entry and the stairs to the Study and provide the resource for natural light and ventilation. I would also provide double pocket doors off the entry foyer to the study.

5. I would re-work the whole garage - kitchen egress and the utility room thing. Do you really want the whole array of laundry smells mixing with your clothes in the master closet? I realize your intentions may have been to cut down the distance from the laundry room to the closet area, but in doing so you've opened up a new can of worms to deal with. May look good on paper, but I think you'll find the actually performance and function doesn't work that well in real life. I really think you could rework this whole transition area and end up with a larger pantry and much more useful utility space and mud room area transitioning from the garage to the house and with some creative thinking a pass thru from the laundry area to the master closet........

6. I agree with others about the kitchen......the layout is awkward and inefficient when it comes to cooking. I would definitely restudy this area....the dual island thing will get old quickly and I can guarantee you that the kids will not go around to get to the refrigerator, they'll cut right through the cooking/prep area.

7. The master bedroom is a good size, but the entry to it is just plain wrong. One it's small. Two, it opens right onto the Kitchen and the public area. Thirdly, I would like to see some egress from the master bedroom to the back covered patio area (see #11).

8. master bath is okay...........it's not wow, but it's functional. I think your designer could have done better in this area. I've never liked having to traverse the bathing area to get to the closet. But, I'm confused..... why do you have this dinky window at the spa tube area and a window 3 times its size in the closet?

9. Break fast area. Nice size, but I would move the island fire place to the long wall in the great room, making it a real focal point to build the room around. Right now it looks like the designer just plopped it down. Also would love to see some access to the covered patio from this area (see # 11 ).

10. Nice size too, but lacks a focal point.........that is a huge long wall along the left hand side of the space. I would love to see some portion of a window wall that completely opened up onto the covered patio from this space letting the inside flow into a living space outside (see #11).

11. You have this nice opportunity for a covered patio / out door living -entertaining space along the backside of your plan accessible from the great room, breakfast area and the master bedroom and you've got.........this dinky space with a nice fireplace accessible via a single exterior door. Sorry, your designer struck out here before they even got to the plate.

12. The bedrooms wing.............lots of wasted space in what appears to be close to a 30' long hall way (however, great bowling lane for the kids with those plastic pins and bowling balls). I think you could improve this whole space. I would switch some of the functions. I would make Bathroom 3 the shared bathroom for Bedrooms 2 and 3 and turn Bedroom 4 into a mini-guest suite (or older kids bedroom) with a private bathroom (bath #2) that also served as the public bathroom for entertaining.

Overall the plan has the rudimentary design for the spaces, but it's almost like your designer was became so focused on the individual spaces that they forget to incorporate them into the overall flow and spirit of the complete design intent. In other words they couldn't see the forest because of the trees.

I taught an architectural drafting technology class in high school as a year long substitute once. The teacher suffered a massive heart attack the first week of school. I was working with the Principal and his wife designing their new home and he asked if I could help out for a couple of weeks.........and that turned into a whole year. Most fun I think I've ever had. But that's a different story.......my point is, this looks like the result of a high school drafting class exercise, not that of an experienced residential designer or architect. It's missing the little details that pull it all together.

I don't say this to be harsh or cruel, but you asked for comments and this has the look and feel of somebody not very experienced in design written all over it.
3 Likes    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:46AM
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Lots of good information here. One suggestion that I don't think have been mentioned is to ensure you have plenty of room for walk-in pantry, especially with a relatively large family with small children.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:52AM
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codi b
@S. Thomas Kutch - would you mind to read my updated comment above in regards to updates and respond?
    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Have you considered all of the laundry that you will have from bedrooms 2-4 plus the bathrooms on that side? It looks like you have to take everything through the entry into the great room and then the kitchen before reaching the laundry room. I can just picture small children helping and as they are walking laundry is fallling everywhere!
Good luck! I know there are so many decisions to make. You have received lots of good ideas and many things to think about. In the end, only you know your family and what is most important to you.
    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:48PM
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OK, if it were my house and I had small kids, this is how I would lay this out. Get ready..

1. Master bedroom would go where great room now is. Closer to kids. Everything else would slide to the right.
2. Breakfast nook would be in that cute bay window area. Garage would move to right side of house. I would separate the garage slightly from the house with a covered breezeway. That allows windows on that side of house. The huge garage will now not dominate the front of your home.
3. Enter kitchen thru door on the right side of house. Good to drop off groceries.
4. Study /craft room/guest room/ kids play area? moves to bottom right corner where your walk in closet now is.
5. Laundry in same general area, but study is now moved, leaving room for a hallway, small powder room for guests where the current study is now shown. Or create a small bath in the area with a shower if you wish for study to double as guest room.

I know this requires some major changes, especially with Master bed and bath, but general layout makes more sense to me.
1 Like    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 3:51PM
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S. Thomas Kutch
Codi, I'll be happy to look at your revisions. It may be Sunday before I can respond to them though. Right now the first part of my weekend is pretty booked up.........one question though, how wide is the lot you're planning on put this house on? Are there any factors currently with the lot that would prohibit a more linear design? I know you've stated the desire for an open floor plan, but there still needs to be a delineation or demarcation of the intended areas and I'm thinking your going to have a hard time with your furniture placement. There are varying degrees of "open". Good design can and should identify those zones and uses providing a feeling of demarcation while maintaining that open sense. The problem with an unstructured openness is that human beings like boundaries and limits, even if they are minimal, it gives a sense of safety, it gives a sense of correlation or reference.........take those away and most people will get a feeling of uneasiness.

About mid way through my career, I was tasked with performing compliance and progress inspections for the lending institution for monthly draws on a 30 story project.. On one occasion I took a number of interns with me on an office site "field trip". About the 25 floor it was only the super structure (beams, columns, and the metal decking. The group appeared to be okay, however, on the 26th floor, only half of the floor had been decked. There were the same safety cables with bright orange streamers as on the 25th , except at the point where the decking ended. The crew was still in the process of laying down deck sheets. But I notice a distinct change in the group, they tended to huddle together and didn't venture to far from the proximity of the construction elevator and the stair structure.........even after both I and the Site Project Manger assured them the deck was tacked down.

The only difference between the 25th floor and the 26th floor was the open end of the deck installation in process and the presence of exposed beams against a blue sky.........their sense of reference was missing..

I'll check back later tonight and see if you have answered my questions and then I'll give the revisions a more in depth look..... ... hang in there. Good design is a process of evolution, very rarely does it pop out on the first go around. I have actually had one design, that after a day long charrette with a couple of colleagues, the only thing we kept at mid day was the master bathroom layout. By the end of the day we had a new rough layout to give to the cadd guy to firm it up.........bum wad (tracing tissue) is the designer's best friend.
    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 4:19PM
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I see house like this all the time. Open the Study and leave support columns to create a more spacious floor plan. Do not install a rug and turn it into a more formal dining room. Everyone I know uses theres for holidays. One flaw in kitchen is the angled counter. Personally you are better off with a straight wall of cabinets so you can use more area for serving drinks, food, etc. I know this plan and it doesn't give you a great deal of counter space for entertaining. I know we women like our closet space, but that one seems too wide. create more kitchen space and install the washer & dryer in a closet within the kitchen. It you keep up with laundry you won't really need floor space in a laundry room. Use the front wall of the house for additional kitchen area and push the wall to the Study on ore of straight line so it allows for more pantry space. You can also open up more of the wall from kitchen into the great room, but be aware if you run the dishwasher you will hear it! I have a drawing if you want my changes. Send to cynkloeter@gmail.com
    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 6:11PM
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RE: long hallway is to provide sound and visual buffer for children to be able to keep on their [early] bedtime routines when we are entertaining/hosting

If sound control is a priority for you, spend a few dollars and insulate strategic interior walls. I always recommend insulating bathroom walls to avoid any embarrassing moments for guests with digestive distress.
1 Like    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Holly Goodhead
As a mother who raised 8 children..bedroom #2 would be easy for the "climb out the window" after mom& dad are sleeping. Just saying. Also...the suggestion of multiple outlets in all the rooms. And make sure you pre-wire it for broadband.
    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:48PM
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Yup, I was one of those teenagers who did climb out of my window at night! Think about that when selecting windows for those bedrooms, and wire an alarm system into your home. Ours will beep at night if any door or window is opened.
    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 8:09AM
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codi b
hello friends! we have continually adapted and changed our plan and we have now arrived at this: we would love to hear any additional feedback before we go to ‘blue’!
    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 8:30AM
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codi b
    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Janet Hobbs
Bedroom wings are fine. I like the access to laundry from master closet. My only comment on either side of the house is that you will probably want a pocket door to master w/c. The middle of the house has a few more issues. I see someone else mentioned that the great room is going to be hard to furnish partly for the reasons they mention and partly because of fireplace location. The kitchen is a little "buried" where it is, but workable. You probably don't have the budget or lot width to do this or you would have already done it, but the house would benefit greatly by adding 24" left to right - 12" on left hand side to make those walk-in closets workable at the two front bedrooms (too narrow now for clothes by door) and 12" to make the island deeper at the kitchen (It's pretty narrow now and you'll find that ALL your food prep will occur there. All that said, you can find something wrong with ANY plan so if you like it tell us all to shut up and build it.
    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 1:41PM
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You never want to walk through the master bath to get to the closet. Trust me.
    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 3:32PM
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I would turn the upstairs bonus space into the master suite and have the current master bedroom as a separate family room with the closet/bathroom space as a playroom.
    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 3:50PM
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codi b, Did you ever get in touch with S. Thomas Kutch? Do you have another plan that evolved from the first? If so, it would be interesting to see.
    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Parents upstairs and kids downstairs ??? Dangerous!! For many reasons!
    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Folks, as houssaon asked above I think codi b is leading us on here. This thread was started 7 months ago. He/she posted this two days ago labeled "Floor Plan Feedback Update" of which there are numerous comments.

It's here: http://www.houzz.com/discussions/412010/Floor-plan-feedback--update-
    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 12:36PM
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codi b
thanks so much for all your input - i am greatly helped by your unique perspectives.
    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 7:04PM
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Everything about it is wrong. The floor plan reflects a typical builder home. The rooms are tight and by the time you try to fit your furniture into the spaces... your floor plan is going to feel far from an open plan. But I wouldn't give up. You just need to find an architect that specializes in modern design. I know everyone thinks they can just do an open floor plan but their really is an art and science to executing it properly. Try going to localarchitect.co their they can find you someone that specilizes in modern design - even if you want a twist of traditional flavor.
    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Ouch! Those comments hurt even me! The first thing I noticed was a lot of doors swinging everywhere. Could you add some pocket doors? Especially in the master bath area. We have a doorway to the kids rooms, too, and I wish we would have put doors on it - like French doors with glass in them. It would be nice to be able to cut the sound down to their rooms a little. Good luck on the overwhelming process of building!
1 Like    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:16PM
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Overall the plan is great. However, I strongly agree with many of the comments regarding the garage. Your house will lack curb appeal because it's consumed by the HUGE garage. Can you at least turn it 180 degrees so it faces sideways and not the street? Consider an enclosed breezeway if you want the benefits of an attached garage. Best of luck...I know it's overwhelming.
    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 12:15PM
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