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Need Help Reviewing Floor Plan!

last month

Hi Everyone,

Would really appreciate your help reviewing this floor plan. We have been back and forth with the architect couple times and would love to get this forums feedback. one of my concerns is it feels we have alot of wasted space in the floor plan. please let me know what you think

Comments (53)

  • last month

    @ BeverlyFLADeziner thank you for the feedback. I agree changes will cost more at this point, but better to make changes now before construction. The problem we ran into is the final construction estimate was way above the initial estimate. Now we are looking for ways to reduce cost. This is one of the reasons I am reaching out now. I believe we can make things more efficient and wanted to get some advice.

  • last month

    By “what are your goals”, and now knowing you are replacing your existing house, I mean how do you live, do you have children, any needs to accommodate. Work or school from home.? Musicians? Athletes? Pets? Entertain?

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    Comments (12)
    Thanks for the responses everyone! Let's see if I can address them all: There's a lot of focus on my guest bedroom area. My intent for that space is really to "flex" with us as our family ages, like you said, @lavender_lass. For now, I see it being used as an extra room- play room, or whatever with a bed or pull out couch for the infrequent times we do have adult over night guests. It can also be used as a BR if someone breaks their leg or has surgery or something. Then, as we age, it will become our Master bedroom. The Guest bath is large because we needed one that is wheelchair accessible. We have 3 friends and family members in w/c now, so it was drawn with them in mind. (And any future handicaps in ourselves.) So currently, it will be used as the bathroom that every guest uses when they visit. I didn't want it to open right on to the family room, cuz I think that's a little tacky! :) I don't like the door being where it is to the "guest suite" or flex space or whatever you want to call it. I was thinking about moving the door down, like you suggested, @kirkhall. Since you mentioned it, I'm thinking that's probably a really good idea! @fotomatt- just curious what you meant about the small look/sq footage? Didn't know if you meant that I haven't used the space well, or if I did use it well! Does the exterior elevation look wrong? I was actually worried that I have too much sqft. Just wondering- I won't bite, I promise! :) @andi_k- good point! And actually, after looking at those pics again, they don't seem to have alot of usable counter space, either. I might have to rethink my vision for that room. Adding a little footage to the mudroom might be on the agenda. I need to check and see if it will jive with the upstairs. So....what do you think about my front windows, then? Should I cut them down to 2 casements w/ transoms? That would give me a little more room to play with in the mudroom, but would that ruin my exterior look? So many good things to think about! I appreciate them all!
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    Comments (17)
    Thanks for all of the reviews. I will make sure to change the swing of the bathroom doors and will most likely make the pantry door a single outward swinging door. As for the family room, it's 18 x 18'2 including fireplace and built-ins. I'd like it a little bigger but we're tweaking an original plan and trying to only make minor changes to keep the costs down. I think since it's an open plan, I'm ok with the size. I've measured the size against our current family room and I've seen pictures of the family room in a built house and it seems large enough. lyfia, I hear what you're saying about the location of the laundry room but it doesn't really bother me. As for the front porch, I think it's 7' but that is the one last thing I have to confirm. I agree that 7' should be the minimum. Yes, we'll change the french doors to sliders. That works much better. gobruno, I hear what you're saying about the bedroom with the small dormer as the only source of natural light. Unfortunately, in order to keep the elevation the same, I don't think there's much we can do. I'm going to look at pictures of larger dormers to see if we want to make them larger. There are skylights in the playroom but I think we're going to add a large dormer instead. Thank you all for the reviews!
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    Comments (9)
    I would not open the two public areas up to one another. If they're open to one another, what's the point of having two? Also, the living room gives you a more private, quieter spot. This is a very open plan, and I think you'll appreciate that quiet area. I agree that the powder room is a problem. I'd consider making the guest bathroom serve double-duty as a downstairs bath. You'd need to flip-flop the bathroom so that the tub would be against the wall, but it's do-able. I think the placement of the master bedroom is fine. It's convenient as you walk up the stairs, and it has a door. I think it's private-a-plenty. In the kitchen, I would switch the refrigerator /pantry and the range. This will keep your main work items all together in one spot and will move the less-needed items to the farther side. Also, I like the shape of the island in your space (though I am rarely a fan of odd-shaped islands), but can you reach it to clean it? This always occurs to short people. You have devoted a massive portion of the house to the foyer and the curved staircase (I read something recently that said curved items are the same shape as a dollar sign for a good reason.); do you really want to allocate so much of the budget to a hallway? No, I would not go with the expense of free-standing stairs. I can't quite read the room sizes, but I'm thinking the rooms are a comfortable size. Also you have a lovely bank of windows in the family room; it's not going to feel small. No fireplace. In my area, in a house of this size and scale, the lack of a fireplace would be noted. Your lot is very small to support a house of this size.
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    Comments (24)
    Please post a plan that can actually be read and BTW we run to our car in the rain all the time and we have an awesome carport but no garage since to put in a garage would close up our outdoor space look. I have no idea why you would have 1/2 baths on the floor with bedrooms , flex rooms to me are wasted space figure out if you need them then have a purpose for them . A kids den is a mystery that is what family rooms should be . An inglenook does in no way make sense and walkin pantries IMO are a waste of space and you will need roller skates to cook a simple meal in that kitchen with the pantry that far away. Use your DR what the heck are you saving it for putting a table in the great room will add all sorts of issues for other furnishings. Make the kids den the TV room . Put stools at the islnad of you want more casual eating spce.
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  • PRO
    last month

    Now we are looking for ways to reduce cost.

    Your design and build team are the best ones to help with that.

  • last month

    @PPF. thank you. Do you have any feedback on the floor plan?

  • last month

    @bpath thank for clarification, no specific design goals, we want to make sure we can easily sell in the future. we do work from home primarily now

  • last month

    It seems like a lot of work to get groceries into the kitchen from the garage. Is there a way to place the elevator so that there are fewer turns/steps involved? If you could move it to the left, it could open directly into the mudroom, closer to there garage door, and be closer to the kitchen.

  • PRO
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The way to reduce costs, is build smaller and simpler.

    That means refine your needs.....go back to the architect. Whatever the estimated cost is now and it is TOO much? Plan on that to get worse by 20%. In fact, you can count on that. Before a scrap of landscaping or patio.

  • last month

    It almost makes me LOL that you are trying to reduce costs on such a house. This would be the house with 2 dishwashers, 4 fireplaces, an elevator, and 4 stories of stair cases, a range and a cooktop (or is it 2 ranges?)

    My more constructive feedback is that you have a North facing kitchen with zero southern light cascading in while living in a place that is somewhat compromised on sun. And only minimal upper level East sun from windows that are too high to control with manual blind/shades. And the majority of your North sun is blocked with a covered patio. You also have a front facing master bedroom with large glass and may have issues with street noises.

  • last month

    Why two kitchens? why seven bedrooms? Why six or seven bathrooms? Why three living rooms? Why so many fireplaces?

    Tough to say how to improve without knowing why you have included so many bells and whistles.

  • last month

    It will be more affordable to buy an existing home. Custom will drive cost. As stated - this is a VERY expensive home with everyting in there and the 7+ bathrooms. EVERYTHING about this home is $$$$. Building it for you will drive costs even higher.

    We started looking at a home that was about $1.4M and were concerned that it was too much and we could do it for less. (This was 10 years ago)

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH, we actually thought this. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. and our Architect and build team agreed! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. deep breath. And when it's all said and done we'll have 2.5X into this.

    My example is extreme, but you are not going to get out of this with a home built for you with less cost than an existing or spec home. You will drive a different set of decisions than someone building for profit and resale. There's noting WRONG with that - but you need to know this going in.

    Do you need all this space? Do you have a super large family? Or are you building to "fit in" to the neighborhood price point / expected features? Having all these rooms drives pathways to get there. And there's really not excessive hallways because of the tight (relative) footprint. But I simply can't imagine the door, trim and hardware bill on this house. There's just so much of .... everything.

  • PRO
    last month

    WE have zero info and if afforadble is the plan then start over . This is not affordable even with a million dollar budget . Good layouts can be a small house with the things you need for your life . If you want any help here we need a ton of info as to your family and what you need to live comforatbly. IMO the whole thing is a mess so a start over with the first thing a budget .How many people will live here daily? We have in outr town a 6400 SQ ft home it is a ridiculous size for any one unless they have 2 whole families living there all the time and even then weird layout for that.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Both ranges have 400cfm exhaust hood to avoid makeup air requirements. Change both to 36" induction ranges and be realistic about the ventilation. Wolf, Bosch and Electrolux have models. Post your lighting plan.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    There is a flaw in your thinking - you stated you would rather buy new construction (but it costs too much) so you’ve decided to build a massive new home with a desire to spend less money.

    This is unlikely to work with this McMansion floor plan. Also, keeping up with the Joneses isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  • last month

    When people ask what your goals, wants and needs are, they are specifically asking for information on why your floorplan looks the way it does. You didn't just tell the architect "Design a house for me" and this is what came out of it. Did you just show the architect your neighbor's house and say "design something like this"?

    For example, you have two kitchens... Do you cook a lot? Do you cater? Why do you need that? You have a lot of bedrooms... Do you have a lot of kids? Do you host guests frequently? You have a lot of hang out space... Do you entertain large groups of people often? One of your spaces is above the bedrooms... Do you want people climbing up past the private areas of your home? Or is that just for family?

    Or is this just a design to keep up with the neighbors?

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Thanks for clarifying the importance of the questions, anj, why they matter to the architect and to the people being asked for their thoughts.

    OP, Is the house in a coastal area? Asking because of the lower level garage and the top level deck, and the many stairs, which seem to drive some of the design.

  • last month

    You have seven bedrooms, each with walk-in closet. Reach-in closets are far more space efficient. That is one small example of wasted space. A walk-in makes sense in the master.

    Are you on a hill trying to get a sea view? Four stories seems excessive, and who will want to sleep in the basement?

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    The house in your link is over 6 million dollars and is 1200sq ft smaller than your plan and you think you are going to build a bigger more complex custom house for cheaper? Not going to happen.

    Your plan feels like a maze to me.

    You have an area labeled nook which is not a nook and has more area than the actual dining room. Do you really need all that dining space?

    Where do you actually sit in the master bedroom sitting area? You need to leave room for the door swing, pathway into the room and pathway to bathroom.

    Your masterbath feels small for this size house. There is no way two people are showering at the same time in the masterbath shower.

    Is that 48 inch range gas? It will need more than 400cfm max vent hood. You are spending millions on this house why skimp out on proper ventilation and makeup air.?

    You have a very large kitchen, 3 sinks, 2 ranges, 2 dishwashers and 2 fridges but your pantry is small. With all that kitchen I would think there would be a lot of cooking going on which would require a bigger pantry.

    What is the purpose of the area labeled prep? Do you have hired help that will use this area or is this where you will prep and cook? I would not want to be shoved back in a small prep room to prep and cook if I have a nice large kitchen to cook in.

    How big is your current house? You say small but what you consider small may be not what others consider small. In reality do you really need 6600 sq ft of space?

    I find it strange that you are building a multimillion dollar home but have no design goals.

  • last month

    Even if every home in the neighborhood you're planning on building in has seven bedrooms and all the other things in your plans that doesn't mean you need to build something that large. If you build 3,500-4,000 square feet with 4-5 bedrooms it would probably sell in five minutes when you go to sell it. There will always be someone with less money than the average neighborhood price who will want to own in a luxury area. You should be building something that is right for you and affordable for you. Unless your circumstances are unusual, you don't need that much space. If you really want to save money, go back to the drawing board and completely rethink what you're planning. Unless I misunderstand you, small tweaks aren't going to get you there. Furnishing a house that large would add tens of thousands onto the budget as well.

  • PRO
    last month

    This is a case of serious lack of communication with an architect. Start over.

  • last month

    Yes, there is wasted space inside and its a bit like a maze. But need to understand why you have 7 bedrooms and two ginormous ranges when for the average family one 30” is sufficient.

    Close in the great room to make it one story, but BR7 on second floor and dont have a third floor.

    Remove all fireplaces except great room.

    Rearrange second floor to have the bedrooms next to each other and share one full bath.

    MBR sitting area is a waste of space.

    Office closet is a waste of space.

    Random closet across from BA4 is a waste of space.

    Why two sinks in BA4

    But the number of jogs in exterior walls and complicated roof line add cost. The most cost effective shape to build is a rectangle with dimensions in multiples of 4’.

    I live in rural northern NY in a 2200sq ft L shaped ranch. The quote to reshingle my roof was $24,000. I cant imagine what yours would be.

  • last month

    Is the garage being on a lower level than the kitchen typical for your neighborhood? I'd never buy a house like that, especially in that $$$$$$ bracket. Is the lot size driving that? Lots that end up being 80-90% house also seem out of balance. Is that the case here?

  • last month

    For a house of this size, the sizes of individual bedrooms are not particularly large, and in some cases, a bit on the smaller side. If you don't need so many bedrooms, I would try to reduce the number of bedrooms and make each a little larger. This will probably be more appealing for resale, since you said that's on driver for the design. I would also make your master bath a bit larger if you can. If you're in the $6M range, I think most people are looking for luxurious open master baths as well as a large open great room (I disagree with the other comment about making the great room only one story).

  • last month

    Specially, for the master bath, I would do a larger shower and vanity. In a previous house that was about half this size, our shower and vanity were larger than what you plan shows, and the open, large bathroom really changes the feel of the space.

  • last month

    If it were me, I would start over and build a smaller house but leave room on the lot for an addition, if possible. With the right architect, you coud build a smaler house that is beautiful and holds value in the neighborhood. A house that surpasses the mcmansions because of design integrity alone. Homes built with attention to architectral detail, not size, will be admired and sought after by buyers.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Just a small counterpoint. I have 3800 sqft and the specs built around me are typically 5500. I am sure our house will sell well but at some point the $/sqft mantra makes it to appraisals. One that just sold a few houses down was lived in by a childless couple and they rarely had guests the 2 years they lived there (at least that arrived by car). I am not sure if the 2 years was a cap gains thing or not. But childless couple in 5500 sqft! They spend 1 of the 2 years installing a pool!

    People do some crazy things. One of the more dramatic houses built in our hood recently was built be a couple (with HS kids) and the owner's intent is 2 years then sell. They do this over and over to take advantage of the capital gains tax exemption. The strategy is reasonably sound in our very stable/slow growth market but this house is just over the top. I am talking 7,000 + ADU - definitely the tops for the few block area. But I bet the sale price will also set a record.

    People build here with the intent of selling all the time and do fairly well. All RE is local.

    The OP maybe able to build for $5M which is cheaper than $6M. Just avoiding those pesky transaction costs is a win.

  • last month

    D E

    The plans look beautiful. You have a great architect. Yes there is some wasted space. That always happens because people don't always think how they will use the space and an architect has to sometimes guess.

    If your goal is to cut down the costs... Maybe some of the rooms could be smaller or even removed. I would remove the office and one of the outdoor patios. And of course the bedrooms above the office. Make everything much smaller and even remove some of the wasted space.

    Have you thought about a Master Bedroom on the main floor? that is often a huge issue for many shoppers. Master on the main floor mean a person can purchase this house and age in place. My husband won't buy a house without a master on the first floor.

    Could you reduce the kitchen? Maybe remove the butlers pantry. or make it a little smaller. Don't finish the 7th bedroom. Rather have electrical and plumbing put in but leave it unfinished until your finances change and you can re-finish it later.

    Looking forward to seeing the new changes.

  • PRO
    last month

    It seems like an interesting design, with a lot of ins and outs with exterior wall not lining up the walls above or below.. I would like to see exterior elevations, hopefully it is not a halloween house.

    There seems to be a lot of oddities that I try to avoid., like: a column in the garage, a small bollard to protect a major structural column, water heater in a garage, small mechanical rooms, hanging clothes turning a inside corner, step in closets, more than one entry into a bathroom, a garage that has to be entered for the outside through an overhead garage door, double wide garage door, dining room a distance from the kitchen, the double kitchen needs justification, will your elevator need its own mechanical room?, Double doors into a bedroom, double doors into a bathroom, jack & jill only work if one kid is named 'Jack' and the other kid is named 'Jill' and only when they are kids (sometimes), toilet stall the size of one in a public restroom, base cabinets that turn a corner in a laundry room, linen closets that have widths more than nine inches than their door(s), free standing tubs with insufficient space surrounding them to be able to clean comfortably, and it may be nice, in a four story house it may be nice to open up the stairs to test bandana parachutes on pet cats dropped from the forth floor down to the first floor (just seeing if anyone reads this).

    Please pardon poor sentence structure.

  • last month

    I have a lot of the same questions and agree with what a lot of people have already said.

    The "double" kitchen seems excessive (14 burners???). One show stopping range plus a regular wall oven and a steam oven should be plenty. Is island seating and a nook and a dining room necessary? Most people would prefer the primary bedroom to be on the main floor with a larger bathroom and probably a 2nd laundry room.

    Here are a couple other thoughts- the garage seems to have a lot of space at the back (is that needed for a hobby?). If a 7th bedroom is truly needed, it could move down to the basement and then eliminate the 4th floor. Or at least not finish the 4th floor and have the plans for future buyers. In a new build house this size, I would expect for all the bedrooms to have walk-in closets and private bathrooms. (The bedrooms in the basement could be an exception.)

    Hoping that you post the changes!

  • PRO
    last month

    Every exterior corner on a house costs $$$. Here's a house with all those corners and set backs. It just makes everything more complicated.

    You could cut down on a lot of the cost by building a home that is rectangular.

  • last month

    7 bathrooms. This means fixtures, tile, faucets, vanities. These are expensive items. And water heaters. And lots of plumbing. And 4 floors - there's water EVERYWHERE.

    There's 2+ kitchens - that's a LOT of cabinets and countertops. And fixtures. And appliances. oh - and more plumbing.

    I counted 45 windows - some of them being large, and some large sliders. Probably well over $500K in windows. (I have not bought windows in a long time, but I spent a boatload on nice windows years ago)

    I counted about 50 interior doors. Not cheap. And the hardware for each door. And trim.

    The electrical plan for this house would be massive. Is some form of automation expected at this price point?

    HVAC? This is a huge bill on both equipment and installation.

    Every decision that went into the house added cost. And each one is difficult to unwind or back out. I don't know what you have been quoted, but it's probably 1.5x the house that you shared the sales link for.

    You won't pare this plan down in any way that actually moves the needle. I know how frustrating this is - but you'll need to start over or reswizzle your budget.

  • PRO
    last month

    So far no cat lovers here.

  • last month

    If you are having second thoughts, now is the time to step away and re-evaluate. Much less costly to do when it's only on paper. We pulled the plug on our last construction the morning the blasters were to begin, plans had already been through permitting. Just wasn't' sitting right with us. Took a year to do a full redesign of the plans. Much happier with the result. Sometimes the wish list ("Wouldn't it be nice if...") doesn't match the cost reality and something has to give. If you want to be able to afford to stay - your decision is pretty clear.

  • last month

    stair games can be fun, Mark.

  • PRO
    last month

    Not for the cat.

  • PRO
    last month

    You've asked for us to let you know what we think. What everyone thinks is about as unanimous as opinions ever get on this forum. You would do well to start over and not try an make changes to this bloated design.

  • last month

    It's not too late to change this. Reminds me of @cpartist experience. She had her house in permitting. Pulled it out and got a better house because of it.

  • last month

    Thank you all for taking the time to review our plan and provide your feedback. This group is so knowledgeable and glad we found it before finalizing our plans. I think I have most of the feedback at this point. Below are answers to some of the comments as well as some questions I have for the group:

    • This is the home that initially inspired our home. We walked through it during an open house:
    • Unfortunately where we ended up now is not exactly the same. I really like the stairs off the great room
    • In terms of stair placement, is there a more efficient location?
    • Do you think the elevator is necessary? Our home is on a sloped lot, that is the reason for the basement. We also have downtown views, that is the reason for the forth floor.

    Architectrunnerguy Thank you for sharing this experience. What can we do differently this time to get a better house?

    RappArchitecture If we were to start over, how do we make sure we do not make these mistakes again?

    lhmarmot thank you for sharing your experience. We definitely are having second thoughts but not looking forward to the additional time this will take. We have a sense of urgency since construction cost in our area keep going up. We are worried about the increase construction cost over the next year. Any tips in how you made the redesign more successful?

    just_janni we are leaning toward starting over, thank you for your input

    BeverlyFLADeziner Thank you, we will make sure we consider this as part of the redesign

    k8cd Thank you for your feedback. I will definitely post the updates

    Mark Bischak, Architect thank you for the feedback. It seems we are not following best practices. Clarification on one of the comments, toilet stall the size of one in a public restroom, is the toilet stall to small? I attached exterior elevations

    Boxerpal We like your idea of not having a room at the front of the house. Since we work from home we need an office. But maybe we get rid of the formal dining and put the office in that location.

    David Cary you are right on. Since land price went up significantly during the last couple years, our goal is to build cheaper than new construction. The reason for front facing master is for views of downtown/mountain. Any recommendations to layout to take advantage of sunlight?

    Rockybird we are leaning toward redesign. Any tips on how we can make the redesign more successful?

    T T Thank you for brining this up, since most plans I received online do not have the dimension for master bathroom. What size do you recommend?

    Aziline this is due to our lot, i posted elevations.

    Richfield95 here is example of new construction in our neighborhood: if you click on homesite 1 you can see some of those features that are becoming more standard in our neighborhood.

    We are trying to meet the same standards as other homes for resale purpose. Completely agree on the some of the wasted space. I believe the elevator is causing some of that wasted in tef MBR.

    JAN MOYER since we are planning to start over, any tips so we are successful this time around?

    Kandrewspa thank you for your feedback, agree with your input

    Vinmarks you bring up very good points. We are thinking to get rid of the formal dining. Our current home is 2200. Here is the home that inspired our design:

    Latifolia we had not thought about reach in closets, we like this idea for bedrooms that would not be used on a daily basis We are trying to get downtown and mountain views. We were thinking the basement bedroom could be used if one of our children stays home for college

    Bpath Our lot is sloped, that is driving the location of the garage, I included elevations. Please let me know if other drawings would be helpful

    anj_p This is the house we shared with our architect when we started our journey:

    We started going to more open houses in the neighborhood and it continued to evolve. The architect recommended the elevator. A lot of the features we included are for resale purposes: if you click on homesite 1 you can see some of those features that are becoming more standard in our neighborhood.

    littlebug Zone 5 Missouri New construction is more expensive in our area since builders are paying a premium for the lots. Since we have had our current home for a while, it makes sense to build on our lot

    Dan1888 Thank you for that feedback, that is something we were not aware of

    Patricia Colwell Consulting thanks for your feedback, what is the process for coming up with a good layout. We thought we had that with the initial home we shared with our architect but due to our lot, changes were made and it started getting complex

    Just_janni we need a larger home since our current home is 2200 sq ft. We are designing it to fit in. Lots have a premium now, that is the reason new construction in our area our $$$$$

    Auntthelma We are designing to fit in to our neighborhood

    Blueskysunnyday good point, we may remove the elevator, that is causing a lot of the design constraints

  • last month

    So you're adding things to your plan for resale? When do you plan on selling? If it's not for 10 years stop worrying about it - what's trendy now won't be then, so whatever you add to it might be irrelevant down the road.

    The beauty of building custom (truly custom, not production-modified) is that you get to build a home for you. If your neighborhood is desirable (and it seems to be), someone will buy it. I wouldn't go adding second kitchens and 7 bedrooms just because the neighbors have that.

    IF you do your job well, and IF you work with a good architect, your home will sell itself regardless of the bells and whistles you add to it. Paying less than the homes you linked will likely never happen if you build at that scale - developers/builders buy labor and materials in bulk, and their floorplans are already vetted to eliminate cost (for them). Even though those homes look very high end, they are still essentially production homes.

    Long story short, I would stop trying to keep up with the Joneses and build what you 1) NEED and 2) WANT, in that order.

    We designed (didn't build) a custom house a few years ago. We couldn't build it due to cost. We ended up getting a much bigger production home for about 80% the cost of our custom BID (and we all know that the house never costs less than the bid). But if we had built it, I'm convinced we would have gotten our money back and then some, because our house was unique.

    You are concerned about money and construction costs going up - but you will pay a lot more if you build this plan now than you will if you rethink, scale back to what you NEED, and build in a year from now.

    For the rest...why can't offices be on the 2nd floor? Or the basement? Why can't bedrooms be used for offices? If you are not constantly having catered dinner parties, why do you need a prep kitchen? Who cooks in your family? Do they want to be stuck in a back room cooking while everyone else is out in the main living space? If not, don't spend $100k on a second kitchen. Elevators in a house this size are kind of a necessity, I think (3 flights of stairs is a lot) - but you don't have to put one in NOW. Just make space for one. Also consider doing laundry for the people in all of those bedrooms (at a minimum you'll be doing bedding & towels) will be hauling baskets up to the 3rd floor & back. Yikes. At least you'll be in shape??

    Anyway, I would write out what you want your house to have and where you want to have it, and things may become clear.

    D E thanked anj_p
  • PRO
    last month

    Many house plans include a toilet in a small 3' x 5' space. I can not think of a more unpleasant space to be in even if it is for a relatively short period of time. A small window helps very little, and helps little more if you can see out the window while you are sitting there thinking, "This room stinks!". Perhaps I have had too many science classes to be bothered by natural bodily functions. I favor a freestanding toilet located open in a bathroom where the bathroom's interior designer's work can be appriicated and not be sentenced to solitary confinement.

    D E thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • PRO
    last month

    Totally agree with anj_p. Every point made is valid. I would take all of this advice to your architect and use it as a starting point to create an efficient home which meets your needs, responds to the site, and comes in at a budget you can afford.

    D E thanked RappArchitecture
  • last month

    “Any tips on how we can make the redesign more successful?”

    As anj says, take your list of NEEDS and WANTS, beyond ”be like other houses in the neighborhood”. They were not built for you.

    You have bedrooms that are not used on a daily basis, that you could use as offices. How many of those bedrooms ARE used on a daily basis, or at least for three months sporadically throughout the year when kids are visiting/in residence/shared custody/school vacations? Are they kids? adults?

    It sounds like you don’t need a dining room, if you are willing to give it up for an office. If no dining room, then you don’t need a butler’s pantry, and is a prep kitchen necessary for the way you cook? It might be, we don’t know.

    Bathroom size is so personal! Me, I am very happy with my master bath that is about 5.5’x13.5’. I wouldn’t want it want it smaller, and a little bigger (just a couple of inches linger) only to accommodate better vanity drawers. But, some people need or want a bigger shower, or a tub of some kind, linen closet. What do YOU want and need?

    An elevator, if the garage is on the lower level, and it’s a four-story house, perhaps an elevator is a good idea, especially when someone is moving in and out to college, apartment, etc. I figure you’ll be doing ceilings higher than 8’, so you will not want to carry Costco trip items up the stairs. Maybe you have a baby, or twins, so carrying baby and paraphernalia might get old. It’s about YOUR needs.

    D E thanked bpath
  • last month

    I was not trying to say the elevator is a bad idea! If you park in your garage and it is going to be one level below your kitchen, I would want it for groceries and packing/unpacking the car for trips. It will also help with laundry and aging in place. I think it is a good idea — I was just saying there may be a more efficient place for it in terms of using it for groceries multiple times a week. The current location requires a lot of steps.

    D E thanked blueskysunnyday
  • PRO
    last month

    Just noticed the exterior elevations. There are a lot of ins and outs without composition. I thought (hoped) there would be more composition to the house's form when I viewed the floor plans, but really did not have enough time to study them.

    Surprised to to see the contrast between the inspirational home and the house the designer came up with for you.

    D E thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • last month

    Is there a front elevation?

    I understand needing a bigger home but do you really need 3 x's what you have now? Really think about how you live not some fantasy idea of how you think you will live.

    If you are doing a 4 story home I would definitely have an elevator. Especially for when you come home with groceries. We rented a house that had the main level and then a finished basement. It had a steep driveway down to the garage. Hauling groceries up the stairs to the kitchen was such a PITA. It got old real quick. At some point we started parking on the steep driveway and bringing things in the front door.

    As bpath said bathroom size is a personal thing. Our bathroom is only 9' 8" x 10' 2". It is perfect for us. No tub. 2 sink vanity, toilet room and a shower for one person (did the huge 2 person shower in previous house and hated it. DH suds flying on me and it was drafty.) But if you want a 2 person shower the size you show will not accommodate 2 people. It looks like you would both be standing in the same spot in the shower.

    Honestly the elevations you show look convoluted to me. All those roof lines and jigs and jogs. Simplify. The house that was your inspiration is a lot simpler than what you have.

    D E thanked vinmarks
  • last month

    Kudos to you for being so receptive to all the input. My comment on the master bedroom size being small is based on the usable area where the bed would go. It feels a little bit tight for me given the size of house. It looks like you have roughly 14x15'. The sitting area also isn't useful as it would mostly need to be walkway space. I think the total size of your master bedroom suite is pretty reasonable. I would just reconsider how you divide the space up between bedroom, bathroom, and closet, and the layout.

    For a larger higher end house, I would consider a larger Master shower that can comfortably fit two people showering at the same time. I would also do larger bathroom vanities with more counter and cabinet storage space.

    I would highly recommend keeping the toilet in a separate room. At least around here, I have not seen a newer luxury home with a toilet that doesn't have a separate toilet room in many years. Contrary to Mark's opinion, I think the toilet room helps to isolate any smells as it allows the bathroom fan, assuming you have a good one, to very effectively extract the air from the room. Without the toilet room, the bathroom feels more like a public bathroom and smells will permeate the whole open space.

    D E thanked T T
  • 27 days ago

    @lhmarmot we are currently back in the redesign phase, we want to spend more time sketching what we want before sending to the architect again. Do you have any recommendations on software tools or resources to help guide us this time around? thanks!

  • 26 days ago

    Pencil and graph paper are good tools.

  • 26 days ago

    Sorry, didn’t use software to visualize. Our architect is old school… all by hand. Fortunately I find it easy to “see” what it looks like. Always surprises my husband when it looks just like the drawings😉

  • 26 days ago

    Sketchup was invaluable for us. Steep learning curve, but worth it.

    D E thanked LH CO/FL
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