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Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-14-2019, 11:26 PM Reply   
has anyone built a custom home recently? Any must haves that you put in? I'm wanting to do some automated blinds. Not shades, as i like to look out between the slats and have some visibility while reducing light in the room. Thats something i just thought of but looking for input on other cool ideas
Old     (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-15-2019, 12:01 AM Reply   
Heated bathroom floors were something I loved on my last house. Don’t think I’ll go without them again.
Old     (DealsGapCobra)      Join Date: May 2010       02-15-2019, 3:37 AM Reply   
We just put heated floors in during our remodel, yes, they are very nice. If I were doing it again I would supervise the installation as it is important that all of the wires be equally spaced or closer spaced where you will stand. They guys who installed ours had some extra at the ends and concentrated it near the controller so the floor is warmest where we donít need and there are cool spots in other places.

Linear drains are nice if you are adding a shower. They look better but the real upgrade was that it allowed us to use large tiles and I was amazed at how much nicer it is to stand on full size tiles instead of the little ones.

Recirculating hot water is basically a standard these days and a great upgrade.

I built a house about 15 years ago and had a single electrical circuit put in that had outlets in every room all in a single switch. At Christmas, the lights used these plugs and you could light the entire house with one switch...I loved it!

If I was still living up north I thought it would be cool to have hot and cold water for a hose in the garage for washing cars. I have not tried it as we moved south.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       02-15-2019, 4:05 AM Reply   
Oversized capped garage - double decker garage is twice as nice. They gave me hot water in the garage, and it's nice to have. Also run a gas line to the garage for a heater (if you live in a cold climate). Make sure your garage ceilings are high enough. My builder gave me a no step entry into the house, but it didn't realize that was going to cost me in garage ceiling height.
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       02-15-2019, 10:27 AM Reply   
Subscribe. We are building late this year. Shooting for netzero and climate control will be radiant heating/cooling with some forced air supplementing in a few special cases I think. Look forward to the ideas here.
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       02-15-2019, 11:51 AM Reply   
Sonos and some of the other products available now make it easier but otherwise I was going to mention whole house audio. It is really nice to have if you're a music nerd. I wired a pair of ceiling speakers in my kitchen and have 2 pairs in my living room/dining room next to my kitchen. I then have an old iphone mounted on the wall just outside my pantry for my apple music. I have an older amplifier in my pantry to run it all. When I renovate my house & garage this spring I plan on installing 2 pairs of ceiling speakers in my garage.

To take it a level up my family's summer house has 9 pairs of speakers throughout the house which includes a pair facing the back patio and 3 pairs on the front deck. all 3 bathrooms have a dual voice coil speaker as well. It's really nice to be able to walk around your house and have the same level music in each area. All the hardware we have is Russound running with Proficient speakers.

My family owns a communications company so we get all the equipment at wholesale prices. Whether it's control4 or simpler ways there's lots of options for these types of systems nowadays.

I'm contemplating the hot & cold tap in my garage as well. Currently our bathroom is just inside the house off the garage where I fill up my wash bucket in the tub.

Most newer houses do today but I'd have a specific area for all of your tel/network cabling to come back too set up similar to an office. With cameras' being IP, wireless, smart TV's, appliances etc. having a good network in the house is still a good idea. Cat5e or 6 is cheap...put it everywhere.

I also plan on running low voltage to the soffits for permanent LED Christmas Light strips that will be hidden.
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       02-15-2019, 12:13 PM Reply   
Some of these we did and others are must haves, that we figured out in hindsight.

Heated bathroom floors are a must have.

Network jacks everywhere. Yes we all have wifi, but hardwired is so much better and costs next to nothing.

Biggest garage the city or whoever will allow. 10 ft ceilings at a minimum. Electrical outlets everywhere in the garage both high and low on the walls. I put groups of 2 outlets on their own circuit in the garage. I'd also have a 220v outlet installed for an auto lift. Hot and cold water. Drains in the floor.

Jack shaft garage door openers - a must have and minimal cost at the build stage.

Natural gas tap(s) for back patio. Fireplace, grill, etc....

Tankless water heater - personal choice, there are drawbacks, but a must for me

Automated blinds - I'd do this if I was offered it now, didn't when we built.

Lastly, I'd think about entry to the attic. Every house I've ever had, it seems attic access was an after thought and always a pain to access. I don't even store stuff in the attic, but do need up there from time to time for maintenance and to change air filter. I had a door added to an upstairs hallway. It looks just like a closet door, but open it and you can walk into the attic. I also had lighting added so you can just flip a switch when you're going in.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       02-15-2019, 1:59 PM Reply   
winch lift into attic. add'l doorway upstairs is cool, but loading several hundred pounds of stuff onto a 4x6 foot platform and dropping it to garage level is awesome, especially with a higher garage ceiling. sits flush with garage ceiling when lifted all the way up.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       02-15-2019, 4:45 PM Reply   
I did whole house audio and ran speaker wire everywhere. I have a Sonos connect in the closet that controls an amp to power the speakers in the ceilings. I also ran all my HDMI cables to the closet and the internet connections. All of my TV and satellite connections are in the wall and I have just a TV hanging on the wall with no exposed wires.
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-16-2019, 10:09 PM Reply   
You guys didn't disappoint! ! I had no clue about jackshaft openers, but what a killer idea and a must have for sure! what model do you have or recomend? I also want a lift but will hopefully build a shop down the road and put in there... Def the recirc hot water, cat6 everywhere, built in speakers everywhere with wall mount volume controls in each room(is there something better than the analog knobs? What kind of amp and zone control? I know i want my surround sound built in and to have at least a couple 12's. Currently have velodyne 10' and a jbl 12" and love them together.

My personal must have list includes switched receptacles at every eve elevation change for christmas lights, Will have a 4 car garage and want to do some type of coating.. I did the rustolium in my current house but would like a better diy solution, It just lost its shine so quickly and was supposedly the latest and greatest they had, An exterior shower with mud basin for the kids to wash off, garage sink, seperate switching for fan lights and speed controls in the rooms dimmers throughout, I'd really like the automated blinds but still haven't found anything all that great really need help there. So much smart home stuff is out there, its just hard to weed through stuff that you'd never use and the must haves.
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-16-2019, 10:09 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd1 View Post
winch lift into attic. add'l doorway upstairs is cool, but loading several hundred pounds of stuff onto a 4x6 foot platform and dropping it to garage level is awesome, especially with a higher garage ceiling. sits flush with garage ceiling when lifted all the way up.
i need more info on this! custom built or was there something out there you purchased? Any pics?
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       02-16-2019, 10:55 PM Reply   
Curious about the jackshaft openers. Builder said
"...have used them on a couple projects but only when the standard overhead operators wonít work (clearance issues). Weíve been told that over time that the overhead operators perform better with the heavy doors we use." Legit concern or BS? Sure looks better.

As for smart home stuff here's what I put in myself at the old house (we are an apple/homekit home):
Ecobee thermostats - fantastic, easy install, would recommend
Schlage Sense smartlock on the front door - works great, multiple codes and time of day limits on those codes - very handy. Haven't touched a key in years.
Chamberlain myQ opener with homekit bridge addon - no issues, got big points for replacing the old loud opener with this belt drive - can tell from anywhere in the world when my wife has left the garage door open (or front door unlocked)
Hue lights and led lightstrips - we completely reno'd the kitchen so I installed these under the cabinets. work great and kids get a kick out of telling siri to change them to any color.
Hunter Symphony fans - put these in all the bedrooms; can control light/dimmer/fan/speed
Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       02-17-2019, 7:39 AM Reply   
I finished my home in Sept 2018. 3 car attached garage with 12ft ceilings and 10ft tall doors. I used regular ceiling openers with oversized HP with the built-in WiFi. 1 door @ 8ft wide X 10ft tall and the other @ 18ft wide X 10ft tall. Only downside to the WiFi is that I hear they can be easy to hack for break-ins, etc....so have not connected them yet. I suppose tho if someone was good enough to do that, they could probably figure out the wireless code to open the door and at least you would get an alert that the garage door was opened. Anyway....

I also did a 32x16 detached garage for my boat. 13ft ceilings with 12x12 insulated garage door. I insulated the entire thing and installed a heat/Air unit thru back wall. Been really nice to be able to heat it. I had a jackshaft opener installed for that door since only 12" clearance between top of door and the ceiling. LOVE that opener, super quiet (can hardly hear it run when standing right there) and it automatically locks itself when it closes.
Designed the entire garage around the boat so I have all the racks/shelves built in way so you can reach them all from inside the boat so I can load/unload without getting in/out of the boat. Storage for all the seats and other misc so winterizing or pulling things to dry out boat at end of lake day is easy. Real happy with how things turned out so far, just gotta finish organizing and putting things where I want now.

Couple pics....boat is winterized, so stripped down.
Attached Images
   
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-17-2019, 8:14 PM Reply   
what appliances did you all use? Obviously wolfe and viking are great but i'm not shelling out that kind of dough. Would like something nice but reasonable in the way of gas range, wallmount oven, dishwasher and possibly a built in fridge
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       02-17-2019, 8:17 PM Reply   
We had a built in fridge when we bought this last place. It crapped out and on the island it's next to impossible to get anyone to service them. Not to mention they don't really give you much usable space.

Since we were redoing the entire kitchen we swapped the oven and fridge columns and built out the cabinets to fit flush with one of the 4-door samsungs. It's been great.

Also got a display model of a Meile induction cooktop which has been fantastic. Wife kind of wants to go gas in the new place though (no gas in our current development).
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       02-18-2019, 5:58 AM Reply   
RE: jackshaft openers since I brought it up. The standard seems to be the Liftmaster 8500. I cannot speak to the longevity of them, but lots of lots of car/boat people that are out to optimize every last sq in of their garage space have switched to them. They seem a lot less likely to break to me, but I'm no expert. Depending on the doors, they likely will have to be re-sprung. That is why I mentioned that doing it from the start of the build is much cheaper than a retro-fit. I would imagine a lot of builders don't know much about them and don't want to have to get out of their comfort zone. I would simply have the builder sub this part out to an overhead door company that is familiar with the application and the doors best suited for them.

They really are awesome. The appearance is trivial, but they make a garage area look 45098379534 times cleaner. Just look at the boat pick above and how much better it looks not having a bulky opener sitting above the tower.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-18-2019, 9:03 AM Reply   
I am literally designing my house this week. 4000 SF single story with all the geeky stuff. So this is perfect timing!
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       02-18-2019, 10:07 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanfield View Post
RE: jackshaft openers since I brought it up. The standard seems to be the Liftmaster 8500. I cannot speak to the longevity of them, but lots of lots of car/boat people that are out to optimize every last sq in of their garage space have switched to them. They seem a lot less likely to break to me, but I'm no expert. Depending on the doors, they likely will have to be re-sprung. That is why I mentioned that doing it from the start of the build is much cheaper than a retro-fit. I would imagine a lot of builders don't know much about them and don't want to have to get out of their comfort zone. I would simply have the builder sub this part out to an overhead door company that is familiar with the application and the doors best suited for them.

They really are awesome. The appearance is trivial, but they make a garage area look 45098379534 times cleaner. Just look at the boat pick above and how much better it looks not having a bulky opener sitting above the tower.
Makes sense. The 8500 is the one I was looking at - thanks!
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-18-2019, 9:32 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalow View Post
I am literally designing my house this week. 4000 SF single story with all the geeky stuff. So this is perfect timing!
i know we used to be in the same general area, I think you came to my gas station before as well.. where are you now? I'm working on my plan this week as well combining the best of 3 houses i previously built, but will then need to have it re drawn and engineered.. whos doing your plans and engineering and where are they located? I used to have a guy in turlock who was awesome and inexpensive, but lost it all in the recession
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-18-2019, 9:34 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanfield View Post
RE: jackshaft openers since I brought it up. The standard seems to be the Liftmaster 8500. I cannot speak to the longevity of them, but lots of lots of car/boat people that are out to optimize every last sq in of their garage space have switched to them. They seem a lot less likely to break to me, but I'm no expert. Depending on the doors, they likely will have to be re-sprung. That is why I mentioned that doing it from the start of the build is much cheaper than a retro-fit. I would imagine a lot of builders don't know much about them and don't want to have to get out of their comfort zone. I would simply have the builder sub this part out to an overhead door company that is familiar with the application and the doors best suited for them.

They really are awesome. The appearance is trivial, but they make a garage area look 45098379534 times cleaner. Just look at the boat pick above and how much better it looks not having a bulky opener sitting above the tower.
Its so much better, thats a must have on all garage doors imo. The best tip! Did you do to the remote mounted light that activates when the door opens too? I would want some light triggered by the opener still and then a buttload more strips that are switched.
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-18-2019, 9:38 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by pesos View Post
We had a built in fridge when we bought this last place. It crapped out and on the island it's next to impossible to get anyone to service them. Not to mention they don't really give you much usable space.

Since we were redoing the entire kitchen we swapped the oven and fridge columns and built out the cabinets to fit flush with one of the 4-door samsungs. It's been great.

Also got a display model of a Meile induction cooktop which has been fantastic. Wife kind of wants to go gas in the new place though (no gas in our current development).
Have you looked at column refridgerator/freezers? Fridgidaire is a crappy brand but theres some other stainless options in the 4-6,000 range that look great! The only drawback i can see is i'd like to do graphite or darker appliances than stainless and the only ones i found were close to $15,000. No thanks. Id put a dark metalic wrap on one before i'd pay that lol
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       02-18-2019, 9:39 PM Reply   
Columns and drawers are very nice but $$$$$
Old     (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-18-2019, 9:54 PM Reply   
So graphite appliances are the new thing, commanding higher prices? Funny. How many commercial kitchens have graphite appliances?
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-18-2019, 11:37 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by markj View Post
So graphite appliances are the new thing, commanding higher prices? Funny. How many commercial kitchens have graphite appliances?
i would imagine none. commercial is about performance/sanitation. residential is about the look and high end feel.
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-18-2019, 11:42 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by pesos View Post
Columns and drawers are very nice but $$$$$
i was finding column sets for around 5k today- fridgetaiajohgha for around 4k for the set... granted i'm in the US but thats really not much more that a top of the line french door unit and with more space/high end look
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       02-19-2019, 8:16 AM Reply   
Whats your budget on a price per sq ft basis build cost? anywhere north of 200/250 sq ft, built in appliances are a must imo. I like having a small theater room. My biggest advice to anyone building custom, hire a 3rd party designer. don't let your architect or G.C handle that job.

If design aesthetic is something you care about, pass on using blinds. automated or not.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       02-19-2019, 8:31 AM Reply   
for sound on a relative budget, its hard to beat sonos or similar type system. I use my phone most of the time to control, but also bought a couple spare ipads to use as controllers around the house. I use connect amps for all my in ceiling/outdoor speakers , then have sounds bars/subs in various rooms as well some "portable" play 1's, 3's and 1- 5s. my other option was to use control 4 or somthing similar. but cost was 5-10x as much and diagnosing problems was more of an issue. Sonos works, and is easy and intuitive to understand.
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       02-19-2019, 8:41 AM Reply   
From a new house and wiring stand point going with a Sonos system isn't required. Sonos is great for the house that's already done and you don't have the option to run cable. In this case he does so it opens you up to the true multiroom/speaker hardware.
Old     (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-19-2019, 9:11 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass10after View Post
i would imagine none. commercial is about performance/sanitation. residential is about the look and high end feel.
Remember when all black and then all white was the thing? Or go back to the 70's when orange, yellow, brown and avocado colors were in? It's just a trend. Stainless and cabinet facing are timeless. To each his own. Best of luck.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       02-19-2019, 9:55 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrider View Post
From a new house and wiring stand point going with a Sonos system isn't required. Sonos is great for the house that's already done and you don't have the option to run cable. In this case he does so it opens you up to the true multiroom/speaker hardware.
I hardwired all my speakers in, but still went with the Sonos connect to control my amp. That lets me control it from anywhere in the house.
Old     (colorider)      Join Date: Jun 2001       02-26-2019, 12:29 PM Reply   
Iím in the blind business. Have owned my business for 15yrs. Automated blinds and shades are great,until they arenít. Expensive, require maintenance if battery operated, and can be unreliable. This is true wil ALL manufactures and brands. Communication issues between remotes or communication ďhubsĒ is a problem. WiFi dependence is even worse.
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       03-01-2019, 11:04 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Iím in the blind business. Have owned my business for 15yrs. Automated blinds and shades are great,until they arenít. Expensive, require maintenance if battery operated, and can be unreliable. This is true wil ALL manufactures and brands. Communication issues between remotes or communication ďhubsĒ is a problem. WiFi dependence is even worse.
great info, thank you! It seems like such a great idea, but I came to the conclusion theres a reason why they're so expensive and very little info out there.
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-02-2019, 9:23 PM Reply   
Radiant cooling. Heated floors are so 2018.
Old     (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       03-03-2019, 3:05 AM Reply   
not sure what amount of time you spend outside, but if you have outdoor space. i would take some of the bells and whistles things you may not use often and add it back into the budget to guild an outdoor living area. We spend so much time outside now, that the inside stuff is less important. just food for thought!
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       03-16-2019, 12:05 AM Reply   
hey man i want your guys' input not letting ol wambat$%^t bury my thread lmao !! keep the tips coming. started at 2500 sq ft now at 3200. The struggle!
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       03-16-2019, 12:07 AM Reply   
would you guys do built in exterior soffit lighting or landscape up lighting on the house? I think uplighting looks cooler(not really sure why) but is a PITA vs protected down lighting..
Old     (99Bison)      Join Date: Sep 2012       03-16-2019, 3:02 AM Reply   
Soffit!

Zero hassle and maintenance.

Or both, can look even cooler, then can never use the up once it starts maintenance problems .
Old     (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       03-16-2019, 8:43 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass10after View Post
would you guys do built in exterior soffit lighting or landscape up lighting on the house? I think uplighting looks cooler(not really sure why) but is a PITA vs protected down lighting..
Uplighting for the win. It can even make a cheap house look classy if done right. You'd be surprised how little power is used now that LED is out there. My recommendation is to buy your stuff from voltlighting.com. They build super high quality lighting with a lifetime warranty for cheap. Their lights are either solid copper or brass and use about 3-5 watts each. I lit up my last house with them-which had a formal tropical theme like a Four Seasons resort. Lots of shaped hedges and palm trees. The lighting added so much drama to the palms. I got plenty of oo's and ah's from anyone who visited us at night.

Here's a tip for installing: First, most outdoor landscape lighting lasts about a year or two before having problems. Besides bulbs burning out, crappy splicing is the main cause of failure. The cure is this: Find a product made by 3M called Skotchcoat. (I think that's how it's spelled). Do not use the splicing methods that come with the lights. Cut those off and use regular wire nuts and then dip the entire splice in the Skotchcoat. You'll have a waterproof connection that will last for decades. I have high voltage splices that have been good for 28 years and counting that have been regularly submerged in water.

I also recommend spending some time placing them. Don't just put them anywhere. Wire up a few and stick them in the ground at nighttime to see how they look BEFORE you permanently install them.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-18-2019, 7:12 AM Reply   
Thanx guys. I am currently designing a 4100 SF home right now and loving all the ideas. Since we are in Cali. much of our design is about the backyard/living spaces and of course since I am chef, the backyard kitchen. Keep all the tips coming. We can learn from each other more of what NOT to do then what to do!

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