First round of plans from the architect. What can we improve ?
Tiffany Settina_Bender
September 2, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We are building our dream house and we plan on staying there for a long time . I'm looking for suggestions In how this floor plan can be improved upon. We can not go deeper because if the grade if our property but we have plenty if width to work with. FYI. We have three active kiddos 8,4,2 and both work from home
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R H Kitchen and Bath Ltd
Why don't you open up the kitchen to the great room?
September 2, 2013 at 5:43PM     
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Tiffany Settina_Bender
We need cabinet space. I was debating on having it centered around the hearth room or great room. I was thinking it would be more intimate this way. What us your thought on why the opposite would work?
September 3, 2013 at 10:22PM   
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t0951
Flip the kitchen to the wall where the deck is, remove the wall to the great room and make it one big room, you might have to play with the mud room and laundry, possibly move the entry door from the garage to one end of the garage wall, not in the middle
September 3, 2013 at 11:01PM     
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R H Kitchen and Bath Ltd
There are couple of walls in the kitchen that do not have nay cabinets on them. Add more cabinets on these walls, make the island double sided (cabinets that open on both sides) and you will have enough cabinets and you can open the kitchen to the great room.
September 4, 2013 at 1:41AM   
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OnePlan
Hope you don't mind ... I decided to play around with one corner of this on 'interior designer for iPad ' - just to give you a rough ( ok very rough - but I don't usually use this soft ware) idea to consider maybe ?!?!
The one thing that I couldn't get this programme to draw - but which is important IMO - have the garage to mud/laundry room as a pocket door - doesn't impede on the space so much !! Anyway -was just a quick idea - ( while I'm doing a large print run on my main CAD machine !! ) happy houzzing :-)
September 4, 2013 at 3:07AM      Thanked by Tiffany Settina_Bender
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OnePlan
Gosh - the software's embarrassingly basic ! Sorry ! Was basically to show a laundry/utility/mud room with plenty of storage for school/ sports bags and coats all behind doors so enabling you to keep it tidy looking ... And having a kitchen with pantry cupboard balanced with large fridge the other end - plenty of prep space and breakfast eating area - chilling/chatting area and informal dining area opening into the great room if desired...

... Oh and the reason I changed your fireplace position was as this way it's the first thing you see when you walk in from the entrance hall and also if you have it here you can have a fireplace in your garden too maybe ?!
September 4, 2013 at 3:16AM   
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Bud Dietrich, AIA
In looking at the plan it doesn't appear that there's a stated goal and outcome. It really just seems to be a collection of rooms with no relationship to you, your family nor your land. Perhaps rather than asking folks that don't know you nor your living patterns nor your goals what they think, you should have a heart-to-heart with your architect about those things.
September 4, 2013 at 3:39AM     
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Dytecture
Not crazy about having to walk through the Great Room or Dining Room in order to get to the kitchen / garage area from the foyer and upstairs.
September 4, 2013 at 4:29AM   
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Debp
I don't see a coat closet in the entry. Wondering if you need the shower/tub in the second bathroom since the other bedrooms are on another floor?
September 4, 2013 at 4:39AM   
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Debp
Two doors into the bathroom off entry?
September 4, 2013 at 4:41AM   
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Phillip Craddock - ARCHITECT
Definitely Agree with the OPEN concept. But is that what YOU want? Some planning can be done with Modern Space Planning but I would recommend that you try to be clear in your goals and how you want to live. I would expect most Architects should be able to Listen to YOUR needs and arrive at a desirable plan for YOU.
September 4, 2013 at 5:52AM     
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Phillip Craddock - ARCHITECT
Also..

There is no Sense of Arrival, you need a Procession through the Home some Element or View Beyond when you enter so you can feel like your THERE.. What about making the Stair a Focal point instead of hiding behind that wall?

The Right side of the Home with the MUD room seems Unorganized.

If you have some Grade OPPROTUNITIES I suggest taking advantage of that and not just having a FLAT plate house, give it a little Architecture!!

I liked the idea of seeing a Fireplace or LARGE Windows out to the backyard..

I am not a fan of the Garage with Windows to the Front, they Typically do not last well.. (I am also a Home Inspector).

Ok, I think that is all for now..

I home some of these help??
September 4, 2013 at 5:58AM   
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soberg
Agree strongly that these issues need to be treated in depth by someone with a full understanding of the site, climate, views, family needs, local practices, resaleability, living patterns, pets, hobbies, guests, work practices, occupation etc. AKA your architect. Have you had the full discussions with him/her about your goals and needs? Do you feel the interaction is working correctly? Is this your forever home? Do you have features for aging in place?

Random input: Is that a laundry room on a dead end on the far side of the mudroom? Would not be my choice. 97% of laundry will be generated from the second floor (clothes, bedding, towels) - why not put the laundry up there? It can then be a clean place suitable for clean clothes. Just make sure it is waterproofed and has a floor drain and it will save the homeowners 20,000 trips up and down the stairs with baskets of clothes over the next 20 years.

What about space for outdoor living, such as a patio, screened porch or deck? Handy to the kitchen is preferred.

Where will you eat family meals?

Coat closet by front door? How many coats, jackets, umbrellas will your family need for all 4 seasons? Do you have space for them?

What's the little room above the laundry?

If you both work from home, are you sharing the study during the day?
September 4, 2013 at 6:13AM   
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laurav507
Agree with some of the above. No need for second door to bathroom. Bigger more functional laundry mudroom, if there is room. Expanding the garage for bikes, storage, etc when you have three kids is a bonus. I am not fond of walking into the dining areas one plan provided but am sure your arch can continue to work on this plan. How exciting!
September 4, 2013 at 6:18AM   
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Tiffany Settina_Bender
Thanks for weighing in. All the comments are helpful! What programs did you use for the 3D rendering? That would be so great for my husband to see!

I am happy with our architect and definitely went back to him with some concerns, but I wanted to see if there was anything I could mention to him as well.

I love the idea of being able to see the back of the house from the foyer. I asked him to open up the staircase to a double sided rail instead of a wall. The Great room is two stories with a large window looking into the woods. So that woks well.

The lot has an anterior grade and has been an issue in design. In order to keep from adding foundation this is as deep as we can go ( in our budget anyway ;-) We have space to go wide, just not any deeper.


I chose the laundry by the garage and kitchen because that is where we are. We have very little kids and some in sports. It seems more logical to be able to have the nanny throw in laundry while everyone hangs in the hearth room rather than being upstairs.

The small room off the side is a work station- for homework and my computer. I ill have a studio above the garage, with outside access only so I wanted to be able to have a workspace while I am cooking dinner or being with the fam if I had to access something. It will also double as a homework area. Our oldest has aspergers and has a difficult time concentrating. I thought it would be the perfect area- close enough where I can help him, but free from the distractions of his little sisters.

Oh- and the full bath downstairs is for my mom until we have the basement apartment finished off.
September 5, 2013 at 5:12AM     
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OnePlan
That programme is interior design for iPad - the software I usually use is much better ! Click on my name to see more examples !!
September 5, 2013 at 5:40AM     
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ktk1961
Lots of good things about this plan. A couple of thoughts ...

I agree that a sightline from the front door directly through into the Great Room would be cool. If you care about such things, a feng shui expert would probably advise against looking through the house and out a door or window at back since (in their view) energy would then flow straight through and out of the house rather than being retained within the house. I'm just saying ....

Given the size of your family, I think the great room is way too small. And the sitting area to the right of the kitchen is rather small, as well. The dimensions of the current great room would be fine for a formal living room, but then the seating area in the kitchen is too small for a proper family room for a family of your size.

i would consider combining the square footage to make one larger great room space with multiple seating area options.

What about flipping so the kitchen is at right and then opens into the great room to the left, incorporating what is now the great room and the kitchen. Could keep the table in the bay window. Would give you lots more options for seating and being together as a family.

I also think your mud room is a little awkward for a family with three kids. I would slide the door to the right a bit so the doors don't open into each other as currently. And I would add cubbies near or opposite the bench and hooks for lots of book bags, coats, winter boots, etc. Also would suggest at least a doorway from the mudroom into the kitchen itself. Not crazy about it being open like that and the looking at the side of the base cabinetry as you enter from the garage.

Is the laundry room giving you any place to fold clothes? If it were me, I'd lose the study nook and enlarge the laundry room so you can actually have a table or other surface to fold clothes, store cleaning supplies like the vacuum cleaner and brooms, etc.

Do you need a full bath on the first floor? If you're planning to use the study as a guest room, then probably yes. But if not, I would reduce it to a half-bath and fined somewhere for a coat closet off the entry.

Can you extend the outer wall of the dining room a bit to give you some more room? Perhaps make it 13x15 or 13x16"?

Have you considered making the taking advantage of the chimney for the great room fireplace to add a fireplace in the Master bedroom? Would be very cool.

Anyway, just my two cents. Good luck!
September 5, 2013 at 6:49AM     
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Faith Westhoff
OnePlan, we are hoping to get plans drawn for a new house this fall. You used interior designer for ipad, is there an app for ipad for floor plan drawing that you recommend? My husband and I have different ideas in our heads, but cant seem to drawn them out on paper. We feel like we need some ideas for the professional to work with...thanks.
September 5, 2013 at 8:43AM     
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Phillip Craddock - ARCHITECT
I use REVIT it is Far superior to the Ipad App. If you would like some great 3D Plans give me a call and I would be glad to Design your space.
September 5, 2013 at 8:46AM     
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QMA Architects & Planners
There are a number of interesting twists to this house plan that I could see having more discussion about. However, for me the most important one is that the Master Bedroom is on the first floor. Though we design homes with first floor master suites quite often for older families ( with teenage children) and retired couples, I have always found that when we are designing for a family with young children, parents and the kids seem to be more comfortable having their bedroom closer together and on the same floor. Of course when the kids grow up and leave the nest than that changes everything. Just something to consider, hope this helps.
September 5, 2013 at 9:07AM     
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catieb
Just would like to say - since you have the keeping room and eating area common with the kitchen, I don't think you HAVE to open it up any more than the large opening to the Great Room. While the totally open concept always sounds nice, having three children, multiple electronic devices, homework, meals etc, all combine to great a lot of havoc, so some separation between spaces makes sense.

I'm sure there are tweaks that can be done to the plan to give it more architectural "bang", but don't lose sight of the goals you described. They reflect your lifestyle and family needs and it is most important that those are met.
September 5, 2013 at 9:47AM     
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andj32
I'd add another opening from the great room to the kitchen right next to the staircase wall. That way you wouldn't have to go all the way through the great room or go through the formal dining just to get to that side of the house.
September 5, 2013 at 11:02AM     
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andj32
Also, those 2 doors swinging into each other in the bathroom is going to be annoying. We have the same setup with the office and main floor bath and we never use the one from the office just because they bang into each other so much.
September 5, 2013 at 11:03AM     
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OnePlan
@ Faith ... that's the only iPad app I've used for quick drawings - I actually bought it for my 12 year old daughter to use, as she wanted to design her own bedroom - and I didn't want to let her loose on my Professional CAD system .... It does plans too. it's quite fun - but what I would say is most architects and architectural planners (myself included) are quite happy with scraps of paper with scribbles on - so don't feel you have to provide mini cad drawings !! ( it is fun to do though!!) :-)
September 5, 2013 at 11:09AM     
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