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Please review my floor plan

Benneaf | Posted in Plans Review on

See attachment for proposed floor plan. My dear, dear wife likes most of it except the location of the pantry/utility room. I’ve tried to move the flexroom to the area behind the garage (see second attachment), but I end with with a smaller closet and bath in the master. She urged me to ask other people…so people…I am askin’. What’s your input on that or anything else you see?

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  1. Expert Member

    Andrew, You need an idea to inform what you are trying to do. Right now the plan looks like the simple manipulation of spaces fit into a rectangle. Try starting from a bubble diagram instead of going straight to the floor plan. Use it to define relationships between rooms. You will find that will change things a lot, as I'm sure it won't include things like garages or master bedrooms opening onto the dining room.Then work on transition spaces where appropriate.. You have done this successfully with the two secondary bedrooms, but the flex room, master bedroom, garage and home office all have no relationship to the larger space. Imagine the flex room. Should it be a single door, or somehow able to open more onto the living area? Why is the home office a square in the corner of a larger space, and what does it's location do to that space? What dos the front entrance need to feel like one? Some formality? A closet?
    Hope that has given you some food for thought.

  2. user-659915 | | #2

    Andrew, how to say this? I imagine you'll hire a professional carpenter to frame this house, a professional roofer to put on a rain-proof covering, a professional grader to dig the foundation. These are not tasks the average homeowner would expect to undertake on their own unless they are very talented, experienced and well-equipped - or very rash. Give the same respect to the design of your home. There are a number of fundamental design errors here that will significantly affect the long-term safety, comfort and convenience of your home. These can be easily rectified by some professional design input. Pay for it. Both you and your wife will be glad you did.

  3. Benneaf | | #3

    Don't worry ya'll I'll be working with an experience designer, but I want to give him something as close to what we want as possible. On the advice of someone else I've moved the water heater, washer, and dryer to the back corner of the flex room and reclaimed that space into part of the flex room itself. I've made the opening to the flex room face the living room. I'll use a barn door type sliding door to close it as it will also double as a guest room. As for the office, I'm an insurance agent and occasionally meet people at my home. I want the office up front so they aren't treking through the house. In addition I'll be spending a lot of time there and the view is better on the front of the house. Though it does look like it just dropped there it does help define the living room and dining area space. Updates posted, take another look and on with the input!

  4. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #4

    Andrew: To give any useful advice, we need more info. Otherwise, any opinion will reflect our situation, not yours.

    An architect would want to know:

    How old are you? How many people will live in the house? Do you expect that number increase or decrease in the future? What do you plan to do in the flex room? Are you avid cooks or do you never cook? Entertain much? If so, intimate dinner parties or huge family get-togethers?

    Where is the house? Is energy efficiency important? How about air quality? Any significant views? Will it have a basement for all of your stuff?

    Do you sleep late or get up early? Maybe you want to move the MBR to the NE corner, so you can get some morning sun. Maybe you want to walk from the Master bath through the dressing room into the bedroom.

  5. Expert Member

    Andrew, I understand wanting to get as far as you can before bringing in a designer, but unfortunately refining the plan to that level is really counter-productive. The ideal client from a design perspective is one that knows exactly what they want in terms of what spaces, relationships, priorities, emotional feel etc. they are looking for. Out of that comes the plans. When clients come to me with fairly fixed plans, I turn down the job, because I have no way of going back and understanding the processes that lead to that result.
    If you don't want to go through that with a designer, you would be much better off finding stock plans that you like. They usually have many of the basics you have missed covered.
    Take a look at the house by Go Logic in the blogs. Compare the floor plans with what you have come up with. The way the rooms interrelate, the hierarchy of main and subordinate spaces, the circulation patterns, the way light is introduced into the house, the appropriate orientation. This is where you are gong to spend a lot of your time and a lot of your money. Those are fundamental things you need to get right.

  6. user-659915 | | #6

    What Malcom said. You're not saving any design costs by excluding the designer from the process. He/she can more than save their fee in wasted construction costs if you let them do their job. Otherwise just get yourself a stock plan and be done.

  7. user-4524083 | | #7

    Andrew - more info. would be helpful, as Stephen and others have suggested. I appreciate your courage to get opinions from people you don't know - maybe that's easier, I don't know! Here's my 2 cents. I'm not a trained architect, but have designed and built a handful of single family homes. I'd look through Christopher Alexander's book, A Pattern Language, for some basic principles. These are probably not universally accepted, but I think the book is genius material. That being said, I don't care that much for what he's actually designed, but the book is great. I assume the garage faces the street , but we don't know if it's rural, suburban, or what. I personally don't care for the face of the garage to be such a big part of the "Face" of the house, though I certainly appreciate why so many houses do that,especially in the Maine winter we just had. I've never seen a house done like that that was aesthetically pleasing. If you must have it attached, have it through a breezeway. There is also the problem of fumes from an attached garage, that is an issue with a tight house. If you keep this plan, or something close to it, make the garage doors killer beautiful. It's the first thing everyone is going to see.It's the "face" of the building. I like to get all the plumbing pretty close together if possible. South wall of the house is prime "Real Estate", as I really like the sun. A bedroom and the office located there squanders it. Most people are in their bedrooms in the evening. I like kitchen, dining, and even living on the south. If you work at home a lot, office may be appropriate on the south.I'd put it in the "breezeway" to the more detached garage, or off the breezeway somehow. Then your business visitors don't enter your "home".Right now, the first thing they see is your dirty dishes, or maybe the mess someone left in the kitchen.Think of "flow" of people in the house.How do visitors enter?Through the garage?Or right into the living room?That's some of my thoughts. I wish you the very best with this project !

  8. Expert Member

    Kevin, You may not be an architect, but you sure seem to think like one.

  9. gusfhb | | #9

    Now i know the the professional designers want to have their say, but like all professions, there are good ones, bad ones, and ones who are good at one thing and not at another. My favorite designer makes a gorgeous building, but I can't stand his floor layouts. Bathroom on the south wall, long hallway to get to the bathroom, just drives me crazy[like I don't drive him crazy]

    What I see going on is that you are trying to get too many independent spaces into a small footprint

    For instance, flex room and office. From my experience at work. where one lays out where large machines are going to be for the next 20 years, you figure out uses based on percentage of use. A piece of equipment that you use once a month can have its work envelope overlap with a walk way

    Your office and the guest room are both areas that need to be independent a very small amount of the time, and the odds of them being independent at the same time are pretty low. Try combining them. I think your office, assuming it is a desk, file cabinet and a few chairs for clients, could be smaller. Guest rooms can always be smaller[don't want em gettin comfy] so finding a way to integrate these may clean up the floor plan

    If you feel you need these spaces, reconsider the footprint, all of those layouts are sub optimal. It is nice to have public space together[living dining path to a bathroom] a bit apart from the bedrooms.

  10. Expert Member
    MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #10

    Andrew, I sure hope that as James and Kevin have said this doesn't feel like we are piling on. The intention is to help you end up with a really nice house that suits your needs. Sometimes the process to getting there can seem a bit harsh. It's something architects are used to as during their education they regularly had to hang their work up in the corridors of their schools for everyone to make no hold barred comments about. The benefit that come from that is you learn not to be attached to your designs and to start again from scratch if need be. I'm certainly wishing you every success with this project

  11. Benneaf | | #11

    So...I supposed I did throw it out there kind of in a vacuum. My designer is aware of these details, but obviously I kind of left them out. Our lot is in east TN, a south facing slope. Because of the slope we are trying to make the plan wide as we can and not too deep front to back. I also want something simple to build as I'm on a budget (aren't we all). To that end the dimensions are 36'x72' with a 6' bump out for the garage. I'm married with two kids and as I mentioned before we started these plans almost 6 years ago and have bought and sold two other houses in the interim. The last house I built with SIPS, this house I'm stick framing. We do plan on being in this house for some time, but we've not been in one house for more than 4 years over the last 13. To that end we want a plan that would work not just for us, but for the next family as well. ...however...for us, let's look at the details. My wife and I rarely sleep in the same room (something about me snoring...I don't believe a word of it). So in addition to 3 bedrooms we need somewhere else one of us can sleep. Also my Dad passed last year and my mom is a frequent visitor, so that's even more bodies to bed. My home office will likely double as one of those places as will the "flex" room. I would rather have the kitchen and or dining room up front, but we just haven't been able to figure that one out. We do entertain some...not as much as we did pre-kids. We want our kids and their friends comfortable here as they get older (another use for the flex room). I absolutely hate the garage in front, but given the lot we are using all the width we can with the house and a side entry would use considerably more concrete as well I hope this reveals some of the motivation and trade off's you see in the plans.

  12. wjrobinson | | #12

    Toss that plan. I grew up in a ranch home that would work so much better, designed 60 years ago. Your front door opens hitting a couch, no entry area, need to enter to the center of the house to enter the private office area for insurance meetings. At that point the person has vissually toured your entire home.

    An old fashioned entry hall with an immediate office off it on one side and coat closet nearby... As to needing five bedrooms on a budget, some finished basement or upper area floor area or...

    Can't believe your arch is going to like starting with your plan,... like others give him the facts and see what he can do for a set fee, maybe offer $5K or sell a bunch of insurance in their office while there... Look at some stock plans with a home office, and five sleeping areas.... they are out there...

  13. wjrobinson | | #13

    Take the last plan and put the insurance office on the other side of the garage, connect it into the home behind the garage, pull the garage forward toward the street if more space is needed behind...pop some stairs up above the garage to house inlaws when in...

    Then you can move the front entry right toward the garage and out of the middle of the living area and add a coat closet, move the dining area out of the house center to some place else... the back maybe... What's west and east of the home? North?

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