The Ultimate List of “Must Haves” When Building a New Home

You have the chance of building your dream when working with a custom builder. You have probably already made a list of many of the major details you want eg. bathroom and kitchen layouts, fixtures etc. but there are also many finer details that should be considered that will increase the value of your home, make it low maintenance yet high performing. Consider the following 15 features.
Must Have Home Design Features
Georgian Bay Homes
Georgian Bay Homes

Building & Planning Team

1. Custom Pantry Doors and Delivery Package Spaces

With the increase in on-line shopping, builders are creating limited-access boxes with keypad access. These keep packages are safe from both the elements and porch pirates.

Costco doors are becoming popular with the rise in grocery deliveries. They are small fireproof doors that connect the garage to the pantry and alleviate the burden when unloading groceries.

2. Accessible Laundry Room Locations – Second Floor Laundry

Many new home builders are choosing to have multiple laundry facilities depending on the layout of the home. Popular choices are main floor laundry rooms, laundry facilities in the master bedroom closet or even a second smaller laundry closet on another floor for quick laundry loads. The easier the access the easier it is to get the job done!

3. Mud Rooms with Dog Wash Stations

Mud rooms are an absolute must if you have children and/or pets and an active lifestyle. By creating a space by the back door the mud room can be a catchall for outerwear, sports equipment and pet leashes. It will serve as a transition between the outdoors and indoors protecting the outside elements from entering the home. Many clients also include a small shower and drain area for muddy shoes and wet dogs. 

The mud room can be designed to suit the style of your home, whether it is country casual, rustic or elegant.

4. Under-Cabinet Outlets

When designing your kitchen you choose to have your electrical outlets installed under the cabinets so they are easily accessible. Most outlets are embedded in a kitchen backsplash but this may blemish the beauty of the design.

5. Sponge Storage Drawer

The drawer cover under your sink is a useless space and can be converted to flip out for easy access and storage for your sponge. This is a simple feature and alleviates the clutter around the sink.

6. Outdoor Outlets with Digital Media Connections

The installation of plenty of outdoor outlets that are easily accessible will be beneficial when using power tools, outdoor appliances and or plug in decorations. It will rid you of the need for extension cords and prevent any hazards the cords may cause. This will allow you to work on projects outside hassle free.

7. Built In Speakers

Music lovers want the luxury of having their house filled with music. Choose where you want the sound system located in your home and then speak to your custom home builder about the installation of built-in speakers. This will also save valuable floor and/or wall space.

8. Bathroom Drawers with Storage and Outlets

Bathroom drawers can be installed with both built in storage and power outlets to alleviate clutter on your bathroom counters. Personal appliances such as hair dryers and straighteners, electric razors and toothbrushes, and charging stations  can be stored out of sight.

9. Deep Kitchen Drawers

Switching out tall cabinets for deep drawers you will find that kitchen items are more accessible. You will be able to see and reach them easily, and it will eliminate the need of searching for items that are lost or hidden at the back of a deep cabinet.

10. Trash and Recycling Chutes

No ones likes the tedious job of taking out the trash. Ask your custom home builder of the possibility of installing trash and recycling chutes in the kitchen that lead directly to the bins outside. This will eliminate lingering unpleasant odours and ants that can be attracted from garbage that remains in the kitchen.

11. Smart Thermostat

By investing in a Smart thermostat you are able to program your home temperatures to automatically adjust when you are at home and ease up when you are away. With the ever increasing cost of energy as well as need to be environmentally friendly, this can save you money on your bill as well.

12. Double Kitchen Islands

Open concept homes remain the most popular of choice in home design with an increase in the size of the kitchen. If your floor plan and design allows, the latest trend is now for double kitchen islands that can be stacked or side by side. One can be used as a workstation, which may include a sink, butcher block and dishwasher… the other would be used as a seating area for meals. 

13. Pantries

When designing a custom home, pantries are becoming a must have. People want to have their dry and canned goods all in one large, organized and built in cabinet. This results in everything to be easily visible and  prevents the buying of unnecessary items. 

The need for a lot of overhead wall cabinets can also be reduced if you have a pantry, and will allow for clean wall spaces or open shelving.

14. Accessible Home Features

When designing a home accessibility should always be a consideration. One never knows if a family member may become disabled.

  • The following are some things to consider.
  • Can a main floor room be converted to a bedroom 
  • Full bathroom on main floor
  • Ensuring that grab bars can be easily installed 
  • Doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walker
  • Reducing sunken rooms and eliminating unnecessary stairs 
  • Ensuring that a ramp can be installed at your main entrance 

15. Energy-Efficient Features

If energy efficiency is important to you there are additional options that are available to you. Here are a few considerations:

Solar Ready

Having your builder prepare the roof in the  anticipation of installing solar panels will save you money in the future. This is done by installing mounts and the required wiring while building the roof.

EV Ready

With the increase of the sale of Electric Vehicles and the roll out of more green car models a charging system at the home would be a wise investment. You must confirm with the builder that  there is enough electrical service in your garage to have a dedicated charging station. This will avoid adding to your electrical load in the future if you ever consider investing in an electric car.

Battery Ready

Home battery systems  are similar to the batteries that are used to power laptops and mobile phones, but instead ,these batteries power the whole home. They will work very well with a solar system allowing the homeowner to retain excess energy.

Geothermal Systems

You may consider installing a geothermal system as an investment that will benefit you in the future. Ask your builder the possibility of adding geothermal while digging for your well or septic system. There is also the possibility of receiving federal tax credits upon installation.

For More design ideas and upgrades, read about the cost of building a custom home in Ontario.

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