Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Farmhouse - Design Goals, Floor Plans & More

When I start working on a new house, I try to take lots of factors into account. 

First on the list - safety and energy efficiency.  Thankfully this house has been well maintained over the years, so we don’t have some of the big issues we sometimes find.  However, the boiler is past its prime and that's the perfect opportunity to switch to gas and a high efficiency boiler.  We will also re-run all the baseboard heat, to accommodate the new floor plan.

Next, I focus on the floor plan and traffic flow.  I like to chat with people that are searching for a house, to understand what they're looking for.  And they have a very similar list of needs.  While I can't meet those needs in every house, I try to incorporate what I can.  Most buyers I’ve met want an open floor plan, with a natural flow from the living room to the kitchen – and even outdoor spaces.  This house has fantastic potential in that regard and we’ll be opening up multiple walls to make it happen.

The other request I hear a lot is for a first floor master bedroom.  And there are two different drivers:  sometimes it’s for a couple that is planning to ‘age in place’  and they want that option as they grow older.  But other times, it's for a family that wants a parent to move in with them, but still maintain a level of privacy with their own space.  I don’t often have the opportunity to do this with the limited space in the old  houses we work on, but this place has the potential for a lovely first floor master suite.

Yup - it's time for an update!!
And last (but not least),  I plan to update kitchens and baths.  In this house, the existing kitchen and bath will get gutted (much easier to run all new plumbing and electric that way) and we will add a full bath on the first floor.

So here’s the first floor – before and to-be.  By removing 3 major walls, we’ll open it up a lot!  You’ll walk in the front door and be able to see all the way through to the deck and big backyard.

The foyer becomes an office, a full bathroom and closet space.  That's a lot of utilization from one room!

Part of the existing enclosed porch will  be merged with the existing dining room, to become a very large living area.  The current finished section will become a home office.  As much as I love an open front porch, the adjoining room tends to be dark and the sunlight will make the room so bright and cheerful!
Sunlight streams in the front windows - formerly a front porch, soon to be an office
The staircase room will be widened a bit (we’ll be removing the old boiler flue that eats up a good bit of space) and become the new dining room.

Best of all, we’ll be opening up the walls from the dining room to the kitchen, we’ll eliminate the short wall in this photo (as well as all the paneling) and add French doors out to a large deck.

The second floor doesn't change a huge amount, but we're making the bathroom a bit more spacious and we're adding a big closet in the front bedroom (the old closet really wasn't deep enough for hangers!).

Sounds like a lot of work?  Well it is, but it will be so worth it!  Can't wait to get started!

This is going to be amazing!!!
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  1. Just one thing I will change. I hate to open the bathroom door and find the wc in front of me! Just a suggestion 😊 it's going to be awesome anyway

    1. Ha ha! I wish it was as easy to lay out plumbing to just say you want it on a different wall, but there are lots of considerations to take into account - like where to put the 'wet wall' (the thicker wall that can accommodate all the plumbing), where to pitch the waste, where to put vents, etc. We spend a lot of time figuring all that out!!

  2. Love it, and can't wait to do a drive by when I'm in Maine this August. If we can figure out where it is! Debby

  3. This is nice. I liked these farmhouse design goals and floor plans. This is going to look awesome.

  4. Just for fun, I tried to see if I could fit in the laundry and the half bath that you wanted: https://i.imgur.com/aG7iXcJ.jpg

    Couldn't do it and keep the office!

    1. Wow! Very clever! Thanks so much for working through this, but that would create some big structural challenges (not to mention the fact that the city wouldn't let us relocated the door to the side of the house due to setbacks). We have already had to go to steel beams to handle the load of the house, but to go that wide, it would really restrict the headroom under the beam.

  5. If you would like an upstairs master as well, that is possible: https://i.imgur.com/bFAWm0P.jpg

    The bedrooms would get smaller, but they'd still be a reasonable size. And the closet space would be way better in addition to gaining that ensuite bathroom. And only one window change would be needed.


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