Part 2 – 3600 sqft Bungalow, Georgia

3600 sqft Bungalow, Georgia (PDF)
3600 sqft Bungalow, Georgia (JPEG)

  • John

    I’m 99% sure that the unmarked room in the back is the family bathroom, and it has a door to the back yard to allow easy access from a pool. This is actually one of the few things that’s Right about this house.

  • Brad W

    My three:

    3. the master bath with no room for my toothbrush
    2. the lack of effort designing the kitchen and family room
    1. where’s the bathroom? – an incomplete plan

    An honourable mention goes to the garage but not because of its size. The cars shown appear to be 1959 Ford Edsels. Surely, we can afford an upgrade to the 2009 Prius. Also, who backs their car into the garage? :)

  • Volker

    now that is what I call a big house…

    sub-optimal things about this layout are:
    - the entrance space is too big… (wasted space)
    - the corridor/walkway through the house (almost a diagonal highway) is wasting too much space
    - bad layout of the master bathroom
    - kitchen too big and badly layouted, too dark
    - familyroom seems to be too big to acutally be able to use it properly
    - dining too small and bad positioned
    - what is the living room for (perhaps usable for modern entertainment, i.e. a huge TV set, almost like a cinema)
    - all those 45degree walls/doors etc.. (perhaps the worst, without this “worktool” everything would be straighter, cleaner, more efficient)

    good things are:
    - “right wing” for the parents – “left wing” for the kids – middle for the family
    - everything is circling around the kitchen
    - enough parking space, so as mentioned by Brad, if they switch to modern cars they will be able to get up to six SMART or PRIUS cars in there.

  • Terri

    So, that’s a bathroom at the back with a door to facilitate swimmers…I guess this works okay, as long as it’s not a tub by that door. Pity the poor person who forgets to lock that door before preparing to bathe.

    Those cars do look gigantic…kind of ominous, like they’re attack vehicles, ready to launch with their front ends out. Look out world…here come the McMansion-Owners! ;)

  • John Brown

    I hadn’t thought about the door from the family bathroom as being for pool access. If that is correct then you are right, that is a good idea although as Terri says, one would need to be careful not to get an unfortunate surprise.

    Good points about the sloppy design of the living spaces and kitchen.

  • Paul C

    In addition to the many astute WWWTH observations already made I will simply add that the single worst thing is that the designer failed to take advantage of the very large square footage and large parcel size afforded them. This is a very large home on a rather large parcel, yet it seems that almost every room has some little annoyance and where the space is needed, it is woefully absent.

    For example, it is probable that the majority of the time the homeowners will enter their home via the garage, yet they are entering through and will have the experience of the smallest, darkest and most congested part of the home. If all 4 bedrooms are utilized, it is conceivable that 5 individuals with all their stuff in toe will come through that small space. Ridiculous.

  • James Scott

    The problem with this house…I feel I couldn’t be myself. I just can’t see myself in the community that attracts people to this type of house. I could never be this self absorbed.

    Three cars, a child’s dream.

    Such an irregular footprint and layout, an irresponsible use of materials and resources to build and support this house.

    Weird angles, over-sized spaces, disjointed floor plan, how much more uncomfortable can a home be?

    Missing components from the plan, a designer who doesn’t care who lives here.

    This is one of those Hitchcock horror moments where you run for the door and it gets farther away.

  • Amy

    It’s almost hard for me to look at this house because I wish this was the house I was trying to sell in Charlotte, NC (very similar to the Atlanta area) instead of the custom house I am trying to sell that has been on the market for 14 months. I could have sold this house over and over because believe it or not it is what people want in my part of the country. The things I don’t like about it are:
    1. garage facing the street along with the silly, “Oh here’s a third bay!” added on as an aferthought
    2. too many rooms
    3. poorly laid out master bath

    On the flip side here’s why this house would be so appealing in my neighborhood:
    1. three car garage
    2. so many rooms, doesn’t everyone need a room for their baby grand piano??? You have heard of music rooms haven’t you!
    3. his and hers vanities
    4. separation of children’s and adult’s areas
    5. bonus playroom upstairs
    6. bathroom accessible from the outside for kids playing and running in and out whether there’s a pool or not
    7. large pantry
    8. a laundry room (instead of a closet) and bonus points that you don’t actually have to walk through it when entering from the garage
    9. a central open kitchen and family area
    10. formal areas (don’t ask me why this is a plus but in my area it is) including a grand pretentious foyer
    11. a large expanse of countertop to show off that shiney new granite
    12. an area for kids to sit at the bar at the counter plus area for a breakfast table. (The dining room remember is mostly for looks…see #10 above)

    I could go on, but trust me this house would be a hot seller where I live and unfortunately is nothing like the house I’m trying to sell!

  • John Brown

    Thank you for commenting on this exercise. I am sure you are right about this plan being popular. It is from a major national home builder and has probably been deployed several hundred times. Like in many things, however, popularity doesn’t make it right.

    With that said, in reviewing the things that you say make this house appealing I can get behind #2-9 and #12 in theory. I would agree that they are desirable features. What I object to in so many of these houses (and this one in particular) is how carelessly each of these features has been designed.

    I think that the argument against #1 may be moot until there is an alternative to the car. I think #10 and #11 speak more to a misplaced way of expressing an important desire for home than any specific configuration.

    The goal of slow home is to help raise awareness about how the quality and effectiveness of these features can be improved with more attention to design. These houses need to actually deliver on the promise of home as a lived fact rather than as just a marketing promise.

  • John Brown

    An interesting set of comments to try and summarize. After the issues with incomplete plans the discussion first veered into the highly specific and then back out to the very general.

    I particularly appreciate Paul’s comment about the waste of an opportunity – large size, large lot, large budget. Considering whether all of that time, material, and money are being well spent is important.

    I also liked Michael’s observation that the dining room creates a slalom course of circulation from the front door and Doug’s comment about the strange allocation of windows and bathrooms in the children’s bedrooms.

    Overall, my conclusion from the two day discussion about the three worst things wrong with this house are:

    1. A designer, or builder, who doesn’t care enough to properly finish the plan they are using to market the house.

    2.A large but awkwardly proportioned family room with a kitchen that is over-sized but ultimately ineffective.

    3.A very poorly laid out master bathroom and closet with so much floor area but still no place for your toothbrush(thanks Brad).