shellystark83

Feedback on New build family home plans

Rochelle S
4 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago




Hi everyone, I am after your feedback and suggestions on our house plans. We are first time builders, planning our forever home, which is daunting! We have a north facing relatively flat, 1 acre block in south-east Queensland. We are a young family of 5 at this stage - we plan on becoming a family of 6 in the next couple of years. Currently our children are almost 5, almost 3 and 11 months. We like the idea of being a close knit family and are not interested in traipsing up the other end of the house to attend to our kiddies, especially at night. Our main goals for our build are to have room for our children to have a fantastic childhood and somewhere to put said children's junk -more storage! Based on initial quotes on other plans with builders in our area, we think we are about $30000 over budget. This does include concrete edging to perimeter of house (to combat red dirt), driveway, 2700 ceiling throughout, turf, security screens, instalation of 9 fan lights and 7 pendant lights (which we have already purchased). Basically we need to cut costs but we are unsure about where and how while still getting what we need and want - your opinion and advice would be greatly appreciated. My apologies for the poor photos, I can't figure out how to upload my plans.

Comments (36)

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Hi Rochelle, You have a very big project ahead of you, I have played with your kitchen,Laundry,Pantry,Study nook Storage along with Media entrance and entrance through to family room. It was very difficult to read your plan and my changes not totally clear as my ability to draw plans on the computer are very limited as you can see, I'am sure Oklouise will do one of her wonderful drawings for you cheers.


    Rochelle S thanked siriuskey
  • oklouise
    4 years ago

    despite siriusky's flattering comments i'm also having difficulty reading writing and measurements but will attempt an approximation based on assumed sizes and try and find some savings in the plan but my initial reaction is to suggest that the style of the roof with multiple valleys, high ceiling and fan lights will add considerably to costs without adding any extra space but removing these features will completely change the style of the house.. please confirm the length and width of the whole building and do you look towards north from inside the front or back door?

    Rochelle S thanked oklouise
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  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago


    I hope these screenshots are much easier to read!

  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thanks oklouise and siriuskey for your interest - much appreciated.

  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    As we look out our front door we will be facing north. House is 21.4 m wide and 15.6 m deep.

  • oklouise
    4 years ago

    (the plan is still front door looking north just rotated to make it easier) my suggestion is a variation on the original floor plan but has a simpler roof and although this plan is similar sized to the original by modest rearrangement there's extra space for the bathroom (those babies won't stay little for long) with optional external access from outside for the Alfresco and future pool? and entry through the laundry from the garage side for unloading groceries and kids in wet weather...(windows should be added to suit the outlook but one bigger window (in bedrooms and media and master is much cheaper to buy and install than two narrow windows)

    Rochelle S thanked oklouise
  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thanks so much oklouise, we will be pouring over your plan over the weekend. We really appreciate the time and effort you have put in. We are feeling the huge magnitude of the decisions we make now impacting on our life over the next few decades!

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Hi Rochelle, it can be very over whelming, deep breathing!!

    just to add to this I propose a different layout for the kitchen family area as I don't think the study nook and the fridge work as they are, flow and access for family is limited. Study Nook also needs more space to accommodate a growing family.

    The following photos are my go to for Kitchen/WIP/Laundry, the spaces are divided by full height pocket doors, these from a Sydney designer.

    The attached layout as you can see is not to scale this would need to be done by your designer, I just wanted to give you more ideas. cheers


    Tailored Interior · More Info


    Tailored Spaces, Clever Layout · More Info

    A contemporary shaker style kitchen · More Info

    Rochelle S thanked siriuskey
  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thanks siriuskey,

    Is that a servery or doors out from the kitchen on to the alfresco? We did consider having sliding doors there originally for light and air flow but I wanted to avoid having kids running in and out of the kitchen....The joinery pictures look great, I do think we are going to have to lose a fair bit of our joinery in the plans though, and add it later as we can afford it, unfortunately.

  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Oklouise, on your plan, what is the width of the ensuite? We love that bathroom layout! We also love your ambitious addition of a pool! Do you think the facade of the house needs some interest? Or do you think the patio is enough? Also, could you please give me the dimensions of the study nook, pantry and mudroom? That pantry layout seems to provide a really good amount of shelving...

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Hi Rochelle, they were doors giving you easy access to the outdoor kitchen BBQ, you might have to keep them locked when kids are running around. Have you considered screening the outdoor area, just another cost but I think a good one with your family.

    To save cost on your kitchen/laundry Bunnings Kaboodle have all levels and can save you heaps of dollar 50%, especially if Hubbie and friends are a bit handy. good luck

    Rochelle S thanked siriuskey
  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Some great tips, thanks siriuskey!

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Should have said that you could certainly change from doors to windows

  • oklouise
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    the front of the house could retain the original extension of the bedrooms under the eaves (without and change to the roof) but i wonder if a bigger front porch with room for couple of chairs and a table would give you more value...the ensuite is 150cm wide but i've attached enlarged detail of ensuite and pantry with another version with additional storage in the laundry for hats and shoes and dining area storage with IT used elsewhere



    btw the sliding door in the bathroom is for quick toilet access from outside (not just for the pool) and agree that you should consider screening the alfresco area...cheap screening can be achieved with Sarlon stretched over frames with a traditional hinged screened door ...keeps out bugs and heat and makes clean outside areas safe for little kids and pets

    Rochelle S thanked oklouise
  • C P
    4 years ago
    hi Rochelle, my only thought is about why you have the house oriented towards South if you're not on a tiny suburban block? is there a view to the rear which is special?
    Rochelle S thanked C P
  • PRO
    Undercover Architect
    4 years ago

    Hi Rochelle,

    Congrats on building your first home - that's super exciting.

    If your home faces south to the rear (and that's where all your living areas are located), you need to do something to bring northern light into the home in those areas. Otherwise, to be honest, it doesn't matter how great the plan is - the home will never feel as good as could potentially, and will cost more to heat and cool long term.

    Check out the first season of my podcast (you can see it here >>> http://www.undercoverarchitect.com/podcast) and in particular this episode which will help you understand what you need to do when designing for a site that's got your orientation.

    - Amelia, UA

    Rochelle S thanked Undercover Architect
  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thanks for your comments C P and Amelia. There is no rear view to the south of our block, except our kids playing in the backyard. We have tried to consider the best orientation for our house on the block. We are hoping by having the kid's bedrooms and one living room on the northern side of the house, those rooms will reap the benefits. We are in Kingaroy, so we are concerned about the hot summer sun the most. We are hoping our games room shed and garage shed, on the western side of the house, will help shield the house from the setting sun.

    Most of the houses in our estate are a wide design, which we like because there is less to fence either side of the house and I feel like our backyard will be more private. This means that some rooms have to be on the south.

    Amelia, I really enjoyed your podcast - thank you. How would you change the layout of our house whilst keeping building costs down?

  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Amelia - Undercover Architect - I wish I found your wesite earlier!!

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago


    This might help you

    Rochelle S thanked siriuskey
  • C P
    4 years ago

    Maybe the wide design offers you a chance for a living space which teaches front to back?

    Rochelle S thanked C P
  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Oh dear siriuskey! Our plan is the opposite!

  • C P
    4 years ago

    Rochelle I know all that info sounds a bit scary but the good news is that (aside from what you may have already spent on your plan) it shouldn't cost you any more to build a house according to Amelia's ideas.

    Rochelle S thanked C P
  • PRO
    Undercover Architect
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Thanks C P - that's very true. As a client of mine once said, "It costs the same to build the wall whether you put it in the right place, or the wrong place".

    And Rochelle ... so many homeowners say that to me - that they wish they found UA earlier. The thing is, whilst your home is drawings, it's not too late to do anything.

    Yes, it may take some time, and perhaps some extra money to get the plans redone. But the biggest regret I hear from homeowners is the "I wish we'd done that differently" when standing in their finished home.

    This is a house you're building that will last for decades, raising your children in, and creating family memories. There's still plenty of time to get it right. It will make such a fundamental difference to your everyday life, which will make a difference to you. And I expect that if you redesign it for the orientation, it will actually save you money in the long term costs of running this home.

    This isn't doom and gloom - it's a great opportunity to create a home that works!

    - Amelia, UA x

    Rochelle S thanked Undercover Architect
  • oklouise
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    i wonder if a reverse of the plans with living areas to the north, kitchen west (with shelter from the garages) master north west and kid bedrooms south with the house set further back on the block might suit better?

    Rochelle S thanked oklouise
  • C P
    4 years ago
    Also, given its such a large block could you set the property further back and create some nice outdoor living out the front?
    Rochelle S thanked C P
  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    I can imagine how tough things have been but you have the time to get your house plan sorted prior to building which is a blessing, waiting to see your revised floor plan x

    Rochelle S thanked siriuskey
  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    And this is exactly why we have asked for second, and third, opinions! Thank you all very much for your imput. Now I just have to convince my husband of the possibility of change! Ha ha!

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    good luck with that x


    Rochelle S thanked siriuskey
  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Hello houzz helpers!

    We have a rough new plan! The kitchen, living, dining are on the north and bedrooms are on the south. We are planning to push the house to the rear (south) of our 1 acre block and have a long driveway. We can look out onto our beautiful (in time) front yard and watch the kids run wild! We plan on using landscaping along a front fence for privacy. I am concerned with the size, in regards to being way over budget, but I am hoping the simple shape of the roof will help to offset some of that. I was thinking I would get the plan as close to what we want/need then get quotes and scale back if we need to, which will involve another post on houzz ofcourse!

    We would love your honest feedback and I am happy to answer any questions...

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Hi Rochelle, good to hear that you're still working on your plan, sorry but I can't see the entrance, must be my glasses or old age creeping up on me

  • oklouise
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    looking good!!...here's a copy of your new plan ...variation in total size depending on thickness of your proposed outside walls

    Rochelle S thanked oklouise
  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thanks oklouise - so quick! And siriuskey, at this stage the entrance is through the sliding doors into the kitchen, unconventional I suppose but we were thinking we could make it work? We would have a parking area for visitors and have a path with gardens that leads to the outdoor area and sliding doors...

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Hi Rochelle, I did wonder when the only exterior entry was via the laundry, the parking bay and pathway should direct everyone to your entry, other than that your new for ever home plan is looking great, you can now sit back and relax for awhile until the building starts good luck with everything

    Rochelle S thanked siriuskey
  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Update! We have new plans!


    The front of the house, which will face north, is the Alfresco, kitchen, living and dining. The main entry to the house will be via the stacker doors into the kitchen. There are a few changes we will make eg. no fireplace on northern living area wall, more windows instead. We would love your opinions please....

  • Rochelle S
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    I hope you can read the plans!