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New construction house upgrades - non obvious but very important

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  • Apr 8th, 2016 8:31 pm
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[OP]
Member
Oct 11, 2007
340 posts
43 upvotes

New construction house upgrades - non obvious but very important

We are in the process of starting to build a new and completely custom house. I've been researching what upgrades/structural changes that don't always come to mind yet important to have. So I don't have the "Doh!" moments later (or have a few as possible).

Especially things that are hard or more expensive to retrofit later on.

What are the things you did in your new house you were glad you did or. Or things you wished you did?

A few to begin with:

- Conduit basement to attic
- Electrical outlets in kitchen island
- Soffit plugs for christmas lights with the switch
- At least 1 basement window large enough to fit drywall sheet through
- Floor drain in laundry room (when it's on first and second floor) - in case washing machine leaks
- Operable windows
- 9' wide garage doors (if using single doors)
- CAT6 cable outlets
- 200Amp Main

What else?
44 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
29613 posts
15411 upvotes
Toronto
- basement ceiling height would be #1 in my book.
- finished the basement ? heated flooring ?
- walk out/up basement to rear yard ?

- Home theatre wiring rough in
Newbie
Nov 16, 2009
93 posts
5 upvotes
Rexdale
what is "Conduit basement to attic"?
Newbie
Oct 14, 2010
52 posts
19 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
This one is courtesy of a friend of mine: water shut-offs for all of the taps. He didn't realize his new build didn't have them until he had a leaky tap. He said he would have gladly paid the extra to have them installed during the build had he known.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12343 posts
6916 upvotes
Brampton
LiquidHog wrote: This one is courtesy of a friend of mine: water shut-offs for all of the taps. He didn't realize his new build didn't have them until he had a leaky tap. He said he would have gladly paid the extra to have them installed during the build had he known.
I thought that was code....
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12343 posts
6916 upvotes
Brampton
Gas Line for the dryer and gas line for the Stove.

With the way Electricity and NG prices are going this will pay off in the long run.
Network Cable to where you might want to install cameras.
Washroom rough-ins

Read that Hot water tank rental contract closely make sure you can break it early and buy your own tank.

Do you really need a 200A main. Everyone is going gaga over this these days. You really only need it if you're gonna an outdoor hot tub or thinking of having 2 or more electric cars.
Banned
Apr 3, 2016
81 posts
9 upvotes
List currently,I think of;
- Smooth ceilings (Gets kinda messy when you have to do it later on)
- Window size increases (In basement, if its an option)
- Water line to refrigerator
- Patio door size increase ( if allowed)
- Rough in basement for future washroom
- Laundry room on main/2nd level (some people like laundry room upstairs)
- Fireplace (if you like and can afford), requires structural changes (If you like it plan for it now)
- Bigger bath tub (standard is 60" may be you can go for 72", if you can afford)
- Electrical sockets (in case you need at specific places)


My 2 cents, define your upgrades budget, I think its safe to spend up-to 5% of your purchase price on upgrades and return of investment will be about 50%.
Example: $500k Purchase price, Consider to spend Max of $25000 on upgrades.
If you sell house, at-least $12500 is money well spent and can attract potential buyer, of-course in the current inflated market, you can make more too.

The thing to remember is we all have different tastes, what you feel important or nice to have doesn't necessarily mean the same to others, (you might probably aware of this), spend $ wisely and believe me they run out very fast ;) some builders charge exorbitantly, cant complain, that's the nature of construction business.
Newbie
Oct 14, 2010
52 posts
19 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
tebore wrote: I thought that was code....
Could be; I have no idea. I'm just going on what I was told. It could be something that changed since he got his place or it could be a provincial thing.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 25, 2015
1130 posts
514 upvotes
York Region
condor11 wrote: Thanks. What are some of the things it is needed for?
Electric vehicle mostly.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12343 posts
6916 upvotes
Brampton
bacalhau4me wrote: Electric vehicle mostly.
If your basement isn't going to be finished, it's not that hard to add tho.

Structural things are harder to change after
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 25, 2015
1130 posts
514 upvotes
York Region
tebore wrote: If your basement isn't going to be finished, it's not that hard to add tho.

Structural things are harder to change after
All the good choices were already taken
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
16890 posts
7181 upvotes
condor11 wrote: - Conduit basement to attic
One thing to keep in mind with running conduit into your attic is that you need the proper fire protection, otherwise in the event of a fire it will go right up through your conduit into your attic. I have no idea where you are located, but I think code in some provinces requires you to use a fire stop. It can be as simple as insulation, but if you are doing it yourself you may not realize it (or the builder may forget).
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 11, 2011
3519 posts
1869 upvotes
Ontario
...if you have a bathroom without a window, a light in the shower/tub is a plus. I have mine on a switch with the ceiling fan.

Insulated garage door.

Extra laundry tub in the basement if the laundry is going upstairs.

Upgrade baseboard, trim, doors, that's if your builder uses the cheap 2" stuff and the pressed/imprinted Colonial doors.

Extra coat of paint.

Natural gas BBQ hook-up.

Outside taps. Soft water in garage to wash cars. All others to have hard water to water plants/lawn.
Sr. Member
Jun 5, 2011
854 posts
172 upvotes
LONDON
you don't need a 200AMP main any more with energy efficient appliances/led or cfl bulbs, etc. You can add a heated pool and hot tub to a 100AMP main on new build home with the how efficient they are now. Ask the builder to have the electrician use the tandem breakers so you have room in your panel for expansion.


Only needed if you plan on adding a "shop" to your backyard or garage with some high draw tooling.

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