susanhu

looking for a home, dislike open concept models

susanhu
6 months ago

Looking for a traditional ranch home, kitchen, living room, dining room, bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Dislike the 'open concept' and will not purchase a home where this has been done. Who wants to keep the entire house clean from end to end at once? This concept does not allow for some individuality in some of the rooms, from wall color to decor. Usually there are sliding glass doors off the kitchen/dining open area and I want a traditional door to the outside from the kitchen, not to have people and pets track dirt into the dining room and living room from the outside yard. Why do this who remodel and build homes think this idea is good? Same way I feel about bagless vacuums. Bring back the bagged vacuums!

Comments (56)

  • remodeling1840
    6 months ago

    You will need to custom build a home, working with an architect to get a ranch house to suit your wish list. I dislike open concept also. Our previous home was a two story, but the master was on the first floor, reducing the number of times we needed to use stairs. Perhaps, unless there is a disabled person who couldn’t access the second floor, a two story might work for you. I like to watch murder mysteries during basketball season (no NCAA this year), so a family room and a library with TVs suits our needs. DH likes to listen to music, so he can have one room while I can be in a separate room on the computer not listening to music. I cannot imagine being in open concept with the whole family and no separation. I don’t want to have a dinner party and look at the pile of pots and pans while we are eating, so a ding room separate from my kitchen makes me happy. I don’t want to walk in the front door and see all the mess in the kitchen.

  • remodeling1840
    6 months ago

    Dining room, not “ding” room!

  • Related Discussions

    Need help for my new open concept home, (small)

    Q

    Comments (4)
    Sounds nice, I am a little concerned with the glass table, as being a little to modern I am coming from a 3000 sq. ft. home with a separate dinning room with big traditional Dinning room furniture, for those great family special occasion dinner parties, setting 10 - 12 - however that's not what I am moving into, back to reality the furniture you are seeing is not mine, it is the previous owners, I don't move in for two weeks so I haven't even pick out what will go in the living space and on those two ugly sliding doors.what do you think about wood with glass insert on the table, and would something in a coffee bean just add another wood color that shouldn't be there? Thanks for your suggestions, I have seen a nice expandable glass table.
    ...See More

    Looking for an open concept design for my new home

    Q

    Comments (1)
    Interior or floor plan design?
    ...See More

    painting open concept home

    Q

    Comments (8)
    Every piece of furniture in your house pictures is black. Your inspiration pictures have white sofas which will lighten the pics you have posted; compare them to the pic with the black banquette. A big difference. I found this picture that might inspire you. One wall is painted black or charcoal and the rest of the room is white. I would try Simply White by Benjamin Moore on all the wall except your wall you want to accent and do that black. I would select a black and white rug to lighten up all areas of the room....some coiuld be stripe, some could be geometric but the rugs will help define the spaces and the white will brighten the areas alot.....living room, dining room, kitchen. Then select art work that is white black and two or three colors.....take the colors in the art work and use as accents for pillows, curtains, etc. as shown in the pic...you have to start somewhere! Then take your two or three accent colors from the print and do an accent wall in each room in one of the color...kitchen a color, dining room a color, entry wall a color and leave the charcoal/black in the living room. Bring in glass and metal and mirror for bling and light reflection. It is one way to try things! Add end tables and cocktails tables and lamps in white white white to add ore reflective areas....lastly if possible put white quarts in the kitchen counter etc. and white backsplash with a bit of sparkle and bling. Check out the more info for other pictures. This house design in the more info is really livable and easily inspiring to copy.
    ...See More

    open concept home looking for paint

    Q

    Comments (6)
    thanks groveraxel. I always like your mock ups! I want to keep the darker two walls as I want to "hide" the tv. We tried white walls, white/maple tv stand and pink rug and some boho cushions a few months back- you may remember some of my older posts? Anyways we are back to square one as it didnt quite work. We are trying to maybe do a bit of a kichen reno to lighen things up then carry it over to the living room. We are still waiting to do the floors as it it such a big project (2000 sqft of tile removal and replacement )
    ...See More
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    6 months ago

    Okay I have a 1956 MCM ranch and I do like some separation in my home but I also do not want to be stuck in the kitcchen with no way to communicate with my guests si I have a huge FP that provides separation between my LR and kitchen but my DR is open to the kitchen which I like . As for cleaning IMO all areas open to guests need cleaning so no big deal Our bedrooms are all down the hall along with the main bathroom and our master has a bathroom. We have a walkout basement since we are on a hill and we have our media room, games area and offices down there . With the space buried in the hill for storage. I love 50s homes the LRs are usually large , ours is 15x25’ and suits us much better than aFR off the kitchen I hate TV in my LR so the media room is perfect. I do have TV in my kitchen mostly for morning news and recipes. I think it is important that you do have a home , maybe you will need to find something open plan and add some walls to make it yours instaed of the other way around.

  • sushipup1
    6 months ago

    When we moved from California to PA 4 years ago, we learned that things like this are quite regional. We would still be looking for our idea one-level home in our selected area (near our son) 4 years later if we had not opted for a 2 story home. Don't know what we'll do when the stairs get too much for us.

  • partim
    6 months ago

    I wonder where you live, that this is not available. Where I live there are plenty of older homes with separate rooms.

    I agree with @Patricia Colwell Consulting to just add walls where you want them. Especially for a remodeled home that was originally separate room, just put the walls back where they were. There are no structural issues to consider, and it's just framing, drywall and trim.

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    6 months ago

    I agree with you about disliking "open concept". Surely there are older homes out there that would meet your needs. Is it a price thing?

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Price to re-do a home is a concern. Traditional ranches with walls used to be the norm, and now that does not seem to be the case.

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Lisa, I so agree with you! Well said.

  • maifleur03
    6 months ago

    The one thing that you seldom find in this immediate area that is on your list is a back exit through the kitchen. Probably area related but here if there is an exit from the kitchen it is through the side of the house. Either look at houses that were built from the mid 1960s through mid 1980s or have what you want built for you.

  • PRO
    RappArchitecture
    6 months ago

    I didn't see a question in your post. What is your design dilemma?

  • jmm1837
    6 months ago

    I'm wondering what your actual "needs" are and why you think it can only be met by a ranch style house. (This isn't meant to be argumentative, I'm just trying to understand what, other than walls, you want in a house). It may be that, if you don't want to get into renovation and maintenance of an older home, you will have to custom build.

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Have had 12 orthopedic surgeries and need at least 6 more. Spine, hips, knees, shoulders, etc. Can no longer safely manage 12-14 stairs in a 2 story home. I am looking for a level entry ranch home or as close to level entry that I can find. I dislike open concept re-modeled and designed home. New communities will have you pay significantly more to put walls in where they have plans for open concept. A 'traditional ranch' is what I am searching for. I do not understand why the fad of open concept seems pervasive to homes on the market, just like white kitchens, which I do not prefer either.

  • partim
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    You ask why people prefer open concept homes. https://www.mymilestone.com/blog/open-concept-homes-7-benefits/

    https://www.hgtv.com/design/rooms/living-and-dining-rooms/open-concept--the-pros-and-cons-pictures

    But it really doesn't matter why other people prefer open concept, if you don't. You mention "new communities" so I guess you're looking for a new build but not a custom build. You are unlikely to find one that has each room separated, because it's not a style that people want now, and the builders have to build what most people want in order to make a profit.

  • jmm1837
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    I think you have to deal with "what is" rather than "what should be." Houses these days are built (or remodeled) to be open concept because that's what sells. So like it or not, that's what is mostly going to be out there.

    I understand the single story concept: we're older, I've got arthritis issues (and a recent hip replacement to prove it) and hubby has recently developed heart issues, so a single story, no stairs, set up is perfect for us too. I enjoy open concept so it wasn't hard for us to get a house built that met our needs. You're in a tougher spot.

    I can only suggest, keep looking, or consider getting an architect to design a house that actually works for you.

  • Abby Mac
    6 months ago

    I wasn't fond of open concept either, but that was all that was all we saw in models and didn't have the money or patience to do true ground-up custom build. We found a floor plan that gave us what we felt was a good compromise. My kitchen is "catty-corner" from the great room which helps keep the rooms feeling more separated and my doing dishes doesn't bother my husband, but yet I can see the TV while I'm working in the kitchen plus have a conversation with him, so it feels more like I have the best of both worlds. Plus, where there was stair railing in the model home, we opted for a half wall which gave a little more separation from the great room and stair area. Most builders can make modifications like that, which wouldn't make big structural or costly changes (we actually got a credit for the half wall) but sometimes small changes can make a big difference. Plus, open or not, the floor plan makes all the difference. Our house feels a lot cozier than most of the plans I saw.

  • maddielee
    6 months ago

    Susanhu, were are you looking for a home? Around here (Central Florida) there are plenty of ranch houses that have not been updated to open concept. (If you are looking at new builds you probably won’t find exactly what you want.)

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    PA

  • maifleur03
    6 months ago

    PA is a big state so you need to narrow it a bit.

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Pittsburgh, lots of hills here. I can not be too far from the city as I do not drive

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Gee, you KNOW what I am looking for! The house is not that complicated, just a traditional ranch!

  • maifleur03
    6 months ago

    Except what is a traditional ranch in one part of the country is not a traditional ranch in another. What I live in is a brick ranch in this area but the same style is also called a rambler in other areas of the country.

  • loobab
    6 months ago

    You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to.

    That's not important.

    What's important is that

    1. susanhu is exquisitely specific with her realtor about what she is looking for

    2. her realtor is really good and experienced, so that he/she will get hear about all these homes first before someone else snaps them up

    3. susanhu is willing to do some work herself in making the cards, and susanhu, if you are not well enough to hop in and out of your car putting these under the doors of houses you like, then when the coronavirus thing ends, drive around town with your realtor and let your realtor hop out of the car to put the notice under the door.

    Or susanhu, wait until your agreement has expired with this realtor, and hire someone from one these sources to help you

    https://www.popsci.com/best-apps-for-outsourcing-almost-anything-from-your-phone/

    and then find a realtor and/or real estate attorney to negotiate the purchase

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    my realtor is also my friend and knows exactly what I am searching for. I have no doubts about her abilities. The houses on the market (fewer currently) just are not meeting my needs

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Have an excellent agent. I do have a budgeted amount on what I will spend. I do research on any house that I think might work for me, location, square footage, possible renovations, etc. Will not even tour a house if I can not check off the boxes of the most critical items I want and need. I do not waste my time nor my agent's time. She is a gem.

  • Rachel
    6 months ago

    Good luck to you Susan!

    susanhu thanked Rachel
  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    thanks....I just need one house!


  • PRO
    Norwood Architects
    6 months ago

    The open plan concept is not for everyone. Of course, small chopped up rooms are not for everyone either.

    susanhu thanked Norwood Architects
  • Molly D.
    6 months ago

    As a nurse, 6 upcoming orthopedic surgeries involving hips and knees would tell me to consider the possibility of a wheelchair, even if only short-term. I helped a friend that suddenly was diagnosed with cancer that left him in a wheelchair, and the design of his rental home was such that he could no longer get into the kitchen.

  • Anna Devane
    6 months ago

    I never liked open concept. Also as someone that has a lot of Firefighters as friends, they dislike open concept homes as they burn much faster. Combined with modern day materials and higher ceilings the open houses stand less of a chance.

    susanhu thanked Anna Devane
  • partim
    6 months ago

    We removed the wall between the kitchen and the family room to provide room for my son's wheelchair. Be sure that the house you buy has room to move around, even with a walker.

    Good luck finding or building a home that suits your needs!

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    My educational and employment background includes extensive experience in rehabilitation, and I have had multiple surgeries previously. Have already factored functionality into my list.


  • ncrealestateguy
    6 months ago

    You will not find a new construction that meets your needs. You will have to look at resales. Simple as that. There are plenty of ranches in Pittsburg. They are just older.

  • Connie Stackhouse
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Styles change, and so do people’s preferences. When we built our custom home 44 years ago, the plan called for a saloon type swinging half door between the kitchen and dining room. My thought at the time was “Why put in half of a door? I don't want People looking at my cooking mess when I am entertaining.“ So we put in a full pocket door to close off the kitchen from the dining room. Fast forward several decades, and now we are doing a major kitchen remodel. We are tearing out several walls and completely opening up the kitchen, living room and dining room! We are in our mid seventies and are doing the work ourselves as we have done with many major updates over the years (Yes, we have addressed the structural issues) My husband is a perfectionist and does REALLY quality work. We have every intention of living here the rest of our lives, but the open plan should make the house easier for our kids to sell someday.

  • bikertoni
    6 months ago

    I’m not a big fan of the open concept for the entire first floor. My current concept has the kitchen open to the family room. The dining room open to the living room. My biggest issue is finding the appropriate place to break up the walls for painting. I find I have to find a color that works for both rooms. I also prefer a dining room that is not open to the kitchen. When I have company I don’t want them watching everything I do in the kitchen and I also want to sit down for a meal without looking at the kitchen. I’m in PA (eastern) so I say keep looking but you might have to go for an older home or get your own plans and have what you want built. Good icky.

  • functionthenlook
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Susanhu, I feel your pain. I'm also from the burg. Back in 2014 we were looking for the same home as you. We looked for 9 months and never did find one. Oh, we did find one , but it was in such disrepair and out of the area we wanted to live. It is either 2 stories, open concept split entries , or small ranches with eat in kitchens and no dining room. My requirements were a closed kitchen and a dining room I could open up the table to fit 10. I think with our hills it is hard to find a flat enough piece of property to build a sprawling ranch. Plus ranches are more expensive to build and need more land. Builder now want to smash as many home as they can in a development . We ended up buying a quad level, which is also rare around here. I got my closed kitchen, but the dining room and living room are open in an L . I still have enough room that I can open up the table and not have to move anything in the livingroom. We do have steps from the living area to the bedroom area, but at least there is only 3 of them.

    I wish you well in finding one, but unless your looking well outside the county where the land starts flattening out you are going to have a hard time finding what you are looking for. You could maybe find one in Fox Chapel, but then you are talking big bucks.

  • maifleur03
    6 months ago

    Last fall our gas company in that seasonal flyer that is sent out mentioned closing off rooms that are not in use by erecting temporary barriers if there was no door. Since things come in cycles while open concept is something that many like it made me wonder if some builders of more energy efficient homes were starting to retreat from the open concept idea. I had planned on looking at new builds in this area to see if any of them were following through. I have been thinking of opening up my 1953 ranch/rambler before selling when I did some other changes.

  • jalarse
    6 months ago

    I dislike open concept homes. Have always liked the traditional homes with separate rooms. The last several weeks I have been thinking about families with open concept and have been wondering how it’s working with parents and small children being confined in one large room. (Coronavirus and social distancing). I’m older and those days are behind me. But all day with the toys, the noise, video games, television and kitchen appliances. Can’t hide out in the bedroom all day, well maybe you can. Like I said “those days are behind me”.

  • jmm1837
    6 months ago

    Most open concept houses I've been consist of more than just "one large room." I'm thinking of all the ones with separate studies, family rooms, playrooms, "bonus rooms" and finished basements etc. My own house is open concept (ie kitchen/living/dining area are all open to each other) but we still have a separate TV room, and also a spare bedroom we use as an exercise room. I think a well designed open concept house can offer as much separation as a more closed one (the key here is "well designed").

  • nancylouise5me
    6 months ago

    I'm with you susan. Open concept homes are not on my list to even consider when purchasing a home. I'll take an older home. Each room has its own reason for being. Don't feel like cleaning the kitchen at the moment, I just close the kitchen door. Neighbors/friends don't see the mess. And heavens! What ever did we do before when we had dinner parties. Friends weren't in the kitchen. They were in the living room or front parlor in my case, Enjoying the evening. I do think an older ranch is probably the answer to your problem. You may have to expand your search area, but don't give up. There is a home for you.

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Agree with you! thanks

  • partim
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    I'm not that young (64) and have enjoyed cooking for guests since my late teens in student housing digs. But I have never given a dinner party where my guests didn't wander into the kitchen at some point, both before and after the meal. I'm fine with that. It's not like they don't know that I used pots and pans to make the food! To me, the "open kitchen" is part of the evening's entertainment. I guess that some people's dinner parties are just different and more formal than mine.

    Hope you find a house that suits your style.

  • ceilsan32
    14 days ago

    I just found your post, and recognize that you may have found a home, by this time. I apologize if this is after the fact.

    You did not specify how far from Pittsburgh you might consider, and if you have transit time constraints. Additionally, now that we've fully entered Covid-19 mode, it appears that significantly fewer homes are for sale in some metropolitan areas. Did you consider Brentwood/Whitehall, Mt. Lebanon, Greentree, North Huntingon/Irwin, Murrysville areas?

    susanhu thanked ceilsan32
  • susanhu
    Original Author
    14 days ago

    Have not found a home and have looked in these and other areas as well. Homes are selling really fast and when I find one, it isoften contingent the next day, so I am not the only one looking for this type of home

  • ceilsan32
    13 days ago

    Given the current market, ranch style homes are selling rapidly. Specific Realty companies had offered the opportunity to be on an "advance notice" list so you'd be notified before the listing went public. What I'm noticing in our area is that a number of the deals are falling through because the buyer was pre-qualified, but could not meet the loan requirements. You may want to ask to be listed as a back-up buyer, in the event a home you like has a contingency that fell apart. Frankly, there are so many home sales that have failed to go to completion, it's becoming scary. I better understand sellers who will only deal with pre-approved (loan) buyers and request a more substantial down payment to insure the buyer is serious. I really wish you luck, as the market here is very tight.

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    thanks, I have things in place, just housing availability is very low here...

  • Rachel
    13 days ago

    Susan, what is your price point? I'll keep my eyes open for you.

  • susanhu
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Thanks, My realtor is also a friend and I have several people arlready searching, plus I already have searches sending me updates as they are posted.

  • melle_sacto is hot and dry in CA Zone 9/
    12 days ago

    While I love our Dyson stick vacuum and wouldn't want one with a bag, I completely agree about open concept. I also dislike when they kitchen is right off the front entry in such a way that it is easily viewed.

    Hope you are able to find what you're looking for, or a place where judicious instation of dividing doors or walls would work!