Part 1 – 1030 sqft 2 Bedroom Condo, Texas

1030 sqft 2 Bedroom Condo, Texas (PDF)
1030 sqft 2 Bedroom Condo, Texas (JPG)

  • James Scott

    SHAPE/SIZE Fast, the shape/size overall is not too bad, but orientation to the sun is wrong.

    ORGANIZATION Fast, you enter right into the living space, too many doors to the guest bath, orientation of the master bedroom door, wasted space in the laundry isn’t really useful for any storage.

    FRONT/BACK ENTRY Fast, opens right into the living space. Nice view of the bedroom on the far side. When doors collide…

    INDOOR/OUTDOOR LIVING Fast, terrace is way to small to be useful. Being on the north side of the only window to the master bedroom doesn’t help matters. Living is right off of the entry.

    KITCHEN Fast, tight work space with sink right in view of the living spaces.

    DINING/STUDY Fast, the space shared with the living room is too small and there is too much traffic to get to the terrace and the master bedroom.

    BEDROOMS Fast, poor sunlight exposure, too many doors in second bedroom, and master overlooks small, dark terrace.

    BATHROOMS Fast, how many doors do you need to get to the guest bath? I suppose they are about as good as you would get from this space

    GARAGE/LAUNDRY Fast, half of the space is wasted just to get in and out. Could have blended the space with one of the bathrooms or kitchen.

    CONCLUSION: HOW FAST OR SLOW? Vroom, vroom, 9! I suppose I’m a harsh critic of this space, but why settle for anything less than what one can realistically get. Let the architect, builder and sales agent live in this if it’s so great. Those colliding doors with the colliding egos would make for a pretty interesting situation.

    That’s it, the next reality TV show. Make the people responsible for poor housing live in it for the length of the home warranty. This would include all of the people listed above as well as city planners, appliance manufacturers, plumbers, electricians, kitchen cabinet manufacturers…all of the people primarily responsible for the poor quality that goes into our housing stock. “Home Frenzy, The Reality Series”.

  • BradW

    And I thought I was grumpy this morning…nice rant James. Waiter, can we get more coffee…

  • BradW












    The apartment is moderately fast. Too many doors hurt flow and furniture placement. The terrace is unusable. With a corner location, the designer could have done so much better and that lost opportunity is the real disappointment here.

    I have again made some very small changes to resolve the door problems and added some furniture to make the unit livable.

  • Terri

    SHAPE/SIZE: 6 The corner location could be good, but with north exposure, and no windows on the exposed eastern side, light levels in the centre will be low.

    ORGANIZATION 6 At least we do have a separate entry this time! I wanted to give it a slow rating just for that; however, the terrace is too removed from main living area, and the throughway kitchen could be a problem.

    FRONT/BACK ENTRY 3 Yay, we have a closet beside the door and space to leave some shoes.

    INDOOR/OUTDOOR LIVING: 7 Terrace gets no light and is wasted by being in the corner. Also small.

    KITCHEN 7 I know the angled counter will be trashed by John, but in this case I think it’s mostly okay, as it keeps traffic to the guest bedroom off to edge of the living space–though the bar extending right to that second bedroom door is just dumb. That angle could have quit further north. The problem with the kitchen is that empty back wall is wasted and the access to the laundry is through the room, past the main appliances. Cupboards are minimal as well.

    DINING/STUDY 3 There’s room for a dining table and chairs and still allows access to terrace.

    BEDROOMS: 5 One is okay (master) though access to closet through bathroom bothers me. But the second bedroom suffers from having that bathroom door opening into the room. It could be tight for a bed. Or, the door will graze the bottom of it at any rate.

    BATHROOMS 4 Standard bathrooms. No much vanity in guest bath, but that seems to be on par with other units.

    GARAGE/LAUNDRY: 2 Laundry is spacious. Good use of back, dark space; although access through the kitchen may be issue at cooking times, most people would probably find a way around that glitch.

    CONCLUSION: HOW FAST OR SLOW? 4.77 I find it slower than the other two, though it’s getting close to being a fence-sitter.

    Note: I’ve hated the hot water tanks on all these decks, but it must be the code in Texas. Also, in southern climates, shade is often preferred, so north exposure isn’t always all bad.

  • Jane

    SHAPE/SIZE – 6 – strange shape for a condo with exterior entrance.

    ORGANIZATION – 7- not good, traffic flow is all from the central living/dining so movement to rooms interferrs with furniture layout. Kitchen/laundry is enough for me to dislike this place.

    Most comments have already been made, but there are mine!

    FRONT/BACK ENTRY – 3- reasonable considering condo size, and it has a closet.

    INDOOR/OUTDOOR LIVING – 7- outdoor living would have to be done elsewhere as this terrace is a mislabled space – useless. Indoor is not much better, too chopped up with doors, no space for furniture or hanging any pictures.

    KITCHEN – 8- uggh! no counter space, a door to the laundry – why? door blocks frig access.

    DINING/STUDY – 7- not sure where you would put a table as it either blocks traffic, or is against a wall between doors.

    BEDROOMS – 4- master – only light is from north window, but may have to be considered acceptable (only 2 doors!). Bed 2 has 3 doors, and a window onto an outside walkway – privacy issues!!

    BATHROOMS – 3- not that bad, other than too may doors!

    GARAGE/LAUNDRY – 8-retarded, wasted space in a condo that could use the extra room.

    CONCLUSION: HOW FAST OR SLOW? 6 – but seems worse. There must have had a sale on doors as are 12!!

  • James Scott

    BradW – Ha Ha! Actually I waited until this was posted before I had my coffee. Maybe now I’ll settle down with a nice hot cup of green tea.

    Terri – That’s a good question, does anyone know why the water tanks are outside the main structure? Maybe issues with carbon monoxide, etc.? I do agree that in some climates more shade would be preferred, but why not larger terraces with the appropriate overhang or more adaptation of the local vernacular?

  • GaryC

    SHAPE/SIZE Fast 8. The poor exposure to the sun should make this unit bargain priced. No effort was made to bring in the east light.

    ORGANIZATION Fast 6. Overall not bad layout but kitchen will be very dark.

    FRONT/BACK ENTRY Slow 3. Front entry has adequate room for entering with closet. If TV is mounted on east wall orientation of furniture may be a challenge.

    INDOOR/OUTDOOR LIVING Fast 7. Size of terrace is marginal. Master should open to it and dining barely benefits from it.

    KITCHEN Slow 4.5. Kitchen layout is fine but it will be dark being set deep in the plan with north exposure. I would need to remove the island right away and build a 90 degree wall at the entry to Bedroom 2.

    DINING/STUDY Slow side of 5. Position to kitchen and living is fine but may be difficult to sit more than 4 people.

    BEDROOMS Slow 4. Master is fine but would like to have access to terrace. I don’t mind the walk in access from the bath. This allows one person to get ready for work while the other catches their beauty sleep. Bedroom 2 would benefit from a pocket door into the bedroom. The two doors would then allow privacy as you are directly connected to the public spaces. East window could be larger.

    BATHROOMS Slow 3. I don’t have a problem with these. Orientation is fine with good use of guest/powder room.

    GARAGE/LAUNDRY Slow 2. I haven’t seen many laundries off kitchen but seems to make some sense. Again I think there should be a pocket door to eliminate conflict in the kitchen. I wonder why the water heater can not be in here.

    CONCLUSION: HOW FAST OR SLOW? 8. This is a home where the individual rankings are going to be more slow than the ranking it has to get for the sun exposure. If slow is THOUGHTFUL then this plan may have needed more articulation on the outside to try and bring better east and west exposure. For me it would have to be priced much less than the other two we have looked. A plan like this may have been the forebear to the “sunshine ceiling” in the kitchen.

  • Jim X

    12.09 1030 sq ft 2 bedroom condo in Texas

    SHAPE/SIZE – 7:
    The plan doesn’t take advantage of east light and view with only one small window in Bedroom 2. A large part of the house doesn’t receive natural light.
    There are twelve doors in this condo and at least half of them create problems. They will either bump into furniture or create problems arranging furniture. There are three doors in Bedroom 2 and they all open into the room, making the only position for a bed in the SE corner. (I see Brad eliminated some of the doors. It’s a small change that makes a big improvement.)
    Closet is good, however no clearly defined foyer.
    Terrace is small and cramped. I doubt if owners would use it. Compared to other areas the living area is OK.
    KITCHEN – 7:
    The sink (and dirty dishes) would be too visible, very little counter space, penninsula is awkward and protrudes into a circulation area.
    Terrace door cuts down the dining are although a round table might solve the problem.
    BEDROOMS – 9: See Organization
    BATHROOMS – 6:
    Bathrooms are not too bad although I don’t think the two doors on Bathroom 2 are necessary. Hallway door offers view of the room from the kitchen and dining room.
    Laundry room could be smaller considering the size of the condo.

    COMMENTS: Shape and Size and Organization seem to me to be very important in distinguishing a fast and slow house. Bedrooms, kitchen, bath can all be well planned in isolation but combined in a way that is unworkable. I think poorly organized condo should trump individual well- planned rooms. However in the last condo plan (12.07) poor organization also included poorly planned rooms.

  • Murray


    FYI – the attached JPEG is approximate room sizes (imperial measurements), based on a 2 foot wide kitchen counter.

    The square plan and predominantly northern exposure makes the kitchen dark. The east side takes minimal advantage of fenestration. The overall darkness may offer benefits for overheating in Texas – a bit fast, 6

    Not bad in some aspects, not good in others. There is a wide circulation corridor starting at the front door and wasting space throughout the unit, so that makes the living/dining/kitchen combo less attractive than it seems on the plan, other issues will come up within the sections below – fast, 7

    For a unit this size I think it is just fine, just a hint of a foyer – the plan shows a collision of doors, but that is not a major issue in practical usage – slow, 1

    Limited options for furniture placement in the living room because of the reduced size due to the circulation corridor as well as space needed to devote to the dining room, impeded access to the small terrace, the terrace will also be dark because of the HW storage and corner of dining room blocking any other natural light – fast, 8

    OK layout per se, fridge should be on the opposite side, very limited cupboard space, angled counter makes some sense but it implies an extra dining option unnecessary in a unit this size – fast 6

    Poor, small, impedes access to the terrace – fast, 8

    OK square footage, but all the doors limit options for furniture placement, large closets are really limited in their actual functionality – fast, 7

    Ensuite bath wastes space and entry to closet is nasty, 2nd/guest bath is fine -
    coasting, 5

    A bit excessive for a unit this size – coasting downhill, 6

    CONCLUSION: HOW FAST OR SLOW? Fast, but not as bad as the previous offering. The math says 6, but I feel it is a bit 7ish. If I was choosing between the 3 it would have to be the first plan that was analyzed, though the reality of the neighbourhood, etc would impace the decision. I don’t think I would ever choose the second plan.

    I, too, didn’t understand John’s 4.whatever with the second plan, so I am on tenterhooks to find out his analysis of this unit.

  • Murray

    Re: my JPEG above, the main space is actually 16 x 16 (not 16 x 14), with the usable space (in my opinion) 16 x 10 (not 16 x 11). Mea culpa.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh man! Just typed in the whole thing then opened the jpeg, which deleted my entire set of comments. One thing at a time, I guess!

    Well, I’m not going to restart, I’ll just say that my final assessment was about 8, fast but perhaps slightly better than yesterday’s.

    My main comment was about bedroom closets. I’m not a fan of walk-in closets, and even less of a fan of walk-through-the-bathroom closets! This may be a deal breaker for me, but would certainly have to change it immediately if I bought a place with this configuration. Funny that this layout has come up a lot in the exercises, without too much comment. I think of changing clothes as a bedroom activity, not a bathroom activity. The idea of needing to access the bathroom to get to my clothes seems like a major disconnect.

  • Katrin

    SHAPE/SIZE 8 So little light!

    ORGANIZATION 10 So many tiny dark rooms! This would work so much better as a one-bedroom unit — less space devoted to circulation, more space for living.

    FRONT/BACK ENTRY 7 The closet is good, except for the door conflict, but it doesn’t feeling inviting — it’s not a space that welcomes you into a home.

    INDOOR/OUTDOOR LIVING 10 The terrace will never be used except by the hot water tank repair man.

    KITCHEN 9 Cramped, dark, and with a front row view of the guest bathroom. Not designed for anyone who likes to cook.

    DINING/STUDY 9 Mostly an obstacle to circulation.

    BEDROOMS 7 Tiny and dark, but presumably quiet.

    BATHROOMS 7 Mediocre — the two doors to the guest bath are overkill, and accessing the MB closet from the bathroom could be very inconvenient if two people need to get showered and dressed at the same time.

    GARAGE/LAUNDRY 3 The laundry room wastes precious space, but thank goodness there’s no two car garage to block the rest of the light.


  • Doug Roberts

    SHAPE/SIZE — Size is fine. General shape is slight rectangle, with main windows on slightly longer side, so okay, but still deeper than condo #1. Ranking — 4

    ORGANIZATION — Generally good, with kitchen, dining area and living area all together and open, bedrooms in opposite corners for privacy, laundry and master ensuite furthest away from windows. Ranking — 4.

    FRONT/BACK ENTRY — A somewhat defined entry space with a closet. Ranking — 4.

    INDOOR/OUTDOOR LIVING — Living area is a good size, shares a large window with the dining area (although north facing) and occupies its own corner, so furniture placement should be reasonably easy. Terrace is small and accessed from the dining area, which eliminates the need for circulation space through the living area (as was the case with condo #1 and #2) but makes the outdoor living area a bit more removed from the indoor living area. Ranking — 4.

    KITCHEN — Seems pretty well laid out and has a good amount of counter space. Should have sufficient storage space as well, especially if their is pantry-type shelving in the laundry room. Should receive a reasonable amount of natural light from the big dining/living area window. Not crazy about the laundry room door opening into the kitchen. Ranking — 4.

    DINING/STUDY — Dining area is a good size, shares a large window with the living area and is close to the kitchen. Has its own corner, which it only has to share with access to the terrace, so not a traffic hub like the so-called dining area in condo #2. Ranking — 3.

    BEDROOMS — Master bedroom seems like an okay size and shape, with large closet and obvious spot for bed, but window should have been a large patio door to bring in more natural light and allow direct access to the terrace. Not crazy about the closet access being from the ensuite, the lack of privacy (direct view of bed from breakfast bar) or the ensuite door opening into the bedroom (see below). Second bedroom suffers from same too-small window and lack of doorway privacy, and from having too many doors opening into it. The door from the guest bath would likely hit the end of the bed, and should be replaced with a pocket door. Ranking — 6.

    BATHROOMS — Both bathrooms seem pretty good except for the door problems referred to above. Moving the master closet door to the north wall of the closet would both solve the closet access problem and allow the ensuite door to be reversed so that it would open into the ensuite, instead of into the bedroom. Alternatively, both doors could be replaced with pocket doors. Ranking — 4.

    GARAGE/LAUNDRY — Very nice laundry room, well located off the kitchen and as far away from both bedrooms as possible. Ranking — 4.

    CONCLUSION: HOW FAST OR SLOW? — Overall ranking works out to around 4, so I would say this would be the slowest of the 3 condos.

  • Doug Roberts

    Wow Terri — you and I seem to be the only ones on the slow side so far! Like Murray I was also surprised by John’s slow ranking for condo #2, and am looking forward to seeing what he thinks of this one.

  • BradW

    Doug and Murray – I think John probably made a mistake with the 4.5 overall ranking he gave apartment #2. Given that he ranked most every category fast and that the number ranking concept was new, John may have mistakenly used a scale out of 5 rather than 10.

  • Sherry

    I’m curious, are all three of these condo’s different units in the same building? They have so many similarities. While certainly not perfect, none of them are truly awful either.

    I’m going to use a 4 pt scale with 1=slow and 4=fast. It gives me some leeway, but forces a choice.

    Score 2 of 4. Size is moderate. Square shape means that some spaces will lack natural light.

    Score 1 of 4. Kitchen/Dining/Living are grouped. Bedrooms/Baths are off to each side of the main living area. Laundry/closets/baths are in windowless/deep parts of plan.

    Score 1 of 4. Woohoo! Defined entry with closet! It’s small, but proportional to the plan.

    Score 2 of 4. Terrace connects to master bedroom and to dining area which is nice, but it’s quite small.

    I do like that the Terraces on all three of these plans are private and do not connect to neighbors outdoor space. I was wondering if part of why the water heater is in the outdoor closet is to keep the heat that it generates out of the living space.

    Score 3 of 4. My first thought looking at the plan was that the kitchen island is quite literally and figuratively a “sore thumb”. The kitchen will be dark. Opening the laundry door blocks the fridge. There’s a lot of floor space used here. Sore thumb disrupts adjacent space.

    Score 2 of 4. Dining is in a nice place in the plan, near a window, near the kitchen, opening onto terrace, but is ill defined.

    Score 2 of 4. Proportions ok. Size ok. Entries to bedrooms lack privacy. Space needed for doors to open in bedroom 2 limit bed placement. Both bedrooms have only one small to medium size window.

    Score 1 of 4. Size, placement and layout are all ok.

    Score 2 of 4. Size ok, although I’m torn between liking a room to hide all the laundry mess in and thinking that the space could be used elsewhere. Door blocks access to fridge.

    Score 1.4 of 4 (3.6 of 10) Overall the plan is slow.

  • Sherry

    I forgot to note that the Living space is well placed, near the window and out of the main traffic flow.

  • Terri

    Yes, I noticed that we are the minority, although Sherry has joined the club now. A lot of people are saying that the dining room blocks traffic, but this one is far better than either of the other two in this complex. That corner terrace is a problem though.

    I had assumed that the master bedroom has a slider onto the terrace, but if it’s only a window…then I would have to downgrade that room. I also didn’t pay attention to all the bad door swings. The laundry room one is terrible, but most of the others are also.

  • Cat

    SHAPE/SIZE Another square-ish unit. I think this one is slightly better than yesterday’s. The living/dining have a nice window. The bedrooms not so much so. I think facing north is OK in south TX.

    ORGANIZATION All 3 of these units are similar with the bedrooms on opposite sides of the living areas.

    FRONT/BACK ENTRY Entry is actually OK. It might be better with a folding door on the closet to prevent collisions.

    INDOOR/OUTDOOR LIVING I like the living area. Nice windows. No circulation through the living room. Though might have a problem with circulation to the terrace — except that no one will ever actually go out there. Terrace is small and dark and will never be used.

    KITCHEN Not much counter space and no pantry. Would you have to put pantry shelves in the laundry room?

    DINING/STUDY Dining room is OK.

    BEDROOMS Dark. Nice proportions on the master. Too many doors in the second.

    BATHROOMS I dislike bathrooms with 2 doors, but I think it may be just a personal prejudice. I understand that the idea here is that a naked person in bedroom 2 could get to the bathroom without being seen, but get a robe and lose that second door. Master bath looks OK.

    GARAGE/LAUNDRY Really dislike carrying laundry through the kitchen. And I am guessing that the lack of storage in the kitchen is going to make the laundry room a catch-all for everything.

    CONCLUSION: HOW FAST OR SLOW? I put this one squarely in the middle of the other two. I think it is clearly better than yesterdays — at least you wouldn’t have to bring in the construction crew before you move in.

    I never particularly noticed water heater locations before, but will say that my houses in TX have had gas water heaters in the garage or attic, but electric water heaters located close to the bathrooms. I am guessing that these are gas water heaters and are located outside due to code.

    I then started wondering where the A/C was in these units; I haven’t seen a mechanical room in any of them. Wasn’t this on the checklist somewhere?