kasie_walk

Building a new home

Kasie Walk
3 months ago

We are building a new home on our farm. We currently have a floor plan picked out that we love, but need to make sure the bedroom sizes are appropriate. I love the idea of a smaller home, but want to have enough space for our kids! We currently have 2 kids, but are wanting another 3.. yes, 5 total kids! We will have a full basement for the playroom- but should we add an additional bedroom so we would have 5 total (there is the option for a bonus room/ bath above the garage)- or plan for larger rooms? What size for the bedrooms for both cases? Helllpp


We are also adding a sun room that will function as a school room/ office and a screened in porch!


Comments (33)

  • shead
    3 months ago

    @Diana Bier Interiors, LLC, which just goes to show regional (and lifestyle) differences I suppose :) It likely depends on how often one has guests and which entrance that guests would use most often which is often different in the city than in rural areas. When needed, we've always been able to find a spot for coats that didn't include across the dining room table. Don't get me wrong, they're great if you have one and they are well-placed but but I wouldn't totally design a house around one.

    Best Answer
  • bpath reads banned books too
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Congratulations! This will be an exciting journey.

    What is your site like, which direction is north, and what part of the country are you in?

    What is it about this plan that you love? And what, besides number of bedrooms and adding a schoolroom, do you want to change?

    What type of homeschooling do you do?

    Kasie Walk thanked bpath reads banned books too
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  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    You have specific needs. Contact a local architect to design a home with you to meet your needs and fits your site.

  • Jazz Easy
    3 months ago

    Agree with Mark, you definitely need an architect! You really want guests in the great room to have to walk through your kitchen and down a hall to right in front of your MBr entry to use the powder room? The plan has the largest and painfully uncomfortable kitchen triangle ever (fridge to sink to stove top). The laundry as far from the kids rooms as possible (carrying clothes is a good upper body work out I guess?), and with no door into the MBr closet for direct access, there isn't any advantage for you and husband, either). Best wishes on your build!

  • inabunker
    3 months ago

    I agree. Use an architect. You really need to get all the elements correct or you will regret it. An architect can study the site, the budget, the seasons, the light, the function...you name it.

  • bpath reads banned books too
    3 months ago

    You might also consider how the family enters the house from the garage. Stairs to the left make it tight, the place to drop gear is beyond and not big enough for more than 4 people, and then everyone funnels through the working area of the kitchen, dropping things on the island as they go.

  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    3 months ago

    You stated that you love this floor plan. I find a lot of negatives with it.

    Here are some:

    No coat closet in the foyer

    Stairs to second floor not in an easily accessible place

    Wrap-around porch cuts down on natural light

    Garage entry forces walking through kitchen work area

    Window placement: generally you'd want as many windows in the rooms you actually live in--kitchen, great room, dining room, bedrooms. This plan has all those rooms on interior walls, and they all have only one exposure, thus cutting down on the light into them. On the exterior walls you have closets, pantry, and bathrooms, and they all get windows.

    Great room is broken up by many walkways, leaving a very small area for seating/furniture

    Do you really want to have your master bedroom so far away from the childrens' rooms? And on another floor? Why not have all 5 bedrooms on the second floor?



  • Kasie Walk
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Thank you everyone! We are working with an architect- this was just a base model for us to customize - which is why I wanted suggestions on bedroom size.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    3 months ago

    Figuring 2 children in at least 2 of the bedrooms, probably means bunk beds in order to have room for desks in the bedrooms of the sizes shown. If bunk beds aren't desirable you probably need room for at least 2 single beds and 2 desks/chairs, which means larger bedrooms. Figure out the placement and size of beds, desks and chairs and you'll have the necessary bedroom size.

  • millworkman
    3 months ago

    "We are working with an architect- this was just a base model for us to customize"


    Make sure he is a true architect and not a draftsman, as "customizing" a plan mill or sourced plan is not typically something an architect will do.

  • Kasie Walk
    Original Author
    3 months ago
  • shead
    3 months ago

    "No coat closet in the foyer"


    I always chuckle every time I see this comment. I've had numerous houses over the years and none of them had a coat closet off the foyer and never have I once needed one. For family and friends that do have coat closets off their foyer, I see them used for anything and everything BUT actual coats (wrapping paper, off season clothing, vacuum cleaners, random household items that they couldn't find anywhere else to store, etc.). A lot of that might depend on geographical location, too, because in the south, coats are used far less often than say the Northeast.


    As for bedrooms, we have four kids and just started a new build on our farm. We will have 2 kid bedrooms on our main level that are 12'4" x 14' and 12'4" x 13'6" (our two boys will use these rooms) and we will have two bedrooms in the bonus area for our two girls that are 12'0" x 16'0" plus 7x7'9" dormer area and and 12'0"x13'0" plus 7x7'9" dormer area. Our plan is about 2800 sf on the main level and 600 sf in the bonus area and we will have a full basement. Half of the basement will be storage and garage bays, though.


    Hope that helps! Good luck!

  • bpath reads banned books too
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    I think I'd rather have a window in my laundry than a window in my closet, especially with 2+ kids. In fact, I'd rather have a door from the laundry to the outside, especially if it is next to the driveway as yours could be. With a covered stoop.

    Notice that the children will be carrying their dirty and clean laundry -- clothes, sheets, towels -- right through the kitchen. In our current house we can do that but we don't have to go through the working area, and we have an option to go around (through the dining room), because our house has circulation, more than one way to get from one room to another.

  • Leslie NE. Florida coast, zone 9A
    3 months ago

    The master closet being so close to the shower is a big no-no for me.

  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    3 months ago

    To shead, living in a cold climate I always use the coat closet in the foyer for guests. Can't imagine not having one. And it's very neat too--no wrapping paper, vacuum cleaners, etc. We also have one at the back entrance.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    3 months ago

    There will be a dining table right off the Foyer, perfect for coats.

  • bpath reads banned books too
    3 months ago

    For the kids bedrooms, it seems you could easily extend a hallway with a bathroom or two, and two additional bedrooms, on the left side. (And, this is just me, but I'd rather have the bedroom hall come of the foyer than off the family room. For that matter, I'd rather not have my master bedroom open off the mudroom, laundry, and garage, but it will be convenient when the kids are older and you can hear them coming home at night.)

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    3 months ago

    What region/area do you live in and what is the climate?

    We farm in Alberta (beef cattle, sheep, poultry, crops), have three (older -- late teens/early twenties) kids who all live at home (two farm with us and the eldest works in town and lives in the granny suite over the garage), home schooled for 15 years, and built a new house on our farm the other year. We actually built it ourselves, and it took about four years, in between farming, working for clients (my husband is also a contractor), and several family health emergencies (my husband got cancer, my father-in-law had a stroke and died).

    The other day, in a thread about building/remodeling for self-isolation -- more of a thoughtful exercise for everyone than actual plans -- I wrote a bit about how what we had farmed, so I've cut and pasted below. You might find some good advice in that thread, which is here,

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5893081/remodeling-to-make-your-home-better-suited-to-self-isolation-orders#25371176

    Some things that have been a huge improvement over our old house on the farm, a small 1950s bungalow, and that work well during the current situation are the following: our three-car garage includes a large mudroom, a full bathroom with shower, a secondhand restaurant supply stainless steel sink (used to wash vegetables from the garden, eggs, etc), the refrigerator from our old house (where I keep eggs, pickles AND now quarantine perishables as they arrive from the supermarket), three large chest freezers (with our own beef, lamb, chickens, turkeys, venison from hunting season, fruits and vegetables from the garden), and an old secondhand washing machine for chore clothes (and now any clothes from people returning from town).

    Under the garage we have a cold room for storage for home canned goods and root vegetables. Also under the garage, we have three large tanks to store rainwater, because we've been through droughts over the years (including a three-year drought in the late 90s-early 2000s). Hopefully we don't get a national or global emergency where we *need* water, but just in case it's nice to have.

    As you walk into the house from the mudroom in the garage, there's a large walk-in pantry on the right, off the kitchen. I've always bought in bulk on sale because when things get busy around here with farming, there's no time to go shopping. So the pantry was well stocked in February before we started calving. I like that we walk into the house from the garage and can drop the groceries right in the pantry. Across the hall from the pantry is a full bathroom with shower, which has always been handy. That bathroom contains our broom/cleaning closet.

    We planned a lot of things -- the shower and washing machine in the garage, the shower in the first floor bathroom by the garage entrance -- as a first- and second-defense at keeping farm/garden dirt (soil, chaff, and things like motor oil and grease) out of the house. My personal preference is that I would NOT want the bathroom where everyone washes up upon entering the house to be right by my bedroom, which is my haven.

    We have a mudroom in the garage, and also a lot of hooks by the walk-in door of the garage for chore jackets, coveralls. The area by the mudroom is for nicer clothes. We also have a coat closet in the front hall which sees a lot of use too, even in the summer for rain jackets, hats, umbrellas, shoes, purses, tote bags, etc.

    Some thoughts from looking at your plan:

    Kids don't need walk-in closets.

    I have never like a separate toilet closet/room without a sink because of the door knob issue. Even without a pandemic. Especially for kids.

    I agree with Diana about windows. We put in lots of windows, and large ones, and it's lovely. In all seasons it brings the outside in, and even in the winter in Alberta we get lots of natural light. And the cross-ventilation is wonderful.

    We had planned for a school room off the kitchen but by the time we finished building the house the kids were finished with school : ) . So it's a much used and appreciated farm office now, and can be converted if necessary to a bedroom if necessary, for an injury or if my mother-in-law moves in with us.

    Good luck!

    Kasie Walk thanked beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    I avoid:

    1. Designs that do not relate to the site.
    2. Closets where hanging clothes turn corners.
    3. Windowless walk-in closets.
    4. Kitchens with overly large work triangle.
    5. Large expanses of exterior wall without windows.
    6. Walk-in closets that will be difficult to walk into.
    7. Hallways less than four feet wide.
    8. Pantries on exterior walls.
    9. Double doors into a pantry.
    10. Closets that occupy valuable exterior wall space.
    11. Freestanding tubs that do not have sufficient space to clean around.
    12. A powder room that is inconveniently located for guests to use.
    13. Exterior doors in living rooms that effect furniture layouts.
    14. Bedrooms next to a bathroom without a sound barrier.
    15. Clothes closets accessible from a bathroom.
    16. Views from living rooms into bedrooms.
    17. Entering from the garage into a narrow hallway.
    18. Gas chambers.
    19. Porches only wide enough for a walkway.
    20. Bedrooms where, when entering, one has to walk around the bed to get to either side.
    21. Looking through a screened porch from a living room to any view.
    22. Jack & Jill bathrooms.
    23. Corner bedrooms with only one window.
    24. No coat closet at exterior entrances.
    25. Doors that swing in front of other doors.
    26. Different ceilings in an open space that do not transition well.
    27. insufficient space beside a door for the light switch.
    28. Clients that do not allow their architect creative freedom.


    to name a few.

    You will be better off telling your architect what you like about this plan and starting from scratch.

    Kasie Walk thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • live_wire_oak
    3 months ago

    So, WHY do you like this plan?

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    3 months ago

    Also, once you have a whole house plan you like, post your kitchen layout at the Kitchen forum. Incredibly helpful, esp the first few threads on this unofficial FAQ thread,

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5500754/new-to-kitchens-read-me-first#25369902


    From that thread,


    ***


    (1) If you would like layout help...first, please read the Layout Help FAQ. Then post a fully-measured layout (all wall segments/windows/doors/doorways) of the space and a sketch of the entire floor. [Also see "Work Zones, What Are They?", "Aisles Widths, Seating Overhangs, etc.", "Storage Planning", and "Ice.Water.Stone.Fire"]


    (2) While this thread has a lot of useful information in the first few posts, that information is not visible b/c this thread has more than 50 comments (an issue with Houzz). If you're using the App, I"m told you cannot get to those comments. So, please use a browser on whatever device you use. Then, select/click on the "See XXX more comments" repeatedly until you get to the first comments.


    (3) Houzz no longer recognizes the old GardenWeb URLs that do not use "https". This includes many of the threads in the Read Me thread and the FAQs (see item (1) for the active URLs for the primary FAQs). In the thread's URL, simply replace "http://ths.gardenweb.com" with "https://www.houzz.com" For some reason, it doesn't always work, but it does most of the time.

    For example:

    4'' Broom Closet from Ikeafans) -- Old URL throws an "Error"

    If the above doesn't work, try using a Google or similar search using the message # and title as it appears in the old URL -- use a Google or similar search engine, not a Houzz search. Using Google or similar, enter "2467902/4-broom-closet-from-ikeafans" in the search box. The first search result should be the Houzz equivalent:

    If that doesn't work either, then the thread isn't available on Houzz (I've run into that a couple of times).


    ***

  • CEM TOSA
    3 months ago

    following


  • emilyam819
    3 months ago

    If I had so many kids and built a house, I’d tell the architect that I wanted smallish, equal-sized bedrooms (about 10x11 or 10x12) with generous reach-in closets, and a playroom.

    I’d also ask for a big mudroom, a kitchen with several zones including a snack/drink zone, a dining room big enough for the whole family, a butlers pantry connecting the dining room and kitchen, and good flow throughout.

    Then the architect would work his magic.

    I can’t see how you’re going to get what you need starting with a stock 3- bedroom plan.

  • vinmarks
    3 months ago

    One must go through the kitchen to get to so many places. This would drive me nuts. You must go through the kitchen to get to: Garage, powder room, master bedroom, basement, bonus room, and laundry room.

  • new-beginning
    3 months ago

    @Diana Bier, depends on where one lives; last winter (Nov.-Dec.-Jan.) I doubt anyone in my family put on a heavy winter coat more than five days total.

  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    3 months ago

    Yes, new-beginning, that's exactly what I said in my post--I'm in the Northeast, and I wore my heavy coat again today!

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    3 months ago

    With anywhere from 2 to 5 kids, regardless of the climate, a closet in the front hall/foyer will be more than useful for the next 18 or so years : ) , especially for items you don't have room for in the mudroom and overflow items. Sports equipment, bags for school / sports / other activities like dance or theater, a bag/box on the go for donations to Goodwill/Salvation Army, anything outgoing like dry cleaning, library returns.

  • Kristin S
    3 months ago

    I am confused as to where you are adding a fifth bedroom - I see three, with the potential to add a fourth in the bonus area, though that will be a huge and dark room with just the few tiny windows. And where are you adding a homeschool room? Once you make the changes you're considering this plan won't look much like it does now. I agree with others that you need to start over, preferable with an architect, but if not, at least with a better plan.

  • One Devoted Dame
    3 months ago

    Here's one of my favorite discussions on the subject of building a home for a large family (although, there are plenty of ideas here for small families, too):

    Building Tips for Large Families

    One of the things that struck me in your original post, Miss Kasie, was that the bedrooms seemed to be all over the place. I know folks are different, so this concern may not even apply to you, but consider grouping the bedrooms. It is invaluable to have everyone clustered together at nighttime, during times of illness or natural disaster. :-)

  • lyfia
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    I'm not sure an actual architect would be making any changes to it or not. It is from a plan "mill" and changes can be made, but I don't know if they use an actual architect or not to make the changes. They might have an architect that signs off on it, but not sure about them actually making or suggesting changes.


    It would be helpful to understand what you do like about the plan as it does have some quirks to it as others have already pointed out.

    Is it that you like the exterior? Is it the split of the bedrooms? The wrap around porch? If you talk about what it is that you like even just to yourself it might help you improve on what is there or find a better plan if buying a plan and paying the company to modify the plan is the way you choose to go. Personally I prefer working with a sole practitioner architect which isn't much more money than you'd be paying for the plan and to make changes to it and get something that suits your location and your lifestyle, however I also get that not all want to do this and are fine with living with some of the little annoyances that happens in plans like this.

    However identifying what you like may allow you to find a plan that is similar, but has less of the less than desirable elements so there would be fewer changes and less money if that is the route you choose to go.

  • cpartist
    3 months ago

    What I see wrong with the plan:

    Where in the master bed will you put the bed? If you put it on the wall with no windows, then you're looking into the bathroom. Plus you walk into the room and the side of the bed.

    To get to your master, you need to walk through one of your kitchen work zones,

    Why do you need double doors into a bathroom?

    Why is the bathroom door in the middle of the wall of the master which means it breaks up a wall for a dresser, tv, or whatever.

    Clothes can't turn corners in a closet.

    The powder room toilet is right up against the master bedroom wall.

    Toilet doors should never open into a toilet room and the toilet is the furthest distance from the bedroom.

    Not good having the shower wall up against the clothes closet.

    The entry hallway from the garage is way too narrow. Especially if you plan on having 5 kids. Imagine them all entering or trying to at the same time.

    Kids will not walk into a separate room to drop bags, and equipment when coming in. Instead they'll drop it or leave it on the counters. And 4'8" lockers is too small for 5 kids and 2 adults. That's a grand total of 8" per person. You can't even hang a jacket up in that space.

    Pantries should never have a window in them.

    As you walk in from the garage you have to walk right past one of your main work zones in the kitchen.

    Do you really want your guests to walk through your kitchen work zone and down the hallway to your master retreat?

    The usable space in your great room will not be 18'8" x 19'4" because of walkways. Instead it will be 13'8" x 13'4".

    Again in the kid's closets, clothes can't turn corners meaning you have one wall for hanging clothes.

    In the kids bath there are 3 doors. Why?

    Also the toilet is in the room with the bath. Ok so one kid uses the toilet with the door closed. How does that kid open the door without contaminating the door knob? I think after the covid 19 stuff, we'd want to be even more safety conscious when it comes to keeping things like door knobs sanitary.

    Most of us kids growing up managed with a single bathroom that opened to the hallway. No worries about unwashed stuff getting on door knobs and no worries about someone forgetting to open their sibling's door when done.

    Do you really want the kids walking past you with baskets of laundry while you're trying to prepare dinner?

    And what happens when one kid locks the door and forgets to unlock it for the sibling.

    Lastly the house will be somewhat dark with only one window per room. The best houses have windows on two walls in a major room. Major rooms are bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms or kitchen/dining areas. The best houses are only 1-2 rooms deep and wide. This house is 5 rooms wide. The best houses put pantries and closets on interior walls so again the major rooms can have more natural light.



  • live_wire_oak
    3 months ago

    Still no response as to what you find appealing about this. Maybe, nothing? And the builder shoved you into his little Manila envelope of plans he already built, without regard as to if it actually fit or not?

  • B Carey
    3 months ago

    It depends how your family lives. This plan has a large master bedroom as well as a large master bathroom. My girls each have a 12*10 bedroom (plus 12*2 closets). They have a twin bed and desk in their room. I can't imagine choosing to having 2 kids in a similar size room. But, my girls do a ton of activities as well as hosting friends in their rooms. This plan has 2 good sized kids bedrooms. But will you put 3 kids in one room? And do you want to have 5 kids getting ready each morning and night in one bathroom? Are you happy with only a formal dining room and no casual dining space? If you end up using this plan, consider adding a door from the master closet to the laundry room!