When it comes to building a home, or really any structure, there are a few common mistakes that even the best of us make sometimes. These are the kind of mistakes that make you look at a home and ask yourself, “what were they thinking?”. We don’t mean any offense. Brain farts happen, and sometimes that means an outlet ends up in a shower or the bathroom door hits the toilet when you open it. Jokes aside, here are some common mistakes that we see in projects. All that’s required to avoid them are planning, a little extra attention to detail, and maybe a second cup of coffee!
The first common we see is in the kitchen. When in a rush, builders sometimes order over-mount sinks when it should be under-mount and vice versa. So what’s the difference? An over-mount sink, also called a drop-in sink, is a sink that is dropped into a cut out in the kitchen counter top. A drop-in sink has a visible lip that rests on the counter and it is usually cheaper than an undermount style sink. On the other hand, an undermount sink has a hidden rim attached under the counter. This style slightly increases the counter space and is considered a little more attractive.
The problem with the sink arises when the wrong sink is ordered, or even worse, an expensive countertop is incorrectly cut for the wrong type of sink. So before you cut or order anything, just double check your measurements and what your client wants.
Next, let’s talk about outlets. Don’t forget them! Think very strategically about where you think plugs will be needed. You probably need more than you think! Consider where a TV will be needed and be sure to place an outlet on that wall, at an appropriate height. And before you place an outlet somewhere like on the floor, in a shower, in a closet, or right in the middle of a wall, just ask yourself if that is really where you think it should go.
When building a home, also consider how much space is needed to make the home feel comfortable. Your client might be asking for a limited square footage but rooms and hallways quickly become tight when you add furniture and decoration. A 10×10 space can quickly feel suffocating depending on the purpose of the space. Be sure to consider the traffic of each room and what will go inside of it. You might want to add a couple square feet to your home, just for some wiggle room.
Beyond having enough space, make sure your dimensions make sense. If you are designing a bedroom, make sure there is enough space for any sized bed to comfortably fit, along with nightstands, dressers, and walking space. Already, that’s a lot of space needed.
Another common mistake has to do with storage. An easily looked over flaw in home design can be forgetting to add enough closets. Not just clothing closets but coat closets, storage closets, linen closets, and pantries are all commonly forgoed. People have a lot of stuff and they need places to put it all! Don’t forget to add these different types of closets or just add a few extra storage areas in general when designing a home. Additionally, don’t forget a utility closet for the hot water heater! Having your heater along with the pipes that go with it hidden behind a door is a lot better than having it left out in the open.