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jasullivan77

New build floor plan feedback please

J R
5 years ago

I am new to these forums and have enjoyed reading the feedback that everyone has given. It has, however, started making me nervous that we may have made a lot of mistakes that we won't realize until too late. We can't move exterior walls at this point, but if there are other changes that we should consider, I would love to hear it!

We are a family of 5. Kids are 7 yo girl, 5 yo boy, 3 yo boy. Build is on slab in southern Alabama.

Please let me know if you need any more information. Thank you in advance!


Comments (48)

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    5 years ago

    I'm afraid what we have here is another fat plan with a very large, oversized roof to keep the rain out. It's a typical builder's plan with the entry separating a dining area, distant from the kitchen, and a study on the other side of the entry. I know it's not what you hoped to hear.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thank you for your time. I am happy with the placement of the study, but the dining room not being closer to the kitchen was definitely a compromise to get some of the other things I wanted. We will be using it for dinners on nights we all eat together, so it will get frequent use.

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  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    The room that could get the best light is your master bathroom. :(

    Being you can't change the footprint at this point, what exactly would you like us to consider? If you try and change interior rooms, it might make it worse.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I think I was looking for something like "Whatever you do, do NOT keep that (fill in the blank) next to the (fill in the blank), because (fill in the blank)!"

    My husband did most of the communicating with the draftsman, so I don't really have a settled feeling that everything works, if that makes any sense. Anxiety, I guess.

  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    I feel for you but if you've already broken ground, it's really too late for most changes. However, I know I and others can take a look in the morning.

    Have you broken ground?

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    We have not broken ground yet. It's not too late in that regard. I was just really hoping not to go another round with drafting. My builder is flexible, and it sounds like the framer we chose is, too, so I was hoping any changes could be made between us.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    There are actually a few changes that aren't noted on these plans. I have decided on a 36" range instead of 48". The extra counter space will be to the left of the stove. Also, the sink in the laundry will be moved to the opposite wall, and a counter will run the length of the front wall.

    One more I remembered is the dead space to the left of the front door on first floor will be made into a storage closet of some sort. I think it's too narrow to be a coat closet, which I realize we don't have. Being in South Alabama, however, that is not a huge problem. I will probably just utilize a coat rack for guests.

  • artemis_ma
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Re coat closet vs coat rack: It rains in Alabama. Where will you store your rain gear?

    Unfortunately, I find it very hard to read your screen shot of the design. And I'm on my lap top.

    If you do find a design flaw that may involve reconfiguring your home, this is the time to do that. I can understand not wanting to push their flexibility, but... you have to live here. And it is what you pay them for.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    The family will have cubbies where we enter from the garage to store our things.

    Sorry about the picture quality. It shows up fine on my tablet when I select the pics and expand. Is there a better way to attach? Sorry, I'm new here.

  • bpath
    5 years ago

    If you widen the doorway to the kitchen from the hall, taking it more to the right, you improve circulation, bring the dining room door closer to the kitchen, and let light front the back to the hall and dining room. It even gives the dining room a glimpse of the back garden.

    The porch door is awkward, it will be behind the table and someone's chair. Move the door to the left, to just at the end of the kitchen. More of a straight shot from the living room.

    i don't like the pinch point of the stairs landing in the foyer, nor that the doorway to the guest bath and master is not lined up with either the stairs or the hall. It also seems off that there is a shower in the guest bath, but it's not convenient to the study if it is to double as a guest room. Can the stairs be changed, or that little entry area be changed?

    You have room for an elliptical in the middle of the bathroom, that will be convenient. Seriously, that's a lot of floor space.

  • bpath
    5 years ago

    Don't be afraid of another round of drafting. If it gets you a better home to raise your family in, it's worth it!

    Why does the kid in one bedroom have to go out in the hall to use the bathroom, but the siblings don't?

  • Stan B
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    #1: Master bath. I think I'm seeing a tub in the middle of the room along with something that starts to look like a semi-octagon shape (or am I mistaken about the tub in the middle of the room)? I'd straighten everything out (no diagonals) and would not put the tub in the middle of the room. I think you'll spend a lot more time cursing it as you walk around it rather than using it. I also think at least one of the closets looks small so you might want to consider a layout the shifts some of the square footage of the bathroom into more closet space.

    #2: Kitchen. To be honest I can't really see the details when I blow up the plan on my computer but I think you are very short on counterspace in your main work area. Could the pantry be moved someplace else so you could recapture that area for counterspace? Also how do you plan to use the short L shaped counter area? I'd recommend you post in the kitchen forum where you'll get some specific advice.

  • mrspete
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    First, here's a cleaned-up, easier to read version:


    However, with the exterior already being "set in stone", I don't think you can make the changes that would really improve the house, nor can you simplify the complicated (expensive) jigs and jogs around the exterior. Oh, it'll look pretty -- but I don't think it'll function any better /live any more comfortably than your average spec house.

    Things you might be able to do at this point:

    - Your dining room is across a hall and through a butler's pantry (?) separated from your kitchen. You say you're going to eat dinner as a family in this dining room, but I don't think you will: It's going to require too many steps from the kitchen ... too many trips back and forth to get the kids' plates to the table ... then too many steps back for drink refills ... then too many steps back to get all the dirty dishes to the kitchen. I'd look at moving the garage entry (so it doesn't dissect the two spaces) and revamping this space; if the garage entered either at the top or the bottom, you could push the kitchen and dining room closer together.

    - You have a great back porch ... but the breakfast room table will prevent you from comfortably reaching the door. I'm not clear on where your backyard access door is, but I'd place it in the great room ... again, so the table doesn't prevent you reaching the door easily.

    - The laundry is not convenient to the master bedroom or the staircase (where the kids'd bring their laundry down). It'll be underneath one child's bathroom ... perhaps you could include a chute from the loft so the kids could throw their things down. With three small children and many years of laundry ahead of you, I'd investigate the possibility of a second laundry room upstairs.

    - I wouldn't devote so much space /a soaring ceiling to the entryway, but I don't see anything you can do about it without moving exterior walls.

    - I'd make the "dead space", as you describe it, next to the front door into a bench with space for shoes underneath ... perhaps even a window above it. This is a little bigger than yours can be, but it's lovely;

    - I would simplify the downstairs hall bath ... specifically, I don't see any point in having two fixtures and separate rooms for each one. The door between the toilet and the sink will always be in the way.

    - You can still salvage the master bath. Right now it's set on an angle, I suppose the idea being that it's to look impressive with the shower behind a central tub ... but this is a lot of wasted space and an inefficient layout. You're looking at two (expensive) vanities that'll have to be custom-made to fit into these spaces ... a toilet crunched into the space of a public toilet stall ... a shower with two openings, so two spaces for cold air to enter ... no linen closet for storage ... yet all that empty floor space. You can do something much better without re-doing the exterior walls.

    - Upstairs, the kids' bedrooms look fine, but their closets are on the small side -- especially the one to the back of the house.

    - The kids' bathrooms are minimal in size, and minimal isn't comfortable -- they have no storage space -- not even space for a hamper. Do you really want to walk upstairs and clean three separate bathrooms every week? Collect wet towels from three separate bathrooms? With small children, these chores will be yours for quite some time yet. That's also a very expensive building choice. I'd keep the most centrally located bathroom, make it larger and more comfortable, and use the other spaces to enlarge the kids' closets.

    - How do you envision them using the loft space? Note that it'll have no acoustical privacy from the downstairs ... meaning that if they're upstairs playing video games as teens, you're going to hear them. Note, too, that if the kids come over, they must walk through someone's bedroom to use a bathroom.

    - I do like that you have walk-in attic space ... but, at the same time, your attic is 50% of the upstairs, and it's all main house /under roof /just lacking finishing. This is some VERY expensive storage.

    Overall, I think you could do better ... as I said in my opening, it'll have lots of pretty features, but I don't see a hard-working, functional house here. I don't see a house that'll be comfortable. If you have the option to go back and make some serious editing changes, you could have a nicer house ... for less money.

  • bpath
    5 years ago

    I like MrsPete's idea to put a window in the foyer; in fact, put one facing it on the other side. That corner of the closet will be inaccessible from the study anyway!

  • One Devoted Dame
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    If you *can*, technically, scrap this plan and start over -- even though the thought of doing so is completely unappealing -- please please please consider that option. :-)

    I know it is totally rotten, and y'all just wanna get started and move into a nice new house, but the design of this one is kinda miserable. :-( I know that's really disheartening... So sorry. :-(

    You can have a totally awesome home. Consider this plan the thing that starts you on the journey to achieve that. <3

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Wow, thanks for all of the comments, everyone! I'm going to try to consider each point.

    Bp, the idea of widening the kitchen doorway is appealing, but I'm afraid it would take away too much counter/cabinet space, and I already don't have a ton. You are absolutely right about the guest bath. We originally changed it to a full so that we could call the study an additional bedroom, but I'm no longer concerned about that. I will take out the shower, which will make that bath much more spacious. Thank you!

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Stan, there is a tub in the middle of the master bath floor, and I have been concerned about that. I was tempted to just not have a tub at all, but DH thinks that we have to have one in case of resale (no plans for that in the near future).

    As for the kitchen, I don't really see where I can move the pantry. The original plan had a cabinet pantry, which I did not want. I think I will post on the kitchen for forum. Thanks.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    BP, I also love the idea of moving the porch door to beside the fridge. That should help with the flow there. Thanks again!

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Mrspete, thank you so much for your time! One point that I'd like to make I that while the house must absolutely function, we are also wanting a house with nice aesthetics. We are okay with paying more for a more complicated outline if it achieves that. The two-story foyer is a part of that. There was originally supposed to be a two story great room also, but I nixed that and put in a 12' ceiling.

    i have made peace with the dining room placement, but you are probably right. I will probably soon get tired of the trek and only use it for Sunday dinners, sigh...

    i have decided to move the door to the porch to the left wall by the refrigerator, so that should help.

    The bench idea really is lovely, but I'm not really understanding the windows. There is only a small space on those sides that actually lead to the outside. Are we taking about two small windows that look to the left and right?

    I am seriously considering changes to the master bath. Is there an active bathroom-specific board on here? One change we have already made but I forgot to mention is the shower. We are walling up the right side and putting a frameless door on the left. It seemed drafty to me too!

    I think I should maybe consider nixing the loft altogether and just make those two bedrooms/baths larger. If you have any recommendations for that, I would love to see it.


  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    CP and One, we really don't have the luxury of starting over from scratch. We have to be in our new home sometime during the summer, and that would just be pushing it I'm afraid. I would love any ideas you have, though.

  • bpath
    5 years ago

    You could swap the pantry with the L counter by the LR. That gives you more counterspace where you need it, and the kids can get to the chips without getting in your way.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    CP, I need to look up the information you wanted, but I do know that the house could be no wider than 75' and still have a side-entry garage. We are using every inch of our allowed lot width-wise.

    I'm not sure what you mean by a heavy roof. It doesn't seem out of proportion to me, but I may be missing something. Here is a picture of the elevation.

    I don't know why it has those wonky lines on the front. It is going to have brick about 2/3 of the way up and then stucco. Stucco around the door.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    BP, that is a fabulous idea. Thank you!

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    CP, here is a picture of how it sits on the lot.

  • mrspete
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    One point that I'd like to make I
    that while the house must absolutely function, we are also wanting a
    house with nice aesthetics. We are okay with paying more for a more
    complicated outline if it achieves that.

    There's no reason a house can't look lovely AND function well, but more complicated for the sake of more complicated in no way achieves that goal. Here's an example of a very nice-looking, large house ... note that it's a couple of large rectangles /only one corner of the porch is an angle:

    Now here's another large house with lots of jigs and jogs and complicated ins and outs -- notice how it's not nearly as pleasing as the one with a simple outline:

    i have made peace with the dining room placement, but you are
    probably right. I will probably soon get tired of the trek and only use
    it for Sunday dinners, sigh...

    But I can see how to nix this problem ... consider this:


    Start with the mudroom /laundry /pantry, which I outlined in red ... give it a big bank of windows across the front of the house and a bench for plenty of storage ... you can find plenty of space on the walls for hooks. You'll have ample room for both a pantry and the laundry, and you could go with some nice cabinets like shown below. Place the doorway in such a way that you won't cut through the kitchen when entering the house.
    Pantry cabinets:

    Bring the kitchen towards the front of the house ... I think it's bigger now; after all, it did "take in" the hallway. It still overlooks the great room, though it's no longer centered ... and you have more space for the table, which now sits in a "protected alcove" and no one'll have to walk around it to get to another part of the house. You're also closer to the dining room, improving that room's function.

    Finally, I reduced the garage (outlined in purple) a bit -- that might be cheating because I did move exterior walls -- and I pulled the porch (outlined in yellow) back in line with the house. This now allows you to have a door to the porch that falls between the kitchen and the breakfast room ... the table won't block your doorway.

    The bench idea really is lovely, but I'm not really understanding the
    windows. There is only a small space on those sides that actually lead
    to the outside. Are we taking about two small windows that look to the
    left and right?

    Yeah, it could be less deep than a closet, which would allow you to utilize this space. Yes, the windows would be smaller than the example and would look to the right. I don't know that I'd want this treatment on both sides; kind of like too much of a good thing.

    Bench in blue /small window in grey:


    I am seriously considering changes to the master bath. Is there an
    active bathroom-specific board on here?

    Yes, such a board exists.

    I think I should maybe consider nixing the loft altogether and just
    make those two bedrooms/baths larger. If you have any recommendations
    for that, I would love to see it.

    I think I'd lean towards using that loft area to make a really nice, big bathroom and enlarged closets for those two bedrooms.

    CP
    and One, we really don't have the luxury of starting over from scratch.
    We have to be in our new home sometime during the summer, and that
    would just be pushing it I'm afraid. I would love any ideas you have,
    though.

    Sure you have choices. We always have choices -- they just come with consequences. Building a house knowing you have functional issues comes with consequences too. The question is, Which set of consequences do you want to accept?

    I'm not sure what you mean by a heavy roof. It doesn't seem out of proportion to me, but I may be missing something.

    Big top-heavy rooflines, which add to the cost, yet have no living space within -- they're popular in the McMansion world, and they have their tradition in European (especially French) houses, but they are ungainly, over-large, and over-tall.

    Nice, simple, classic rooflines -- in proportion with the house; moderate in price to build; less steep, they're easier to maintain down the road -- also nicer looking:

  • Beth
    5 years ago

    If you won't use a tub, then don't put one in the master. Yes, some people would be distressed by that--but many won't.

    We did not put in a whirlpool tub 10 years ago when we built the house we're in now. We were told by two different real estate agents that it would hurt resale. We decided we wanted the extra large shower and more closet space more, so we didn't put one in.

    Now, 10 years later, as we're getting ready to sell, both agents we've talked to said "Oh--people are realizing they don't use their whirlpool tubs--they'll be more interested in your oversized shower."

    There definitely are people who won't buy a house without a tub in the master bathroom--but I wouldn't spend the SPACE and money for that if you don't want it yourself. And if you do want it, try and find a way for it to be less intrusive.

  • stephja007
    5 years ago

    JR - Are you planning to use the study as a guest room? If not - I'd switch the guest bath and the laundry room in a heartbeat. Easier access for bringing stuff down the stairs and for the master. Easier access for that 3 year old that has to potty as soon as they get home. The mud room can run parallel with the garage wall giving you more space there and the entry to the guest bath can be off the mudroom area - not off the main hall leading between the kitchen/dining. Then scoot the entry to your kitchen down so it's across from the dining - sure that increases your distance to carry groceries but that happens once a week vs. every night for dinner. Once you scoot the opening I'd rework the kitchen - it doesn't seem optimal as is.

    The Mbath as it is appears to be just for show. I don't think I would find comfort and relaxation floating in the middle of the room, it seems cold and exposed. Having the corner sinks you have very little countertop space and very little cabinet space. The linen closet is nice but it's not very convenient to the shower, particularly if someone forgets to grab a towel ahead of time (perhaps it's just my house where we have that problem!) I think if the bathroom were reworked you can have a much more efficient use of space which means you could have more space in the relocated laundry area and/or pull the back wall in which will allow more light and views to the back from the living room. (As it is, if standing at the sink in the kitchen, looking out the windows from living room since those will be the easiest thing to look at other than the greatroom, you'll be staring at a brick wall.)

    I do like that even though the kids are upstairs and master is down, the master is right near the stair landing. However, if you have an unexpected guest visit you better be sure your bed is made or your door is closed because anyone in your foyer can likely see your bed. I can't read dimensions on the Mbr but you'll have quite a bit of room at the foot of your bed (if you put your bed on the window wall) which can be awkward unless you use it as a sitting area. I personally think you could skinny that room up and loose some SF, however, some might call me frugal.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with a 'builder designed house'. I know plenty of people who can walk in to an architectural masterpiece and hate it. I'm sure I've seen a few homes by people of talent that I would not even consider purchasing. The primary difference for many of us on here is we know what is important to us, and most builder type designs do not meet that criteria. For instance, I know in my house we love having windows open so any home we build must be designed to let air flow through and 'fat' or 'deep' builder plans rarely if ever allow good air flow.

    Best wishes as you continue your journey.

  • stephja007
    5 years ago

    Apparently I took forever typing my response and there has been several more in the meantime! In the nicest wording I can, the front elevation needs work. Too many semi-circles and arches and the foyer section leaves alot to be desired.

  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    Have you seen what this house will look like in 3d? If not I suggest you do.

    You have a wonderful lot where you could have a nice simple L shaped house that really lets in light, still gives you the side load garage, and makes better use of the space you do have without that complicated large roof. It seems the house is plunked down on the front of the lot

    As mrspete mentioned, there are tradeoffs. Why the rush to get into the house by the summertime? If creating a better house means delaying for a few months, wouldn't that be better? And quite frankly, with such a large house, I'd be surprised if you are in by summer anyway.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I'm taking notes and need to talk to DH tonight about all of this. Thank you all so much for your time so far!

    CP, the house faces west. Also, in this part of the country, lots of light streaming in is not really a good thing. We use a/c for the majority of the year.

  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    The front faces west? Or the rear? Either way that's even more reason to design an L shaped house so your rear portion opens up to the south. I know about not wanting lots of west facing light streaming in. I'm in FL.

    One of the easiest ways to control light is how you design your house and your overhangs. For example, my eaves are all a wide 32" which will help with the sun. I've also minimized windows on my west facing elevation and added them to my north/south facing elevations.

  • mrspete
    5 years ago

    If you won't use a tub, then don't put one in the master. Yes, some people would be distressed by that--but many won't.

    Absolutely! Though I'm strongly in the want-a-tub camp, I think the group here is pretty evenly split, so LOTS of people don't care about a tub. Since you can't guess what your future buyer will want, you should just please yourself on this count.

    As for whirlpools, I'm very glad that we rented a lake-front cabin some time back that had one ... because I learned that I don't like whirlpools. My goal now is a DEEP soaker tub. I think whirlpools are one of those things that gets thrown into the "if you're building a custom house, of course you're going to have this" category. It's a pretty big category, and I don't like everything in it -- you owe it to yourself to test /consider carefully everything you're installing in your new house.

    Now, 10 years later, as we're getting ready to sell, both agents
    we've talked to said "Oh--people are realizing they don't use their
    whirlpool tubs--they'll be more interested in your oversized shower."

    I do think that you do need EITHER a tub and shower OR an oversized, luxurious shower in the master. A typical hall bath attached to the master isn't going to do for resale -- except in small /starter or historic houses.

  • artemis_ma
    5 years ago

    Somewhere above I saw you posting you have to be in your house by next summer.

    Don't hold your breath, even if you don't make another change. You've got permitting ahead, and the vagaries of construction time frames. They will all take longer than anticipated.

    So... do take the time to plan out the best house for you. It is highly unlikely that you'll be in it by next summer, anyway. Um, ask me how I've come to this conclusion...

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I redesigned the master bath/closet area without changing exterior walls. I eliminated the tub (thank you, bethohio!) and made a large closet space in the back. Better? Thoughts?


  • Beth
    5 years ago

    If it were me, I would want my bedroom to be in the back corner. It allows windows on two sides, it allows bedroom access to the backyard--it's just more pleasant.

    As it is, you've redesigned your bathroom so the closet gets that coveted corner spot.

    I do think it's possible to have a house built in 6-8 months--our current house was. However, I also agree with everyone who says 'slow down--you can do better'. Your kitchen will be dark--and for me, it's a room I want to be bright. If you feel the same, then you really want your kitchen on an outside wall. If you like light in your bedroom, you'll want your bedroom on the corner.

    It will take some time (and money) to relook at your plan--but I think it'd be worth it.


  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    MrsPete, do you think a 5x6 shower would be considered large enough to forgo a bath? I'm having a little trouble visualizing.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    CP, the front of the house faces west.

  • mrspete
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    MrsPete, do you think a 5x6 shower would be considered large enough to forgo a bath? I'm having a little trouble visualizing.

    I've been measuring showers in hotels, friends' houses, even showrooms for several years ... and I think the perfect size is 4'x5'. It's big enough to stretch your arms up to wash your hair, but not so big that doesn't warm up quickly.

    Of course, you also need to consider what details you want in your shower. Personally, we're not building-in a bench: we'd rather use a moveable teak stool. And we're going with one hand-held showerhead (as the main shower head) on the wall and a rainforest showerhead on the ceiling. And a Tornado body dryer in the corner. We're going curbless ... but are using a door to hold in warmth. If your details differ, you may come to a different conclusion about size.

    In my current house, we removed a standard sized bathtub from our girls' bathroom (it was slowly moving into the crawl space, so it had to go) and replaced it with a same-size stand-up shower. At about 3'x5', it's perfectly good, though I feel like I have to pull my elbows in a little.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Wow, a body dryer! That sounds so nice. Off to google...

  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    JR, what you're doing is similar to getting an awful haircut and then pulling a few strands into a rubber band, covering it with a bow and thinking no one will notice the bad haircut.

    The house itself has problems as stated by others and because you think you'll be in by summer, (you won't as artemis said), you're willing to overlook the major flaws. Changing the bathroom layout, or a closet, or moving a door won't change the overall problems.

    Whatever you decide, the best of luck to you.


  • Beth
    5 years ago

    I agree with cpartist about the band-aid concept, but I can weigh in on the shower.

    Our is 4' x 6' -- and has two shower heads--one at each end. The shower door has a fixed middle part and two swinging doors--one at each end. We each get a side, and DH's has a fixed shower head. Mine has a sliding bar with a shower that can be handheld so that I could have a very low shower (which I wanted) but have it be adjustable for "some day".


  • mrspete
    5 years ago

    Wow, a body dryer! That sounds so nice. Off to google...

    Yeah, I'm pretty excited about that. We are almost empty nesters /close to retirement, and we are planning a house that'll be elder-friendly -- the body dryer plays into that. But it's also just cool.

    JR,
    what you're doing is similar to getting an awful haircut and then
    pulling a few strands into a rubber band, covering it with a bow and
    thinking no one will notice the bad haircut.

    Yeah, that's a good analogy. You may cover it up for the day and at first glance it looks okay, but underneath you still have a bad haircut. It doesn't function: you aren't able to style your hair in whatever way you please; you've become a one-trick pony and all you can do is pull your hair back ... or pay more money and get someone to "clean up" the bad haircut ... yet you're limited in what you can do 'cause your hair's now short.

    Mine has a sliding bar with a shower that can be handheld so that I
    could have a very low shower (which I wanted) but have it be adjustable
    for "some day".

    Yes, that's what I'm planning too. With a handheld model on a bar, you have options. You can shower standing up, or -- if you're sick, elderly, or just lazy today -- you can sit down and still use the same shower head.

    While we're on the topic of showers, be sure of these basics:

    - Place the controls in such a location that you can reach your hand in to turn on the water ... without walking in /putting yourself in the path of the spray.

    - If you're not building in grab bars today, spend the pennies necessary to put solid plywood behind the spot(s) where you would place a grab bar. It might one day save you from ripping out all your expensive tile.

    - Consider where your towels are going to hang. How many Houzz pix have you seen of lovely bathrooms ... yet the towels are hanging across the room or behind a swinging shower door?

  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    Regarding grab bars, we are putting in a shower slide bar for our hand held shower that is also a grab bar. I believe Delta makes it.

  • Stan B
    5 years ago

    As far as owner/draftsman designed plans this one is better than many we've seen posted. We've seen some that would be impossible to resell - large spaces with no purpose, awkward traffic flow, house designed as an afterthought to a garage, cut up spaces with more hallways than rooms, etc. Yes, I think you can do better, but I don't think most people would hate living in this house with some of the modifications discussed in the master bathroom and kitchen/laundry areas.

    Agree with others that one of the best things about a custom house is getting tons of closet and storage space that you don't see in many tract houses. You are doing the custom house but you are not getting the large closets.

    I also think your builder is giving you a line if he's telling you you'll be in the house by summer.

    As for the tub what we are seeing where I live (coastal California) is that buyers like large walk-in showers and are OK with not having a tub in the master if there is one in another bathroom. Buyers are thinking they won't use spa tubs very often so they want the square footage someplace else; they break down often leading to expensive repairs; and are hard to step into so they are not real good for bathing kids or pets. Your area may be different.

  • J R
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thank you thank you again, everyone, for being so generous with your time. DH and I spent a couple hours going over the plans last night after the kids were in bed. He was VERY reluctant to change anything at this point, but I finally got him to agree on a few.

    1. Eliminated shower in downstairs guest bath and spaced out sink (bigger vanity) and toilet.

    2. Relocated pantry to the small L-shaped area on the other side of the island.

    3. Added single wall oven under counter in area where pantry used to be. Already decided to have 36" single rather than 48" double range. This will help with counter space.

    4. Relocated patio door to the right of refrigerator.

    5. Eliminated master bath tub and reconfigured to create a huge single closet, large shower, larger toilet closet and spacious double vanity with a tower of cabinetry separating the sinks.

    6. I couldn't get him to budge on redoing the bedrooms and closets upstairs or the other changes down, but we did decide to go ahead and finish the very large area over the garage. It will add an extra bedroom, bath and open area that will be the place for eventual teens and friends to hang out. This way, even when the boys decide they want their own space, we will still have a guest area. It will also make the small closets and baths upstairs less of an issue if no one is sharing.

    Needless to say, we had to go back to drafting and should have something early next week. We BEGGED for a quick turnaround.

    I'd like to stick around this place and continue to receive (and maybe eventually give) feedback on homes.

  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    Best of luck to you. If you would really like to learn more, I would suggest starting with Sarah Susanka's book, The Not So Big House and her followup book, Home by Design.

    I would also strongly suggest putting the plans aside while you read through the books and then reevaluate.

    Unfortunately your house will still have a massive roof and will still be dark inside. Especially the kitchen and living room area. As someone who's last two homes had very little natural light in the kitchen, I can tell you it was not a pleasure to work in.

    And you're still wasting your best exterior space on your master bathroom, a four car garage, and your laundry room.

  • artemis_ma
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Those rooms with 2 exterior walls but with only one wall having windows? Re think that, and add the Windows on both walls.

    This will make rooms airier both visually and physically.

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