Things to remember when planning a new home build

Many people dream of building a new home. There are so many things to consider! Here are 77 things that dozens of people who have built a home wish they’d remembered.

Closet & Organization

Put outlets in several closets.
Make sure your closets have enough space for both double hung rods, and singles to accommodate long clothes.
Include a full size broom cupboard in pantry or laundry room to hide all the cleaning items away from sight.
Add more closet/linen space than you think you’ll need.
Include cubbies in mudroom with an outlet in each one.
Add a motion sensor to pantry and closet lights.

Bath

Add outlet in master toilet closet for night light.
Outlets inside vanity cabinets (upper and lower) in bathroom for dryer etc.
Include heated towels racks.
Don’t caulk the bottom of your toilet to the tile which could hide leaks.
Make use of the pony wall in a bathroom by turning it into storage.

Outdoor

Run conduit under the driveway for future wiring or plumbing needs.
Prewire speakers both indoor and outdoor.
Ensure you have hose outlets and power on all 4 sides of your house, and on top of any raised areas.
Hot/cold outdoor water is good for washing pets.
Motion sensor pre-wire for selected exterior lights.
Keypad entry on garage door (Keypad entry on front door is great as well).
Gas line to grill.

Kitchen

Outlets in kitchen pantry for charging, or for items that may end up living there.
With wide islands, put cabinets on the both sides. While they are not easy to get to, they are good for storing seldomly used items.
Include a built-in paper towel holder.
Custom storage organization in kitchen drawers.
Warming drawer in dining room.
Pantry entrance near both kitchen and garage.
Custom shelves and a place to plug in appliances in pantry.
Outlets above cabinets for Christmas lighting.
Set up for both gas and electric appliances.
Pantry door on swivel.
Pantry light on motion sensor.
Copper tubing for your ice maker from the freezer and until it’s out of the kitchen wall.
Drawer or below counter microwave.
Knife drawer.
Pull-out garbage/recycling/laundry (for dirty dish towels/napkins/bibs!).
Paper towel holder in drawer slot.
Drawers for all lower cabinets (more efficient use of space).
Two soap pumps at sink (one for hand soap, one for dish soap).
Easy-access place to store frequently used appliances.
Place to hang hand towels & aprons.

Electrical & Plumbing

Prewire security system & cameras.
Run wire and prepare roof for future solar.
Separate 20z circuit with outlets at waist height in garage to plug in tools.
Separate 20z circuit for TV and A/V equipment.
Pre-wiring for music and speakers, inside and outside.
iPad controllers in the walls to control whole house music systems.
Pre-wire for generator to essential areas.
Carbon monoxide unit on the wall near bedrooms.
Include a 220V to garage (tools, future electric car etc).
Measure the location of anything under the slab, and various utilities out in the yard.
Include a drain in the garage to get rid of excess water from vehicles after rain and snow.

Lighting

Light switch to the attic in the hallway (and remember lights in attic in general).
Solar tubes in areas that don’t get natural sunlight.
In cabinet lights and outside lights on timers.
Check all remotes for ceiling fans prior to construction completion.
3 way switches are helpful.
Master switch from master bedroom that controls all exterior lights.

Master Bedroom

4 plug outlets near the bed in the master.
A light switch at the head of your bed so you can turn out the light once you are in bed.

Holiday Preparedness

Outlets under eaves for holiday lights, with a switch inside to turn on and off.
Enough storage for holiday decorations.
Seasonal closet with hangers for wreaths, and space for storage boxes.
Outlets for holiday lights: over cabinets, in stairway, in porch ceiling, and under eaves.

Heating, Cooling, and Vacuums

Central Vac with vac pans.
Plan where furnace vents will go instead of letting the builder decide.
HEPA filtration for allergy sufferers.

Overall

Receptacles for fire extinguishers.
Where possible, pocket doors.
Add soundproofing where needed.
A phone by the door leading into the garage for calls when you are getting in or out of the car.
An inside button to open and close your garage door.
Additional support during framing on the top side of windows for curtains.
Ensure builders don’t “box” off spaces, where storage or shelving could go.
Plan an elevator shaft in case you want to install one later, in the meantime it will serve as storage closets. (Aging in Place)

Pets

Plan a specific place for your dog food.
Place for the cat litter box.
Place for dogs to be bathed.
Place for dog crates.
Exhaust fan in laundry room for litter box.