Part 1 – 2700 sqft 3 bedroom House , San Diego

2700 sqft 3 bedroom House, San Diego (PDF)
2700 sqft 3 bedroom House, San Diego (JPEG)

  • Jim Argeropoulos

    The family entry fails for proximity to kitchen, size, combined wash area and general lack of storage.
    There seems to be a lack of counter space in the kitchen.
    The living, dining, family rooms feel blah. and ill used.
    Use of the 45′s are small enough that I don’t feel like they take too much usable space away. But they don’t serve any real purpose either.

  • Doug Roberts

    My comments on this floorplan would include the following:
    1) So-so front entry — decent size except no closet or spot for a table or chair. People in San Diego might not wear coats very often, but surely they wear shoes and have stuff — if the Southeast corner of the entry space was squared-off and closed in, there would be room for a small closet or at least a table.
    2) Decent home office — reasonable size, quiet location, close to front entry for visitors.
    3) Lousy living/dining area — no view, no sunlight except in the morning, right next to the family room and less appealing as a living space, which makes it redundant as a living room.
    4) Decent family room — much more likely to spend time here than in the living room.
    5) So-so kitchen — nook is very nice and lots of storage with large pantry, but as Jim pointed out too hard to get to from the back entry and too little counterspace — why does the back counter stop short of the pantry?
    6) Good master bedroom/ensuite — windows on adjacent walls, lots of options on where to put the bed, large walk-in closet, well laid-out ensuite with lots of counter and storage space — only concern would be sound transmission/lack of privacy between master bedroom and bedroom 1.
    7) So-so bedrooms 1 and 2 — no view, both bedrooms have one corner cut off, decent closets and good shared bathroom except shower, if any, is in front of a window, so possible privacy/water penetration concerns.
    8) Back entry would be good if it was not also the laundry room and had a bench and closet/storage — consider moving laundry to where computer desk is and find spot for computer desk in the family room — either way a skylight or Solatube should be added to bring natural light into this area.
    9) Garage — it may seem like overkill, but given that the house has no basement the extra garage space may actually prove to be very useful to use as a workshop or to store a small boat or trailer, garden equipment, sports equipment, etc.

    I would say the worst thing about this house is the living/dining area, which is redundant and unappealing as a living space and too large to use solely as a formal dining room.

  • Adam G

    I would like the front entry if there was a closet, but I suspect the study will end up being a closet-cum-dumping-ground. It seems a bit far away and closed off from the rest of the house.

    Some of the issues that struck me have already been covered and I won’t repeat them.

    They made the best use of orientation.

    That little computer desk (I’m guessing it’s Doug’s home office) puzzles me a bit. It looks good so long as nobody else is home. It’s a bit public, though, and on a corridor that would expect to see a fair bit of use. I hope there’s no sensitive data on the hard drive; when the kids’ friends are over, they may find it too tempting a target to resist. ;)

  • Anonymous

    My top three criticisms:

    1) I think orientation of the bedrooms might be the biggest problem for this home in San Diego. It depends on whether or not it is near the ocean or inland. There’s a huge difference in temperature between the two. Most newer homes are being built inland, often on barren hillsides, but this one doesn’t allow for that kind of view, so it’s hard to place. If inland, it will have to have large shade-giving trees on the west and south sides or the bedrooms will be unbearable for sleeping (or will use huge amounts of electricity for air conditioning) for about 5 months of the year.

    2) The hallways seem too long. I can see why a computer desk was put off to the side of the main hall because otherwise that hall and its accompanying right-angled hall would seem like unfriendly, vacant corridors. (I think the reason the living/dining area is so unappealing is because it functions more as a corridor to get to the kitchen/family room space.)

    3)The garage is too big. That extra space it uses between the entry and laundry could have been allocated for better entries and laundry plus storage.

  • Terri

    The above comment was mine–sorry, didn’t notice my name missing.

  • John Brown

    A very good point about the fine points of location.

    Thank you for bringing to everyone’s attention that in certain places – particularly coastal situations – it is not enough to simply identify the city in order to indicate climate. I believe this is a house plan being deployed in an inland subdivision- as you suggest.

    A great comment about energy use (and green house gas emissions) due to poor orientation for the bedrooms.

  • Sean

    I am just going to comment on this house with a pet peeve I have with many newer home designs.

    This concerns the large area devoted to garages and the resulting parking lot it makes of the front yard and the way the garages then dominate the front aspect of the house, and the whole street-scape.

    This 4-garage house design is just another example.

    Now this situation is even more annoying as developers regularly put large 2-car garage houses on very narrow lots. This obsession with cars seems the antithesis of any concepts or ideas labelled as ‘slow’.

    In the neighbourhood I live in (developed after 1984) almost nobody with a 2-car garage uses the 2nd space as a garage, but rather as a storage area for a lot of extra stuff. Even in winter many homeowners leave their cars in their driveway.

    If designers were smart, instead of having a 2-car garage they would have a single one-car garage a couple of feet wider and longer so that the end could be used as a storage area, which could be easily accessible because the garage was wider.

    So the only thing going for the present house’s garage is that the in-line garage space would allow the end to be used for other purposes other than a car.

    By giving up garage space the house could have an extra bedroom or, better still, larger 2nd and 3rd bedrooms.

  • John Brown

    A good summary of the impact of front drive garages on the quality of the street-scape.

    As we have discussed with other examples like this, the problem extends into the house as well as the width of the garage drastically reduces the amount of interior floor space that can benefit from views and sunlight from the front. I also like the idea of a “smarter garage” that acknowledges the need for storage.

  • John Y

    All of the 45-degree angles are pretty brutal. If we go through looking at them we see they have a negative impact on:

    1. front entry (that corner would be better served as a coat closet)
    2. living/dining combo room becomes harder to furnish and has that weird tumor-like growth on the southwest corner
    3. family room loses a corner, and the pantry loses a little bit of space
    4. bedroom 1 senselessly loses a corner
    5. the master suite is severely impacted by all the corners. it really feels like they’re wasting a lot of space unnecessarily down there.

    Beyond that… I’ll agree that I don’t like the desk in the hallway; that space would be better served, I think, by splitting the laundry room from the back entrance. And I’m guessing the only reason the counter wasn’t extended along more of the west kitchen wall was to save money. That little corner behind the pantry entrance is just wasted space without more millwork.

    Overall, the house isn’t without good things: the light in the family room and breakfast nook are good (although I wonder if the covered porch might not detract somewhat from that feature in the breakfast nook). The living/dining room is OK, I think, as a dedicated dining space — a bit large for that perhaps, but it’s a bit small to do double duty anyway. This house feels like it could be made to work better more easily than a lot of the WWWTH samples. I think the biggest challenge would be the master suite.

  • Belle, Toronto

    For me, the worse thing about this house is the kitchen. Apart from the obvious lack of counter space, there can only two fuller size upper cabinets, one small one over the fridge, a small one hiding the exhaust over the stove and few lowers. It does have a large walk-in pantry but who wants to be carrying dishes from the dishwasher constantly. I dont know where else you would put them. With the amount of space available, the architects could have designed a much better, cook friendly kitchen.

  • John Brown


    In case you missed it on the weekend ….

    Paul C posted the attached image and following comment suggesting the idea of a slow home t-shirt.

    I thought it might be an interesting design competition for the group.

    Thoughts? Interest?

    Paul C Wrote:
    “Louis, your “tag” got me thinking…SLUG is cool. Although, in keeping with the design school theme how about PUPIL?

    First draft below

    Upset with

    John, we are going to need t-shirts, every great school has them…

  • John Y

    I like the idea of a shirt, but I really think said shirt should involve a floor plan somehow…

  • Grace

    Living behind the garage is, as usual, my #1 beef with this plan.
    Then comes the living/dining room which may never be used.
    The kitchen is too small for the house; it needs more counter space.

    The t-shirt needs to be simple, light, and open (SLO). I think the one displayed is too busy.

  • Paul C


    Hi everyone,
    Just for the record, a fashion designer I am not so let ‘em fly. What’s wrong with this shirt…

    FYI, I googled “blank t shirt image” then played around in powerpoint cutting, cropping and pasting.

  • James Scott

    Personally I wouldn’t live in this house. But, someone would find this the ideal property. I have a friend, deep pockets, corvette, two daily use vehicles and 2 kids to shuffle around. This might be ideal for his family.

    My problem with the WWWTH is that I do not and will not live in a 2700 sq.ft. home with a 4 car garage. But on the other hand I’m considering a second story addition to my own home while expanding the main floor and ditching the garage. At the end of the day I could end up with 2100 sq.ft. when considering the basement, main & second floors but a smaller footprint and bigger yard. To some this might be considered wasteful or unacceptable as well.

    I suppose the answer to the WWWTH riddle is what you perceive as rational.

  • James Scott

    Regarding the t-shirts, what considerations would make the Top 10 Slow Home list? What could the ideal home look like?

  • Louis Pereira

    Slug = Slow…No?…

    Anyway, i think the T-Shirt design competion for the group is a great idea.

    John – Not to add more to your plate, but as moderator, perhaps you can develop a side bar menu for this topic?…


    As for WWWTH, the visually jarring coup de main has to be the 4 (!) car garage. The three bay garage frontage next to the miniscule front entry is insulting to the discerning or even casual passerby. Time for this builder, buyer or designer to read Jim Kunstler’s, The Long Emergency!

  • John Brown


    I get it… Slug … a bit of a downer word though isn’t it? I prefer snail but they’ve been signed to a long term deal with slow food.

    I agree with you about designating a side bar discussion for the t shirt project. Before doing that I wanted to gauge interest. I think the group should continue to discuss it more informally to see if the idea really has legs.

    The Ultimate Book Project, another really good idea that bubbled up from the group, has been languishing a bit although your suggestion of Kunstler’s The Long Emergency would be an excellent addition. (hint)

  • Grace

    Louis–nixay on slug! Slugs are bulbous, oozy, and, at their least disgusting, simply lazy. None of the SLOw homers are slugs. Au contraire!

  • Terri

    Re: SLOW t-shirt
    I rather liked Paul C’s t-shirt design. Simple would be good too. I’m not sure a layout will translate well–what one would we choose? As for a mascot, a creature who lives in an efficient home–a turtle, perhaps?

  • Terri

    The space you speak of creating will be stacked, won’t it? There’s a more efficient design that today’s WWWTH right there.

  • Leo

    In defence of the little desk, my suspicion is that it is there to drop off mail and keys and check phone and email messages. Given that the house is clearly aimed at car/highway living, the usual port of entry will be via the garage and past this maligned little desk. It may not be the best use of space, but I think it is far from the worst thing in this house.

    My beefs with this house are the monstrous garage, the non functional hallway/living room/dining room and the lack of an entry closet (I know it’s San Diego, but you still need someplace to leave your shoes!)

    My other beef is with the master ensuite. I don’t know about anyone else, but I really try not to spend that much time in the washroom. I really don’t hang out there. I fail to see why valuable rear window space should be dedicated to a soaker tub that %90 people never use, and a toilet that no matter how sunny, is not really a pleasant place to relax.

    On a technical note John, your contact link to you and the webmaster located at the bottom of the page does not seem to work.

    I’m not sure about the T shirt idea, but what about a softball team?