We’ve been here before folks, so I don’t want to get too excited, but we are extremely close to having a 100% complete floor plan. For the past couple of weeks we have been trying to figure out how to squeeze a 3rd bedroom and 2nd full bathroom into an upstairs that we originally thought would only have 2 beds and 1 bath. To make a long and boring story short, we realized that the space was there and the bump in resale value for the 4th bedroom and 3rd full bathroom was just something that was very hard to ignore. So why did it take so long? Well as it turns out, we put the stairs in about the worst possible spot to put a 4th bedroom up there.

Jes and I drew and redrew potential 2nd floor floor plans for 3 or 4 straight days and finally thought we had come up with a solution that we loved. We passed on that solution to our draftsman but our hopes were quickly dashed: he told us that because of the location of the stairs we just didn’t have the room we wanted. With the clear direction that the stairs needed to move in order to get that elusive 4th bedroom, I had a very sleepless night trying to brainstorm new ideas. I came up with so many ideas, including starting completely over again, but was unable to solve the problem. The following morning we talked about just going back to the original plan and forgoing the 4th bedroom. We had both started to accept that was the direction we would be going – and then inspiration struck.

I have had ideas that I thought were brilliant many times throughout this process, only to find out that the math just didn’t add up, so I was skeptical at first. But after drawing everything out and running the numbers, I had come up with a way to solve all of the problems we were facing, and even a few that we hadn’t really thought of yet. With all of that being said, we essentially were able to slide the stairs away from the middle of the house by about 3 or 4 feet, which opened up the entire 2nd floor. It’s amazing how such a small change can have such a huge impact. In the process of moving the stairs, we picked up a good number of improvements on the 1st floor as well:

  1. We now will have a walk in pantry. This will be great for all of our small electrics that we didn’t really have a great place for yet, and obviously for all of our dry goods that we buy.
  2. The powder room is now “correct” – for whatever that means. Apparently a “true” powder room has the sink and toilet on the same wall. That’s not something we really cared about, but maybe someone else will if we ever have to sell it?
  3. The door to the master bedroom got moved towards the back of the house (and the door to the master bath moved accordingly). This will allow us to put the bed on the wall with the stairs, looking out at the backyard, which we would not have been able to easily do with where the door was previously.
  4. Our original idea to move the stairs would have lost our window in the front of the kitchen, but we are able to keep that now, which will help both the front elevation and the natural light in the kitchen.

Without further ado – here is the nearly finalized floor plan:

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First Floor
2nd Floor
2nd Floor

Notice how the 2nd floor has 3 adequately sized bedrooms, a true “guest suite” with an en suite bathroom, and most importantly, no wasted space. We will use the “back” bedroom as the guest suite, the “middle” bedroom as our dedicated office, and the “front” bedroom as another guest room. On the first floor there are a couple of minor things to change:

  1. Move the wine fridge on the island to next to the bar/prep sink.
  2. Remove the built in shelves that are now under the stairs in the dining room
  3. We aren’t 100% sure what to do with the laundry room yet. It’s not quite big enough to a “real” laundry room, so we are sleeping on that one.

But that’s it. And we’ve been told by the draftsman that this all works from a structural standpoint. We’ve been told from the builder that this fits into our budget. So we should be good to go. On Monday we will present the final list of redlines to the draftsman, he will turn those around and present the elevation for the house. We have a good idea of what it will look like (if you don’t remember, check out this post) since we did everything we could to stick to the original idea. But I think once we get the official elevation there will a “Wow…. this is our house” kind of moment. That moment has been almost 4 months in the making so far, and it will be a wonderful milestone for us, so keep your fingers crossed.

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