Saucepan

Floor Plan Design

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Hi,

 

We have been going through some floor plan options and just wanted to get some feedback in case anyone spots anything obvious that could be changed or should be avoided.

We are also not sure if we should make a 5th bedroom or go with a large master bedroom.

 

Thanks,
Alex

1stFloor.jpg

GroundFloor.jpg

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Welcome ! 
 

So first observation is that you have a lot of bathrooms ..!! And none appear to have a washbasin which given the size of some of them you may struggle to get one in. 
 

Suggest you look at the ground floor and define the spaces you have as what will be used for as the bottom right doesn’t seem to have a use..?

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Hi, the two bathrooms back to back at the top appear very tight to door opening sweeps.

Nothing worse than having to wedge yourself in a corner or stand in the bath to close the door

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Thanks for the welcome and the feedback Peter.

Ah the area in the bottom right is an entry porch area.

 

Regarding the bathrooms internally you can ignore the layout I just put somethings in there to show roughly what would be in them.

I don't think we'd actually put in any corner showers.

We'd have better designs for them internally once the floor plan is more finalised.

 

Yes maybe we need to increase the en-suite sizes upstairs.

 

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On this one I''d say:

 

1 - Five bed is too busy - study can be optional guest bed.

2 - Move the asymmetrical pair of ensuites towards the master - that can afford to lose more space.

3 - Need natural light on the landing.

4 - Importantly - think about it in the context of the site eg position and arc of sun. Moving smaller shapes around in a bigger outline in mid air awill not give you an optimal place to live.

5 - I have not gone on real detail because I think you are thinking general concepts at present.

 

F

Edited by Ferdinand
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With bedrooms, unless for single occupancy it is good to allow 750mm either side of the bed for bedside table and to walk around, so for a proper double room, put the bed on a wall that is at least 3000mm.  Also, make allowance for wardrobe / clothes storage of at least 1500mm per person, 600mm deep.

 

Work out where curtains and blinds are going and how you will operate them.

 

Is it worth spending a few quid with an architect for some quick sketches?  Get a quote first.

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Nothing about this design flows. Lots of disjointed odd shaped rooms.  I don't even like the position of the stairs.  Stairs rising from the living room should be for small houses where you have no space for a hallway.

 

And why does the upstairs shape differ to downstairs?

 

Overall dimensions and a site layout might make more sense of it and enable suggestions how to improve it?

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Apologies if you've spent hours and hours doing it yourself  (or even worse you've paid someone to do it!), but I don't like much about the design.

 

I think you really need to start again with an (different) architect!

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I don't have anything to say on this, I think a bit more explanation would help massively.

What are your drivers for the house? do you need five bedrooms? what views do you have? what sunlight do you have? why have a entrance space full of doors? and a stair in the sitting room? and the sitting room is a corridor? dining to study to wc is a strange arrangement and that's the one you'll use all the time from the kitchen, all of the bedrooms have useless space in them? I'd probably make the hall bigger and have more regular proportioned bedooms....

 

(turns out I did have something to say, sorry about that!)

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Can we have some more information as the design seems odd. I am sure people can help once they understand what you want to achieve.

 

The unusual stair layout seems to be because the porch area has a supporting wall for the outside walls upstairs, is there reason for that? Maybe to add interest outside?

 

South, position of garden etc would help people. Also plans for the house, number of children, lots of visitors etc.

 

I put it into a PDF and the scale seems to be 1cm to 0.323m on the ground floor an 1cm to 0.452m on the first floor. The ground floor area is 107sq metres and the first floor is 95 square metres so you have a decent amount of space to play with.

 

There are a few design rules that I would try to stick to with a house unless there is a strong reason not to. I can't draw to save myself, but I can create a floorplan. Obviously these are just my opinion and sometimes planning constraints, budget etc mean you have to compromise.

 

1. Rooms should normally come off the hall and not other rooms, en sites are an obvious exception and maybe a family area off the kitchen (What is that room off the right side of the kitchen?)

2. Most bedrooms should have a fitted wardrobe.

3. The hall should have a cupboard for coats/shoes etc.

4. As mentioned there should be a minimum space around a bed. I would say 8-900mm to allow for the overhang of the duvet.

5. A window on the landing is good if you can fit one in.

6. Lots of small rooms will make a house feel smaller than it is - The study is 1.78m wide, the room off the kitchen is 1.62m wide, the kitchen is very large so there is ample space to make these rooms larger.

7. Try to have the door open into the room away from furniture so as not to bump into people as you go through the door and create a feeling of space (the kitchen door is in an awkward position)

8. Try not to have kitchen cabinets in front of the island unless for a specific non kitchen purpose.

9. Showers should be a minimum of 80cm wide and corner showers should be avoided unless necessary. Walk in showers work much better if possible.

10. Ideally doors open into a room and against a wall.

11. Try to keep all passageways/walkways at least one metre wide.

12. You probably need a larger space than you think as a plant room.

13. Don't put so many windows/doors in a room that there is nowhere to place furniture.

14. The design should try to take advantage of views and the position of the sun at different times of the day.

 

This house breaks a lot of these rules.

 

Upstairs - Do you need that many en suites, they are too small, particularly the master en suite? Minimum sensible size for an en suite is roughly 1.4x2.2m. In a 200sq metre house, I would expect the master en suite to be more like 2x3m. The good thing is there is plenty of room to do this. I would stick with 4 bedrooms, but you need to add wardrobes to at least three of them, possibly a walk in for the master and make the en suites larger. Offsetting this is you only really need 15ish sq metres for the area where the bed would be in the master, this frees up 10 sq metres. The bathroom is not large enough to have a shower and freestanding bath if that is what you are hoping. It would not need a shower if most of the bedrooms are en suite. Indeed if all the bedrooms are en suite and you also have a shower room downstairs you could do away with the bathroom to make more room for the bedrooms and en suites.

 

Downstairs needs a complete redesign - Aim for a lounge, kitchen/breakfast/family room, study/bedroom with en suite, hall, WC and utility room(that un named room maybe is supposed to be a utility room). There is room for all of these, the kitchen is larger than necessary at the moment and the lounge is too long, that space with the stairs in it should be part of the hall.

 

 

 

 

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Hi All,

Thanks for the amazing feedback. I hadn't expected such great responses.

What an amazing community.

 

Let me fill you in.

The house has been given planning permission and sits in a conservation area. 

The elevations (In particular the front elevation) are not able to be easily altered unless we submit a new application.

Hence we have a fairly limited layout to work with downstairs as there's no other area to put the stairs that seems suitable.

Perhaps someone has an alternative idea of where they could be positioned that I could try out.

 

The original application had a completely open plan ground floor layout with a feature staircase in the middle of the house.

We felt this was a bit too open plan.

So the current design with the stairs closer to the porch is more of a compromise that has a balance between open plan and a more conventional design.

However so far the feedback seem to be strongly against an open plan style aside from a kitchen/diner. 

 

The house would be occupied by one of the family (Yet to decide who but there are 3 of us who may occupy it) and expected to be a family of 5.

But we also want to keep the house options for the future so it could become a HMO or residential home as other properties in this area have.

Hence it's desirable to have en-suites where possible.

 

Here are the points I have taken from the feedback so far:

4 bed upstairs
Natural light on landing
Larger ensuites (1.4x2.2m) master (2x3m)
Bed position 750mm either side
Wardrobes for bedrooms 600mm deep 1500mm pp
Hall storage for shoes/coats

Larger family bathroom 

Larger utility and study

 

Based on the feedback I have tweaked the ground floor layout so the island is no longer an island which makes it far easier to have a larger utility room.

And I've increased the study to 2m width.

 

It's very simple to edit any house plans in minutes using Live Home 3D.

Once we have a strong basic design we will bring in an architect. 

But the current design is just a concept hence the lack of internal design though and poor placement of items.

If someone can suggest a better placement of the stairs then I will have a go at an alternate layout downstairs.

 

Block Plan. The plots on the east and west are completed and occupied since last year. 

 BlockPlan.thumb.jpg.defe3fcc5362ce5b29f82be0762e4b17.jpg

 

Here's a slightly modified floor plan with larger utility, study.

We have the bifold doors between the dining area and the living area so that the whole space can be open most of the time. If it's going to be particularly noisy in the kitchen area then it can be closed.

Measurement included this time to make it easier to get a sense of the size of rooms.

We weren't sure if we'd put in any wall between the porch and the living area but in the end decided it's nicer to have a little bit of separation.

I haven't put in any storage yet for shoes/coats but the wall along the west would have space.

 

OpenPlanStyle.thumb.jpg.4dd53150e8bd3d35d56041837e262a0c.jpg

I am also attaching a hallway option but we feel you lose a lot of space with a hallway. And in open plan the stairs can be a feature too.

However we'll ask some estate agents in this area as I get the impression an open plan staircase would be a deal breaker for many people.

HallwayStyle.thumb.jpg.591cdfef00276f6694634bccfc61991b.jpg

 

 

 

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You have your architect backwards.

 

Their particular skill is in concept and design inspiration, and perhaps in doing the application.

 

If you give them a basic design to detail, then you have scoped them out of the part of the process where their expertise will add most value.

 

In those circs I suggest an Arch Technologist, unless you need someone with architect skills to solve very difficult constraints.

 

Ferdinand

 

 

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On the HMO front should you go that way all those en-suite mean you risk being assessed as 5 x Band A single units for Council Tax purposes. The VOA have the Power to make this assessment, though it is fairly random and dependent on area whether it happens or not, and most places don’t seem to use the power but it can all change on a sixpence.

 

Longstanding issue. Examples

 

https://www.propertytribes.com/hmo-per-room-council-tax-killing-the-deal-t-127637484.html

https://www.property118.com/hmo-council-tax-changed-room/comment-page-2/#comments

 

Renting to students would dodge this as they have no Council Tax Liability ... yet.

 

Also quite a few HMO rules change between 5 beds and 6 beds. 

 

Lots to research.

Edited by Ferdinand

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28 minutes ago, Saucepan said:

 

Once we have a strong basic design we will bring in an architect. 

 

That seriously misses the point of using an architect!

A HMO and a family home are really two completely different set ups, I think you need to seriously consider exactly what you want to do with the house then make the floor plan suit the use - otherwise you'll end up with something like the floor plan you have here!

 

If someone walked into the office and said they want me to draw that up, they would be getting redirected to our competitors 😂

 

 

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Having seen the site layout, I would go completely back to the drawing board with a new design and resubmit to planning.

 

The bit of garden to the left of the house as shown on the layout plan, will get most of the sun. I would want that to be my main bit of garden.  I would want to move the house a bit to the right to make that bigger.

 

The bit of ground above the house (straight on from the drive) is where I would put your car parking and the entrance door on that side of the house.

 

I see no reason for it's odd shape that makes construction more expensive and makes internal layout more awkward, I would go to a simple rectangle.

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Ok thanks for the feedback on HMO.

The house will be used as a family house so that is the objective. 4 bed family home.

 

I wasn't involved with the application and am now involved in looking to move forward with the project as I am back in the UK due to Covid and have plenty of spare time.

 

Regarding the design of the house it's due to the houses on the west side overlooking hence it can't be the main part of the garden as planning would be refused.

 

I do believe we would park the cars in front of the house as ProDave mentions.

The design not being a rectangle was due to the conservation officer.

I don't believe they would allow any rectangle shape as they were strongly against a simple design and development in an application a few years ago.

So the design has been focused on making it interesting enough that the conservation officer is satisfied.

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I also want to just clarify a few points.

 

An architect was used to design the house.

 

The design maximise the possible build footprint that is available in the plot.

Any alternate shape would reduce the build footprint.

 

There are a lot of constraints due to being surrounded by other properties.

 

I have no problem with the build footprint and orientation as it's all that is available due to these constraints.

 

We aren't looking to change the build footprint.

 

However if people think there is a better internal layout which requires significant changes to the external windows/doors then we are open to another application.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Saucepan said:

Ok thanks for the feedback on HMO.

The house will be used as a family house so that is the objective. 4 bed family home.

 

I wasn't involved with the application and am now involved in looking to move forward with the project as I am back in the UK due to Covid and have plenty of spare time.

 

Regarding the design of the house it's due to the houses on the west side overlooking hence it can't be the main part of the garden as planning would be refused.

 

I do believe we would park the cars in front of the house as ProDave mentions.

The design not being a rectangle was due to the conservation officer.

I don't believe they would allow any rectangle shape as they were strongly against a simple design and development in an application a few years ago.

So the design has been focused on making it interesting enough that the conservation officer is satisfied.

 

TBH I think it should be possible to work with those constraints successfully, and give you something very interesting. 

 

I would have have a good look at orienting it NS ie Katy-cornered in the plot, as far down the garden as possible, with non habitable rooms across the back upstairs and working to whatever constraint is imposed by Council Policy on overlooking to windows at an angle if you have an6 such windows. If push came to shove the back upstairs could be a longish landing with bedroom doors on the S side, and a laundry room and the family bathroom on the overlooked side. And if you want it windows designed to minimise overlooking. If you have a 2m fence then downstairs overlooking rules would be scoped out entirely.

 

Then you have as much space as poss on the S elevation with your cars down the side of the house on the plot.

 

If they want an interesting design, give them one. Why not a generous loggia on the S side for your intermediate living? The hoi polloi upstairs on the bus would get intriguing glimpses of your facade from the road and die of curiosity.

 

F

Edited by Ferdinand

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28 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 

TBH I think it should be possible to work with those constraints successfully, and give you something very interesting. 

 

I would have have a good look at orienting it NS ie Katy-cornered in the plot, as far down the garden as possible, with non habitable rooms across the back upstairs and working to whatever constraint is imposed by Council Policy on overlooking to windows at an angle if you have an6 such windows. If push came to shove the back upstairs could be a longish landing with bedroom doors on the S side, and a laundry room and the family bathroom on the overlooked side. And if you want it windows designed to minimise overlooking. If you have a 2m fence then downstairs overlooking rules would be scoped out entirely.

 

Then you have as much space as poss on the S elevation with your cars down the side of the house on the plot.

 

If they want an interesting design, give them one. Why not a generous loggia on the S side for your intermediate living? The hoi polloi upstairs on the bus would get intriguing glimpses of your facade from the road and die of curiosity.

 

F

Thanks for the input.

The issue with moving it further down the garden is that it's then overshadowing the plot on the east.

Having it angled is a possibility which I assume was considered so will look to find out the reasons behind opting for the current design.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Saucepan said:

Thanks for the input.

The issue with moving it further down the garden is that it's then overshadowing the plot on the east.

Having it angled is a possibility which I assume was considered so will look to find out the reasons behind opting for the current design.

 

 

 

Not clear which one you mean by "East".

 

If it's the one on the RHS of the plot as you present it above, then the approved-by-planning row of trees will ultimately overshadow far more anyway. Also you have space to leave a buffer.

 

If it is the one at the bottom as presented, then he is quite a way back anyway, and by the time you have left some space your side it will be perhaps 8-10m away, and it would only apply at a small part of the day..

 

Though you could design to mitigate.

 

I am not aware that plots have a right not to be overshadowed - perhaps through rather farfetched argument based on "residential amenity". Light into windows off habitable rooms - yes, but I doubt whether that would be a major impact here. Need to evaluate the exact policy and worked it through.

 

F

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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I've followed up and all possibilities for the positions of the house were thoroughly looked at. 

The site is heavily constrained by the neighbouring properties and the orientation maximises the build footprint.

Any other orientation would result in a significantly smaller house.

 

So back to the floor plan.

Does anyone have any further suggestions on the ground floor layout or an alternative location for the stairs to consider?

Partially open plan with making a feature of the stairs is what we are leaning towards.

image.thumb.png.e220005a7c4d7c2682a21ba13579be3d.png

 

 

 

 

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i know the smaller hall gives you more space in the living room, but every time you bring in groceries you are going to be walking through the living room to get to the kitchen. It does not make for a relaxing room to sit in. People would also have to walk through the living room from the kitchen to use the WC and to go upstairs. Basically you lose some of the living room anyway as it becomes an access corridor.

 

Why is there a single outside door in the living room, it looks to really get in the way of placing furniture? You have a large room but very little usable wallspace.

 

The hall layout also allows there to be a cupboard under the stairs accessed from the hall.

 

Whatever you do, incorporate that little square at the end of the utility room into an understair cupboard. You need to do this as you should be putting cabinets/washing machine/boiler along the wall between the utility and the shower room and then that space cannot be used as it would be blocked off in the utility room.

 

I would swap the en suite and study around in that area, then the door to the study could be more easily accessed rather than behind the table. I would probably the study/en suite another 200mm wider also. That dining table is drawn too large relative to actual size.

 

Personally I don't like having a shower in the WC. If you don't go for the larger hall, I would lose the shower, make the WC more square and put a cupboard where the shower is.

Edited by AliG
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11 hours ago, AliG said:

i know the smaller hall gives you more space in the living room, but every time you bring in groceries you are going to be walking through the living room to get to the kitchen. It does not make for a relaxing room to sit in. People would also have to walk through the living room from the kitchen to use the WC and to go upstairs. Basically you lose some of the living room anyway as it becomes an access corridor.

 

Why is there a single outside door in the living room, it looks to really get in the way of placing furniture? You have a large room but very little usable wallspace.

 

The hall layout also allows there to be a cupboard under the stairs accessed from the hall.

 

Whatever you do, incorporate that little square at the end of the utility room into an understair cupboard. You need to do this as you should be putting cabinets/washing machine/boiler along the wall between the utility and the shower room and then that space cannot be used as it would be blocked off in the utility room.

 

I would swap the en suite and study around in that area, then the door to the study could be more easily accessed rather than behind the table. I would probably the study/en suite another 200mm wider also. That dining table is drawn too large relative to actual size.

 

Personally I don't like having a shower in the WC. If you don't go for the larger hall, I would lose the shower, make the WC more square and put a cupboard where the shower is.

Thanks for the feedback.

Some very valid issues raised.

 

It's helped us come up with a potential alternative layout.

There could be access through the utility room to the kitchen.

This stair layout is better for the room shapes in the upstairs too.

Would be interested to hear your thoughts on something like this?

image.thumb.png.406ac99415074d6617e45aab22955c93.png

 

 

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I think that works better having another route into the kitchen.

 

Moving the stair there would be an improvement, but I would check it can be built as it now rises up through the outside wall above the porch which may not work.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, AliG said:

I think that works better having another route into the kitchen.

 

Moving the stair there would be an improvement, but I would check it can be built as it now rises up through the outside wall above the porch which may not work.

 

 

Thanks.

It should be possible to adjust the lengths of the flights of the stairs to avoid headroom issues with the help of an architect/arch technician. 

The roof on the porch is reasonably high on the side where the stair would be so we expect it to be possible.

Between the 2 plans of a corridor to the kitchen through the utility and the hallway option do you have a preference yourself?

I've put them side by side below for easy reference.

image.thumb.png.60a86a1a7f46ca8290305fef7f8441fe.png

 

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