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Old 01-24-2012, 07:58 AM
 
1,256 posts, read 3,181,362 times
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I just thought of something. I was at FS Maui 2 months ago and they had music in the bathroom. A while back, I have seen some people put some speakers/audio system in the bathroom and although I didn't think it make any sense, my thoughts changed when I was at the hotel.

I think an audio system in a bathroom would be cool. Nothing crazy, just something simple like 2 ceiling speakers and maybe a small sub. It's more for ambient music rather than dancing while brushing your teeth.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:08 AM
 
27,535 posts, read 44,999,258 times
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in some robberies they will use metal detectors to sweep for hidden objects that are valuable--like safes, silver flatware, jewelry, guns
best bet is to think of something that already has lot of metal and use that to camoflage your safe
like maybe behind false front in pantry with cans of food, or in kitchen behind the microwave--that would be built-in so unlikely they would find it/take it
put metal sink in garage and have it swing out maybe and put safe behind it

you mentioned cost factor--
you would be surprised that depending on the builder you choose--many of these suggestions are going to be part/parcel of the building package...
Most designs now are going to two bedrooms/two baths down IF there is the land for the footprint
most homes in your price point at averaging at least 3 garages and often 4--again it depends on the lot size/shape

Some people think that stained concrete floors are "cheap" alternative to tile but they really aren't--
and because of needing to be created at the initial stage of building, they can be a real hassle to keep unmarked since many subs like to spray paint where they are going to add electric/plumbing/etc...
but I love their look and have seen some stunning examples of stained concrete in homes--
personally in the right color/style of home I would love stained concrete over tile or carpet...

wood flooring is premium expense--
personally I would check spec houses that are up and see which ones have most wood flooring in same price point--
either that builder has good deal with people laying it or there was cost-cutting done in other areas...

and your concern just reflects what some of us have said before--
building a house from scratch offers myriad of complexities to deal with
the budget problem--how much, how to apportion, how to pay is just the beginning

and IMO building a custom house with what you want is never as cheap for most people as buying a spec house that has 90% of what you want already in it...
because the builder has already committed his time/money into a spec house he is much more likely to "make a deal" on price/finish out than cut you a deal on a custom build

any my experience is that builders who build both custom and spec homes view a custom build as the opportunity to "right their boat" so to speak...meaning what they have lost on the balance sheet with spec homes (if any) is made up with profit on a custom job...
makes them sound mercenary I guess but it is just smart business really--
and no one should be adverse to anyone making a "fair" profit--it is the unfair one that is the problem
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:20 AM
 
27,535 posts, read 44,999,258 times
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we had speakers added to almost all downstairs rooms after we bought this house--by guy who was installing our new tvs
we don't really use it at all except in LA where we turn on extra speakers to listen to tv at times
but we are not big music listeners anyway--not IPod people--not big stereophiles pre-Ipod time--
we are tv people we considered having tv wired into bathroom for my husband mainly when he is getting ready for work but no good flat wall surface--

so consider how you live your life...
some people have docks built into the intercom systems they have in their homes that allow them to plug in their Ipods/phones and listen to music--
bigger houses often have problems with the signal strength though--some just can't throw a signal into second floor or across the house via WiFi
that is why you need professional info and remember that what you buy now is likely to be outdated by time house is built...
just nature of electronics in todays world--it is how they drive their sales--

you can achieve the same effect with a wireless speaker system now since so many systems have WiFi capability--
SONOS system is probably best know--think it has built in as well as table top speakers but you would have to check
adding those speakers and switches was a pain--
the person bidding our job did not realize that the walls--even the interior walls--in this house were fire blocked--that is good structural design element we did not know the builder used in interior walls--many use them in exterior ones but don't think they are code-requesite

Fire blocking (as I call it) means horizontal 2x4s between vertical studs throughout the walls--to stop fire from spreading quickly up a sheetrock wall cavity...meant the installer had to drill through several horizontal studs to get drop to put in room switch for speakers...PITA and time consuming

fireblocking is something you should discuss with your builder too--does he do it as matter of course???
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:09 AM
 
7,292 posts, read 8,131,285 times
Reputation: 5381
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
we had speakers added to almost all downstairs rooms after we bought this house--by guy who was installing our new tvs
we don't really use it at all except in LA where we turn on extra speakers to listen to tv at times
but we are not big music listeners anyway--not IPod people--not big stereophiles pre-Ipod time--
we are tv people we considered having tv wired into bathroom for my husband mainly when he is getting ready for work but no good flat wall surface--

so consider how you live your life...
some people have docks built into the intercom systems they have in their homes that allow them to plug in their Ipods/phones and listen to music--
bigger houses often have problems with the signal strength though--some just can't throw a signal into second floor or across the house via WiFi
that is why you need professional info and remember that what you buy now is likely to be outdated by time house is built...
just nature of electronics in todays world--it is how they drive their sales--

you can achieve the same effect with a wireless speaker system now since so many systems have WiFi capability--
SONOS system is probably best know--think it has built in as well as table top speakers but you would have to check
adding those speakers and switches was a pain--
the person bidding our job did not realize that the walls--even the interior walls--in this house were fire blocked--that is good structural design element we did not know the builder used in interior walls--many use them in exterior ones but don't think they are code-requesite

Fire blocking (as I call it) means horizontal 2x4s between vertical studs throughout the walls--to stop fire from spreading quickly up a sheetrock wall cavity...meant the installer had to drill through several horizontal studs to get drop to put in room switch for speakers...PITA and time consuming

fireblocking is something you should discuss with your builder too--does he do it as matter of course???
Firebreaks are code and insurance required almost everywhere now. It's a mandatory question, however.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:45 PM
 
59 posts, read 129,287 times
Reputation: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
.... and the ridiculousness of putting so much square footage in an enormous master bedroom.
I agree. Maybe we are in the minority, but...
I do not understand why on earth I need a large master bedroom? I need a great master bath and closets, but not room! The flip side of this, is how small most children's rooms are these days - THEY are the ones who need big bedrooms!
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:54 PM
 
59 posts, read 129,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooua View Post

Every house could be improved by the existence of secret passageways and hidden chambers.
LOL - love it!
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Exile
68 posts, read 77,331 times
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I would like to add a golf course, lake, creek or green belt behind my house and of course a pool is a must for Texas weather.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:14 PM
 
27,535 posts, read 44,999,258 times
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I really have gotten to love the screened lanaii that my daughter has in her FL pool area--
but in TX the first hail storm would destroy the screen and likely lot of the framing--
too bad because it is nice to be outside in the pool with no wasps, bugs and grill w/o flys coming around
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:13 AM
 
766 posts, read 1,302,771 times
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1. Outlets on your eaves for the christmas decorations. (The roofing guys will also thank you in 15 yrs when the time comes.) Put a light switch in a coat closet for those outlets so you can turn them on/off from inside the house. We spaced them 20 feet apart.
2. If you're going to have a HUGE master closet put the laundry room right next to it. Put the mud room over by the garage/side door - you DON'T want the mud room and laundry room to be the same (especially if you have dogs). We LOVE having the laundry room right next to our closet (sure we still have to bring the kids clothes from upstairs). Solid core doors and the washer has a 'white noise' affect at night. I would not buy a house with the laundry in a hallway between the garage and kitchen - it's my biggest petpeeve.
3. Home wiring. We love our speakers that we can plug our ipods into - make sure you have the speakers installed outside as well. Cat5 cable because the WiFi has one connection point (ours is upstairs in a bedroom closet) and you're definately going to want another one. We wish we had installed an intercom system to upstairs, but that's because we have little kids and everyone is always yelling between the floors.
4. Motion sensor lights inside the house. Especially when you walk into the home from the garage. Some people like the lights that come on when you open a closet door. My kids always leave the doors open, so after they leave for school I have to go around and shut all the doors. But for adults, it's kind of nifty.
5. Garage size. This is very personal. Are you going to have a shed/lawn mower/work bench, etc.? Our neighbor hires someone for everything and his garage is spotless - not even an extra fridge. Only 2 cars and a shoe/coat rack. We have a "3" car garage (we call it 2+) and with the work bench, yard tools, bikes/trikes, extra fridge, deep freezer, etc. We should have built a 5+ garage. Also, think about anything on your back patio/front porch that you would want to put away during the winter - where's it going to fit?
6. Can't say enough about sizing the circuit breaker.
7. Gas line to the back porch.
8. An electrical conduit from the circuit box to the south/west side of your roof. You may not want it now, but someday, you may want solar panels and it's just easier (and not that expensive) to put the line in now.
9. Flooring. We've never had slab floors so we went with the 6# carpet pad in the bedroom. Not good. We needed the 8# nike pad. Also, for the tile throughout the house we had them minimize the spacing between the tiles (less grout to clean/see).
10. Guest Room/bath. Really think about how much this room will get used. Maybe it could be a craft room with a murphy bed.
11. Space between the kitchen island and counter-tops. When the dishwasher is open, can you still get around it? Over doors too high to put anything in? Can everyone reach the mircrowave? Do you really cook in the kitchen? Most of the people I know who really cook don't like oversized kitchens because "everything is to far away". We didn't spend enough time planning our kitchen and I feel like I'm running from one side of the island to the other all the time.

How is the house situated on the property? North, South facing? Which side is the garage on? You can do some research, buy we decided that the back of house should be east so I have the morning sun in the kitchen and shining through the big picture windows in our living room. In the evening, we can sit on the back patio in the shade and never have the sun in our eyes.

Waterless tank heaters. I had some friends put one in and they love it. Only problem is when we lost power it was electric, so they had no hot water. But, some gas water heaters have an electric starter so those folks didn't have hot water either. Our's was all gas, so we didn't have power, but we had hot water.

Last edited by carroll4628; 01-25-2012 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:16 PM
 
1,005 posts, read 3,308,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
Honestly? I think they are more for show.
I don't really need a kitchen except for a microwave, a fridge and a sink. But I still plan to have a nice one just for looks. And it won't have a gas oven/cooktop because I think they look ugly.
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