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GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/21/14 9:58 a.m.

Inline hot water heaters are much more efficient, but they draw crazy amounts of current when they're on.

Another option to look at: Evacuated tube solar water heaters. These work great regardless of the outside temperature, they even use these on arctic bases.

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
8/21/14 10:00 a.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote: PEX water tubing with one of those fancy manifolds so that you can shut off any circuit without having to shut off water to the whole house.

I know a smart lady who refuses to use PVC, CPVC or PEX and only uses copper everywhere. She has reasons. I am not totally sure I buy them

Also she only likes plaster. I don't get this one very much.

mtn
mtn UltimaDork
8/21/14 10:03 a.m.

Heated garage floor, depending on where you live.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
8/21/14 10:09 a.m.
tuna55 wrote:
Tom_Spangler wrote: PEX water tubing with one of those fancy manifolds so that you can shut off any circuit without having to shut off water to the whole house.
I know a smart lady who refuses to use PVC, CPVC or PEX and only uses copper everywhere. She has reasons. I am not totally sure I buy them Also she only likes plaster. I don't get this one very much.

Yup, our previous house had PEX, and it looked exactly like the one in the picture. It was da bomb. It's one of the things at the top of our list.

sachilles
sachilles SuperDork
8/21/14 10:29 a.m.

In floor heat, preferably radiant. Especially under bathroom and kitchen floors. Two faucets in the master shower. Sometimes you want to shower together, and it stinks not getting water when you want it. Propane line to a deck if you have one to hook up a gas grill. If in a snow state, under walk way heating. Landscape a very flat/smooth lawn especially if it is small enough you'll be push mowing it. Landscape it so there are not a bunch of nooks and crannies. His and her master closet. Laundry chute as was mentioned previously. Laundry sink and counter for folding laundry. Room for spare fridge and freezer. I also like the idea an enclosed grocery pantry.

SEADave
SEADave Reader
8/21/14 10:42 a.m.
sachilles wrote: In floor heat, preferably radiant. Especially under bathroom and kitchen floors. Two faucets in the master shower. Sometimes you want to shower together, and it stinks not getting water when you want it. Propane line to a deck if you have one to hook up a gas grill. If in a snow state, under walk way heating. Landscape a very flat/smooth lawn especially if it is small enough you'll be push mowing it. Landscape it so there are not a bunch of nooks and crannies. His and her master closet. Laundry chute as was mentioned previously. Laundry sink and counter for folding laundry. Room for spare fridge and freezer. I also like the idea an enclosed grocery pantry.

This is a great post from someone who has obviously been there before. The only thing I could add is to put the commode in the master into its own little room with a door (if your floor plan doesn't already have that). Makes it a lot better to share a master when one person using the porcelain throne doesn't mean the other person has to leave.

Also, did anyone mention a built-in ironing board? Preferably with an outlet right there for the iron. Not a big deal if your work doesn't require ironed clothes, but nice to have if it does.

sachilles
sachilles SuperDork
8/21/14 10:50 a.m.

and for the love of dog, don't cheap out on the exhaust fan, if you have a private throne room.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/21/14 10:52 a.m.
Klayfish wrote:
Keith Tanner wrote: For the garage floor, get it polished. So much better than any sort of covering.
What do you use in your shop?

Our old shop had some sort of epoxy. It looked like crap by the time we moved out.
Our current shop is just bare concrete. Seems to work well.
I've got polished concrete at home. It's the bomb. Super easy to clean, stain resistant and looks good.

WRT the laundry room: ours is set up basically like a kitchen. Actually, it IS an old kitchen from ReStore. Lots of counter space and cupboards to hide stuff away. Far more useful than the old concrete cave and it looks better. In our house, it's her equivalent to my garage so what she wants, she gets. That counter gets a lot of use.

WRT wireless vs wired - a techie friend of mine had a new house built in the late 90's when I was starting to use the one of first wireless networks in my work at Nortel. I scoffed at his in-house wiring. Then we found out there's something in the area that wreaks havoc with wireless networks. Wires are more future resistant - and faster. He doesn't really use his wired-in centralized home audio setup at all, but the cable runs throughout the house have come in handy.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
8/21/14 11:22 a.m.

Something simple that pays off big later: lay some PVC pipe under the driveway, walkways etc. That way if you need to later run landscape light wiring, pipe for a sprinkler etc it's already there. My dad did this, amazing how many times it was used later on.

1kris06
1kris06 New Reader
8/21/14 11:23 a.m.

House Hacks

Make fake drawers useful

Door for groceries from garage to pantry

Recessed outlets, so furniture can be against the walls

Lights and outlets under your kitchen cabinets

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
8/21/14 11:31 a.m.

We talked about heating the floors, but since we're now in Atlanta the need isn't as much as it was in PA. So we're likely to use the money that would cost elsewhere.

The master bath is where we're going to spend some bucks. It already comes with dual sinks, raised vanity, tile floor, door for toilet, etc... It has a separate shower and tub, but the tub isn't huge. There's no way to put a corner soaking tub in, so we're considering removing it completely. In it's place we'd put an extra linen closet and then build the mother of all master showers...full body/rain and all the trimmings. We'll then put a hot tub on the patio. The patio is directly under our deck, so it'll be easy to add outdoor curtains to the underside of the deck for privacy. We've asked several realtors we trust, and know that it'll hurt resale value some, but not a dealbreaker. Love the idea of running the gas line to the patio, can use it for grill or even an outdoor heater.

We're putting a fold down table in the laundry room, almost like a murphy bed. So she can use that if she wants to fold laundry there. But honestly, we split laundry duty, and when she's doing it she'd prefer to bring fold/iron in our bedroom where she can watch TV.

sachilles
sachilles SuperDork
8/21/14 11:40 a.m.

Run cable to the laundry room, cheapo tv is 100 bucks. Our friends built an addition with master suite and put the laundry machines in the master closet, they say the love it. Clothes go straight from the dryer to their home....no schlepping.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
8/21/14 11:44 a.m.

For the garage door you'll need a Liftmaster 8500 along with running the rails up against the ceiling. Think carefully about how and where your two-post lift would be installed. You need to understand the strength and thickness of the slab as well as all the potential access use problems you might have with height as well as getting around the posts in the garage.

I used porcelain tile on my garage floor and it has been wonderful. Extremely durable if installed correctly, though out of ignorance most people screw up their faces if you tell them you're installing tile in your garage. If you shop tile clearance sales and DIY it is less expensive that most other options, including epoxy and those plastic Racedeck things.

Consider a drain in the middle of the garage and a laundry tub. Yours may not be big enough to have a bathroom, but if that's possibility down the road you'll want to add a sewage hookup now.

You've got access to HVAC advice, but I'd consider taking a close look at what the builder installs and consider upgrading, especially in Hotlanta. Builders typically install the cheapest, basic stuff. Given the climate, I think that would be much more useful than heated floors, but heard you folks do get a little snow there once in a while.

You've got good advice on outlets in the garage, consider your lighting as well. Lots of T8 flourescents in the ceiling, installed longways to best light up your vehicle project.

Does the garage have room for the workbenches you want/need? I had the outlets installed higher on the wall where I put mine to make sure they were over the workbenches and not behind them.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
8/21/14 11:48 a.m.

If I get to build my next house, I will be damn sure that each and every ceiling can will have two wall switches, one for the fan and one for the light. That way I can put a speed control on the wall (and before anyone says it, hell NO I do NOT want a handheld remote for the fan) and be able to control the light/fan individually without yanking chains and crap. In fact, this isn't that difficult to do for an existing setup, you just pull some 14/3 in place of the 14/2.

dj06482
dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/21/14 11:51 a.m.

Great suggestions here, I'd get your garage lighting and outlets figured out from the get-go.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
8/21/14 12:18 p.m.

On HVAC: I realize you have assistance on that already but let me point something out you may want to cover with them: my current house has an air return in each room, not a single one off in the middle of the house. Results: you don't feel air currents, noise is reduced and more even heating/cooling. I like this MUCH better than the single return houses I've had before and if building again oh yes it will be done that way.

MattGent
MattGent Reader
8/21/14 12:25 p.m.

Things we did in our house:

-Two showerheads in large master shower, one standard and one with handle on hose.

-Wash basin in the garage. I use this ALL.THE.TIME.

-Switched outlet in the front eaves, easy Christmas lights if that's your thing.

-2X 220V outlets in garage, one for compressor one for welder.

-Pre-wire for sprinkler and/or pool pumps.

-Skipped the home phone line.

-Concrete parking slab on side for boat or extra cars

-Outlet and cable mounted high on back porch wall

-Epoxy flooring (so far so good) in garage, I used EpoxyCoat.

-Defined walkable attic area for storage, with a pull-down ladder. I've sheeted one area in with OSB over the studs, and wish I had done a 2nd area. The wiring up there isn't routed in a way to make that easy.

-Pre-wired for surround sound in main area and 2nd circuit speakers to back porch for music (though I missed where these should have been)

-Take pictures of where all the studs are, and electrical routing

Things I wish we had done:

-Heater combo in the bathroom vents, requires heavier circuit

-More exterior lighting, to side (boat storage/working) and back (dog relief)

-Wired in for thermostatic attic fan (South Florida specific)

-Double-checked the attic convection net free area (vents are way under-sized), I have a bunch of info in a corner-carvers thread if you are interested.

-Upgrade the switches and outlet covers, this is kinda expensive to re-do

-Upgrade the roof (builder wanted crazy prices for this, like more than a new instaled roof just for the upgrade in material)

-Exterior back porch showerhead (I just use the hose)

-Specify a double-thick beam area (or build in a metal I-beam) on top of the garage for hoisting heavy things (like boat motors or motorcycles)

Edit: Sorry this forum lost the formatting when I posted. Custom forum software still sucks.

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/21/14 12:46 p.m.

Regarding plumbing into the garage-- make sure the fixtures are capable/can stand up to having a hose hooked to them. I've used a shower valve in the past instead of conventional faucet fixtures.

We have a dog that's too big to wash in a tub, and being able to hook a hose to water we can control the temperature of is a big help.

Going back the the Christmas light thing, having switched outlets up in the roof soffits is really handy.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn PowerDork
8/21/14 12:55 p.m.

Hard wiring for a security system - door and window switches, glass breakage detectors, smoke/CO detectors, floor flooding detectors, low temp alarms (although in Atlanta this one isn't that important), and video if you are so inclined.

ryanty22
ryanty22 Dork
8/21/14 12:58 p.m.
stanger_missle wrote: Central vacuum system

Never seen one that worked right for very long at all

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
8/21/14 12:58 p.m.

For the Xmas lighting thing, my display has gotten pretty complex and large. Last year, the display was 40,000 lights, lots of PVC and wood for props, blow ups, an FM transmitter, signs, and a stupid amount of cords. I even had a real Bradley GT in the display. I used about 60 amps if everything was lit at once. I won't have room for all that in the new house since the yard is 1/7th the size, plus I'm switching to LED and RGB lighting. But it'll still be complex. It's all run off a series of timers and a control computer, so I don't need the wall switches. I will have a spot created for the control computer, as in the past I hid it under a fake Xmas tree in my foyer.

Adding the wash basin in the garage idea...and a drain in the floor (if they can do it).

ryanty22
ryanty22 Dork
8/21/14 1:04 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote:
Klayfish wrote:
Keith Tanner wrote: For the garage floor, get it polished. So much better than any sort of covering.
What do you use in your shop?
Our old shop had some sort of epoxy. It looked like crap by the time we moved out. Our current shop is just bare concrete. Seems to work well. I've got polished concrete at home. It's the bomb. Super easy to clean, stain resistant and looks good. WRT the laundry room: ours is set up basically like a kitchen. Actually, it IS an old kitchen from ReStore. Lots of counter space and cupboards to hide stuff away. Far more useful than the old concrete cave and it looks better. In our house, it's her equivalent to my garage so what she wants, she gets. That counter gets a lot of use. WRT wireless vs wired - a techie friend of mine had a new house built in the late 90's when I was starting to use the one of first wireless networks in my work at Nortel. I scoffed at his in-house wiring. Then we found out there's something in the area that wreaks havoc with wireless networks. Wires are more future resistant - and faster. He doesn't really use his wired-in centralized home audio setup at all, but the cable runs throughout the house have come in handy.

How durable is the polished concrete, I'd be scared to drop something on it

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/21/14 1:08 p.m.

Mine's almost 40 years old and I've built at least two cars on it. The only damage is from where some sort of nasty solvent leaked through a box and sat for a while, it eroded the concrete. Otherwise, I don't think I've managed to ding it at all.

About security: motion sensitive exterior lights. They're super-convenient for you and more effective than an always-on light.

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
8/21/14 1:24 p.m.
ryanty22 wrote:
stanger_missle wrote: Central vacuum system
Never seen one that worked right for very long at all

"Hey, this is to convenient! Instead of bringing a small appliance with you where you need to clean, you can lug 35 pounds worth of hose and wands and crap! It's so nice, in fact, that you still have to plug it into a nearby outlet to power the brush! This way you have TWO tethers to work around! And the long coil of hose stores so EASILY once you wrestle it into a roll and hang it on something in a closet which is now dedicated to the task!"

And still my parents love them.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/21/14 1:30 p.m.
tuna55 wrote:
ryanty22 wrote:
stanger_missle wrote: Central vacuum system
Never seen one that worked right for very long at all
"Hey, this is to convenient! Instead of bringing a small appliance with you where you need to clean, you can lug 35 pounds worth of hose and wands and crap! It's so nice, in fact, that you still have to plug it into a nearby outlet to power the brush! This way you have TWO tethers to work around! And the long coil of hose stores so EASILY once you wrestle it into a roll and hang it on something in a closet which is now dedicated to the task!" And still my parents love them.

I used to live in a house with this. It never gave trouble but I think it was only used once or twice, ever, for these reasons.

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