Author Topic: My house idea  (Read 8240 times)

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Offline Virginia Gent

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My house idea
« on: September 09, 2009, 07:55:51 PM »
I'm not anywhere close to being able to buy the land, let alone the material to build it, but that leaves me with a lot of time to read up on how to do it, as well as come up with designs & revise them. Since I fancy everyone's opinion here, I'm gonna link what I have so far and y'all can give me your honest opinions about what I have, what y'all would change, and what y'all would let be.

Also, I am aware that there is only one bathroom on the 1st floor, and that it is in the Master bedroom. I'm also sorry there are no measurements. I couldn't figure out how to get the one's I wanted to show; it was either all of them or none of them, so I choose none. It's a 20' x 35' though, if that helps give some scale.



“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
~Thomas Jefferson~

Offline shirleypony

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Re: My house idea
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 04:46:31 AM »
You may want to think more on your bathtub placement, Plumbing against an outside wall is not fun. Normally the faucets back up to the inside of a closet for access and warmth from freezing. I like the double sink.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: My house idea
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 08:37:26 AM »
Here are my comments and questions...
That is a 1 1/2 story design I gather from the bedroom dormers.

I wonder about those stairs. They are a little confusing to me.  I think it must be a U-shaped staircase with a landing, but the landing seems to be too narrow compared to the stairs. We had a similar design in my parent's 1 1/2, but the landing was as wide (deep?) as the actual stairs. When sizing stairs don't forget to allow for a total rise that includes the depth of the upper floor joists and flooring.

Is there a basement? I see no place for a furnace, water heater, laundry.

Looking at the upper floor bedrooms I don't see closets. I see wardrobes, but after having grown up in an old house with no closets that bothers me.

This may be just a personal thing, but I do not like windows right at the head side of the bed. Maybe just a different furniture arrangement would help if that was a problem.

No coat closet near the front door? Or is there one fitted under the stairs?

If there was a way to stack the upper floor plumbing over the lower floor plumbing, or at least some of it, it makes the plumbing easier. Not always possible to do; just a thought I'm throwing out. Similarly with plumbing on the same floor, it makes the job simpler when the kitchen sink plumbing backs into the bathroom plumbing.

Linen closet on upper floor?

I feel that doors should always open into a room, even a bathroom. Your second floor bath opens out and I feel that could be a problem with people getting hit in the hallway. A pocket door would help, but I really don't like them for doors that get opened and closed frequently. Maybe reconfiguring the bathroom, adding linen closet space? The upper floor space between stairs and bath seems to be too large and will be dark with no windows.

That TV room on the second floor will also be dark with no windows. As well it won't meet code.

A read through the IRC or whatever code is used where you live could be worth the time. Yeah, a lot of it is boring and dull, but there is lots of information on what is code approved. And even if you are not building in a code required area there are reasons, some good and very sensible, behind a lot of the rules.

You might want to think hard on that main floor bathroom. I know you are planning this to live in, not as a place to sell. However, decisions made during the design process can alter the value to other people when/if it becomes necessary to sell. Some folks do stay settled in one place a long time (ourselves, 25 years in one place). Others have unexpected moves thrust on them. It's just something to consider. Of course the exercise of going up the stairs to the other bathroom will be good exercise.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline Squirl

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Re: My house idea
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 10:49:55 AM »
I guess my first question is, will this be built in a code compliance area?  If not, you can disregard some of this. 
Don hit on much of my initial impressions.  General Stair guidelines are at least 36" all around including the landing.  Also at least 6'8" of head room.  So if the landing is at 4', you would need 10'8" walls where it is currently placed.  Also I did not understand why the second floor room ended at what looks to be 8 ft from the right side wall.

Ditto the utility room.

I also noticed the fridge next to the stove.  It is a terrible energy waster.  I have had this in many apartments because of space.  I would avoid it if possible.

Offline upa

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Re: My house idea
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 11:00:46 AM »
I have to echo Don's question about the stairs. Having played with the same design program I suspects it's a limitation of the types of stair syles you had to pick from. Having built something dimensionally similar and not to discourage you but I am going to suggest that your stairs are going to eat up much more room than your current design shows.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: My house idea
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 12:34:04 PM »


I also noticed the fridge next to the stove.  It is a terrible energy waster. 

Excellent point.  :D  The range heats up the refrigerator side. I hated to do that in our cabin, but it was a space crunch thing. I'm trying to think o a sae method to apply extra insulation in between. Right now we have a 2 1/2 inch air gap, which is better than nothing.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline suburbancowboy

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Re: My house idea
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 12:40:56 PM »
I am doing almost the same design with my cabin.  Some suggestions to add more space.  I would make the cabin 36 feet long.  There is less waste when you go with 4' lengths.

Offline Virginia Gent

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Re: My house idea
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 12:52:26 PM »
A lot of excellent critiques. I thank you all so far. I'll try to address them all.

I'll start with the stairs. Upa was right in that I was limited to my choice in "Style" of stair design. I wanted an L shaped stairway, but for some reason I couldn't find it. Maybe it was there, and I missed it? I dunno ... so I picked the next design I liked. As I said, I couldn't get the dimensions in there, but if it helps clear anything up, I believe the stairs were 7'x9' when I sized them in. All I had to go by (since I have never built a house and no nothing about building/sizing stairs) was my parents staircase, since they too have a U shaped on. And yes, there will be a coat closet in the stairway.

I will play with the arrangement of the master bath to put all the fixtures facing inwards. If I have to place only ONE of them up against the outside wall, which do y'all suggest? Maybe the sinks? It doesn't get below freezing to often here in Richmond, if that makes a difference. or perhaps I just need to redesign the whole area. Either way ... I have PLENTY of time to do it all =p

And I didn't add a place for washer/dryer/heater/AC/etc because I'm not sure if I wanna add a basement, and put it all there, or put a garage along the house an put it all there. But in my next round of revisions, I shall add closet space for the above just in case I decide on neither.

And I think this picture and link will better explain what I am going for Squirl, as to why the 2nd floor TV/Office stops where it does. Of course, again, I'm a novice at this so if you all are privy to information that I missed or am just plain ignorant about please tell me.
LINK: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=1503.msg13982
There is the link with the finished house, about 3 pictures down. I'm going for something like that but instead of just having a loft area with a bed, I was trying to make it more like what Don said ... a 1 1/2 story design. Unless the 1/2 denotes a "loft" type area, then I guess I'm going for something along the lines of a 2 story house crammed in. If that makes any sense. And it won't meet code because it will need a Means of Egress I take it correct? And because of a lack of windows, it has none other than the door, and two are required, or is that for bedrooms only? I'm a Fire Science student, but only study of building & fire codes only went so far and I'm a bit rusty on what I learned 2 years ago. I will change the fridge/oven placements though. Do you mean them RIGHT next to each other, or can there be some counter space between them, or should they be as far apart as possible?

While playing with space for Washer/Dryer/Boiler/Etc I'll see about adding closets to the upstairs rooms. I placed the furniture in the bedrooms upstairs just haphazardly. Whether it would actually be placed like that in real life, who knows =p

I think that got it all
“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
~Thomas Jefferson~

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: My house idea
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 05:42:30 PM »
I really don't know what I can contribute that hasn't already been addressed.  You mgiht consider making the first floor bathroom door swing against the stairwell wall (left swing) or install a pocketdoor.

The entry door would be better suited with an in-swing rather than a outswing.  There are pros and cons on each but in-swing usually wins. Not only do they work better (convience wise) in the winter or inclimate weather but they will not leave you standing outside as long while carring things into the house only having to return outside to close the door.  The wind will not catch them when they are partially open. 

If I get a chance to look over it some more and if something is not mentioned I will let you know.