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Critique Our Architecture Plans!

last month
last modified: 29 days ago

Hi All!

We recently got our first pass of architecture plans and would love to get some feedback.

Some priorities that we gave our architect -

  • Indoor/Outdoor Living (we are in SoCal)
  • Open Plan Living Area
  • Minimize Budget & Value Design where possible (we are going low to mid tier for build cost)

So far we are thinking of dropping the 5th bedroom, making the flex room a playroom/kids area and need to move it closer to family room.

All critiques related to all areas (design, flow, room size, value designing/engineering) are welcomed!


UPDATED WITH SITE PLAN & ELEVATIONS


UPDATES AFTER FEEDBACK

1. Some great points on the pantry and kitchen layout - we are going to review how we put the pantry to the interior and get the kitchen against an outside wall. Also - put the double oven under the range as they will be an all in one unit.

2. Removing the doors from the office to the exterior - won't need that pathway - will make them windows for $ savings

3. Looking at Guest Room & Flex Room being combined (i.e. drop a room) OR at the very least flip their locations

4. Primary Bath & WIC - Going to remove the tub (we never use one) and get into the J & J bathroom (will create space for that by making Bedroom 4 closet a reach in). Playing around with the idea of having one entryway to an adjoined Master Bath & WIC - think an entrance off of master bedroom and then you go left to bathroom and right to the WIC - keeps showering and getting dressed all without re-entering into the master bathroom if my wife or I are sleeping

5. Downstairs 1/2 bath location - build a larger full bath downstairs that guest room uses and drop the 1/2 bath









Comments (44)

  • last month

    How old are the kids, and how many?

    Consider turning the guest bedroom in a second family space, with doors to the family room that can be closed. This idea would serve your family for years. Guests can have the front bedroom. Do a combined guest bath and power room, with the sink and toilet it the front area and the shower behind a door.

    Reconsider the jack-and-jill upstairs, give them a bath entered from the hall or a recessed area between, and just one sink. They will never be in there at the same time, and extra counter space and drawers below is invaluable.

    Adam C thanked bpath
  • PRO
    last month

    Open 2 story foyer is a waste of space and just adds noise and HVAC issues. Do you really need the MU vanity in your bath, and if so do you want to be sitting in the traffic path? Primary bath tub seems shoved in a corner inelegantly.

    Adam C thanked HALLETT & Co.
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    To me architecture is as much an art as it is a science. However, some prefer one type of art over another...just like in genre of music. I for one can't stand rap music. I detest it. My dislike does not make it 'wrong'. Yet, I will not spend any of my money on anything related to rap. Many love rap music and it makes plenty of money. So...apply this to architecture. Do many architects prefer a certain 'type' of construction and disprove of 'fat' layouts or big roofs? This is obviously not my profession, but I do love learning about other professions and other perspectives. I understand your analogy, but the thing is, you're not talking about musical preferences here -- you're talking about misplaced notes, or a tempo that doesn't work with the melody, or instruments that don't blend well together. Even when you're talking about forms of art, rules still exist. You got it right in your title: This is a first draft. It can be polished and improved significantly, but -- for that to happen -- you have to be willing to listen to advice. And you're getting good advice here. I have actually thought about an L shaped house, but I think for us the flow of this works better. Let's test that theory and see if the house has good flow. The red lines represent the path you'd take from the various parts of the house to the laundry room. Note that EVERY ONE OF THEM funnels through the kitchen, one of the busiest rooms in your house. So while you're cooking, people'll be squishing through carrying large baskets of clothes to and fro. This is the exact opposite of good flow. On the other hand, let's consider getting groceries into the house, into storage and to the table -- this works! You bring groceries in, there's the pantry, there's the refrigerator ... when it's time to cook, you bring them into the kitchen ... then straight on to the table. I'd think about the sink location, but everything else is set up to run like a well-oiled machine. So the question is, how can you make ALL (or at least most) of your daily chores run easily like the food storage ... instead of horribly like the laundry lay out? Consider all the other things you do on a daily basis that could either run poorly ... or be designed well: Bringing in the mail, taking out the trash, taking care of the dog, managing the kids' homework, storage of sports equipment, wrapping a present, sitting down to read a book. Think through all these things, and then work on laying out the house so that everything you need is logically organized.
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  • last month

    Agreed on the tub, going to reconsider what we do there. My wife and I don't use a tub so maybe get it moved to another bedroom as it would just be for the babies.

  • last month

    Hi, How exciting!!! Soooo here are few quick thoughts ~ #1) I personally am not a fan of a walk in pantry, seems to be a waste of space when so many cabinet companies offer wonderful pantry storage solutions. However, I think it really depends on your lifestyle etc.. #2) I had 4 kids and were always “coming in to pee”… I do not see a 1/2 bath near the backyard area… just something to consider. #3) Some great ideas above ~ I agree with the jack and jill bath. It’ll be exciting for you to see how this evolves!

    Adam C thanked Nicole Jackson
  • last month

    I’m kind of honing in on the kitchen—yes, it’s “ open” but the work zone is tight-/ less than 4’ of real aisle between range & sink which are directly opposite— barely room to open the oven, ok for one- cook but can’t really have someone washing up dishes while anyone cooking. I do see that with an island, one can chop & prep , stir etc but access to sink is limited. It’s not terrible, but with all that space, seems like maybe could have better pathway.

    Is the pantry door near where you bring in groceries?
    Adam C thanked marmiegard_z7b
  • last month

    Great idea on a bathroom by the backyard. Will try to see if we can fit it.

    Garages will be at the back of the property as we have an alley behind the lot so garages will be accessed from the alley and not the Main Street so groceries will be brought in through the rear left door.

    Love the comments, keep them coming!

  • last month

    Two large windows in the walk-in pantry and none in the kitchen ... get the light and view in the space you use the most. Pantry should be interior and doesn't need windows.

    Dining space might be a bit small.

    Make sure the "furniture" your architect drew in matches the scale of the furniture you own or are going to buy. What is drawn might be a bit undersized.

    Don't waste all that storage space under the staircase, specially with no basement.

    What direction does the back of the house face? Hopefully not west or you won't enjoy that outdoor space most of the year!

    You are going to hear and feel the vibration/noise from the washer in the living area right under the laundry.

    Are you ever going to actually sit in the trellis area outside of the office? Could be a place to save money by using windows instead of doors and skip the trellis. Not much wall space in that office for any furniture ( credenza, file cabinets, etc).

    Skip the 2-story foyer, but I would do 10 ft ceilings on the main floor.

    Adam C thanked chispa
  • last month

    Pantry window input is great. Will get those taken out, add additional lighting in there and put the windows in a spot to get additional light into living area.


    I very much doubt that seating area out front of the office will be used frequently so great idea to go to a window and save some money.


    Backyard faces SSW.


    For the storage under the stairs - we were thinking addtional storage would always be good to have. Would a suggestion be just to leave that area open or close it off?

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    The windows in the pantry may look nice on the outside but they just ate up all your shelf space . I could see having a small one for light during the day but remember they come at a storage price.

    I would think about doing different things that you do in the kitchen.. Are you a cookie baker, pizza baker, take out eater? I would walk thru the steps and see if the stove moved down the wall wouldn't be more functional.

    I am not sure how a walk in pantry works. Is all of your flour, spices, canned goods, mixers in there? If so, the closest working counter of any size is either down in the corner or on the backside of the island.

    As someone with a 2 story entry, I won't poo poo yours. I do not think we get much noise from it, we get noise from the loft/balcony area. Plus your rooms do not open directly on to it.

    How about removing the 1/2 bath and placing it more convenient to the outside/kitchen. Then move the door to the guest bedroom on the other side of the br door. It is no longer an en suite but close. Even if the 1/2 bath doesn't get relocated, is it necessary right next to another bath? How often will the guest room be used and by whom? Grandparents? They would love little visitors! The space could always be used for another closet, can never have too many.

    I'm not a fan of pocket doors. Ours never get used partially because they are a PITA.

    Midwesterner here--do you need a coat coset, space for umbrellas's , backpacks, mud room?

    Nice plans to start with!

    Adam C thanked RNmomof2 zone 5
  • last month

    For the kitchen and pantry, consider this: extend the kitchen to the left wall, and tuck the pantry behind the kitchen, between it and the study. Perhaps a doorway from the study to the kitchen, for a circulation route, and perhaps even make the pantry walk-thru to the living space.

  • last month

    I would bump the kitchen back to where the pantry is so you can get some light from the windows into the kitchen. Imagine having the windows above the kitchen counters and sink and all the bright light and views. It will make a huge difference in the quality of the kitchen. It will also give you more space for the kitchen/island/family room area. I'd find another spot for the pantry.


    The open foyer looks like wasted space to me. Maybe you could close it and make it a play room or study?


    If you don't need the tub, you could extend the vanity down to the wall end, so that it is bigger and there's more open space in the bathroom. But I do think you should have a tub somewhere in the house.

  • last month

    As you plan the bedroom closets, remember that clothes rods don’t turn corners, so those corners are wasted space. And, Br3’s closet comes with its own black hole, back there in the corner. My personal thought is that kids’ closets are best as reach-ins, or what I call ”step-ins”, long and maybe 3+’ deep, with room on the side walls for hooks for jackets and hoodies and robe and lanyards and totes that they accumulate.

  • last month

    Where will you store kids’ or your own recreation gear/sports/hobbies/etc? Travel things? Holiday decor? Glue and lightbulbs ane batteries and wrapping paper? hand tools? beach towels? Cleaning tools and supplies? (even with a housekeeper, you will need some for between visits)

    How will the dryer vent?

  • last month

    I would want a tub for the kids that’s not in the bathroom for the primary bedroom.

    I’ve noticed a strong dislike for jack and jill bathrooms + pocket doors on Houzz. If I was going to have a jack and jill bathroom - that’s where I’d try to have a tub.


    The powder room is way too far away from the family roo/dining area + outdoor area - especially with a pool. Think about wet kids (yours + their friends) coming inside from the pool - and needing to run all the way to the powder room.


    The pantry doesn’t make sense where it is


    1. I’d want that natural light coming into the kitchen.

    2. The windows cause you to lose storage space (which is the reason for a pantry).


    If the kitchen can be moved over - the pantry will need a new spot— or maybe it would be better to have tall cabinets instead of a walk-in pantry?


    While I know that this is So Cal - and a place for coats/boots isn’t needed, as a mom (with a little OCD re: being organized), I’d want/need a drop zone for the kids (shoes/backpacks/etc.)


    You have a lot of space - but it doesn’t seem like it due to some layout issues.


    I’d also prefer 10’ ceilings on the main floor without a two story foyer.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    All architecture is three dimensional. And of course all architecture has context. Design should never stop at the exterior walls. Please post the elevations and the site plan.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    A single step between landings should be avoided. Add a step at the bottom with a rounded outside edge and an open handrail/guard.

    Show the width of the stairs and halls. They look narrow.

  • last month

    I like the idea of turning your kitchen and putting the pantry behind it. If you are not doing a built-in fridge your aisle will need to increase. Pantry could also be a hidden pantry if you prefer that look.

    If you keep your kitchen layout as shown, the DW should be on the other side of the sink. Please make sure you have appropriate clearances around your dining table. Not sure if you are planning benches but they are not great and I would reconsider.



    Adam C thanked anj_p
  • last month

    If you are not going to use the courtyard at the office, can you utilize that space for the office and maybe the powder room, then add the pantry and bump the kitchen back so it has windows. The dining area and living area could use more space, tbh.

  • last month

    Where is the street? What kind of front door will you have? Asking because in our house, the front door has sidelights, then a foyer leading back to the living room, and furniture placement kinda similar to yours. It bothers me sometimes that I am in view from the front porch, especially during a spell when ”ding-dong-ditch” was a thing. (I couldn’t believe kids still play that.) But at least we aren’t too close to the street.

    The house originally had double doors from the foyer to the LR, long-since removed (before we bought it), but the cased opening left behind does help define the two spaces well. Would you consider the same?

    Regarding family comings and goings, will you usually use the back door, from the garage and alley? How often will you use the front door? Where will everyone drop shoes, backpacks, totes, caps, etc?

  • last month

    Consider turning the guest bedroom in a second family space, with doors to the family room that can be closed.

    I was going to suggest something like this. Bump the guest room, which will not be used on a regular basis, to the front of the house ... makes no difference to the guest room, but it'll allow a second, smaller family space at the back of the house /open towards the pool.

    One thing I noticed right away is that the house is sooo full of bedrooms, but you have only one living room space. This'll give you a small den /TV room. It'll allow 1-2 people to watch a game or play music "away" from the main area.

    While we're talking about this "wing", I'd also consider giving up the half-bath ... instead, go with one full bath opening to the hall + to the guest bedroom.

    Reconsider the jack-and-jill upstairs, give them a bath entered from the hall or a recessed area between, and just one sink. They will never be in there at the same time, and extra counter space and drawers below is invaluable.

    Agree. The toilet/tub space looks quite cramped. And, yes, duplicate sinks are next-to-useless, whereas more storage is always welcome. Two banks of drawers flanking the sink will be infinitely more useful.

    Open 2 story foyer is a waste of space and just adds noise and HVAC issues.

    True, and that space could be a fantastic walk-in closet for the master. Or an upstairs sitting room.

    I personally am not a fan of a walk in pantry, seems to be a waste of space when so many cabinet companies offer wonderful pantry storage solutions.

    I love-love-love a walk-in pantry, which lets you see all your stuff at a glance /lets you close it off when you want it to disappear. A pantry allows for personalized storage ... do you have tablecloths to hang? need a shelf for cookbooks? have a lot of baking pans? need space for home canned goods? And a pantry costs a fraction of what cabinets cost.

    BUT this pantry is poorly placed. Windows in a pantry are a negative, as light is the enemy of food storage. I suggest, instead, you go with motion-sensored lights in the pantry, which will be wonderful when you enter with your hands full of bags.

    Someone later in the thread posted a suggestion with the pantry fitting between the office and the kitchen ... and the kitchen gaining natural light.

    seems like maybe could have better pathway.

    Keep in mind that you can have too wide a kitchen as well ... my best suggestion: Go down to Lowes and look at their sample kitchens (they have plenty of examples of cabinets + island). Their sample kitchens aisles are 3 1/2' ... decide for yourself if that feels comfortable. Also, carry a tape measure and measure friend's kitchens. Again, decide for yourself what feels comfortable.

    Be sure of whether you're talking about cabinet-to-cabinet or countertop-to-countertop. Countertops typically overhang 2", so that could be a 4" difference in aisle size.

    Is the pantry door near where you bring in groceries?

    Good question. I'll add: What's the pathway for taking out the garbage? You want both of these to be as short as possible.

    Great idea on a bathroom by the backyard. Will try to see if we can fit it.

    Good point. Note, too, that with a pool you can often end up with water dripping from the door to the bathroom.

    Dining space might be a bit small.

    Yes! I was going to bring this up. With all those bedrooms, you will certainly have a crowd at the table ... at least sometimes. I think you definitely need more space than this.

    Don't waste all that storage space under the staircase, specially with no basement.

    Yes! Even if it's half-height, you should have a closet under those stairs! Suitcases, seasonal storage ... don't close it up.

    You are going to hear and feel the vibration/noise from the washer in the living area right under the laundry.

    I like that the laundry is upstairs near the bedrooms, but it's not practical. Dryers need to be on exterior walls so they can vent directly to the outside. Yours is placed quite some distance from any exterior wall, which means a long vent to keep clean. What you're proposing is more expensive to build and a fire-hazard.

    With a pool, you might like a small laundry downstairs as well. Consider all the towels you'll be washing. Consider a place to store those pool towels downstairs too.

    Regarding family comings and goings, will you usually use the back door, from the garage and alley? How often will you use the front door? Where will everyone drop shoes, backpacks, totes, caps, etc?

    Yes, consider drop-spots by the door you'll use most. It doesn't have to be fancy, but if you don't design something, you'll always have a pile of shoes and bags by the door.

    Other thoughts:

    - Exterior doors almost always hinge into the house ... you've drawn yours heading out. Consider how this is going to work.

    - I'd like to see a broom closet somewhere. A place to absorb the vaccuum cleaner, lightbulbs, extension cords, candles and paper products.

    - No to double doors into the flex room; one set of odd doors that don't match the rest is just weird ... instead, use that space to make the bathroom a little wider. While you don't need to go overboard on bathroom size, a little more than standard is always more comfortable, especially if you have (now or in the future) elderly guests who use walkers.

    - Think twice about those pocket doors into bathrooms. They're noisy, and they break (not if, but when) and then you may need a professional to fix them.

    - That 2-story entry doesn't open to any upstairs space, so it'll just be kinda a chimney?

  • last month

    UPDATES AFTER FEEDBACK


    1. Some great points on the pantry and kitchen layout - we are going to review how we put the pantry to the interior and get the kitchen against an outside wall. Also - put the double oven under the range as they will be an all in one unit.


    2. Removing the doors from the office to the exterior - won't need that pathway - will make them windows for $ savings


    3. Looking at Guest Room & Flex Room being combined (i.e. drop a room) OR at the very least flip their locations


    4. Primary Bath & WIC - Going to remove the tub (we never use one) and get into the J & J bathroom (will create space for that by making Bedroom 4 closet a reach in). Playing around with the idea of having one entryway to an adjoined Master Bath & WIC - think an entrance off of master bedroom and then you go left to bathroom and right to the WIC - keeps showering and getting dressed all without re-entering into the master bathroom if my wife or I are sleeping


    5. Downstairs 1/2 bath location - build a larger full bath downstairs that guest room uses and drop the 1/2 bath


    Additional details to be considered -


    a. Front and rear entry drop zones as we will use both as garages are at the rear of the lot and detached from the home


    b. Level 1 Ceiling Height - 9' or 10' - anyone have a preference and a reason for one over the other?



  • last month

    How old are the kids?

  • last month

    Sorry, I saw you asked that before and I forgot to answer. We have a 2 year old and new baby due in 3 weeks - so we are trying to plan for both the baby years and then potentially the teenage years if we stay in this house for that duration or longer


  • last month
    last modified: last month

    It looks like you ignored my request above "All architecture is three dimensional. And of course all architecture has context. Design should never stop at the exterior walls. Please post the elevations and the site plan." but the truth is you will be best served by posting that information so the house can be evaluated as a whole concept that is far more important than say, removing the doors from the office to the exterior.

    It's like you're building a boat and here you are addressing the style of the railings without making sure your boat is seaworthy.

    So, I'll say it again.... All architecture is three dimensional. And of course all architecture has context. Design should never stop at the exterior walls. Please post the elevations and the site plan. That's probably the best advice here.

  • PRO
    last month

    Eliminate the doors to the outside and replace with windows in the guest bedroom - 1, dining, and office. Eliminate the trellis, California room, and pool.


    (site information was not provided so I had guess)

  • last month

    There are a lot of little rooms. It looks like it was designed for empty nesters who have grown children that they don't particularly want to have visit. Maybe the children don't get along, so it is easier to visit them, than have the whole crew over.

    As far as moving the playroom, I'm a big believer that the adult's living area and the children's living area should be aurally separate. If you cannot have the equivalent of two TVs going in the two different areas without issues, you've lost the point of having the two areas.

    I also have no idea how a 'value' build ends up with 4 1/2 bathrooms.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Removing the doors from the office to the exterior - won't need that pathway - will make them windows for $ savings

    Consider, too, that windows are more energy-efficient than doors, and they're harder to break into.
    Downstairs 1/2 bath location - build a larger full bath downstairs that guest room uses and drop the 1/2 bath

    All your thoughts about the bathrooms seem to be positive. Do consider dropping duplicate sinks as you continue to plan.
    Front and rear entry drop zones as we will use both as garages are at the rear of the lot and detached from the home

    These don't need to be huge, but they will make a difference in the quality of your lives.
    Level 1 Ceiling Height - 9' or 10' - anyone have a preference and a reason for one over the other?

    This isn't a popular opinion, but most houses across the country are 8'. That'll cost less and won't drive you to "add ons" like taller windows, taller cabinets, longer staircases, longer curtains and more. With an 8' ceiling, you can change your light bulbs on a stepstool. And the one that keeps on saving: your heating/cooling bills will be lower. Over the years I've wished I could change various things about my house, but the ceiling height isn't one of them. I'm practical.
    We have a 2 year old and new baby due in 3 weeks - so we are trying to plan for both the baby years and then potentially the teenage years if we stay in this house for that duration or longer

    This house doesn't seem like a house for small children:

    - Right away, I'd say wait to put in the pool ... wait until the kids are school-aged and have had swim lessons.

    - Consider potty-training these kids (the two worst things I've done in my life are potty-training kids and teaching kids to drive) ... realistically, you'll be walking over to the guest-room wing downstairs. And which bathroom would you use upstairs?

    - If you're not SURE you'd stay in this house a pretty good while, I wouldn't move forward. Fewer and fewer people today can afford a house of this size, and re-selling after just a few years could be expensive.

  • last month

    Get rid of the J&J bath. Move daughter to bedroom 4. Open other bath to hall. Bedroom 3 door could be moved beside the closet door which should give a solid wall to have options for bed placement. The dining area looks small and cramped. I agree with anj_p.


  • last month

    Do not do 8 ft ceilings. You will date your house to the 1960's and you will have a very hard time selling it if you ever need to move. In the So Cal market I would definitely go with 10 ft. downstairs and 9 ft upstairs. Also go with 8 ft doors and taller windows. These are things you can't easily upgrade later on. I used to live in LA, so I know that RE market pretty well.

    I now live in FL, and even the cheapest tract builders do 9 ft ceilings as standard. Custom homes start with 10 to 12 ft ceilings. Taller ceilings also make sense in the warmer climates.

    In your climate also think about placing a whole house fan upstairs in the hallway. Easy way to take advantage of the cool So Cal nights and use less AC.

  • last month

    If you put in the pool where it’s proposed, you have a very convoluted trip from the kitchen to the pool area. The guest room will become the most convenient access to the pool from inside the house, is that what you ( and your guests) will want?

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    100% agree with chispa - I can’t imagine having 8’ ceilings - especially on the first level!


    Also, a whole house fan would be great! You’ll be surprised a how much air it will circulate. Living in So Cal is a perfect location for one. I wish I could use mine all year!

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    For the pool location, wouldn’t you want the patio near the indoor dining and kitchen, so pool stays as shown? Anyway, it is only ”proposed” for now, good. Of course you’ll be verifying that the various codes allow its placement where it is shown, or anywhere.

    Ceiling height, well, things have changed. I have lived in 8’ and 9’, one place in Texas had 9’ on first floor and 8’ on second (bedrooms) floor. Stayed extended periods in 10’+, with vaulted in the main living area (Arizona). Honestly, it’s all the same to me. But for a new build, you kind of should keep up with other new builds. (How many houses no do not have a primary ensuite? or have only one bathroom for four bedrooms? or no laundry, and certainly not in the basement. Higher ceilings seem to be de rigueur.)

  • last month

    The pool location is currently just a placeholder - we probably are not going to put it in right now and will wait for the kids to be a little older.


    Our plan is to be in this house for a minimum of 10 years and potentially much longer. The location of the lot (street, area etc) is exactly what we want so this could be our family home until we become empty nesters.

  • 28 days ago

    I added the site map and elevations to original post

  • PRO
    27 days ago

    Agree with most of the advice here, especially the kitchen/pantry arrangement. BUT, I would definitely leave the entry a double-height space, partly for drama and also for visual relief from all of the low flat ceilings in the rest of the house. And I would make the first floor ceilings at least 9 feet.

  • 27 days ago

    Agreed - we are going with 10’ on the first floor ceiling and keeping the vaulted foyer - we think we can do something really cool with that space

  • 27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    ChatGPT 4.o not quite ready to turn 2d floor plans into accurate renders... yet. Its coming though. This is an attempt to render your family room.


  • 27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    As for ceiling height, I went to see my friends brand newly built $2.5M house in Glendale, CA last week. I walked in and saw the ceilings were 7'10" ish... when I can easily touch the ceiling I'm usually in a basement. It sold to him in multiple offers and he's very happy with it. My ceilings are 9' so this was immediate claustrophobia and disorientation for me. I'm sure he would be surprised if I pointed out that his ceilings aren't even 8' upstairs or down.

  • 27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    Just a suggestion that i would get an exterior rendering that includes your plan for gutters so you can see what that looks like and make sure you’re happy with it -


    ( lots of spare/more modern homes by me that look really different once a crazy tangle of guttering gets installed)

  • 27 days ago

    I don't think you need double doors off the downstairs guest bedroom. There is a cost, security and noise issues. I don't think you need exterior door there at all. All an opinion of course. Another consideration is covering for darkness which is doable but harder. I think of guest on a first floor as older so make things as easy as possible - as far as the darkness goes.

    I would consider a second door there along the hallway for sound control - those guests want to sleep in while you are making breakfast for the kids at 6 am. There are really 2 places you could put a door.

    On ceiling height. I think we can all agree the socal is a big enough market that one size does not fit all. Generally, larger houses should have taller ceilings. Somewhat because of scale and somewhat to get sunlight in far enough in a larger house. 8 foot would seem too low in 2024 in all but the lowest COLA. Between 9 and 10, you will find various opinions. The house is compact enough that 9 foot would seem reasonable.

    Everyone with 10 ft ceilings should mention their total Sqft to keep things in perspective.

    Big picture stuff that you aren't likely to change. I would not waste first floor space on a guest room in a house of this size. I find the flex room in the corner a questionable idea - the fact that it is labeled a non-committal name is telling. No one knows what to do with it. Kids don't play alone in a room.

    Your dining seems cramped to me with a major thoroughfare (the most major) running through it. Those chairs are sticking out again! Or you are smacking into the wall every time you pull the chair out.

    Yep - a pool needs a bathroom access - people need to change out of wet clothes. How is that window wall for opening on a day to day basis? I just want to have coffee outside and don't want to open the whole thing up.


  • 27 days ago

    Great feedback. We have decided to cut the flex room, given the guest room is only going to be used a few weeks of the year we are going to switch it with the office but also make it into the flex room - it will have a closet in it and will be made slightly larger than current office so it can technically be called a bedroom but it’s actually going to be the kids play room. We are going with 10’ ceilings downstairs and 9’ ceilings upstairs.

  • 27 days ago

    ”flex room” is such a funny label for a room. So now it’s not clear: will there still be three rooms on the corners of the main floor? Or will there be rec room with a bed, or an office with a bed? (If a room is used for more than one purpose, isn’t a flex room?)

  • 27 days ago

    Rec room without a bed in, probably a sofa bed and room will mostly be utilized as a playroom. Very rarely might it be used to house guests for a single night or two. It will have a closet so that we can classify it as a bedroom.

    We are waiting for next draft of plans with all the feedback, won’t know until then how the architect handles our most recent request list and if that still includes rooms on all four corners downstairs.