Ask a dozen people what they want out of a new home, and you’ll hear a dozen different answers. Gourmet kitchen? Definitely. High-end appliances? Yes, please. Indoor outdoor living space? Increasingly the answer is yes.
While some things may be predictable, there are other things that you may not have considered. Things that will not only make your daily living a little easier, but that will also add value should you decide to sell down the road.
Islands and Peninsulas
Islands and peninsulas are the workhorses of the kitchen. They are designed to offer a little bit of everything to everyone in the family.
They are great for food prep, informal dining, and adding extra storage for the appliances you don’t wish to keep in plain sight. They can also be designed to accommodate extra sinks or appliances such as a cooktop, microwave oven, and a wine or beverage refrigerator.
Be sure to consider how you will use the island before installing. Would extra light benefit you? Extra electrical outlets? How about access to storage from multiple vantage points?
What we love most about kitchen islands is the flexibility they offer to your lifestyle. It can make your kitchen into the most loved space of your home.
Closet and Storage Space
What’s the number one reason for moving to a new home? The need for more space. Yet as builders, we’ve found it isn’t always lack of space that’s the problem; it’s a lack of usable space instead.
We can help you avoid wasted space and install closets, cabinets, and other storage areas to effectively use every inch of space throughout your home. How about a full-size broom cabinet in the pantry or laundry room to hide all of the cleaning supplies away from sight? Or, an extra linen closet in every bathroom to help store extra towels and personal supplies that take up a lot of room?
Think about what you use on a regular basis. Is there a way to store it differently to take up less space and make it more accessible for when you need it the most?
What would make cold, winter mornings more bearable? Heated floors.
As custom home builders, including radiant heating underneath your floors is easy during construction, and can make a big difference in the way you heat your home. Radiant heating can be added under hard surface areas – a master bath is a perfect place. With today’s technology, you can program it to warm the area a few moments before you rise for the day.
Also, consider adding it to your kitchen. It can allow you to be more comfortable as you fix daily meals for your family, and can also make it a warmer, more inviting area to have family and guests hang out in when visiting.
In many homes, the mudroom simply becomes the front or side entryway. But as custom home builders, we will tell you one of the best things to consider is adding or expanding a mudroom.
Mudrooms are becoming more commonplace in homes throughout North Carolina. They allow you to organize all of the tangible items you use every day, from what you wear – boots, coats, hats, and gloves – to what you take with you – backpacks and sporting equipment. They can also be a great place to store your pet necessities, such as leashes, toys, and extra towels to dry them off before letting them into your living spaces.
Your mudroom will quickly become one of the hardest working rooms in your home. It is important to select durable and easy to clean materials that can withstand daily use. Applying wainscoting will help prevent scratching and denting as family members shed outdoor clothing and move sports equipment to and fro.
Also, use waterproof paint on your walls and trim to make them easier to clean. Linoleum, tile or a concrete floor will work well with muddy boots. It can also make it less likely for slipping when wet.
Have you ever lived in a home where there weren’t enough electrical outlets? Frustrating, right? While increasing the number of electrical outlets may seem like a small thing, you’ll be thankful for adding more during the building phase as you start placing your furniture around your home and getting settled into your day-to-day life. Some of the places we recommend adding an extra electrical outlet or two are:
In the mantle – you’ll be surprised at how many decorations require electricity. It’s a must-have for the holidays. Adding an extra electrical outlet is easy during construction, much more difficult after the fact, especially with a custom mantle or one made from stone.
On the kitchen island – every builder should know that a lot happens in the kitchen, yet surprisingly not everyone thinks about it. The longer or wider your kitchen island is, the more electrical outlets you should consider adding. How about an outlet right in the middle, one that rotates up when needed and lays down flat when not in use? It could be the favorite thing in your kitchen, especially when the entire family is helping out.
Under every window – similar to the outlets by the mantle, windows are perfect places for holiday decorations. Having an outlet nearby gives you easy access to all of your decorating needs.
Bathrooms – needs change over the years. While a toddler might require a nightlight, they soon grow into teens who need an extra outlet or two for hair dryers and curling irons.
Bedrooms – how about including charging stations in all bedrooms for the array of electronics we currently use.
In drawers and under the vanity – instead of having to drag equipment from one place to another, make it convenient by having an electrical outlet that stays with each piece. Installing an electrical outlet in a drawer is great for bathroom appliances. It can also be a great way for leaving vanity tops clear, with no more unplugging and storing items every time you use them.
Outside – don’t forget to include outlets for outside use. Low voltage lighting is great on patios and decks. Planning on adding a water feature some day? Adding outlets during construction can provide what you need without having an electrician back in to add outlets. It can even make adding Christmas lights a little easier.
Lighting is also something that many don’t take into consideration until after they’ve moved in. Yet, it’s essential to every room, nook, and corner of your home. It’s what makes space not only functional, but also enjoyable. In every room, carefully consider both natural and electric illumination.
How about adding a skylight of sun tunnel to take advantage of natural light in the kitchen or bathrooms? Your plans should also take into account lighting over work spaces and dining areas. How about lighting under the kitchen cabinets for ambiance?
As builders who also offer advice on energy efficiency, we can make suggestions for adding in more efficient lighting choices that will help save money on your utility bills in the coming years. LED lights are not only increasingly popular, but offer a wide variety of options as well.
When you custom build a home, you’re building your dreams. Take your time when finding the right plan for your lifestyle and customizing it to make it uniquely your own. As home builders with a long-standing presence right here in North Carolina, we’re happy to give you advice as you finalize your decisions.