You know… that Blog?

What would you do?

Written By: Jenn - Mar• 31•11

I’m champing at the bit to get into my new house, and daily coming up with different things for my wish list.

Trouble is, the earliest it will be completed is December 13 (more like February I’ve heard, unofficially) and I’m just not a patient person. It’s driving me crazy having to wait for almost an entire year!

So let’s talk about upgrades, shall we? Not the “usual” upgrades like carpet and underlay, windows, kitchen cabinets/counters, insulation, etc. though – I want to talk wish list items. Big and little special touches that you have or wish you had in your own home.

So far we’ve decided to move a wall in the basement design to make the rec room larger, and upgrade/upsize the windows to make it brighter. We don’t have to do too much in the way of structural upgrades because we’ve gone with a really good builder who includes these things as their own standard. We’re having natural gas lines run to the kitchen for a gas range, and out to the back deck for a BBQ hookup. I’m also thinking to have a water line run to above the range for a pot filler faucet, although the hubby doesn’t really like that idea. Since I usually get what I want, I’m not too worried about swaying this to my favour when push comes to shove. ;)

A dumbwaiter would be fantastic, but is unrealistic for this place, and also wouldn’t work due to layout. Pooh. How fun would that be though?

I confess that this isn’t the house I’ve always dreamed of. It’s a little smaller than I’d like, and I’ve never wanted to purchase a new build. However, it’s a great investment property in a perfect location, and we don’t plan to live in this new house more than 2 or 3 years. Frankly, as soon as the Teen is finished with high school, we’re likely moving to a different city. So what I’m thinking about is resale value, and making it a very attractive “must have” home for when we go to sell.

Get your designer hats on, and let’s discuss! What would you add as special touches to a new build?


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  1. Thom says:

    Oh I remember this vividly when we built our house 12 years ago. If I only knew then what I know now. The biggest thing that I would have done different is put a nicer grade of carpet and padding in. I would have probably insisted that the whole house be tiled. Not linoleum mind you but a fancy tile. Benefit living in Hawai’i is we don’t have that cold of weather so it wouldn’t really matter, besides there are always throw rugs. The one thing I did was made sure that I had enough computer outlets throughout the house so that I wouldn’t have to be running cables all over creation. Speaking of which I would make sure that your circuit is heavy duty enough to handle Christmas lights…LOL I’m finding out the hard way I didn’t have enough amps or watts whatever they hell they go by. Solar is also another must. I love ours and we haven’t had one bit of problem with it. We entertain outside a great deal so we spent the money on a good Bose system and had it wired so we could play the music through speakers outside. Another thing I wish we would have done is run a water line up to a sink in the Northeast area of the yard with an electrical outlet up there. I love the idea of your BBQ hook up. Sounds like my sink I didn’t think of LOL :) Just some thoughts. xoxoxxo

    • Jenn says:

      We will have a good sized electrical panel with available expansion for sure. We’ll also be running wiring throughout the house for speakers and other needs. With wireless routers I’m not all that concerned with running cable throughout the house, but the conduit will be there anyway – probably all the way to the attic for “just in case” scenarios down the road. I’d also like an electrical outlet under the eaves for Christmas lights, which you just reminded me about – thanks Thom!! Solar panels are very pricey here, and probably not something we’d look at. Not for this house anyway – maybe our next one, which we’ll be looking to stay put in. We have 2 banks of mounted solar water panels for the pool currently, and they’re fantastic for sure.

      I agree with the tiles too – our main floor will be half oak hardwood and half ceramic tile. The stair cases will be oak as well, and now we’re debating on whether to have the upstairs oak hardwood too. The basement will be carpeted for the extra warmth.

      • Thom says:

        Boy you got some good ideas going on this post. I think it will come along just fine. But this isn’t what I’d be thinking about with the post you did today LOL

  2. From recent experience and if you can afford it at the time, if you’re going to add any of them anyway within the first year – get it done while it’s being built.

    It will be so much more hassle, cost and annoyance if you wait until afterwards. Unfortunately we picked a plot which was well underway so couldn’t get many of the extras, apart from choosing carpets, kitchen doors, turf etc. I would have loved them to fit a dishwasher then and also an outdoor tap etc. However, the benefit of picking a plot underway was that we only had to wait 2 months.

    You know we’re in the same boat at the moment, never planned to get a new build but bought one for a few years etc – but I love it so much, I may have been converted! It’s still not our forever house but it has changed the way I think about new builds.

    I really want to add a conservatory which I’m sure we would eaily get back in the resale – really good for Scottish summers which can be sunny but still cold. Not really much good in Toronto though!!

    Good luck with the patience – I’m just the same!

    • Jenn says:

      Agree with that, Jade! We’re hoping our site foreman is an agreeable man, and allows us to get in and do some of the upgrades and other work ourselves. My hubby is capable of just about anything we need done, including the extra plumbing.

      We get very hot here in Toronto in the summer (not like that slushy nonsense you saw a few weeks back!) so we will make good use of our back deck and yard. :)

  3. Broot says:

    My wish list for my house includes a large deck, a range hood, an ensuite bathroom, double glazed windows, and insulation. Don’t think I’ll be much help. LOL!! :)

    • Jenn says:

      All of that is standard here, Broot ;) Even the deck with this builder! I’m upgrading the range hood though, to an over the range microwave instead of placing it elsewhere and losing cabinet or counter space. I want a fridge with water and ice in the door, and probably a gas range although I’m not totally convinced I need one…

      • Broot says:

        I know that’s standard there. *sigh* I wish it was standard here. Can I move in with you? (Just kidding! Mostly.)

  4. Betty says:

    I can´t say, because building here is so different. But I imagine your house will beautiful when finished and I wish I could come to visit.

  5. Doodle Cakes says:

    OooO!! How exciting!!! :)

    Larger windows in the basement –=> Totally agree! We have those in our home (as compared to our old one) and WOW What a difference!

    Central Air…fireplace(s)..

    Hardwood and tile as much as possible..Bedrooms, hallways etc..and railings instead of half walls where the stairs are (again..another upgrade we did in our old house..didn`t need to in this one)

    Upgrade your carpet in the basement to a nice berber..instead of the regular builder`s carpet.

    The upgrades that will bring you the best return on your house when you do sell it, will be the ones you do in the kitchen and bathrooms. Better cupboards…tile backslashes, etc… oversize corner bathtub!!!!

    I could go on and on..!!! :) I’m all guiddy and excited for you!!!


    • Jenn says:

      We got A/C, gas fireplace, and upgraded kitchen cabinets included in our deal, but we may further upgrade the kitchen cabinets because you’re absolutely right that upgrading the kitchen and bathrooms is the thing to do.

      I have a massive corner jacuzzi tub right now that I absolutely hate, so I’ll pass on that one ;) However, the master en suite bathroom has a really nice tub, and there’s a normal tub in the main upstairs bathroom too. I am a shower person through and through! The fourth bathroom will have a tiled shower, and no tub.

  6. quilly says:

    My house is wired for sound. One stereo will pipe music into every room — and each room has it’s own separate volume control. Also, we have central vac, and I have a kick plate under my kitchen sink — a vacuum vent — so that when I sweep the floor, I just kick the vent open and sweep the dirt in. I love it!

    • Jenn says:

      Absolutely, Q – that’s actually included by our builder too (LOVE our builder!) And a kick plate in the kitchen is a must-have.