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New Home Construction: Things to consider?

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  • Dec 3rd, 2020 7:05 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 15, 2017
75 posts
63 upvotes
Nanaimo

New Home Construction: Things to consider?

My wife and I purchased a building lot and got possession Dec. 1st. It is in our desired neighbourhood, has a beautiful ocean view on East Vancouver Island (very moderate climate) and we see ourselves living there for very long-term. We have a nearly two-year-old and a three month old, so our family is complete. The lot is on a slope, with the back of the house facing the ocean. We are budgeting for a three-storey home (entry level with all the main living space, a walk-out basement with open rec room/bedroom/bathroom/utility/storage and a third story for the primary bedroom/ensuite/kids bedrooms. We may leave the basement unfinished to save a bit on initial budget, as we won't need the space immediately.

The design phase of the construction process will begin in the new year and I am wanting to make sure we can think of everything for the now, and for the future, to integrate into the build. Our current house was a new build 8 years ago, and I was a little involved during that process (running some Cat5 and speaker wire; taking pictures of everything in the walls before drywall went up...etc.). Considering we see this new home as a "forever home", or at least where we'll be raising our kids, we want to make sure we make some smart decisions on the cosmetic stuff that we can upgrade later and save us on the budget now. We also realize that we need to spend the money where it makes the most sense in the beginning, and I wanted to ask anybody else who has recently/currently gone through the same situation.

Some of the things on my list to give you an idea:
  • Run Cat6 to all rooms/locations it will be needed, including wifi access points. I stream all of our media from desktop PC to Fire Sticks on our TV's, may also setup a dedicated NAS at some point in the future - But essentially want to have all networking options ready and available
  • Run speaker wire for speakers in main level living room, kitchen, deck
  • Rough-in for electric car charger in garage
  • Rough-in for hot tub connection
  • Rough-in for wet bar in possibly unfinished basement
  • Durable finishes (flooring, cabinets) that will be able to take a beating from the kids growing up
  • Highest possible ceiling height in basement (*budget*)
  • As energy efficient home as possible (appliances, windows, doors etc.)
  • Outdoor plugs strategically placed for Christmas lights, outdoor cameras etc.
  • Natural gas connection for BBQ/Stove (this is pretty standard anyways)

I know this isn't everything, and I've left off some of the obvious/common things, and this is a dynamic list as I am usually thinking of stuff at all hours of the day in anticipation of design/construction starting in the new year. I just wanted to pick the brains of everybody here and see if there's something I haven't thought of.
6 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
2737 posts
1506 upvotes
Mississauga
Two things that I can think of.
Instead of stapling the cat6 cables, may be run a 1.5-2 inch PVC/ABS conduit with access points in each room. The advantage of having the conduit is that you can always add or replace cables in future if there is need.
Rough in for a 3pc bathroom in basement as well, in addition to the wet bar.
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 15, 2005
6011 posts
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Since you're in Vancouver, consider upgrading the insulation. There's been a few net zero or near net zero buildings that we done by simply changing the insulation type.
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Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
10247 posts
2808 upvotes
i would do the hot tub wiring at time of hot tub purchase. you are going to overpay with a builder, plus your still going to need it inspected again. unless your finishing the basement i wouldnt do it now, its easy to run later.
Deal Addict
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Sep 22, 2005
3901 posts
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Ottawa
Congrats on getting the lot and starting the process of building your dream house on the ocean side!

These are the things that I'd consider at the top of my head in addition to your list if I'm building a house like yours.

- A conduit or 2 from the basement/main floor to the attic for future wiring
- Rough-ins/cables for security cameras/NVR
- Ledger/backing for 2nd-level deck above your walk-out basement
- Support for ceiling fans where applicable
- Cabinets in laundry room
- Built-in desks/countertops/shelvings/bookcases
- Basement planning with respect to HVAC/plumbing layout
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 15, 2017
75 posts
63 upvotes
Nanaimo
IndyBeak wrote: Two things that I can think of.
Instead of stapling the cat6 cables, may be run a 1.5-2 inch PVC/ABS conduit with access points in each room. The advantage of having the conduit is that you can always add or replace cables in future if there is need.
Rough in for a 3pc bathroom in basement as well, in addition to the wet bar.
Yes thank you for the reminder, as I started looking into running a conduit between floors to make cable runs easier to upgrade in the future (learnt this from current house when I had to fix a Cat5 run and was a headache considering they were stapled into the studs.

And yes, the bathroom would get roughed in as well if we don't complete the basement.
rf134a wrote: Since you're in Vancouver, consider upgrading the insulation. There's been a few net zero or near net zero buildings that we done by simply changing the insulation type.
Excellent, and I'm glad somebody was able to comment on the net zero aspect of building as I will be looking to take advantage of any and all energy rebates/incentives.
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Feb 15, 2005
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BiggieWalls wrote: Excellent, and I'm glad somebody was able to comment on the net zero aspect of building as I will be looking to take advantage of any and all energy rebates/incentives.
Your ocean facing sloped lot is similar to this one:
https://www.dwell.com/article/west-bay- ... t-952c57f6

There's also this one for under $400k:
https://www.mycampbellrivernow.com/3645 ... er-island/

IIRC, Vancouver/Vancouver Island has one of the lowest costs of getting to net zero with a premium of around 10% vs 15-25% over here in Edmonton. You don't need to go crazy with 24" adobe walls due to your favourable climate.
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