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Floor Plan Design Dilemma for New Build (Need Architect Advice)

4 years ago
Hi. My husband and I are planning to get a house built, but I’m not completely happy with the floor plan.

We’ve hired an architect, told him what we were looking for and showed pictures from here as inspiration. We referenced one of his previous designs (because we had previously walked through it) and discussed what we liked about the flow of the house and what we would change. At the next meeting, he showed us the plan which was largely similar to his old design, just with a few things flipped around. I brought up some concerns (i.e. the extra long family room, positioning of the stairs). He suggested getting a builder estimate and opinion and then we would go from there. Being unfamiliar with the process, we went ahead and did that. The numbers came back a lot higher than we wanted (which I was fine with because I wasn’t entirely happy with the plan anyway), so we returned to him to get changes done to better suit our needs. He seemed resistant and said that if we were to change a lot, it would be an altogether different project and would have to pay anew. This took us completely by surprise. Is this common practice? He also doesn’t have many ideas to make the plan fit us more. I’m pretty much coming up with the ideas then I’d run them by him to see if they would work from an architectural standpoint. I feel like we’re stuck. It’s been beyond frustrating, to say the least.

I’ve attached the first floor plan below for reference. This is a two-story home with a full basement.

The lot has room to go wider or deeper and will be east-facing. It will also have a little bit of a view from the back.

We’re thinking of shrinking the garage width a few feet so it doesn’t jut out too much and also lining up the left side walls of the house.

My main issues:
- Too much space between the living room and kitchen
- Very long (almost narrow) family room. We had said we preferred it wider than longer, but moving the fireplace to the back wall would probably obstruct the view. We asked to maybe push the back wall a bit but he said that would require changing from a 2x10 to a 2x12.
- I prefer the kitchen island facing the fireplace but that will even create more space between that and the living room
- Is it weird to have the back of the stairs the first thing you see entering the house?

We spend a lot of time in our study/office (where we’ll have two desks) and wish there was some way that extra square footage between the family room and kitchen could be incorporated to the office instead.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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