Tips for Building Your New Home – Part 3, It’s All In the Details

by Rachel Laurendeau on November 6, 2012

In the first two installments of this series, we touched on a wide range of topics: construction budget, choosing a contractor, site visits to check on progress, possession dates and even attitudes. In today’s blog, we’ll focus more on the finishing touches and details that can really make your home answer all of your needs.

Below are some of the small, yet important elements that you might want to consider for your new home.

Lighting and Utilities
• Have the electrician put in simple lights in all of the closets. You’d be surprised what a nice touch it is to be able to flip a switch in the linen closet or mudroom closet when you are looking for something in particular.
• Dimmer switches are great for creating ambiance but also helpful when you get up in the middle of the night to use the washroom, tend to a little one or for someone who has a chronic illness. Suggested locations for dimmer switches: dining room, washrooms, bedrooms, media or living room.
• If you do a lot of grilling, having an outdoor spotlight directly over the barbeque is a great way to ensure that your meat is always cooked to perfection. You might also want to have a permanent natural gas line installed by a plumber or gas fitter.
• Be sure to discuss the placement of electrical outlets with your general contractor. The building code stipulates a minimum number or plugs or spacing but if you have particular requirements, they need to be agreed upon ahead of time. Suggested locations for extra outlets: walk-in closet, reading nook, outside within easy reach for Christmas lights or fountains…

Daily Use
• Many of today’s homes are being built with an open concept great room. If this is the case for your home, make sure there is also an extra space that can double as a small sitting room or sanctuary when you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the main living space to read, make a phone call or simply unwind.
• We want our kitchens to be beautiful but they should also be practical. You can deviate from standard counter height it someone in your family is above or below average height. This is most easily done with the island.
• Choose finishes and details based on your needs and likes rather than trends. If you need your home to be child-friendly, senior-friendly or pet-friendly, make this a priority.

Particular Interests
• If anyone in the household has a special hobby or activity that require extra space, ceiling height, storage, ventilation, etc., you can accommodate for this before the house in finished so that you aren’t having to take on home improvements shortly after moving into a new house.

There are lots of big, exciting decisions to be made during the planning and construction of a new home. The more visible and commonplace details often get first priority and then other elements are left by the wayside, even though they are just as important. Think about the details well ahead of time to avoid change-order costs.

Related blog posts: Tips for Building Your New Home – Part 1 and Tips for Building Your New Home – Part 2.

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