You know all those annoying things about a house that make you shake your head? Well, that’s the last thing you want for your own custom build. Many thoughtful considerations on the front end can save you thousands of dollars (never mind the headaches and inconveniences!) that come with later retrofitting.
Making sure your home is well insulated can make the difference between comfort and discomfort, energy savings versus waste. No matter how effective your HVAC system is, it won’t be as effective or efficient as it could be if your home lacks proper insulation. This is one of those steps that’s inexpensive and easy to have done before walls and flooring are finished and in place, but it can be messy and costly after your build is complete. Ceilings and rim joists between floors can be areas where insulation is forgotten or skimpy. A well-sealed, well-insulated home will be worth the extra couple hundred dollars it takes to do it correctly on the build end.
Homes built a decade ago typically require opening up walls or attempting to hide unsightly cords hanging from wall-mounted TVs. Figuring out the ideal floorplan (or a few possibilities) ahead of time can save you major projects later.
You could even have wiring put in without outlets for places where you might want wall-mounts later on—just make sure to have those areas charted somewhere. You can also include surge protection and extra outlets into your design, eliminating the need for those pesky surge protectors. Kitchen islands can include built-in charging stations and computer workspaces.
If you plan to do any gardening, landscaping, holiday decorating, or working outside your home at all, you’ll do well to consider a few necessities. For starters, you’ll want plenty of outdoor outlets and hose spigots. The spigots, in particular, should be carefully positioned away from main walkways so they don’t cause safety hazards. You’ll also want to make sure there’s a utility sink in the garage or mudroom or a bathroom near an entrance. Otherwise, you risk making a big mess the first time you have to stain the deck or getting muddy while planting flowers in the spring.
Do the doors swing the right way, without blocking other doors or storage spaces when they’re open? Are light switches located at all entrances to rooms? In a well-designed home, you should be able to turn on the light to a room as you enter it and turn it off as you exit, even if you leave through a different part. Especially if you’ve made adjustments to the home’s original design, you may want to look through these details with your contractor.
Other considerations that can save you money later include replacing “builder-grade” fixtures with ones you really like. If you think of changes you’d want to make later and prepare for them now, you’ll avoid unnecessary expenditures and help your new home inch a little closer to the one of your dreams.
D.R. Hartman Construction Company
The Hartman builders (website) provide general contractor services for residential and commercial construction projects in the Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring and Rockville, MD regions. DRHCI provides home remodeling services including new additions, kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels and more. Contact them by calling (301) 926-9000. D.R. Hartman Construction holds both residential improvement and commercial business licenses for the state of Maryland.
From the Hartman builder blog:
- Four tips for finishing your basement
- Cabinet trends for today’s kitchen remodel
- Recession fuelled remodeling trends
Photo credits: Top & Middle © SnappyStock, Inc. / Fotolia. Bottom © Ken Hurst/ Fotolia.