webuser_862581865

Funky lot plan options

MM
August 13, 2019

Hey there,


I’m looking for some feedback on these plans my husband and I drafted. We‘re in a super small house right now with 3 kids so I’m not sure if we’re on the right track or not. We drew the entire lot to scale and then worked the plans onto the lot.


(We are planning on working with our builder/draftsman, but we wanted to make sure the lot was even workable before we discuss in a more official capacity.)


I’m adding our self drafted plans as well as the lot shape. The blue line is the property line and the yellow line is where the setbacks are.


We want to keep the main areas on one level and we plan to do a bonus room above the garage for our photography/videography/creative business needs.




Comments (45)

  • MM

    The house plan imposed on the lot is what our builder sent us. We walked through that floor plan so he wanted us to see it for reference.

  • PRO
    PPF.

    Are you wanting feedback on something specific?

  • MM

    We had a hard time working the right side of the house around the garage. The lot is jusssst deep enough at that point to put the garage in but we had to modify it quite a bit from our original direction so I’m really wondering if it appears to be functional, or a hot mess.

  • PRO
    PPF.

    What direction will the house face?

    Have you considered a more L shaped plan with the garage on the left?

  • Denita

    Do you have to have a garage that is attached that way? Have you considered a detached garage since the usable portion of your lot has additional space that would really work with a detached garage. If you want it attached, consider a breezeway. You could also set the garage back so it doesn't look like the snout type plan. Find a good architect to work with you rather than selecting one of the builder's standard plans or trying to come up with your own. A good architect is worth his/her fee and then some.

  • MM

    It will face the east.


    I did originally think of doing the garage on the bigger side side of the lot, but I kind of went off the builder’s mock up to start with.

  • lyfia

    I'm thinking maybe more of a T-shape plan where the top portion on the T is along the left line and then the bottom portion along the horizontal with a little offset so not a perfect T, but the one side of the top of the T is longer.

  • MM

    Actually I take that back, it will be more of a south east direction.

  • MM

    Denita I’m not sure if the deed restrictions allow a detached garage, but it isn’t something we would be opposed to. It would need to be covered though. We’re in Florida and we have a long rainy season.

  • PRO
    PPF.

    Is this your lot or the builders?

    It's best to minimize western exposure. I see the trees -- will you be keeping them, or as many as you are able?

    Have you considered hiring an Architect?

  • Denita

    I'm in Florida too....we have two seasons: wet and dry! Totally get it.

    Check out architectrunningguy here on Houzz. He does remote design and there are others here too that are also excellent.

    With your lot, take advantage of the space. The builder won't have a stock plan for that lot configuration. And even if he did, it would be better to work with an architect that can take into account the lot and your needs.

  • MM

    It’s a lot in a neighborhood that we’d like to build in, but it is not the builder’s.


    We are hoping to keep several of the trees but we would eventually like to add a pool behind the house so I think we would prioritize keeping the trees in the front.

  • cpartist

    If this is your lot please do not use the builder's draftsman but get yourself a qualified architect. Your lot is an unusual shape so you need someone who can and will think outside the box.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Having your house's public spaces facing west is the worst possible orientation. You will have to keep drapes or screens pulled down on all the windows every afternoon of the year.


    Best orientation for these spaces is south, where effective shading devices are possible on the exterior of the house.

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    Like denita, my first though was that this is an ideal site for architectrunnerguy to work his magic for you.

  • MM

    Virgil, thanks for the feedback on the direction. That is something I haven’t considered! our current home faces east, but I must confess that I keep the blinds closed most of the time for privacy. It would be slightly northwest, but it sounds like it would make the afternoons hot. My husband and I will have to weigh the pros and cons on that, we do enjoy outdoor living the majority of the year and would prefer it to be more private in the back of the house. But we also don’t want to pay a fortune in cooling costs!

  • MM

    Cpartist we haven’t purchased the lot, just brainstorming to see if the lower cost is worth it. (looking more like not right now)

  • cpartist

    MM, it can be worth it if you engage the services of a good architect to design your house. And yes architectrunnerguy is a very good architect here on this site and he works remotely.

    I can see maybe an L shaped house working on the lot where the majority of the public rooms face north/south along the long axis.


    Where are you located? Are you in FL?

  • MM

    Cpartist, yes I’m in Florida!



  • One Devoted Dame

    Finding a good lot is really difficult!

    I'm going through the process now, and it's rotten to find something pretty that faces north (I want bedrooms on the north side, and dislike bedrooms facing the street), or that's long and skinny (100' of north/south exposure and 1000' of east/west exposure).

    Very frustrating.

    But, when I do find something, my architect has offered to walk any and all properties prior to purchase. I want to make sure the land will work for what I want. :-D

  • cpartist

    Can you post which is true north?

    I am in SW Florida and the best thing i did was orient my house north/south.

    The disadvantage if north is at the rear is the sun will not be directly on the backyard. In FL, the advantage if north is at the rear is the sun will not be directly on the backyard.


  • MM

    Does this help?


  • cpartist

    Yes. It does help. I would love to hear from the architects on this forum but I don't think it's a bad piece of land. I think an L or U shaped house could work well.

    I do think though you will absolutely need an architect to come up with something that will work well on the property and not just a builder house plopped onto the lot.

    What style of house do you prefer?

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    Based on the builder's plan with the garage in the front yard setback, you should start looking for a local architect right away. Your plan is a good start, but a local architect will benefit you in working out details like stairs and spatial relationships.

  • MM

    Cpartist we lean towards a southern farm-house vibe.


    Mark he just put that plan in for scale. Definitely not his suggestion!

  • PRO
    Summit Studio Architects

    I like PPFs suggestion of location the garage on the left creating an L. The garage is typically the largest element of the home, so putting it where you have the most room makes sense.


    You have great opportunities for outdoor space on this lot. It will require a longer shallower home than usual which if done thoughtfully will create wonderful access to the outdoors. An L shape will create private area in front that will enjoy morning sun and afternoon shade. You'll have access to green space out the back.

  • fissfiss

    If you eventually want a pool, best to plan for it now...are the setbacks different for a pool? And planning for electrical and plumbing for a pool....and thinking through the location of the powder room to serve as a pool potty....etc, etc.

  • MM

    Thanks summit, that’s encouraging!


    fissfiss everything that is connected with a roof has to be within the yellow setback line, but pools and patios are only 5’.

  • PRO
    PPF.

    An Architect will (should) have the tools to help visualize how the sun will show on your lot a various times of the day. This shows 4PM today in Florida, looking south.


  • MM

    Thanks PPF!

  • MM

    I’m back with a tweak and a question!

    I slightly modified the kids side to include a closet/hallway as a buffer to TV noises and to improve the entry to bedrooms 3 & 4. My questions are:


    1: can I make improvements in the hall bath?


    2: would you do long reach in closets for 3 & 4? Or two smaller 4x4 walk in closets?


    We have 3 kids: girl 8, boy 5.5, girl 2.


    We‘re still looking for other lots so I’m not ready to finalize anything yet, but this is like a puzzle I need to solve and I can’t get it out of my head!


    Also, I think we are going to embrace an L shape and do a covered porch on the back left corner of the house with the future plan of placing a pool behind the living room area

  • cpartist

    The L shape is not for the covered porch but for the whole house design. Sorry this is not a good design for the lot. Look into working with an architect.

  • MM

    Do you have any examples? Or a resource to peruse?

    I’ve tried searching for L shaped plans to help me conceptualize it, but I’m coming up empty handed.

  • PRO
    homewerk_studio

    I agree with CP - based on what we know, this doesn't seem like a bad piece of land. Without much thought into developing elevations, here is a plan that arranges spaces in an L shape roughly within your setbacks. The kitchen, dining, and living room share views to the backyard while benefiting from southeastern light at the front.


    You might consider placing secondary bedrooms on the upper level - with this property, you would have much more flexibility with your first floorplan if that square footage was moved upstairs.


    MM thanked homewerk_studio
  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Play that funky music, drafter boy...!

  • MM

    Homework, that’s great! Thanks!!!


    That really helps me switch gears. For some reason I was thinking the bedrooms needed to be on opposite sides.


    We keep going back and forth on putting the kids’ rooms upstairs. I know it makes the most sense, but I keep thinking about going up and down all day with laundry, toys, and random kid junk and it discourages me again.

  • Lovely Linda

    See. You got great feedback. No need for an architect. Now take the feedback and go to your builder/draftsman and have them to draw it up.

  • tryingtounderstand

    Hi MM you are not the only one on this forum who has struggled with home design. May I suggest you contact ARG on this forum. He has designed awesome home plans for challenging lots, including L shape designs. Not only is he good at what he does, he is great to work with. You may wish to contact him at the very least. To see what he does, simply click on his link.

    https://www.houzz.com/user/architectrunnerguy

  • cpartist

    See. You got great feedback. No need for an architect. Now take the feedback and go to your builder/draftsman and have them to draw it up.

    Wrong! While the plan posted is better than what MM was showing, it is still not even close to as good a plan that can be had.

    First there's no laundry room and second there's no mechanical room noted and in FL, we don't have basements. There's more that doesn't work, but it's not worth getting into since it was just drawn to show the OP what was meant by an L shaped plan.

    I second getting in touch with architectrunnerguy who will work with you remotely. Then once you have a plan from him, you can bring it to your draftsman.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Lovely Linda loves architects..

  • ulisdone

    I’m curious about what appears to be open, mowed, green space surrounding all the lots.

    Who owns/ maintains this land? It reminds me of some of the abandoned golf courses in FL.

  • MM

    Ulisdone, that’s exactly what it is!


    The HOA currently maintains it. That is something we’re concerned about though, long term.

  • cpartist

    MM, it appears to be a beautiful piece of property. Seek out ARG please. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by what he can do for you.

  • MM

    CP I just looked at his page and he has some beautiful stuff!

  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    Built 2 identical homes on irregular lots, had to cut the side of the house so it fits on the lot...


    One lot was on a similar shaped lot as the OP has but a much smaller lot



    This is a normal shape lot but there was a storm sewer easement cuts right through the lot, same thing had to cut the side of the house.


    In this case being a irregular lot but it looks like you can fit a nice size house.

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