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Feb 5, 2014 12:22PM
These are great but very standard stuff. I want a modern home like automation and things like that. Couple things missing like occupancy sensors, security, central vac etc. I liked some of these and hope you can enhance this article with more items as mentioned here http://www.hopeonabudget.com/must-haves-building-home/
Dec 25, 2013 9:48PM

I would have upper cabinet blocking installed between the wall studs above the toilets, washer/dryer area and upper & base cabinet blocking in the garage area for the placement of future cabinets. Also have supply/drain plumbing stub outs ran to the garage for the future installation of a laundry/shop sink.


I would also have blocking installed for future grab bar locations in all bathrooms and have lever style door hardware installed in case you decide to age in place.


I would also have at least two double floodlight fixtures installed at the rear corners of your house.

A dedicated GFCI outlet installed under the master tub deck would be a good idea for a possible future upgrade to a jetted/whirlpool tub.


Have gas lines ran to the rear exterior wall near the patio or deck for a natural gas fired grill, also ran to a specific location in a living/family room  for a possible future upgrade to having a direct vent gas log fireplace installed.


If there's room in the utility room for an additional freezer or 2nd refrigerator, I would have a dedicated outlet installed and a water line for an icemaker.


I would also have an additional outlet installed at the rear area of the attic for a possible future installation of a attic power ventilator fan.


Also have the attached garage walls insulated and have a dedicated outlet installed for a possible future installation of a heater/air conditioner.


For security purposes I would have conduit installed from soffit/eaves to a desired location for a future installation of a security camera system.  

Dec 25, 2013 9:14PM
vapor barrier for insulation faces the side you heat or cool...2 X 4 walls are for those who like paying high energy bills
Dec 25, 2013 7:54PM
When we built our home one of our favorite "must-have" was electrical outlets under the eaves of the house.  Need to take a tool up high in a tree or on the roof?  Plugs in right there.  What about hanging Christmas lights?  No extension cord needed.  Space outlets six feet apart from each other and no one will ever see them under the eaves and they will come in SO handy!
Dec 25, 2013 7:23PM

Consider installing a safe.

Install a gun safe if you own guns, or a small safe for valuables, such as cash, jewelry, important papers etc.

It should also be able to withstand a house fire.


Dec 25, 2013 6:15PM

I sell doors and windows for a living.

If someone tells you its a 1000 dollars to install a basic ext door, RUN away.

esp if that doesn't even include trim. ROFL.

Dec 25, 2013 3:56PM

As a follow up, viewing the 2 photos displayed with this article, I see 6 problems with the HVAC system, and 3 with the outside wall faucet.


OK, the photos are just to get your attention, but it kind of tells you a lot about the writers understanding of construction quality.

Dec 25, 2013 3:37PM



The most IMPORTANT item in the construction of a new home.  On January 01, 2010, the FEDERAL Government "MANDATED" that all new 1 & 2 family homes be equipped with fire sprinkler systems.  However, some national builders group has/have convinced numerous States that the cost to do so would be prohibitive, and cause a slump in the new home building industry.  THIS IS PURE "B*LLSH*T!!  The lives and safety of occupants is way more important.


I have over 35 years as a licensed residential builder, and over 20 years as a licensed real estate broker.  I had my custom built over 17 years ago, and YES, it included a "RESIDENTIAL FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEM".  There were no local companies that were knowledgeable about the systems, so I read up on them and installed it myself.  Building inspectors and code officials thought I was foolish to do so.  WRONG!!  Materials cost me less than a grand, and my labor took about twice as long as skilled fire sprinklers installers would take.   Absolutely no regrets, especially after watching TV news programs that highlight property damage and deaths that could have been prevented in residential fires.



So do it right the first time!!


Dec 25, 2013 1:52PM
When we decided to build our first "new" home. I sat for months on the computer, designing the layout. Once completed, I went to a design guy to draw up the blueprints, where he pointed out a few good ideas for my original design. 
I also had a "geo technical" survey of the ground, where the house would go. An engineer designed the footings and foundation. 
Once that was all done and a builder found, I made a list of things to be done "my way" not the builders way. This azz questioned over 1/2 of the plans and details, but agreed to do it MY WAY.
Overall, it cost about $6000 more than if I went with a cheap, off the shelf design, but I have engineered, energy saver roof trusses set 16" on center, not the codes 24". I have a full 10" thick basement, cement walls. 1x8 pine subfloors and walls. Solid pine interior doors and insulated exterior doors. Full 6" blown in insulation in the walls and over 16" in the ceiling.
I really over did the electrical system, I have over 41 circuits in a home just over 1300 sq. ft.
Funny thing was, that ALL the city inspectors said I was way over what is needed for code, and could not understand why I did it this way. 
I just told them, IT'S MY HOUSE, I'LL DO IT MY WAY.  Construction people and inspectors can be such jerks. 
Dec 25, 2013 11:24AM
I don't watch TV, so hiding a bunch of wires in the wall would be a waste.
Dec 25, 2013 9:58AM
Did you mention doors and walls... gotta have those too.. A floor and a ceiling.. I mean WTF is with this list.
Dec 25, 2013 9:13AM
Really? A 10 year old could have figured this stuff out.
Dec 25, 2013 9:03AM
the means to pay for it without the american taxpayer having to bail you out in the long run .
Dec 25, 2013 8:36AM

The number one issue is the distance from the water heaters to the faucet outlet. The way our plumber over came this was installing a gravity flow hot water system. It has worked great for 14 years and wait at any faucet is about 5 seconds, it 's real efficient compared to a pump style hot water system. He put the one large tank in a closet in the garage and used a natural flowing circulating system in our ceiling and every line was straight neat and insulated before the sheetrock was installed. I can see were a basement home would be the ideal design but the key was installing it in a new home as it is built. On cold nights we sleep quietly not worrying about freezing pipes like our neighbors,our plumber designed and install all the pipes so as to allow us for 14 years to not drip the water at any faucet.


Loving it  in

Bartlett, Tennessee

Dec 25, 2013 7:30AM
These are things the house should have.  I was thinking more along the lines of what you should have...like that tool that you can use to turn the outside water supply off...extra washers for all the faucets...that sort of stuff.  You can tell what sort of problems we've been having!
Dec 25, 2013 6:17AM
I think toilet paper should be part of the "must have" details.  Or, did they want you to bring leaves from the garden?
 I am a home designer in Albuquerque. I have prepared  new home plans for more than 4500 new home starts since 1982. I design homes to live in the most ergonomic way that I can contrive, every time, as if I would be living there myself.
I don't agree with some of the things these guys try to tell you in these internet articles
. My experience doesn't allow me to. I can tell that they don't design homes for a living, because of some of these ideas they come up with. Sounds like their own 'personal wish list / pet peeve stuff to me. .

 When homes are designed on the computer, we can zoom to see every square inch of the structure. Four foot hallways are nice, but they are wasted square footage, unless you are designing to accommodate a wheelchair situation. As a first or even second time new home buyer, most folks can't afford the extra square footage that wide halls take up. The International Residential Code mandates minimum three feet wide, and that's adequate. You will most likely be buying a smaller home unless you are well to do. When you are designing a home, 99 percent of all builders want to put that square footage (that has not been added to a wider hallway) into habitable space, or into closets. For example, an additional 16 square feet of hallway costs about $2000 (if you are lucky, and depending upon where the house is being built).  Again, hallway is not to be considered to be habitable area, it's really not usable space in most homes.

Mar 13, 2012 9:22AM
I encourage anyone having a home built to hire the services of a qualified and competent home inspector... preferably a full certified member of The American Society of Home Inspectors who specialized in new construction. They will make several trips to the property to make sure the subs are doing a good job. There are ALWAYS defects and some are major! The extra dollars you spend will save you head ache and heart ache in the long run and if you involve the inspector prior to the plans being drawn, your architect will learn a lot!
Feb 18, 2012 7:17AM
On the subject of must have's in a home is something that I took for granted in all of my home's until I moved to a nice subdivision in WV is to make sure the return system for your HVAC is in ducting, not the use of floor joists or between wall studs,  and also has a way of changing your filter at all of the inlet ducts in the home and not under the home, or in an attic! this is the most important part of your system to be sucking air from a crawl space or an attic. The HVAC system needs to exchange the air in the home to keep it worm or cool. Also a good thing to have the installer do is to tape or seal the supply or return duct seams.  
Feb 13, 2012 7:41PM

If you can at all swing it, buy land an build it yourself.  I did my last two, one while I was working full time and one while I was retiring.


You will save a bundle and if you can pay as you go, you can avoid a mortgage altogether.

Like many things in life, it may seem daunting but when you take on ohe task at a time, it's rather simple.

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