Building a House… What Not to Forget!

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Little Things Not To Forget When Building…!

As you know there are many things to consider when building a house… here is a compilation of lots of little things you may want to do or at least consider when going through the planning or design process. Including my own experience as well as researched what other buyers did that they loved, or wish they had done 🙂

Closet & Organization

  • Make sure your closet has enough space for both double hung rods, and singles to accommodate long clothes
  • Full size broom cupboard in pantry or laundry room to hide all the cleaning items out of sight
  • More closet/linen space than you think you’ll need!
  • Plenty of storage for holiday or seasonal decoration
  • Cubbies in mudroom with an outlet in each one (may want to consider outlets with USB ports for charging phones, tablets, etc.)

cubbies     cubbies 2


  • Outlets inside vanity cabinets (upper and lower) in bathroom for dryer, and other accessories
  • Heated towel racks
  • Don’t let them caulk the bottom of your toilet to the tile (which can hide potential leaks)
  • Make use of room in between wall studs and pony wall by turning it into extra storage- which you can never have enough of

pony wall storage


  • Pre-wire for speakers (both indoor and outdoor)
  • Hot/cold outdoor water is good for washing pets
  • Motion sensor pre-wire for selected exterior lights
  • Keypad entry on garage door (and front door as well!)
  • Gas line to grill


  • Recess the fridge (there’s nothing worse than a beautifully designed kitchen where the refrigerator juts out too far)
  • Pasta filler faucet near the stove top (so you don’t have to lug the pots full of water from the sink to the stove top)

pasta faucet

  • Custom storage organization in kitchen drawers
  • Warming drawer in dining room or butler’s pantry- great for entertaining
  • Custom shelves and place to plug appliances in pantry
  • Pantry door on swivel (easy access when your hands are full)
  • Pantry light on motion sensor
  • Knife drawer
  • Pull-out garbage/recycling/laundry (for dirty dish towels/napkins/bibs, etc.)
  • Drawers for all lower cabinets (more efficient use of space)

Apatoff Res 11

  • Easy-access place to store frequently used appliances

Electrical & Plumbing

  • Pre-wire security system and cameras or look into automated home security systems (digital systems are cheaper from what I’ve heard and allow you to easily control settings while away from home)
  • Photos of electrical, plumbing and windows before drywall goes up for future reference
  • Separate 20z circuit with outlets at waist height in garage to plug in tools
  • Pre-wire for surround sound and music (inside and out)
  • iPad controllers in the walls to control whole house music systems
  • Pre-wire for generator to essential areas
  • Include a 220v to garage (tools, future electric car, etc.)
  • Measure the location of anything under the slab, and various utilities out in the yard
  • Run an electrical line with a few floor outlets, especially since we have very open floor plans these days and the couches are not always against the walls


  • Light switch to the attic in the hallway
  • In cabinet lights and outside lights on timers
  • Check the cost ratings of ceiling fans
  • 3 way switches are helpful
  • Master switch from master bedroom that controls all exterior lights
  • A master switch at each exit (front, back or garage) that turns off all the power to the switches/lights in the house so you don’t have to go to each room)

Master Bedroom

  • 4 plug outlets near the bed in the master (again, consider the new outlets with USB ports for charging phones, tablets, etc.)
  • A light switch at the head of your bed so you can turn out the lights once you are in bed


  • Plan a specific place for your dog or cat food
  • Place for the kitty box if applicable
  • Place for dogs to be bathed
  • Place for dog crates


  • Check out Myron Ferguson’s book, “Better Houses, Better Living”
  • Receptacles for fire extinguishers. Maybe plan some cutouts so they are flush to the wall.
  • Where possible, pocket doors
  • Soundproofing where needed (ex. in between laundry room and bedroom wall)
  • Additional support during framing on the top side of windows for curtains
  • Ensure builders don’t “box” off spaces where storage or shelving could go
  • Minimal walls, lots of windows
  • Actual laundry room (not a hall or closet, a room)
  • Spindles on hand rail made that can be removed for moving furniture
  • Handicapped accessible

61 comments on “Little Things Not To Forget When Building…!

  1. hscheren
    July 17, 2013

    I love the closet! Especially the outlets, such a good idea!

  2. laurarkinney
    July 17, 2013

    I haven’t seen outlets with USB hook-ups before, what a great idea! Love the hidden storage in the bathroom. Wish my house was this awesome! Makes me want to build.

  3. cararead
    July 18, 2013

    These tips are fabulous and will really come in handy right about now while I’m making these types of decisions on our own new home build! Thank you!

  4. Nickl02
    July 18, 2013

    Great tips! I wouldn’t have thought to request no caulk around the base of a toilet or to take photos of wiring! I really like the idea of the mudroom having outlets too. And drawers below the kitchen sink? Yes, please!

    • Jody masuen
      February 15, 2017

      By code you have to have toilets caulked. We own a licensed plumbing company and caulking your toilet isn’t going to prevent leaks. If this is a problem someone did not install the toilet correctly. It must be caulked though to pass inspection.

      • Walters
        February 19, 2018

        She didn’t say it prevents leaks. She says it can hide potential leaks. I agree. I live above someone and I often check my toilet seals because i have leaked into the unit below. I’m not a professional but I assume over years my seal failed.

  5. Wanda Beck
    July 18, 2013

    Excellent ideas, especially for taking advantage of all those spaces for extra storage! Can NEVER have too much storage space!

  6. vtlinds
    July 18, 2013

    Thanks for taking a look and the feedback everyone 🙂

    • Yves
      September 23, 2015

      I agree. You can’t have enough storage space.

  7. Nick
    July 27, 2013

    We just met with our electrician for the initial walkthrough in a new build and we definitely used some of these ideas. Thanks so much for the great post!

    • vtlinds
      July 30, 2013

      Nice, so glad they were helpful 🙂

      • Linda Bentz
        November 22, 2019

        I would really emphasize the handicapped accessible idea. You don’t necessarily have to add grab bars until you need them, but having the higher height toilets wouldn’t hurt anyone.

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  9. Donna
    July 14, 2015

    Love your list. This is something I will refer back to in the future when we build. I have a few of things you might add:
    You said a knife drawer, how about this underneath the upper cabinets to keep little ones from it.
    Safe Room (intruder, severe weather, etc)
    In wall safe concealed as wall decor.

    Thanks for the list.

  10. ryan
    July 20, 2015

    you should put “thanks to the gardenweb website for all the points i took from it, and compiled here word for word lol, good tips none the less

  11. dlodge
    August 19, 2015

    ok ryan, i am new to this blog, but out of curiousity i went to the gardenweb web site … the only straight article i found on this only had about 8 bullet points, then lots of comments. So i don’t think this blog stole anything at all.

    • Amba
      September 2, 2015

      Anyone who is on gardenweb thought this before even reading the comments. Gardenweb has been around since the 1990s so they’ve had many posts outlining these same topics. I’ve seen other blogs compile the lists like this but they at least credit GW.

      • Amba
        September 2, 2015

        Anyone who is on gardenweb thought this before even reading the comments. Gardenweb has been around since the 1990s so they’ve had many posts outlining these same topics. I’ve seen other blogs compile the lists like this but they at least credit GW. Also, maybe some credit to the GW members whose pictures you used?

  12. Emily
    August 23, 2015

    I’m with Ryan…It looks strangely familiar to a post that I’ve already read, some changes, but on the whole too similar to be your own list

    • Sam
      September 17, 2015

      Your link takes me to an article from 2014. Her blog seems to be from 2013. But you’re right. The wording is strangely similar. Maybe The Bungalow Co plagiarized her? 🙂 But seriously, who cares? It’s all helpful info.

  13. Edie hindman
    August 24, 2015

    Don’t forget under cabinet drawers also!

  14. Nicole Monroe
    September 9, 2015

    Can you tell me brand & model number of the under sink rollouts that are attached to the drawer fronts?

    • mike eastman
      January 23, 2016

      Rev-a-shelf makes several different options. I have one for my garbage bins and it is pretty good but it wobbles and after a few weeks the cabinet door didn’t align very well. I use a small child latch to keep the dogs out. My wife wants me to build one using wood and drawer slides to eliminate this problem. If your size isn’t a standard or has special issues, it probably can be made by a local cabinetmaker.

  15. ambermsjourney
    November 5, 2015

    Love the great ideas! I never thought of 4 plug outlets by the master bed. Your closet ideas are geat!

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  17. Send Flowers&Gifts to China
    January 18, 2016

    To me. these are the best ideas for the house because it makes the house looks so clean but still useful! got lots of space that we can use!! THanks a lot!


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  19. mike eastman
    January 23, 2016

    Great ideas. I’ve used many including outlets that include USB ports and they are terrific. We have a power strip under our bed to accommodate the requirements. Extra support around windows is probably the best idea that is listed. Hanging curtains is soooo much easier if there is wood behind the places where the rods are hung. I also buried wood behind places where towel rods and especially behind where safety grab bars would be located in the bathrooms. None of these ever pull out.

  20. Jane
    September 18, 2016

    Lots of great ideas! Thank you!

  21. Laura Rossiter
    November 2, 2016

    Thank you, great ideas!

  22. Wilma Marlow
    November 14, 2016

    I was wondering how the pull outs below the sink would work. You have drain pipes garbage disposals under neath

  23. David
    January 7, 2017

    Hadn’t thought of the bathroom stuff

    Buying a new house now


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  27. Echelon
    February 17, 2017

    Please note the owner of the organizer drawer built in to tub is Echelon Construction in Utah. This was a picture taken in a home they built.

  28. Jai
    March 12, 2017

    Excuse me, MINIMAL Walls?!? Do homebuilders (and buyers) not realize you won’t have a place to put certain furniture (buffets, cabinets, desks etc.) or hang mirrors/artwork if everything is open? Not to mention the noise. I can’t wait for hallways, rooms and privacy to be back in fashion.

    • Max
      July 2, 2019

      At this point, pretty much no one is putting up buffets and cabinets, and desks have rooms to go in – yeah, those never went out of fashion. Plus, it’s so nice not to trip over a different wall every two feet or have to walk down a long, dark hallway that hasn’t seen the light of day in all of the years of its existence. (And really, no one has THAT MANY mirrors or artwork.)

  29. Maxine
    May 29, 2017

    One thing I forgot was electric outlet in stairwell to use for decorating stair railings at Christmas

  30. Melissa M
    July 12, 2017

    This is an excellent post. I won’t be building my home for a few years, but articles like this inspire me. I just love innovation, thoughtfulness, and efficiency in house design.

  31. Carrie Schwaderer
    July 21, 2017

    Are your home’s considered prefab or modular homes? We are looking around to see what our options are.

  32. Shaffi
    December 11, 2017

    What about solar pannels? Or ecologically planning your House to be indipendsnt and green?

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  35. HomeBuilder2018
    May 26, 2018

    Be sure to have outlets placed on the eaves of your roof for Christmas decorations with a switch inside the house on a timer!

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  37. Amy Arthur
    September 20, 2019

    Question: for the picture that has the drawers under the sink – how do you have a garbage disposal and plumbing with the drawers there? Just trying to understand how it all works. Thanks!

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  39. Kyle
    January 19, 2020

    Make sure the plumber puts in a recirculating line in so you have instant hot water at every faucets and shower. No waiting.
    An electrical plug up on the facia for Christmas lights eliminates extension cords.

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  41. chris
    September 4, 2020

    Great ideas…you make me dream big

  42. chris
    September 4, 2020

    Great ideas…you make me dream big

  43. Access Technologies
    November 10, 2020

    Its really helpful, great effort, thank you sir.

  44. Rajesh Shah
    February 12, 2021

    how to buy your great idea for commercial purpose. Waiting for favorable reply. Prompt reply will be highly appreciates.

  45. Yvette
    February 19, 2021

    I was told by my builder to add extra outlets on the porch where Christmas lights would start or stop. I thought this was genius!

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  48. Kathy
    March 17, 2021

    Getting ready to purchase and remodel my mother’s home (where I grew up.) These are super ideas I will incorporate!

  49. Prat P
    May 13, 2021

    Thank you. Design for new home going for City review. Will keep your list handy. Pny wall storage rocks !

    • Prat P
      May 13, 2021


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