When building your own home, you have the unique opportunity to create a space that reflects your personality and needs. Whereas purchasing a resale home automatically entails a certain amount of compromise, building new gives you the power to step into the role of a designer. But with great power comes great responsibility. As experts in the new home building industry, we’ve put together a list of features every new home should have to set it apart from other options.
1. Premium Materials
Everyone knows the colloquialism, “You are what you eat,” and the same is true for homes - they are what they’re made of. For this reason, the number one priority for a new home should be the quality of its materials. It’s especially important for buyers to consider that material quality checks should go beyond the obvious and the visible - like floors and countertops - and extend to the construction practices and materials used behind walls.
At Blenheim, we’re committed to building homes with premium materials. Over our thirty-five years in the home building industry, we’ve garnered several awards reflecting our commitment to excellence. What buyers of most new homes won’t know is how their home’s construction will bear up over time, which is why a company’s history over the long haul is so essential to discover.
2. High Quality Flooring
While many construction material decisions are in the hands of home builders, some upgrades are determined by home buyers. Durable, high-quality flooring is an investment where you can never go wrong. Not only do higher-quality floors add an ambiance of elegance and refined taste, but they also are highly practical, reducing the chance of visible (and unseen) wear and tear over the years.
During the home building process, you’ll be invited to browse through a myriad of design options and select the wood, tile, and carpet options that fit your tastes and needs. Remember, flooring is a place where it makes sense to invest in the best.
3. Energy-Efficient Options
The primary advantage new homes have over resale homes is that they can take advantage of the best modern techniques in energy-efficient design and materials. This encompasses everything from layout to insulation practices to energy-efficient doors and windows to HVAC systems to lighting to appliances. Since some of these choices are made by the builder and others by the buyer, be sure to have a conversation with your builder about how to construct a home with energy-efficient features to save on costly bills down the line.
4. Functional, Open Kitchen with a Large Island
Blenheim home designs are constantly evolving to reflect what we’ve learned at trade shows and cutting-edge markets, but one of the constants that hasn’t changed over the years is the importance of a functional, open kitchen with a large island. In many ways, the kitchen is the heart of the home more than any other room, simply because there’s something so special about preparing and enjoying food that brings people together and creates important bonds.
Having a kitchen that not only feels inviting but is also central, easily accessible, and highly functional is key. This means an open layout, plenty of storage, kitchen seating, excellent lighting, plenty of prep areas, and appliances located in places that match your most natural walking paths and lifestyle habits. Islands are always on trend and they’re almost always an asset since they tick plenty of the boxes above, from storage to prep space to seating and more.
5. First-Floor Bedroom Suite
Navigating your home shouldn’t be analogous to a trip to the gym, so we recommend that you leave the stair climber in your local fitness center. A first-floor bedroom suite, at least for the master bedroom, is essential simply because of the number of times you access your bedroom (and adjacent bathroom) throughout the day.
You won’t want to have to trudge up and down stairs each time you need a change of clothes, a book or tablet from your nightstand, or a quick shower before an evening event. Beyond ease of livability, first-floor bedrooms are also essential for anyone planning to age in place.
6. Strategically Located Laundry Room
While less obvious, the same considerations apply to laundry rooms. Locating your laundry room near your master suite is both practical and convenient, allowing you to toss work and workout clothes directly in the wash without toting a load across the house or up and down stairs. Needless to say, it also helps when hanging and folding clean clothes. We locate our closets by our bedrooms, so why not do the same for laundry rooms? Home designs should be simple, intuitive, and reflective of homeowner life patterns.
7. Tech Savvy Add-Ons
The Internet of Things (IoT) has so quickly evolved that it’s less the exception and more the new rule, and new homes have the unique advantage of being built with smart tech in mind. PCMag’s list of top smart home gadgets for 2019 includes Brilliant Control, a wall switch that connects smart devices in your home (music, lighting, temperatures, front door camera video, etc.); Arlo Ultra ultra high definition outdoor surveillance cameras to improve security; Ring Video Doorbell Pro to see who’s at the door; Smart Lock Pro + Connect for secure and easy home locking; Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control; Philips Hue Smart Lighting and Yeelight Smart LED Bulb; and so many more.
8. Beautiful Exteriors
While home buyers directly control features on the home’s interior, they also indirectly control features on the home’s exterior through their selection of a home builder and particular home models/layout modifications. Thoughtful exterior details and architectural finesse, as well as careful landscaping, contribute to strong curb appeal. These in turn contribute to your home’s overall value, as well as your own perception, experience, and enjoyment of your home.
At Blenheim, we know that our distinct architectural decisions are a large reason that home buyers choose to build with us, so we give a lot of thought to making our designs both unique and harmonious. We invite you to explore our communities to visualize why we believe beautiful exteriors are a must-have feature in your new home.