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Designing a New Build Home - Must Haves?

6,344 Views | 48 Replies | Last: 20 days ago by Boat Shoes
Boat Shoes
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AG
We're beginning to craft our "wish list" to eventually take to the architect/builder to help design our new home. What are some of the must haves and features you cant live without in your home? Any advice on things to stay away from? Thoughts on construction materials, build quality also appreciated. This thread on the Food & Spirits board has been helpful regarding kitchens.

https://texags.com/forums/67/topics/3046448/1

Also cross posted on the Home Improvement board.

Thanks!
Bill Robbins
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Wood burning fireplace with a hearth you can sit on.
Pot-filler over the stove.
Connecting door between master closet and laundry room.
Outdoor kitchen.
Storage, storage, and more storage.
pdawg10384
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Plugs. Everywhere. Closets, hallways, stairs, way more than you would think.

If 2 story and you have kids/dogs/grandkids, have a built in gate for the stairs.

Unfinished room to use for storage. Not much extra cost if done upstairs (framing and insulation is about it)

His and her closet or at least a huge closet with obvious divide

Large master shower with at least 2 shower heads

Dont underestimate windows. Nice big windows can make a room have a whole different feel

Wide plank wood floors

3 car garage (tandem is preferred)

Groin vault ceilings are really cool, can be done downstairs, and dont add much cost at all. Add brick to groin vault ceiling for really cool look

10-12' wide islands are impressive

The Western Door systems are pretty cool for back patio access

Currently building our third house. Have lived and learned for sure. There is a really long thread over on Houzz you can google of people giving their thoughts on must have. Good luck
thann07
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Make sure the garage is deep enough and wide enough for at least an F250, if not bigger.
saltydog13
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Spray foam insulation
Oversized 3 car garage deep enough to fit a long bed truck in
Wood stove
PFG
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Quote:

Wood burning fireplace with a hearth you can sit on.

This is the incorrect answer.

Floor hearth. So you can sit next to your fireplace. In a comfy chair.

No one wants to sit on a heath. Its hard, uncomfortable, and gets too warm when the fire is roaring.

It takes some planning, but the floor hearth FTW.
Diggity
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Plugs everywhere sounds like an eyesore unless you can hide them.
PFG
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http://trufig.com/
The Dog Lord
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Diggity said:

Plugs everywhere sounds like an eyesore unless you can hide them.

I currently live in an older home with very few plugs. I'd rather take the eyesore (although I'd still do my best to make them as unobtrusive as possible).
DannyDuberstein
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Diggity said:

Plugs everywhere sounds like an eyesore unless you can hide them.


As long as they are blended in well, I think plugs are the kind of thing our eyes are just trained to ignore.
agsalaska
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a mud room
Section327Ag
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Zoned hvac. Extra cost is low during construction, royal pain and expensive to retro.
one MEEN Ag
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PFG said:

http://trufig.com/
Meh, I think people are used to seeing outlets and aren't bothered by them.

This looks like something apple would pull if they made homes.
Diggity
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AG
A long hallway filled with outlets every several feet looks crappy to me. Might just be personal preference.
IrishTxAggie
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Diggity said:

A long hallway filled with outlets every several feet looks crappy to me. Might just be personal preference.
Is there really a need for more than maybe one outlet in a hallway? I'd assume the only reason to have that outlet is for the vacuum.
Diggity
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I don't think so. Have to balance form with function. There is such thing as overkill
GarlandAg2012
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one MEEN Ag said:

PFG said:

http://trufig.com/
Meh, I think people are used to seeing outlets and aren't bothered by them.

This looks like something apple would pull if they made homes.
What a strange criticism. Isn't Apple known for setting the bar when it comes to design?
Ag97
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A hot water faucet on the outside of the house to wash coolers and large items that are too hard to do inside.

A mud room.

Power outlets under the eaves of the house if you like to put up Christmas lights

A 240 Volt outlet in case you need to plug in an RV

If you live in a place that could lose power due to a hurricane or snow storm, a plug in on your breaker panel that allows you to plug in a generator to run the essentials until they can get power restored.

If you have an open concept living room/den, plug-ins on the floor so you can have power in the middle of the room if needed.

Double doors leading to the backyard in case you have big items you need to get in the house like couches or gun safes that don't fit easily through regular doors.

If you live in a area prone to tornados, a safe room like a closet with reinforced concrete or center block walls. Also works well to put a safe in to store valuables like guns, jewelry etc.

If you live in an area where the ground doesn't cause issues like flooding or shifting, basements are awesome. They double as storm shelters, are very energy efficient, work great for extra storage or a game/theater room.

Extra spots for breakers in your breaker box. You never know if you want to add something like a pool, shop, welder etc somewhere and it sucks to have to buy a new breaker box.


thann07
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AggieAces06
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A few have already been mentioned, but I'll say them again.

Plugs in the eves for Christmas lights. Have a switch inside that controls them for easy on and off without having to go outside to unplug anything.

Separate master closets (this is one of the things we planned our house around)

Hidden safe room. (Not necessarily a panic room, but a room for your safe)

Large pantry with a working counter and plugs for appliances.

A door from the garage to the back porch or back yard area. (That way you don't have to walk around the house or through the house if you want to get chairs or toys for the backyard)

3 ft doors for all main areas, bedrooms and bathrooms. This will allow for full wheel chair access later on (just incase)

Walk-in shower in the master with no lip or step down. (Again thinking of future wheel chair or walker)

Outdoor shower or faucet with hot and cold. Comes in handy for a quick rinse off, washing the dogs, or cleaning large objects.

Make sure your fridge space is large enough for a full size fridge. You don't want to get stuck with a counter depth opening.

If you think you want your tv above the fireplace, plan the hearth and mantle accordingly. You don't want to end up looking straight up at a TV that's too high. Also make sure to have outlets installed during building.

Counter height vanities in all bathrooms.

If you plan a door from your master closet to the laundry room, think about the noise of the washer and drier. We purposely put our laundry room away from the master so we didn't have to hear the noise while going to bed or watching TV in there.

I'm sure I can think of more, but for low, good luck with your planning!
one MEEN Ag
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GarlandAg2012 said:

one MEEN Ag said:

PFG said:

http://trufig.com/
Meh, I think people are used to seeing outlets and aren't bothered by them.

This looks like something apple would pull if they made homes.
What a strange criticism. Isn't Apple known for setting the bar when it comes to design?


Apple is minimalist to the extreme. Form over function. Their headquarters is beautiful, but would you want to live in a home built by them? Everything (and I mean everything) would either be glass, stainless steel, or light tan wood.

Just a passing comment about a wall outlet. Which honestly, Apple would tell you that you don't need that many outlets and if you did - it should be their proprietary version of it.
GarlandAg2012
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one MEEN Ag said:

GarlandAg2012 said:

one MEEN Ag said:

PFG said:

http://trufig.com/
Meh, I think people are used to seeing outlets and aren't bothered by them.

This looks like something apple would pull if they made homes.
What a strange criticism. Isn't Apple known for setting the bar when it comes to design?


Apple is minimalist to the extreme. Form over function. Their headquarters is beautiful, but would you want to live in a home built by them? Everything (and I mean everything) would either be glass, stainless steel, or light tan wood.

Just a passing comment about a wall outlet. Which honestly, Apple would tell you that you don't need that many outlets and if you did - it should be their proprietary version of it.
Fair point, I agree I wouldn't want to live in an Apple designed home, but I do think the trufig outlets are slick.

As an aside, I think I read somewhere that Apple (or maybe it was google) was having to muck up their all glass walls/doors because people kept running into them and getting injured
The Fife
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Media closet with conduit run to places where TVs and speakers will be known to be located. Yes, some things are wireless but interference and walls can play hell with that. Make sure said conduit can handle thick cables + connectors

Include conduit from where your security DVR will go to where the cameras are.

Soffit outlets (switched) for Christmas lights

Finish in place hardwood flooring is vastly superior to pre-finished. Especially if you go with an oil finish because that can be repaired seamlessly without sanding.

At least one high bay in the garage

Deep garage, giving you space for tools, lawn mower, compressor, ... plus however many cars

In-wall aquarium.

Windows with UV protection built in

Kitchen cabinets with drawers instead of doors are MUCH more useful

Water line running to the oven area for steam cooking use

Microwave drawer, this one is a game changer

Heated flooring in the bathroom + electric towel bar

Bathroom ventilation adequately sized for the space and ducted properly (NO flex duct)

Same rule for kitchen ventilation, sized for the appliance (physically and CFM) and ducted like it should be
waltonloads11
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One thing I regret doing is not adding outlets and the cable outlet to plug in my router/internet modem to in a closet. This will there is less wires out in the open.
CaptnCarl
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Lots of features mentioned here.

Nothing in here seems to mention water proofing systems or drywall finish. I've been researching the AlumaFlash system for water proofing. Not sure what type of drywall finish to ask for. Anybody have experience in these areas?

Gas line ran out for a future outdoor kitchen doesn't matter if the house is rotting!!
MAS444
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Great point. I'd also add...be sure to include a roof too. Roofs are important for a good house.
CaptnCarl
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Good point. Gotta have something to hang the mile of Cat6 prewiring from.

Jokes aside - thinking of going pretty slim on the home automation. Maybe some ceiling speakers, but even those will be playing music from my phone via bluetooth. Best Buy is pushing this smart home Magnolia line that looks like it will be hot garbage in <2 years. Thoughts?
MAS444
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We're not doing a ton of home automation either. We're doing wired exterior cameras and a few speakers in and out (but I was even torn on doing that in light of all the wireless options). Doing a wireless alarm system - Simplisafe or similar. My low voltage guy that I've used for years recommends Denon's HEOS system for music.





DannyDuberstein
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Yeah, with how quickly technology is changing, seems much more wise to build as much thoughtful flexibility into it how you could incorporate automation you want along the way vs. marrying to current tech/automation (i.e the conduit approach, etc)
CaptnCarl
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Good info. I was excited to put in some Lorax cameras until skelso ragged on them in this forum.

https://texags.com/forums/34/topics/3051364/1

Even the appliance brands are pushing wifi equipped everything. I'm a millennial, but I'd rather splurge on good doors and windows than features and automation.

All input from those further down the road is appreciated.
SW AG80
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I like this thread.
Hamburger Dan
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A lot of good info on this thread. We've built two custom homes over the years, so here's my 2cents.
Third garage
Safe room / tornado closet, with solid steel door and bigger deadbolts. Ours is built within our laundry room.
Extra plugs everywhere, including closets and hallways, and soffits - (for Christmas lights)
Extra Storage everywhere- our master closet is big, but it also has a 12' ceiling- tall enough for three levels of closet rods.
More outdoor lighting than you think you'll ever need
Little bit Weird, but we installed a television in our mast bath. My wife watches / listens to news / weather every morning. I think ours is a 48"
2x6 framing, rather than 2c4
Spray foam insulation is best
Insulated garage doors
Outdoor fireplace
Built in, Indoor / outdoor speakers
CaptnCarl
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Anybody have a strong opinion on carpet vs wood upstairs? Upstairs is bedrooms and small living area.
MAS444
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I do...I can't stand carpet. Wood everywhere but tile in bathrooms.
wilhunting
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One-story if possible
Mechanical room
Oversized garage/shop
Safe room/tornado shelter
Foam insulation
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