Building a home is an inspiring and rewarding experience. It’s an opportunity to “build in” all the little details that make it right for you.
Of course. anyone who has built a home also knows that nothing beats pre-planning and taking the time to enjoy creating the special places in your new home that ‘just work’.
It goes without saying that everyone has different wants and needs, however we thought it would be helpful to give you a list of items that are often forgotten when planning a home.
Xenith Constructions –’ Don’t Forget The Little Things’ list
Let start with the centre of the house
- Make sure the bench top is not too wide – 650-800mm is plenty – any bigger you may struggle to get to the back of it. Especially if you have a window or splashback to clean.
- Overhead cupboards should be stepped back from the bench – remember if you have cupboards to the ceiling – you will need a ladder to reach the top shelf.
- Recess the fridge and make sure you know what size fridge you will buy – nothing worse than a fridge that juts out into the kitchen walkway – Ugly
- Soft Close Draws – there are many types, some with integrated handles, some with hidden pulls and others with no handles at all. It’s important to know what your preference is.
- Pot draws – instead of shelves, see everything at a glance.
- For all cupboards below the waist – make then draws. You’ll be amazed how this one strategy will improve the functionality of your kitch
- Knife draws – make sure they are close to the ‘working’ area of the kitchen
- Appliances – Shelf, Cupboard or in the Pantry – where ever they are going to be, be sure you have thought about power points – which bring us to the next point..
- Powerpoints – Place them on island benches or pop ups in benches. I feel better more than less these days. However be discrete. Place them close by but out of sight if possible.
- Motion Sensors – These are readily available today and not expensive. Place them in the pantry so that when you walk in the light pops on. Place one in an overhead cupboard or appliance cupboard or perhaps a track light that illuminates the kitchen bench.
- Pull out garbage draw – don’t air your dirty garbage for all to see.
- Importantly – get advice about the best kitchen layout for you. A professional will be able to introduce you to some fantastic new ideas and products.
- Warming draw or oven with a plate warmer – always handy for entertainers.
- Ducted vacuum outlet in kick plate to suck up kitchen sweepings.
- Pocket doors – many people who install them, leave them open – making them an expensive space.
- Last but by no means least – a place for fire blanket and or Fire extinguisher.
We spend a lot of time in the bathroom, it’s worth the effort to get it right.
- Heated Bathroom and toilet floors (for cold or moist climates)
- Powerpoints on the side or inside of vanities for recharging toothbrushes, shavers and hairdryers
- Heated towel racks are a must for cool or moist climates – nothing worse than a damp towel
- Shower – Low shelves for shampoos and leg shaving or recessed niches
- Shower rose height – ensure its not too low – pick your tapware ahead of time so you can ensure correct heights.
- Number of basins and mirrors
- You can even utilize between stud wall to create hidden spaces storage
- Motion sensor night light – for those bleary, late night trips to the bathroom
- Cantilevered vanities need to be specified BEFORE the internal walls are clad to allow for appropriate strengthen and supports
- bathroom fans on timer – switch off after 10-15 minutes
- Rechargeable station in cupboard for handheld Vac
Linen Closet and Wardrobes
This area is often forgotten. Well considered storage space means better use of space.
- Leave space for a full size cupboard for Broom, Mop and Bucket ,Vacuum and Ironing board.
- Linen closet – design more than you need – you’ll need it.
- hink about double hung rods for jeans, pants, shirts. Tall single rods too to accommodate long clothes and dresses.
- Consider a walk-in-linen because you can never have enough storage!
- Where will you store the stuff you only use every now and then? Like the Christmas tree and suitcases? Or the tubs of artwork and baby clothes you’ve been saving?
- Tip: A well designed wardrobe is worth every cent – do your research well before building. Write down everything you store in the wardrobe and then plan how it will fit in the new house. Double hung rods for shirts, jeans etc are a great way of saving space.
- Usb outlets beside beds for phone and tablet charging
- Block out blinds, if you have trouble sleeping
- Keep bedrooms away from noisy areas of home.
- Think about window heights and privacy – you may not even need blinds with clever window placement and heights.
Lighting / Heating and Cooling
A lot to think of here, however essential you take the time to step through every room
- Consider each room e.g.: two way or three way points in hall ways.
- Dimmer switches – save some money – only put them in areas where you want to create a mood or have subdued lighting. Not all lights need dimmers and not all lights handle dimmers well.
- Consider Ceiling Fans (ensure they are reversible for winter)
- Skylights help transform an internal room
- Cupboard and motion sensor night lights
- Blue tooth technology – many lights now have the option of Bluetooth that allows you to turn on automatically or dim to a certain level. This does not require the whole house to be wired for automation.
- Air conditioning or HRV (Heat Recovery) system – now is the time to put in any ducting requirements for the home. Consider putting in ducting even if you don’t have the funds for air-conditioning yet – you can always install the unit later, but running ducting internally can be tricky and in some cases not possible without enormous expense.
- Solar: This area is constantly changing – seek current advice from a professional especially around – hot water systems, batteries and return on investment.
- Pre-wire security system
- Pre-wired sound systems and media rooms/outlets
- Pre-wired generators (if appropriate)
- Consider Floor outlets in open plan entertainment or family rooms – for lamps or charging.
- Multiple External grade power points – front, sides and back
- Keep photos of electrical and plumbing lines before internal walls are set for future reference
- Separate 20 amp circuit for garage with outlets at waist height for tools
- Gas outlet for BBQ or Outdoor Heating
- Pre-wire audio/speakers
- USB connection and power outlets for devices
- Outdoor sink/kitchen for entertaining
- Hot and cold water for pet washing
- Motion sensors for security or front door arrivals.
- Automatic Garage doors (internal entry?)
- Irrigation systems and central control panel – where does it go – the garage can be a great place.
- TV cabling or outdoor TV or entertainment/Summer Movie nights /Video games
- Outdoor lighting. Outdoor lights should always point downwards and be kept to a minimum to ensure our native animals are not disadvantaged – however once a driveway or slab is poured it become difficult to retrofit. Run the cables under slabs and driveways to allow for future needs.
- Build a decent one. Not simply a cupboard.
- Master switch to turn off oven and hotplates – for emergencies
- Soundproofing and insulation – helps keeps the home a quiet place.
- Consider your pets – where will they sleep, kitty box, wet room
- Access and consideration for friends and family with a disability.
Whew, thats quite a list. You’ll find that this will be just one of many lists that you will need while building. It’s a good start to get you thinking. The good news is we have had plenty of experience building homes that people love. So if in doubt ask one of the team here at Xenith.