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is circumspective
Picture of vinnybass
posted Hide Post
Manabloc for your plumbing. Inexpensive and invaluable. IMO, this has value far beyond its cost.



"We're all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house. Birth 'til death. We travel between the eternities."
 
Posts: 4454 | Location: Las Vegas, NV. | Registered: May 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of SR
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We’ve built twice (due to moves for work). Here are a some items off the cuff….


Electrical –
Walk through the house mentally first then with the electrician. Figure out where you want light switches. For example, if you have a flood light over the garage door do you want a light switch in the garage and one near the front door? My wife likes Christmas lights so we have exterior boxes under the soffits.

Light switches for kitchen and eating areas - Have a switch at each access point that moves to the room. If you have a patio door have a switch at the location for both the eating area and the kitchen.

Don’t know where you live but wire every bedroom and every living space for overhead lights and ceiling fan. Ceiling fans makes a huge difference in the summer.

Someone already mentioned conduit so you can lay out electronics.

Do they still make a whole house intercom system? As I get older it’s harder to get upstairs for a simple question. If the intercoms are not too ugly, it would be nice.

Think about wifi access – do you need extra outlets somewhere for repeaters?

It seems we have a zillion electronic gadgets in the bedroom. I’d think about a few 4 outlet boxes rather than all 2 outlet boxes.

Can they use a trip at the breaker box for all ground fault circuits? It can be a hassle finding what GFI circuit tripped and needs to be reset. Much easier to go to the box.

We have a dehumidifer in the crawl space. The electrician included a 2 plug GFI outlet right under the electrial panel (in the garage). The GFI outlet has a green light so we know the circuit is hot. It could take a long time to figure the circuit tripped if we didn't have that light.

Will you have an extra fridge or stand alone freezer? Consider dedicated line.

Exterior outlets, Wire them like they wire an outlet for a lamp – top plug is always hot and the lower plug is on a switch. (Again helpful for Christmas lights and such things.) If the entire outlet is on the switch you have to go into the house, switch the outlet then go back outside.

Ask the subcontractor for suggestions

Make sure you have a number of open spots on the panel – or use a bigger panel to start with.

If you have pull down stairs to the attic, add a switched light. Switch right next to the pull down stairs. (Or access point if you're not using a pull down.)


Gun safe –
If you have a gun safe now or might have one in the future, decide where you want it and make sure the floor is designed to carry the weight. I didn’t think I’d ever have a gun safe when I built – wrong answer. Would have been so easy to incorporate to the design.


Plumbing
We put in two hot water heaters – before we built my 3 kids ran us out of hot water so I got a cold shower. One hot water heater served the master bedroom and laundry. (We recently replaced both with a large tankless unit.)

Might sound odd but don’t let them use builder grade potties. Upgrade to handicap height and go with quality potties. They are not that much more expensive.

Talking with the plumbing subcontractor – ask what they’d do if they built - they will have good suggestions.

Add re-circulation to the plumbing so hot water gets to the shower faster. Especially if it’s a big house.

Think about exterior sprinklers. We had the builder lay about a 4” pipe across the driveway so we could easily run a pipe for an exterior sprinkler system. We were not sure about landscaping set up so we didn’t do the sprinklers when we initially built the house.

Have a utility sink in both the laundry room and garage if there is space.

Gas vs. Electric –
I like gas. Since you will have gas consider a gas dryer and hot water heater. That said, I had the builder run both gas and electric to the laundry room and the locations for each hot water heater. I like gas but wanted backup just in gas got real expensive after we built. The cost to run is not expensive (before the drywall)


Appliances –
Ask the appliance people what they put in their house. We got amazing suggestions and found some real bargains – a particular dishwasher that was a fraction of what we intended to pay for bigger name that was whisper quiet and cleaned better than any dishwasher we’ve had since.


Drive way – I had them add an extra pad next to the driveway. That came in very handy when the kids started driving – we could park the kid cars there (so they never blocked me when I wanted to get out of the garage) Now it’s nice to have when people visit.

Other
Seal/paint the garage (carport) floor before you move in. Use the best product you can find - you don't want to have to do it again. It's a breeze to clean oil etc off the floor when it's sealed.


Things I missed
Think about moving water from the house. Perhaps lay pipe from every downspout so you take the water where you want it to go. In the current house, gutters were added after the sidewalk and driveway were laid and there are some water issues that could have been solved very easily upfront.

Extra outlets in the garage and using 4 outlet boxes when I put my workbench.

If it’s a two story house and you have access to the attic and crawl space, add some sort of pipe that goes from your electrical box to the attic and from the electrical box to the crawl space. Will make it really easy to run a new wire in the future if you forgot something (of if there is new technology that requires a wire).


Whole house surge protector


Gas lines in the house - what’s the cost of real pipe vs the flex pipe? We have flex, solid might be safer.

Don't use the screw type shut off valve for any plumbing fixture. The screw type failed on our main shut of and I had to replace it. I'd check to see if you can avoid the screw type at every sink. I know you can at the hot water heaters.

On the hot water heaters, put a shut off value on both the in and out lines. We had one that would not stop leaking - had to shut off the main value to the house.

Ask, if it is possible to plumb the house so you can shut off water going into the house but still get water to the outside bibs/outside sprinkler systems. I'd like to turn the water off in the house when we go long vacations but that also shuts off the outside bibs and neighbors can't water the yard for us.

Consider pocket doors - eliminates the required space for door swing. But needs to be planned ahead so electrical and plumbing will not block the track. I wish we used a pocket door going into the master bath and in the second bath (between the sink area and the shower area). The builder used traditional doors.

Switched lights in the crawl space.

In Austin we built from the ground up. After they layed out the foundation and before they poured the cement for the pad, the builder had a pest control company treat for termites/bugs. Never saw a bug in the 5 years we lived there. Purchased current home in framing stage so we don't do this easily on the current house. If we built from ground up I'd look at having termite treatment done now - will reduce bugs in long run and might not be that expensive. If they need to trench, they'll have better access.




Speak softly and carry a big stick loaded Sig
 
Posts: 4368 | Location: Raleigh, North Carolina | Registered: September 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
Picture of HRK
posted Hide Post
Lots to digest, if it wasn't mentioned consider having the Cat5 run to places you'd like to install exterior or even interior cameras for security and boxes for the cameras to mount.

Agree with the concept of electrical outlets and switches, and if you have a garage, add extra 4 position outlets for running multiple things like charges etc and be sure to run a TV coax and internet connection to the garage.

Consider a whole house fan system, they are great substitutes for cooling the house especially at night crack some windows and create a great breeze.

Cigar humidor and scotch storage facility on back porch too...



"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 13948 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Seeker
Picture of StorminNormin
posted Hide Post
Thanks everyone for input so far. I feel good because there are a lot of things we are doing and then I am also getting a lot of ideas to consider.




NRA Benefactor Life Member
 
Posts: 6842 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Facts are stubborn things
Picture of armedprof
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We custom built our house last year. Moved in in June 2018. Similar story to you, last house, ranch, almost no steps, and mother in law suite.

Couple things that have not been mentioned:

Solid wood interior doors . It is not much more money and definitely changed the feel of the house.

Insulate the interior bedroom walls. With everything on one level, it makes going to bed early or sleeping in much better.

We did a three car attached garage. I wish we did a four car. You never have enough garage space.

Have you electrician install outlets with usb ports much better for plugging in your devices.

Soft close cabinets and drawers are awesome.

We added a dedicated plug for the garage fridge and freezer.

Biggest pantry you can get

We added a coffee bar in our kitchen. It was a great idea. We have the keurig for the weekdays and a fancy machine for the weekends. All set up to look cool too.

Pot filler at the stove.

Work sink in the garage for cleaning up all the yucky stuff you don't want in the kitchen...

Pay attention to your vents and how you will live in the house. You don't want cool air blowing on you in the family room or in the bathroom.

Hose bib in the garage. Makes cleaning so much easier.

We did 9 and 10 foot ceilings. 9 foot in the bedrooms. If you do that, get taller windows. We love all the light in the house during the day.

Make sure you enjoy the process. It is not easy but you get to decide if it is fun...

Good luck.





Do, Or do not. There is no try.
 
Posts: 1534 | Location: Charlotte, NC | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
might want to consider this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOSelUK6dpQ

energy recovery generator

and this:
geo thermal heat /cool
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY3oGlgZRgI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Tbsx3R2T8

How long are you intending to use the home ?
8 years 12 years ? 20 years?

the reason I ask,
Sam and sally built their "last" home at the age of 61.

Sally died at 66 , it's been up for sale now for 4 1/2 years because they built it for them and them alone.

Sam moved out 2 1/2 years ago , but he has been renting out the giant detached garage for taxes and utilities.

they did not consider any resale aspects,they have lowered the price three times.

and definitely
this:
https://www.youtube.com/result...le+hous+water+filter

whole house filter.

my sibling loves to get the monthly bill that is
2/3rds less than it used to be, since installing
his geo thermal system.

the plan around here is:
the farther out you live , the bigger the garage you need. especially for re-sale,





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 48640 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Unmanned Writer
Picture of LS1 GTO
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by StorminNormin:
Thanks everyone for input so far. I feel good because there are a lot of things we are doing and then I am also getting a lot of ideas to consider.


I get to deal with contract language on a weekly basis. A ccouple points:

If it's not in writing, it doesn't exist. If the builder promises you a platform to set and raise the washer and dryer, the requirement to build one does not exist unless it's in black and white


If it's a fluid description, whoever has the most money for a fight in the court system will likely be right. Your definition of a "large" patio and the builder's definition of a large patio (and the costs associated with 1.5 yards of concrete vs 0.5 yds) may not be the same and should be in writing.

The "gentlemen's agreement" for the buyer to be informed and scheduled a time to inspect the home at certain milestones (electrical and data cable install) does not have as much strength when it comes to removing all the newly installed drywall as it would if said inspections were noted in either the Statement of Work and/or the contract.







Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.


Help, I'm having premonitions of future flashbacks.

Only in an insane world are the sane considered insane.

Some people listen to the noise of the world,
And some people listen to the quiet.

"All Californians, like all citizens of the United States, have a fundamental Constitutional right to keep and bear common and dangerous arms. The nation’s Founders used arms for self-protection, for the common defense, for hunting food, and as a check against tyranny." Judge Benitez - March 2019
 
Posts: 10935 | Location: It was Lat: 33.xxxx Lon: 44.xxxx now it's CA :( | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bookers Bourbon
and a good cigar
Picture of Johnny 3eagles
posted Hide Post
Lot of darn good recommendations here. I would reinforce the the idea for water system manifold system. I ordered our last build with one. Second, if possible, have room in the kitchen for a reverse osmosis system and make sure a second line to it is added for the refrigerator.



Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is understanding that the other person is a complete idiot.
 
Posts: 4473 | Location: Arkansas  | Registered: November 06, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Rumors of my death
are greatly exaggerated
Picture of coloradohunter44
posted Hide Post
Definitely a 3 or 4 car garage. Lots of storage space too, you can never have enough. A separate door for entering the garage from the front, so you don’t have to open the big doors every time. Go visit some model homes and see what all the newest features are.



"Someday I hope to be half the man my bird-dog thinks I am."


 
Posts: 9411 | Location: Colorado  | Registered: July 23, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of steve495
posted Hide Post
I'm not sure if these have already been mentioned.

Hardwired alarm system as it is inexpensive to do when the sheetrock is not up. I would have put hidden sensors on the top and bottom window sashes. Since we did it after the fact, only have hidden sensors on the lower sash.

A light switch in the master BR that when on, activates all of the exterior lights.


Steve


Small Business Website Design & Maintenance - http://spidercreations.net | OpSpec Training - http://opspectraining.com

Evil exists. You can not negotiate with, bribe or placate evil. You're not going to be able to have it sit down with Dr. Phil for an anger management session either.
 
Posts: 4546 | Location: Windsor Locks, Conn. | Registered: July 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
In the yahd, not too
fah from the cah
Picture of ryan81986
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by steve495:
I'm not sure if these have already been mentioned.

Hardwired alarm system as it is inexpensive to do when the sheetrock is not up. I would have put hidden sensors on the top and bottom window sashes. Since we did it after the fact, only have hidden sensors on the lower sash.


Yep, even if you don't plan to use it now, run the wiring in case you decide to later. Same with alarm tied in smoke and CO.

And one thing I don't think has been mentioned yet is put in a home fire sprinkler system. For new construction it is only 1-1.5% of the total building cost on average, but it's good security. New homes can burn down just as easy if not easier than older homes.




 
Posts: 5709 | Location: Metro West, MA | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
thin skin can't win
Picture of Georgeair
posted Hide Post
Some great suggestions.

One I plan on, picked up from neighbor’s build and to never see top of ladder/gutter again.

If your roofline is relatively simple and without a lot of valleys channeling huge volume of water, skip gutters wherever possible. Instead add rip rap or similar large stone just beyond drip line. Water running off in rain and storms lands there and if properly based with smaller rock will last forever.



You only have integrity once. - imprezaguy02

 
Posts: 9884 | Location: Madison, MS | Registered: December 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
If you see me running
try to keep up
Picture of mrvmax
posted Hide Post
Watch this guys videos, he’s got great info on building properly.

https://m.youtube.com/user/MattRisinger
 
Posts: 2837 | Location: Friendswood Texas | Registered: August 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
a dedicated Linen closet in a hall way , is the number 1 want list item for the girls in the sewing club.

in the 70's and 80's a huge number of homes were built w/o a linen closets.

for bed linen's, kitchen and bath linens,
so now you are taking up floor space with extra dressers for all the towels , sheet's and such.

25 cubic feet of closet will make you a hero with the spouse and the next buyers.





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 48640 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
Where in Texas? Have you considered a safe room for tornadoes that could double as a walk-in gun safe, storage for valuables, papers, etc?

I’d avoid tile floors. I hate grout. And no tile in showers period. Go with faux marble.


Look into laminate wood floors. I’ve seen some that look just like wood.

Have you considered the foundation? Have an engineer design and approve it. Have piers drilled down to bedrock if possible - consider the clay content of your soil.

Pay attention to the roof design and how water comes off the roof. Make sure no large amounts of water can funnel into a single point. Also a simpler roof design will cost less to replace shingles when the hail beats up your roof. Also watch out for the boots? around the vents on your roof. To cut costs roofers will use cheap plastic like boots that will crack and leak in a few years.

I’ve had two custom homes built. Your builder is only as good as his subs. Ask how long he’s had his subs and who will be the onsite supervisor.

Are you doing a builders loan? Let the banks take the risks with large sums of money. If something happens to the builder you won’t be left hanging with your cash in the builders bank. Shit happens.
 
Posts: 3679 | Location: Texas | Registered: October 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
both gas and electrical hook ups behind the stove and the cloths dryer





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 48640 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Seeker
Picture of StorminNormin
posted Hide Post
I am a huge believer in an alarm system so the house will get wired for a monitored alarm system and also have a full IP camera system.

Our house will be between Bastrop and Elgin, TX. We have a meeting this Thursday with the builder to discuss the expected budget so that will let me know if we can add things or if we need to cut things.

We will have a rainwater collection system so roof runoff is not a concern. The rainwater collection will be the sole water for the entire home and gets filtered and treated to be potable water.

As of now we plan on having concrete floors. The homes I have seen they did the floors are great and have a nice gloss smooth coating. This is one area we are trying to reduce cost by not putting in some type of flooring.

Everything is very fluid right now as we are so early in the design process. I have a huge list of changes and questions for the architect based on a lot of responses here. I will be sending all of my feedback to the architect tomorrow and then the meeting with the builder on Thursday to cover the budget.

We just put down the deposit for the septic company to get the ball rolling. We will be going with an aerobic septic system. I would prefer a conventional septic system, but it costs more and would require us to remove or destroy a lot of trees. Our property is heavily wooded.




NRA Benefactor Life Member
 
Posts: 6842 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
thin skin can't win
Picture of Georgeair
posted Hide Post
The concrete floors I've seen are either rough on feet or, as you described, glossy and smooth with a great look.

Find one of the latter like you're planning on, and throw some water on it and see how slick they are. I nearly killed myself at a friends house in kitchen that had some water splashed on it, and I was way younger than retirement age at the time.



You only have integrity once. - imprezaguy02

 
Posts: 9884 | Location: Madison, MS | Registered: December 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
how big ? 5000 gallon ? 9000 gallon? tank





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 48640 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by bendable:
might want to consider this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOSelUK6dpQ

energy recovery generator

and this:
geo thermal heat /cool
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY3oGlgZRgI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Tbsx3R2T8

How long are you intending to use the home ?
8 years 12 years ? 20 years?

the reason I ask,
Sam and sally built their "last" home at the age of 61.

Sally died at 66 , it's been up for sale now for 4 1/2 years because they built it for them and them alone.

Sam moved out 2 1/2 years ago , but he has been renting out the giant detached garage for taxes and utilities.

they did not consider any resale aspects,they have lowered the price three times.

and definitely
this:
https://www.youtube.com/result...le+hous+water+filter

whole house filter.

my sibling loves to get the monthly bill that is
2/3rds less than it used to be, since installing
his geo thermal system.

the plan around here is:
the farther out you live , the bigger the garage you need. especially for re-sale,

I'm afraid I'm gonna have this problem with my parents' house. They built it for them but I don't think it will be good for resale.
 
Posts: 231 | Location: Murfreesboro, TN | Registered: February 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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