Floorplan layout advice for ground floor extension

July 14, 2019
last modified: July 14, 2019

Hi all, previously posted here for some advice when we started drawings. We're now at a stage where I think we're happy with what we're seeing on paper and just wanted to post here to gather some thoughts for final tweaks before we go back to our draftsman.Also wanted to credit oklouise who provided a lot of feedback and revisions previously.
About the site and us:
- we're in Melbourne
- looking to start a family
- backyard is facing north
- the block is second from the corner where there's noise and traffic from the street along western boundary
- we're on stumps

Comments (34)

  • Tee


  • PRO
    Paul Di Stefano Design

    There's one thing to be happy with what you're looking at on paper in terms of layout (which is on the right track btw), but more importantly you also need to be happy about what it looks like on paper in terms of cost. Design & budget must be managed simultaneously. What is the ballpark project budget? In regards to nitty gritty consider alternative living/kitchen/dining layouts that utilise the length of the extension with the kitchen running along the west wall so you avoid walking into the back/side of the kitchen. Doglegged /"L" shaped" spaces like that can feel boxed in. Consider how you would separate main living noise from the bedroom zone. Also in regards to family requirements a 2nd living/play/MPR space is worth seriously considering if this is a long term project

    Good luck! PD


    Contemporary Renovation · More Info

  • oklouise

    the laundry looks extra wide do you plan to have a clothesline in the courtyard or is the door for entry from the carport carrying groceries to the kitchen??..can you enlarge the dimensions of the new kitchen and laundry?

  • Tee

    spot on oklouise. we plan to use the side laneway sometimes to enter the house but also planning to have a clothesline in the laneway.

  • Tee

    hope that's more legible?

  • Tee

    Laundry and kitchen measurements from West to east

  • oklouise

    my suggestion allows for direct access and more daylight from the side entry (glass door and fanlight for ventilation) to the kitchen with a mudroom and set down space and makes better use of the small hallway for extra storage ..arrangement of appliances in the kitchen depends on the way you and your partner like to work and there are numerous options and plenty of space

  • Tee

    hi oklouise thanks again for taking a look at this. the suggestion you've made requires us to eat into the living area which we are hesitant about but I do see the benefits of having that natural light and flow of ventilation come through! I'll have to ponder it some more. thanks again

  • oklouise

    the living area is now BIGGER as my suggested changes make the laundry and kitchen more comfortable sizes and actually ADDS an extra 70cm to the living area...and the changes are to make better use of the available space including access from car to kitchen, more storage in kitchen and laundry as well as more light and ventilation...this plan attempts to show the variations but i need all the dimensions if you want to see exactly how the living room is bigger

  • Tee

    thanks oklouise. I had since more time to look at your latest draft of the laundry and kitchen and see what you've done. how clever!

    what do you think of pd's suggestion of running the kitchen length ways along the west wall - aesthetically and practically. my partner and I cook a lot so the kitchen is probably going to be the heart of our home so I just want to get it right

  • ddarroch

    I'm assuming that a covered alfresco area, not a vergola or pergola? How large are those north facing windows in the living room?

    Just asking as it appears that you don't have very much unshaded north facing glazing. It's very beneficial to have a high proportion of your glazing facing north. With the right eave length northern sunlight will enter the home in winter, & be shaded in summer. A home designed this way is called "passive solar" & will be more energy efficient & more comfortable to live in.

    Here's a brilliant government explaining it all,

    1 square metre of sunlight produces approximately 1kW of heat. So a few square metres of glazing may produce as much heat as your main heat source. That's free heating in winter! Not to mention the fact that the home will be lighter & more inviting.

    You may be missing a trick here. So I'd investigate the size of the northern glazing. You may want to increase the size of the window in the living area. A shaded northern window/glass door under a covered area will do nothing to add winter warmth (it will actually leak a lot of heat), so you may want to investigate a vergola, or other not-permanent structure to cover your alfresco area.

    As you've built to the boundary I assume there's no western glazing (a good thing to limit summer heat). But I'm not a fan of un-ventilated kitchen spaces. so you may want to investigate Paul's suggestion of running the kitchen down the western wall, as it will be closer to a window.

    All the best with your build.

  • oklouise

    based on the fact that you said you didn't want to encroach on the living area and the available l kitchen space is only 3300 wide along the western wall there would not be enough space to include all the features that can fit along the 5100 available on the southern side and there would be a big empty space in the middle of the room that can only be used for circulation and there's less space for living area furniture..every renovation (and new build) has compromises and you have to decide which features are most important to you but with correct dimensions of the whole extensions (i can't read the numbers on the plan) and a list of everything you would both like to include in the kitchen i can attempt a kitchen along the western wall

  • PRO
    Kitchen and Home Sketch Designs

    I find it so much easier to just go draw the plan! (assumptions on the dimensions)

    I have tried to draw the original plan then mine over the top to show how better it is. A roofed area at the laundry door gives protection and window into kitchen too for great cross venting as long as you have planned for a window in the north wall too. All doors does not allow for the small fresh air requirements of cold weather. A straight laundry but with a bench for put down, folding etc. Pantry, fr, wall oven (much better and safer than stoves with ground level roasts) bench window, cook top across corner = NO DEAD corner, acre of work bench on island and beside c/t. AND we have won nearly a meter for the living room but could be more if you went for one meter between bench and 800 island too = could be 1390! I do like the idea of a door across the hall for bathroom and bedroom privacy. See how this goes! Cheers Margot

  • me me

    I think you need to consider play area for the children. Very soon you will be overrun with toys craft etc. What about getting rid of walkin robe, spinning ensuite the other way, then reconfiguring laundry area, and use the extra space for toy storage/play area. Perhaps ask your friends with young children for feedback. I know people who renovated before children, then realised it should have been done differently.

  • Tee

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to provide their feedback here.

    We've made some big changes to the kitchen area and extended the floorplan by another 1m towards the backyard.

    - we will have a decent week size WIP and a window that hopefully brings some natural light into the WIP and parts of the kitchen
    - extra storage space near lounge for kids toys and a bit of dead space between kitchen and living for children

    Margot, thank you for taking the time to draw out a floorplan. We couldn't see the corner stove working for us and the lane way was slightly wider than what we have but could really appreciate how you used the space so cleverly.

  • Tee

    This is kind of our final design. Are there any major design flaws?

  • PRO
    Paul Di Stefano Design

    Design matters aside, considering how much you're changing this is practically a min $300K-400K project that you indicated in your previous post that your budget was $200K. Design and budget must go hand in hand to avoid disappointment when the builders eventually bring the reality check. If you want to keep this under $300K you'd have to reduce the size and trim some of the luxury such as the larger study and large pantry. Re the design, potentially a more efficient floor plan alternative would consider a pantry/laundry combined set-up related to the kitchen, and more streamlined/considered layout that has no dead space or strange little doglegs in the passage, that screams poorly resolved.

    With better design/planning you could potentially pull back about 3m of length of building and achieve essentially similar functional requirements (for cost savings), OR if you are stretching it this far with size at least have a proper 2nd living space in the mix to give the house value. There's wasted side space outside the laundry that could be better utilised for floor area, with laundry utility being accommodated outside the ensuite.......

  • siriuskey

    I would consider 2 changes to the aster suite

    1 ) Move the door to the ensuite across so that when you are laying in bed you don't have the head of the bed opposite the doorway and looking into the ensuite. This means swapping the layout and changing the large window to a highlight one.

    2 ) Taking the linen cupboard space into the WIR to make that a better space, linen can be stored in the laundry.

    The kitchen doesn't work for me as it is, I will knock up a rough idea of what you might consider

  • Tee

    Hi Paul, thank you for your input. We're currently consulting a builder during the design process to try and address the budget concerns and will try and address this in the design once we get the feedback. Thanks for pointing this out as you are right, it is very important.

    Siriuskey, thanks for pointing that out. It would bug me to see into the ensuite from the bed! I'll propose the change to the draftsman. Have you had any luck with the kitchen design?

  • kiwimills

    If you line master door up with other bedroom door, opposite, you could have a chest of drawers/ makeup desk behind the door like that bedroom can. At the moment, you can't but by moving it 400 mm to left, you can too!

  • siriuskey

    Hi Tee, will get back to it, life is taking a lot of my spare time at the moment, good to hear that you will change the access to the ensuite, it will also give you a better space beside the bed. What about making the WIR bigger with taking the current linen cupboard?

  • PRO
    Kitchen and Home Sketch Designs

    Hi Tee, I much prefer the plan you have arrived at but as mentioned above I would not want to sacrifice garden space and I believe you can do it slightly better... I agree with Siriuskey in moving the ensuite door: it gives you the corner for the bedside table but do ensure that the loo is not visible from the hall tool lets look at the vanity! I prefer linen in hall and depending on length of l'dry u could loose the second run of benching. Win 600mm. The WI P is larger than some kitchens!! I would look at reducing it some and put cooktop to left end of run of bench or u will have two useless bits of bench either side. Left so it is safer away from kiddies. Ocourse the sink & DW will be together on left end of island too so as there is acreage of bench for prep, serving and homework etc: it will ALL happen on that bench! Win back your garden, I say.

    I hope this helps..... Cheers Margot

  • PRO
    Paul Di Stefano Design

    If you want to save money, preserve external yard and achieve similar internal function/amenity, below scribble demonstrates how you can do so with a far more compact and cost effective design. It also cleans up the corridor and opens the living space so much more

  • PRO
    Kitchen and Home Sketch Designs

    It is really great, Paul but can you avoid the internal bathroom? I would avoid it as I hate not being able to get fresh air into the rooms that need it the most, bathrooms and loos.

  • Tee

    Hi Siriuskey, the WIR is a tricky one. The wall between the WiR and linen is an existing wall. I've purposefully used what's left of the space as a linen to avoid having to remove the wall and only to place another one 450mm away. We thought this would be the best balance between design and cost but also minimise alteration to the existing part of the house due to then having to deal with different ceiling heights between hall and current dining area. With this new info, what are your thoughts?

    About the kitchen sketch, didn't mean to rush. We were just excited to see other ideas especially when it's related to the kitchen given its an integral part of the house.

  • Tee

    Hi Margot, thanks again for some great pointers. I will have the toilet moved so it sits between vanity and shower. Thanks for pointing out the view from the hall. I didn't even think about that!

    I see what you're saying about the laundry and backyard space. Will review the length of the laundry with partner tonight.

    About the WIP, I also thought it was larger than average. I thought of cutting both storage and WIP back and having a light well between WIP and storage area along the western boundary.

    Pros: it will allow more light and potentially cross ventilation into the open living space as I won't be putting a door on where the storage is. If space allows access I would like to have my herbs planted here for ease of access.
    Also put a small glass splashback to bring light into the kitchen stove bench area.

    Cons: Not sure we can afford the space to make it practical for the used above other than just a light well. If this is possible, we will lose one side of the wall in the WIP for a door to access the lightwell area.

    Not sure if it is worth the trouble? Would be interested to hear others thoughts on whether the use of this space can be improved.

  • siriuskey

    I did mean to post yesterday that the toilet needed to be moved over next to the shower, to mirror what you had on the other side. I have been looking at your kitchen and have included the correct bathroom layout in that.

    I understand about the wall from your original plan but it seems a shame not to do what would make the master suite better, is it a load bearing wall?.

  • siriuskey

    This is what I was considering and reducing the overall size. The kitchen doesn't have WIP just a bank of tall cupboards that could be 600 deep and include internal draws, or draws as base cabinets with cabinets above, Or a bank of 300 deep tall cabinets which gives easy access to everything, I had one like this in another house and loved it, it's also cheaper than draws and WIPs.

    Appliances in the kitchen can be rearranged to suit your needs if you approve of the layout, having access to the kitchen from the carport is a plus and also gives access to Bins.

    Swapping the living room and adding an angled Alfresco as PD design suggested, this gives lovely access to any grassed area. By having a solid wall on the western side of the alfresco will also help block street noise.

    I have reduced the study, reluctantly, but it could still have a bit more width added for the possible 4th Bedroom but I did hear an estate agent say that the 4th bedroom isn't needed. With having the study opening up to the living will make both spaces feel bigger when needed.

    Extra storage is via wardrobes in the 2 bedrooms etc

    Dimensions are artistic licence at this time.

  • PRO
    Paul Di Stefano Design

    Internal bathrooms are fine, you just need to be creative in regards to achieving the light & ventilation such as utilising a light shaft or an openable roof window. In this case, it's one of the options available if you want to maximise planning efficiency and better balance in this regard. We don't spend a lot of time in bathrooms admiring a view, so outlook is arguably a luxury/lower priority with inner urban bathrooms. If you can achieve it well you do so, otherwise there can be arguable knock-on benefits efficiency gains to be had by considering this option........

  • Tee

    Hi everyone, thanks for all your contributions.

    Siriuskey, really love that floorplan. To be honest, we came up with a similar floorplan where the kitchen, dining and living were all lined up. However, with 10m in length, my partner and I couldn't see it all comfortably fitting without us feeling too cramped. What measurements did you leave between kitchen bench and island, dining and living area?

    Our current living area is only 4m x 4m and we already feel that it's a bit cramped, let alone our plans to have kids in the near future where we are hoping to use parts of the living area as the play area (either in front or beside).

    Using your floorplan idea, I've come up with a slight alternative. The kitchen/dining area is approx. 7m long and living is 9m long - saving us approx. 2m x 10m of internal space when compared to our original final.

    I've moved the bank of pantry cupboards so they extend along the west boundary where the dining is. Gives us a living area of about 5x 6.5m with the proposed smaller study. I like that the kitchen is now closer to the deck with the north sun coming in. I don't like that we lose a WIP as we love the idea of hiding all our appliances in one. Not sure how much this floorplan will save us in build cost. If it is significant enough, we would be willing to compromise.

    I've sent the floorplans to a couple of builders to try and get a ballpark figure. In the mean time, what do you guys think of the alternative floorplan? Will it make a big difference to our building cost?

  • siriuskey

    can't read the dimensions on your floorplan, and you need to move the WC in the ensuite across next to the shower

  • siriuskey

    Something like the following will open up the space allowing for children's play study

  • PRO
    Kitchen and Home Sketch Designs

    Hi Tee,

    How long is the wall of works in the laundry backing ensuite and robe? What if you loose the second run backing the living area? It is after all only three bedrooms not 5. With the linen (and can have brooms in the hall cupboard), a single sided laundry will win you at least 600mm into living area. Personally I prefer the kitchen backing laundry with fr, wall oven and wide pantry along the outside wall. cooktop and sink on bench to laundry and clean clear island. All plumbing together, all living together, plenty of space for everything and every one!