Home remodel / addition plans

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AZK
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:49 am

Home remodel / addition plans

Post by AZK » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:23 pm

Hello all,

Over the last 4 weeks my wife and I have been designing and re-designing the finalized set of plans we have for a great room remodel (previously 4 small rooms) and a master bed / bath addition. I have read every thread on bogleheads about home building, remodel, additions. I've also spent more time than I care to admit on gardenweb and other online resources. Attached is a schematic of our near final plans. Would appreciate any feedback you have. A bit of information about us to help get you an idea of how we use our house:

Family of 5 (3 small children)
Both DW and I cook. A lot. Frequently 2 cooks in kitchen.
We spend 90% of our time in great room / kitchen area.
We have a large family that stays for long periods of time and have big dinners.
DW and I have opposite work schedules hence multiple entrance/exit from Master bed / Master bath.

What you don't see on these plans is an additional 4 bedroom / 2 bath that splits right off the entry. This is the existing part of the house that we aren't remodeling and plan to keep as is. While it is less than ideal to have the master on the other side of the house, we are confident that in a few years when our kids are older we will be thanking our lucky stars.

Things we love about our current plans:

Emphasizes optimized layout of great room for all of our entertaining.
Kitchen that can accomodate both of us
Separate sides of house for visiting family / kids and us
Large mudroom
Master layout that accomodates our erratic work schedules.

Image

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

bluebolt
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by bluebolt » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:03 pm

I'm torn about having laundry right next to the master. In our house, it's on the bottom floor (with master on main/upper level) and I love that I can do loads of laundry at night or early morning when DW is sleeping. If it was next to our bedroom, I wouldn't be able to do that.

That said, it's super convenient to have it right next to your bedroom in general.

ETA: I love having counter space next to my wall oven and on both sides of my range. With the layout you have, it looks like the wall oven is right next to the range, so you lose counter space on one side of the range and don't have any next to the wall oven. Looks like you can use the island as a staging area for the oven, but it's something to think about.

delamer
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by delamer » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:12 pm

If the mudroom is going to be used my multiple family members at varying hours, I wouldn't put it right next to the master.

Does the opposite work schedules mean that one of you is sleeping while the other is showering or otherwise getting ready for work? If so, consider having the closet share a wall with the bedroom area, rather than the bathroom, to minimize the noise.

Think about moving the entrance from the garage to the kitchen wall for ease with the groceries. Or which the location of the cubbies and the door.

AZK
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:49 am

Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by AZK » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:20 pm

Bluebolt - Yes, I've wrestled with placement of the W/D and mudroom in general. We wanted it close to the garage and accessible to the backyard so this was the only logical place. We originally had the W/D on the same wall as master and flipped it cause of sound. We spoke with our GC and he is planning to install floating 2x4 or 2x6 between both walls and insulate to help with sound. We do a lot of laundry so I am cautiously optimistic.

This drawing doesn't reflect the right placement of the oven and range but we plan on having 30 inches of counter space between the wall oven and range and then an additional 30 inches on the opposite side of range for the exact reasons you state.

Delamer - echo what bluebolt said above regarding mudroom, perhaps not the most optimal but can't think of a better place to put it. Regarding schedules yes my wife works normal hours i.e. 7a - 7p. I am a shift worker so do my fair share of afternoon / night shifts. We thought about swapping the master closet and bath but my wife didn't want to walk through the closet every time she had to use the bathroom at night. Might revisit this. I also had concerns about distance from garage entrance to kitchen for groceries. Thought about putting entrance on kitchen wall but it felt awkward walking right into great room. I'll see if we can shift door entrance and cubbies and how that looks.

Thanks for all the feedback!

MarvinK
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by MarvinK » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:24 pm

Talk to your contractor about the 2 doors between the garage and the master bedroom. You don't want to be sleeping and hear the garage door. Solid doors and non-squeaky upgraded, soft-close hinges.

Other ideas: Consider the washer and dryer in the garage and use most of the mudroom for another closet/sink combo (you've probably already thought of that). Mudrooms are typically between the garage door and the rest of the house. This one is offset and really links to the backyard which is what works for your life.
Another option: you could use a smaller stackable W/D set just for parents. Move the big set near the kids (or pre-plumb it), especially if they are in sports, let them run all their own stinky laundry as they grow up.

My grandparents house had the master split from their kids bedrooms. Worked great for 40+ years!

Another point: Is there anything else in the layout that would make a difference in friction/happiness in your relationship? Shared Spaces. For example you are sharing one toilet. You are sharing a home office (it looks like).
Now is the time to speak up and say, no I really want my own toilet separate from yours or I really want a separate corner hobby space where I can leave my stuff out. You are building a custom home addition and raising three children and working, it's okay to not follow the norm to keep you happy.

Bath: Sink mirrors there are defrosters that will keep the steam clear (warmlyyours.com) have the electrican put in an electrical box for this purpose, if you're interested since shower is in same big space as mirrors.
Consider dedicated elec. circuits for hairdryer, and a space heater if typically used.
Consider a hair drying station/makeup small spot outside of the shower-damp area for DW.
Garage: Consider a 2nd refrig and/or freezer outlet in garage (good for thanksgiving turkeys and leftovers)
Family Room to Backyard: Single door, it could be a double door?
Small children: Discussion with your GC: are there any parts than can be adjustable. For example lower one counter or certain handles now and adjustable higher as they get older?
Pets: Do you have a dog or plan to get one? Google dog wash room images - yes it's a thing. It may fit in the mudroom. Or in a warmer climate, plumb an outdoor shower (with hot and cold water).
Clothes Washer Hook Up: Specify hammer arresters. There is also a plumbing box that has a leak detection shutoff feature.
Pantry / Closets: Recommend plugs for strip LED or other lights and mid level and lower level, as the back corners get dark from just a ceiling light.

Best wishes!

bluebolt
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by bluebolt » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:29 pm

Get an outlet installed for a washlet in the master bath (or get a toilet with built in washlet).

https://www.amazon.com/TOTO-Washlet-Elo ... B009IJ2NBI

There's a reason 80% of Japanese homes have one of these. The one linked above is a high end model, you can spend less than half as much and still get something decent.

AZK
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by AZK » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:26 am

MarvinK - Thanks for all the tips. Will add these. After more thought planning to move garage door entrance so that it's across form mudroom entrance. Want that door as far from master as possible due to sound. Definitely putting a fridge in the garage. No dog for us, 3 kids is plenty! Will dicusss some of these other ideas with DW.

Bluebolt - I'll have to research this, was not aware of it.

Thanks again.

ralph124cf
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by ralph124cf » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:27 am

Consider oversize interior and entrance doors and stairways. Appliances are getting bigger, and it is at least an even bet that somebody in the family will need a wheelchair at least for a week or two (kids break legs). Put up safety grab bars as a substitute for towel bars, plus safety bars in the bath/shower.

Consider plywood blocking behind the drywall for TV/monitor mounts and for any pictures or mirrors that you might even think of hanging in the future.

Ralph

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lthenderson
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by lthenderson » Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:32 pm

A few things that caught my eye. One is the location of the washer and dryer in the mudroom. They are clear across the room from an outside wall/vent point. Perhaps the vent is going straight up? More elbows means more cleaning of the vent and lower the drying performance.

The other thing you already mentioned was the long distance from the back of the car to the kitchen. Not only is it far to carry heavy sacks but where we live in a 4-season environment, it often means carrying in the groceries to the door and setting them all down. Kicking off the wet/snowy/muddy shoes and finishing carrying all the groceries the rest of the way. I like having a door just a few feet away from an available counter where I can make one or two steps to set things down and then clean up any snow/mud/dirt after all the groceries have been carried in.

Finally, where is your water heater located? Depending on what type of heater and location, you may have a long wait for warm water at some of your faucets in your house.

WannabeEarlyRetiree
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by WannabeEarlyRetiree » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:31 pm

Three things:
1) add a door to enter the kitchen from garage so when you have grocery, it is only a few short steps to bring them inside
2) for two people to cook at the same time, make sure your gas range/cooktop is at least 36" or bigger. Also I would move the range closer to the sink and fridge (in between the two). Keeping a small kitchen working triangle will make kitchen a lot more functional.
3) for your kids safety, have contractor installed electrical outlet that already have built in babyproofing. Also, install couple outlets on the other side of the island (where the seating area is) so you can plug in to charge phone/laptop.

magazinewriter
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by magazinewriter » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:51 am

One small idea for the powder room near your entry. Consider a pocket door instead of a regular door. It makes a difference for such a small room.

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runner9
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by runner9 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:07 am

Can't agree enough about putting wood blocking behind where stuff will need to be attached when finished. Struggling right now with a towel bar that's pulled out of the wall several times. Wish I could go back and put a 2x4 between the studs right there to attach too.

stan1
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by stan1 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:40 am

I would recommend posting in the "Kitchen" and "Building a Home" sections on GardenWeb (Houzz). You'll get some very objective feedback on improving the design (if you are open to that input -- sometimes people post a plan there saying they want feedback but really are already "bought into" their plan).

Before I make any comments I'll also say I can't really read the small print on the plan so I might get a few of these wrong.

Kitchen:
- Aisle widths seem OK. Should be at least 42" wide.
- I would prefer more windows at the expense of some upper cabinets. It is a large kitchen and I think the light will make it feel special.
- Dishwashers. I'd prefer them side by side or on either side of the cleanup sink rather than across the aisle from each other. I think it would be hard to remember what's in each dishwasher plus I'd want the second dishwasher near the cleanup area not the prep sink.
- Range/Cooktop. As depicted too close to the oven and the corner. Maybe the oven should be moved 2-3 feet towards the family room?
- Fridge/Freezer. Can't read the size but make sure its a standard size so it can be replaced. Appliances don't last 20-30 years any more.

Family/Dining room:
- Where is the TV going? Will you be able to easily watch it?
- Door outside. I know sliders are out of favor right now but that's what I would do rather than having the door open into the middle of the room as depicted on the plan.
- Can't really tell if there is enough walkway space between the dining table and the bar area. You'd want that walkway to be close to 48" since its a major traffic path through the house. As depicted it looks to be a lot less than that.

Mudroom:
- Maybe reverse the swing of the door by the washer/dryer (so the door opens against the washer/dryer).
- Where will you set baskets of laundry? Can you extend the counter across the width of the room?
- Make sure you have extra sound insulation in the walls between the bedroom and mudroom.

Master bath/closet:
- Seems like the little niche area in the shower would be a cleaning hassle. I'd make the shower rectangular (or omit the linen cabinet).
- Toilet stall. Looking at the plan it seems like the door could swing inward not outward.
- Closet. The U shapes have a lot of wasted space in the corners. I think you'd get as much effective space by flatting the U's out. Also taking away the door between the closet and office will give you a lot more useful closet space.

AZK
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:49 am

Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by AZK » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:07 am

ralph124cf wrote:Consider oversize interior and entrance doors and stairways. Appliances are getting bigger, and it is at least an even bet that somebody in the family will need a wheelchair at least for a week or two (kids break legs). Put up safety grab bars as a substitute for towel bars, plus safety bars in the bath/shower.

Consider plywood blocking behind the drywall for TV/monitor mounts and for any pictures or mirrors that you might even think of hanging in the future.

Ralph


Yep. Planning 3' door openings minimum.

lthenderson wrote:A few things that caught my eye. One is the location of the washer and dryer in the mudroom. They are clear across the room from an outside wall/vent point. Perhaps the vent is going straight up? More elbows means more cleaning of the vent and lower the drying performance.

The other thing you already mentioned was the long distance from the back of the car to the kitchen. Not only is it far to carry heavy sacks but where we live in a 4-season environment, it often means carrying in the groceries to the door and setting them all down. Kicking off the wet/snowy/muddy shoes and finishing carrying all the groceries the rest of the way. I like having a door just a few feet away from an available counter where I can make one or two steps to set things down and then clean up any snow/mud/dirt after all the groceries have been carried in.

Finally, where is your water heater located? Depending on what type of heater and location, you may have a long wait for warm water at some of your faucets in your house.


Agreed. I've thought about moving garage door entrance to adjacent to the double oven, but it feels odd walking right into the great room like that. Additionally eats into that wall space where we are putting a TV. Still mulling it over. No good solution. :( We are going to keep the existing water heater for the whole house but install an additional small tankless water heater for the master so we don't have to wait for hot water :)

WannabeEarlyRetiree wrote:Three things:
1) add a door to enter the kitchen from garage so when you have grocery, it is only a few short steps to bring them inside
2) for two people to cook at the same time, make sure your gas range/cooktop is at least 36" or bigger. Also I would move the range closer to the sink and fridge (in between the two). Keeping a small kitchen working triangle will make kitchen a lot more functional.
3) for your kids safety, have contractor installed electrical outlet that already have built in babyproofing. Also, install couple outlets on the other side of the island (where the seating area is) so you can plug in to charge phone/laptop.


Yep planning a 36 inch range and 48 inch distance between counters and islands all the way through.

magazinewriter wrote:One small idea for the powder room near your entry. Consider a pocket door instead of a regular door. It makes a difference for such a small room.


Love this idea. Will update plans.

runner9 wrote:Can't agree enough about putting wood blocking behind where stuff will need to be attached when finished. Struggling right now with a towel bar that's pulled out of the wall several times. Wish I could go back and put a 2x4 between the studs right there to attach too.


Noted.
stan1 wrote:Family/Dining room:
- Where is the TV going? Will you be able to easily watch it?
- Door outside. I know sliders are out of favor right now but that's what I would do rather than having the door open into the middle of the room as depicted on the plan.
- Can't really tell if there is enough walkway space between the dining table and the bar area. You'd want that walkway to be close to 48" since its a major traffic path through the house. As depicted it looks to be a lot less than that.




TV is going on the wall facing garage. It's going to be tight I think. Was hoping for a 65 inch TV.

The existing house plan has a door opening into the room. If we have it in the budget I want to replace this with a slider.

Might have to rotate the table 90 degrees to accomodate the bar. I think we have plenty of room width wise to do so, I think with that wing wall needed for a support beam it's really eating into the current layout.



Mudroom:
- Maybe reverse the swing of the door by the washer/dryer (so the door opens against the washer/dryer).
- Where will you set baskets of laundry? Can you extend the counter across the width of the room?
- Make sure you have extra sound insulation in the walls between the bedroom and mudroom.


Mudroom door is going to be a barn door , not reflected in this version so should help.

Planning to move sink to be adjacent to W+D and put wall to wall counter space on that far wall that's shared with master.

Master bath/closet:
- Seems like the little niche area in the shower would be a cleaning hassle. I'd make the shower rectangular (or omit the linen cabinet).
- Toilet stall. Looking at the plan it seems like the door could swing inward not outward.
- Closet. The U shapes have a lot of wasted space in the corners. I think you'd get as much effective space by flatting the U's out. Also taking away the door between the closet and office will give you a lot more useful closet space.


Yeah Shower seems to big, might shrink this down to 4x6.

Feel Pretty strongly about having at least some kind of storage in the bathroom, this space for linen seemed like only logical space.

Will change WC door to swing inwards.

Agree about closet, will rethink this.

Thank you everybody for your invaluable feedback.

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SkierMom
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by SkierMom » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:52 pm

We are in a climate that requires a mudroom -- With kids, dogs, sports equipment and book bags, there is no way I would want our Mudroom to be the pass-through into the Master.

Really, how much access to the mudroom will there be from the backyard as opposed to the garage? With mudroom egress limited into/out of the garage only (instead of garage and back yard) I think you can move the WD away from the Master and much better maximize your space. You have the mudroom door to the side of the garage house entry. We have this and I would have much preferred just an entry from the garage fully into the mudroom. You simply have more space and can close the door on the mudroom/laundry mess. Often, I have my kids take off their filthy clothes/muddy boots/sports uniforms in the mudroom so it's not tracked into the house. With your proposed layout, the mess will go across the Master hallway into the laundry room. If I had to do it over again, I would add a sink in the mudroom or a low doggie shower/spray hose for the pups or the mountain biking enthusiast in our household.

Just my opinion here too, but the bi-level kitchen island is dated. Maybe consider a one-level kitchen island with counter-height rather than bar-height stools.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by Nearly A Moose » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:19 pm

This reflects a frustration I have with my own home, which has a fully gutted, wall-less first level (it's a rowhome, so different space constraint issues), but consider adding some sort of architectural feature to create a visual break between your kitchen, dining, and living room. It could be a ceiling feature, columns, arch, half-wall, etc. Perhaps you currently live with and enjoy a setup like you're planning, but I feel like having one giant room means you feel like you're spending all your time in the same room, and it means that a messy kitchen means the living room is also messy. I have small kids but still wish I had some architectural features to break things up. But if this is the setup you're going for, then have at it.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by Nearly A Moose » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:20 pm

PS - I grew up in homes with some separation between the master suite and the kids rooms. I liked it and felt like it gave me my own wing of the house. I wouldn't want to run across the house for a newborn every couple hours, but it should be fine with older kids.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

AZK
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:49 am

Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Post by AZK » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:19 pm

SkierMom wrote:Just my opinion here too, but the bi-level kitchen island is dated. Maybe consider a one-level kitchen island with counter-height rather than bar-height stools.


Yep it's one level kitchen island with counter height stools.

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