Posts Tagged buckhead builder
I’ve been part of a really great discussion on Facebook about what people want in their dream home. Whether you are building your dream home from the ground up or renovating to enhance your existing home there are a lot of decisions to make. I decided to compile the advice and experience from the discussion because I think they have come up with a lot of great ideas. Real estate purchases are some of the biggest investments most of us will make in our lifetimes and great vision and planning will go a long way in making your house a home. I’m going do a series of posts with these ideas and I hope you’ll weigh in with comments, via email, or on my Facebook page with the things that make your home a dream.
I’m starting at the beginning with the big “whole home” items and I’ll be posting more over the next few weeks with advice for your dream kitchen, master suite, and outdoor living:
Let’s start with the big picture, the Whole House decisions:
- One of the first things to choose are plumbing fixtures. The fixtures you select may have proprietary stems and valves in the wall and the plumbing rough-in happens early in the build. So the style and brand will need to be selected early. Working with a great designer will guide you in making those decisions and getting the proper valves in the proper locations early.
- A good electrician that can also provide lighting design advice really helps (especially in a large house you want great lighting!) Make sure you have a plan in hard copy. It will help you down the road and if you ever sell the house as well if someone wants to make changes.
- Skylight tubes are great for natural light.
- Smart house technology:
- System controls lights, AC, security, and surround sound from an iPad or tablet.
- Centralized AV panel for the whole house including outdoor lighting, audio, and security.
- Remote app access via tablet or smartphone to control security, HVAC, etc. I’ve recently installed “Nest” systems in my house and love the fact that I can change the temperature in my home from my cell phone.
- USB charging stations built into outlets.
- USB outlets in bedrooms, kitchen and office
- Pop up outlets in the kitchen that are hidden until you need them.
- I’ve seent outlets so disguised in tile you can’t find them. I’ve heard its costly, but it sure is beautiful. This one below is a bit raised, I’ve seen them totally flush, but can’t find the picture right now. Houzz is a great resource for pictures of ideas.
- Everyone agrees – Heated floors throughout! They were said to be costly upfront but a total money saver over time by lowering heating costs and much healthier (especially for anyone with respiratory issues of any kind)
- People love hardwood, bamboo and cork flooring not only for the look but for ease of cleaning and helping with people with any allergies.
- Cork is forgiving on the knees, back, and feet and like hardwood, cork can be stripped and refinished. One commenter said she preferred a lighter finish on cork because her darker finish showed nicks, scratches from dogs and every bit of dust. It’s the look currently, but will need refinished so much sooner.
- Adjustable closet shelving in utility closet and kids closets. ELFA shelving from The Container Store was mentioned as a great option. It is able to adjust in kids closets for when they grow and as their needs change. Beautiful adjustable shelving can be pricey but it makes a large closet glamorous too.
- Max out your main floor storage! Make the steps into drawers, built–ins around the fireplace, banquette storage, mud room closets. Think about how much stuff you use and like to have within reach on the floor you do the most living in.
- Soft close drawers and cabinets.
- Christmas tree closet – slide the tree inside fully decorated after Christmas and then brings it back out next year.
- Shelving built in between the studs (rather than built ‘out’)
- Outlets in the fireplace mantle for Christmas decorations
- Elevator and handicap accessibility planning:
- Retired but very active friends didn’t put an elevator in when they built their dream home but they designed the house to accommodate one later as needed. Can’t hurt to plan ahead!
- All the doors were built wide enough to be handicapped accessible but were trimmed out to normal widths for resale. If they find they need it, they can take the trim down and voilà!
- Stair treads that are wider than builder grade are important- architects will automatically plan on builder grade measurements but wider stairs are a huge safety and comfort issue.
- Pocket baby gates around stairs. It’s like a pocket door but it’s a gate instead. Also, helps with pets.
- Green Design:
- Geothermal HVAC is incredibly energy efficient and doesn’t dry the air out as much in the winter (in part because it’s electric heat), and utility bills are SO low. Add the option to condition the air to prevent itchy skin in the winter.
- Solar panels
- Tankless water heater- never run out of hot water again! May need several in various areas in large houses or you’ll need a mini tank to give you instant hot water in all locations so you won’t be running the water and wasting that while you’re waiting for hot water!
- Nontoxic paints
- Dual flush toilets throughout the house – a great water saver
- Closed loop or gravity plumbing
- Whole house humidifier to keep winter air comfortable.
- Full house water filtration with carbon filter
- Whole house generator: a must during the aftermath of ice storms or windstorms!
- Central vac system
- Redirect all gutter to a tank for irrigation. There are systems out there that help you conserve water for outdoor use.
- Laser air cleaner in HVAC system that makes air in the home super clean.
- Mud room with hooks for storage and shoe bins and closets. Add a chalk board or magnetic message board to keep track of activities.
- Drying racks in laundry that are fixed to wall for hang dry. Flat drying racks that pull out in laundry for sweater drying. Big laundry sink for messes.
- I’ve written about solid wood garage doors here before and I still think they were a great choice for adding a lot of curb appeal and value to my home.
- Built-in dog crates
- A raised shower in the mudroom area – like the ones they have at dog washes – so you can bathe your dogs (without killing your back) on their way back inside if they are muddy, etc.
- Pestban is a system installed in the walls they can be serviced from outside that keeps out bugs and pests
- Recommended resources: ‘The Not So Big House’ that has less to do with size than how to use space that meets your family’s specific needs
- Professional designer up front to help with your interior colors and fixtures.
- Smart house systems installation.
Now it’s your turn; what advice do YOU have for building your dream home? We’ll be bringing you more on specific rooms soon, but its been so much fun to get everyone’s ideas! Head over to my Facebook page to join the discussion.
I had originally posted about my friends Lauren and Greg DeLoach when I started this blog a couple years ago. Greg is a contractor and Lauren is an interior designer. They are the complete design/build team. Now, they’ve made it big time, and I am so proud of them. Atlanta Homes Magazine recently featured a beautiful home they partnered with local architects Spitzmiller and Norris on.
It’s just another example of their talents. I will add that after working with Spitzmiller and Norris, they recommend them very highly. They also enjoyed working with architect Stan Dixon. As always, I recommend calling them for your design and contracting needs, but be prepared for a wait as they are booked a couple months out. Lauren is managing 3 small children, so right now she only works with Greg’s clients, but I’m sure in the future we’ll see her branching out from that as well. With work like this, it would be a shame if she didn’t.
Best wishes and much success, Lauren and Greg!
Maybe you’ve watched the television show Flipping Out on Bravo, maybe not. I get a kick out of it because sometimes when I’m dealing with (or a client is dealing with) builders and designers we probably feel how the star, Jeff Lewis, often feels in this program.
I have a real life Vinings/Buckhead answer to the remodeling/building nightmares: Cottage Industry Construction, owned by husband/wife team Lauren and Greg DeLoach. They have been friends and clients of mine for years.
Greg is a builder with a building degree from Georgia Tech and Lauren is a designer with a degree in Interior Design from the University of Georgia. Lauren regularly works with Greg’s clients drawing plans, space planning and making selections. Greg is amazing at keeping the project on time and on budget.
Everyone will have to sell their house someday and I often get calls when people are remodeling or building wondering what a prospective buyer’s preference would be, or asking me how important something is.
Greg and Lauren have a sense of what needs to be done at what price point with houses. She can select lighting fixtures for a $300,000 house or a $3M house and make them both look timeless and current.
On the TV program, Jeff Lewis does both design and building as well and he has a staff that he’s constantly firing or having issues with because it really is a tough job to marry the two.
Trying to keep on schedule (and on budget) is always a challenge and by working with a couple that is literally married I think the builder gets the answers he needs a lot quicker from the designer!
Greg, Lauren and I had a standing joke that I could sell all of their houses in “1” day. I think it took 3 days one time. Anyway, their talents of building, design and experience are worthy of making note. I want the DeLoach’s to start their own TV program, and of course I want to be the agent to sell all of their gorgeous houses!
Cottage Industry Construction has two projects going on in Buckhead currently, joining with great names in architecture locally. I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
I’m including some pictures and their contact information if you know of someone interested.
So stay tuned!