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What We Learned From Our Mistakes While Building (Pt 1)

Hindsight is 20/20. No one gets their build 100% right, but by talking with barndo-owners we’ve learned a few things. Thank you to all of the homeowners that shared their insight.

Open-concept homes present unique challenges. For example, most homeowners don't want their collection of countertop appliances to be visible from every doorway in the house. Because of this, butler's pantries are back and need more plugs than ever before. Standard spacing for outlets is one every 6 feet, but in an area like the butler's pantry, you might ask to double that.

Oftentimes people (me included) will choose to add porches after the house is done, its a great way to save money on the initial build and cut a little time off the build process, however those zones are so helpful for mitigating mess. If youre going to forego those spaces and build them at a later date, carefully consider if its possible to pour the slabs for them at the same time as the house so you can still use those areas to wipe shoesbefore entering the house. Its a small change but might save you a ton of back breaking clean up during and after construction.

When planning your build, take some time to list every single piece of equipment and car that you'd like to store in the garage, then play around with graph paper and start laying it out. It's amazing how in that relatively quick exercise, a 4-car garage begins to feel tight. Some ways to maximize that space could be the addition of a mezzanine or a covered lean-to off the side of the house where cars can live while big projects happen indoors. It's better to over-estimate the amount of space you'll need, than under-estimate and have regrets.

This simple addition to your slab could save you thousands of dollars and tons of heartache from water damage. Just the other day I spoke with a homeowner who was put out of her home for 6 months due to a flooding washing machine. Garage drains- great for mitigating clean up when wet or snowy cars are parked Laundry drains- can prevent an overflowing washer from destroying your home Mechanical room drains- Would be extremely helpful in the event of a faulty water heater or softener leaking

When you spend a lot of time on Pinterest and Instagram or watch a lot of HGTV, you start to notice trends. For example, 10 years ago shiplap was extremely popular. That stuff was everywhere. I've even seen shower tile installed to look like shiplap, but today, its not as popular, and sometimes looks very dated. If you were to shiplap every wall in your build today, and go to sell in 10 years, it's highly unlikely that buyers would be excited about 3,000+ sq ft of shiplap. Other notable trends that could be expensive to change would be bathroom tile and ceiling treatments (like faux beams) which could require tons of repair work and cleanup.


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