Decision Time

So you are building a new home . . . .

Building a custom home is both exciting and daunting!  There are so many options available that it is sometimes hard to know where to begin to create the home of your dreams.  This Guide will help you think through the elements of your home.  By doing some research ahead of time, it is less stressful to make the decision during the building process.  

The following list will give you some options and websites where you can go to do further research.  

  • Are the sidewalks and driveways on your site plan where you actually want them?
  • Are the stairs wide enough?
  • Do you need an A/C pad(s) or garbage can pads?
  • Do you want stamped or colored concrete?
  • What type of exterior is on your house and where?  This will make a difference on how the footings are poured.
  • Will your house be all one material on the exterior or a mixture of finishes?
  • The foundation will be poured according to what material will be placed on the exterior of  the home, so it needs to be decided early.
  • Brick options include:
    • Brick (or painted brick)
  • Brick comes in many sizes.  The most common are:
    • King (largest and most economical)
    • Engineered
    • Modular
    • Thin Brick (used for interior walls and backsplashes)
  • Brick orientation:
    • Stretcher or Stretching brick
    • Header or Heading brick
    • Soldier
    • Sailor
    • Rowlock
    • Single Basket Weave bond
    • Double Basket Weave bond
    • Herringbone bond
  • Mortar for brick comes in many colors.  Brick yards will have samples for you to choose.
  • Tooling (the way the mortar is finished between the brick)
    • Raked –rough finish
    • Tooled – Concave finish
    • Flat – Flush with brick
    • Trial Cut – Brushed
    • Grapevine – Raised bead
  • Stone corners
  • Fiber cement siding (such as Hardie Board) jameshardie.com/
  • Vinyl
  • Wood and Wood timbers
  • Many ideas can be found on Pinterest and Houzz.com
  • Roofing material options:
    • 30- or 50-year regular or architectural shingles
    • Bar Tile (cement)
    • Metal
    • Ceramic
    • Slate
    • Wood Shakes
  • Roof vents:
    • Turtle back vents
    • Ridge vents
    • Electric fan vents
  • Soffit and Facia are the metal trims around the roof.
  • Rain Gutters:
    • What color do you want the rain gutters and downspouts to be–the same as the soffit and facia or contract with them?
    • Where do you want the downspouts to be located on the house?
  • You will need interior and exterior doors
  • Material options:  real wood, smooth fiberglass, steel, textured and stainable fiberglass
  • What size door?  Is there a window included?
  • Do you want transom windows above doors?
  • Do you want glass in the door or as sidelights?
  • Do you want internal blinds in doors with glass?
  • Do you want barn doors?
  • If you get molded doors, do you want hollow core or solid core?
  • What style of door?
  • Hinges are either standard or ball bearing
  • Color options are:  Polished Brass – Lifetime Brass – Satin Brass & Black – Oil Rubbed Bronze – Venetian Bronze – Distressed Oil Rubbed Bronze – Polished Chrome – Satin Nickel – Antique Nickel, Dull
  • Hinges typically match the door knobs/levers
  • Brands for door hardware include:
  • Basic insulation would be R-19 batts. Insulation can be upgraded by using net and blow fiberglass, which would increase it to R-23.  If you have polyurethane foam applied to the walls before the net and blow method, it increases the insulation to R-30.  If you use polyurethane and batt insulation, it increases it from R-19 o R-30.
  • R-38 is required in the attic. However, we recommend increasing it to R-50.
  • Do you want to insulate the garage? It is not required by code.
  • The best value is net and blow insulation.
  • There are many brands of appliances from which you can choose. Your home could include these appliances:
    • Range or cooktop
    • Ventilation fan
    • Refrigerator/Freezer
    • Wall oven(s)
    • Dishwasher(s)
    • Microwave
    • Warming Drawers
    • Ice Maker
    • Wine/soft drink cooler
    • Trash compactor
    • Laundry appliances
  • Brands include Amana, Bosch, Frigidaire, GE , Hotpoit, Jen-Air, Kitchenaid, LG, Subzero/Wolf, Thermador, Viking, Whirlpool
  • You can go to the following resources to look at many of these brands in the same showroom:
    • Fergusons Appliance Showroom
    • RC Willey
    • Mountainland Design
    • For Your Kitchen
    • Fuller Appliance
  • Your plumbing options need to be decided before the foundation is even poured. Your choices will determine the location and type of pipe lines.
  • The type of faucets you choose with determine the fittings used. These must also be chosen early.
  • You will need to choose:
  • Sinks and Faucets:
    • Kitchen sink
      • Options include: under mount or top mount, granite, composite, stainless steel or cast iron
    • Veggie sink
    • Kitchenette sink
    • Laundry sink
    • Bathroom sinks
    • Bathroom pedestal sinks
    • Garage utility sink
    • Dog wash
    • Hot/cold faucets in the garage
  • Ice Machine:
    • There are two methods for draining ice machines—gravity or internal drain pump. You will have to decide which methods to use.
  • Bathtubs:
    • Soaker or jetted
    • Built in or stand alone (Stand alone tubs require separate tub fillers)
  • Toilets:
    • Toilets are all required to be low-flow. Options include:  standard or elongated bowls, standard or comfort heights, standard or soft-close lids
    • Do you want a bidet included?
  • Water Softeners:
  • Water Purification (R/O System)
  • Hot Water Heaters:
    • Options include 40- and 50-gallon water heaters or tankless water heaters.
    • Do you want a recirculating system installed for instant hot water?
  • Drinking Fountains:
  • Exterior Water Faucets:
    • Where do you want the exterior water faucets located around the house?
  • There are several places you can go to look at samples of sinks, tubs, faucets, etc.:
  • Fixture and outlet locations should be discussed with your architect and included in the plans as much as possible. The electrician will bid off these plans.  An allowance will be given in your construction bid.  Some elements to consider include:
    • Light fixtures
    • Ceiling fans
    • Security systems
    • Audio/Visual system prewire
    • Audio/Visual equipment
    • Night lights on stairs and in bathrooms
    • Under- and over-counter lights
    • Christmas light needs
    • Heat tape outlets
    • Floor outlets
    • Solar
    • “Smart Home” technology
    • Backup generator
    • Bathroom heat
    • Bedside switches
    • Doorbell (locations)
    • Closet outlets (for built-in ironing boards/battery chargers, etc.
    • Washers/dryers
    • Computer areas
    • Driveway heat
    • Recessed lights in eves
    • Exterior lighting and outlets
    • Fireplace blower
    • Garage heater
    • Jetted tubs/Steam shower
    • Kitchen appliances
    • Mantle outlets
    • Motion sensors
    • Multi-set lights
    • Sprinkler wiring
  • Following are some websites where you can look for lights and security systems:
HVAC includes the following:

  • Furnace and Air Conditioning Systems:
    • Heating and air conditioning throughout the house can be controlled by installing separate systems for each area of the house or by installing zone controls
    • Do you want to install a “smart” system?
    • Do you want humidifiers or air purifiers installed?
    • We recommend you install at least a 95% furnace.
  • Cooktop Gas Line
  • BBQ Gas Line
    • Are you installing a built-in BBQ grill?
    • Do you want to be able to attach your BBQ grill directly to a gas outlet
    • Are you installing an outdoor pizza oven?
  • Dryer Gas Line
    • Do you have a gas dryer?  Where will it be located?
  • Garage Heater:
    • Do you want to install a heater in your garage area now or in the future?
  • Fire Pit:
    • Do you want a gas fire pit located in your yard?

 

  • What kind of mantel and hearth do you want around the fireplace?
  • What kind of exterior do you want around the fireplace?
Drywall:

  • Drywall can either be smooth or textured. You can decide how much texture you want applied.
  • Corners can be either round or square.
  • Ceilings can be either smooth or textured, depending on the accents you want added.
  • Garages must be fire taped. We recommend that you tape and paint the garage to  match the look of the rest of the house.
  • Drywall is rated between 1 = rough to 5 = smooth. Typically we finish with smooth walls.  If you choose smooth ceilings, they are finished at a level 5.  The cost is calculated by the square footage.

Brick and Stone:

Wallpaper:

Tile:

  • You can look at tile samples at flooring stores like Kay Riley, Mike & Sterlings and RC Willey. There are many large tile stores in Salt Lake.  Listed below are a few:
    • Floor and Décor

    12101 S. State Street

    Draper, UT

    • Contempo Tile

    3732 S. 300 W.

    Salt Lake City, UT

     

    • Dal Tile

    3037 S. 300 W.

    Salt Lake City, UT

     

    • Inside Out Architecture

    3412 S. 300 W., Ste. A

    Salt Lake City, UT

  • A flooring allowance is set in the budget.  There are many flooring stores that can help you make your flooring decisions.  Flooring options include
    • Wood
      • What kind of wood do you like?
      • Do you liked a smooth or hand-scraped look?
      • Do you like an engineered or solid wood?
      • Do you want it pre-finished or finished once it is laid?
    • Carpet
      • What style, thickness and color do you like?
      • What kind of pad do you want under the carpet?
      • Something to consider is picking your carpet out first and then matching your paint to the carpet.
    • Tile, choices include:
      • Ceramic Tile
      • Porcelain Tile
    • Stone
      • Slate Tile
      • Marble Tile
      • Granite Tile
      • Travertine Tile
    • Laminate
      • This would be a Pergo-type floor
    • Vinyl
  • Some places you can look for flooring include:
  • There are different approaches to interior paint. What look do you want?
    • 1-tone paint: one color (latex) paint on all trim, doors, walls and ceiling
    • 2-tone paint: one color (latex) paint on trim and doors.  A second color of latex paint on the walls and ceilings
    • 3-tone paint: one color (latex) paint on trim and doors, a second color of (latex) paint on the walls and a third color of (latex) paint on the ceilings
  • There are different sheens available for each color of paint.  What do you want your paint finish to look like?  Typically the following sheens are used in the following areas:
    • Low sheen – ceilings
    • Medium/eggshell – walls
    • Semi-gloss – Trim, woodwork or anywhere you want the paint to look smooth
  • Paint colors can be seen at:

 

Mirrors:

  • What kind of mirrors do you want over the vanities?
  • Do you want the mirrors to be framed?
  • Do you want to installed mirrors that you purchase from other places?

Tub/Shower Surrounds:

  • Options include:
    • Standard – fully framed with aluminum
    • Semi-Euro – partially framed with aluminum
    • Euro – minimally framed
  • Finish carpentry is what will make your house unique. There are many styles and options.  As you meet with the finish carpenters, it is helpful to have an idea of the style you are trying to achieve.  Finish carpentry includes the finishes around:
    • Door and window casings
    • Base
    • Header trim on doors and windows
    • Window sills
    • Crown molding
    • Accent wall features
    • Ceiling features
    • Window seats/benches
    • Closet systems
    • Storage shelving
    • Stairs
      • Style
      • Wood or metal
      • Painted, stained or combination
      • Caps of stair treads
    • You can look at pictures in the Gallery to see samples of what Mike has done in homes he has built
    • Pinterest and Houzz.com are also good places to look for ideas