Delivering high quality results while keeping within a client’s budget can be difficult when trying to build their dream home with all future proof features. It’s important to be proactive and consider a number of features for practicality and convenience that should be installed during the new build to save money in the long run and lengthen the life and value of the home.
Take solar panels for example, it’s better to have them planned for and installed during the new build, rather than 5 years down the track when the client is looking for ideas to cut down their electricity bill. Not only will the installation cost more later on, they would end up spending more altogether with their electricity build and installation costs combined.
Let’s take a look at other electrical installations / domestic specialties you should consider planning for and customising to suit your client’s lifestyle and wants for their dream house. Getting these features installed by a qualified and reliable electrical team during the build will save money and time later on, future proof the home, and make delivering the sought after features of the new build to the client even easier.
Solar panels are a very sought-after feature in new builds, but clients are often hesitant towards deciding whether or not they should get the solar panels installed during the build or after a few years to save money. However, solar panels are a more cost-effective investment on a new build rather than waiting 5 years down the track for installation. This is because you can factor in the most optimum location for the panels on the roof and work the placement of the TV aerial or any other units around the panels, rather than the other way around if they were to be installed later on.
Additionally, the cost the client saves on their electricity bill is more effective as it will start paying itself off a lot quicker than if it was installed later on. Not to mention, if the build is a multi-storey house, you can get the solar panels installed during the build, and avoid paying for scaffolding twice.
Smart Home Technology / Home Automation
Smart home tech gadgets like Google Homes and Amazon Echos have been rising in popularity over recent years, combined with smart light bulbs and the likes being easily accessible and simple to set up (Hey Google, turn off the lights), but there is actually even more out there in the world of home automation systems that can be incorporated into a new build to suit the client’s lifestyle and desired features.
Core elements of home automation include: lighting, heating and security for the home. There are so many features to explore that can add value to a new property, as well as add convenience to the homeowner’s life. While designing a smart home can be a bigger investment to make upfront, it’s worth it as it would replace some costs spent on conventional fixtures and wiring, as well as reducing the electricity bill later on (You can’t forget to turn the lights off when you leave the room if the lights turn themselves off.)
Integrated home automation features from smart window blinds, to smart heating, home security systems, and entertainment systems are much more cost-effective and streamlined to be integrated into a new build during the design/planning stage as opposed to later on as all considerations for switchboards and control panels can be futureproofed and adapted (Think: Electric car charging ports. It might seem far off now but these are features to consider for the future when anticipating how much power a switchboard can handle.)
Lighting options are one of the most important factors to consider when designing a new build. From the colours and types of bulbs, to outlet placements, to tailored lifestyle considerations, great lighting can truly transform a home and take it to the next level.
The average household dedicates 5% of its energy budget to lighting, so it’s important to consider which lighting option is most suitable for which rooms and lifestyles. Some of the most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although these options can cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs to begin with, they are much more energy efficient and will save more money and time spent replacing bulbs in the long run.
Plan for convenience by ensuring you have outlets anywhere the client plans to have holiday decorations / Christmas lights. Good spots include on the mantelpiece, recessed into bookcases, and in-ground outlets near the tree for easy access. Consider having all of these outlets on the same circuit so they can be switched on and off at once.
Lightswitch / Outlet placement
There are a number of important aspects to consider for outlet placement during the design stage. For example, adding exterior light switches outside of any dark storage areas to avoid having to stumble around in the dark to find the lightswitch; or ensuring there are enough outlets in the bathroom if the client plans to use a lot of hair styling tools - and even considering having USB outlets too if they often charge their phone at the same time. These are personal touches that can be tailored to each new build.
When planning a new build, you will most importantly consider the thermal efficiency of the home including heating, ventilation, cooling and airflow, amongst other considerations such as orientation of the floor plan, quality insulation, roof colours, window eaves and awnings to keep the house cool during the hot Summer season and keep the heat in during the colder months.
The best and most economically efficient solution to consider is ducted air conditioning which is most easily installed during a new build. Especially with multi-storey houses, ducted air conditioning usually cannot be installed later on unless planned for during the build as space must be allowed. There are many options to consider, from traditional to contemporary which can be seamlessly integrated into the new build plan.
Air conditioning can also be combined with smart home automations to ensure eco-functionality. It can ensure that it isn’t running throughout the day when no one is home, but can be switched on when you leave work for example, so that the house is all cool waiting for you when you get home during the Australian Summer.
When coupled with high quality building materials, proper insulation, and a well thought out home design, the costs for investing in a ducted system can be significantly less, along with providing greater property value, increasing lifestyle convenience and reducing future energy bills!
[Photo: Hutomo Abrianto via Unsplash]