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Floor plan/house review request

Old 03-06-2021, 11:48 AM
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I added compass rose to the floor plan image. Front of house faces Northwest and rear of house faces Southeast.


Old 03-06-2021, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Garage not deep enough. If a long bed crew cab dually wonít fit with room to walk around with ease itís too small.
But I'll probably just have a Rav4. Or a Subaru. Remember I'm trying to minimize the size/cost and 24 ft garage deep easily fits a full size SUV (Suburban/Expedition Max). I do plan to have a spot on the driveway parking pad for a smallish boat or RV. Given the slope of the lot fairly flat parking spaces are at a premium.
Old 03-06-2021, 12:26 PM
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I used to travel all around Sweetwater when I worked, and it's a very beautiful place with the Tellico Plains to the East with major mountains along the Cherohala Skyway. And the the west, you have fabulous fishing close by on the Tennessee River's numerous lakes. You're smart to build in a neighborhood with very comparable and substantial homes. It's a place that'll never age--and hold it's value. Since you're 1/2 hour out of Knoxville, you're going to see many, many retirees flocking into the area. It also helps having I-75 running through town.

I didn't read the above comments to remain objective. The home I sold last year was somewhat like this one, but 5200 square feet with 5 bedrooms/5 full baths. It was too much room actually. My take on your plans:

Most new homes wouldn't have the back wall in the kitchen or the right wall in the Great Room. They're into open floorplans with expansive ceilings. The dining room may actually be too large. You could make the Master Bedroom larger if you took up a few feet of the Dining Room by moving the wall up. I do like the floorplan, however.

I would scrap the deck behind the Master Bedroom, Bedroom Office and Dining Room. Go behind the Great Room and make a massive deck with a roof above it--and screen it in. The width of the great room and 22-25' out would be great.

As far as the basement goes, I would want at least a 9' ceiling after all the HVAC is covered up. It's the same upstairs--9' in the bedrooms with some cathedral ceilings. And by all means, have the basement walls poured concrete--no concrete blocks. It would be nice if you had a 9' tall x 18' wide overhead door in the basement. Don't sell yourself short on that.

My last basement had 10' ceilings with 10" crown molding, and it was knocked out. But a 28 by 48' man cave spoiled me--too large to use actually. You'll have much room down there to divide as you wish--workshop, etc.

After building a few homes, we found it helpful to pick out all trim, lighting fixtures, light locations, colors, floors and everything on the front end. That'll minimize any costly changes to the plans. We also keep watch on Facebook Marketplace for bargains on building supplies, etc. It's a wonder what shows up on their listings.
Old 03-06-2021, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
I added compass rose to the floor plan image. Front of house faces Northwest and rear of house faces Southeast.

This is exactly why I asked. Wish I had the tool to draw on your plan. Picture pushing the bedrooms on the east side towards the front and pushing the master BR side toward the rear. Not only would it look better but you would get morning sun in the living area and master but it would take that long flat rear away and create better rooflines as a bonus.
All the stock plans I see are all about "curb appeal" and thus only focus on front elevation.
I would also drag the garage at least 4' to the SW to get rid of that long flat wall and create another oasis off the master that would get sun in colder months but have wind protection.

Pulling the bedrooms toward the front will also protect the front entry and add a wind buffer to that area. 8' would be nice.
Old 03-06-2021, 12:57 PM
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Did I read that right, $145/sq ft? Wow, I’d take that all day, every day. I built last year right before the pandemic really kicked in, and paid more than that. And now lumber is 40% higher.
Old 03-06-2021, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
I used to travel all around Sweetwater when I worked, and it's a very beautiful place with the Tellico Plains to the East with major mountains along the Cherohala Skyway. And the the west, you have fabulous fishing close by on the Tennessee River's numerous lakes. You're smart to build in a neighborhood with very comparable and substantial homes. It's a place that'll never age--and hold it's value. Since you're 1/2 hour out of Knoxville, you're going to see many, many retirees flocking into the area. It also helps having I-75 running through town.

I didn't read the above comments to remain objective. The home I sold last year was somewhat like this one, but 5200 square feet with 5 bedrooms/5 full baths. It was too much room actually. My take on your plans:

Most new homes wouldn't have the back wall in the kitchen or the right wall in the Great Room. They're into open floorplans with expansive ceilings. The dining room may actually be too large. You could make the Master Bedroom larger if you took up a few feet of the Dining Room by moving the wall up. I do like the floorplan, however.

I would scrap the deck behind the Master Bedroom, Bedroom Office and Dining Room. Go behind the Great Room and make a massive deck with a roof above it--and screen it in. The width of the great room and 22-25' out would be great.

As far as the basement goes, I would want at least a 9' ceiling after all the HVAC is covered up. It's the same upstairs--9' in the bedrooms with some cathedral ceilings. And by all means, have the basement walls poured concrete--no concrete blocks. It would be nice if you had a 9' tall x 18' wide overhead door in the basement. Don't sell yourself short on that.

My last basement had 10' ceilings with 10" crown molding, and it was knocked out. But a 28 by 48' man cave spoiled me--too large to use actually. You'll have much room down there to divide as you wish--workshop, etc.

After building a few homes, we found it helpful to pick out all trim, lighting fixtures, light locations, colors, floors and everything on the front end. That'll minimize any costly changes to the plans. We also keep watch on Facebook Marketplace for bargains on building supplies, etc. It's a wonder what shows up on their listings.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I looked all over east TN and concluded that the Athens/Sweetwater area best met my requirements. I want to be _near_ the mountains, but not _in_ the mountains. Sweetwater is still a small/sleepy town but it has a Walgreens and a nice Ingles market within 3 miles from the subdivision. I75 is less than 10 minutes away and Knoxville/Oak Ridge are within 35-40 minutes to the north and Chattanooga is 45-50 minutes south on I75. The boat ramp for Little Tennessee River/Tellico Lake (16,000 acres) is less than 30 minutes north in Vonore and the closest boat ramp for Watts Bar lake (61,000 acres) is about 30 minutes to the west. As you note the Cherohala Skyway is only 30 minutes away and it is an amazing road (especially for someone who has lived in Central Florida for 40+ years).

The main living area is completely open. See post #18 for an interior rendering.

The dining room is the size it is because I like entertaining and I have a very nice large dining table and cabinet/hutch that benefit from the space. I normally keep 1 leaf in the table which comfortably seats 8-10 and adding the second leaf will seat 12+ comfortably. The very large kitchen island will have seating for 4-6 people along the side near the dining room.

I prefer the full width deck and I don't want to bump out the area behind the family room any deeper because the slope of the lot requires significant teraforming/grading the deeper the house is. Wide and not deep is the required footprint.

The basement will have 9ft ceiling clearance and will probably be built with Superior (precast/insulated) walls.

Last edited by Onewolf; 03-06-2021 at 01:14 PM.
Old 03-06-2021, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthpawHD View Post
Did I read that right, $145/sq ft? Wow, Iíd take that all day, every day. I built last year right before the pandemic really kicked in, and paid more than that. And now lumber is 40% higher.
Like I said those were late Aug 2020 prices. Probably noticeably higher now, but it's a relatively very inexpensive area to build. One builder I talked to said $110/sq ft + $30K for the Superior wall walkout basement with 9ft ceiling clearance.
Old 03-06-2021, 01:23 PM
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When I look at retirement home plans, I think "wheelchair accessable". You probably will never need it, but now's the time to plan for it. I'm looking for the location of:
  • clothes dryer vent
  • HVAC and exhaust chase (if not electric)
  • water heater and exhaust chase (if not electric)
  • utilities entrance point (I would try to avoid laying wires/pipes under the driveway slab)
  • Consider the elevation difference between garage floor and main floor. Every inch of difference requires 1 foot of ramp if you ever need one. The ramp would be 4 feet wide and the top landing needs to be 5'x5' minimum. We built our house to accomodate a family member who uses a wheelchair. Made the garage 26 feet deep and with that we have room to get a wheelchair in front of a mid-size car and onto a 4' wide ramp. The door from house to garage needs to either open into the house or might need to be hinged on the opposite side.
  • The twin single-wide doors plan is OK. if you went with a double-wide garage door, go with an 18' wide door to keep cars farther apart in the garage. We have an 18' door on a 26'x26' garage and it works great.
Don't know about weather and bugs in your area, but up here I would roof over and screen in that porch, probably also make it 2-3' deeper, especially with the doors swinging into the porch. I'd go with an 8' slider onto the deck for the better weather seal and less intrusion into living space or porch.

Just some thoughts...
Old 03-06-2021, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by yarcraft91 View Post
When I look at retirement home plans, I think "wheelchair accessable". You probably will never need it, but now's the time to plan for it. I'm looking for the location of:
  • clothes dryer vent
  • HVAC and exhaust chase (if not electric)
  • water heater and exhaust chase (if not electric)
  • utilities entrance point (I would try to avoid laying wires/pipes under the driveway slab)
  • Consider the elevation difference between garage floor and main floor. Every inch of difference requires 1 foot of ramp if you ever need one. The ramp would be 4 feet wide and the top landing needs to be 5'x5' minimum. We built our house to accomodate a family member who uses a wheelchair. Made the garage 26 feet deep and with that we have room to get a wheelchair in front of a mid-size car and onto a 4' wide ramp. The door from house to garage needs to either open into the house or might need to be hinged on the opposite side.
  • The twin single-wide doors plan is OK. if you went with a double-wide garage door, go with an 18' wide door to keep cars farther apart in the garage. We have an 18' door on a 26'x26' garage and it works great.
Don't know about weather and bugs in your area, but up here I would roof over and screen in that porch, probably also make it 2-3' deeper, especially with the doors swinging into the porch. I'd go with an 8' slider onto the deck for the better weather seal and less intrusion into living space or porch.

Just some thoughts...
We just built a home 6 months ago for ACA/wheelchair access. Here's a picture of the ramp to garage for just 2 steps.

I also agree with eliminating MBR deck.


Check out this plumbing manifold!

Old 03-06-2021, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by yarcraft91 View Post
When I look at retirement home plans, I think "wheelchair accessable". You probably will never need it, but now's the time to plan for it. I'm looking for the location of:
  • clothes dryer vent
  • HVAC and exhaust chase (if not electric)
  • water heater and exhaust chase (if not electric)
  • utilities entrance point (I would try to avoid laying wires/pipes under the driveway slab)
  • Consider the elevation difference between garage floor and main floor. Every inch of difference requires 1 foot of ramp if you ever need one. The ramp would be 4 feet wide and the top landing needs to be 5'x5' minimum. We built our house to accomodate a family member who uses a wheelchair. Made the garage 26 feet deep and with that we have room to get a wheelchair in front of a mid-size car and onto a 4' wide ramp. The door from house to garage needs to either open into the house or might need to be hinged on the opposite side.
  • The twin single-wide doors plan is OK. if you went with a double-wide garage door, go with an 18' wide door to keep cars farther apart in the garage. We have an 18' door on a 26'x26' garage and it works great.
Don't know about weather and bugs in your area, but up here I would roof over and screen in that porch, probably also make it 2-3' deeper, especially with the doors swinging into the porch. I'd go with an 8' slider onto the deck for the better weather seal and less intrusion into living space or porch.

Just some thoughts...
Thanks for the reply. As I noted all the interior doors/doorways (except the basement stair access door) are 36+ inches and the master bath shower will be curbless/roll-in.

I have to think about how I could reconfigure the laundry to get a direct exterior dryer vent. The current house vents the dryer vent thru the roof and it's a PITA to clear out.

Another issue I have not yet resolved is the 'cat box situation'. I will have three cats for the next 7-10 years and currently their cat boxes are in the laundry room which requires me to have stackable washer/dryer. In the new house I really want a top load washer. And a better location for the cat boxes. One thing I have considered is having a pseudo 'room' in the garage for the catboxes that has access from inside the house for the catberts (And easy access from the garage for cleaning).

Because of the significant slope of the lot and the garage being in front of house, the garage floor will be the minimal (maybe 3-4"?) below level of the house floor.

I assume the bumpout area of the covered deck would be screened. When I find out more specifics about lot grading considerations/costs I would consider increasing the size of this area, however I REALLY REALLY need to find ways to minimize the cost. I'm a 'poor'.
Old 03-06-2021, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
But I'll probably just have a Rav4. Or a Subaru. Remember I'm trying to minimize the size/cost and 24 ft garage deep easily fits a full size SUV (Suburban/Expedition Max). I do plan to have a spot on the driveway parking pad for a smallish boat or RV. Given the slope of the lot fairly flat parking spaces are at a premium.
this is a short bed F250 in a 24í garage. Canít walk around it with the hitch in if you store anything against the walls. personally, all garages should be big enough for max size vehicles with the doors open on all of them at once. Thatís just me though.





Old 03-06-2021, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
this is a short bed F250 in a 24í garage. Canít walk around it with the hitch in if you store anything against the walls. personally, all garages should be big enough for max size vehicles with the doors open on all of them at once. Thatís just me though.
The new 'standard' size garage around here is 19x19. I won't ever have anything larger than a full size SV so 24ft deep is plenty. Remember I'm trying to find areas to penny pinch, not make bigger.
Old 03-06-2021, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
The new 'standard' size garage around here is 19x19. I won't ever have anything larger than a full size SV so 24ft deep is plenty. Remember I'm trying to find areas to penny pinch, not make bigger.
1) whoever came up with that standard should be shot.

2) think long term. Ever tried to get someone out of a vehicle and into a wheel chair, without room to do so? Much less out of a wheelchair van, etc.

Garage pictured traditionally had a suburban and Volvo wagon in it. In more recent years, Nissan marano and a frontier. Could only have one of the two in the garage and get my grandmother in and out of the car. Ability get get around vehicles with room to spare shouldnít be overlooked.

2.b) think resale. nobody wants a tiny ass garage.
Old 03-06-2021, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
1) whoever came up with that standard should be shot.

2) think long term. Ever tried to get someone out of a vehicle and into a wheel chair, without room to do so? Much less out of a wheelchair van, etc.

Garage pictured traditionally had a suburban and Volvo wagon in it. In more recent years, Nissan marano and a frontier. Could only have one of the two in the garage and get my grandmother in and out of the car. Ability get get around vehicles with room to spare shouldnít be overlooked.

2.b) think resale. nobody wants a tiny ass garage.
Is 24x32 really a 'tiny ass' garage?
Old 03-06-2021, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
Is 24x32 really a 'tiny ass' garage?
No
Old 03-06-2021, 04:17 PM
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We had a similar master bath, but the tub had block glass window over it. Added a bunch of natural light without worrying about privacy or security.
Old 03-06-2021, 04:18 PM
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Didn't read all reply's . Make the bath window a glass door for direct acesss from the deck . Make the best view from the house the living area so there is a nice view looking out .
Old 03-06-2021, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by t4000 View Post
Didn't read all reply's . Make the bath window a glass door for direct acesss from the deck . Make the best view from the house the living area so there is a nice view looking out .
Yeah, let's get everyone on the deck to watch you or your wife get out of the shower. I disagree with the posts recommending doors from bedrooms and bathrooms to the deck.
Old 03-06-2021, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by t84a View Post
Yeah, let's get everyone on the deck to watch you or your wife get out of the shower. I disagree with the posts recommending doors from bedrooms and bathrooms to the deck.
Your statement is as impractical as no door to the deck .
Old 03-06-2021, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by t4000 View Post
Your statement is as impractical as no door to the deck .
What about the french doors in the family room?

Our lake house had a 55' wide covered deck with the only access from the insde being a slider in the family room. It was perfect. Wherever you put a door, you can't put furniture,on the deck.

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