The Comforts Of Home: 10 Nifty Design Features For Your Custom-Built House

Customizing a home has many advantages, from getting just the right sized rooms to the perfect layouts and styles, but you can take it even further, adding your own design features that will really create the most comfortable home for your family. Before the shovels hit the dirt on construction, consider the following ways in which you can create a custom home that fulfills all your needs and exceeds all your expectations.

1. Radiant Floor Heating

Cold floors can be a thing of the past, if you design radiant heating right into your building plans. Radiant heating provides extra comfort and is very practical in terms of how it efficiently warms an entire room, as opposed to how other units take the chill off their immediate area only.

2. Laundry Chutes

Nobody enjoys lugging a heavy laundry basket around the house, then down to the washroom. Ask your contractor about adding chutes in convenient places, such as the bedrooms and bathrooms. Laundry chutes help you avoid having piles of germs hanging around in common rooms, making for a healthier environment.

3. Extra Sinks

Whether it's in the laundry room or kitchen, a utility sink can be a very useful feature, especially if you have a busy household. In the bathroom(s), sinks for two mean getting ready for work every morning much quicker and no arguing about who's brushing teeth first. 

4. Vaulted Ceilings

A vaulted ceiling makes any room look larger, but it's also an elegant and unique feature that adds a special beauty and style. You could choose a rustic look with unfinished wood or something more formal, from which you might hand a chandelier. Other ceiling options add different moods, along with value and function; thus, it's a good idea to investigate these possibilities before your contractor finalizes any plans for your custom home.

5. Easy-To-Care-For Counters, Floors, And Tiles

While the bathroom and kitchen are two of the most popular rooms in any home, they're also the most challenging to keep clean. With this in mind, look into options for your floors, tiles and counter tops that won't keep you cleaning them endlessly. Non-porous tiles with the least amount of grout will be easiest in the bathroom, for example, and you could opt for effortless linoleum in the kitchen. Give yourself time to consider all of these variables, as there are many to choose from, depending on the room, your budget and other factors.

6. Dual-Purpose Floor Plans

Having a bedroom for each child may work well for you now, but what happens after you're oldest moves out? How can your family put that room to good use, if you won't be needing it as a bedroom? Your contractor can advise you on how to keep layouts flexible, so you can change the purpose of a room later, without sacrificing practicality or aesthetics.

7. Windows With Seats

A simple bench built in under a window is an inviting place to read a book, write your grocery list or chat on the phone with an old friend. Window seats give you extra storage under the bench and a charming area to display collections and keepsakes, truly customizing the space to reflect your personality and history.

8. Pet Amenities

If you have pets in the family, plan on doggie-doors that lock for safety and protection. If you have larger dogs that need frequent baths, like Labradors or one's with oily coats, such as the Basset Hound, have a doggie-tub installed in the basement. Make it easy to get the dog in and out, but also easy on your back, perhaps by having it elevated to waist height. Additionally, you should ask your contractor if they could build a dog house with leftover materials so that it matches your custom home perfectly.

9. Suitable Storage

While having a walk-in closet installed in every bedroom may sound luxurious, do you really need all that space? If you do, go ahead and add the closets to your plans; however, if you're not actually going to use the storage areas, they'll simply be a waste of time and money. Add appropriate-sized closets and shelf-storage where it will be used and most appreciated. If you're always running out of space in your kitchen, look at pantry ideas, and if your garage needs to be more organized, have one built that includes shelving, along with pegboard for handy hanging that's neat and readily accessible.

10. Retirement-Friendly Features

You probably want to live happily-ever-after in the new custom home you're building, so make sure it will work for you as you get older, too. Have a walkway leading into the home, rather than a set of stairs that may be precarious when you're older, for example, and design your bathroom to be big enough to accommodate seating in the shower and other safety measures. A first floor room that could easily transform into your bedroom might be a good idea (which is why dual-purpose floor plans are very practical), along with having those easy-to-clean surfaces. Think ahead into the future, planning now for ways to make life better then. Would a studio apartment above the garage help supplement your income if you rented it out in retirement? Planning now with your contractor, as you create your dream house of the present, should mean enjoying it for as long as you'll need it for, so don't forget to factor aging and retirement into the equation.

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