Part 2 – 1050 sqft 2 Bedroom Condo, Texas

1050 sqft 2 Bedroom Condo, Texas (PDF)
1050 sqft 2 Bedroom Condo, Texas (JPEG)

  • Grace

    John–Consider this a nag—I’m not certain that you received this suggestion, so I’m repeating it —If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest getting a taxi to Gaudi’s Crypta Colonia Güell, about 15 km outside Barcelona. The taxi will wait while you enter the crypt. A very different, naturalistic Gaudi is here. I found the stone work gorgeous–so like the bark of surrounding trees that it’s difficult to tell the difference.

  • James Scott

    Good morning,

    John – I’m not going to rate this space but I do feel that you were overly generous with the slow ranking of the indoor/outdoor space. With the door to the water heater and such a small balcony to begin with I think you be lucky to set up two chairs comfortably.

    The space as a whole has too many nooks and crannies, broken walls, etc. A real mess. I personally get the impression that this space was developed by a group with the aspirations of making a quick buck in a seller’s market. The architect must have just thrown something together, whether because he/she was overworked and couldn’t care less, or they weren’t that busy because they weren’t that good in the first place.

    On another note I’m surprised that you aren’t wearing a sombrero during the taping of the segments, maybe paired with a nice dark porter. Now I know that by many that anything Curry is considered the national food of England but if time permits a nice trip to Henley-on-Thames to the Flower Pot restaurant would be a treat.

  • Elizabeth

    Hi John and Matthew,

    I was curious as to how so many people (including me) came up with a poor or “fast” assessment of the kitchen, based on the Rules of Thumb. You could tell the kitchen wasn’t right, so I was surprised to find, going through the checklist, most of the elements got a checkmark. Here was my assessment:

    YES – Connected with and properly oriented to the other principal living areas.
    YES – Located just outside of a major circulation route. (too close to entry but this is an entry problem, and don’t want to “double-dip”)
    YES – Avoids unnecessary angles in cabinets, islands, and pantries.
    NO – Continuous counters and an appropriate amount of storage.

    YES – Does not have colliding geometries that reduce effective work areas and storage.
    YES – Is not supersized.
    YES – Avoids an excessive number of appliances.
    NO – Has good natural light and ventilation.

    I think that doing these exercises highlights where checklist items can be improved. For example, “Is not supersized” could address the size (big or small) or the proportion as it relates to the size of the home. In this case, it’s not supersized (check), but it’s proportionally too small.

    “Avoids excessive appliances” may be a useful note, perhaps even a “Box”, but I don’t think it’s in the top 4. Examples of these haven’t come up often.

    The first 2 Livability bullets refer to the kitchen’s position as a whole, but doesn’t address the interior. Could possibly go into Organization? The next bullet advises against funny angles (also covered by “colliding geometries”), which comes up in many sections. Only the last bullet gives a guideline that addresses what to look for in a kitchen. This has to be expanded to include floor space, counter space, storage, work triangle, etc. and there are too many elements to name in a single bullet.

    I guess this stuff sounds familiar as I type because many points came up during the Kitchen Segment, but trying to use the tool to evaluate this house really brought the point home to me.

  • BradW

    Elizabeth – good comment…the kitchen is a very complex room and it is a difficult challenge to capture that in a few bullet points. It could be, in this case, that the NOs you identified trump all the YESs. Are all the bullets of equal value?

  • Terri

    I don’t understand how this house ranks at 4.9 when 8 of 9 checklist items were noted as fast. I’d give it a 4.9 out of 5. (I really got a headache with this one!) Anyway, yours seems like an arbitrary conclusion, given all the weaknesses you pointed out.

    I agree with James’s assessment regarding the poor design. Brad was able to improve it substantially with just a little tweaking. It seems no one cared to think about living in this place when he/she drafted the plan.

  • jim baer


    ok…where do i start?? i had really great red-line mark-ups i did yesterday, but my scanner has been cranky so i have not been able to post them… :-(

    i agree with all of john’s and all other’s comments. and i think that the first house was better, so to keep with my already set scale of 7 for the last one, this one has to be 8+.

    but, this is where i fall into problems. without seeing all of the plans at first or together, we can’t really rank them in comparison to each other. so we have to look at each of them “on their own” so to speak. maybe i was too harsh to start with 7? were do i go from here?

    i guess in real life, someone would use the checklist, rank a plan, move on to another plan, rank it, etc…. until enough experience shows whether the initial rankings were too harsh or too kind.

    of course, there are no “right” answers. it is a tool and it will be honed over time.

    now… for john’s 4.5. what were you thinking??? fast, fast, fast, slow, fast, fast, fast, fast, fast…. i’ll give it an a+. :-)


    i had a thought about the WWWTH segments and seeing things in 3-d. maybe readers could submit plans from places they have seen / toured. (around here, it is usually pretty easy to get fairly accurate plans for places that have open houses. either at the open house or from the realtors website.) once submitted, the reader could see how it is evaluated by the group and how it compares to their evaluation and experience of the place.

    it would also be good for the readers to get the plans before the open house, do an evaluation, and then compare it to their 3-d experience at the open house.

    anyhow… hope you are safe, traveling well, and relaxing at least a bit.

  • jim baer


    i could not do my red marks. so i did a red drawing instead.

    maybe not perfect, but better i think.

  • Cat

    This apartment is really unliveable as it is. You’d have to add a master closet before you moved in. And unfortunately you’d be stuck with the square shape and lack of light no matter how you renovated the inside.

    The apartment last week was far better. It was liveable as it was, and some of the proposed changes to the inside would have made it great.

    I would give this one a 10, but I’m going to give it a 9 — leaving room to give tomorrow’s apartment a 10.

    Jim – I appreciate your thinking about my 2D to 3D and vice-versa problem. Around here it’s pretty easy to get plans for new construction, but not usual for existing homes. I am getting better at recognizing WWTH in 3D — I think due partly to practice and partly to the checklists. I was also thinking about my current house — it has 10 foot ceilings and 8 foot windows which you don’t see on the plan, but I think make it much nicer. But you do see different things in 3D.