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Designing $1M+ Home in Austin TX- Floor Plan, Elevations and Site Plan

Austinite
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

My wife and I recently moved to Austin TX where we purchased an acre of land on a sloped lot overlooking Lake Travis and Austin hill country. We are both MBAs that have worked hard to climb the corporate ladder quickly. Last year we decided to seek a change in our lives and moved from Boston MA about 6 months ago for a slower pace of life and to start a family.

We are an active couple in our 30s with two dogs and a growing family with our first baby on the way. We plan to have an additional two or three kids in the not too distant future. I work from home 50% of the time and travel to various offices around the US the other 50% so we made sure to purchase a lot no more than 45 mins from the airport.

Given our family plans, we have decided to build a home that we can grow into over the next 10 years. We are working with a local custom builder and architect to come up with a 3,500 to 3,800 sq ft home consisting of 4 beds, 4 bath, 1 office, 3 car garage which maximizes views from most rooms. The home will be a one-story home with a 1,000 sq ft unfinished space below the living room, dining room and casita that will require minimal cutting given the slope of the lot.

Our lot starts at 900 ft of elevation and drops to 840ft which is great for views but not so much for slab costs therefore we've decided to build an unfinished basement for now instead of filling it with 18ft of concrete.

I have attached our current floor plan, site plan and first draft elevation sketch.

We intend to change the size of the two bedrooms (guest and bedroom 2) to square 12'8 x 12'8 as well as reduce the size of the flex space to try to bring the conditioned sq ft down to 3,600 or so.

We are building the home as close as possible to the north side of the lot as their is a slope easement that prevents us from cutting into the land on the south side so we intend for the driveway to be on that side.

The orientation of the home is as follows:

- Front of the home faces West and into a cul de sac

- Rear of the home faces East and faces Lake Travis

- Master Bedroom side of home faces North and Lake Travis

- Garage side of home faces South and hill country

We spent ~$300k on the land and intend to spend around ~$850k on the initial build with a ~$150k pool budget in year two and plans to finish out of the basement further down the line. The home is in a new development so there is some risk however the two other homes on the street are asking $1.35M and $2.0M for 4,000 to 4,500 sq ft for semi custom homes so we feel comfortable with our plan.

The deed restrictions are very lax with the only major considerations being that the house needs a 25ft setback in front, 5ft on either side, 2,800 sq ft minimum and 3 car garage not facing the street.

Any tips on our floor plan, site plan or elevation are greatly appreciated.










Comments (372)

  • Austinite
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @bry911 We could easily make it a long skinny closet with two sets of "racks" and large mirror on the back however our preference is to add a 3-sided mirror in the center and put shelves and cubbies on the back in the center of the closet. From a dimensional standpoint, the current layout is great for what we plan to do with the space. We are not fans of the "island dresser" in the center if that is what you thought we were planning to do, that is a total waste of space to us.

  • Austinite
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @richfield95 Wow, thank you for putting that together, very nicely thought out! Here are my thoughts on each suggested change:


    Sliding over the Master - Love it! It only seems to add about 18ft (3ft x 6ft of hallway) but extends the outdoor patio or pool quite a bit


    Utility room - Love it, however do you think the door pointing at the master vs. the bedroom 3 closet may cause an increase in noise for us (we run laundry overnight fairly often).


    Master closet - While I like the idea of the wall being flat along the entire left of the house, the dimensions of the closet mean that we lose the entire 3-sided mirror in the center with cubbies on the back. The sq ft trade off looks to be even however we will lose significant places to put our clothes with this setup.


    Bedroom 3 closet - Love it! I prefer not having to walk through my bathroom to get to my closet.


    JnJ bath / Bedroom 2 layout - Using this setup will add about ~50 sq ft to the floor plan (4' x 12'6). While I prefer your setup, it just adds too much sq ft to make it viable for our budget especially when you add in the 18 sq ft after sliding over the master. Any thoughts on arranging in this in a way to make it square footage neutral is welcome

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  • cpartist
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    - We like the JnJ bath and the fact that two kids can be at sinks while one is in the tub at the same time. Your setup only allows for 1 person in the bathroom at a time.

    That will never happen. Maybe when they're 2 and 4 years old but once they hit school years, no. You're still living in a fantasy of what life will be like once kids arrive.

    Plus kids don't need 2 sinks. They need extra drawers and storage.

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    2 years ago

    CP totally disagree. My girls share a bathroom and they are often having one at the sink while one showers or both using their sinks same time. They are 12 and 8.

  • richfield95
    2 years ago

    Glad you like the ideas!


    Are you sure moving the master to the left adds 18 sq ft? I was thinking that would be a neutral change.


    I hear what you're saying about the master closet, but that space in my suggestion is ~8ft by 18'9". That's huge. There has to be space to set up a mirror like you're thinking.


    Options to reduce a little square footage:

    Take 1ft off the front of the house, making the master closet 7'by 18'9" and Bed3 12'10" by 13'. Saving ~32sq ft.

    Take 1ft off back of the house; making master bed 14'4" by 17'8"; pool bath 6'8" by 14'6"; office 11'4" by 11'2". Saving another ~32sq ft.

    All of these rooms would still be very usable with the smaller size, but you may want to have Bed2 be the shared room since it would be larger..


    If you're open to it, this would change the casita from 14'0' by 16'0" to about 11'6" by 18'0", saving 15 sqft or so, but you'd have to confirm those measurements.





  • Kat
    2 years ago

    @cpartist My tween/teens brush their teeth at the same time quite often, but no need for two completely separate sink areas to do that. A hall bath accommodates that just fine.


    I've always thought if somebody wants to have a separate room for some of the fixtures it should be the the shower/tub in the separated part. If there's going to be an emergency need it's going to be to use the restroom while somebody else is in the bath/shower. There's never usually an emergency of I need to brush my teeth happening. Also a younger child going off to bed while another is showering/ bathing will need a toilet as well as a sink.

  • richfield95
    2 years ago

    on the bathroom topic, whatever configuration you have will be fine. Kids will use everything you have and at the same time no matter what you do, they'll find something to complain about and fight over. They're great like that. :)

    We have an 11yo boy and 15yo girl that share one bath w/ one sink and they survive just fine. The 15yo has a dresser/vanity in her room to do her hair/makeup/etc

  • Austinite
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @richfield95

    Master Bedroom - The 18' comes from the width of the Foyer hall which is 6' across way being extended 3'.


    Master Closet - I'm sure we could find a spot for it, that is a very large space as you mention. I'll consider it after seeing what the architect comes back with for an elevation.


    Sq Ft Considerations - These trade offs aren't worth it in my mind. All the adults lose a foot of space in each room so the kids can have a larger bedroom and full bath? This is the only one I'd consider however it still wouldn't make up for the full 50ft addition to the other bedroom: "Take 1ft off the front of the house, making the master closet 7'by 18'9" and Bed3 12'10" by 13'. Saving ~32sq ft."


    There are also the extra plumbing costs for another toilet and tub.


    @cpartist Although we don't have multiple kids right now, I was a kid at one point in my life with siblings. I also have dozens of cousins, nieces and nephews to know that there are "peak" bathroom times, namely getting ready for school and getting ready for bed that cause congestion in the bathroom. We definitely want to retain the ability for multiple kids to use various features of the restroom at the same time, that's an absolute must. I'm interested in hearing thoughts on how we may be able to better configure the JnJ.


    @A S @Kat Agree with you both

  • PRO
    Jeffrey R. Grenz, General Contractor
    2 years ago

    At this point 32sf reduction won't save much but flooring. "Marginal costs" if that makes sense. You're spending that daily in holding & opportunity costs.

  • shead
    2 years ago

    We had a JnJ in our last house with a similar setup (each bedroom has its own sink area and WIC and the tub and toilet was in the middle) and it worked well for our kiddos. Was there the occasional lockout? Sure. However, it was not such a nuisance that the benefits were totally negated. I’d design one like it again if our floor plan allowed without hesitation.


    And FWIW, my kids ranged in age from 2-15 using that bathroom during our time in that house.

  • richfield95
    2 years ago

    I get needing to draw a line-in-the-sand on the size, otherwise what's 15 sq ft here or 5 sq ft there? Plus, 3,600 sq ft is a large house. Its about making the best use of your sq footage. The layout of your bedroom looks like there will be a lot of wasted space. The windows make furniture placement off if you want to do a sitting area; the bed placement is about as good as it gets. you could easily lose 2' off your master bedroom and not lose functionality or feel cramped. Same thing on the closet, losing 1ft of depth doesn't really impact your storage space. I bet if you looked critically at the space sizes throughout the house, you could come up with 100-200 sq ft reduction and still have a very nice house.


    What's the plan with finishing the basement? Why add the flex space instead of doing the basement now? Same with the wine room, couldn't that really be put in the basement (yes it is less convenient but how many times a day are you really going to go in there)


    By the way, where is the driveway going?

  • Kat
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Do you entertain a lot? Have a lot of guests? I mentioned it before, but unless you are meticulous about straightening and hanging up shoes and coats and book bags as the kids get older etc. I really think you are not going to like that your guests have to walk through your mud room to use the restroom.


    Even if you are meticulous it just really doesn't make sense to me that in a million dollar home that your guests will have to walk through your mud room/ drop zone to use a restroom. I think it was better where you had it before.

  • Austinite
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @Jeffrey R. Grenz, General Contractor We've decided to add 32' to the plan


    @richfield95 We are going to add the '18 feet to the foyer to widen the back patio. We are going to take your suggestion of moving the entrance of the laundry room and also have the closet to bedroom 3 accessible from the room instead of the sink area however we are keeping the master closet as is, JnJ bath as is and bedroom 2 as is. Here is a picture of the master closet 3-sided mirror we are thinking of except ours will have cubbies on the back for non-hangable items. Thank you for your suggestion on the floor plan!





    @Kat We are going to recess the Mud Room by adding 2' x 7' to it so people won't have to "walk through the drop zone to use a restroom. I'm also going to move the door to walk into the garage from outside side closer to the garage door.




    What are people's thoughts on keeping the covered patio off the kitchen/living/dining room the way it is versus just making it a large rectangle?


    Any last thoughts are greatly appreciate before I send this off to the architect tonight so he can work on it first thing tomorrow.

  • Ig222
    2 years ago

    I dont think the recess for the mudroom is a plus. I'd live it where it is. When somebody visits, you spend 10 minutes making the MR presentable. I would not make the front more complex for something so small.


  • richfield95
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I’m glad some of my suggestions were helpful.

    A big no to the mud room bump out, those bump outs on the front are going to be a mess on the elevation. In the bedroom end, you have 5 different front surfaces. At least two need to go. Im a huge supporter of function over form, but in this case its a mistake to sacrifice a well planned exterior to have space for that mirror. You have a huge house, youll have space for it. Simplify the exterior now, otherwise it will just cost you more in architecture fees later.





    https://mcmansionhell.com/post/149948821221/mcmansions-101-roofs

    https://mcmansionhell.com/post/148605513816/mcmansions-101-what-makes-a-mcmansion-bad

  • Austinite
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @lg222 I'm creating more space in the mudroom because I anticipate needing more space than 7' of wall for 6 people. The recessing gives the added benefit of "hiding" the mess a bit, but that isn't the primary reason.


    @richfield95 I actually like when a house has various pieces recessed vs. just having a simple flat surface on the front, it adds way more character to the home in my opinion.

  • Austinite
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @everyone I've thought a little bit more about "recessed" mudroom and decided that it may be better to cut into the garage to create the space. The garage would be 21' deep on the single bay vs. 24' deep on the double bay if I make the mudroom 10' long. Our previous garage was 21' deep and we were able to get a 2018 X5 in there with shelves in front of it so it should work however it will create a slight pinch point in the garage depending on the car we park there. I've also added a sink within the storage area. Thoughts?




  • cpartist
    2 years ago

    @richfield95 I actually like when a house has various pieces recessed vs. just having a simple flat surface on the front, it adds way more character to the home in my opinion.

    No it doesn't add character. It just creates a McMansion or a mesh-mosh that has nothing cohesive. The best plans have simplicity to them because they allow the eye to focus in on the most important part of the house; the welcoming entry.

    It's like the difference between a well dressed woman and one who looks like she threw every piece of jewelry and object she could find on. What Chanel said about women dressing also relates to the best designed homes.

  • J Williams
    2 years ago

    There are benefits and drawbacks to having projections and recesses, benefits include the possibility that light and air can penetrate further in, and in different angles, special niches or nooks might be created, they might also create sheltered areas, drawbacks might be compromised integrity of construction and usage of material (can add to cost), plus visual clutter.

  • fissfiss
    2 years ago

    Living in Maine, where our seasons are winter, mud and the 4th of July, I would say your mud room can never be too big.

  • Austinite
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I ended up realizing that the architect inadvertently shrunk my garage to only 30' of width by placing the powder where he did...10ft per car means that I can't get a car seat in and out without dinging the other car in the garage...


    I've therefore made some extensive updates that I'm going to ask him to draft up tomorrow. Here is a mockup of what I plan to ask him to do with that half of the house.


    1. Extend flex space to 12'6 to be symmetrical with the bedroom across the way

    2. Expand mudroom to 10' in width

    3. Relocate powder back to the corner

    4. Resize garage to 26' x 35'

    5. Move door to enter garage so that it is straight shot along the side of the car to enter the mud room

    6. Add sink at end of storage in garage

    7. Move water heater closet on the other side of the powder

    8. Add a large window to the garage


    Thoughts?







  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    Love size of garage. Good move. Is the entry still going to be to the left of the drawing you just posted? I still don't think there is room for dining table with 3' around edge of table for chair push back? But I can't see dimensions so that is a question? You need that space, especially since bar stools are also going to need room. You can get bar stools that have swivel seats. They run around $200-400+ each. I also will give you our experience as real wine lovers, we have had two built-in, professionally cooled wine cellars and we have gone to stand alone unit now. Sooo much easier to deal with. Might want to think about that. Get 2, one for reds and one for whites. There was always something with the chillers, noise from motors, when whites were at right temp, reds got too cold, things like that. We also tend to drink more reds, so we need more room for reds than whites. Just food for thought. Probably small matter in the overall scheme of things, but just experience talking!

  • Austinite
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @Flo Mangan Thanks Flo, I'm hoping they can make the garage work as the overall width of the house could potentially make the driveway too small. What do you mean "is the entry to the left?" The width of the overall living / dining /kitchen space is 41' which roughly breaks down into 15'-Living, 13'-Dining, 13'-Kitchen however given its one large space, we can shifting things around a bit if needed. We already own swivel bar stools and love them! Your thoughts on the wine room are pretty much exactly where we were going with it since the space will also house beer and liquor too. Besides, a barn door would not provide an effective seal to keep the room at the right temps all the time.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    I was looking at drawing on my phone. Tiny! But i was thinking about flow paths. Just wondering how front door was oriented.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    If you haven’t already done this, make sure stand alone units for wine and beer will all fit in that space. Looks small. Of course, get electricals adequate with extras.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    One more thought. You will get freezing temps up there Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb so get faucets and water lines on that garage sink insulated and with handy shut off and drain spots to avoid frozen water lines.

  • David Cary
    2 years ago

    Just to be difficult Flo, code would generally dictate what lines are insulated so if I was a contractor, I would be both insulted and annoyed by such micromanagement. And then, are you suggesting that a garage will get to freezing in Austin?

    I realize that it is not fully attached. But I have similar in Raleigh and our garage has never been below 50 (cars have external temps and I check such things). Austin would be warmer than Raleigh. By 6 degrees F.

    And code dictates those lines are insulated. So I have freeze protection on lines that never get below 50. But that is what code does - over compensate. No complaints but also no need to second guess either.

  • richfield95
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    David, yes you are just being difficult. A good contractor would know whether or not to insulate those lines. A bad contractor will look to cut costs wherever possible. Im an industrial project engineer and its always good to ask and clarify then clarify some more. Even then someone will end up doing it wrong.

    This is house is being built on a hill, with a difference between front and rear elevation of 12-15’. How/why is the pool on the back of the house being accessed from the main floor instead of the walk out basement?

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    2 years ago

    To be furtherly (I made that word up) difficult, the house will be built on an artificial plateau without regard for the natural contour of the site or expense of the artificial plateau.

  • Kat
    2 years ago

    "I realize that it is not fully attached. But I have similar in Raleigh and our garage has never been below 50 (cars have external temps and I check such things). Austin would be warmer than Raleigh. By 6 degrees F."


    @David Cary We lived in Charlotte for 15 years before moving to the coast and its usually warmer than Raleigh from what I've seen.


    One winter, I believe it was around 2002 we had a very bad ice storm and lost power for over 72 hours. Some places lost it for up to 10 days. Yes the temps did warm up before the power came back on for some of them, but our house most definitely dropped below 50 degrees. Two families we knew had pipes burst under their kitchen sinks.


    Maybe garages are somehow warmer, but I would question that. Thankfully we had a neighbor with a generator where we could all get warm and we could use our gas fireplace some.


    Contractors who are so easily insulted by questions on insulating pipes etc. when people are placing trust and large $$$ in their pockets probably have much bigger issues so best to stay clear of working with them.


    Do you never question a doctor about routine procedures or medications etc., because they are a doctor and have guidelines to follow?

  • Austinite
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @Flo Mangan The front door is a set of double doors that opens in to the foyer with a view of the pool, not sure exactly what you're looking for here...Regarding fridges, we'll be fine, the space is 4ft deep and 7ft wide. Regarding the sink in the garage, they will install a shutoff and use PEX tubing so no concern of pipe bursts.


    @richfield95 We fully understand that it makes no sense to prop up a pool 15' in the air however that is where the views lie (see earlier pics I posted). Also the basement will not be built out in phase 1 so people would have to walk through an unfinished basement to use the pool for the first few years if we put it down below.

  • David Cary
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Ok - losing power is a different issue altogether. Then of course anything can freeze.

    But I understand your issue about asking contractors.

    I don't think insulating water lines in an Austin attached garage is worth even talking about.

    There are far more important issues to worry about and if that is a big concern when dropping $1M, then you have far bigger things to worry about.

    I mean - broken water lines in a garage. Oh the horror. Sorry - that is pretty sarcastic but I hope my point is made. And this in a climate where there 99.5%ile temp is like 28 degrees. And that is probably 50 year averages. I will make some bets on the winter of 2021. Let's face it, all design temps probably need to be rewritten. We didn't hit our 99% temp this winter and neither did most of the US.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I was under the impression there was not going to be a basement.

    There are other ways of handling the pool with your site constraints:

  • Austinite
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @Mark Bischak, Architect The space under the living/dining/kitchen and casita will all be basement, however we're waiting to hear back from the builder on how much of a premium that would be over just filling it with slab before we are 100% on it.


    That pool would be pretty amazing however I'm pretty sure it costs 10x what my pool will cost due to all the highly paid engineers involved in pulling something like that off.

  • richfield95
    2 years ago

    I admit I haven’t read all the comments and maybe you’ve addressed this, so sorry if I’m repeating.


    Are you constructing the pool at the higher elevation bypouring concrete under it? Won’t this block any potential view or even windows from the basement under the living/dining/kitchen? How are the kids going to get to the yard to play?


    i know you’re mind is made up about the pool, but ypu could easily finish the basement by saving by

    * putting the pool access on the basement level

    * Saving the sq ft by moving the flex space downstairs ((you can’t see the kids in the flex space from anywhere in the house as it is)

    * Saving sq ft by moving the wine closet and putting in the basement

    * saving sq ft by moving the pool bath to the basement


    Plus, you have no idea what the future holds, odds are the amount of money you put in to the pool isnt going to be reflected in your appraisal or in any future resale. Are you prepared to lose the extra money it will take to raise the pool 15ft in the air?

  • lyfia
    2 years ago

    Put pool below and some exterior stairs so nobody has to walk through unfinished space. OR how about a slide into the pool from upstairs..

  • just_janni
    2 years ago

    Do you have anything resembling a rendering for this rear elevation with pool? For the life of me, I can't imagine having a walk out basement below the areas you describe, but then also have a pool, accessible by those same first floor areas - built up - without rendering the basement space useless or completely obstructed. Have you seen this layout executed anywhere in real life?


    I realize I am beating a dead horse, but you are planning for all sorts of eventualities on what your life will be like on the INSIDE of the house without any regard for how you will engage with the outside - besides distant views.


    I have a walkout basement and it's the single largest drawback to current house and what's driving us to move to single level living - we simply never use the backyard, and it's a giant PITA to take the dogs out - they are older and don't use the 15 stairs to get to ground level, and one is blind. But - my bedroom views are lovely - like I am up in the trees. Still doesn't work to access the land we actually paid for....



  • Kat
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    @just_janni "I have a walkout basement and it's the single largest drawback to current house and what's driving us to move to single level living - we simply never use the backyard..."

    We live at the beach and the house we bought 6 years ago and many out here where we live have the living area on the second floor and just a recreation or possibly some extra bedrooms and laundry on the ground floor because of the flooding risk.

    We have done so much work to this house that I'm very proud of, but no matter how nice we make it it doesn't change the fact that I can't just walk out into my yard or let the dog out into our fenced yard, or not have to go down a flight to enjoy the screened porch. Setback limitations keep us from being able to build one up.

    It makes the house less useable and for this reason we just put an offer in on a lot a block further back where we can actually build a home a foot or 18" up from grade that brings it and yard into coherence.

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    2 years ago

    Can’t the OP walk from the pool area down to the rest of the yard?

    We have a walk out basement and it is amazing. We have three kids and a dog and it’s awesome to open the playroom doors and let them enjoy the yard to and from. We also access the backyard from the deck but we fully use both ways to use our land.

  • just_janni
    2 years ago

    ^^ if I understand correctly - the ground floor is already going to be 15' off the ground level in the back fo the house. If you put the pool further BACK, the drop-off continues. I see the pool completely disconnected to the house except by trekking up a fairly long set of stairs to do anything (esp if the walk out basement is not finished. Or - building up the pool to finished first floor elevation - but how the heck do you do that and have a walk out basement?

  • richfield95
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    OP said they're still contemplating whether to have a usable basement or just fill it all in with concrete. I'm thinking OP means kind-of like this house in their neighborhood.



    It wouldn't be practical to have an open basement space under the pool; assuming the pool is 14' by 20' with an average depth of 4', the pool will hold 8,400 gallons at a weight of 70,000 pounds. That will require structural steel in the concrete, even if there's no basement underneath.

  • Kat
    2 years ago

    @A S “We have a walk out basement and it is amazing. We have three kids and a dog and it’s awesome to open the playroom doors and let them enjoy the yard to and from. We also access the backyard from the deck but we fully use both ways to use our land.”


    i think if you use your lower level a lot then a walk out might not seem so bad. We have a family room down there that our kids and my husband use to watch tv and play video games, but I very seldom ever use it. I utilize the living, sunroom and dining/kitchen 95% of my awake time at home. We don’t have a huge property since we are at the beach, so when I look out I’m barely even seeing our own yard, but instead the street or neighbors across the way So I feel disconnected from our yard. I literally have to walk out on to our deck and look down to see it. From the family room downstairs we can see it but again I’m never down there.

  • PRO
    Jeffrey R. Grenz, General Contractor
    2 years ago

    Foundation wall heights like that and minimal "walk out" basements make me wonder about the soils (aka rock) conditions. Ancient volcanoes nearby? Ridges aren't always "pushed" up into the sky from the valley floor, sometimes everything else around it is eroded away by water leaving a remaining ridge.


    I was touring a builder friend's projects in Naples, FL walking into the garage looking up at the bottom of the pool 2 floors up.

  • Kim Weaver
    2 years ago

    I never saw a pool up so high off the ground, so educate me.........does it have some sort of wall or netting? In our above ground pool, toys, balls ect. are always going over the edge. Not a big deal for a child to climb out and retrieve but if it was 20 feet up?

  • jmm1837
    2 years ago

    I think that house photo posted by richfield is actually pretty sad. No one is ever going to use that yard. If I had young kids, I'd value a place for them to run around, throw balls, play games, dig in the garden, whenever they want, much higher than I'd value a pool they won't be able to use safely and unaccompanied for years.

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    2 years ago

    Maybe all of us, me included, should stop putting how we would use the space onto the OP. Clearly they are happy with the lot and plans. Time to let it go. Not everyone loves a yard and not everyone wants their kids in the dirt.

  • Mrs Pete
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    That will never happen. Maybe when they're 2 and 4 years old but once they hit school years, no. You're still living in a fantasy of what life will be like once kids arrive.

    Plus kids don't need 2 sinks. They need extra drawers and storage.

    Not just kids. Adults need the extra drawers and storage rather than duplicate sinks.

    No it doesn't add character. It just creates a McMansion or a mesh-mosh that has nothing cohesive. The best plans have simplicity to them because they allow the eye to focus in on the most important part of the house; the welcoming entry.

    Agree. Additionally, landscaping adds character and interest to a house. Today's trend seems to be "let's add on a bunch of stuff because we're afraid the house will be too plain."

    Clearly they are happy with the lot and plans.

    Sure, none of us are going to have to pay for or live with this choice -- but, when everyone thinks something is a mistake, though, it's a good idea to investigate the options. Maybe try to see an example of something similar in real life. At the worst, you go into the plan confident of your choice.

  • jmm1837
    2 years ago

    A S - you're right that not everyone loves a yard, but I think it's important for the OP, who isn't an experienced parent, to consider points of view he may not have thought about in making his decisions. He's of course free to reject opinions with which he disagrees (and has shown no hesitation in doing so) but it doesn't hurt to think more broadly about the family's lifestyle not just as it is now but how it will be over the next ten years as the babies arrive.

    I have a sneaking suspicion the OP has unrealistic expectations of how long it will be before he can safely leave the kids unattended by the pool. Kids under the age of five should always have an adult within arms reach. Kids under the age of 10 should always have an adult poolside. So, planning needs to take account of the reality that it will be years before the kids can be left unsupervised by the pool. A fenced yard would be my choice for a play area, but obviously an indoor playroom or full time adult supervision at the pool or a local playground would be viable alternatives. He just needs to include these things in his planning.

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    2 years ago

    Totally agree jmm1837 but that has all been stated over and over again in this thread so not sure why it needs to continue.