“Must Have” Items for any Dream Home
Whether you are building a new dream home or just renovating your existing digs, here are eighteen home features you absolutely must include in your plans:
Motion activated video doorbell
Motion doorbells are not new by any stretch, but today they are so affordable, useful and easy to install that every home should have one. There are many choices and options available so check to see what fits best for your budget. I personally have a Ring at the front door of my home and several at doors around my office. What’s great about these is they monitor and record anything that happens at your front door, plus you can interact with visitors to your home remotely using your phone.
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Video monitoring system
Internet connected video cameras can easily be set up to monitor your entire home.
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Power outlets at every toilet
Toilets can now be equipped with electronic controls and attachments that require an outlet for power. The outlets are inexpensive and easy to install during construction but expensive and difficult after. For this reason, contractors and remodelers should install one as standard equipment at every toilet area.
Consider Washlette toilet seats
These are the famous “butt-washer” mechanisms pioneered by Toto over the years. At one time they were only available on the expensive top-of-the-line Toto toilets. Now they are sold as replacement seats and can be adapted to almost any existing toilet. Prices and availability are much improved over the last two years, and these adapter units can even be had at your local Costco. Washlettes are amazing pieces of engineering for your dream home that provide seat warming and air drying. They are said to improve cleanliness, hygiene and can even reduce TP and we all know how valuable that is now.
RELATED: Baby Wipes are NOT a Replacement for Toilet Paper!.
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Touchless kitchen faucets
Now this is an item that you might not consider until you use one a while. We have two in our kitchen now and find we really love being able to wash messy hands without touching the handles. Washing dishes is easier too as most have a front sensor that automatically turns on the water when dishes are waived in front. The temperature can be preset. These are affordable and offered in stylish models. I believe ours is made by Delta.
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Whole house water filters
Water everywhere is becoming questionable. A whole house filtration system not only can prevent a long list of pathogens it can help remove sediments from your plumbing system that can shorten the life of your fixtures.
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Demand water heaters
This is another product that has been around for ages but has recently evolved to become a total must-have. Demand water heaters save water, energy and last longer than the old tank-type units. If properly plumbed, the newest versions can circulate water to be instantly available at every fixture in the dream home. Maintenance is required once a year and involves a flushing of the system to remove calcium and sediment.
RELATED: Get Payback for your Energy Conservation.
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Refers in this configuration are less imposing and take up a smaller footprint. Since they don’t protrude from the cabinets, they can be made to blend into the design instead of becoming the focus point. I like them because the shelves are not so deep, you can see the contents clearly and the beers are easier to reach.
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Pantries in lieu of upper cabinets
Upper cabinets tend to block views and close in on the space around you at head height. High shelves are also hard to use. Design some space for a pantry instead.
Outlets with USB charging ports
There is no way around it, we are a population of portable electronics users. Installing outlets with built-in USB ports saves having to hunt around when a charge is needed. Just grab your cord and plug in anywhere.Put these handy outlets at every countertop and work area.
RELATED: No More Hunting Down Device Chargers.
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Patio fire pit and/or patio heater
This sounds like a luxury item although a fire pit can be used to practically expand your living space into the outdoors. Fire pits are sexy, warm, inviting and fun. You can get free standing models that are gas, propane and even wood burning. Follow instructions and be safe.
RELATED: Fire Pit Safety Tips.
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We have become more and more electricity dependent over the years, while our main power sources have become prone to unexpected outages. These outages are not only inconvenient, but they can also cause serious damage if they persist. Back-up power systems are becoming mandatory. Even a small system consisting of a portable gas generator can help avoid disaster when the problem arises.
RELATED: 10 Reasons Every Home Needs a Back Up Generator.
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Garage storage and organization
There never seems to be enough storage room. Using the space in your garage smartly can provide loads of storage capacity. Many designers and vendors specialize in making cabinet/closet/bench systems for your garage that work efficiently when it comes to storing and organizing your stuff.
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Work-from-home office areas
As we all learned during the Covid-19 epic, working from home is something we need to be prepared for. Good designs will ensure you have plenty of light, desk space, outlets and places for computers, printers, files and most importantly big monitors.
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Outdoor living space
Creating a place for outdoor entertaining can instantly make your dream home look and feel bigger and more luxurious. Unused patios or empty yard areas can be converted into little oasis of enjoyment with just a little creative effort.
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To function in today’s living environment requires high-speed internet coverage everywhere in and around the home. People working from home may need to stay connected as they roam around the house and yard with their tablets and laptops. Appliances, video doorbells, outdoor lighting, irrigation controllers and even garage door operators can all require fast connections to the internet. A good router system is mandatory.
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Moisture and leak detection system
Water leaks around areas of the home where water lines are located have caused enormous and costly property damage over the years. Now there are systems that will detect leaks and moisture as it occurs and automatically shut off the water and alert the homeowner to take further action. Remote moisture sensors are located at each potentially critical location (under sinks, behind washing machines, below refers with ice makers, etc.) When these sensors are triggered, a valve turns off the water supply. Long overdue, these systems have improved and become very sophisticated over time. The good news is many homeowner insurance policies will provide discounts if you install these systems.
RELATED: New products that can prevent major water leak damage.
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These are one of the nicest and most luxurious additions to your dream home. If you are contemplating any major renovation or remodel to kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, you absolutely must consider adding warm floor heating to the budget. I have them in my home which is super insulated and just the warm floors alone are enough to keep the home toasty warm all winter. In the three years we have lived in the home, we have yet to use the forced air furnaces.