More On the Floor Plan

Sooooo, I haven’t posted an update on the flip in almost a month – yikes!!  To say the least, I owe you guys a few updates.  In a nutshell, the drywall is done, the new wood floors have been laid (we haven’t even seen them yet!) and tile is coming up next.  :)

It’s weird – our new contractor is seriously on the ball and takes the reins with everything.  Our routine with our last contractor was quite different, and we willingly took on a lot more responsibility for quality control, question-answering, and day-to-day management so we obviously had to be present pretty much every day.  Not so much this time!  I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it but it’s quickly become apparent that this is a good situation since infants and construction zones don’t seem to mix so well.  :)

That was a long explanation for why I don’t have daily updates on the status of this flip – I’m simply not there every day, and my role this time around is pretty much solely designer/finish-picker-outer instead of manager. Also, things are moving a bit slower.  A little frustrating, but c’est la vie.  Since that’s the case how about I show you how we came up with the new floor plan?

You might remember that this is the original floor plan we inherited when we bought the house:

Original Floor Plan

and then after a little tweaking for functionality we ended up here:

Revised Floor Plan

But the final floor plan didn’t just appear to us in a vision – oh no, there was a lot of trial and error before we got there. Lots of real bowser floor plans.

I thought it might be fun to show you all the different ideas we came up with before we finally landed on “the one.” Here we go!

As I told you before, the house was originally a four bedroom, with the fourth bedroom (along with guests) having access to the master bathroom through the hallway.  We thought this was a big problem since ideally master baths are private, and our first thought was to add a door from the hallway to the jack ‘n jill bathroom so all 3 secondary bedrooms could share it.  This meant moving the water heater to the attic (it is in a closet in the hallway) and creating a long, skinny hallway from the main hallway to the jack ‘n jill bath, like in the illustration below.

Floor Plan with Change to Jack & Jill Bath

Make sense?

Well, we ultimately decided that long hallway would be too skinny and awkward, and that it would also be weird to have 3 doors to one small bathroom – so we nixed that idea.

Then we decided that we should add a full bath somewhere, for two reasons: (1) it would make the fourth bedroom into a true bedroom, and (2) it would allow us to remove the strange half bath off the laundry room. To us, it seemed like the best place for this full bath would be somewhere off that long hallway – either eating into the space for the master bath, or taking up some of the space in what was originally the formal living room.

And once we started thinking along those lines, we decided we should just go ahead and add another bedroom – the original dining room could turn into the bedroom, and the breakfast room could turn into the dining room! That would give us a 5 bedroom, 3 bath house!

Here’s how we were going to do that:

New Bed & Bath


New Bed & Bath

That first option was the one we liked the best.

In the end, we also decided to nix the idea of the extra bedroom and full bath – it felt like the living space would be cramped with so many bedrooms.

So back to the drawing board – figure out a way to add a half bath in an accessible area, and fix the master bathroom. Here are the ideas we came up with for the master bath:

Master Bath Layout Options Master Bath Layout Options Master Bath Layout Options Master Bath Layout Options Master Bath Layout Options Master Bath Layout Options Master Bath Layout Options Master Bath Layout Options Master Bath Layout Options Master Bath Layout Options

Think we had enough options?  :)

We decided to go with an entirely different plan – we would make the master bathroom larger by scooting the entrance to the master 3 feet to the right and deleting a closet.  There are some other major details, but that’s the gist of it.  You can check out that floor plan below – the master bath/closet area is right there in the middle.

What We Thought Was the Final Floor Plan

But after demo started, it became glaringly obvious that our plan wasn’t going to work unless we wanted to spend thousands moving a giant duct:

Fifth Flip - Demolition

No thank you.  So back to the drawing board.

The layout below is what we finally came up with, and it turned out to be the perfect layout.  Here’s the note we gave to our contractor with the details:

final layout

In the end, we wound up making the toilet closet longer, extending all the way to the closet – it just works better.

So that’s the very long-winded tale of our journey from this floor plan:

Original Floor Plan

to this one:

Revised Floor Plan

If you made it to the end of this post you deserve a medal.  :)

Have you guys had any floor plans that were real head scratchers?

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  1. kathy says:

    wow, looks like you really vetted your options before moving forward with the final floor plan. it looks great!

  2. christy says:

    Wowzers! You guys are the ones that deserve a medal for figuring all that out! I think that you should print this information out and give it to whomever buys the house – at the closing! Whew!!!!

    You guys are so awesome; I totally want to get into this!!!!

  3. Aimee says:

    Oh my gosh – my brain is shutting down!!! That you could even make all the floorplans and the technology logistics wows me. What a cook, informative process to go through to reach your goal of the best plan.
    Very impressive! Will you please organize my life?

  4. Erik says:

    I really loved looking at all of the floorplan ideas and how it evolved into the final one.

    In my opinion, it was a smart move to not change the front room into another bedroom. That would have been awkward. I really like your final idea on those 2 rooms at the front.

    Here is my idea/thought/2cents:
    The opening to the Family Room is rather far down the Hall from the Foyer. Could this opening be closed up and a larger cased opening be placed accross & center to the front door? This would give direct access to the Family Room from the Foyer, and a straight on view of the fireplace.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Agreed – it’s something that we thought about doing in the beginning and then changed our minds (wondering if people might want a little privacy in the family room). And I’ve kind of regretted it ever since we decided not to make the opening huge (we just widened it a little bit). Lesson learned for next time!!

  5. Mike LaCava says:

    Incredible floor plan diagrams! Very impressive work.

    I agree, moving that giant duct would of been quite the pain. I guess that’s just part of the business though. You expect to do something one way, then you discover something unexpected, and have to make an adjustment. Just another day in the life of a house flipper I suppose.

    Great work! I’ll be sure to check out your blog more often.

    Take care,


  6. Maggie says:

    Now I know why your finished house looks so good– you take the time to think everything through!

    PS I do like Erik’s idea of moving the opening to the FR

  7. I noticed that you decided to replace one of the bedrooms with a study, I don’t blame you Liz. There is nothing better than having your own personal work space to work quietly.

    Jennifer @ Oak Furniture Superstore

  8. Rich Ronson says:

    What made you change your mind regarding the two plans? I think it is a great idea to turn the kitchen and dining room into one room though. It will give you so much more space in the house just my doing something as simple as that.

    Rich @ Litecraft Lightbulbs

  9. The floor plan looks great. Hats off to for the creative thinking.

  10. Your planning is so definitely efficiently! Love it!

  11. The floor plan you have designed, is amazing. I definitely think having three doors for one bedroom would be unnecessary and having a study instead of another bedroom is a great idea, especially if you already have five bedrooms.

  12. Cheryl Jones says:

    I like how you made the room next to the master a study. I think it’s important for the master to have a little space from the other bedrooms. I also like how you walk in to see the large family room directly in front of you. Great design!