The Next Big Project

The Husband and I had a bit of a debate about when we should share this. Now, or when we’re certain the project will get off the ground? If now, today, or wait until Monday, to optimize the number of people who will see this and, hopefully, share their honest opinions with us?

Now, today, won out. We’re kind of excited about the prospect, excited about the possibilities. I’m mostly excited about the space.
Last fall, I shared with you our plans to finish up the attic and turn the whole space into one gigantic, cozy master suite. We planned to do this over the summer. And then the winter happened. When living in a holding pattern, it’s hard not to keep your plans in check. And, well. We haven’t. 
We aren’t going to finish the attic anymore.
We’re going to take the whole roof off and build a second storey. 
I know, right? 
Over the past few weeks, The Husband has been working hard to learn how to use SketchUp and create floor plan and floor plan, considering all our options, dismissing many, starting over, shifting things around, erasing, scrapping, dreaming. Finally, we’ve narrowed our options down to two. 
This is where you come in. We want to know exactly what you think, which one you think is more functional, which one you would want to live with. 
Option 1

 Option 2

Yes, they’re very similar. The changes are subtle, but important. So. What do you think? What do your friends think? Your family? Your grandmother? Option 1? Option 2? None of the above? We want anyone and everyone’s opinions!

0 thoughts on “The Next Big Project

  1. Wow, what a huge decision! Super exciting! As for flow and layout I definitely drift more towards Option 2 for lots of reasons – shorter hallway, better flow, bigger bathrooms! Love all the windows in general. There is one thing I see — when my parents built a second story their guest bathroom was similar and I'd highly suggest flipping the door! By the time your guests will get to the sink the door will already by closed, but they'd have to make a wide awkward loop to close the door before sittin' on the throne. Hah.

  2. I vote #1 – but my completely non-professional 2 cents:
    – is it possible to make the stairs turn to the right at the top?
    – and then slide the walk-in closet down so that it lines up with the corner in the MBR? (like in opt 2)
    – then you could make Bedroom 1 & 2 bigger (by including the hall space)- the closets look small – and I can't figure out where I would put a dresser in bedroom 2 (but it probably wouldn't really have a queen bed in it)
    – then hall would be a straight run from the top of the stairs over to the bathroom (including part of the walk-in closet on your plan) with the bathroom door moving from the top to the left
    – I would consider moving the walk-in-closet door so that it opens to the left- it would give you more wall space in the bedroom – but I'm not sure how it would work with a shorter 'hall' in the MBR

    – if you don't want to change the stairs and make bedrooms 1 and 2 bigger, I would still change the walk in closet – make it bigger so it lines up and switch the door opening to the left.
    – I don't like Opt 2 – the bathrooms look bigger than the bedrooms and there is a lot of wasted space in Bedroom 2

  3. Option 2! The narrow hallway towards bedroom 2 and the bathroom in Option 1 just seems like wasted space.

    Also, I can see the point that Elisa is making about the swing of the guest bathroom door, but if you were to switch it, that would mean that they would have to shut the door even if they were just popping in to do their make up or brush their teeth.

    Could the tub and toilet be swapped?

  4. A second storey – VERY EXCITING!!!!!
    Having just completed our own redo of our master bedroom / bathroom / closet (yes photos & layouts to follow soon on my blog!), my 2 cents would be to minimize the amount of jogs in your walls – keep your bedroom shapes as close to a rectangle as you can as it makes furniture placement so much easier and the space far more usable. For that reason I'd chose Option 1 out of the 2 that you've shown.
    I'd also play around with a few online closet tools ( has a great one) to make sure your walk-in is usable before you settle on a layout. Ours is a similar size to yours, and even with the window we had to work around it's got a TON of space.
    Good luck!

  5. I liked Option 1 as the bedrooms space seemed more functional. Can you consider sliding doors for the bedrooms / closets? Moe later

  6. So exciting! We dream of buying the bungalow next door to us (on a lot that is twice the size) and doing the same thing one day…
    My vote is for Option #1 because there seems to be less space lost to hallways and doorways. Is it possible to flip the small bath and the master closet so that the hallway can be shorter like in Option #2? I might also consider pulling the master bedroom door to the front of the walk-in closet to create a more open landing on the stairs since it is not providing any funtional space in the bedroom anyways.
    Can't wait to see how your plans progress!

  7. Well aren't you miss fancy pants? šŸ˜€ There would possibly be room with the walk-in… I dig it. Any maybe barn-type doors for the closets? Now we're just getting crazy..

  8. I prefer option 2, mostly because the 2nd bedroom & bathroom entry seems a little less awkward than in the 1st. But I haven't spent hours pouring over the plans.

    Good luck with this HUGE Reno, hope you guys can come to a decision without too much stress šŸ™‚

  9. Hmm. Here's me being contrarian…

    I think I'd personally be tempted to do fewer rooms and make them all a little bigger, maybe reclaim some more storage space.

    To start, I'd probably do only one bathroom up there. (I know the world tends to think master bedrooms should have ensuite baths, but do you really want to have 3 bathrooms to clean?)

    I'd also probably debate about whether or not there should be three bedrooms up there or if two would be a better number. They look a little cramped to me, and three bedrooms implies 4 people might live here. Is your ground floor really spacious enough for 4 people? (Maybe it is…Are you thinking of taking out any walls downstairs after you have this done?)

    If you are really attached to all the rooms, I'm pretty sure you can still be more efficient with hall and room layouts than both of these plans. And with the number of rooms you're trying to fit into a small space, working a couple extra feet of hallway or unnecessary bathroom space into usable room could really pay off.

  10. I'm torn…. I like that the master is a bit bigger in option 1. I like that the ensuite has a double sink in option 2. I think option 2 is my final choice. Good luck deciding!

  11. OMG! I LOVE THIS! During a time long ago (pre baby and moving across the country) we talked about adding another floor to our home. Such a great idea, and it will give you guys so much more room to grow.

    Im torn, both are great. I think I like #2 a little more though…. but then I read someone's post below about maybe doing two bedrooms up there instead? That might be a good option as well. Will you still keep the bedroom you are currently using on the main floor as a bedroom? If you are then it may be worth just doing two upstairs and having the second bedroom upstairs be a little bit larger, and maybe you can put in a linen closet in the hallway and/or bathroom to get some more storage space!? This way you still have a 3 bedroom home, all are a good size and you can still maximize storage space.

    Also, if the second bathroom up there is just a guest bath, you don't necessarily NEED two sinks. Yes, in the future this could be someone's family home, but if it a children's bathroom most parents don't necessarily NEED the two sinks, it's just a nice to have. This could save some room and allow you to put a proper closet in if you just have a single vanity. Seriously – linen closets are key – especially when you have guest rooms!

    I hope I offered some decent things to think about! I can't wait to hear more about this whole project! So excited for you guys!

  12. I vote #2, because I don't like the doorway/bed placement in Bedroom #2 in choice 1
    But, wonder if you would consider putting the walk in closet in the dead zone beside the stairs, which would allow you to move the bed to the west wall and leave room for dressing (and maybe a desk or chairs) by the window.
    I also agree with the idea of one bathroom upstairs with entries from either side to allow for more living space in the bedrooms
    Good luck

  13. I said the west wall, but now know that I don't know which will be the front. So, I mean the bathroom wall.

  14. I like option #2. The way you enter the bedroom is better without the little hall and the bathroom is setup nicer. Not the best but better than #1.
    The biggest issue that may bother you is in the master bathroom. You see your toilet when your door is open, it just isn't great when that happens and now is the time to change it. Oh yes in the smaller bedroom if there was a possibility of having larger closets you will love it later on when your children need a place for their treasures along with their clothing.
    Best of luck with this huge renovation.

  15. k, I know I'm going to be in the minority, but I don't get why master bedrooms have to be so much bigger than other bedrooms. We sleep in ours. No TV, no desk. Just sleep and sex, and getting dressed in the morning šŸ™‚ sorry for the extra details. SOOOO>>…. I would make the other bedrooms larger (if possible) OR create extra storage on the 2nd floor (if possible, like a linen closet, gosh, I wish so much I had one!). That's my main comment, I guess. Both little bedrooms have way too little storage šŸ™

    IF I had to choose, I would go with option #1. the two bedrooms are larger, and the bathrooms are realistic size. I seems more balanced and practical.

  16. I'm with your sister. Only do one bathroom, maybe with two entrances and use the space for other stuff. Looking forward to talking with you two about this!

  17. I think you may want to consider only two bedrooms upstairs to allow more room for closet space. In addition, you may want to check your local building codes. If your city has adopted the 2009 IRC, you may be required to have a minimum 36" landing at the top of your stairs. This might allow you to make an open office space, rather than the small bedroom in that corner of the house.

    Also, if you have the space, it has become very popular to have the waser/dryer on the same floor as the master bedroom.

  18. I'm SO excited you are doing this!!! We plan on doing a similar project in about a year… so I'll be so curious to read about how it all goes over at your casa.

    And to throw in my two cents (although I like both), I think I'm leaning towards Option #2.

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