Jump to content

Menu

Building one's dream house


amyinva
 Share

Recommended Posts

We bought a house that needs a LOT of work, and we will end up adding on and remodeling a lot. We are trying to make a master list of everything we would do if we could do it all, then we will prioritize and start chipping away! We will make some changes to the existing house, and we will also be adding on a garage and a mudroom/laundry room with bedrooms over it.

 

I would really appreciate any input, ideas, links, pictures, etc! Anything from favorite paint, where to place outlets I wouldn't have thought of, to whether a central vac is worth it, ideas for storage- I would love to hear it all!

 

thank you for dreaming with me!

Amy

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have been looking at land, at fixers, at "blank canvases" and so on. What we learned when pricing the real fixers was, permits are a beach. :D At least in our city (we are in King County WA). So, my advice is whatever you do, look at the permitting process.

 

And happy dreaming!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Outside outlets (covered ones) are really handy.  You can plug tools into them when needed, which is nice if you want to use a palm sander outside without running a big fat extension cord through a door that will then let in bugs.  But what I love them for is taking cooking smells outside, by setting up a crockpot out there for long cooking times, or by having an electric griddle outside to make fresh tortillas for a tostada bar, or just for a blender for smoothies.  So I think having one at each level where you have a deck or outside entrance or even a little balcony is a great idea.  Also, have some on outside walls.  People tend not to do this, and regret it later on when they have to either wire there, or run extension cords over door lintels, which is questionable safety wise.

 

My SIL has central vac, and the greatest thing about it is that it's so quiet that she never has to plan around naptimes in doing her vacuuming, which makes it tons easier than with the kids underfoot, following her around, dropping crumbs in their wakes, LOL. 

 

Tall enough ceilings in the kids' bedrooms to put in loft beds with secret hideouts underneath them are really nice, and later on the hideouts can become study centers.  It's a great way to use space.

 

I'm not a big fan of those light pipes.  They always look really fake to me, like a space station element kludged into a house.  Even the ones with the supposedly natural filters look that way to me.

 

Double check whether your design will enable you to add solar efficiently later on.  You will probably want to at some point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The kitchen forum on gardenweb is really good. I learned a lot about layout and thoughtful design.

 

I really like drawers in a kitchen and Ikea is an affordable way to achieve that. They are not solid wood but they are much sturdier than cheap wood cabinets. The hardware is top of the line. I love soft close doors and drawers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Listening in, I hope to build in the next couple of years. I'm paying a lot of attention to how we live now in order to build the house to suit, versus some preconceived idea of what it is supposed to look like ( example: I make coffee and tea all day, boil water, grind beans, chop ginger etc). I need a little station for that because currently I mess up the whole counter each time...

Eta: you wouldn't need central vac if you have hardly any rugs, and definitely no nailed down carpet, correct?

Edited by madteaparty
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We bought a house that needs a LOT of work, and we will end up adding on and remodeling a lot. We are trying to make a master list of everything we would do if we could do it all, then we will prioritize and start chipping away! We will make some changes to the existing house, and we will also be adding on a garage and a mudroom/laundry room with bedrooms over it.

 

I would really appreciate any input, ideas, links, pictures, etc! Anything from favorite paint, where to place outlets I wouldn't have thought of, to whether a central vac is worth it, ideas for storage- I would love to hear it all!

 

thank you for dreaming with me!

Amy

Ooooh! One of my favorite subjects! Dh is a builder and built our current and previous home.

 

On the subject of where to place outlets: I am so neurotic about outlet location that I walked through our house and maked every location where I wanted outlets. :D The standard code is every eight feet. But I wanted outlets to fall largely where they would be hidden by furniture. Definitely anywhere you expect to have a lamp table or nightstand, it is better to have an outlet right behind that furniture so cords don't show. My only mistake with this is that you do actually need outlets not blocked by furniture as well, for vacuuming, nightlights, chargers or other purposes. Also ideas I liked: a charging station quad outlet in two parts of the kitchen. DH uses one and I use the other. Also, if you have a mantel over a fireplace, and think you might have Christmas lights on it, have an outlet up beside the edge of the mantel.

 

Central Vac: I personally didn't like it and never thought it was worth it. You need a closet to store that long hose and the attachments, for one thing. I also think dragging that anaconda all over the house is WAY more inefficient than just moving a vacuum around is. I have a Shark Navigator vacuum that has lasted for years; it is much better, IMO, than central vac.

 

You didn't say anything about kitchens, but the one thing I would never have again is dark granite. It is very pretty...for ten minutes after I clean it. :/ I have a light granite in another part of the house and that is what I would pick in the future, if not a quartz.

 

If you live where it gets cold in the winter, be sure your laundry piping is kept warm, either by piping it to the interior wall side and/or with excellant insulation and a heat duct in the laundry room. We have seen laundry rooms added onto an old house in which the piping is very vulnerable to freezing because it is piped right at the exterior door and there is no heat in the addition of its own. Another scenario that is just like this is when people have a garage with a bathroom above it and the owners leave the garage door up when its cold. Well, this causes the piping above the garage to freeze. So don't do that. :)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Think of handicapped accessibility for the future. Much easier now to put in wider doors, a walk in shower, etc. Even if you don't think you will need it now, even a broken leg in the future will make you appreciate it....as will elderly relatives, etc.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like having an outlet in our pantry. We keep a cordless handheld vacuum in there on the charger. Handy for quick kitchen clean up.

 

I like our little pop out drawers under the sink to store sponges. They are vented and easily washed.

 

Love our fans on the front porch for hanging out on summer nights.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We really like our pull-out trash can in the kitchen....right between sink and stove, looks like part of the cabinetry and holds 2 bins - one for recycle and one for regular garbage.

 

Our kitchen has only 4 drawers total, one of them half depth to allow for cutting board. This is a VERY BAD THING. More drawers!!!!

 

We have a counter next to refrigerator that we use for coffee & miscellaneous. Nice to have this away from the sink & work counters. But it needs a couple of drawers to hold stuff!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would want heated floors in the bathroom, utility sinks in the laundry that are nice looking- not utility looking, hoses/outdoor faucets near where I want my flowers, cabinets that go to the ceiling because I hate the wasted space above cabinets that gets dusty, laundry on the same floor as MBR, window seats, and space to put all the electrical stuff that goes into the tv behind the tv (through the wall behind it or something) so it doesn't look tacky hanging all out to the side of the tv. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would want heated floors in the bathroom, utility sinks in the laundry that are nice looking- not utility looking, hoses/outdoor faucets near where I want my flowers, cabinets that go to the ceiling because I hate the wasted space above cabinets that gets dusty, laundry on the same floor as MBR, window seats, and space to put all the electrical stuff that goes into the tv behind the tv (through the wall behind it or something) so it doesn't look tacky hanging all out to the side of the tv.

You brought up good points. Radiant heating, especially from waste heat from other systems in the house, is extremely efficient. Not crappy utility sinks and possibly an outdoor shower area can be super useful - we used ours all the time when I was growing up.

 

And BOO to cabinets that don't go all the way up. It's a dust/oily grime catcher for sure. I HATE that about this house.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome! We built our dream house 5 years ago and still love it.

 

We love our tankless recirculating water heater. That was worth the money.

 

Our south and west facing windows have overhangs (one's a front porch and one's a covered patio/upstairs balcony) that keep sun from coming directly in and that makes a huge difference in keeping the house cool.

 

Our architect gave us so much good advice about lighting, floor plan, outlet placement, all kinds of stuff. We drew the bulk of the floorplan and he did lots of small tweaks and got it up to code etc. I wonder if it would be worth it to have an architect do a "master plan" for you.

 

All the finish stuff though such as picking fixtures, paint, trim, etc was our own research. gardenweb was also a great resource for me.

Edited by Jenn in CA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We bought a house that needs a LOT of work, and we will end up adding on and remodeling a lot. We are trying to make a master list of everything we would do if we could do it all, then we will prioritize and start chipping away! We will make some changes to the existing house, and we will also be adding on a garage and a mudroom/laundry room with bedrooms over it.

 

I would really appreciate any input, ideas, links, pictures, etc! Anything from favorite paint, where to place outlets I wouldn't have thought of, to whether a central vac is worth it, ideas for storage- I would love to hear it all!

 

thank you for dreaming with me!

Amy

 

start with what will be in the walls.  if you are changing the floor plan - do that before finish work.

what's in the walls?

wire?  do you have as many electrical sockets?  can lights? how's the panel - will it handle your electrical needs?

cat5? (think how many devices run on Ethernet, and how many you will add down the road.  wireless doesn't handle everything, and it's slower.)

plumbing?  bathrooms? laundry? kitchen?

central vac?

hvac -  do you want it located elsewhere?

h2o heater? - is it where you want?

gas?

moving walls? 

do those things first.  it will save you from having to rip anything out later.  (and save money in the long run.)

outside -

outdoor lighting?

watering system?

do those before landscaping - and ESPECIALLY before hard-scaping.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a love/hate relationship with our central vac.  As far as suction it's by far the best vacuum I've ever had or will likely ever have.  Ours is going on nine years old and still seems to work as well as it did when it was new.  We've only have one problem with it, and that was due to our not knowing how to use it correctly.  I love that the collection bin is out in the garage and holds a ton and so I can ignore it for long periods of time.  A quick dump and I can ignore it again.  Ours isn't particularly quiet.

 

I hate dragging that hose around with a low simmering but very hot passion. ;)  Quill calling it an anaconda is very apt!  And as she said the hose and attachments take up at least as much room inside as a regular vacuum would.  We keep the hose in a laundry basket and it lives in the coat closet.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entrances are my obsession.

Both of the entrances to my home open directly into the main living space (open floorplan) which is absolutely miserable in the winter.  Pizza delivery?  There goes all the heat.  Kids covered in snow?  Dining area full of wet clothing.

My dream mud room has a drain in a floor that can be hosed down.

 

 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

THings I would think seriously about in a new house:

 

A real coldroom/pantry.  It drives me crazy having to store things in the fridge that would be better in a gold room.

 

Also - dedicated places for things like canning supplies, dog crates, recycling, cat boxes.. 

 

An area for gardening-related work - probably a dry sink near the outside water outet with a little space for potting up and such.

 

In larger rooms, floor outlets.  My aunt had one of these installed in her larger living room, which wants a sofa in the middle - so no cords are required for the lamps.

 

Someone mentioned accessibility.  I have decided that I would really like a front door that is like some of the older ones common here - actually it is a door and a half that opens in the middle.  I think it would be great for moving in appliances.

 

Here is one website I like - in part because my house was built in 1950, and it offers products and ideas that actually look good in the house - the scale is right and just the feel of them - Retrorenovation.  It focuses on mid-20th century decorating, but not so much from the super-fancy architect kind of houses.  Their motto is "Love the Home You're In.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entrances are my obsession.

Both of the entrances to my home open directly into the main living space (open floorplan) which is absolutely miserable in the winter.  Pizza delivery?  There goes all the heat.  Kids covered in snow?  Dining area full of wet clothing.

My dream mud room has a drain in a floor that can be hosed down.

 

That reminds me that I dislike having exposed exterior doors.  I prefer all doors to be sheltered by a porch, even if it's just a small one.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That reminds me that I dislike having exposed exterior doors.  I prefer all doors to be sheltered by a porch, even if it's just a small one.

 

Absolutely.

We have zero coverage, and keep trying to imagine how to create some when both doors have a set of windows above them, with dramatic roof angles. Stupid house!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Absolutely.

We have zero coverage, and keep trying to imagine how to create some when both doors have a set of windows above them, with dramatic roof angles. Stupid house!

We have a think in my city, which has cold wet weather in winter, called the Halifax porch.  Of course more modern houses built from generic plans don't have them, which is so silly.

 

I am going to add some version to my house if we stay here.1-PICT0004-002-834x560.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Bluegoat
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it were me, I'd binge watch Fixer Upper and write down ideas as I go.  If I had a two-story home, I'd have a laundry chute.  I'd like one of those pot-filler spouts over my stove.  My kitchen is far from our main living area.  I would never, ever build a house like that....it is much better to be connected with the family.  Drives me crazier than I thought it would.  I'd do a wrap-around porch.  I'd have a laundry room with space to hang and fold, maybe a long bar with cabinets underneath so I could wrap gifts there.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it were me, I'd binge watch Fixer Upper and write down ideas as I go.  If I had a two-story home, I'd have a laundry chute.  I'd like one of those pot-filler spouts over my stove.  My kitchen is far from our main living area.  I would never, ever build a house like that....it is much better to be connected with the family.  Drives me crazier than I thought it would.  I'd do a wrap-around porch.  I'd have a laundry room with space to hang and fold, maybe a long bar with cabinets underneath so I could wrap gifts there.  

 

Oh this makes me think of something else - I got rid of my dryer about two years ago so now I dry on a line or inside when it rains.  I would love to have a spece that is more ideal for inside drying - probably in the laundry area.  With a ceiling rack I can lower and good ventilation.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I'm totally obsessed with fixer upper! And this is amazing, I'm making a spreadsheet with all these ideas! Please keep them coming!

 

Has anyone had a central vac with hide a hose? I would love for it to be awesome, mostly bc I really want the baseboard traps! :-D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Outside outlets and faucets on every side of the house.  

 

Make every dead space (like under stairs, attic, etc.) easily accessible for storage.  

 

Outlets on every wall inside.  Two if the wall is over 10ft.  

 

Under the cabinet lighting in the kitchen.

 

A pantry in the kitchen.  Shelves that are far enough apart to store tall items like bottles of oil and boxes of cereal. 

 

Hardwood/laminate throughout (that is my preference and the best decision we made for this house!)

 

A covered entry front and back.  

 

Ethernet lines in every room.  We did not put any phone lines in this house though since we've not had a land line in years.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with a lot of the posts above.  We remodeled two fixer uppers and we did much of what is mentioned up thread.  

 

FWIW, A friend of mine did an extensive remodel.  I thought his synopsis might help you.  After the remodel they shared that they had done the following:

 

  1. They went out and took tours of all the houses for sale in their area and took notes, photos, etc. to see what really spoke to them.  
  2. Since they intended this to be their permanent home, they also tried to envision and write down what their needs would be in the next 5 years, then 5 years after that, then 5 years after that and so on.  Anything not really needed for 10 years or more got pushed to the back burner unless it was a structural situation that would be costly to rip out and redo for later needs.  
  3. They checked all the building codes to see cost and feasibility of their plans.  
  4. They definitely added a lot more outlets than are normally put into a home remodel.  
  5. They also did a LOT of research on contractors/plumbers/electricians in the area so that even though they were doing a lot of the work themselves they had someone who could help in areas they couldn't and they also had numbers available and researched in case they ran into serious issues and needed help right away.  
  6. They also added 20% to the estimated cost of everything they priced out.   In many instances cost overruns were closer to 30% but sometimes they got lucky and came in under budget.  Having the cushion kept them from getting into serious financial issues.
  7. They learned the hard way that if you are remodeling one room that is butted up against another room you are not going to remodel right way, make certain that what you intend to do in the room you are waiting on won't require you to do anything that might damage the room you already remodeled (such as electrical work/plumbing/etc).

Sounds really exciting, OP.  Good luck.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Insulation.  Whether you live in a warm or a cold climate, a really well insulated house will make it more comfortable.

 

I'm glad you brought that up.  I was thinking about it, but forgot it on my list.

dd bought a house with  finished basement, but we question whether it was insulated, or adequately insulated because it's cold in the winter. 

 

wiring and circuits - make sure you have enough.  if you're rewiring a room - be generous with plugs. . . .

 

outside -

drainage. is there water in the basement/crawlspace?  do you need a French drain around the foundation or is it waterproof?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I'm totally obsessed with fixer upper! And this is amazing, I'm making a spreadsheet with all these ideas! Please keep them coming!

 

Has anyone had a central vac with hide a hose? I would love for it to be awesome, mostly bc I really want the baseboard traps! :-D

 

By baseboard traps do you mean the sucker up dust pan thingies?  We have some of those with our central vac system, but I rarely/never use them.  I think the only time I've ever used them is when we've had a sugar or salt spill or something like that.  But in general I don't like sweeping due to how much "stuff" (particularly pet hair) it stirs up into the air.  I'd much rather just grab the stick vac and suck stuff up.  If you're a sweeper you'd probably find them very convenient.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We basically did this.  We bought a house built in the 1900's with a 1980's addition.   It was gutted and then redone.   We still need to do the wood floors and the tiled laundry room.   Then DH will build an addition that doubles the house.  I definitely second the outlet idea by figuring out where the furniture would go.  

 

The internet is really an amazing place for ideas.  

 

One idea I came up with on my own is to have a pass-through rod from the laundry room to the master closet.   I am a bit compulsive about my laundry, and anything mildly nice is hung on a hanger from the washer.  So, I hang my clothes on the pass-through rod leaving spaces between them.   Then when dried I shove the whole bunch into the closet.   DH is lowering the opening now so that we can have another pass-through rod at hip height to return empty hangers.   

 

Storage.  When planning the layout I've planned in walls-of-Ikea to be built-in.   For example, the bathroom for DD and guest's with the size and shape that was available, it was natural to put the sink, toilet and tub along one wall.  The other wall will be storage furniture from IKEA.  I forget the name of it.   Less depth than the PAX.  In the addition, the main hallway walls will be built-in Billy bookcases wherever there isn't a door.   One wall of the new living room and one wall of the mom-cave will be built-in PAX wardrobes.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh this makes me think of something else - I got rid of my dryer about two years ago so now I dry on a line or inside when it rains.  I would love to have a spece that is more ideal for inside drying - probably in the laundry area.  With a ceiling rack I can lower and good ventilation.

 

Thank you for this post!  I was reading this thread earlier today, and then went about my business with the day.  Ten minutes after I put a load of laundry in, the dryer died.  DH came home and gave it a going over and says we need a new one.

 

Sigh.  It will be a few months before we can replace, but in the meantime I instantly thought of your post, and I now have laundry line strung up in my laundry room and everything is hanging and drying.

 

It will probably help put some much needed moisture in the air too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No on the central vac. (one more thing to break, and you still have to lug out the hoses, etc, so why not just grab a vacuum?)

 

On outlets, add extras. Take the code placements as bare minimums. Think of where you'd put furniture, especially electronics, and put extras there. Add double outlets behind desks or media centers. Wall mounted cable/outlets where you'll hang a TV is nice, too. I put some inside an upper cabinet area over a desk in the kitchen nook. Great for charging phones. Also, be sure on any kitchen seating areas, you have handy outlets for laptops, etc. My comment to my electrician was always, "If in doubt, add an outlet." Outlets in a walk-in pantry are also great. I even put in a counter top in my pantry and added a couple outlets at counter level . . . just in case. :) 

 

The Kitchen Forum over on Houzz is INCREDIBLE but very intense. Start reading it now, as it takes a few months to begin to absorb the wisdom. Sort of like these forums are for homeschooling . . . that one is for kitchen design.

 

Paints: Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. Whichever has a more convenient store for you. I love SW, but then again, I've never lived near a BM store. Pick ONE shade of white for ceilings and trim. ONE JUST ONE. I forget the name (but I can find it if you want, as I have some in my garage), but I learned that SW has a primer that is perfect for ceilings. You can get it tinted to the ONE WHITE you pick for your house (I did Westhighland White for 3 houses now, and I love, love, love it). It's so much cheaper than "ceiling paint" and it is AWESOME. One coat coverage, too. I do the same color in a higher quality semi-gloss (Duration) SW paint for all trim and doors. LOVE. (Note, SW has 40% off sales for 3-5 days at a time every 3 months or so. Buy your paint then, and you get close to big box stores for MUCH better paint. I bought at least 100 gallons during our construction . . . So saved thousands by buying on sale. 

 

In our laundry rooms (yes, I have two, long story, but my elderly mom lived with us) I had counter tops built over front load machines. AWESOME. HEAVENLY. Totally great. Above my main one, I had upper cabinets on each end and then shorter ones in the middle with a hanging rod for clothes. Great for hang drying delicates or immediately hanging dress clothes out of the dryer.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooh something we did that I *love* in our (smallish) kids' bath. Rather than a wall of cabinets for storage, It's a closet fitted w/shelves, and a mirrored sliding door. The mirror makes it feel much larger, and all the stuff is easy to access yet behind doors.

 

I hate opening cabinet door after cabinet door to look for something.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dream of having an outside outlet hidden in the overhang at each window so I can put lighted Christmas wreaths up each year without extension cords. 

 

I'd also like to add indoor/outdoor LED lights to a house we'd build, the kind with a color changing computer and the flat light strips that are nearly invisible unless they are on.  You'd never have to put up Christmas lights unless you want them on foliage or something, they'd always be on the eaves of the house, but invisible unless on.  Plus, you can change the colors and use them midyear for a party- red, white, & blue for Summer holidays, Red for Valentine's day, Green for St Patrick's, Orange for Halloween, etc.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We walked through a model home recently with a fantastic floor plan. My favorite feature was that the garage opened into a laundry room, which had two exits - one to the kitchen, the other to the MASTER CLOSET! Brilliant! And the master closet opened to the master bath. Of course, the laundry room and master bath were enormous. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

One idea I came up with on my own is to have a pass-through rod from the laundry room to the master closet.   I am a bit compulsive about my laundry, and anything mildly nice is hung on a hanger from the washer.  So, I hang my clothes on the pass-through rod leaving spaces between them.   Then when dried I shove the whole bunch into the closet.   DH is lowering the opening now so that we can have another pass-through rod at hip height to return empty hangers.   

 

 

This is genius.  My master closet shares a wall with my laundry room.  This would be so nice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dream of having an outside outlet hidden in the overhang at each window so I can put lighted Christmas wreaths up each year without extension cords. 

 

I'd also like to add indoor/outdoor LED lights to a house we'd build, the kind with a color changing computer and the flat light strips that are nearly invisible unless they are on.  You'd never have to put up Christmas lights unless you want them on foliage or something, they'd always be on the eaves of the house, but invisible unless on.  Plus, you can change the colors and use them midyear for a party- red, white, & blue for Summer holidays, Red for Valentine's day, Green for St Patrick's, Orange for Halloween, etc.

 

If you had a party you could say, "Look for the house with purple lights".   

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, gosh yes, all drawers for the bottom cabinets. They are SO MUCH more useful. I have 95% drawers on the bottoms. Actually, the only non-drawers are pull out garbages and the "cabinets" under sinks, and a couple of funny corner cabinet things. And some pull out spice racks. Drawers, drawers, drawers are a million times handier. 

 

I have one of those light switches inside that controls an exterior outlet for holiday lighting. Super neat!

 

Also, nearly all lighting can be LED. Super awesome, super energy efficient, beautiful light color, lasts for approximately eternity. AWESOME. Our renovations more than doubled the size of our house, but since we replaced all fixtures with LED (and all new ones are LED) and got generally high efficiency HVAC, etc, our utility bills DID NOT RISE despite doubling the size of the house. It's crazy, but true. LED fixtures are no longer super expensive. The lighting forum at HOUZZ will give you all sorts of ideas, but my general advice is to buy CREE fixtures (or bulbs) at Home Depot, in the "warm white" (2700 Kelvin) range. Super super happy. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The coolest idea I ever heard for a house was on these boards awhile back- a heated driveway! I admit, I would LOVE that- but doing it would require tearing out our perfectly nice driveway. Anyway, it's solar powered and there's heating elements under the driveway, so when it snows, it just melts away. That would add significantly to my quality of life. Of course, we don't have an attached garage. There is a long drive up the side of the house and the garage is in the back. Really, the space we have, we cannot add an attached garage- so every single time we get in and out of the car, there is snow on everyone's shoes. Yuck.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All drawers in base cabinets in the kitchen, so you never, ever have to get on your knees to look for something. No blind cabinets, either, unless they have shelf units that pull out. Because no getting on your knees to look for things.

 

In a two-story house, not only would I want a laundry chute (because I don't want the laundry room upstairs), but also a back staircase that goes directly into a family room/kitchen area as well as the front staircase in the foyer. And there must be a foyer. I'm so done with walking directly into the living room, lol.

 

I don't live in an area that needs a mudroom, but if I did, I would want one. I envision some sort of laundry room (with a chute)/mudroom/entry-from-the-garage/entry from the back or side yard set-up.

 

Pantry. There must be a pantry. I'd love one that is big enough to have a counter and a freezer in it. And a sink. Maybe even a regular-size fridge, with refrigerator drawers in the kitchen to hold items used frequently, such as milk and eggs and cheese and a pitcher of iced tea. :-)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The coolest idea I ever heard for a house was on these boards awhile back- a heated driveway! I admit, I would LOVE that- but doing it would require tearing out our perfectly nice driveway. Anyway, it's solar powered and there's heating elements under the driveway, so when it snows, it just melts away. That would add significantly to my quality of life. Of course, we don't have an attached garage. There is a long drive up the side of the house and the garage is in the back. Really, the space we have, we cannot add an attached garage- so every single time we get in and out of the car, there is snow on everyone's shoes. Yuck.

We are absolutely expanding our radiant heating into the garage, all walkways, and down the driveway when we build. It's a no brainer and a surprisingly simple system to manage and inexpensive to run if you're using waste heat. Designing good drainage to accompany that and not ice dam is trickier but definitely very doable with planning and a little understanding of thermo- and hydrodynamics :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for this post!  I was reading this thread earlier today, and then went about my business with the day.  Ten minutes after I put a load of laundry in, the dryer died.  DH came home and gave it a going over and says we need a new one.

 

Sigh.  It will be a few months before we can replace, but in the meantime I instantly thought of your post, and I now have laundry line strung up in my laundry room and everything is hanging and drying.

 

It will probably help put some much needed moisture in the air too!

 

A standing clothes dryer is a big help too.

 

On the bright side we've saved a bundle in electricity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or a den or other room that can convert when you need it.

 

One of our criteria for buying a house 12 years ago was that if it were a two-story house, there needed to be a full bathroom and a full bedroom downstairs (not a master bedroom). We have that; we use that room as an office, but it has a large closet and a jack-and-jill bathroom (one door in the office, one door in the hallway). We are ready for being old and decrepit, lol.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...