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Custom Home Features That Never Go out of Style

Custom Home Features That Never Go out of Style

 

Despite a volatile market over the last decades, custom home sales are staying strong overall.  Custom homes are a reliable sector in the housing market, according to the National Association of Home Builders (2017). Buyers have tried to get more bang for their buck, though. In 2017 and 2018, the average size of a custom home dropped from 2618 square feet to 2555 square feet. That drop in total square feet indicates a buyer's desire to make the most of every dollar spent. Making the most of every dollar spent means packing in as many custom features as possible.

But not all features are created equal. Owners often get caught up in trendy fads and the latest decorating styles and do not consider whether or not those fads add anything to the value of the home. Many of the trends date a custom home and work against its marketability later.  Some extras never go out of style and remain useful, though. These extras make the home sellable through fad after fad because they are practical. When building a custom home, consider including these features that will remain desirable and useful for years to come.

 



Safe Rooms

Safe rooms can be on the floor of a garage, finished out as just another room, or built off-site and set in place later. Whatever the configuration, safe rooms are useful. Most people live in an area with at least some seasonal bad weather. Safe rooms offer homeowners peace of mind. FEMA occasionally does a reimbursement program to builders for including safe rooms that meet FEMA standards in newly built homes.  Even if FEMA is not currently doing a reimbursement deal, builders can find the requirements online for FEMA-endorsed safe rooms (fema.gov).

Extra Outlets

It is so frustrating to not have an electrical outlet where you need one. Consider outlet placement carefully when building a custom home.  Remember to include cable tv and telephone outlets on at least two sides of living rooms, bedrooms, offices, and media rooms. (Yes, people still look for these in a home. Besides, arranging furniture will be much easier because there are plenty of outlets, too.) Hidden outlets in drawers are handy for small appliances and beauty items in kitchens and bathrooms. Large rooms need at least one outlet on the floor. Consider putting outlets about waist high in garages or shops. At that height, outlets are less likely to get lost behind items and it saves stooping. Place outside outlets on all sides of the home.

Generator Hook-Up

Having a generator hook-up wired into the home's breaker box is easy for an electrician to do and will give a family peace of mind.  Hook up vital breakers to the generator so items such as a refrigerator/freezer, heater/air conditioner, and a section of lights remain operatable. Simply let the electrician know what items you'd like to remain operational when the power goes out and then have those routed to the generator during a power failure.

Easy Attic Access

No one likes those pull down attic ladders. It makes getting items into the attic difficult. Make your attic useful by giving it easy access.  Consider using one end of a garage for stairs leading to an attic or storage space. If building a multi-story home, have attic access on the upper floor.  In place of the pull-down ladder, consider a lift for heavy items, too. It takes up the same amount of space as the ladders do and are far handier. It also promotes safety since there will be no more carrying heavy items to storage. Simply put it on the lift and send it to the attic.

Oversized Garage or Additional Garage

Most families have multiple drivers and several cars. Consider a three-car garage or a standard two car garage with a detached third garage. The detached garage can be used for parking, storage, a shop, or studio. A porte-cochere or awning is also nice to get to the detached garage without having to get out in the weather. Even expanding a garage two feet on all sides makes a tremendous difference when trying to get in and out of the car. When drawing up custom house plans, it's simple to add the extra feet during the planning phase.

Maximized Storage

A well-thought our house plan uses every inch of available space wisely. Whether it's custom cabinets with lots of dividers, sections, and dedicated storage space, or storage built-in under a set of stairs, custom homes maximize storage space. Make sure the home has various types of storage. Walk-in closets should have shelves, drawers, rods, and dividers.  Consider laundry basket storage, rods, folding areas, and ironing board storage in the often neglected laundry room. Add locker style storage in a mudroom or entryway. Consider various heights for kitchen cabinets, too. Create storage space near the ceiling in the garage to get items up and out of the way. Even consider dedicating a closet to holiday decor storage. Sites like Pinterest are your best friend for clever ideas. Great storage and closets sell a house more than any other single feature.

 



Solid Core Doors

Most people do not consider doors as being important, but they are. Doors provide security and privacy. Solid core doors feel more substantial and dampen sound.  Much better than their hollow core counterparts, solid core doors make your house quieter and feel more sturdy.

Building a custom home means tons of decisions. It can be easy to get caught up in the trends, but instead, consider all of the little details that will continually add value to your home. Spend money on those items rather than trendy fads that might hurt the resale of your home in the future.