GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Floor plans – Bungalow

Arnold K | Posted in Plans Review on

My wife and I have gone through many revision since November 2016 and we believe we are nearing the end. The property we will be building on is almost 23 acres location in rural Ottawa, Canada. The house will be a bungalow with slab on grade and a single pitch roof for cost reason and simple building since I will doing a lot of the work myself. We are looking to certify LEED for Home and aiming for Platinum and also using Passive House standard for the energy side. We plan to install a 6-8 kW ground mounted solar array during the build or at a future date if it’s not in the budget. The cover porch is the north side of the house and the house will be position

The size of the slab at the moment is 40′ x 57′ and the floor plan has the walls at 12 inches thick but that is not set in stone by any means. The wall in the utility wall has been removed for added flexibility and we plan to a “loft” over that section for addition storage space due to the higher ceiling from the single pitch roof.

The floor plan has not yet been optimize for anything but looking for some feedback before we go down that path. If I am missing something please ask and I will provide more details.


GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Arnold K | | #1

    My question got posted before I could attached the floor plans and it doesn't appears I can edit my original post.

  2. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #2

    How much ceiling height is there at the low end of the shed roof? Are putting the insulation into the attic space or on top of the sheathing?

  3. Arnold K | | #3

    Steve Knapp -- At the moment we are looking at the North side ceiling height being 8 feet and the South side to be at 14 feet but that could change based on the energy modeling which is our next step. The insulation will be on top of the sheathing since there will be no artic.

  4. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #4


    I like exterior insulation. You might be able to use recycled foam, which would offer considerable savings. Just keep in mind that your sloped roof will likely be pretty thick (assuming R-4 per inch). Just make sure the aesthetics work for you.

  5. Reid Baldwin | | #5

    What is your reasoning for the low pitch shed roof as opposed to a dual pitched roof with more slope? Have you analyzed the structure necessary to deal with your snow loads?

  6. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #6

    It's a small thing, but you should draw the entry porch on your side elevations. It may need some tweaking to look like it belongs on the low side of the roof.

  7. Arnold K | | #7

    Reid Baldwin -- the reason is cost and having more south facing windows for passive solar gain. Everything I have read and been told is a single pitch roof is the simplest and cheapest even in our area with the snow accumulation. We went to see two homes one of which is a LEED Certified and the other a Passivhaus with the same single pitch roof and they indicated it was the cheapest route. Maybe someone can prove me wrong.

    Malcolm Taylor -- my wife quickly did those elevation in CAD but I'm still not sold on the front porch myself. I think extending the roof line over the porch would look nicer even if it's at a lesser pitch but that's an area we're still working on.

    Anyone have suggestions or improvement in terms of the floor plan layout?

  8. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #8

    1. Are you sure that the living room will work? I would draw the furniture to make sure that the seating areas and any tables will work and be comfortable.

    2. To me, the living room seems long and narrow, while the TV room seems too big. But you may have drawn exactly the house you want.

    3. Many master bedrooms have two closets -- but again, you may be designing exactly what your family wants and needs.

  9. Ryan Magladry Ottawa, Ontario | | #9

    Arnold, this comment is strictly from a personal perspective, and your families preferences may be somewhat different.

    When i look at the living half of your house (living, tv, dining kitchen entrance), i get the feeling of a 1950s war time home where every "room" was indeed a room, fully enclosed on all 4 sides. Have you considered opening this area up a bit?

    Maybe a straight walled kitchen with larger island? Or, if you love the corner kitchen, perhaps move the kitchen to the tv/rec room area, and have the dining area and tv area side by side along the south wall.

    Perhaps combining the TV/rec room into the living room?

    Have you considered a finished/conditioned attic in your detached garaged? this could serve as a secondary tv/rec room for those times when you can't agree on a show/just want your own space.

    Perhaps consider a shed roof on the porch to match the slope of the main roof, it could even be flipped to the opposite direction so that the plane faces the sun (additional PV/solar water heater for pool?) (whereas your main roof plan slopes away from the sun), but combining the pitched roof with the shed roof doesn't feel to gel.

  10. Stephen Sheehy | | #10

    Arnold- you might think about adding a window to each of the North side bedrooms.

  11. Reid Baldwin | | #11

    As Martin suggested, I would draw in the furniture. It really helps to make sure the rooms are properly sized and shaped.

    3' is an odd width for a master closet. If you are not going to make it wide enough to be a walk-in closet, then why go wider than standard? The laundry room seems larger than necessary, maybe you could steel some space from that for the master closet. Or you could move it to the North side of the master bedroom and make it a real walk-in.

    Most modern houses of this size would have a more spacious master bathroom than drawn here. As Martin says, it is your house, so it needs to fit your priorities which may not be the same as other people's. A linen closet in the master bathroom is pretty useful.

    What do you have in mind for the solar shading? Some sort of awning?

  12. James Morgan | | #12

    What roof covering are you planning to use? Looks to be less than 2/12 slope which rules out most standard residential roof finishes. A raised-heel trussed rafter gable roof with a 4/12 or greater pitch would almost certainly be less expensive to frame, to finish and to insulate. Monopitch roofs are generally only economical with a much smaller span.

  13. James Morgan | | #13

    Couple of additional comments on the space planning:

    First, I'd take another look at the area containing master bath and closet and laundry/utility. Looks to me you've gone overboard on the laundry/utility room and shortchanged the bath and closet. May be fine for you but sooner or later someone is going to find that arrangement pretty dated and with a slab floor it's going to be a bear to remodel. While planning your home purely around resale is not generally advisable, having some thought about future lives in that home is a pretty green thing to do.

    Second, I'd move the pantry out of the corner and allow a continuous flow of countertop, ideally around 2-3 feet between the stove and the sink. Nasty accidents occur with depressing frequency from schlepping pans of boiling hot water from cooktop to sink and if the whole transfer can take place with a minimum of steps and over continuous countertop, tripping over the cat while en route will have far less serious consequences.

  14. Arnold K | | #14

    Thank you for all of the feedback. It has made us rethink certain things and try to find a happy balance. We spent a good part of the weekend working on it and even on other floor plan option.

    Below are some of the answers to the feedback:

    -- The rec room is fully closed in because we do not have a basement where we can send the kids (2 and 4 years old) and eventually the teenager if they are being to noisy. It's a way to contain the noise and the TV while others may be sleeping or reading. Also the idea is the rec room could become an extra bedroom down the road if needed.

    -- We are looking at making the living room and kitchen feel more open while still having them defined. We have removed the corner pantry completely since we both weren't really happy with the look of it.

    -- My wife does not like to current single pitch roof and playing around with alternative and even considering a two story house. We also didn't think to much about the roof pitch but something we'll looking more into.

    -- Having more windows on the north wall would be nice but it will come down to the energy modeling. I would be willing to add more or large windows if the overall effect is low.

    -- We have a CAD drawing with all of the furniture we currently have and will likely bring with us. It all fit within the space but we agree the living room could be a bit wider but it's trying to find that balance while keeping the total square footage down.

    -- The closet were done at a 3' depth with the idea of having deeper shelve but may use the standard 2' depth in the end. We couldn't figure out how to incorporate a walk-in closet in our design without wasting space.

    -- The master bathroom is larger and the ensuite bathroom is similar size to our current home which has a 1867sq. ft. (living space). We don't want to have all of this space in rooms we spend very little time in but I understand most people like both of those room to be large.

    -- We've received comments that the utility/laundry room maybe on the small end especially once all of the mechanical equipment are in (water tank, HRV, water pressure tank for well, hydronic manifold...)

    I'll post a floor plan update once my wife is done working her AutoCAD and SketchUp magic.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |