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Cabinets are IN (Lots of pics)!

posted by: jaymielo on 07.26.2008 at 02:31 pm in Building a Home Forum

Finally. We are making some progress. I'm very happy with how they turned out and all the little "snafus" were resolved without too much difficulty. No show stoppers. The cabinets were handmade by an Amish family and installed by a local cabinet shop. I've heard enough grousing about the cabinets and the time it took to get them onsite to last me a lifetime, so I'm so happy to be over this hurdle. Endless thanks to all who tolerating my moaning about this for the past two months. The cabinets that seemed like they "were not meant to be" were actually just meant to be on their own schedule. lol!

Here is the kitchen. The island is in the front (will house sink) with the range and refrigerator along the back wall.

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The sink base in the island with drawers to the right and a bookcase on the end.

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Wine cubbies next to the wine fridge for "overflow" ;)

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Banks of cabinets to the right and left of the range

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To the right of the island is the cabinet for our Advantium and our small reach in pantry. I had two doors custom made to match the cabinet doors for the pantry.

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This is the secretary in the nook

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Across the great room is the fireplace. The two windows on the side of the fireplace will have leaded glass inserts which were salvaged from an old Craftsman home and the fireplace surround and hearth will have handpainted tile to match the kitchen backsplash.

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Here are the medicine cabinets in our master bathroom

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and the linen cabinet.

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The dining room corner cabinets

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Laundry room cubbies, W/D pedestals and cabinets

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Powder room vanity

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Desk in the boy's computer nook

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Window seats in the TV room

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Thanks for looking and for all the inspiration your pictures have provided me!

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clipped on: 05.19.2009 at 03:33 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2009 at 03:34 pm

RE: New Member - Please critique (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: bevangel on 05.19.2009 at 11:30 am in Building a Home Forum

I'm afraid your $60/sq ft estimate is not at all realistic even if you're planning to totally DIY. You plan has all sorts of angles, bays, and bumpouts giving you a complicated foundation shape and a complex roof line. It's gorgeous but every one of those angles, bays, and bumpouts increases the cost to build. And higher end finishes such as "Venetian plastering" in all the rooms will add to the cost. Then there are the 3.5 baths (4.5 if that room off the garage with the WH is supposed to be another bathroom). Bathrooms and kitchens are the most expensive rooms in the house to build. The more bathrooms you have, the more expensive per SF your house will be. And, clustering wet areas close together helps keep plumbing costs down. But you've got your master bath a looong way from all other plumbing and then separate the fixtures in the master bath a long way from each other. So, your plumbing is not going to come cheap.

Those $60/sf builds you hear about are almost always 2 story plans (to cut down on foundation and roofing costs) that are nearly perfect rectangles with two baths (usually stacked to reduce plumbing costs) and the owners are inveterate deal shoppers (ebay, craigslist, Habitat Restore, etc.) who are willing to be quite flexible regarding finishes.

I live in a relatively inexpensive area to build in and my plan has some of the same complications as yours. Mine is 3200 sq foot heated/cooled with lots of covered decks/porches. It is two full stories (so I have comparatively less roofing and foundation costs). But, like you I have 3 full baths plus two half baths (with plumbing spread out. My foundation has a couple of bump-outs - although not nearly as many as you have. We're in the midst of building and our final cost will be nearer to $165/sf... and that is NOT counting land purchase nor clearing which we had accomplished before we started to build. We're building the house we wanted so we decided to bite the bullet on going over the $150/sf limit we were originally shooting for. But even so, we are having to cut back on some of the final finish work - fortunately, only on things that can be easily swapped out later when we can afford the higher end finishes we originally wanted.

Depending on the part of the country you are live in, I could easily imagine your costs to build exceeding $300/sf. Before you go further, you might want to get a couple of builders in your area to look at your plans and give you a quick "ball park" cost-to-build. Or, find out what comparably-sized complex shaped houses with equal numbers of bathrooms (spread out) and veranda space and higher end finishes are being built for.

As for design issues with the plan...

Have you taken into account the necessary turning radius to get a car into and out of the parking bay nearest the house? Seems like the corner of that bathroom wall juts out right n the path of a car backing out. I foresee dented bumpers and replacing chipped/broken brickwork.

And, could you explain more clearly WHERE are you thinking about someday adding that second garage to create a courtyard? If I'm understanding you correctly, the garage addition would exacerbate the problem of lack of turning radius to get into/out of the current garage. But maybe I don't understand.

Dryers need to be vented so having them next to an exterior wall is extremely helpful. While you can use flex duct to vent your dryer, the longer a run of flex duct you use, the more careful you have to be to clean that duct out regularly so you don't have a fire start in the dryer lint. I would try to swap the machines to the other wall so dryer could be vented out that little jog of wall.

Since you're showing some pretty substantial walls/columns defining the veranda in back, I'm assuming the entire veranda will be roofed over. That will be a lovely space but, the veranda roof will keep much sunlight from reaching the window in the angled wall by the breakfast nook. Nor will much light from second story windows in the great room reach your kitchen since any light coming in from those windows would have to basically make a 90 degree turn to reach the kitchen. At most, you'll get some reflected light if the walls and floors and ceiling of your great room are light colored. A window facing the garage "courtyard" would help bring light into the kitchen even tho the view might not be the greatest.

Anyone trying to cook in your kitchen is going to HATE that small island that you have shown between the pantry and sink. The cook would have to walk around that island constantly to get from stove to fridge to sink to pantry. Extra steps and bruised hips! Better to leave that little island out completely. There is a kitchen forum on garden web where you can pick up some great tips on designing a user friendly kitchen. I highly recommend it.

Your water heater is way too far from master bedroom shower. You'll have to turn WH up higher to ensure water is still hot enough when it reaches your shower. I would consider going tankless instead with a small tankless heater for masterbath and a larger one for the rest of the house. Or maybe two additional tankless heaters if all three bedrooms will actually be occupied regularly.

IMHO, Master bath needs major reworking to provide some natural light to vanity area and to get rid of long "hallway" effect. Windows in showers (except for small high windows to let in a little light) can be a pain to keep clean. Unless you wipe them down after every shower, they wind up constantly water spotted. But, if you're going to have a big jaccuzzi tub, it is a shame NOT to have a window beside it to enjoy the view while soaking. I'd start by swapping the location of shower and tub and then seeing if I couldn't consolidate bath fixtures on one side of the bath/closet area and consolidate the closets in the other side to get rid of "hallway" effect. And, since closets don't need windows, wrapping closets around exterior walls seems like a waste unless you are specifically planning for the closets to serve as additional "insulation" space against outdoor noises or a hot south-western wall.

Speaking of closets, the one for the secondary downstairs bedroom looks to be only about 3.5 ft deep. (I'm judging by comparing it to cabinet width in kitchen b/c kitchen cabs are pretty uniformly 2 ft deep.) Clothing hanging on a rod takes up about 22 inches. With the closet door at one end as you have shown, to get to clothing at the other end of the closet, the user will have to squeeze down a claustrophobia inducing space between between wall and hanging clothes that is only about 2 ft wide at most. You also can't put the "pocket" for a pocket door behind a sink as the wall behind the sink HAS to have plumbing run through it.

Is that little square between entry to master bedroom and master bath toilet another little closet? If so, where is the opening into it? And, what about that little jog to the left of the masterbedroom entry? Just a niche? Or, another closet?

The office design looks very very nice and very user friendly. I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a guess that you spend most of your time in an office! You are clearly very aware of what works and what doesn't work well in an office! If you raise your awareness of what works and what doesn't in the rest of a house to the same level as your awareness of office space, your entire design will benefit!

I too think the great room is rather small for the size of the overall house. It looks like you only have a few inches at most between each sofa and the loveseat and only about 18 inches between sofas and the fireplace wall. If so, there is really no easy way to get into and out of your seating area. Again, I'm guesstimating clearances based on visual comparison to kitchen cabinet widths so I could be wrong.

Upstairs, I'm not a fan of J&J baths unless there is no other option. It is just too easy to go into one, lock both doors for privacy, then forget to unlock one when you leave thereby locking the person who has the other bedroom out. And if these rooms will be used by kids, expect them to lock each other out on purpose just to annoy one another!

Finally, check window placements carefully. I could be judging wrong but on your front elevation drawing the window into the front upstairs bedroom is perfectly lined up with the window to the dining room (although the dining room juts forward). When I look at your second floor furniture plan and compare roof line for the dining room to figure out where the dining room window would be and thus where that bedroom window will fall, it looks like the bedroom window will extend a few inches into the hallway or you will have to shift it to the left so that it no longer lines up with the dining room window. Not good.

Sorry to point out so many negatives but you said that would be more helpful than "pats on the back" so I'm taking you at your word. I do think most of these issues could be addressed (except the whole cost/sf thing) without substantially altering your elevation - which I do think that is quite lovely.

Will look forward to seeing future iterations.

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House Plan comments
clipped on: 05.19.2009 at 01:17 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2009 at 01:17 pm