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Floor plan/house review request

Old 03-06-2021, 08:45 AM
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Default Floor plan/house review request

I’m working on floor plan designs for a house I would build up in Tennessee as I downsize from my current house here in the Sanford/Heathrow area. I’m looking for ideas and issues that I haven’t thought of for a house that I plan to eventually retire in.

The current floor plan design (I like to design 'stuff' to relax/vegetate):


And the basement area (of which some space would be used for model train layout v3.0):





Background Info

- I plan to work (hopefully remotely) until about 2030 in software development.

- My plan is in the next year or two to build on the lot that I own near Sweetwater TN. “Hunter Ridge Farms” subdivision. One current issue is that there is currently no high speed internet available in the subdivision. Spectrum Cable service is about ¼ mile away so I’m hoping Spectrum service will expand into the subdivision sooner rather than later. I would really prefer not to depend on 4G/5G cell for internet access.

- I plan to get the current house near Lake Mary/Heathrow on the market by late summer 2021. There are two houses in my current subdivision that will be listed for sale in the next couple of weeks and I am hoping for some good comps because there have been no home sales in over 3 years in my subdivision (18 homes). Disassembling/demoing the model train layout (LayoutConstruction) will take a couple of months by itself.

- Assuming the current house sells long before the new house is ready I plan to rent something presumably up in TN until the new house is ready to move in.

- The new house will eventually be my retirement home.

- I do not have unlimited budget so overall cost is very much a concern – See Divorce in 2020.

- I want a single story house plus full unfinished basement for ‘projects’

- The lot is a little over 2 acres. It’s about 200 ft wide at front, 120 ft wide at back, 500-550 ft long. 100+ feet of elevation drop from front to back.




- This lot slope favors a wide but not too deep floor plan.

- Walkout basement (which I prefer anyway) is a requirement because of slope. Here is a photo of the neighbor's house on the right side of the lot showing the slope:


- Basement will have 9ft ‘ceiling’ and probably built with Superior walls (or similar). Basement MUST be dry.

- All the interior doors/openings are 36” wide except the door to the basement stairs which is 32” wide. I think having an 8ft wide garage door into the basement takes care of getting large objects into basement. The master bath shower would be a curb-less design to aid entry/exit.

- The two main garage doors are 10ft wide and 8ft tall and the garage is 24 feet deep and almost 32 feet wide.

- The lot septic is approved for 4 bedroom. I could build 4 bedroom but I don’t see that _I_ have that need.

- 9 ft flat ceilings except for family/dining/kitchen areas the current plans are vaulted.

- Roof is 10:12 pitch.

- Three builders I spoke to in the area in late Aug 2020 all said the house could be built for about $140-$145 sq ft ‘turn key’ which includes superior wall basement, 2x6 framing, granite counters, tile and real wood floors, etc, septic, concrete driveway, lot grading, basic landscape. I assume the cost may have gone up since then.

- The highlight ‘view’ is from the back of the house (towards the southeast). There are several ridge lines visible in the Sweetwater valley and when the skies are clear the Smoky Mountains (10-15 miles) are visible in the distance.

- The primary living spaces have large windows across the back of the house.

- There will be a wood deck across the entire back of the house with a covered bump-out area on the deck.

- The existing homes in the subdivision are a wide mix of styles.

- My plan is to go for a country craftsman front elevation/materials. Here is an example elevation of the floorplan (Don Gardner 'Primrose') I based my floor plan from:



And a photo of the front elevation style I would opt for:


I am not proficient at exterior elevation details, but here are some exterior renderings that show how it would basically look from the rear outside (ignoring all colors/finishes).





And some of the other homes in the subdivision that show the diverse 'mix' of styles. My house would probably be the smallest house in the subdivision at 2200 sq ft (It started at 2000 sq ft and keeps growing!). The minimum size for a single story house is 1800 sq ft. Two story minimum is 2400 sq ft.

Right side neighbor



2 houses to the right


Houses across the street




New house just completed late last year



So, if you've made it through that flood of information.... What issues/concerns should I focus on for a floor plan/house I plan to eventually retire in? Thanks.
Old 03-06-2021, 08:58 AM
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Remove as many walls between kitchen, family room and dining room.
Old 03-06-2021, 08:59 AM
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My $0.02.

Don't do 10/12 roof unless you absolutely have to. The renderings don't look like 10/12.
I'm no a fan of extra doors in the bathroom, especially your guest bath.
Standard o/h doors are 9' and 16' wide-save yourself some money.
Question: what are the somewhat translucent walls in the kitchen and dining room? You want that area wide open.

Good looking home.
Old 03-06-2021, 09:00 AM
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Garage not deep enough. If a long bed crew cab dually won’t fit with room to walk around with ease it’s too small.
Old 03-06-2021, 09:21 AM
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I would also enlarge the garage. Can you show North -South on plan?
You should look for morning sun [east] in kitchen/living space. Southern/ east exposure during the day.
For example if your front door is facing North the morning sun would be only in the 2 bedrooms you are not using. It would give you lots of day sun in the living areas and the basement walk out. The master would only get late afternoon sun.

If the front faces south all that glass at the rear would face the cold north.
I winter most of the wind is from NNW.

I would opt from stock plans and find either an Architect of a good draftsman to help design what works for you and the lot.
Old 03-06-2021, 09:36 AM
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I'm not sure if you're building a retirement home or not because I didn't read your entire post. The one thing I try to do on my customers projects like this is change all bedroom, bathroom, entrance doors ( front, rear, garage, etc.) to 36" wide. You lose a little wall space in those rooms plus the halls will need to be wider to accommodate the wider doors but now a handicapped person will have access to every room in the future. My first floor was remodeled years ago and I added this feature at that time. It wasn't needed then, nor now, but I'm not getting younger and I plan on being here for a while longer. One other thing would be a pocket door going into half bath/laundry room so entrance door isn't opening into W/D. I'm not a fan of pocket doors usually but they have their place sometimes.
Old 03-06-2021, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bsully24 View Post
I'm not sure if you're building a retirement home or not because I didn't read your entire post. The one thing I try to do on my customers projects like this is change all bedroom, bathroom, entrance doors ( front, rear, garage, etc.) to 36" wide. You lose a little wall space in those rooms plus the halls will need to be wider to accommodate the wider doors but now a handicapped person will have access to every room in the future. My first floor was remodeled years ago and I added this feature at that time. It wasn't needed then, nor now, but I'm not getting younger and I plan on being here for a while longer. One other thing would be a pocket door going into half bath/laundry room so entrance door isn't opening into W/D. I'm not a fan of pocket doors usually but they have their place sometimes.
He stated all 36“ interior doors (except one to basement).
Old 03-06-2021, 09:51 AM
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Look familiar?

Old 03-06-2021, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by magua View Post
Remove as many walls between kitchen, family room and dining room.
Originally Posted by t84a View Post
My $0.02.

Don't do 10/12 roof unless you absolutely have to. The renderings don't look like 10/12.
I'm no a fan of extra doors in the bathroom, especially your guest bath.
Standard o/h doors are 9' and 16' wide-save yourself some money.
Question: what are the somewhat translucent walls in the kitchen and dining room? You want that area wide open.

Good looking home.
The space between kitchen/dining/family rooms is wide open. The 'dashed line' walls on the plan are invisible walls which are an artifact of the CAD software I use (Home Designer Architectural 2018).

I will add N E S W to the floor plan. The front of the house aligns north west and the back aligns south east.
Great comments so far. Keep them coming!
Old 03-06-2021, 09:55 AM
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Not a floor plan consideration, but I would have under-deck roofing installed to keep that patio useable more often.
Old 03-06-2021, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bsully24 View Post
I'm not sure if you're building a retirement home or not because I didn't read your entire post. The one thing I try to do on my customers projects like this is change all bedroom, bathroom, entrance doors ( front, rear, garage, etc.) to 36" wide. You lose a little wall space in those rooms plus the halls will need to be wider to accommodate the wider doors but now a handicapped person will have access to every room in the future. My first floor was remodeled years ago and I added this feature at that time. It wasn't needed then, nor now, but I'm not getting younger and I plan on being here for a while longer. One other thing would be a pocket door going into half bath/laundry room so entrance door isn't opening into W/D. I'm not a fan of pocket doors usually but they have their place sometimes.
My current goal would be to be retired in this new house by around 2030. In the current floor plan all the interior doors/doorways are 36" wide (except the door to the basement stairs).
Old 03-06-2021, 09:59 AM
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[QUOTE=muskrattown;14538289
I would opt from stock plans and find either an Architect of a good draftsman to help design what works for you and the lot.[/QUOTE]

I spent a year looking at floor plans online and found a couple that _almost_ worked and used them as the baseline for my floor plan. Once I'm happy with my version of the floor plan and pick a builder then I would work with local architect/engineer to resolve local/code/engineer/architect issues.
Old 03-06-2021, 10:14 AM
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A couple comments-
Access to the kitchen, closer to the garage door would be nice, as would widening that hall to make it more of a mud/room. That could then accommodate a bench(built in ?),coats, shoes, etc.

I would make the closet in the living room, open into the foyer and make it a little larger by making the bedroom closet slightly smaller. Some of that space could come from not building a 2 x 4 portion between them. Also build a small built in shelf same width as the closet on the opposing wall (opposite side of the foyer). In fact I might ever swap the closet and shelf in the foyer. The shelf unit should have some dimmable RBG lighting.

Make basement stairs wider than standard, if possible.

Installing some awning windows is a must in my opinion. I don’t think I would build a house without them as part of the design.

Last edited by aubv; 03-06-2021 at 11:50 AM.
Old 03-06-2021, 10:29 AM
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Scrap living area walls and you dont seem to have closets. Basements arent accessed through bedrooms
Old 03-06-2021, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
Right side neighbor

Whatever you decide, for the love of God and all that is holy, don't do anything like this.

How many more different materials and textures can be added to a structure? And when your head is about to explode from the total confusion......

Dual statues. I can't zoom in enough to see what they are, but a part of me hopes they are either lions or gargoyles.

Those two choices are the only thing that would make sense with this house.
Old 03-06-2021, 11:09 AM
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Need access to the deck from the bedrooms, get rid of the low walls between kitchen, dining and family, hire an Architect
Old 03-06-2021, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
Scrap living area walls and you dont seem to have closets. Basements arent accessed through bedrooms
Everyone bedroom has a closet. Master bedroom closet is about 9' x 12'.

The door to basement stairs is in the hallway next to garage door?
Old 03-06-2021, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by elpez View Post
Need access to the deck from the bedrooms, get rid of the low walls between kitchen, dining and family, hire an Architect
That area is entirely open. Those are invisible walls on the floor plan in order to differentiate room areas.




Old 03-06-2021, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW21 View Post
Whatever you decide, for the love of God and all that is holy, don't do anything like this.

How many more different materials and textures can be added to a structure? And when your head is about to explode from the total confusion......

Dual statues. I can't zoom in enough to see what they are, but a part of me hopes they are either lions or gargoyles.

Those two choices are the only thing that would make sense with this house.
You should should see the interior: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2...70536996_zpid/
Old 03-06-2021, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by elpez View Post
hire an Architect
What fun is that when I have THT Plumbers and Electricians and Architects to consult with?

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