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Remodel (not new construction) Architect plan

Eric M
May 14, 2019

I have been through many iterations and trying to incorporate some of the suggestions but somewhat confined by existing structure. Any major issues with this design? Issues potentially but not sure are that the powder room kind of opens into kitchen. I could put it to foyer but will have back to back doors.


Comments (34)

  • PRO
    RappArchitecture

    It's not clear what suggestions you're referencing. It's also not clear what is existing and what is new, although I'm assuming the dark walls are new or relocated. You're right about the powder room, seems awkward as shown. I would suggest rearranging the powder room, ensuite bathroom and refrigerator area to access the powder room from the hallway. Additional questions and things to think about:


    1. Where will you eat? The nook area seems large enough to accommodate a larger table. Will there be a more formal dining area in the grand room?


    2. The grand room seems huge. You should think about how you will use the space and arrange furniture. Where will the TV go? And how does it relate to the existing living room?


    3. At the new bedroom below the master, I would take advantage of the corner location and add a window to allow light from two directions, always desirable.


    4. The master suite is quite generous. I have no real problem with the layout, but you might ask yourself if you need all that room. If not, consider scaling it back and saving some money.

    Eric M thanked RappArchitecture
  • Eric M


    This is existing.


    It is midcentury modern to the entire back wall of the great room Is windows and the TV will have only the choice of the fireplace wall so it is possible to put the dining room at the part of the grand room near the kitchen but it is kind of awkward to walk in to a dining room I feel. I considered making the nook a dining room though it is not a super formal area due to all the windows.

  • PRO
    GreenDesigns

    Don't remuddle a MCM. They have great layouts and good bones to begin with. They don't need to be tweaked to be anything other than what they are. You are focused on tiny parts and not the whole. Leave the whole alone. This is a complete waste of a quote a substantial amount of money. Do you really want to spend the same amount on a remuddle as when you bought the house? Just buy a different house that appeals to you more.

  • PRO
    RappArchitecture

    I wasn't aware that the house was midcentury modern when I commented above. Having said that, it IS possible to renovate and/or do an addition to a mcm house sensitively. It would help if you posted pictures of the existing house plus the architect's proposed exterior elevations of the new design.

  • cpartist

    I think the new layout is a mess in terms of there is no good flow and how you have bedrooms encroaching into the public spaces.

    You post that it's an architect plan. Are you sure it's an architect and not a draftsman? If a draftsman, might I suggest you consider working with an architect who can put together a plan that works better?

  • Eric M

    The person I am working with is an actual architect. I met with multiple architects and they all said it is a very difficult layout. The great room is 18ft ceilings and then kitchen area drops to 8ft so very hard to incorporate spaces across areas. When you say bedrooms are encroaching do youhave suggestions to correct this? I asked to eliminate the hallway leading back to the bedrooms but I could keep it but feels like it closes off the house a lot

  • PRO
    N Dobos Architecture

    What are you trying to accomplish? More bedrooms? Open kitchen?


  • mark_rachel

    I would have the bathroom open from the foyer, then turn that wasted space where the door is now into a closet.

  • zmith

    Your new plan has turned your kitchen into a hallway as the path in front of the refrigerator is the only route from the living space to the bedrooms.


    Instead of that wonky powder room/ensuite set up, why couldn't you have one good sized hall bath that's right off the kitchen? Two birds; one stone. Seems like it would be a better use of space.


    The size of the master suite compared to the spare bedrooms is ridiculous. How much time do your spend in your bedroom? It just doesn't seem like a good use of space.

    Eric M thanked zmith
  • Eric M

    I am trying to accomplish a more open floor plan. The reason the master bedroom is so much larger is that I am doing a 7ft addition to the side since there is extra space which allowed me to add an en suite bathroom to the bathroom adjacent the master and allowed the master to be large though for the area it is not excessive. The other bedrooms I would love to have larger but existing floor plan does not allow this.


    I was going to more the fridge to next to the pantry to make the wall with the fridge and powder room completely empty. Would it still be weird to walk there to get to back rooms? I really like open concept

  • zmith

    Your addition doesn't seem to have much if any impact on an open floor plan. It seems to be allowing you a large pantry and a very spacious master suite.

    Have you already been through layout iterations without an addition?

    Eric M thanked zmith
  • Eric M

    I agree that the addition only affects the master, but it also allowed me to add the bathroom which I felt was valuable as well as the laundry room and the side entrance. The reason that side entrance is valuable is that there are a large number of stairs to enter the house since I am hillside but the side entrance allows me to enter without any steps (important for older family members visiting etc).


    I was going to price out the addition and then if too costly I may drop the addition and just reorient the current master but did think some of those extra space adds were useful. The current master is enormous but oddly shaped and not practical (no tub in the master bath due to space, long narrow closet)

  • tira_misu

    Well, I agree with most that the suggested layout is complicated and has a poor flow. I'm not an architect, but there are obviously better layouts.

    Here is a rough exemple. Far from perfect, but for sure better than what you posted. You can always interchange the laundry closet with the powder room.

    I'm worried about venting some of the bathrooms, the powder room, the dryer and the kitchen. I'm guessing you architect had tought of that.



    Another option for the front bedroom that allows a coat closet by the main door.



  • cpartist

    Off the top of my head I'd move the bedroom at the bottom center to where the nook is now, and move the kitchen to where the living room is now. At least then you have the open concept with kitchen/dining/living in a row.

    If you have a hallway, and you should, it shouldn't be a zig zag but a straight path.

  • Eric M

    Remember it is midcentury ranch style so all windows on exterior walls pretty much. If the kitchen is where the living room is it would be all windows and nowhere for cabinetry and would be at the street side.


    @tira_misu - thank you for the suggestions but I would not want to go through the kitchen and dining room to go straight into the master which is also across from a pantry. Not sure what I would gain aside from eliminating a hallway that offers an amount of privacy.

  • PRO
    N Dobos Architecture

    I would look into moving the kitchen to where the dining room is now and using current kitchen space for the bedroom. In this way everything on the left could be reconfigured to make bedrooms better sized.

  • Eric M

    I have a question based on the responses. I had always thought a bedroom needs to be at least 10x10 but the three tiny bedrooms are 15x11, 13x11, and 11x12. Am I misinformed and need to focus on enlarging the bedrooms because I thought those sizes were fine. The master I understand is way larger but that is because it is overly large

  • cpartist

    Those sizes are fine for secondary bedrooms.

  • tira_misu

    If you have a hallway, and you should, it shouldn't be a zig zag but a straight path.

    I totally agree with cp.

  • PRO
    Summit Studio Architects

    Before you go any further talk to some contractors. This is a lot of demolition and new construction that will cost you much more than you think it will.


    Think in terms of minimal effective disruption. Contain your remodel to select areas... the fewer the better.

  • PRO
    GreenDesigns

    I think you need a different house. This hodgepodge will not be at all cost effective. A tear down and rebuild would likely be cheaper than the scrambled egg approach here.

  • Eric M

    I am in an area that this remodel would be far cheaper than a new build and buying a "done" house that is perfect will cost way more than this house with remodel costs included so though I would love to buy a different house it is not how the area works.


    Speaking to the contractor he is saying that certain changes that are a must (opening load bearing kitchen wall) will be costly but the additional changes will not make an enormous difference since it is already making large changes such as the addition.

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    Tweaking tira-misu's layout, I'd leave the smaller bedrooms m/l the same size, and add a laundry room, rather than just moving the laundry closet. I would also put the fridge at the other end of the counter, where it will be more convenient to traffic from the bedrooms and living area.

    Eric M thanked mama goose_gw zn6OH
  • cpartist

    Unfortunately in Tira's and Mama's plan the masters will be walking through the working part of the kitchen. We humans have a tendency to take the shortest path. Also the laundry winds up being a hike from the master.

    If there's a way to reconfigure with a hallway there, it would be better and I'd move the kitchen if not to where I suggested to where the nook area is and where the laundry/pantry is now, make that a hallway and reconfigure the bedrooms, etc.

    Eric M thanked cpartist
  • Eric M

    My biggest concern with this is how hard it is to get to the master bedroom when entering the garage and also having to cross through the entire kitchen to get to the master bedroom. I don't mind personally but I would think for resale people would not like that but maybe I am wrong.


  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    You could make the laundry and pantry double as a hallway (it could be flipped, depending on whether you prefer the laundry closer to the master or closer to the smaller bedrooms, and pantry closer to the garage entrance).


  • Eric M

    What if where the walkway is from below the kitchen to the back hall I put a door so that it separates the private spaces? Alternatively I could leave a wall at the lower part of the kitchen rather than eliminating that hallway.


    I played around with the kitchen being in the nook and the only issue is that the width of the kitchen is only 14ft so with a large island I wonder if it might feel tight

  • cpartist

    Eric 14’ should be enough.

    14’ is 168”. You need 25.5” for perimeter counters/cabinets which leaves you 142.5”. The ideal aisle space is 48” so that leaves you 94.5”. Island width would be 42” so that then leaves a walkway behind the stools of 52.5”. Plenty of room!

  • cpartist

    I would do an L shaped perimeter with the island

  • PRO
    GreenDesigns

    Ask anybody who has been down this ambitious “remaking” path. They’d do a tear down rebuild instead. It’s cheaper, with a better end result. Plenty of threads in here saying exactly that.


    You’re getting lowballed if you think this muddling about will be cheaper. Remodeling is 2x-4x the cost of new construction per square foot. Which is why you are getting the experienced and unbiased not making any money off of you comments to either do an addition and leave the main alone, or do a tear down and start over. Your plans hit all of the most expensive choices, even though the folks you are paying are not telling you that. Because they are collecting that paycheck.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Well...I think this is an interesting and intriguing plan, especially with some of the later suggested revisions, especially eliminating the diagonal wall in the master bath. I think the current floor plan is capable of fine tuning and working well, with some imagination and further design explorations.

    What concerns me is how the design of the roof and exterior will be designed so as to prevent some humongeous truss-framed roof which will completely overwhelm the one-story mass. The plan is very deep and wide, and unless a flat roof is envisioned will be a significant design challenge.

    Rather than spend a lot of unilateral time trying to perfect the floor plan, my suggestion is to give comensurate time to studying the exterior massing, architectural style and roof design.

    Good luck on your project!

  • Eric M

    The roofline would not change much since it is already 18 feet so it is a very high roof.


    @greendesigns - to build a new house of this size it would cost 1.5-2 million dollars in this hillside area. I certainly hope this remodel will not cost that as I would obviously not be able to afford. Additionally, it is an older home and the type of architecture would no longer be allowed by building and safety.

  • Robin Morris

    I've never seen all these threads claiming that a teardown/rebuild is always cheaper... GreenDesigns is located in a very low COL... there is no way he can understand. We did a large remodel similar in scale to yours and it was way cheaper than rebuilding or moving. We are very happy with the results. Is everything absolutely perfectly placed like it would have been if we did a complete teardown... no, but it functions great and has everything we wanted and we saved a lot of money not completely rebuilding.


    We did spend like 4-5 years on the plans and had about 50+ bad layouts (and multiple designers/architects) getting to one we loved. Hang in there and don't rush it.

    Eric M thanked Robin Morris
  • Eric M

    The roof design would not be changed much since it is a pitched roof and it is 18 feet so very high roof. The architect suggested adding a California cut? or some sort of roof that will blend with existing exterior house design so should not be a problem.


    I can certainly revisit moving kitchen to where the nook is. In the past I wasn't sure so we went back and forth on last iterations. Classically I always think of open concept where the kitchen island faces the open area so in this setting it would be a bit more secluded in back but I do see the benefit for sure. I can certainly make the bathroom square and in fact I had already told the architect I did not love the diagonal door. Also, I am shrinking the nook area to create more window in the master to capture the city view but if that is too costly it will add another 5 feet to the kitchen/nook length.

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