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Old 01-10-2019, 11:58 PM   #16
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


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Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
Information is absent that would be very important if we were building. Where is the car parked when it returns from the supermarket? Garage ? I'd rather not carry groceries farther than necessary to put them away and neither would the wife. Media / computer room location? Most used room just after the kitchen and half bath/toilet. Mechanical room HVAC etc.

The wife is correct that a kitchen sink needs a window.

But don't feel alone as you are normal in that emphasis is often placed on guest comfort while you are stuck with the layout 365 days/year.

If this were ours we would sell and build new.

This indeed is one of the mild pain points. Car parked in the garage which is in the basement under the bedrooms and it's not convenient to haul groceries through multiple doors, stairways, to the main floor.


Computer room was more important to me before, but now it seems I have mostly transitioned to laptop which I use in a living room.


Half bath/toilet is actually a full bathroom accessible from the hallway. While mechanical + laundry will be in the basement, same place they are right now.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:02 AM   #17
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


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Originally Posted by F250 View Post
Here's another twist.

Kitchen in the back.
Dining room in the middle.
Family Room to the left of the Dining Room (don't have the walk through the FR with food to and from the DR).
Third bedroom in the front.

Result... both FR and Kitchen have ready access to the Deck, and you don;t have a "public area" deck access into a "private" bedroom.

A splendid idea indeed in terms of functionality, flow and access. Do you know what would be a best way to arrange a furniture in a Family Room in this example, including a TV? It just seems couches will be in the middle of everything and one would constantly have to walk around them.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:13 AM   #18
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


The lot I have is irregularly shaped in the back, while township requires 60' setback from the backyard property line. As a result, I can only add up to 10' to the house wall on the left and up to 16' on the right.


Sewer line currently runs in the back, 10' from the wall of the house, then turns 90 degrees towards the street and runs a total of 80' after it makes the turn to the city main line by the road. It's already fairly long and new bathrooms in the front of the house I would connect by running sewer lines through the front yard.


I am going to update the drawings over the next few days/weekend while going thought the suggestions in this forum and post updated versions.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:28 AM   #19
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


That sewer is crazy! Can you even have multiple hookups to the main line outside of the house? I assume the MBath addition in your layouts is a crawl, or are you too high?

$150K sure won't get you as much in NJ as in say AR. Two separate foundations and 3 full baths might be tight there.

I like privacy too, however, what about high windows (transom) along that wall? What about evergreens since the neighbor is 40' away? I see why the existing deck is over there - to get in the full sun. Funny how we put decks in the sun then cover them up with trellis and umbrellas!

Is moving the stair an option, or too much while living there?
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:21 AM   #20
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


Another opinion, pass this one onto your wife:


I made my husband jump through hoops moving the window so I'd have a nice big window over the kitchen sink. Doesn't help a lick for seeing anything in the sink though >.< I've decided this "tradition" is massively overrated, what we really want is some bright lights right over that sink. I'm making my husband install two 5000k LED down lights behind the wood window valance.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:29 AM   #21
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


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Originally Posted by davison0976 View Post
A splendid idea indeed in terms of functionality, flow and access. Do you know what would be a best way to arrange a furniture in a Family Room in this example, including a TV? It just seems couches will be in the middle of everything and one would constantly have to walk around them.

Perhaps a modified version of a mirror image of your 2nd option layout. When I say modified, I mean that perhaps some pieces could be angled off the walls instead of right angles to one another. You could do this by having just a partial wall between the kitchen and family room areas (just large enough to support the TV/entertainment equipment), and that would offer a fee path from the kitchen straight into the FR or straight out to the deck area without having to navigate the furniture arrangement.

I would also play around with moving the "front of house" kitchen wall closer to the front of the house and swap the position of the bath and bedroom areas with the bath being on the outside wall -- the closet could be in the front corner and you would not have to move the existing window layout in that bedroom. The goal with that bed layout, in my mind, is to consume the hallway where the bath and bed entry doors are and then have a single bedroom entry door coming in from the front foyer area. Of course, that would end up isolating the bath from being a potential "guest access".
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:43 PM   #22
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


Unless your area specs the 60' setback in a particular direction, shouldn't your 60' be measured perpendicularly from the rear property line? You're gonna lose an extra 5" off your drawn setback.

Are there front and side setbacks?
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:47 PM   #23
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


Davidson, I donít like either designs because they both look like
a grumble of rooms.
I think the basic footprint of your existing house is nice,
The bedrooms and bath are adequate.

Now, as for your budget of 150k youíre going to get sticker shock
when you start getting contractor estimates. I think youíre looking
at 300k.

Perhaps you should think about making the deck a family room,
and upgrading your existing kitchen by adding a breakfast room.

I made a rough drawing...I donít have any graph paper handy, however
if you like it, you could put it into your computer program and play with it.
This may come close to the 150k budget.

I left an 8í wall in the family room for a 65 to 75 inch tv. Also a 10í box
window as well as windows all around the room.

Iím window crazy and put windows everywhere that I could in our
diy renovations. Including the 10 ft box windows and the 8 foot
bay window.n
I put interior french doors in the dining room (2 sets)
and a single french from the breakfast room to the deck.

I put the sink and DW in the Island... 2 narrow pantries in the kitchen
(about 15Ē deep) as well as 2 narrow bottom cabs (15Ē deep)

The disadvantage that this kitchen has is there is no window. Skylights
could be installed in the kitchen...
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Which layout would you go with?-c11bb9c2-1609-40e0-928f-6af98c5d22f7.jpg  
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:56 PM   #24
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


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Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
Unless your area specs the 60' setback in a particular direction, shouldn't your 60' be measured perpendicularly from the rear property line? You're gonna lose an extra 5" off your drawn setback.

Are there front and side setbacks?

You are absolutely correct, it should be perpendicular. I don't know what I was thinking. How did you find out it's 5" since there were not enough variables to solve it empirically? Very impressive!


Yes, there are other setbacks. Front is 40' from the road (house is at 41.89' according to the survey) and 2 sides combined should be at least 30% of the frontal width (127') with any given side not smaller than 10% or 15' whichever is greater. So, figure at least 20' on each side.


Dashed lines on the image below represent required setbacks.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:01 AM   #25
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


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Another opinion, pass this one onto your wife:


I made my husband jump through hoops moving the window so I'd have a nice big window over the kitchen sink. Doesn't help a lick for seeing anything in the sink though >.< I've decided this "tradition" is massively overrated, what we really want is some bright lights right over that sink. I'm making my husband install two 5000k LED down lights behind the wood window valance.

I've seen quite a bit of remodeling shows by now with Property Brothers being probably my favorite, and I do find come to think of it that they don't sacrifice layout for having a window over a sink. If it can't be done it can't be done and result still looks very good.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:05 AM   #26
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


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That sewer is crazy! Can you even have multiple hookups to the main line outside of the house? I assume the MBath addition in your layouts is a crawl, or are you too high?

$150K sure won't get you as much in NJ as in say AR. Two separate foundations and 3 full baths might be tight there.

I like privacy too, however, what about high windows (transom) along that wall? What about evergreens since the neighbor is 40' away? I see why the existing deck is over there - to get in the full sun. Funny how we put decks in the sun then cover them up with trellis and umbrellas!

Is moving the stair an option, or too much while living there?

I meant to run lines in front to the sewer line on the property which connects to the main, joining with a Y. But I do agree, it starts to look like an exhaust manifold on a V configuration engine.


Hoping for an equipment (lawn mower, snow blower etc.) storage under the master bathroom addition. It will be full basement height which is 7', right off the garage.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:59 AM   #27
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


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Originally Posted by Two Knots View Post
Davidson, I donít like either designs because they both look like
a grumble of rooms.
I think the basic footprint of your existing house is nice,
The bedrooms and bath are adequate.

Now, as for your budget of 150k youíre going to get sticker shock
when you start getting contractor estimates. I think youíre looking
at 300k.

Thank you for taking the time to put together a drawing. I think the design elements with corners and windows look quite attractive and interesting. A noticeable step above a simple box type of design. I'll try to incorporate similar features.



As far as the 300k you are absolutely correct, and that's a realization that I had already lived through a year ago. Back then I worked with an architect to draw up a renovation plan. He kept assuring me the renovation costs run at around 120 per sq.ft. and a plan was drawn with 125k-150k total cost in mind. When I started getting estimates from contractors they were coming in at around 275k.


This what brings me to DIY. I want to finalize the plans and build for 150k or less. That's my goal, - to find a way to make it happen. Granted I will not be able to do everything on my own, but a lot of the things I should be able to. Once I am happy with the layout I could start working on the project one step at a time. I feel I owe it to myself to give it a try.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:40 AM   #28
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


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I've seen quite a bit of remodeling shows by now with Property Brothers being probably my favorite, and I do find come to think of it that they don't sacrifice layout for having a window over a sink. If it can't be done it can't be done and result still looks very good.
Yeah, I mean it looks nice to have a window, it's kind of the "standard" - but I think that's because back in the day the lighting was so poor, or because "historically" we didn't have dishwashers so we were in the sink for long periods and needed to keep track of kids or just look outside, or to have a breeze to off set the hot water steam - rather than for any reason that's really legitimate these days.

This is my range and sink wall:

Which layout would you go with?-dscn0637sm.jpg Which layout would you go with?-dscn0636sm.jpg

What I like 100 times more than the window over the sink, is the big flat space over the dishwasher (in the peninsula there) by the sink. I really wish I had more space on both sides of the stove, but especially between the sink and stove.

I was so focused on having those windows and fitting my kitchen design around them, that I'm now having to expand my kitchen even further to address how we actually use it. I do love my kitchen, but there were mistakes; I should have pulled out at least that smaller window and put in wall cabinets. I should have put all the tall cabinets on the wall with the fridge. I shouldn't have gone with the 42" tall uppers. Live and learn.


I wouldn't put cabinets over the sink personally, too close to the face, but having a sink in an island or peninsula is way cooler/more useful IMO. Maybe having a TV wall mounted over the sink would be a better option these days HA
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:37 AM   #29
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


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What I like 100 times more than the window over the sink, is the big flat space over the dishwasher (in the peninsula there) by the sink. I really wish I had more space on both sides of the stove, but especially between the sink and stove.
You have a lot of very good insight. Large areas like your peninsula, my island, and his island tend to automatically become the main food prep area due to their size, regardless how convenient they are regarding the sink and stove positions....Therefore, it is best to actually foster that more by consciously laying them out to work in conjunction with the sprawling countertop area.

If I had an island as large as his, I would love to have the cooktop right in the island, still have the middle of the island be a large prep area, and as an added bonus, a very small secondary sink for doing food prep stuff. That would be a killer kitchen.

My cooktop is right behind my island, and that works OK for me. What I really wish I had was a tiny sink in the island so I didn't have to move wet things between the island and the main sink behind me. I still want the main sink where it is, behind me, and in a large corner between the dishwasher and stove.

The oven doesn't need to be in the island. So it only needs to be a cook top. That can leave the space below for pots and pans. Granted, it was about 30 minutes ago that I finally finished the huge pan rack I built over my island. If I can get decent pictures of it, I plan to post a thread about it shortly. Yeah, I was up all night finishing the gazillion LED lights in the pan rack. But it might take hours, days, or even weeks for someone like me to actually clean the kitchen back up after this project.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:52 AM   #30
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Re: Which layout would you go with?


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The lot I have is irregularly shaped in the back, while township requires 60' setback from the backyard property line. As a result, I can only add up to 10' to the house wall on the left and up to 16' on the right.
60' setback is a lot - I'm sure the township would give you a variance for building into that setback - typical process is to apply for variance, pay fee they charge, and their Board of Adjustments holds a public hearing on it where you state your case and your neighbors can go and tell them, no problem, let him do it.

Interesting that the sewer lines go out back and come 90 degrees around to front - why wouldn't they just have run it out the front when hut was built
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