Part 1 – 1900 sqft 2 Bedroom House, British Columbia

1900 sqft 2 Bedroom House, British Columbia (PDF)
1900 sqft 2 Bedroom House, British Columbia (Main Floor)
1900 sqft 2 Bedroom House, British Columbia (Upper Floor)

  • Doug Roberts

    Doing the checklist from memory, so here it goes:
    1) Size/proportion seem fine, so slow;
    2) Organization also seems good, so slow;
    3) Entries — both entries appear to have small closets, but front entry is undefined and rear entry closet should be in the mudroom, so fast;
    4) Kitchen — smallish galley-style kitchen with potential traffic issue, so fast;
    5) Dining — formal dining room could stand better separation from front entry and bigger window but is well located relative to both the kitchen and formal dining room — breakfast nook is largely circulation space with the rear entry and patio doors, but otherwise seems nice, so slow;
    6) Living — formal living room could stand better separation from front entry, but has windows on adjacent walls and seems nice — family room is a nice size, with windows on adjacent walls and a well located fireplace, so slow;
    7) Bathrooms — bathrooms all seem fine except for the door conflict in the main bathroom, so slow;
    8) Bedrooms — bedrooms all seem fine except for the compromized closet in Bedroom 2, so slow;
    9) Laundry/garage — laundry is a good size, is located conveniently next to the kitchen and is out of the traffic flow — garage is fine, so slow.

    Overall I would rate this house quite slow, maybe around 3 on a scale of 10. Possible changes would include adding full or partial walls on either side of the front entry to define it better, enlarging the front dining room and living room windows, adding a window, skylight or Solatube in the stairway, adding a closet between the door from the garage and the washer/dryer, turning the second floor linen closet to face the hall and making is shallower to enlarge the vanity in the main bathroom, and enlarging the closet in Bedroom 2 into a walk-in closet that incorporated the middle window. Would also like to improve the kitchen, but not really sure how.

  • John Y.

    The downstairs has a lot of things to like, but at the same time it has quite a bit of things to not like.

    The front of the house feels to me like it’s just going to become an enormous entry foyer, based on the lack of walls and the position of the closet. I’ve also always liked having some kind of den on the front of the house — and I find the formal living room to be fairly useless — but that would then leave the formal dining room (which is a space I *do* use) floating out there by itself.

    I wish the house were oriented differently; it would be very, very nice to get south light into the family room. If this house were in the U.S. south, on the other hand, the orientation would be great. I assume it’s in a development with houses close enough on either side that the east/west windows are mainly a non-issue.

    The kitchen, I think, actually works pretty well for a galley-style. Is that a closet or a pantry, though?

    Upstairs has some issues. The 45-degree entry to Bedroom 1 makes Bedroom 2′s closet almost worthless and doesn’t really add much to BR1. The family bath has colliding doors that could be easily solved by opening the linen closet into the hallway instead of the bathroom. Also, why is there no window in the family bathroom?

    The master suite is OK, although I’d like another window on the east wall.

  • Jim X

    Hi everyone

    I did not go through the list in detail but this house seems to be on the slow side.
    On the negative side:
    - There is no real foyer;
    - the living room could go because there is a family room. The left side of the house (living and dining) duplicates the right side (family room, breakfast nook).
    - in bedrooms one and two there is only one location for the bed which makes the rooms feel cramped.
    On the positive side:
    - The three bathrooms a well-located and laid out.
    - the washer and dryer are out of the circulation path into the house.

    However there is something the bothers me about the main floor and I can’t quite define it. It seems to me builders often embrace open-plan living because it means fewer internal walls to build. The result is often an anonymous space which seems empty, even when its furnished.
    This house is not quite like that. For example, the fireplace defines a central axis and two sofas and chairs around the fireplace would define the family room despite the open plan.

    The main floor is great for kids because there is a racetrack circulation pattern. If there are three or more children in the house they can run around the central core (kitchen, closet, powder room) then start shrieking with glee when one starts running in the opposite direction.

    Jim X

  • Doug Roberts

    John & Matthew — One question occurred to me while going through the checklist for today’s WWWTH project, which appears to have a basement although we are not provided with its floorplan — Do you address basements in your book? I realize that many houses in the US and other parts of the world do not have basements, but where they do exist, they can make a huge difference to a house. A finished basement can increase the living area of a house by up to 100% and provide space for extra amenities such as additional bedrooms, rental or in-law suites, home offices, rec rooms, home gyms, home theaters, music rooms, wine cellars, workshops, sewing rooms, etc. These extra amenities, although not necessarily essential, can greatly enhance the functionality and enjoyment of a home. Basements can also have a significant impact on the main floor of a house by, for example, in the case of a walkout basement, eliminating the need for a proper back entry on the main floor. Living in Calgary where virtually all houses have basements, I cannot imagine assessing the suitability of a house without taking into account the existing or potential development in its basement.

  • John Brown

    Good point about basements. At this point we haven’t addressed them explicitly. You are correct that they can make a big difference in terms of funcationality and enjoyment when done correctly. To evaluate the design I would suggest that the organization of the overall layout and the design of the individual rooms in the basement be considered along with those on main and second floor.

  • Elizabeth

    SIZE/PROP: narrower than wide, but not bad. SLOW
    ORGANIZ: Eliminated hallways, private space and public space separated between the 2 floors. SLOW
    ENTRIES: not defined and neither has a closet. Esp in Canada, front entry needs more definition. FAST
    KITCHEN: No window, traffic flow, weird wrap around to family room(?). Chopping veggies while watching TV? Could have swapped kitchen for stairs so the kitchen could get a window at least. Kitchen could also look out the large back door, but no counters face that way. FAST.
    DINING: Unnecessary since eat-in nook is right there. Window is too small, space just melds into entry and living rm. FAST.
    LIVING: Unecessary. Flows into entry and DR. Windows seems small. FAST
    BEDRMS: Sized OK. Where to bed in BRDM 1? Windows in all seem oddly placed. Why right beside the closet in BDRM 2? OK, though, overall. SLOW

    Of all the plans I’ve seen here, this one reminds me of my house. I was hoping for a Slow rating but know better now than when we built! I guess this is medium. Perhaps more Slow than Fast though.

  • Terri

    Orientation–FAST, exterior deck or terrace not south-facing; principal rooms not south facing

    Shape/Size–SLOWISH, principal rooms face front and back with family space facing yard; however, the orientation screws up the light getting into this side of the house.

    Organization–SLOW, pretty good balance between principal and neighbouring rooms; not too much excessive hallway or oversized and redundant spaces.

    Front/Back Entry–FAST, not defined clearly without a good transition from outside to inside (weather separation); back entry must be patio doors?. Tiny front closet, no back closet.

    Indoor/Outdoor Living–FAST, No good natural daylight for the back rooms, which are going to be the most used. The sliding doors to the outside living space disrupt the functionality of the eating nook area.

    Garage/Laundry–SLOW, garage isn’t oversized and the laundry has sufficient space and light; no extra-large spaces.

    Kitchen–FAST, it’s outside a major circulation zone and is oriented okay with the other principal rooms and garage, not supersized or too many appliances. But it fails with the small work space and limited cupboards and the terrible lack of light and ventilation.

    Dining/Study–SLOW, it’s bright and large enough and close enough to the kitchen.

    Bathrooms–FAST, there’s a small vanity in the family bath and a lack of natural light, and the master bathroom has a silly tub. However, the three bathrooms all have good locations.

    Looks like overall I find this FAST, since the rooms that count are fast. Besides, its bad orientation would make it very dreary to live in in rainy Vancouver.

  • Terri

    I missed Bedrooms–FAST, as those goofy angled entries are creating a very bad closet in number one–right in front of the window. That room also has no buffer between it and the noisy staircase. The Master seems too large to me and the windows too small for such a large space.

  • JimG

    Even though it is big and out of the way I would have to rate the laundry room as fast. It is so far away from where the majority of the laundry is produced, and isn’t in a place where a laundry chute (are they even fire code legal any more?)could be used.

  • jim baer


    i think the worst part is the orientation of the house. which, unfortunately is the hardest thing to change. with the indoor and outdoor living facing south, some bedroom windows facing east and the garage buffering the north winds, it would be an all around nicer place.

  • Cat

    I liked this house. Clearly it would be better on the other side of the street where the south light came into the back, but aside from that, my only other major objection was the, for me, extraneous formal living and dining rooms.

  • Mid Mo


    Hi. I thought this was slow overall.

    Orientation – Slowish
    This is not good for a cold climate. Should have South on back.

    Organisation- Slow
    We have some angles on the second floor that do not help. This is balanced.

    Garage Laundry- I am not sure about this one. I liked at first but..
    laundry felt narrow with lack of function and the setback on garage, odd. Fast? Moved garage to be flush with front of home. Added about one more foot in laundry. Added storage, laundry sink, and counterspace. Window moved to east wall.

    Shape/Size- Slow.

    Bathroom – On the slow side. Master- I do not like the toilet being so exposed. The second family bath needed a little work but it was fine.

    Bedroom – Slow
    except Bed 2 had issues with closet and angles.

    Dining /Study- Slow
    But the front window could stand to be bigger or better orientation. Needs separation from entry. Kitchen nook was not that functional due to traffic and size was small.

    Kitchen- fast
    Galley layout is never that great for more than one person. Strange wrap around cabinets. lack of good light. Was that a pantry or closet?

    Living space- Slow.
    Thought we could make the living a little more private (maybe future study?

    Entry. FAST
    Front. Closet too far, not defined from living or dining space. Back. Where is the closet? Make a little more room between doors in laundry. The traffic runs through the kitchen nook as well cutting that off from being useful.

    I attached a suggested plan. On first floor the entry and kitchen were key. Entry has more walls and a closet! Kitchen moved to an L shape and sink faces toward lighted space out on a peninsula. A pantry is where the fridge used to be. The slider moved to more middle of home for traffic concerns, a smaller window was put in place, and a window on the east was installed.

    Upstairs I got rid of the angles. Put the family bath in front with light. Bed three moved to the middle but it gets east light. Bed two has a better closet. I felt funny putting a window in there but looks like we need one for the elevation (maybe make this smaller and more decorative?). In the master I moved the bath to west that allowed me to get the toilet more private. The closet was split into two. (hers and hers :) )