2400 sqft 4 bedroom house, Texas

2400 sqft 4 bedroom house, Texas (PDF)

Viewer Design Responce from Louis Pereira (PDF)

  • http://our-minergie-house.blogspot.com Ersi

    This was very interesting, thanks! I’ll have to go back to see what plans got D’s from you because I would think this was quite a contender! I liked your discussion of the impact of the neighboring houses and the orientation. I was at a loss to do anything with the existing plan except wanting to completely redo it. Really, the east side seems to be a lost cause. Is a bungalow cheaper to build than a 2 level house? Without relocating the large garage, I can’t see much hope for the 3 bedrooms on the north side. My inclination would be to move the kitchen northwards, bordering the hallway. That way the front room could become part of the rest of the house, although it might start to appear as too-long a space that way. Or leave the kitchen on the south wall, but rearrange it to connect to the front room somehow. The laundry room placement feels awkward to me. I would also try to do something to alleviate the closet/storage situation. It seems to me that little chunks of it are wedged in in various areas.

  • John Brown

    Those are very insightful observations. The laundry room is a problem for a couple of reasons. Not only is it in an odd location, as you suggest, but it is very small and awkwardly shaped, particularly when it is also doing double duty as the back entry from the garage. Where is the closet? How can all the members of a family come into this house at the same time? How convenient will it be to do the laundry with all of the shoes, knapsacks, etc. that inevitably collect at the back door of a house?

    The frustrations about the location of the kitchen go to the very heart of the problem with this house which is its proportions – the public rooms are too long and narrow to work properly in almost any configuration.

    Your idea of a second floor is also very insightful and could perhaps alleviate the proportion problem. Actually, a two story house in North America costs about 20% less to build than a bungalow because for every square foot of roof and foundation you get 2 square feet of living space. It also reduces the roof area dramatically and the wall area somewhat which will reduce heat gain/loss. From a spatial point of view, relocating even just the three side bedrooms onto a new second floor would open the space available on the main floor. It would probably allow us to eliminate the front living room and make the overall size of the home smaller but more effective and efficient.

  • http://www.thirdstone.ca Louis Pereira

    Congratulations John on the new format and immediate success of the SlowHome Design School! You are indeed providing invaluable assistance not only to homeowners but to designer’s alike. Your commitment and passion for good design is unwavering and i applaud your every effort – I look forward to every report!

    I particularly enjoy the WWWTH series and actually have fun re-organizing the floor plans presented. As for this exercise (2400 sqft. 4 Bedrm Texas), I’d like to submit my own markups (in PDF format) just to offer some additional insight on how to improve the layout without affecting much of the footprint.

    Perhaps you could provide me with an email?

  • John Brown

    Certainly. Please send them to editor@theslowhome.com.
    I look forward to seeing your ideas.

  • Trish


    I really like Louis’ version of the 2400 SF 4 bedroom house in Texas. I like the way the rooms are integrated, and all of the spaces seem really functional – I imagine that if I lived here I would use each and every room, every day.
    My one issue is how the kitchen is very much “on display” from the front door. This feels atypical for a suburban tract house. A production builder would probably push the kitchen to the back of the house and put the dining room in the middle. I like Louis’ version better, but I am wondering if you can suggest how to soften the view of the view of the kitchen from the front entrance – would a large/wide archway destroy the lines?

  • John Brown

    I appreciate your comment about the exposure of the entry to the kitchen. Building on your suggestion of a wide doorway I have revised Louis’ plan slightly and made his study into a more formal, and enclosed, entry complete with a closet and enough room for a bench etc. There would then be a large doorway centered on the living area. I think that this would create the right degree of separation without compromising the openness of the design. What do you think?


  • Trish

    I think the study is very useful, and something that makes a lot of sense in today’s world of home offices. I wasn’t clear on where I would place the archway – in my mind’s eye, it was between the kitchen and the living room and would span from the side wall of the home all the way over to the storage closet, to visually frame the kitchen. It may destroy part of the storage closet though. But I do like your entrance – it is rare to find a production home with a true foyer.

  • John Brown

    I agree that the study is a nice addition to the plan but my personal vote would be for a better entry and trying to accommodate the study/office use in a different way. I would be afraid that spanning across the plan as you suggest may be too visually intrusive and would impact the storage closet.