Is an Open Floor Plan Right For Your TX Ranch House Remodel?

Pros and Cons of an Open Layout For a Ranch House Remodel

After World War II, ranches became a popular and affordable housing choice for veterans looking to expand or relocate with their families. The ranch’s popularity continued into the 1970s, however, in recent years, they’ve been tagged as outdated. Many lack the design aesthetic and amenities modern homeowners seek, including open floor plans. For those seeking single floor living, as a retirement home or as a family home, these mid-century ranches should not be overlooked. Many were built in great neighborhoods and a ranch house remodel can certainly be designed to meet the homeowner’s tastes. At Joseph & Berry, we look at each home remodel project as unique. If you are looking into a ranch house remodel with an open floor plan, here are some pros and cons to consider.

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Open floor plans are desirable

If resale is top of mind, an open floor plan is a good choice. Across the country, real estate professionals say that homebuyers are looking for open floor plans where the family can cook, watch TV and entertain in one large area. Open floor plans also allow for more options to fit the active lives of today’s families, such as creating a large space for entertaining or an open view to the outdoor areas.

Universal design

Universal design a design concept that takes into consideration the needs of everyone and their varying abilities, from special needs children to the elderly to those who are shorter, taller or have different motor skills abilities. Open floor plans call for uniform flooring throughout the area which eliminates tripping hazards and allows for means of assistance to move safely about the space, such as wheelchairs or walkers. There is also the ability to create wider aisles, hallways, and entryways for maneuvering. This is an especially appealing feature for Baby Boomers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who are already looking at ranch homes for the single-floor living. Incorporating universal design into a ranch house remodel will only enhance its value to this market.

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Ensuring a structurally sound ranch house remodel

Not every home was designed for an open floor plan. It is important to discuss your vision with a skilled and experienced design-build team before knocking down any walls. In the past, homes used to be designed as separated spaces. The loss of a supporting wall in a ranch house remodel could cause substantial damage and create significant cost. Joseph & Berry provides design-build services that bring with it the structural engineering expertise to ensure a ranch house remodel is done right.

Too close for comfort

Before defaulting to an open floor plan, remember they are not for everyone, especially in a ranch house remodel. Consider a limited opening of space, such as connecting the kitchen and dining room, if you like to keep cooking and dining separately from the TV room. Some families with children love having a place for everyone to congregate, making it easier to keep an eye on little ones. Others prefer the separation as a way to occasionally get a little peace and quiet. Think about how you enjoy using your home today and consider how an open floor plan might enhance (or diminish) that experience.

An open concept ranch house remodel allows for luxury amenities

One of the downfalls of traditional mid-century ranches is they are not designed for high-end appliances or amenities. Small rooms and limited space can be limiting if a homeowner is looking for a professional kitchen set up with high-end range and hood, wine fridge and a wet bar island. Knocking down a few walls is one way to ensure homeowners have the space to fully realize their vision.

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Joseph & Berry has significant experience remodeling and creating custom luxury homes. With a project manager on site at all times, we are there to answer questions and help guide you through the remodel process, including deciding whether an open floor plan in your ranch home is right for you. Contact us to schedule your home remodeling consultation! (800)-371-8970

The Pros and Cons of 5 Common Kitchen Floor Plan Shapes

The Pros and Cons of 5 Common Kitchen Floor Plan Shapes

Every kitchen remodel is a unique experience thanks to the wide variety of fixtures, finishes, appliances, and styles available to meet the aesthetic and stylistic needs of the homeowner. But while every design is unique, kitchen designers typically stick to five major floor plan shapes when creating a kitchen floor plan. Looking for kitchen design ideas and inspiration? Click here

These floor plans have become standard because they offer homeowners the most efficient use of space and can fit into some remodeling situations. Of course, there are often slight design variations within specific plans. Let’s explore the pros and cons of these five common kitchen floor plan shapes.

The G-Shaped or Peninsula Kitchen

The g-shaped kitchen is the name used to describe a situation in which the cabinetry includes a prep-area peninsula and four walls of storage. It got this name because, on a blueprint grid, this design resembles the letter “G.”

This design is an extension of the popular u-shaped kitchen and is a natural upgrade for homeowners looking to add some additional prep space to their existing u-shaped kitchen design. A g-shaped kitchen increases the number of base cabinets included in the plan and as a result, increases the storage space along with creating a more streamlined cooking area.

Along with the increased storage possibilities, this design is popular because it offers enhanced facility for the home chef by surrounding them with a variety of close counter space options for food preparation and immediate access to cooking tools and supplies. The extra counter space is accessible during the entire food prep process and can make preparing complex meals easier and more efficient. It’s a great design for food prep, cooking, and cleanup with all stations accessible to the central area of the kitchen. This design offers a tighter countertop configuration that’s perfect for larger kitchen spaces.

The U-Shaped or Horseshoe Kitchen Floor Plan

The u-shaped kitchen features cabinets and appliances lining three walls of the kitchen space. It’s an efficient design that’s perfect for freeing up floor space.

The u-shaped kitchen maximizes the use of wall space by using three walls for upper and lower cabinetry and appliances. This design allows the home chef access to various areas of the kitchen without needing to cross the room. If the layout of the space doesn’t provide three free walls, adding an island can serve the same function, but it eliminates the third wall of upper cabinet storage. The u-shaped kitchen is flexible, works in many different styles and the size of the space is not a determining factor. The most critical factor to a successful u-shaped kitchen design is to place the most used appliances within a single working kitchen triangle. This allows for the most efficient use of space.

The L-Shaped Kitchen

A well-established design, the l-shaped kitchen is ergonomically and sensibly designed and has become an extremely popular choice among homeowners and designers alike. What makes it work so well is that it supports the kitchen work triangle featuring specific food preparation, cooking, and cleanup areas. The l-shape design is perfect for smaller kitchens that cannot fit an island or are not large enough to accommodate a g-shaped design.

The l-shape design is timeless and works well no matter what style or decor the homeowner chooses. The name refers to the fact that this design is built into a corner where two walls form a perpendicular angle. It works best and is most balanced if one wall is twice the length of the other.

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The Galley or Corridor Kitchen Floor Plan

A galley kitchen is a perfect choice for homes with a smaller space for the kitchen that features a space with more length than width. In terms of space, galley kitchens can be economical, but if not correctly designed, they can also be very inefficient. This style is typically found in many apartments. While most homeowners prefer more space, it’s important to note that the galley kitchen is the kitchen layout of choice for many restaurants and professional chefs. The galley kitchen floor plan can be an extremely efficient design to work in if the kitchen triangle is properly incorporated into the layout.

A galley kitchen works best when completed with open shelving and fewer cabinets. Closed cabinetry can visually shrink the space and make it feel more confined. A popular addition to the galley design is to incorporate a pass-through window to facilitate moving food from the kitchen to the dining area. A galley kitchen can feel cramped but can be incredibly functional with proper kitchen design.

The One Wall Kitchen

As the name suggests, this design is placed along a single wall. It’s typically found in smaller homes and studio apartments. The one wall kitchen design is often used to conserve floor space and reduce construction costs.

A one wall kitchen has all of the cabinetry and appliances place along one wall. This means that the homeowner must perform all of the tasks of cooking in a single linear space. Because of the limited space, a one wall kitchen will also often contain smaller appliances like a compact refrigerator and range. These appliances have typically separated the sink. Modern one wall designs have become more popular with homeowners interested in an open floor plan. Coupled with an island located directly across from the wall, this design allows more workspace while still providing the open floor plan homeowners favor. A one wall kitchen offers the convenience of preparing, cooking and clean up in one single compact space.

At Joseph and Berry, we can help you to choose the perfect kitchen floor plan to fit your lifestyle, space, and needs. Our designers are very familiar with these five common layouts and can work with you to add the luxury finishes, fixtures, and appliances to create your dream kitchen! If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and you’re planning a kitchen renovation, give the professionals at Joseph & Berry a call! We’re here to help you design a home that will meet your needs for years to come.

How To Avoid Future Problems When Designing a Kitchen Layout

Avoid these all too common mistakes when designing a kitchen layout

Kitchen layout and design have always been part art, part science. While there are plenty of aesthetic choices to make when designing a kitchen, the actual functionality comes down to some hard and fast rules. Every professional designer and design build contractor have at some point had to deal with poor design. Whether it’s due to the home owner’s unwillingness to compromise, or simply an oversight on their part, they’ve pretty much all “been there, done that.”

Think about it for a minute. The kitchen is the one room in the house that truly has multiple functions. We cook, eat, clean, drink and socialize in the kitchen. It’s where we share meals with our families, and where the kids sit after school to do their homework. That’s why it’s the heart of your home and the one room that needs to be beautiful as well as functional.

Regardless of your design style, proper kitchen layout and organization are essential. Avoid these common mistakes to achieve a functional, elegant, and practical kitchen design!

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Obstructing “The Triangle” in Your Kitchen Layout

When designers refer to the kitchen triangle, they are speaking of the relationship and placement of the sink, stove, and refrigerator. This is the area of greatest activity in the kitchen, and it requires careful planning and unobstructed access. The sink sees the most action, and you should have easy access to the refrigerator and stove as well as counter space for chopping and preparing food.

The placement of your sink is somewhat dependent upon your plumbing. If your sink is in an inconvenient location, it’s worth the expense to move it for functionality. No matter what size your kitchen or what shape (L-shape, galley, etc.To) the sum of all three sides of the triangle should not be less than 10 feet or more than 25. If it’s too small, it can be cramped for more than one person. Too large and food prep can be a tedious task.

Inefficient or Wasted Storage Space

Kitchens are usually chock full of stuff! Pots and pans, appliances, dishes, plates, silverware, dry goods and more. It all requires storage and some items like food processors or stand mixers can require a lot of space. Because built-ins can be expensive and overall space may be limited, one major design flaw is not planning for enough storage space. Every kitchen layout has some wasted space, but with a little planning, it can be minimized.

If your kitchen is smaller, consider using extra tall upper cabinets with molding. You can place lighting or plants along the molding to create a focal point. Always include cabinets above the refrigerator. Not including cabinets here is a waste of space. It’s the perfect place to store those large platters that only come when you’re entertaining.

Not Enough Counter Space

One major complaint among many homeowners is a lack of counter space. Considering everything that takes place in the kitchen from food prep, to eating, to homework, plus all of the appliances that live there like the coffee maker and toaster, you’ll need plenty of counter space. Whenever possible, consider a kitchen layout that incorporates an L-shaped counter, or if you have the room, an island.

Inadequate Lighting

Lighting is an essential element in every kitchen. It’s not only about design and ambiance, but you’ll be preparing food using sharp knives and other kitchen utensils. There are three types of lighting you should add when designing your kitchen layout, task, decorative and accent lighting.

Task lighting provides general lighting and should be bright enough to work by. Overhead lights on a dimmer can function as both task lighting and accent or ambient lighting. Accent lighting light pendants or mini pendants over the island or counters can add a pleasant ambiance. Pendants on dimmers can act as both task and decorative lighting. Under-cabinet lighting can not only add a wonderful design element to your kitchen, but it can also illuminate countertops providing additional lighting when working in the kitchen.

Skipping The Back Splash

A backsplash is often a place that homeowners choose to skip to save a little money. Sometimes it’s left out of the planning altogether. This might save you a few bucks in the short term, but in the long-run, it will cost you a lot of time.

The kitchen is full of steam, water, and grease. Putting a backsplash above the cooktop and counters can save you a lot of clean up time and keep your kitchen looking fresh. It’s a lot easier to clean grease off of a backsplash than it is to clean it off a painted or wallpapered surface.

Work With Professionals When Designing Your Kitchen Layout

The best way to avoid these common problems is to work with a professional design build firm. They can assist you with every aspect of your project from the initial design to creating the budget through construction. The designers at Joseph & Berry are on top of all of the latest trends and information available. We work with our clients to understand their lifestyle, needs, and creative vision and then create a plan to help them get there. If you’re planning a kitchen remodel or would like more information, give us a call. We’re always ready to help you achieve your dream!

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If live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and you’re planning a kitchen remodel, give the professionals at Joseph & Berry a call! We’re here to help you design a home that will meet your needs for years to come.