1780 sqft 4 bedroom Home, North Carolina

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  • Trent

    you hit the name on the head when you spoke about the darkness of the house. I would orient the living area to the front and east walls, maybe move the kitchen back into where the existing living room is now and possibly push the garage door that comes into the house back into the garage and re-work the entry area so it wouldn’t come directly into the new living room.

  • Grace

    OMG that silly little living room is the worst thing! Not only is it wasted space, but it totally blocks the southern light from entering the house. Tear down that wall!

  • Jim Argeropoulos

    You might have an entry closet, but it’s going to be a struggle to use it because of the overlapping doors.
    What is that odd room/closet off the dinning area? Is it supposed to be a study? It has a window, but it is just big enough for a small desk.
    The master bath vanity is too small and could easily be larger.

    I’ll take the fact that all the living spaces are in one medium size room with essentially no daylight as the worst thing in this house.

  • Brad W

    My top 3 things wrong with this house are:
    3. Entry from the garage into the house.
    2. Bedroom location blocks connection with the outside.
    1. Lack of natural light in the kitchen/family/dining space.

  • Thea

    I think the disconnect from the community is a shame. I love the front porch but it is so separate from the rest of the house, does it ever get used? Entering this house is like crawling into a cave, away from the nice southern light and all of your neighbors. There are no ‘eyes on the street’ here!

  • Terri

    The worst thing with this house is lack of light in the kitchen/living space.
    Second is the traffic pattern to the kitchen–too close to the garage and too convoluted travelling through the living room from the bedroom.
    Third, two bedroom walls adjoin living room walls–a good source of late-night conflict.

  • Volker

    The worst thing about this house – and rather easy to correct – is the wall between the entrance living space and the kitchen cutting off all the natural light and connection between the entrance and the main living space.

    For me it is hard to judge about this floorplan without knowing about the outside. John you mentioned the next door neighbor being just a couple feet away – if this is true it would make things even worse. I would hope that is it possible to get enough light into the building from the West and the East too.

    The ratio between the windows/entrance and the garage is another big deficite about this layout.

  • Terri

    I’ve been playing with this plan and have noticed a few more design elements that irk me:

    1.Kitchen sink practically in the middle of the living space.
    2.Bedroom doorway is visible from dining room.
    3.Main bathroom walls have no closet spaces on the other side, thereby big noise trasmission between it and two bedrooms.

    I don’t think it’s so easy to fix this home (even with that front room wall removed) as the kitchen seems to be in the wrong place with a bad configuration.

  • Elva

    Things not mentioned by others are:

    1. Access to back yard is only from the front of the house. I doubt that the yard is used much.

    2. Layout of the bathrooms has the window in bathtub area. If these are combined tub and showers is this not a potential problem? Don’t know, just asking.

    I agree that livingroom is wasted space and the wall ajoining the kitchen should be remove. A redesign of the communal areas could provide a more funtional and lighter area.

    Don’t know what the function of the little room off the dinning room is for, maybe a butler’s pantry, maybe just a waste of space.

    I too think something should be done about the closet access at the front entry.

  • Elva

    Oops didn’t see the sliding doors off the dinning room.

  • Louis Pereira

    As with all cookie-cutter homes, this layout plan does not respond to its site, with so little regard for natural light or the outside world. That’s the worst thing about the house. But hey, it’s perfect for nocturnal beings like vampires and were-wolves.

  • Brad W

    Just for fun I quickly performed a substantial renovation…


  • Terri

    Brad W,

    I played with the plan and put the kitchen, dining and living rooms in the same places as you. I kept 4 bedrooms, but I think your idea of a powder room and laundry are excellent.


  • Brad W

    Terri, nice plan. With the kitchen in the centre, we will need to find a way to get natural light into that space.

  • Grace

    How about a skylight?

  • Tina

    It would take forever to get hot water in the shower each morning. The water heater is at the opposite end of the house!

    This house has bedrooms for 5 people, but the living areas could never accomodate 5 comfortably. The lack of light along with the inward-focused, claustrophobic feelings are, I think, the worst things about this house.

  • John Brown

    Thanks to everyone who helped “dissect” this house.

    I particularly appreciated Thea’s comments about the porch. It is really just a marketing symbol in this house because it is so removed from the rest of the living spaces.

    Brad and Terri’s revisions certainly improve the situation and agree that the kitchen is better located in the center of the plan. The north south dimension of that space, however, seems to be too long and leads to an overly large kitchen.

    For my summary of the comments to date I would say the three worst things about this house are all about disconnection:

    3. The disconnect from the site and a disregard for solar orientation.

    2. The disconnect from the community with the “for show only” front porch and a formal living room no one will use.

    1. The disconnect of the living space/ kitchen and the outside. These spaces are too dark, too inwardly focused and too removed from the backyard.

  • James Scott

    Good morning John,

    A little late replying to this but a few thoughts.

    In my previous posting I’ve attempted to express the importance of the connection to the overall community. In that context the responsibility shown when designing and executing these projects is just as important as the layout of the home itself.

    That being said I understand the difficulty in providing details to the extent that we see the interaction between specific homes and the development or subdivision. But what I do think is important, and I’m sure most think about this when redesigning their own homes, is the relationship to surrounding properties and the main access to the property.

    I feel a lot plan showing the homes communal relationship is vital. The episode on outdoor living spaces this week is a perfect example. We may not want to see what our neighbours are up to. We may need more privacy or greater security than in other areas. A nice porch connecting us to our street and neighbours strolling by may take a big step back if we’re on a corner with lights and a busy intersection.

    Other factors such as the movement or placement of windows is quite dependent on that of your neighbour. Usually bylaw would prohibit my bathroom window facing my neighbours bedroom window if the houses are within a certain distance. In the cookie cutter developments this would be repeated throughout.

    What I would really be interested in is an example where we can sink our teeth into the bigger picture either by seeing the relationship to the lot plan and adjoining houses or maybe a plan where we start from scratch, an empty lot with specific requirements meeting certain limitations. what would we get if we weren’t confined to the plan at hand? The creative juices from your posters would be akin to a feeding frenzy, pretty exciting I would think.

    I throw these thoughts out there because when looking at this plan, even with the faux porch there is still a big disconnect from the public. Two cheesy plastic chairs and a snow shovel would fill that porch quickly. And if the formal living room sees no use I can see the porch underused as well. That and a bylaw regulated setback from the center of the street and well you’re left with a nice look but that’s all.

    Happy Victoria Day weekend everyone!