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Old 03-15-2019, 03:05 PM   #1
Barrett
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We decided to build a house for the first time and would welcome any advice you folks have. I have built a couple houses with friends and have 5 years or so of remodeling experience but guaranteed I will miss a few things to look out for. Our builder is a small custom outfit whom I have many recommendations for and I have seen a few of their builds that impressed me.
What are some things that I need to be vigilant about? What did y'all forget about or wish you had changed about your home?
I appreciate it in advance.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:10 PM   #2
Stoof
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Make sure the backyard layout makes it safe to shoot your bow!
I'll check in, in a couple weeks friend.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:16 PM   #3
Barrett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoof View Post
Make sure the backyard layout makes it safe to shoot your bow!
I'll check in, in a couple weeks friend.
Ha, Im gonna have a heck of a 3d set up for sure with elevated shots and no HOA to jack with me.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:37 PM   #4
Chad74
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Run electricity to the island in the kitchen, neither myself or wife thought about it until after the remodel was complete. But we did think to put the slide out/ pop up shelf for her mixer.
I still get the evil look each time she pulls that mixer out.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad74 View Post
Run electricity to the island in the kitchen, neither myself or wife thought about it until after the remodel was complete. But we did think to put the slide out/ pop up shelf for her mixer.
I still get the evil look each time she pulls that mixer out.
sorry bro, this made me laugh
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:00 PM   #6
Youngblood
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Sure wish we had electrical in the floor where we could plug our couchís in sure would be nice.


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Old 03-15-2019, 04:09 PM   #7
captainsling
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Electric in the soffits for Christmas lights.

Floor drain tied in to main drain for laundry room in case something happens.

Wire for cat6 in every room.

If you have a dog and it is 2 story, put a kennel under the stairs
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:10 PM   #8
RR 314
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Sure wish we had electrical in the floor where we could plug our couchís in sure would be nice.


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I sure wish my couch had a plug.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad74 View Post
Run electricity to the island in the kitchen, neither myself or wife thought about it until after the remodel was complete. But we did think to put the slide out/ pop up shelf for her mixer.
I still get the evil look each time she pulls that mixer out.

I built my forever home 5 years ago....I sure wish I would have built my almost forever home first. I can't believe how naive I was. I remember convincing the builder that my fireplace was the anchor point of my living room and how I wanted it to be a prominent feature. His response was....Sir I will build it how you want it. I bet you will feel differently in a year. He was right.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:26 PM   #10
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Power in floor for sure in living room. Quad outlets where you expect tv, media center. Pay lots of attention to the direction the doors swing and how you expect to utilize the space. Just saying!
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:26 PM   #11
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I hated it. Good luck!
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:34 PM   #12
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Plugs under couches, water tap at stove, plugs in pantry, plugs in every **** place imaginable.
Photocell on ever light out side, switch power plug in soffit for Xmas lights, all led lighting, gas instant water heaters, plywood behind sheet rock for should mounts, dedicated room for man ****.
2 dumpers in master bath.


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Old 03-15-2019, 05:39 PM   #13
Dale Moser
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Block in walls where TVs will hang.

Block in walls where mounts may hang.

Make the back porch bigger...bigger than that. Put fans under there too, and a spot for a fridge.

Deck all useful space in the attic.

Make the garage bigger.

Face the back porch east

Pour more driveway with extra parking




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Old 03-15-2019, 05:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Moser View Post
Block in walls where TVs will hang.

Block in walls where mounts may hang.



Deck all useful space in the attic.






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Great advice
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:58 PM   #15
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I had 2 requirements....no glass in the master shower. Ours is a walk through with no glass doors and no glass walls and it it awesome!!!
2nd was my 50x75 shop.
I am very happy with our home ;-)
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:06 PM   #16
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Many great suggestions thus far. There's really tons of things and some is just personal preference, etc.

- Outlets as stated. Can't have enough. All walls, any place close to possible TV mounts, floor by couches, mantels, stairway, hallways, outside under soffit for Xmas lights, back porch, front porch, etc. Basically anywhere you think you would ever need power without needing a cord stretched across the room.

- Larger garage if possible even if you don't have a lot of tools. Being able to park inside garage nightly is really nice too. Wider driveway as well. Add 3 feet to whatever you think is enough.

- Plumb in hot/cold water and electric to back porch if you ever may consider an outdoor area. It's much cheaper to rough in anything like this during a build, than later on.

- Large walk-in shower for master as well as separate closet for toilet. Large soaking type tubs are appealing, but rarely get used. Just make the master shower larger.

- plenty of storage areas up and downstairs; the less you need to store in the attic, the better

- If you are planning on living there a while, spray foam insulation

Last edited by CaptainDave; 03-15-2019 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:14 PM   #17
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Plumb an outside house bib with hot water supply.
Also think ahead about water softner placement and possible ice machine.
If you think you may do a pool someday have it wired from the start same for generator.
Hire a contractor that you DONT like from the beginning, that way when it's done your feelings for them will not have changed.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:37 PM   #18
huntingarcher
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You will have to build the same house 3 times before you get it right.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:15 AM   #19
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we built our house about 10 years ago. I did not want the master bedroom on the west side of the house because of the heat. and I wanted the back porch on the south east side to get a good breeze. The master is on the west and the porch is on the north east. I wish I would have insisted.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:18 AM   #20
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It sucks and won't be perfect. If its a mid to big size house with tall ceilings, go with 8' interior doors. Just personal preference, but I think looks a lot better.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:30 AM   #21
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The main thing is to stay within your budget. Things like a bigger garage and a bigger patio will add up pretty quick but now is the time to do it. Two years ago when we signed our contract with our builder the garage was 40 psf. above the allotted sf. and the patio was 30 psf. above the allotted sf. which was pretty liberal. Those two items ran us about 17,000 extra from day 1(most of it was the patio). I would get as much driveway and sidewalks as I could afford. Mine was 4200 sf. for driveway and sidewalks. Spend it where you will use it the most. Do not buy property that you have to build with the back of the house facing the evening sun(west). Good luck.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:11 PM   #22
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Since I am getting older everyday and had the pleasure of taking care of my father before he passed I quickly learned to appreciate ADA requirements. Every door other than the pantry is 36" wide, hallway is 48" wide and we made our master shower wheelchair friendly.

I may be the odd man out but I am not a porch dweller and don't understand the giant porches of todays home. Have seen a house here with more porch space than living space.
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:30 PM   #23
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Spend a lot of time reviewing the plans. Look at door swing and drawer opening.

If you are going for an open plan where the family room and kitchen are together be aware that someone getting ice or washing dishes drowns out the tv.

Use frost proof hose bibs. No worries when you get a freeze.

Locate your air handler to provide good access for maintenance. I located the ac outside unit near the master bedroom. If it hiccups in the middle of the night I wake up. Some people donít want the hear it. pour the pad for the outside unit when you pour the slab but donít connect it to the slab.

Select your exhaust hood and make sure space is allowed for the duct. Ours required an 8Ē duct for 600 cfm.

We located light switches in closets, etc. inside the closet and used motion switches to turn on the lights.

If you are doing surround sound make sure the receiver is no more than 50í from the tv/ projector.

Have all your appliances selected and purchased befor the cabinet guy starts. Assemble a binder with all of the installation dimensions and give to the cabinet guy. Have lots of pictures of the cabinets and trim you want. If you want some deep drawers to store specific items spell that out. Cabinet guys like to build stacks of three drawers all the same. Soft close drawer slides are about $20/pr. Standard drawer slides are about $4/pr.

Pre-wire for any in cabinet lights and under cabinet lighting.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:19 PM   #24
Barrett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainDave View Post
Many great suggestions thus far. There's really tons of things and some is just personal preference, etc.

- Outlets as stated. Can't have enough. All walls, any place close to possible TV mounts, floor by couches, mantels, stairway, hallways, outside under soffit for Xmas lights, back porch, front porch, etc. Basically anywhere you think you would ever need power without needing a cord stretched across the room.

- Larger garage if possible even if you don't have a lot of tools. Being able to park inside garage nightly is really nice too. Wider driveway as well. Add 3 feet to whatever you think is enough.

- Plumb in hot/cold water and electric to back porch if you ever may consider an outdoor area. It's much cheaper to rough in anything like this during a build, than later on.

- Large walk-in shower for master as well as separate closet for toilet. Large soaking type tubs are appealing, but rarely get used. Just make the master shower larger.

- plenty of storage areas up and downstairs; the less you need to store in the attic, the better

- If you are planning on living there a while, spray foam insulation
We are planning on 7-10 years at least. Why spray foam? Much more expensive? Im guessing its much more efficient?
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:31 PM   #25
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Just got home from the ranch and look a look at all these great tips. I sure do appreciate all of your advice. Now time to write some of this all down. Thanks again
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:56 PM   #26
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Quote:
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We are planning on 7-10 years at least. Why spray foam? Much more expensive? Im guessing its much more efficient?
I bit the bullet and bought the spray foam insulation. My highest electric bill was 170.00. 1800 SQ feet house and 900 SQ feet shop. We like our ac at 67. Worth the money.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:49 PM   #27
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Spray foam, custom cabinets, no glass in showers, water heater on ground floor, bell bottom piers.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:02 PM   #28
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Good tips Iíll be building soon too..


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Old 03-18-2019, 01:53 AM   #29
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Take advice respectfully from the builder but at the end of the day “remember he works for you not the other way around”.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:13 AM   #30
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I’m in the process of getting mine built now. It’s on here as “piece of Texas”

I have a lot of porch space. I grew up without a porch and wanted one.

I have a huge car port. I wanted to be able to park and work on whatever I need to.

I put water on all 4 corners.

I think I’m at 50 plugs. Basically 2 on every wall BUT I forgot to put one in the hallway

Huge master bathroom. I wanted my own space!

When you buy tile, account for the cabinets. Our builder didn’t and we have a bunch of tile left, thankfully we can use it where we were going to stain the concrete

We didn’t go fancy or anything but we are getting what we want and anything we added, we paid for out of pocket
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:14 AM   #31
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When you think you have enough cash it's still not enough. Double that then you should be good. We are in the process of building ours. Should he done in another 6-8 weeks. Its mind blowing how much cash it takes. Make sure the builder has everything included into the bid price. Mine didnt have water, electric and driveway into the bid. My mistake for not taking the time to look over it but it had to be done. That all came out of pocket after the down payment. That was an additional 11k. Take the time to read plans and bids.

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Old 03-18-2019, 10:25 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwilliams View Post
When you think you have enough cash it's still not enough. Double that then you should be good. We are in the process of building ours. Should he done in another 6-8 weeks. Its mind blowing how much cash it takes. Make sure the builder has everything included into the bid price. Mine didnt have water, electric and driveway into the bid. My mistake for not taking the time to look over it but it had to be done. That all came out of pocket after the down payment. That was an additional 11k. Take the time to read plans and bids.

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Your builder is a con artist or doesn't know what they are doing? How could you forget the driveway?
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:28 PM   #33
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Your builder is a con artist or doesn't know what they are doing? How could you forget the driveway?
Very good friend of mine I have known very well for 30 years. Wasn't sure where the house was going to be built is the reason why. Will end up being 525' of driveway before it's all said and done. He didn't forget we just couldn't make our minds up.

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Old 03-18-2019, 10:31 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by drwilliams View Post
Very good friend of mine I have known very well for 30 years. Wasn't sure where the house was going to be built is the reason why. Will end up being 525' of driveway before it's all said and done. He didn't forget we just couldn't make our minds up.

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Ahhhh. Ok, that makes sense! (on a side note.. 525' of driveway?!?! )
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:05 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrett View Post
We are planning on 7-10 years at least. Why spray foam? Much more expensive? Im guessing its much more efficient?
If you're currently thinking of a 7-10 year stay, consider adding an effort to build to what the market appreciates. If the market does not appreciate a feature, the money investment is lost. Nearly all energy efficiency upgrades balance at a 6-9 year pay-off. Depending on specific lifestyles.

Expensive items most of the market is not valuing at cost include, but not limited too: tankless water heaters, A/V wiring, spray foam insulation, pools, garage upgrades, media rooms, and on.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:37 AM   #36
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Dont waste your money on a bunch of cat 5. Almost everything is wireless now...unless you are in a rural area with Hughes net. Dont put a media room on the second floor. Dont have a breakfast room and a dining room. Have one or the other and have a big kitchen island with seating space. Make the kitchen big with at least 2 ways in and out. Make garage doors at least 8' high and one at least 18' wide.

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Old 03-19-2019, 06:52 AM   #37
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Hey Barrett. Seventy five percent of my mortgage business is interim construction loans, most between Dripping and Circle C. Whether you have your funding locked down or not, let's chat about it. There are many ways to skin the cat and it's not uncommon for a borrower to be unaware of all of their options.

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512-203-5869
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:32 AM   #38
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If this could be your forever home...Put some thought into strategic points for Handicap..Some doors wide enough for wheel chair and BR and bath/shower big enough to use if W chair bound.....In other word a little forethought on lay out would make easy convert later if you had to..
No water in attic and no AC there either...Folks down street still redoin home after pipe broke in attic..What a mess
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:41 AM   #39
Barrett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMC50 View Post
Iím in the process of getting mine built now. Itís on here as ďpiece of TexasĒ

I have a lot of porch space. I grew up without a porch and wanted one.

I have a huge car port. I wanted to be able to park and work on whatever I need to.

I put water on all 4 corners.

I think Iím at 50 plugs. Basically 2 on every wall BUT I forgot to put one in the hallway

Huge master bathroom. I wanted my own space!

When you buy tile, account for the cabinets. Our builder didnít and we have a bunch of tile left, thankfully we can use it where we were going to stain the concrete

We didnít go fancy or anything but we are getting what we want and anything we added, we paid for out of pocket
Thank you
great stuff
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:43 AM   #40
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Insulation around all bathrooms, and get the best doors you can afford. The sound deadening being the key. Lot's of other great suggestions already.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:45 AM   #41
Barrett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sticks&Strings View Post
Dont waste your money on a bunch of cat 5. Almost everything is wireless now...unless you are in a rural area with Hughes net. Dont put a media room on the second floor. Dont have a breakfast room and a dining room. Have one or the other and have a big kitchen island with seating space. Make the kitchen big with at least 2 ways in and out. Make garage doors at least 8' high and one at least 18' wide.

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Why no media room upstairs? I agree about the Cat 5
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:47 AM   #42
Sticks&Strings
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Quote:
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Why no media room upstairs? I agree about the Cat 5
The sounds travels too bad regardless of the sound proofing you do. Also, it will be used much more on a first floor. I'm a builder and also an owner of a home with one on the 2nd floor...never again.

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Old 03-19-2019, 09:03 AM   #43
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Don't skimp on the dirt work. My builder and I discussed how much dirt it would take for my pad and then he said add 2 more loads, you'll thank me later... Which I did

Don't have your "laundry room" in a walkway. You think "it's just a washer and dryer", well, you need more room than you think to do laundry, especially if it's near a main outrance door.

I didn't read all the responses but Dale's caught my attention as far as the back porch. I agree 100% and then go even bigger. Same with the decking in the attic. Not that I disagree on which way the back porch faces but I made my house where the garages faced the west. Get a lot more heat in the summer time in the evenings and having a garage to help absorb a lot of that heat helps tremendously IMO.

Outlets... you think you have enough, add more. I told my electrician and builder to have more than "normal" and I'm glad I did.

Lighting... I thought I wanted can lighting but they're a double edged sword. Sure they don't get dusty, fairly easy to change bulbs but I doubt I'll have them throughout my entire house next time...

Closets... make them bigger than you think then make them bigger than that...

Pantry... double the size of it, you won't regret it.

Hot and cold water outside for an outdoor sink

I've got a monsterous rock fireplace as a center focal point in my living room. Never again. I wish I would have just put in a wood burning stove in the corner and had a lot more wall space to utilize for tv, bookcases, etc. How often to we in the south really use a fireplace? a couple months out of the year? No need for all that wasted money and wall space.


I'm sure I'll think of more later but these are my pros/cons on the house I built.
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:03 AM   #44
TMC50
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Another thing I thought of, include everything in your bid. We had a good savings for our down payment but we forgot to put simple things in like electric to well, back porch, rocking the beams.

Granted we are blessed that we can afford to pay out of pocket but would have been nice to just not worry about it.

Pray it doesn’t rain. Know how you want your drive way. Be diligent on how you want things. I work a ton so my wife is this person but she is on it.

This fall/winter put us way behind but still will be in a fully custom home with 2 workers in a year.
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:06 AM   #45
TMC50
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Originally Posted by Tubby View Post
Don't skimp on the dirt work. My builder and I discussed how much dirt it would take for my pad and then he said add 2 more loads, you'll thank me later... Which I did

Don't have your "laundry room" in a walkway. You think "it's just a washer and dryer", well, you need more room than you think to do laundry, especially if it's near a main outrance door.

I didn't read all the responses but Dale's caught my attention as far as the back porch. I agree 100% and then go even bigger. Same with the decking in the attic. Not that I disagree on which way the back porch faces but I made my house where the garages faced the west. Get a lot more heat in the summer time in the evenings and having a garage to help absorb a lot of that heat helps tremendously IMO.

Outlets... you think you have enough, add more. I told my electrician and builder to have more than "normal" and I'm glad I did.

Lighting... I thought I wanted can lighting but they're a double edged sword. Sure they don't get dusty, fairly easy to change bulbs but I doubt I'll have them throughout my entire house next time...

Closets... make them bigger than you think then make them bigger than that...

Pantry... double the size of it, you won't regret it.

Hot and cold water outside for an outdoor sink

got a monsterous rock fireplace as a center focal point in my living room. Never again. I wish I would have just put in a wood burning stove in the corner and had a lot more wall space to utilize for tv, bookcases, etc. How often to we in the south really use a fireplace? a couple months out of the year? No need for all that wasted money and wall space.

This right here. We have ours in a corner because the wife wanted it and it looks good but I would have liked to went old school


I'm sure I'll think of more later but these are my pros/cons on the house I built.
Typed above in bold about fire place.


If you want lights on the entrance, run electric. Iím putting that in myself
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:27 PM   #46
Kevin
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Hey Barrett. Seventy five percent of my mortgage business is interim construction loans, most between Dripping and Circle C. Whether you have your funding locked down or not, let's chat about it. There are many ways to skin the cat and it's not uncommon for a borrower to be unaware of all of their options.

Trey Powers
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I can recommend Trey 100%. He helped me out with some decisions on my construction loan. Great advice and a good conversation.
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:56 PM   #47
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Donít bother with recessed cans. Instead of cans use a surface mount LED like these:

http://www.cooperindustries.com/cont...d!surface.html

They mount in a 4Ē octagon box. This is what a lot of new home builders are starting to use.



On the next house I build the washer and dryer will go in the master closet.

Not sure if itís been mentioned but a big sink in the garage is nice to have
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