SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
staceyneil

At wits end!! Please help w/ 1st floor layout plan -pic heavy

Stacey Collins
12 years ago

Hi all and thanks for your patience!!

What began as a simple kitchen reno that we hoped would be complete by now has morphed into a whole house reno (big surprise, right?)

My mind is just reeling with plans and construction details (I am GC-ing it) and estimate numbers... and sometimes it is hard to think straight. DH and I are having a big budget pow-wow tomorrow and we need to decide on a final plan and the scope of the project.

For those who have not followed this: we are mostly DIY and on an extremely tight budget. We are only subbing out the framing and roofing, so considerations about plumber or electrician costs are not important. This is a 3-year house for us, but we want to enjoy living here until then, and if we end up staying longer. However, resale is a major consideration. The house is currently 2 BR, 2 BA and we NEED to add another BR one way or the other.

Here is the current layout:

At the very least, we need to remove the old extrior wall from between the main house and sunroom, and rebuild the sunrrom walls and floor to be warmer. And remove the wall between the existing kitchen and DR/LR area to create a better flow, more open to see the beautiful views of forest in the backyard. We tried and tried to fit a decent kitchen into the existing kitchen area, but due to all the doors and windows (cannot relocate because it's a masonry house!) it wasn't working very well. You folks helped us think outside the box and move the kitchen to the middle.

In order to add a bedroom : We hoped to add a second floor with MBR, BA, study but it was too expensive. So we have a couple of options: either partitioning the long skinny master bedroom up, or adding a first-floor addition with a small BR and 3rd bath. Just getting that to a weathertight shell would take all our resources, and we wouldn't have anything left over for a while to finish the addition interior or renovate the other baths. (It's about $15,000 to get it to a weathertight shell) We're only considering it if it would significantly increase our house's value... but the flip side is that if we don't spend that money, we have a lot more to put into better siding, better landscaping, better exterior detailing, a new porch, etc. Maybe a better return?

So here is the plan for chopping up the MBR, and then the 1st floor addition. Disregard the kitchen/LR/DR parts of these for now!! Which do you think is a better choice for adding the BR?

OK, so if we do not do the addition, we need to design the rest of the house's layout (kitchen/DR/LR) with these things in mind:

1) we want a kitchen where the cook is able to communicate with family and guests while cooking, not shut off in a seperate room. Hope to incorporate seating for casual meals, homework, etc (ie island).

2) A major problem with this house is that there is no entry/mudroom area. We are outdoors/gardening/chickens kind of family with lots of muddy boots and shoes. Need a mudroom zone!

3) Keep costs low!

4) Open up views out the back of the house (through existing sunroom.)

Here are some ideas:

In this one, we get a sliver of mudroom area inside the existing side entry that we use all the time. It's about 4 feet wide and seperated from DR by a 3/4 wall (to let light in) with coat hooks. Bench at the end and boot trays. The kitchen is great (we'll hammer out exact cabinet placement after this major decision is made!)with a fireside seating area and the LR is great, too. We have a back door off the LR to access the garden/chickens, with a covered roof overhang for leaving boots outside in good weather. But the DR area is tiny!! Just 8 x 8 if you don't count the 3 feet or so needed for circulation into the house... maybe that is an acceptable trade-off for a fab kitchen and LR? The house IS very compact...

So we tried to figure out how to make the DR bigger. One thought was to eliminate the existing side family entry altogether, and relocate it to the LR, which is on the other side of the garage and the same distance to walk from the driveway.... so there's a mudroom area off the LR (wood stove in other corner) and that door is access to both the cars and the bakyard. The DR is bigger, kitchen about the same. But it really compromises the LR, since now you have to walk trhough part of it to access the rest of the house. No chairs can go in that path. (We tried, and the only way to keep circulation to the left side of the house is to create a walkway right through the kitchen -like a galley- but that seems like it would not be functional for cooking!)

So that led us back to the original kitchen location, but without the door so there's a place for the refridge. But it only allows for a small, 24" wide island table area.. not what I had origially envisioned. (I tried the island on the perimeter towards the DR, but I don;t like that room seeming like it's just filled with tables and chairs. Like a restaurant!)

Sorry about the orientation, this one is at 90 degrees from the rest.

Whew!! If you've read this far, thank you. I really appreciate your input!!

Stacey

Comments (49)

  • holligator
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    A couple of thoughts and a couple of questions for you...

    You said that you NEED a 3rd bedroom. Is this for your family or for resale purposes? I ask because, if you don't need it yourself, then it seems like an unnecessary expense and it could backfire on you come resale time. If you have a couple with no kids interested, they might prefer the larger master BR and a second one to be used as a guest room or study. A couple with one child might be fine with it as is. Once you chop it up, you've limited your potential buyers to people who are OK with a small master BR. Once you've added on, you've blown money that could have been used elsewhere. Is yours the only, or one of very few, house with only 2 BRs in the neighborhood? If yours is an oddity, then it might be worth the expense. If many houses are 2BR, then I'd leave it.

    You also expressed your need for a mudroom. Your gardening lifestyle certainly warrants a comfy spot to clean up, but is it necessary for this to be inside the house? Might you instead install a bench, cubbies, and perhaps even a utility sink in the garage for this purpose? For a house so small to give up interior space for a mudroom seems like a waste to me.

    If it were me, and it certainly isn't, I'd forgo the 3rd bedroom and mudroom and focus my energies and funds on doing the kitchen really well and upgrading other aspects of the interior and exterior. Those things alone should accomplish your real goals of making the house more enjoyable now and making it more attractive for resale in a few years.

    It's easy to get caught up in the remodeling whirlwind and lose sight of our real goals. Your goals seem pretty simple, but your plans have become very complex. Maybe it's time to step back and re-examine what you really need and want versus everything that's possible.

  • mom2lilenj
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    To me the 8'x8' dining room is way too small and a bedroom that is 11'9" x 9' is too small as well. Not worth shrinking the master. The family entry from the garage to the kitchen is nice for bringing in groceries. But if the mud is produced in the backyard you may want to have a place to come into from the back. Maybe a back door to the garage which can house the really muddy stuff.

    But since you plan to only be at your house for a short time, I would try to achieve your objectives with the least amount of moving things around. I would keep the kitchen were it is and enclose a mudroom area to include your garage door and kitchen door. Simple inexpensive and you don't have to mess with exterior walls.

    Open up the kitchen to the dining/living by taking out that wall and put in a peninsula. Also definately take out the wall from the living to the sunroom and put up some nice looking support. What a nice space! But I would keep it all dining/living space.

    Then to add the third bedroom (if you can expand north), make the large master WIC a hallway to the third bedroom. Move the master doorway north and put the WIC in the SW corner of the master bedroom.

    The small bedroom window will have to move west. But that's the only change in the small bedroom. The master has one door change and the closet moves, also minimal changes. No bathroom changes which can get expensive fast.

  • Related Discussions

    Help with Floor Plan for 1st time build

    Q

    Comments (4)
    I can't speak for others but when we started this process, we had very clear ideas of what we wanted (like you do from your above list) and searched every online plan site we could find. We just could not find the "one". We did find close to what we wanted on a contemporary blog and found a house/plan we loved (with mods of course) from an architect in South Africa. We took all of the inspiration plans, our list of must haves and worked with an architect locally. It was important they understood the site, view lines (we have great views and vistas from lot and wanted to max them out), grading, ARC restrictions (if that applies to you) and local building codes. Took us about four months to design our forever home. We felt the cost of having an architect design the home to our specs (and having our builder as part of the design process to guide us on design vs. budget) was well worth the cost. At the end of the day, the cost was only $5 per finished square foot (we interviewed architects ranging from $3-9 per sq. foot). But...what we got for that was EXACTLY what we wanted, custom designed for our lot/lifestyle. They also ensured that all of the community design guidelines were met and attended the meetings to explain/review/negotiate design elements where we pushed the envelope from the ARC preferred traditional to our contemporary must have home. I think it is worth it to at least have a preliminary conversation with a local (Wyoming) architect or two. Others may disagree.
    ...See More

    Layout Experts, please help me sort out this kitchen plan.

    Q

    Comments (12)
    Hmmm, that looks like a good spot for a chimney cupboard, then. I'm not sure what to think about the extra bar seating in the family room. I don't know if it would get used or not. I'm willing to do that if we'd really use it. I just went through (too many) images looking for pass through window inspiration. I'm finding very little that looks like what I'm thinking of doing. Does that make me ultra-original...or whacko? LOL So, my thought was to put open shelves in the pass-through windows and use them for storing some of my prettier functional items. Good looking bowls, canisters, etc. Or, to do glass cabinet doors, something like the article in the scullery thread a bit ago. I linked the kitchen from Fine Home Building with the pass through cupboards below. Here's one image that sort of comes close. I don't have modernist leanings (that I know of), so this is a bit off, but it's close. Here is a link that might be useful: Maybe cupboards like this in the passthroughs, with glass doors on both sides?
    ...See More

    Please help with our 'Layout with a View' floor plan!!!

    Q

    Comments (9)
    bmorepanic- Thanks so much for trying to brainstorm, this one has had us stumped for months now! Your plan would solve a lot of our problems, unfortunately in the dinette area the existing five windows are almost floor to ceiling (the sills are only 18" from the floor). I agree, in our kitchen seating was given prominence by the builder, and the working area not so much... Lets see if I can explain the view situation - the dinette area faces the front of the house and the view is in the back. The dining room has two walls of windows, and if you're seated at the kitchen table you have a direct view over the dining room table through them and also through the kitchen door which is full glass. The windows around the table look out over the front yard and the neighborhood. A window on the refrigerator wall would look directly at our next door neighbors' house and deck, which isn't that far away. We do like having a big table in the kitchen because we tend to relax there and it's my favorite spot in the house to sit. Also, my parents spend time here and the big table is nice to have then. (Oh, you asked which way the ceiling joists run - it's front to back...) If we are stuck with the original two ideas which do you think would be the best? Thanks for the help!
    ...See More

    Ok, 1st time posting Floor Plan. Help?

    Q

    Comments (62)
    Lindsy - just saw these posts since Mark's sketch, just wanted to pop in and say I would not be worried about the garage in his sketch, I know any sort of garage out front is hated by many on this forum but apparently I am difference as I place more importance on function in the backyard than street appeal of my garage. However, I would not at all 'flip' the drive to open on the back side of the garage as you mentioned in the image where you flipped the plan. Flipping the driveway would make it a massive and awkward snout.
    ...See More
  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks guys! Great thoughtful comments.

    REsponses:

    holligator-
    There may be a handful of 2 BRs in this towm but certainly none in the general vicinity. This house was on the market for 2 years and the people we spoke with (realtors and neighbors) felt it was partly/mostly because it only had 2 BR. It's one of the more "desirable" seaside communities in southern Maine and has great school system (that;s why we moved here :)) so I think that a small family is more likely than a retired couple, though you never know.

    We are a family of 3 and I wish we had another BR or office. I freelance from home and my "office" is now set up in the master bedroom. Yuck. Aside from that, we have no place for guests. My dear brother and his wife and son live overseas and when they visited in December they slept on the floor in the sunroom. Once we pull down that wall they wouldn't have any place to sleep other than in the open-floorplan LR/kit/DR... Not a huge deal since overnight guests are infrequent, but definitely limiting.

    Even if we had another BR elsewhere, I would probably want to partition the MBR somehow. At just 13' wide but 25' long, it's a weird space to use. It begs a sitting area or study at one end, and if it's going to be a study/home office wouldn't you want it to be closed off from the bed so one person can sleep while the other surfs (speaking from experience here!)? The huge MBR definitely has a "wow" factor when you first see it, but in practice not so great...

    Mudroom-wise: We live in Maine so an outdoor or garage mudroom, while fine in summer, isn't going to cut it. DD is 12 and has at least 6 pairs of winter footwear. DH works in a boatyard and has messy shoes. There is a constant rotation of wet, snowy, muddy footgear that really does need a home near the family entrance. All winter I have been making them bring their various coats through the house to the coat closet, but there is NO PLACE for the footgear but near the door. Right now it's just under a narrow table in the kitchen, a big, messy, sandy, wet jumble of shoes. I hate it.

    mom2lilenj- we can't expand to the N, that's our closest lot line... otherwise great idea! (Also, we can't move windows in the masonry/brick..)
    I (and three architects who are family/friends) have tried to design a mudroom/entry on the exterior, off the current family entry as you describe. But due to the door and window placement (again- in brick and difficult/expensive to change) as well as the fact that the garage door opens to grade only 3 feet away, so you cannot frame in a floor there wider than 3 feet, nixed that idea after many frustrating attempts.

    It seems so simple, but the fact that the house is masonry/brick makes it sooooo difficult.

    Given these limitations and explanantions, do you favor any of the options above? What's the best compromise, since clearly there will be some?

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    mom2lilenj-

    "Open up the kitchen to the dining/living by taking out that wall and put in a peninsula"

    Yes, that was the original thought. Simple and obvious. It was the first thing I thought of when I walked in the house. I couldn't imagine that it couldn't be done!! But -again due to the doors and windows and brick walls- it just couldn't work comfortably. We were agonizing about that back in January, had been though a lot of contortions, and finally this forum came up with the brilliant idea to move the kitchen to the middle of the house.

    There just was no way to configure the sink, DW, range, ref, and some type of bar seating in the space. I can show you all the tries if you want- but take my word for it, 4 architects, a KD, TKO's from this board, and I couldn't make it happen!

  • mom2lilenj
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'll take your word for it, but could you humor me with a drawing of the kitchen space as it is now with dimensions? I'm just curious as to why you couldn't get it to work.

  • gobruno
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    It's sounds like you've really thought about every possibility. But, I'll throw this out there to help solve the mud room problem--how about moving the stairs to the basement to where the WIC in the Master Bedroom off the hall is? Not sure how your basement is configured, but is that a possibility? You could then use that space for a mudroom.

  • holligator
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    OK, now that I understand several of your issues better, let me take another stab at this. Would something like this work (pic below)?

    Chopping up the MBR bothered me because it made it so, so small. I made the MBR a little bigger (I made up that measurement, but it should be close) by taking out the small closet. In the new office/BR, the closet takes up some of the room, but if it will really serve as an office/guest room, I think that will be fine. It could be a "nursery" for a new family. If it were my office, I'd build bookshelves, perhaps with cabinets in the bottom, or even a built-in desk with shelves above, into the nook created by where I stuck the closet. I have a futon in my home office, which allows it to double as a guest room when needed, without feeling like one the rest of the time.

    To make up for the lost closet space in the MBR, I used the "laundry room" as the second walk-in closet and kept them together. Of course, now you'll need a laundry room, so why not combine that with the mud room and have a spacious laundry/mud room/utility room/storage room?

    That would, of course necessitate finding a new spot for the dining room, which I simply moved where you had the small living room area. The new configuration gives you space to expand the kitchen even farther, and maybe make the walk way between the dining room and kitchen wider.

    What do you think?

  • sw_in_austin
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    It sounds like you have talked to several architects but I would say that our experiences with building an addition to our house a few years ago really made me understand how much the right architect can bring to a project. We'd talked to three different architects (I used to edit an architecture magazine so we knew quite a few) about our situation, which was complicated for various reasons including a limited budget.

    All of those architects just shook their heads and had no good ideas (except ones we couldn't afford). Finally we brought in a design-build firm recommended by a friend and the two of them, an architect and a contractor, walked around saying, Whoa, this is going to be cool. We can do something great here.

    They just saw the problem from a different perspective. And they came up with something I would never have thought of (and I'd been thinking about it for 10 years, drawing up various schemes off and on that whole time). We are more than happy with the results (and we hired them to redo our kitchen last year, which is how I ended up on this board).

    I know an architect is another expense but I truly believe that a good architect can walk into a space and see possibilities, understand the space in ways that might never occur to someone else.

    In any case, good luck (oh and I completely endorse your plan to get your own office. I'm a freelance writer now, working from home, and the addition included my own office space. Heaven.)

  • mom2lilenj
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    After re-reading the issues, I think I see the problems better. I really like the larger mudroom holligator drew. I would add a laundry tub too. Sounds like you could use it to clean up boots and the like.

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Oh, man holligator, I SO want that to work. I'm drawing through it but right now I can't get it to fit. In order to give the dining table enough clearance (we do use that fplc a lot) the kitchen island space needs to be reduced to only 2' wide. It's really tight, and makes a long narrow aisle. Maybe workable but I am not there yet! I dislike having counter seating right next to a dining table, so I tried putting counter stool at the LR end of a peninsula coming down from the right of the sink. (Otherwise the eating counter would be a mere 4 feet from the dining table!) It's not working.

    I guess I could abandon my wish for counter seating, but I really wanted that. And our dining table is a beautiful, signed Danish MCM piece that we love but is SO impractical: the teak veneer is easily water-marked. I guess we could put it in storage and get a more utilitarian table and forget about counter seating...

    The other thing is that the house gets a great deal of its light from that SW corner, which we'd be cutting off. Sunny mudroom and laundry but dark kitchen/DR! (That was one of the main reasons for opening up that wall in the first place, to bring the light in.)

    Anyway- I will keep working on it, and THANK YOU for coming up with a fresh idea!!!

    Architect-wise, all our advice has been free from friends and family. Our budget doesn't allow a real paid consult. You guys would really laugh if you knew how tight this budget is.

    So- if no new ideas pop up that work (and I'm totally open to any!!!) what do you vote from the original selection? Or do they all just stink?

    So depressing.

    I have to run to a meeting- thanks all and have a good evening!

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I meant that the light comes from the SE corner.. sorry about that!

  • mom2lilenj
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Out of the plans you proposed, I like the one with the kitchen in the SE corner and a bigger area for your dining room. I think a dining room that isn't big enough to be comfortable will not be used and could be a problem if your family grows. The problem I see with that design is it's a haul to bring in groceries from the garage to the kitchen. You either have to come in the front door or through the mudroom and wind your way around the house to get to the kitchen. Also you are taking away some of your living room for a mudroom. These might not be that big of a deal to you though.

    Are you sure tweeking holligator's won't work? Could you post the layout with dimensions for the kitchen/living/dining area? Maybe things could be turned around to fit.

  • laxsupermom
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Stacy, when everything comes together you'll be so glad you spent so much time making it just right. I really like your new plan with the mudroom in the back of the house where kids & mud & chickens might wander in from the yard. It makes sense back there and will help to keep your LR tidy. The larger DR will be nice, too.

  • mom2lilenj
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    About your dining room table, you could get a piece of glass to protect the top. I've got an antique tiger oak claw foot table with the original finish. I love it! But the finish is not hardy especially for my two DD's who often spill their milk and other food. So I got a glass made a touch bigger than the table and it's worked out well. Occasionally a spill will get under the glass, but it's not difficult to lift the glass and clean underneath. For large gatherings the table has 4 leaves and I put a thermo resistant pad under a table cloth to protect it. We get to use a beautiful table every day without me being neurotic about spills.

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    laxsupermom-

    do you like that LE mudroom where the kitchen's in the middle, or where it's back in it's original location (SE corner)?

    All of you- I really appreciate your input on this. You've all made such good decisions on your kitchens and I trust your judgement!

    Thanks
    Stacey

  • laxsupermom
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The mudroom in the back with the larger DR in the SE corner and the kitchen in the middle. The version with the kitchen in the SE corner doesn't work for me because of the eating penninsula. The child on the stool in front of the basement door would constantly be in the way of the frig/pantry/basement door. With a 40" aisle you'd constantly be bumping into that seated child. Also traffic is forced around past the cook to get to the frig/pantry for snackers. There is no protection for the cook.

  • holligator
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    What about something like this? It doesn't address the lighting issue, but it seems like opening up the entire back of the house would bring in enough light to more than compensate for what's lost in the SE corner. No?

  • jimandanne_mi
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Would it make any sense/be possible to reverse the direction of the stairs so that they could be accessed from the mudroom you have drawn in the sunroom? Then maybe you could work out a better kitchen in that front corner. Is the wall between the garage and the house masonry? If not, could you cut a new door into the mudroom, or on the opposite side of the garage to access the mudroom and basement more easily.

    I'd sure dislike having people come in my front door and have a full view of my kitchen! With the size house you have, the kitchen in the middle of it just dominates it! And I like that you'd then have a roomier DR and sitting area in front of the FP with the kitchen in the corner

    I like how holligator did the MBR and office. Maybe you could work a stacked W/D into the kitchen?

    Since you're on a limited budget, I definitely would not go to the expense of adding a 3rd bedroom and expensive bath and ruin the view from the sunroom.

    More complete room measurements would help!

    Anne

  • dkitchenreno
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I really like the kitchen in the middle of the house. It is just more central and open and would be a much more inviting kitchen to cook in. I also like holligator's latest plan with the dining room in the back making the living room a little smaller, but giving you back to fireplace seating area. I know you are concerned about the light coming in from the mud room. What if you made the mudroom have 3/4 high walls (much like in your original plans) and just an opening into the rest of the house (rather than a door)? You could put bifold doors across the washer dryer to help dampen their noise. The 3/4 walls would allow the light to still get through into the rest of the house. Likewise you could also put transoms in the top of full height walls to let light through.

  • timber.j
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I like holligator's last plan. Especially with the seating in front of the fireplace-very inviting.
    How about making the wall between the mudroom/laundry only about 4-5 feet or so high? Low enough to let the sunshine into the kitchen, but high enough for some hooks for coats? It would hide the boots, etc. from view, and define the area.

  • sailormann
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    My comment does not refer to the layout options, but I am wondering if you have done a renovation yourselves before. You mention that you are planning on being in the house for 3 years only, but that you want to be comfortable for those three years...

    If you are both working, then it's going to take you at least a year and probably more like two years to finish the project you are outlining. It's going to cost you well over 100K just for the supplies and materials.

    Are you sure you want to do that ??

    :)

  • raenjapan
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I like your first solution, but I'd put in banquet seating in the dining room--actually, probably a half-banquet--built in seating in an L shape, your existing table, and chairs on the other sides. I wouldn't do the room addition, and I don't think the proposed master bedroom in the first plan is too small. The house itself is small, no one is going to be expecting a huge MBR. Our MBR right now is 11x12', and it's really fine. We even have a chair in here.

    Good luck with your remodel--sounds like a cute house.

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi folks.

    DH and I just had a seven and a half hour meeting about all this. No kidding. It was grueling. We went over all the plans and -sadly- really hammered out costs and our budget (I have detailed lumberyard estimates and labor estimates now.)

    Plan-wise, we're down to to best choices, one of which we thought we'd already thoroughly explored (building a new mudroom entry on the exterior of the existing door... thanks mom2lilenj for making me take another look at that); and the other is holligator's plan with the mudroom and utility room in the SE corner. We mocked it up and are warming to it. We have a stacked W/D so we could have a countertop run and utility sink there and really nice entry area and mudrrom. It would be sunny and nice to be in. We drew transom windows into the wall seperating it from the kitchen, with shoulder-high 12" deep pantry cupboards all along the wall below it, display on top.

    The dining area is OK, a little tight but do-able. We'll try it in the LR area as you drew, too.

    Here's the bad news: we have less money than we thought. Well, we have the same amount, but once we added up the actual costs for all the other stuff we need to do this year (re-side the house, new exterior trim, regrade and reseed parts of the yard, new boiler :(, etc) we have less than we thought for this project. We had to make a big compromise which is to leave that silly masonry/brick exterior wall in place, and just remove the door and windows, and the brick below the windows, leaving the two ~11" x 11" brick "columns" that support the eave, rather than tear the entire thing out and replace with LVLs and one single column. It doesn't open the space up quite as much, but it's far, far cheaper. Boo hoo.

    My scanner just quit, argh!! I will try to fix it and scan the new plans. Thanks!
    Stacey

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    here is the current iteration.. two different ideas (kitchen cabinet/range placement not worked out yet):

    1) Riffing on holligator's idea. The entry is into a nice-feeling mudroom. Bench with boot tray below the window, and small closet at the end. It is 5' wide, tiled. Around the corner, also 5' wide, is a run of counter (18" maybe?) and stacked w/d at the end. A sink for laundry, filling the chickens waterer in winter (currently done at kitchen sink: yuck!) with storage under. Transom windows to let light into kitchen. The kitchen, as described above, has one weirdo thing which is the column and soffited beam we need to add. They used to define the edge of the kitchen in the old plan. Now they're sort of randomly there, although placing a skylight on the E side makes it make more sense, as well as let light into the kitchen. Beam placement is not negotiable, although the column can move a foot or two in the N/S axis. The dining area seems a little close to the kitchen, but it's certainly more space than it had in that little "nook" in the first plan. As described above, we're now leaving the brick columns in place, so that is shown in the plan.

    2) And here is the plan for an exterior entryway. We would not run plumbing out here so it would have a little electric space heater in winter I guess. This gives a nice covered porch area and enclosed entryway that measures about 6.5 x 5 and encloses the garage door, too. Coat hooks and bench/boots. Allows for big, seperate dining area. Kitchen layout remains as drawn in original plans, except now you've got those fat columns (brick enclosed with sheetrock) coming down through the kitchen counter in a possible awkward way.

  • holligator
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    There are things I like and dislike about both options. Makes it tough for me to decide, so I can just imagine the tough time you are having!

    Adding the porch would probably be fairly simple, but I wonder about its roof. My brother added a covered porch in a similar corner configuration and it has caused some problems. Getting the pitch of the roof to work in a corner like that gave the contractor (actually several different contractors) fits, and the one that finally did it still ended up with a leaky joint in there. This is definitely something you'd want to investigate before making any final decision.

    I agree that the column placement is awkward, but I can't see where they could be moved that would be much better, except to set the kitchen up like in the other pic. I love having the larger dining area, though, and wonder if it might be worth the trade off of weird columns.

    Naturally, I love the mudroom/laundry room setup for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it has the added benefit of freeing up the space in the MBR for that second walk-in closet. I also LOVE the long, shallow pantry wall. With the kitchen having few, if any, uppers, I think that added storage would be a huge plus. The utility room could even have added storage, as well, for bulk items, paper towel rolls, etc.

    A few questions about the dining table setup in that plan... Have you considered rotating the orientation of the table 90 degrees to avoid having chairs out in your aisle? Have you considered banquette seating in that corner? What did you think of my previous suggestion for moving the dining table into the sunroom?

  • melanie1422
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I really like your latest option 1. I would hate the have the laundry room in the master anyway, because if you have kids, you basically are faced with either doing all their laundry forever, or letting them into your bedroom all the time to do laundry...neither of which I want to do. So the nice big mudroom seems to be the best way to rectify that.

    I also agree with holligator about rotating the table.

    I know you were worrying about leaving the window in the mudroom, but what if you put the sink up to a half wall so you could see into the sunroom? That would open it up a lot and then you'd get the natural light from the sunroom, though you'd lose any uppers you would have put on that wall. I don't know if that would mess everything up or help, really, but I thought I'd mention it.

    Why can't the dining table go in the sunroom?

    This is such an exciting project! I'd love to see before photos!

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks guys!!

    DH isn't crazy about putting the dining table in the sunroom. It would have to go at the north end (where holligator drew it) because of circulation, and that is where the door to the backyard and chicken coop is. It's a small space, just under 12' wide, and inevitably people would come in that door and set whatever they're carrying from the yard (chicken feeder, basket of veggies, etc) on that table. It's way too nice of a table to be used like that and he doesn't like it. BUT I am going to mock it up right now and we'll look at it again.!!

    holligator, the roof IS a problem if we add onto the outside. We're going up to look at it in a little while, and I'll post a pic so you can see. Right now that "bumped-out" area on the floor plan, with the side door, is covered by a gable about 3" wide on the eave. That is what we'd be extending, another 42" or so.

    One thought I had is that (although I LOVE the shallow pantry wall!) I am a little afraid that it's going to really add a lot to the cabinet costs. WE're going with a semicustom and the cabinets in the old plan (L-shape and island) are about $6500. Anyone have any idea how to estimate what adding all those pantries would add? It's like 8 or so feet long, and I would probably do them about 5' high or so.

    I will post before pics in a few minutes!!

    Stacey

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Exterior of the house (SE corner). WE're going to take off the vinyl and put cedar shingles, painting the rest of the brick to match.

    kitchen, now (in SE corner)

    sunporch, now (floor will raise 10")


    LD/DR, now

    master bedroom, now (this is the far end)

    kids room, now

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Inspiration photos for exterior syle, cottage-y, slightly craftsman:


  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Here's a rough sketch of the furniture and space if we put the DR in the sunroom.

    DH is willing to consider this, so it's maybe an option.

    One thing I like is that the circulation down to the sunroom LR/DR area is more wide open, 8 feet rather than the tight 3 feet if the dining table is up by the fireplace. On the other hand, since the kitchen counter is high (42" with backsplash) and in this plan it extends 3 feet further, that does close up the space more.

    (That round thing is where the christmas tree would have to go! It can't go in the LR anymore if the dining table is there...)

  • holligator
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    OK, now that I see that corner in the sunroom, I'm even more convinced your table belongs there. I would love to see some banquette seating in the corner, which would also move the table a bit farther out of the traffic flow from that door. The benches could serve as added storage space (think KitchenKelly-style morgue drawers!).

    There is someone here who has a gorgeous corner banquette under a window, but I can't remember who it is. Maybe someone else will remember. In the meantime, here are a couple of random corner-banquette-under-window pics to inspire you...

    And here's an alternative to having to pay for additional cabinetry to get a nice sized pantry...

    A pocket door would probably be a better choice there.

  • houseful
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Have you considered putting the kitchen and DR together in the sunroom?

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Nice banquette shots! That's certainly something to consider! I'm also going to draw out the walk in pantry. I always wished for one. I do prefer the laundry a little more hidden around the corner: in the L-shaped plan you enter into a lovely entry spaced, and the "utility" area is hidden around the corner. But, that might save $1500 or more in cabinetry, huh?

    houseful, the sunroom is on a slab, and since DH is doing the plumbing, it is not a possibility. He's OK with doing that work when it's all accessible from the basement. Also, the windows are very low, so no counters could go along those walls anyway. Good idea though!

  • holligator
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You could also steal space for a walk-in pantry from the coat closet by the front door, allowing you to bump the W/D back a bit. But, I suppose that in Maine you really need a coat closet near the front door (my Florida brain does not compute this need for coats, let alone coat closets). Then again, the new mudroom might eliminate or reduce that need? Or would hanging guests' coats in the office closet be too inconvenient?

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    With a banquette- I LOVE the idea, but might it possibly be too restrictive for future buyers (keelping 3-year-plan in mind?)

    Thinking about a laundry area. I was thinking how to get some of that light into the kitchen. We have the lovely 5-panel glass door (original 50's) that is between the sunroom and living area now, maybe use it on a laundry/pantry area? Maybe use one of those kits to make the glass opaque? Not much pantry storage, but I'd get SOME.. and if we decide to move the dining table down to the sunroom, we gain 3 feet of base cabs anyway, so I have a little more storage in the actual kitchen...

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    On the laundry room drawings- of course that door would swing IN..... AND I can totally leave the existing upper cabinets (and re-use base cabs) from the kitchen that's there now! They are not really mys style (raised panel with arch top detail in pale stained maple) but they were just refaced before we bought the house, so the doors are "new". Interiors are old stick-built original 50's, but it's the laundry so who cares? Change the hardware and repaint the interiors, I think I could live with it! Plus no cost! Ikea butcherblock counter is $130. ... I am really liking this idea.

    It's a little sad to lose the view and sunlight from that window, but it's all a compromise and this may be the best one.

    Thank you SOOOO much for the fresh ideas.

    We're having a phone consult tonight with 2 of the family architects (dad and stepmom) so we'll see what feedback they have.

    For now I feel not quite so discouraged, though, so that's great!

    Stacey

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    How skinny can a walk-in pantry be?????

    I know this still leaves the laundry in the MBR, but it does let us have that sunlight and view. Is 38" too skinny for the pantry?

  • lascatx
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I like the dining table in either location. Banquette seating can give you nice storage -- lift top for linens and pillows, open shelves for books and such, or drawers for easy access to flat things (remember the pullouts/deep drawers on the end in one photo around Halloween?) -- any combination of the possibilities too. If a future buyer wanted a table by the fireplace (a pub table could be very cozy there), the seating would still be a great reading nook or great for a game table in the family room. It doesn't necessarily limit the use of the space, especially if you build in some added function into the seating.

    If you do the mudroom/laundry and can close up the master to create an office/guest room while making the MBR a bit larger than the original drawing you had, I think that makes sense. The way you had it drawn made the master a bit too small for me.

    The transom windows are one way to keep light coming through that corner of the house, but you could also use glass block in the upper part, put in a window, a stained glass panel, an opening with shutters. You could put narrow cabinets below and keep the top open. Lots of possibilities. I like the way holligator originally drew it and I like how you added the sink. I do like the idea of reusing an old door. To make the glass opaque, you can use a cling-on sheet or a spray to frost the glass -- doesn't have to cost more than a few dollars. If you can reuse the kitchen cabinets in the laundry, that's a plus, but keep in mind that you can sacrifice too much to make something fit and make do. Make it right since you plan for resale.

    I know you aren't asking about the exterior, and I am a southern girl -- don't live in Maine, but I like your red brick. Do you especially want the cedar or just to replace the vinyl? Does the vinyl need replacing or do you not like it? We have a small amount of siding with our red brick and replaced it with Hardi plank siding. It's very popular down here because the concrete mixture is rot resistant and not at all attractive to termites. LOL You can get it in a smoother look, a rough cedar look or one that has a beaded edge (what we have). While I could see painting some of the brick to lighten your family room, I would really want to keep the natural brick on the exterior. Might save you some money to do more on the interior. I know it's a personal thing and I may not be typical, but I really like the look of your home's exterior and have been known to pass by homes for sale with painted brick. I know, I know -- unsolicited comments on more things than you want to think about.

    Overall, I think you are headed in the right direction to make good use of the space without expanding and leaving big expense renovation open to the future. I can see your home with a second story and front porch added, but you could make it that much more costly and more difficult if you start changing too much now.

    Good luck! You have a great house to work with and a beautiful setting.

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think we're there!!!!!

    After about 16 hours of intense work on this over the weekend, and WONDERFUL input from you people, I think we have it. Phone consult with the family architects clarified and refined some things, so here's where we are now:

    First of all, I know it was great for the MBR to get the laundry out of there. But it really seemed a waste of the nice, sunny SE corner of the house. DH loves to watch the sun rise from that E window while making coffee. So, while I was riffing on holligator's walk-in-pantry area, this emerged.... instead of a laundry there, it's an open desk nook with an 18" deep pantry along the N wall. I am thinking we can make the pantry from an Ikea cabinet body (melamine for easy cleaning) and DH can build a front panel for it of cherry. Architect Dad suggested sliding doors to better access stuff re: the desk. So maybe cherry plain-front doors which would reference the cherry simple shaker kitchen cabs. (Our aesthetic is somewhat sleek and modern but, for resale, we don't want to get too stark...) And the desk slab could be the same wood top we're using on the island. Anyway- those details can be worked out, but the main point is that:

    Now we have all that light from BOTH windows in SE corner coming into the kitchen area, so we don't need the expensive, potentially leaky skylight! We get a GREAT entry/mudroom, an organic-feeling circulation zone and sight lines, enough food storage (I hope), the fireside sitting area, and even a desk in the kitchen!

    What do you think?

    I am going to post the cabinet layout in a seperate post, woulod love some help hammering those details out, now that the main plan is done!

    I can't thank you all enough. if it weren't for this forum, I think we'd have gone ahead with our original plan back in january, which I was feeling really queasy about. WE'd have spent $15k on a kitchen that didn't really work. so THANK YOU!!!

    {{gwi:1711103}}

  • holligator
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    See, I'd just tell my DH that he could enjoy the sunrise while he's doing the laundry rather than while he's making coffee! ;)

    I kind of like the look of latest rendition, but I'm not loving the function.

    Leaving the laundry in the MBR would kill it for me. I know you don't mind it, but I can't imagine that it wouldn't be a sticking point for some potential buyer down the road. It would be for me. The issue raised earlier about kids having to come in the parents' room to do their laundry as they got older would be even stickier with the addition of another bedroom--i.e., room for a second kid with laundry needs. Could your stackable W/D fit in that closet area in the mudroom?

    Also, how will you use this desk? Will it become your home office space? If not, it seems like it would become a clutter magnet, ruining that nice view.

    I still prefer the rendition above where you reuse your sink and five-panel door. I think it makes the space far more useful in a house where useful space is at a premium.

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I was actually thinking of putting the stackable W/D in a closet right at the end of the hall. i.e. in the end of what's currently the huge WIC at the end of the master. Which will be one wall of the new BR. So it could live there, with the door opening into the hall accessible by all family members. And then the new BR/office's closet occupies the remaining wall space.

  • holligator
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Maybe the W/D in the MBR bothers me more than others, but it really bugs me. Here's another possibility that I came up with as a spot to put the laundry, assuming that running the plumbing wouldn't be an issue.

    If the stackable W/D doesn't need that much space, you can make it narrower and maybe steal back a few inches of space to keep the MBR a little larger. I suppose leaving it large enough for a future owner to have side-by-side W/D would be smart, too.

  • holligator
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Well, I was posting while you were, and it seems like we're having similar ideas!

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yup, something like that!

    Also- I don't know about the rest of the country, but here in Maine it's still really normal to have the laundry in the basement. Our basement is wet right now, but DH is totally obsessed with fixing the drainage issue and making it a dry, useable space. He thinks that we couldn't drain the Washer because it woudl be lower than the sewer line, but there must be some way around that, huh? Anyway--- that is a possibility to consider for the future. We're not dividing up the MBR until at least next winter, so we have time to consider options.

  • jimandanne_mi
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I had my laundry in our basement for 30 years, and liked it there because there was lots of room. Hope you can get your drainage issue solved.

    You can get an ejector pump that'll get the washer water up and out, but that'll be more $$.

    In any case, I really like holligator's drawing with the W/D in the closet at the end of the hall. With that, the new small bedroom, and your latest plan, you've come up with a wonderfully functional home!

    Anne

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yay! yes, that's how I feel. It's like after all these months of not feeling *quite* right, it suddenly clicked. I know there are compromises and it's not perfect, but given the severe structural limitations and our meager budget, I think it works.

    On the laundry topic...I personally like having the WD in the bedroom, because there's plenty of space to fold and sort on the bed! We lived with our DD for two years on a 39-foot sailboat, so we're a pretty "close" family and don't really have much problem with her coming into our room to access the washer. But I understand the reasons many folks would not like it, and I promise we'll move it before we leave:) I'll look into the ejector pump, but worst case is it goes in the closet at the end of the hall.

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I am just bumping this so it won't fall off the 4-page limit of posts we've got now.... sorry.... but I wanted to keep it alive a little while longer for any additional feedback folks might have :)

  • raenjapan
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I seem to be in the minority here, but having the w/d in the mbr wouldn't bother me at all, in fact, I'd prefer it. This doesn't look like a house that's likely to end up belonging to a large family, and maybe my family was weird, but it was never a problem for us to go into our parents' bedroom, for any reason.

    We're childless, and I'd love to have the w/d next to the bathroom so that laundry can go straight into the washer, and clean stuff right to closets.

    Just another perspective. I think the new plan looks fab.

  • Stacey Collins
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks!! :)

    Yup, I personally like the W/D where it is. But we'll plan an alternate location when we get into adding the office/BR next winter.