Building a new home gives you almost unlimited freedom to create a space you’ll love for decades. That comes with an additional challenge though – when the sky’s the limit, what should you include in your building?
There are lots of options to choose from. Working with a team like McCarthy home builders can help you sort through the available possibilities and design a space that speaks to your lifestyle.
In this article we’re going to explore some of the most popular new build features of the past year, and how they can make a difference to your new home!
Open Floor Plans
Many homeowners prefer open and spacious living areas that combine the kitchen, dining and living rooms. This design promotes a sense of connectivity and makes the home feel larger.
You don’t need to worry about privacy though. Many new home floor plans combine an open living area with additional spaces, such as a home theatre or teenager’s retreat. This means you can still get some separation without sacrificing the connectivity of open plan living.
Energy-efficient features such as LED lighting, energy-efficient windows, proper insulation, and efficient appliances are in high demand. These features not only save you money, they can significantly reduce your environmental impact.
Designing with these features in mind can also make your home substantially more efficient. By taking advantage of passive heating and cooling features, insulation and the natural properties of landscaping, you could save up to 90% on your energy consumption.
A well-designed, modern kitchen with high-quality appliances, ample counter space, and storage is a priority for many homebuyers. Kitchens are still one of the biggest selling points in a home, so it’s worth investing in your spaces upfront.
One of the biggest trends over the past year has been the rise in walk-in and butler’s pantries. These small additions can make a big difference to the way you use your kitchen, and they’re ideal for large families or anyone that likes to entertain.
Hardwood flooring is a timeless and durable choice. It’s a preferable alternative to carpet, tile or modern laminate surfaces. While other types of flooring have their place, hardwood is still the premium option.
Upgrading to hardwood is often an expensive decision. But, hardwood looks fantastic forever, it’s low maintenance and it adds a sense of warmth that’s unrivalled by all other types of flooring. If you are building your own home, it’s worth considering the upgrade, as there will never be another opportunity to change your mind.
Higher ceilings can make a room feel more spacious and luxurious, and they are a sought-after feature in many new homes. The standard ceiling height is 2.4 metres. Many builders offer upgrades to 2.7 or even 2.9 metres, but you can go as high as you like.
Upgrading to high ceilings does cost money. If you want to keep your budget under control, you can increase the ceiling height in the main living areas, but stick with lower ceilings in bedrooms. This will make your living areas feel bright and spacious, and it will make the bedrooms feel cosy and private by comparison.
You can never have enough storage in a home. Many homeowners choose extra bedrooms over storage, but making sure you have ample closet space is one of the best things you’ll ever do.
There’s almost unlimited flexibility in how you can achieve this. Walk-in closets, built-in shelving and storage spaces dotted throughout the house are your best bet. If you have lots of things to store, you can also consider an extension to your garage or living space with large sets of built-in cupboards.
Ducted Air Conditioning
Installing ducted air conditioning can be a laborious process. The hard work that’s involved is the main reason that ducted air conditioning is so expensive.
The best time to purchase a ducted system is during the build process. At this point, technicians can easily access your ceiling and underfloor cavities, making it simple to install ductwork. This reduces the amount of time and labour required, allowing you to enjoy ducted air con for a fraction of the normal price.
Home Office Spaces
The demand for home offices or flexible workspaces has increased with the rise of remote and flexible work arrangements. It’s no longer enough to convert a spare bedroom into a home office – builders are increasingly providing dedicated study space.
These home offices include features like better network connectivity, specialised video chat backgrounds, built in bookcases and
These areas provide a convenient space for organising and storing outdoor gear, backpacks and shoes. They’re typically located between the front door and the foyer, and most contain simple features like a hanging space, a stool to sit on and tie your shoes, and storage for things like umbrellas.
Mud rooms are a fantastic way to keep dirt and grit out of the rest of your house, particularly if you live in a rural area.
For those who don’t want a mud room at the front of the house, they can also be installed on a side or rear door. Anyone who’s out in the yard can enter via the mudroom, while visitors can still use the front door like normal.
Smart Home Features
Smart technology has come a long way in a short space of time. It’s now found all over new houses, where it’s used to control things like lights, blinds, entertainment systems, appliances, climate control and much more.
The right smart home system can change the way you live and make your home more comfortable. The only trick is that smart technology needs to be baked into your design from the beginning.
While it’s possible to retrofit smart features in an existing house, it’s much easier to do during the build phase when it’s simple to do things like run additional wiring, provide network cabling, and interconnect devices.
(Feature Image Source: McCarthy Homes)