Advice on New Build Floorplan

Yvonne K
April 8, 2019

Hi Houzz Community

I need your advice on our floor plan. This will be our forever house for our family of 3 so I am unsure about a few things. Firstly, I worry about the kitchen orientated towards the north instead of having the dining and family rooms on the northern aspect since the terrace will be cutting off the light once built. I feel like the common area and laundry and scullery needs a rethink because the floorplan isn't fully utilizing the northern aspect.

We currently live in a house that needs lights on during the daytime, which I hate! Natural lighting for the whole house, especially common areas is very important to me and we also want to be a low-energy and sustainable household.


I like the bedrooms as it is, on the south-side of the block and also because we have a walkway on the left-side of the block, so privacy and security is important.

The laundry room should be away from the bedrooms.

Advice or suggestions are welcomed, thanks!!

Comments (52)

  • dreamer
    I agree with macyjean, the kitchen scullery laundry garage needs reworking. It is a high traffic area, with only one way in and out.
    I would prefer to see a separate door directly into hall.
    Your main bathroom is the same as ours. It works very well.
    To change the position of kitchen would need the whole plan reworked. I will leave that to others.
  • oklouise

    is there any restriction for the location of the garage and is this your own plan or does the plan belong to a builder with copyright and limits to alterations? and please describe your local climate

  • Yvonne K
    Thanks for the comments so far!

    Yes, it is our plan that we paid for, I can get it rescanned to a higher resolution if that helps.

    No bathtubs, it’s something we decided early in not to have since we don’t use ours and I don’t see the point in something just for resale value.

    We are located in Perth

    Yes, you’re right about it being a bit of a maze with scullery and laundry into the kitchen. I did think it would be fine since our household is small.

    I think it needs a complete overhaul so some recommendations would be great!
  • Yvonne K
    Oklouise? siriussky?
  • oklouise

    understanding the dimensions in the original plan and the block of land will help and do you have to have the garage on the north and do you like the house built on the boundary?

  • Yvonne K
    Oklouise, we have a walkway to the left of the block so we don’t want bedrooms on the northern aspect, it made sense to then have the garage on that side. I suppose it also dictates to some degree on how the other rooms fit in. Hope that explaination helps!
  • siriuskey

    we do need details/readable measurements to work with

  • oklouise

    by walkway do you mean a public path on the north side of your fence? and seems a shame to use a northern courtyard as a drying area with a view of the clothesline from inside and do you need/want drive through access to the rear garden through the garage? .with correct dimensions we can make a plan of some alternative ideas but we can't read any of the numbers or most of the writing...try rotating the plan so that the north fence is along the top of the page and this should allow better copy of the plan

  • Yvonne K
    Hi Oklouise, I’ll get my husband to download the plan fully tonight, thanks!

    Yes, there is a public path on the north side of the property and having lived next door to one growing up, I just prefer to hav the bedrooms away from that end of the property.

    I like having the roller door to the back of the garage, I find it very practical if let’s say you need to park an extra car, trailer or anything else, that it’s not on your driveway, plus we have the room.

    As for the laundry, yeah, it just happened to work out that way, but the line can go on the east side of the property, I don’t mind walking to it
  • brizcs
    Hi there. I totally agree about getting that northern light to the living areas. So important. Couple of minor suggestions. Is the position of that front living area important? I see piano etc. Could the existing formal lounge at the front of the house be reduced in size to make a study. Then use the rest of that freed up space to rearrange the scullery/laundry area so that laundry isn’t hogging so much of that prime real estate north facing aspect. The existing rear study/office is the best spot in the house. Lovely location. Could it be enlarged to the west as your second living area, adding some more carefully positioned windows ( west facing I know) in to your pretty courtyard space. It’s great to have those outlooks and I agree it’s great to have a living area that isn’t effectively a swollen corridor and that can be closed off for cooling/ acoustic efficiencies. Also I’m not sure about the walk in linen area. It is using up a bit of floor space and is not really any more convenient than a large cupboard for an area that’s not in constant use. That bit of floor space may be more usefully employed in your rejig if that area. I’m sure the Houzz design people will come up with great ideas. Best of luck.
  • oklouise

    still can't read the dimensions and words so will try with approximates but please confirm the length and width of the block it looks like 42m long and 834 sq m which would be about 18 m wide..is this correct??

  • siriuskey

    The new plans are still unreadable measurement wise, do you have any others to offer please

  • siriuskey

    I read 19.51 wide x 42.70 long x 834 sq m

  • oklouise

    the sizes of each room is not readable on the plan...try posting the front and rear sections of the house separately or list the sizes of each room and what is the length and width of the block? if the block is 834 sqm and the length is 42m the width should be about 18m but it looks like 15m on the plans?

  • siriuskey

    Garage 6550 x7810 (7310

    Lounge 4460 x5900

    gallery 1500 x 72600?

    Master bed 4360 x 4130

  • siriuskey

    WIL 2350 1300

    scullery 2310 x ?

    Laundry 2100 x2910

    kitchen 1150 +2500 +1150

    Family 5910 x 8930

    Terrace 4400 x3900

    Boundary to Terrace 6513

    Kitchen wall cabinets to island 1300

  • PRO
    MB Design & Drafting

    Theres a few things I like and theres a few I don't. Overall it looks fairly well considered without knowing the brief given to designer. So many designers forget about rear yard access, clothes drying areas, landscaping, etc. and just focus on the floor plan layout.

    For me the ensuite is quite generous and a bit to big although it could look fantastic once completed, personal choice really.

    The family dining area could be a bit longer say 600-900mm extra but again personal choice.

    2 x WC to close together. I'd add a bath as even myself who prefers showers is nice to have a bath if you get a sore back, etc. Why not add a WC to laundry area so it has access from garden.

    Roof layout has too many valleys and looks quite complicated to construct. Adjust some walls will simplify roof and probably look better. The valley and hip ridge line are quite close together over ensuite, could have almost a zero eave here and simplify roof. Its on the south so not a major issue as well as may be protected from weather via the southern neighbour.

    Natural light and north facing. This is where some thought is needed.

    Skylights, clerestory windows, etc. are all good options and also assist ventilation. Ventilation is super important but largely forgotten by many as north facing takes precedence.....

    Placing a terrace to the north blocks out your direct natural light year round. Probably ok in tropical areas, dismal in Tasmania. Can you have terrace as a separate structure away from house, use a Vergola type of roof system perhaps.

    Watching TV in a brightly lit sunny room is pretty ordinary, in winter and reading a book is however fantastic. How are you using the space, ignore the theory of living areas to the north and see what you decide.....

    Do you cook a lot during the day? Do you live in a climate (including micro climate) that allows you to use the terrace almost year round?

    I'd consider these things first rather than the theories. The theories are relevant but not set in stone as every site is different, every brief is different.

    As I noted, this is where some thought is needed.

    Yvonne K thanked MB Design & Drafting
  • PRO
    Paul Di Stefano Design

    Hi Yvonne,

    Perhaps when posting plans best block/black-out out designer's name out of courtesy and also to avoid potential copyright issues.....

    But that aside, you are absolutely correct in questioning what you have on paper and concerns that is not as good as it should be for your "forever" house.

    There are major things positioned arguably back the front. NEVER put a garage on the north unless you don't have a choice... and the living/dining could be easily flipped to the north, as well and the utility of the kitchen/scullery/laundry etc should be all on the south. It's ALL about the light and the flow. A poorly resolved floor plan will still cost the same ballpark to build as the a well crafted series of spaces. A good design will enhance the experience of space and maximise value of the build outcome.

    Rather than nit pick on all the details, my general comment is that the whole front half of the house needs to be completely flipped over in regards to orientation, the rear bedroom wing is not too bad, but will fall into place once the main part of the home is sorted out better.....

    Also what's your budget for the build? Is this being managed the design process? Ultimately everything in this game comes down to money and design solutions need to be appropriately aligned to budget.

    Cheers PD


    Yvonne K thanked Paul Di Stefano Design
  • siriuskey

    Totally agree with Md design that the Powder room should be moved towards the front of the house, giving access from garage, laundry, out doors and formal living for family and guests.

    Clerestory windows would be great for this house with a simple roof line

  • Yvonne K

    Hi All, just a quick one that I'll re upload the plans with the designer's name and details blanked out, sorry! Good point from Paul Di Stefano design, I just have to do the school run first and will be back later this morning.

    Just a few things to clarify:

    1. This plan was designed for us almost a year and a half ago, so we have since changed our mind about a few things.

    2. No bathtub, but we plan to have build-in seats in both bathrooms, its our preference in Perth :)

    3. We would also prefer the guest toilet and main toilet to be separate with the guest toilet located more towards the front of house.

    4. We don't need the garage on the North-West side, but it made sense to us because of the public footpath on the left side of the block and privacy and security is important for us.The garage is also extra long for additional storage since we have a long block.

    5. Our budget is around $350K turnkey including siteworks (exclude landscape and fencing)

    6. Master Suite is a tad big and we plan to shrink it slightly and also put in an extra build-in closet since additional storage space for out of season clothes is always a good idea.I prefer having the walk-in robe to separate the suite from the bathroom for noise reasons and there has to be a door separating the walk-in from the bedroom. I actually like the master suite as it is however I would like for there to be able to walk past the master suite and not directly see into the whole room, if that makes sense for privacy reasons.

    7. Laundry area to be AWAY from bedrooms because of noise issues.I like the idea of being able to program out laundry to run at during off-peak times (night) to save on energy and not disturb our child who has noise sensory issues.

    8. Yes, I cook all day, I'm a stay-at-home mum who loves cooking day and night :)

    9. Acoustics with proximity of common areas to bedrooms is important to us. This issue is often ignored so we wanted a floor plan that minimizes the traveling of noise but also have the ability to close of common areas to private areas for cooling/heating reasons.

    10. The formal lounge is a muli-purpose space, a playroom for my child whilst growing up, a library and additional seating area if entertaining guests.

    11. For our outdoors area, there will be a large powered shed, probably in the SE or NE corner of the block, along with a chicken coop, 2-3 raised vegetable plots, an above-ground trampoline and monkey bars for our child and vegetation to fill in. We don't want any grass except underneath the monkey bars.

    12. Having a well-sized drop-zone right after coming out from the garage is important.

    13. The powder room should have smooth lines, as in no sink jutting out that you have to walk past.

    14. The kitchen will have two wall-ovens, a central island (no sink or stove top on it), and preferably no corners since its usually a waste of space. It has to have a double sink and the fridge should be in the kitchen, not the scullery. There is also a dishwasher and a wall-in microwave. I also don't want the kitchen to be fully-open to view from the common areas for noise and visual reasons. I want natural lighting into the kitchen without windows since it can get too bright/hot but I dont want curtains in the kitchen.

    15. There is to be a scullery/walk-in pantry with a small sink. This will be used for food storage and have bench space for the kettle, toaster and minor food prep. I would prefer the scullery to have access to some natural lighting and ventilation.

    16.Internal storage in the house: There should be 1 large walk-in storage measuring at least 2 x 1.3m to store large items such as ironing board, vacuum cleaner, mops etc and 1 smaller one if space allows.


    I'll be back again! And thanks to all commentators.

  • siriuskey

    Hi Deamer, could you post this plan in two parts without alterations as I can read most of yours, many thanks

  • PRO
    Paul Di Stefano Design

    $350K for this scale of project is a volume build / off the shelf plan budget. A custom build of a home this scale is minimum double that and some. If your designer has indicated otherwise you'll be in for a shock when this is quoted by a builder

  • Yvonne K

    Here's the plan again, without personal details!

  • Yvonne K

    You're right PDS Design, it is a volume budget, hence we've decided to go with a volume builder but using a custom plan. It may be that we have to come up with a new floor plan, hence my appeal for help on Houzz.

  • macyjean

    What exactly is your concern about the public footpath? I agree that putting the garage on that side is wasting solar access and I wonder if there are ways to address your concerns? For example double glazing should reduce noise?

  • brizcs
    Family room currently looks at risk of being a bit gloomy. Ok for a night time room but I’m guessing this is to be family central by day too. Can you add windows in the south wall? Tall and thin perhaps? Even the long low level one from floor to knee height can look pretty, looking out to (night illuminated ) garden, and they bounce a bit of light back in without any privacy issues. Works particularly well if the fence is painted a very pale colour and gathers a bit of the northern light.
  • Yvonne K
    Thanks for the comments so far.

    We don’t need the garage on the north side, but having the bedrooms on that side close to a public path is not an option, hence the garage fit in that area. I’m not concerned about having the garage there to be honest.

    Having the veranda facing north, in hindsight, not ideal from a light point of view unless we have celestial windows, which we plan to. Vergola roofing would be great but way outside our budget.
  • dreamer
    Enlarged plans as suggested. Hope this helps.
  • dreamer
    I agree with Yvonne K. $350k should be a good budget to build this home. I don't know how it works in the east. In Perth volume builders do custom designs. Or a volume design can be changed to suit a block, when required. For instance the attached is from a well regarded builder in WA. 311sqm for $243k https://www.dalealcock.com.au/home-designs/archipelago. And most of Perth homes are still built with brick, external and internally.
  • siriuskey

    thanks so much for doing that, I was just trying to bring it up again without success, interested parties should be able to make that out

  • Yvonne K
    Sorry Sirusky! I’ve downloaded it several times now, not sure how to get it clearer from my end. I could try emailing it direct to you in PDF if you’re interested?
  • Yvonne K
    Same offer to Oklouise ;) I’ve seen what you both have done for other floorplans so you love your opinion!
  • siriuskey

    Hi Yvonne, Dreamer has very kindly uploaded it and is able to be read.

    You can contact me direct via my houzz page which we should be able to receive the PDF through and I will share cheers

  • brizcs
    I’d love to know how it all turns out after the team have worked on it. Please keep us posted!
  • dreamer
    Yvonne, can you take a photo of your plans and attach them to your comment. I'm using my iPad, and I have only received the first plan you posted then another yesterday. No others. I have enlarged the plan and screen shot, then attached photo to comment.
  • Yvonne K
    Thanks dreamer :) I have to do the school run and some shopping and will do so later this morning, and thanks all for your kind advice. I do have a plan taking shape in my head, just not the technical skills to put it in paper.
  • siriuskey

    I only have my old HTC and the camera is no longer working very well, looking forward to any upated plans you might be able to send directly to me so I can share. Continue writing your list of must haves and haves

    Yvonne K thanked siriuskey
  • Yvonne K

    Thanks Siriusky, I've updated my list of must haves, I actually have an appointment with a volume builder very soon, so will post more later!

  • oklouise

    the challenge with the original plan for me is the complicated roof so my suggestions include rearranging the rooms to create a much simpler shape and, although the laundry is now closer to the bedrooms it's pushed out to the side of the kitchen, the appliances could be enclosed inside a cabinet and should be separated enough to restrict overnight washing noise from all the bedrooms ...btw we've found that solid core doors and sound insulation for internal walls throughout the house add an extra layer of sound proofing and has been a very worthwhile investment ...the kitchen is much more spacious for a serious cook, there's lots of storage throughout the house, the set down/ mudroom has access to the powder room from inside and out and, with the potential for a future pool, the extra storage room could be a small shower/change room.. the standing space behind the garage could be a pergola covered screened barbq area.(carport shape?) there are seats in both bathrooms and enough space in the family bathroom for a small freestanding bath if you changed your mind.. the screened alfresco is under the main roof and doubles as an all weather playroom ...windows should be decided for aspect and views eg windows along the south could be highlight windows for the laundry, pantry and ensuite and lowlight for the master bedroom view to the courtyard and there's internal windows between powder rooms and adjoining spaces and raked ceilings and roof windows and skylights could be more cost effective than clerestory windows that need a more complex roof ...the overall floor area of this plan is about 16 sq m smaller than the original

    another view of the family room

    Yvonne K thanked oklouise
  • PRO
    The Wild Heart Collective Australia
    Fantastic plan awesomelouise:) love it!
  • Yvonne K
    Wow Oklouise, that is a pretty amazing floorplan!! Honestly, absolutely stunned, I have to show this to our builder!! Thanks so much! Wait I need to reload again :)
  • siriuskey

    Another completely different approach trying to open the living space to the side and rear garden to take advantage of the aspect. Fireplace on end wall with large windows on each side Room sizes can be changed to suit

    I should add that I was thinking clerestory windows on the wall above the kitchen letting light into the kitchen family dining and then again above the living room wall letting light into the entrance and Gallery. Our house has a similar aspect to yours and was designed by the Architect with clerestory windows

    Yvonne K thanked siriuskey
  • Yvonne K

    Thanks very much Siriusky :) I do love how you and OkLouise were able to incorporate the laundry and drop zones into the plan. I really appreciate your time and effort in coming up with different styles, it’s definitely made me realise different styles that can still hit the brief of what I want. Out of interest, the plan below was given to me by a lovely talented designer below

  • Yvonne K

    This is the best I can do, sorry!

  • Yvonne K

    Thanks again everyone! I think we're going back to the drawing board and starting a new plan from the beginning, I'll be sure to update once we've settled on a new plan. I really appreciate the input and opinions from all, another reason why I love the Houzz community :)

  • PRO
    Brian-Custom Made Cabinets Maker

    Looking forward to seeing the new plan soon, I belive it will be very beautiful.

  • siriuskey

    I should add that I was thinking clerestory windows on the wall above the kitchen letting light into the kitchen family dining and then again above the living room wall letting light into the entrance and Gallery. Our house has a similar aspect to yours and was designed 1980 by the Architect with clerestory windows . The entrance doors have been changed and the timber trims match it, the pink was the original colour which I didn't mind, but he hated it.

  • Yvonne K
    I thought the same about the windows too Siriusky ;) Your house is lovely, I remember your kitchen with the high sloping roofline!
  • PRO
    The Wild Heart Collective Australia
    Love your plan too Siri! Yourself & awesomelouise have done exceptional designs here. As usual ;) xx
  • siriuskey

    Thanks Yvonne it is a lovely light filled house, which is very important to me.