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Community and Q&A

seeking floor plan feedback (old house renovation)

karlb_zone6a | Posted in Plans Review on

[EDIT 11/02: clarified title, and to add PNG image previews]

We are renovating an early 1800s timberframe in Zone 6 (Vermont). Approximately 28’x35′ and a raised Cape, so 1000 sq ft on the first level and 700 sq ft on the second level before you hit the kneewalls and sloped ceiling. I’ve attached 2 possibilities for the 1st floor, and a single layout for the 2nd floor. 

Of note:
– we’re generally trying to keep existing walls, where practical. 
– there’s nothing worth saving of the existing kitchen/bathroom/plumbing.
– the “top” half of the first floor (as drawn) will need new flooring throughout.
– basement (not shown) is full-height / easy access.
– staircase cannot easily be moved or reconfigured.
– old masonry chimney to be replaced by a Class A metal chimney.
– one of us works from home, so a home office gets first-class billing.
– insulating and air-sealing will happen from outside. 

Please tear into our plans with claws and teeth, and offer suggestions/advice. We’ll be sitting down with an architect in the coming weeks, and would love to bring to the table your thoughts and feedback.


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  1. user-2310254 | | #1


    Consider moving the laundry to the second floor. It will be much more efficient than hauling cloths up and down the stairs.

  2. karlb_zone6a | | #2

    Thanks Steve!

    We've certainly considered laundry upstairs, but (a) space there is tight, and (b) we usually hang our laundry on a clothes line outside, instead of using a dryer. Doesn't seem particularly efficient to constantly be hauling loads of wet laundry downstairs. I am *almost* tempted to build in a laundry chute or dumbwaiter under the eaves, though.

  3. arnoldk | | #3

    I prefer option M for the first floor. It seems to float better especially in the kitchen.


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