(Closed) Building a Home – is there anything that you wished you had added…

posted 5 years ago in Home
Post # 3
1134 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

main floor laundry( hate going to basement for laundry)

You can never have enoug kitchen cabinets

Jazcuzzi style tub in master bath

( i have never built a house but if i did i would include this)

Post # 4
1566 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I wish I had forced the builders to listen about where to put our refrigerator…

I wish we would have had them finish the basement….

I wish they would have use pre-poured walls, and not wet set walls in the basement…

Post # 6
1815 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall

Make sure your cabinets are deep enough for your biggest plates, and kitchen drawers are deep enough to hold a full set of measuring cups. I cannot believe I ran into those problems in the house we just bought ~_~

Edit: And make sure there is a space for a towel rack in the master bath! Whoever designed our house was dumb! But we’ve figured some quick fixes at least.

Post # 7
2276 posts
Buzzing bee

We’re actaully meeting with a builder tonight for an info session (SCARY!) the things i would like to see if/when we build are:

– furnace vents in the corner of the room (or somewhere other than under the center of the window, basically where EVERY piece of furniture should go lol)

– an extra outlet in the bathroom thats not above or right beside the counter. I love to be able to have a scentsy warmer or a flat iron plugged in, but I hate the clutter on the counter.

– main floor laundry (if possible)

– an entryway. Like an actaul entryway, not just a door in a hallway with a closet.

– A pantry. i would kill for a pantry… i think I have a weird fascination…

I would love to hear whats on your list if you’re willing to share!

Post # 8
2808 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

  • an outlet in the closet, so i can charge a vacuum
  • a completely finished basement (i have always had at least a partially finished basement, so when we buy/build, i will want a fully finished basement)
  • outlets along the kitchen counter for appliances
  • outlets on the outside of the house, for christmas lights
  • programmable thermostats in the house, for heat and a/c
  • a garbage disposal in the kitchen
  • a big tub in the bathroom for soaking
  • hanging space above the washer & dryer

there’s loads of ideas here: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg0418014712443.html i found that link on pinterest.

Post # 9
2616 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

more then one faucet outside— so the house we bought we didnt ever notice til it was summer time and no rain— the one faucet for hoses- is in the garage next to a sink…. we had to buy extra long hoses to water the yard- we also have a sprinkler system we cant turn on because there is no control panel ANYWHERE!!! we cant water the yard in the back because there is no way to get water through the garage to the back….


i would have liked a mud room– we have shoe racks at the front door and garage door but not enough room for back packs and coats..


outlets in the closet is a great idea.

Post # 10
11272 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@amandasouthcarolina:  i have built custom homes in the past and actually am currently building another one.  just remember, you will never have the perfect home (unless you want to spend $20million). 

when it comes to upgrades, you can go wild.  unless money is no object, you will need to choose which upgrades will be best.  i would suggest selecting the upgrades that won’t be easy to do later.  example:  hardwood floors or granite counters?  well, changing all of your flooring is a huge undertaking afterwards.  changing a counter top is pretty easy and less evasive.

what are your “must haves”?  make a list and prioritize them.  you may need to compromise.

what rooms do you use a lot?  do you like to entertain?  make sure that those rooms are large enough to accommodate your needs and furniture.

your kitchen layout is key.  i hate corner cupboards.  they are the equivilant to the black hole.  i opt to make the corner an angled walk in pantry.  it’s perfect. 

resale.  even though you are building to suit your needs, still keep this in mind.  kitchens and master suites (ensuite, w/i closets) sell houses.  even consider adding a couple extra feet to the garage.  this will entice the male buyer.

if your house has a basement and you think you may want to finish it at some point, find out how much it would cost for the builder to finish it vs doing it later.   it may be cheaper and you won’t have to put up with the mess and dust later.

my must haves:  large kitchen with lots of cupboards and drawers (no corners), walk in pantry, large master suite, lots of closet space throughout the house.  my needs have definitely changed over the years but these remain the same in every home.

op, when is your new home going to be ready?  this is so exciting for you.  have you selected a lot already?

Post # 11
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’ve never built a house (or bought one for that matter) but I’d like the following:

Master bathroom with a large garden tub & his/her sinks.

Bookshelf built-ins flocking either side of a fireplace

Built-ins for display stuff in the dining room as well

Lots of windows for maximum light

  —- a large one so you can see my Christmas tree lit up in all it’s glory from outside

At least 3 bedrooms

A seperate office space 


Finished basement for a big family room

Laundry room on the main floor where the bedrooms are (or at least out of the basement)

Pantry (!!!!!)

Kitchen island w/small prep sink

I’ve also seen people build in an area where their microwave can go so it’s off the counter — I think I’d try and do that too

Decent sized yard — have the builder fence it in

Paved driveway

Wood floors throughout and like @mypinkshoes:  said…if I had to choose between fancy countertops or wood floors I’d splurge on my floors and deal with a cheaper countertop.  I don’t even know that I would get granite to be honest.  I’d need to research some more but I hear it can be quite a pain to maintain.  Also, consider the flooring finish — do you have pets?  Try and ask what finish would show less scratches/wear and tear from animals =)

*** Watch HGTV to get ideas, lol

Post # 12
1345 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Vine Street Church

We’re renovating right now after living in our house for three years, so we’re getting to add the things we’ve wanted like more windows, a proper fireplace (it had a dangerous wood burning stove in it), a media room, floor storage, a heat pump HVAC unit, hardwiring the entire house with Internet, setting up a server, replacing the tubs with nicer showers, building a chicken coop, building a ton of raised gardens, replacing gutters, et cetera.

In the past, when I was growing up and we built two houses, the things I liked about the house we customized entirely were the fireplaces, two dishwashers, two ovens, two refrigerators, media room, large gazebo, detached apartment over the garage (awesome for sleepovers so we wouldn’t keep my parents awake in the main house), portico with an observation deck for using our telescopes (we lived in the middle of nowhere, so it was great for stargazing), exercise room with cool-off deck, craft room, safes sunk into the foundation, stacked closets on all three floors that would allow for an elevator to be installed later if needed, a geothermal heating/cooling system (no HVAC units to make noise so you could hear all of the nature that surrounded us), lots of gardens, a retractable clothesline, a library… it was pretty much the best house ever.

Post # 13
14495 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’d want individual drawers for my pots and pans.  We have huge deep drawers which is not bad too, but when you need something at the bottom is a pain in the ass.

I second the towel rod space, it’s shocking how many homes didn’t have a spot for it!

Lots of windows to let in light is great…. until you realize you have no wall space to hang anything!  Make sure there’s a balance.  Our house almost has too many windows.  I love to display pictures and I have no walls to put them!

Do you have a basement? does it have a sump pump?  Wire for a generator if you’re in a area where power loss can be a problem.

Post # 14
881 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would recommend paying for structural upgrades that can’t be added later.  We were thinking of building a house and looked at a ton of different builders and floorplans.  We got pregnant though so we decided rather than wait til the house was built and move while I was pregnant we would buy a resale.  We managed to find a resale in a neighborhood that was still being built so it was te best of both worlds.  Here are my suggestions:


Resale is huge.  I know this house is your dream house and you plan to be there forever but we can’t predict the future and you never want to lose money on your house if it won’t sell.  Kitchens, bathrooms, and anything that adds square footage to your house will hold its value.

For basements, I would pay the upgrades to get a window or at least an egress window put on the bedroom in the basement (if there is one).  It is only a legal bedroom if it has a closet and window (either full-size window for walkout basements or an egress with ladder for fire escape purposes for walk-up basements, those tiny windows they put in do not count).  This can’t be added later and adds a lot of value to your house. 

I would also recommend trying to do a walkout basement if possible.  It costs more money but it lets so much more light in the basement and makes it feel less like a dungeon and more like an additional level of your home. 

This may be a regional thing as I was not familiar with it when I moved here but I would add ceiling lighting to all bedrooms.  In our house you have to plug a lamp into an outlet to get light in the rooms so we are planning to have this added.  Probably cheaper and easier to have the builder do this when they build the house.

My favorite thing about our new house is the kitchen cabinets.  Whoever built the house originally spent money here to get the custom cabinets with drawers that pull all the way out, racks inside cabinets you can pull out to access pots and pans more easily, a built-in spice rack feature, etc.  It is sooo nice to have easy access to all of our cookware.  i have never had this before so I probably wouldn’t have known to do it but now that I have it I can’t imagine going back to pulling all the pots out of a cabinet to get to one in the very back.

Laundry on main floor is huge!  Ours is on the bedroom level which works great.  In our townhouse it was in the basement and bedrooms for 2nd floor so it was a pain.  One tip: Pay attention to which side they put the washer/dryer on in your laundry room.  For some reason the builder put our dryer on the left and the washer on it’s right, but most washer/dryer doors are made expecting the washer on the left and the dryer on the right.  Ours get in the way of each other when you try to throw things from the washer into the dryer.

Last word of caution, the design center options (which flooring, bathroom fixtures, etc.) can get pricey fast.  Most of these design elements are nice, but will not give you a good return on investment when you go to sell your house.  For instance, the people who built our house put in a very expensive level granite countertop.  It’s beautiful, but at the end of the day buyers just want to know that the kitchen has granite, so they aren’t going to pay you more money because you picked a nicer style.  Not a huge problem if you stay in your house a long time and certainly do what makes you happy but keep this in mind when picking these options are you can end up with a much more expensive house than you planned for!

Hope this helps.  Congrats on the house that is so exciting!


Post # 16
4432 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Not building, but if I were, it would be awesome for a room to have a built in bench underneath a large window in the bedroom.  I love that!

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