Post details: Master Suite Options

02/18/05

Permalink 06:01:10 am, Categories: Articles, 341 words   English (US)

Master Suite Options


Former builder, home designer, and planning consultant Peter Jeswald assesses the ups and downs of a house with a main-level master suite.

Master SuitesMain-Level Master Suites
Main-level master suites will be on many homeowners' "must have" lists in the coming decade. Young couples find that the convenience of a main-level bedroom fits their fast-paced lifestyles. Parents with teenage children may yearn for a refuge from the noisier side of adolescence. Empty nesters no longer see the need for cumbersome two-floor living. Retirees enjoy and sometimes require the ease afforded by main-level master suites.

However, incorporating a main-level master suite into the floor plan of a standard two-story home presents unexpected challenges. The distribution of floor space among rooms has, over the years, achieved a practical balance between the two levels. Space on the main level for shared rooms -- the kitchen and the dining, living, and family rooms -- matches the space required upstairs for private bedrooms and bathrooms.

Master bedroom suites may consume one-third to one-half of the upstairs space, so redesigning a house plan to move something this size to the main level is difficult. The most obvious problem is the extra space created upstairs. Turning it into a guest bedroom, office, or playroom may add unnecessary rooms that drive up building costs. Relocating spaces such as a family room to the upstairs makes a frequently used space that much harder to reach, partially undoing the ease-of-use benefits of having a downstairs master bedroom.

The main level suffers the opposite problem: Space gets tight for the rooms you use most often, or there just isn't enough room to incorporate a full-size master suite containing all of today's amenities.

One solution is to design the master suite as a wing off the main body of the house. However, this expanded footprint may require either a larger lot or sacrificing yard space. An alternative to a master suite wing would be to carve space from other downstairs rooms to make space for the master suite.

Better Homes and Gardens

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