Homebuilding keeps changing. Every year, we see new trends in home design, fixtures, and building materials. It can get overwhelming to figure out what you really want and need. So, what are the must-haves when building a new home?
Start by walking around your home. What is it missing? It could be that you need an extra room, better layout, more storage, upgraded fixtures, or any combination (or all of the above). Think about what it would take to make your home ideal.
Next, browse websites and magazines for ideas. Go to open houses and model homes. Keep a list of the features that appeal to you so you have it when you’re sitting with your builder.
Here are the features that New Home Inc. considers to be must-haves when building a new construction home. Each one could be added later, but it’s so much easier and more economical to do it while you’re building your home.
Main living area must-haves
Solid Surface Wood floors in the main living area. Whether you choose hardwood or luxury vinyl plank, wood flooring adds beauty to your home. When the natural sun beams in, the grain in the floors is stunning! Carpet is great in the bedroom, but when it comes to the main living area—including the kitchen—you won’t go wrong with wood floors.
First-floor suite. Use it as an owner’s suite, a guest suite, or a space for other adults living in the home with you. The convenience of having this suite in close proximity to the main spaces of the home can’t be overstated. It also adds to your home’s resale value and allows for aging in place.
Closet organization. Shelves are a great start, but wouldn’t you like to move into your new construction home and have a walk-in closet that gives you more ways to organize? It’s so much easier to do before you start stashing your stuff here.
Oversized shower in the owner’s bath. If your bathroom layout has the space, go for the oversized shower! You’ll never regret having more square footage in a space you use everyday. Add niches (built-in shelves) in the shower to better organize your soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and whatever else you need. You’ll be thankful when you plan ahead to make your shower more functional.
Utility space must-haves
Flex space where you want it. Some floor plans have a room by the front entry and call it a formal dining room, office, bedroom, or study. Maybe you don’t want your flex space right by the front door. A home office, for example, should offer privacy and quiet to promote productivity. And if you’re using your flex space as a workout area, do you want passersby to see you in the front window? Look for a floor plan that offers flex space where it belongs, not as an afterthought.
Laundry room near the bedrooms. So much laundry is generated from the bedroom occupants. Bedding, clothes, and towels can keep your laundry busy. Remove the long walk from the source of the laundry to the source of the cleaning and back. Situate the laundry room near the bedrooms. If the owner’s suite is on another level, choose who is most likely to handle the chore—and you know what THAT is!
Storage, Storage, and More Storage
Did we say storage? When buying a new home, storage is something that can easily get overlooked…Until you move and don’t have enough room for all those holiday boxes, luggage, or whatever you keep that you probably don’t need anymore! Either way, you want to pick a home that utilizes every bit of space you can for all those nooks and crannies that most builders don’t take advantage of.
Dog-washing station. If you have a four-legged member of the family, you’ll appreciate a dedicated pet washing station in the laundry room. By planning ahead, you’ll install the right-sized sink, tub, or shower with a hand-held faucet or shower head for getting to all the tough spots. Add storage for towels, pet shampoo, and other grooming tools and products, plus the necessary dog treats to lure and reward your pup.
More drawers than cabinets in the kitchen. Drawers are so much easier to use than cabinets. Pull out a drawer to find what you need rather than dig around in a cabinet. When planning your new kitchen, drawers in the bottom (base) cabinets are a smart choice. You might have the option to do deep drawers with multiple tiers. This design helps you stay organized, using a sliding layer on top. It’s perfect for organizing silverware, utensils, and linens.
Pull-out shelves and trash. In addition to the drawers in your kitchen cabinetry, pull-out shelves don’t take much space but make it simple to access things like spices, canned goods, and vertical items like pot lids and trays. Also, a pullout trash can keeps the unsightly kitchen necessity out of sight but easy to reach.
Dual kitchen workspaces. What do we mean by dual kitchen workspaces? You might know it as a butler’s pantry and a service kitchen. It’s a nook that’s adjacent to the kitchen, often connecting the kitchen to the formal dining room. At New Home Inc., we call this additional kitchen space a “messy kitchen”. Use it to store the extra serving pieces, small appliances, linen, or whatever you need. Add a sink and dishwasher and you have a clean-up station that keeps that clutter out of your kitchen. Include a mini-fridge and set up a beverage station. There are so many ways to use your messy kitchen, which is included in all of our single-family home floor plans.
Built-in microwave. Get that appliance off your counter! Have it mounted into a space within your cabinet area or above your stove. You might even want to put your microwave under the counter on your kitchen island—anywhere but cluttering your counterspace.
Dual wall ovens. Are you tired of bending over to check what’s in your oven? And do you have to juggle your oven use to accommodate different items that require different temps? Solve both problems with dual wall ovens. They’re closer to eye level, which eliminates the bending. And with two ovens, you can cook or bake at two different temperatures!
Under-cabinet lighting. The countertops under the cabinets are often too dark to make it a useful workspace. Under-cabinet lighting brightens up the area and expands your kitchen’s usefulness.
Smart home automation. Technology will keep evolving to hit every aspect of our home lives. Be prepared by ensuring that your new construction home is ready to take on the new devices with ease. A smart home panel is an absolute must! This is control central, and having a smart home panel—like the one that New Home Inc. includes in every home we build—allows you to basically plug-and-play with new smart home devices.
Smart security system. Without a doubt, you need to protect your family and home. A smart security system includes cameras that give you a view of your spaces from your smartphone. We install a smart door lock and video doorbell in our homes for added protection.
CAT6 cable and network panel. Stop dealing with Wi-Fi dead zones. When you’re building your new home, you need CAT6 cable, which delivers the fastest transfer speed available. CAT5 is outdated so don’t accept it! We use CAT6 and also install a whole-home network panel. This panel manages your modem and router, the hub of your smart technology.
Secure delivery space. Do you get a steady stream of home deliveries? Are you usually there when they arrive? A smart door delivery center is a secure space that’s not accessible by anyone at your front door unless it’s a delivery person with the code you set up for them. They open the door using the code and place the package inside the nook. The door automatically locks when they leave. The space is temperature-controlled so your packages aren’t subjected to heat, cold, rain, or snow. And whether you’re home or not, the package is protected from porch pirates.
Tankless water heater. Also known as an on-demand water heater, a tankless water heater heats water when you need it, instead of heating and storing it in advance. You don’t run out of hot water and you’re not paying to store hot water you’re not using. It’s a great feature of your energy efficient home.
Roughed-in plumbing. Here’s another tip for thinking ahead. If you might want to add plumbing later—for a sink, toilet, tub, or shower—it’s much easier (= less expensive) to do it before the drywall closes up the access.
Extra electrical outlets. Have you ever had to deal with the tangle of extension cords? Eliminate the hazard by installing additional electrical outlets.
Fully wired outdoor living space. Families are taking their indoor lifestyle outdoors. To do it successfully, make sure your outdoor living space can accommodate electricity and technology, as well as a gas line if you plan to grill.
Electric vehicle charging station. Electric cars and trucks are here. Plan now by including a rough-in for a charging station. A rough-in allows for a simple installation of the charging station itself when you’re ready.The ability to get what you want is a major reason people choose a new construction home over a resale. The new home buying and building process is easy and fun, when you choose the right builder. New Home Inc. is building communities of new construction homes for sale in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. We’d like to show you our Future-Proof approach to new construction homes. Get in touch with us to get the must-haves when building a new home!