View Full Version : Asking for comments on this floor plan
07-25-2007, 11:27 PM
We're looking to build a house, hopefully moving in before the snow flies. The loan has been approved, the lot is being surveyed, and we're finalizing the floor plan now.
Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This house is a one-story on a cement slab (no basement). I'm a T7/T10 with no motor function below the chest. We have three young school-age children. My wife is doing all the design work on the floor plan, and I think she's done a great job! But we're only six months post injury, so we don't know all the issues that might come up after we move in.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions for improvement.
07-26-2007, 12:15 AM
I've been looking at plans on the net for my sis for weeks now. I've probly looked at hundreds... What I personally would change in your plan is def. the kitchen. It's tucked away back in a corner.. I think you'd enjoy it tied into your family room overlooking. I'd have it backed up to that huge laundry room and move the master into the corner. There looks to be a lot of wasted space in front of your master br door. Rethink that master closet as it seems extremely small and get rid of the master tub... or not. And lastly, I would rather have the 1 door garage door. :)
07-26-2007, 12:37 AM
Definitely need a bigger shower area, at least 5' x 4'. If you use a shower chair, it is nice to have enough room to store it aside in the shower and still have enough room for your wife to take a shower without having to take it in and out. Also make sure that you have at least 32" doors throughout and 36" is better. You also will want to make sure there is enough room for you to turn around in any of the bathrooms that you may want to use or get into for any reason. I also agree with Jeff on the single door garage. It is much nicer for pulling in a vehicle especially if you ever have a ramp van and want to park in the garage. I also agree with Jeff about the kitchen. Often people don't like having their master bedroom open to the living room for privacy reasons if someone is changing or sleeping and it could be seen by people in the living room. As far as flooring goes, hardwood and tile are best. Berber for carpet with very little pad if you must.
07-26-2007, 12:45 AM
It looks like he wants to use the laundry room as a "mud" room. You know, the first room you come into after playing outside in the rain. Gives a good place for taking off jackets and boots without dragging them all over the house. Also a good place to put sports equipment (soccer balls, baseball gear...)
I'm going to agree about the entrance to the master bedroom: crowded.
Now, I'm a big believer in open space. I would either get rid of the family room (just open it up), or shrink it a little. Maybe move the closet in the master bedroom five or 10 feet further right. That would keep your family room (TV room? Library?) They still a decent size, while enlarging the area to get into the master bedroom.
The big questions: is the kitchen going to be a social center? If so, yes, tucked into the corner would be difficult.. Also, I only noticed two windows in the kitchen -- I can't quite read the scale, is each square 5 foot or 10 foot?
How much does light affect your mood? Larger windows give more outside light... I've also seen (as a suggestion) something called "tube lights" or something like that which feeds through the attic and act like skylights...
07-26-2007, 01:13 AM
Yes, the shower was the first thing I thought of, too. I built and tiled a 5x4 shower last year, and I now wish it was even larger, as I assist my wife in the shower and it gets a little cramped. It would be OK for just one person (or for two without a chair). Think carefully about the positioning of the shower valves, so they're easy for you to reach; also soap holder(s) built into the wall.
Some disjointed thoughts -
Agree about door widths & a single big garage door. More storage space for kitchen stuff & pantry. Will you have a chest freezer (outside of the kitchen)? If so, where? That utility room will get crowded fast. It looks like people coming up to the front door will have a direct view into a bedroom - do you really want that?. I guess you will have a dining area next to the kitchen. We pretty much live in our kitchen, so we have a large table in the middle of it.
Your plumbing has 4 centers: laundry, kitchen, bathroom, and 2 nearby bathrooms - that means a lot of long sewer runs; also a long time waiting for the water to run hot (is the water heater in the utility room?).
You also might want an extra thick wall between the master bedroom & the family room for sound insulation purposes - fill it with thermal insulation to cut down on sound going either direction ;)
36'' doors everywhere, bigger walk-in shower, no sliding glass doors (use french doors instead), another 36'' access door on the side of the garage, and all of the above. Good luck.
07-26-2007, 11:39 AM
Cool. My 0.02...
- Garage door - Like others said - Go single w/ auto garage opener.
- Move kitchen to area off laundry room entrance. Make a nice, big, open country kitchen. Kitchens are important for resale. Kitchen would be nice opening into existing "living" area. There seems to be alot of wasted space from the front door to the "living" area. So you could have a great living area and a spacious foyer at the front door.
Master Bedroom and Bath - Move that over to the corner where the kitchen was. This will allow you a much larger master bedroom and, importantly, bathroom. Lose the tub (you have two others in the house anyway) and make a nice roll in shower. Or, if your wife is a bath person, you would have room for both in this configuration. Be better for re-sale too.
I think that would flow nicely.
Think furniture placement too.
Is that a fireplace by the front door? Nice! Imagine your kitchen opening into the living area and that fireplace. ,Great for entertaining.
07-26-2007, 12:58 PM
Hey, Zero -
You probably wish you had never asked! Don't take the comments here as dumping on the design you have too badly - no design will make everyone happy. We're trying to be constructive here.
Other thoughts - How will the house be heated? Consider optimal placement of heaters or ducting. Is the garage wide enough for a side ramp entry van plus a second car? How does this house sit on your property? I notice that there's a single back door, into the master bedroom. What's outside? If there's to be much use of that door, you might want to rethink that placement.
07-26-2007, 12:59 PM
Agree with everyone on the shower. Make sure it is big enough. Also the tub. Either take it out, or if you wife is a "bath person" (as commented) make sure there is room for a big one. Also agree on the kitchen, I like having it open into the family room. You could put your room into the corner, and play with it that way. Good comment on the sound insulation, as those schoolage kids get older you will want it!! Also agree on wide hallways, doors. Will the kitchen be accessible as far as surface heights for you? Be sure there is wheeling room once you incorporate a table. With 3 kids you need a big one.
I really like the laundry/utility off the garage. I have always wanted a "mud room" area for boots, coats and sports gear, but we have never had the space. Also a great idea is tha attached garage. Ours is not, and it would be nice not to have to go outside to get in the car in bad weather. And I really like the fact that you have a living room and a family room. Important with kids to have TWO "public" rooms, so that you can have company with out regulating the kids to their rooms, and vice versa.
As far as the bedroom off the front door .... put the neatest kid there, and teach him to shut his door ... LOL.
Good luck with it.
07-26-2007, 01:40 PM
Wow, thanks everyone for the comments and keep them coming! Good suggestions all around and food for thought, I need to sit down with my wife and discuss some of these suggestions.
I should have mentioned, the top of the diagram is facing west, and I agree there should be another window on the south (left) side of the house.
I definitely see expanding the shower area, the master bath is one of our main concerns. I have dreams of actually being able to get in and out of the tub someday, but I've never heard of how that might actually work.
The one-door garage change makes sense too. All doors are planned 36" even if some of them look a bit smaller in this diagram.
Yes, the laundry area doubles as a mudroom, the utility room is for furnace, water tank and heater, etc. We also have two dogs that are kept in a kennel at night, so we planned to keep that in the laundry area too. Hmmm, and a chest freezer as someone mentioned. This room might not be big enough. BTW, the scale is one square = 1 ft.
Yes, that is a fireplace (gas), or at least the spot reserved for one. That won't be included in the initial construction ($$) but we want to have all the venting and gas in place for one when we can afford it.
The exterior door from the master bedroom is for emergency fire exit, the plan is my wife can gather up the kids and get them out the door without having to worry about me getting into a chair and having to traverse the entire house to get out. Also, we'd like to put a small deck out of that entrance at some point, but that won't be in the initial construction either.
As for sliding the kitchen down and moving the master bed over, I'll have to sit down with my wife and discuss these types of changes. She has some reasons for this layout I don't recall at the moment. I do agree that having the master bedroom door open right out into a dining/common area is unusual.
I still need to digest some of this, but please keep the comments coming. Thanks.
07-26-2007, 02:12 PM
Hey, Zero -
You probably wish you had never asked! Don't take the comments here as dumping on the design you have too badly - no design will make everyone happy. We're trying to be constructive here.
Yes Zero. I would like to reiterate rfbdorf's comment. You and your wife are dealing with an awful lot right now. She has done a commendable job with the design. Please don't take our comments as dumping on your design.
BTW. I'm sorry you guys had to join our little SCI club.... 6 MONTHS post is tough... For you and your wife. All the best.
07-26-2007, 03:30 PM
Another small point - look at the space immediately to the right of the interior garage door - that's unusable space, only good for passing through (as is the door into the master bedroom). Some rearranging of that area might result in more efficient usage.
My comment about the placement of the East bedroom was that people outside on the porch can see into the kid's room. I have to admit that our present setup is just like that, but we're out in the sticks and no one ever uses our front door!
Keep us updated on how your design evolves!
07-26-2007, 04:32 PM
I've seen some walk in bathtubs. Kind of weird looking. About 3 1/2 to 4 foot tall, with a door and a built-in bench.
Another suggestion to get into a bathtub would be a ceiling lift.
For your hot water, maybe an on demand unit rather than a hot water tank. Save you some money in the long run, because you won't have the 30 gallons just sitting there staying hot.
For that matter, can the kids share a bathroom?
I'm noticing that the closet in the middle bedroom is much smaller than the other two?
07-26-2007, 08:11 PM
Here are a couple of little things:
1. Consider hanging ensuite door on opposite side, as to access the vanity easily it looks like you would most likely have to close the door each time, which might prove to be annoying.
2. I would def reconsider putting double sinks in all the other bathrooms, apart from the ensuite. Extra costs associated with all the plumbing and vanity themselves, plus the cleaning and maintenance.
3. I agree about the kitchen, have found that U shaped kitchens can be awkward for wheelchairs as well. Kitchens with an entry and exit point are normally easier for wheelchairs to move around in.
4. I would play around with the design of that internal bathroom and try and move it so that it also has an external wall, therefore a window, for fresh air.
She is certainly on the right track though!
07-26-2007, 08:19 PM
I agree on the double sinks. Just more to clean with kids. If you went to a single sink in the bath closest to the door, and switched to a shower instead of a tub (soon they will be teenagers) will that give you more room for that smaller closet?
07-26-2007, 11:11 PM
In the kitchen, get a stove that opens to the side, rather than one that pulls down. Easier for someone in a wheelchair.
I've also seen refrigerators & freezers that pull out like a drawer.
Good job by wife there Zero. I have just a few comments from the top of my head here if I might.
As for the kitchen location/layout. -I personally would have left it just where it is. I don’t know who of you that makes most of the dinners etc. but I can see you are a para like me, and I actually has a u-shaped kitchen with a similar layout in the corner as shown on your drawing here (I can post a photo if you like). The u-shaped kitchen for me was a very good idea I have found, you see, when I make food by having such a kitchen layout I basically sits in the centre of it, with easy access to the stove, the kitchen sink and so on (compared to having to roll up and down beside a long counter). To move around when cooking I basically do not need to use the push rims on my wheelchair (also a good thing when dealing with food, both for the push rims on the chair and the food, no greasy hands on the push rims and no dirt from the wheels back onto the food). I just use my hands to pull or push around by grabbing to the kitchen itself. This is very handy if I’m say moving the frying pan or other cooking pots to or from the stove and so on. Then it is basically to give a push by one hand at the counter top to turn around say to put the cooking gear into the sink from the stove with the other hand. It’s a very handy set-up layout wise to work efficient from a wheelchair compared to a kitchen layout say with just a long counter I believe… And who wants to make food with the entire frying odour involved in the living room anyway, say if you pulled your kitchen down south on the drawing? Well, I wouldn’t, in this area (south on your drawing) below your kitchen I instead would have placed a huge long dinner table with a lot of chairs around. This place could then be used both for dining and used for other activities beside that. But, a few comments I have for the exiting arrangement in the kitchen; is it the stove placed there (north on the drawing) under the window? Would that location be a problem for the stove ventilator? I think I instead would have moved the stove opposite of the kitchen sink. Even more handy too when preparing food from a wheelchair (I have it like that and it works fine). Then the big box at the right side, which I assume is the fridge, I would have moved down at the end on the left counter. Think I also would have added more windows on that left wall.
As for the “captains cabin :D ” door into the kitchen/dining room area I think I also like others here would have rearranged that a bit. That requires some other layout rearrangements though. Maybe if you remove that master bed room door from where it is, move the closet all the way to the left, then also move the wall between the closet and family room as well more to the left (which as such will give more area to the family room). Then if you make a corridor between the master bathroom and the family room (going east-west on your drawing) with a door leading out to the corridor where the rest of the bedrooms are, that might work. But this entire rearranging then might want to be studied a bit more in detail maybe then, if going for that solution.
For doors other than the widths of them and what others have commented. The doors situated on the outer walls, you don’t have a fire emergency code saying they shall open outwards? Or maybe you have a compromise for the codes where you live due to heavy snowfall wintertime requiring the doors to be opened inwards. The door at the bathroom in the down right corner open outwards I also think I would have rearranged so it opens into the bathroom itself. Because like it is now it can be a good source for black eyes :agog: if kids are running down that corridor from the other bedrooms. If you want to change this door, you then have to move the door a bith south (drawing wise).
I’m not totally sure I would have had the fireplace located where it is, by being a wheeler myself I don’t like to ruin open spaces, so then maybe I would have located the fireplace either to the north or south (drawing wise) wall in the living room. Such a location will remove the possibilities for a bookshelf etc. then on the other hand if going by that, but it often is compromises and compromises when planning a house layout and the goal is to have it right the first time.
For double garage doors. Why not? If bad weather, why open up the whole garage front by having one single door compared to two smaller doors?
Good luck on further planning for a new home :)
07-27-2007, 04:56 AM
I was curious the purpose of the Family room and the Living room. In thinking about the layout, it helps to have an idea of the function of the rooms. The Living room looks like the area with the most traffic, so will this also serve as the main "living" area, or will the Family room serve as the place where the kids will play, watch tv. etc.
Like others have said, I think the Kitchen looks cramped and too far tucked away in the SW corner. Having it in the opposite corner against the Laundry room, with counters in "L" shape against the wall, will open it up to the Living room. You can add an Island, with stools, to add more workspace, as well as for eating and entertaining. The island can work like Lief mentioned, to be used to help you navigate and manipulate yourself around without having to push wheels. I do that a lot, when in manual chair - pushing against countertop and cabinets on opposite side (use walls alot after just washing hands, to go from room to room). I think having the Kitchen near the Laundry/mudd room can be useful, and seems more functional. A small window in wall between laundry room and kitchen could open kitchen up a bit more, as well as connecting the two spaces more, esp. if to look thru to check on kids, dogs, etc.
The Master Bedroom can go in the SW corner, with the Family room against the West wall (where bathroom is). The wall facing Living room can be replaced with french doors, to open it up to LR, and maybe even angled, to make space appear less compartmentalized and the LR more open. The Family room can have rear door on west side leading out to the back, and where a back deck can later be added. I don't know what the outside on west side looks like, but if it is a yard, I imagine wide doors leading out to deck, would bring in a lot of light and make it a much more open and airy space.
Since the Living room will have the most traffic, and with kids going thru from mudd room and kitchen to their bedrooms all the time, you may be interested in using the Family room as a more private, intimate space (sitting room, entertaining, etc). I think another option can be to have the Family room in the NE corner (where bedroom is). A corner space seems more intimate, while still open, with more windows and looking out toward front porch. The side facing the LR can still have french doors, so it opens up toward LR and the rest of the house.
The bedroom currently in NE corner can be moved to the west side where the master bathroom is currently located, thus being situated between the master bedroom on the S and the bathroom on the N. The back door might be better left in open space, leading from Living room, so everyone has access to it (not just from master bedroom). This may be especially useful if/when you add a rear deck thru that door.
Look forward to seeing what you guys finally decide. Lots of good ideas from everyone. Good luck!