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Truth Seeker
Picture of StorminNormin
posted
I am in the process of beginning to build a custom home. This will be our final home and also have a mother-in-law-law suite for my mom to live with us. My wife and I bought 5 acres of land and hired a well known architect to design our home. Right now we are still in the process of approving his drawings.

This will be a net-zero home with solar energy and rain water collection. The builder we have hired is an award winning net-zero home builder.

I am curious if anyone has recently built a home and has suggestions on things to do to future proof a home or anything else. I do not plan to have a landline phone so I won’t wire the home for a phone. I do plan on running CAT6 for Ethernet and also for surveillance cameras. I will also run coax cable for TV. This home will be in the country where I will need satellite for both TV and internet.

Right now we are reviewing the electrical diagrams from the architect so I am looking for any opinions before I approve his drawings. I already have my own questions and changes, but I would welcome any input on lessons learned or knowledge of things I should consider.

Once the home construction gets started, I will definitely post pictures of the progress.




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Posts: 6847 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Dances With
Tornados
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If this is to be your final home, build it with handicap and elderly access in mind. Wider hallways and doorways for sufficient ease so walkers, wheel chairs, electric scooters, etc will spare wall and trim damage. Easy access to roll up to and get into shower without stepping up and over, etc.

Good luck to you.
 
Posts: 8210 | Registered: October 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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Single level living for sure and 36” doors. Let the guests go up the stairs.
Maybe run the cable through conduit to a few places so when technology changes it’s easier to upgrade.
Laundry room near the master bedroom.
 
Posts: 5410 | Location: North GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Seeker
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quote:
Originally posted by OKCGene:
If this is to be your final home, build it with handicap and elderly access in mind. Wider hallways and doorways for sufficient ease so walkers, wheel chairs, electric scooters, etc will spare wall and trim damage. Easy access to roll up to and get into shower without stepping up and over, etc.

Good luck to you.


Yes we have done that. Showers are walk-in showers with a seat and it is a one story home so there are no stairs. I will need to check hallway and door width for wheelchairs.




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Posts: 6847 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Seeker
Picture of StorminNormin
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quote:
Originally posted by 220-9er:
Single level living for sure and 36” doors. Let the guests go up the stairs.
Maybe run the cable through conduit to a few places so when technology changes it’s easier to upgrade.
Laundry room near the master bedroom.


I have conduit planned for my media cabinet in the living room to the TV over the fire place to update any wires, but I wonder if I should run conduit anywhere else.




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Posts: 6847 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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It won’t ever be easier than before the walls are closed in.
Maybe run some from the first floor or basement to the attic too, even if nothings there for now.
Maybe a good secure place for a safe too, on concrete with anchor bolts if possible.
A nice large garage too.
Kind of fun, spending someone else’s money.
 
Posts: 5410 | Location: North GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Seeker
Picture of StorminNormin
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quote:
Originally posted by 220-9er:
It won’t ever be easier than before the walls are closed in.
Maybe run some from the first floor or basement to the attic too, even if nothings there for now.
Maybe a good secure place for a safe too, on concrete with anchor bolts if possible.
A nice large garage too.
Kind of fun, spending someone else’s money.


I will certainly look at a few important points to have conduit. No basements in this area. We plan to have stained concrete floors throughout the house and I have a space to bolt down my two safes.

We also plan to have a one car garage for my mom that connects to her part of the home and a two car garage for our part of the home. I will also have an air conditioned workshop connected to our garage for my ammo reloading. My wife will park her car and I will park my motorcycle in our garage. We will then also have a carport where I will park my truck and the solar panels will be installed.




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Posts: 6847 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would never live in a house without a basement. I would also look at some kind of very secure room in that basement for safety during a violent storm and a place for valuable hobby items. Laundry area on main floor to minimize stair usage.
 
Posts: 1128 | Location: S/W Illinois | Registered: October 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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an abundant access to exterior water and power is easy and relatively cheap to add at this point
 
Posts: 3042 | Registered: August 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Character, above all else
Picture of Tailhook 84
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quote:
Originally posted by StorminNormin: I have conduit planned for my media cabinet in the living room to the TV over the fire place to update any wires, but I wonder if I should run conduit anywhere else.

We built once, and the builder ran a 3" flexible pipe from the street to the same area that electricity and cable entered the house. He said it was for "future technology". Doing so might help someone 2 or 3 generations from now.

The house we're currently in has double coax cable outlets in each room as well as Cat 5 outlets. At first I thought it was overkill, but discovered I can run satellite and over-the-air antenna sources to each room now by swapping inputs in the media closet upstairs.

The previous owners turned a 6'x 6' closet in the Master Bath into a safe room while they were building. It's supposedly built to FEMA standards with tilt-wall concrete panels attached to a large angle-iron frame (confirmed by the building pics the owner left with us). I miss the basement we had in Utah, but this is a great alternative. We've actually needed to use it three times in 13 years, and from now on I won't have another house in Texas without one.




"The Truth, when first uttered, is always considered heresy."
 
Posts: 2181 | Location: West of Fort Worth | Registered: March 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
This Space for Rent
Picture of ugeesta
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Light switch locations. Once the house is framed, walk with the electrician and identify where you want extra outlets and light switch locations. Think about how you enter each room and the switch placement. We did this when we built our first house and changed a lot of stuff. It will end up costing you money but it’s worth it.

Also, if it’s your forever home, look to minimize steps in and out of the house. My parents are in their 80s and are having trouble with the 2 steps in their garage.




We will never know world peace, until three people can simultaneously look each other straight in the eye

Liberals are like pussycats and Twitter is Trump's laser pointer to keep them busy while he takes care of business - Rey HRH.
 
Posts: 4935 | Location: Colorado | Registered: April 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Only the strong survive
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I had a solarium in my house design by Deck House. They used a slab under the solarium with hollow tubing to circulate the air during the day to heat the slab and then reverse it at night for heating.

The roof was sloped to allow direct sun light in during the winter but keep it out during the summer.

I also had in the ground heat pump and that was in 1987.

If I was building a house now, I would use James Hardie siding and 2x6 walls.

One of the things you want to do is do a walk through of the drawings for placement of light switches. Pretend you are coming in the front door at night as an example and are the appropriate switches in the right location.




41
 
Posts: 10521 | Location: Herndon, VA | Registered: June 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Green grass and
high tides
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Congrats on the new house.

I have no idea what net zero is. I do not think I care either. No disrespect meant.

So all your water needs are going to be met through rain water collection? Often wonder about birds crapping on the roof and your drimking water is collected via it?

As you age concrete floors through out the house sounds very painful.

Good luck. That is going to turn out great no doubt.



"Practice like you want to play in the game"
 
Posts: 14091 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cat6 wherever you think you might want a camera, WiFi access point, and so on. PowerOverEthernet solves many endpoint problems.

No less than 36 inch doors.

Any step, add a railing. Even small ones, do it now so it can be integrated into design. I’m thinking exterior ones, mostly.

In your kitchen think about activities like sitting on a stool at the sink, or similar while cooking, and reaching things. Like a dishwasher drawer that is elevated. Stoop for little in the day to day.

Likewise laundry.

Been watching Dad adapt to daily chores.

ETA: external electrical hookup for portable generator to power essentials (fridge,freezer) should panels be storm damaged. Totally dig the net-zero designs. A lot of long term money can be saved with thought in initial construction.


--
I always prefer reality when I can figure out what it is.
JALLEN 10/18/18
 
Posts: 1936 | Location: Roswell, GA | Registered: March 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by StorminNormin:
quote:
Originally posted by 220-9er:
It won’t ever be easier than before the walls are closed in.
Maybe run some from the first floor or basement to the attic too, even if nothings there for now.
Maybe a good secure place for a safe too, on concrete with anchor bolts if possible.
A nice large garage too.
Kind of fun, spending someone else’s money.


I will certainly look at a few important points to have conduit. No basements in this area. We plan to have stained concrete floors throughout the house and I have a space to bolt down my two safes.

We also plan to have a one car garage for my mom that connects to her part of the home and a two car garage for our part of the home. I will also have an air conditioned workshop connected to our garage for my ammo reloading. My wife will park her car and I will park my motorcycle in our garage. We will then also have a carport where I will park my truck and the solar panels will be installed.


Make the carport for your truck a garage. It's not too much more in the intial build but could be used for lawn equipment in the future or anything. A carport doesn't really help with much of anything, truck still gets dirty, hot, etc.

Stained concrete floors are nothing you want in a home. The concrete is always going to be somewhat rough compared to tile and is hell on bare feet and simply not comfortable. Great for Chipotle, but not for a home.


I also would have a backup whole house propane generator. Net Zero is great, but if the weather is really bad in one aspect or another, that is when you REALLY want/need electricity. For example if it rains a week straight, and the solar can't charge the banks enough to keep up.
 
Posts: 18179 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The only thigh I can tell you is ours ended up almost double the price we were originally going for.


-----------------------------------------

Roll Tide!

Glock Certified Armorer
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Posts: 6765 | Location: Hoover, AL | Registered: November 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
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I’d make sure there are electrical outlets every ten feet...to include in the closets...

Our MBR closet is huge and Mrs. Mike can have a gazallion clothes and shoes, but I can’t iron a shirt because no outlet...grrr

You could upgrade the bedroom doors to exterior/fire resistant/solid core before they install them

Definitely walk around with the electrician, we have a half bath where the switch is on the wrong side when entering...it’s a bitch when it’s dark and you can’t find a switch cause it’s on the other wall

Ridge vents on the roof if it’s not a hip roof.....



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 6481 | Location: Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Outdoor kitchen/gazebo? Maybe w/propane gas grill built in.
 
Posts: 896 | Location: Moved to N.W. MT. | Registered: April 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of smlsig
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Until I retired earlier this year, I owned one of the top energy efficient construction companies in the state of VA and have won many state and regional awards for the design and construction.

I would be happy to review any drawings you have and answer any questions as well.
My email is in my profile.


------------------
Eddie

Our Founding Fathers were men who understood that the right thing is not necessarily the written thing. -kkina
 
Posts: 4137 | Location: SML & OBX | Registered: February 19, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spread the Disease
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quote:
Originally posted by ruger357:
The only thigh I can tell you is ours ended up almost double the price we were originally going for.


Agreed. I'm having my home built now, also. Plan for AT LEAST a 50% budget overage.

The more conduit, the better. I'd ditch the coax. TV is going more towards internet based, so the Ethernet cable would be more useful. Give it enough time, it will likely all be wireless.

We initially looked at stained concrete for our floors, but tile is much more repairable and easier to maintain. Your pretty concrete floor cracks, which it will, then oh well.


________________________________________

-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
 
Posts: 14997 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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