"GETTING THE BIG THINGS RIGHT...
IS ABOUT GETTING THE LITTLE THINGS RIGHT"
1. Add Insulation for Sound
Your home is your haven, and sound plays a major role in how peaceful you and your family will feel. It adds only a small amount to put insulation between floors, around a bathroom or a master suite, but it can pay big quality of life dividends.
2. LED Lighting is a Quality of LIFESAVER
Did you know that fatigue, headaches, poor concentration, and even depression can be the direct result of poor lighting? Until recently, the limitations of incandescent lighting (up to 97% of the electricity spent on traditional bulbs goes to heat) made it very difficult to sufficiently light a home. Now with LED technology becoming mainstream, it is possible to properly light a home and save energy/money at the same time.
3. Consider lot placement and driving direction
When my team looks for the perfect lot for your family, we consider your lot location carefully. Finding a lot that faces the right direction means that you'll spend less time shoveling snow (and more time playing with friends and family!) and finding a location that is west of your place of work means that you'll avoid driving to and from work while staring into the sun.
4. Add a gas line for your B-B-Q grill
It doesn't cost much to run a gas line out to your back patio, deck, or porch...but it saves you running out of gas in the middle of a B-B-Q and spending time/money hefting around those cumbersome propane tanks.
5. Have your water softener salt tank installed out in the garage
If there is budget for a salt-less water softener system, that is a great way to go. However, the vast majority of homes still use a traditional water softener system. In many cases you can design your layout such that you can plumb (usually at no extra cost) to have the salt tank out in your garage to avoid carrying heavy bags very far.
6. Elevation - pt 1. Lower your garage.
Many of the most desirable lots in our area are on hills or have slopes (think "view"). The downside to elevation though is the excavation costs and also in dealing with the slopes (a highly sloped driveway can be a nightmare during the winter months, for example). One way to make elevation your friend is to drop the floor of your garage to be lower than the main floor. This gives you more options for a bonus room above the garage, keeps the slope of your driveway friendly, and gives you more room in the garage. All with minimal added expense.
7. Elevation - pt 2. Raise your basement ceilings
Another thing to consider for a lot that has elevation gain is to do 9' or even 10' ceilings in your basement. The raised concrete walls mean that you won't have to remove as much dirt on your lot in order to meet code (in order to prevent basement flooding your grade must be at least 6" below the top of the concrete walls if you're building a basement).
Often times, adding an extra foot or even two feet in height to your basement will cost only a few hundred dollars more in concrete while saving thousands of dollars in excavation costs and haul-off...
...and you have the added benefit of raised ceilings in the basement where HVAC duct-work often crowds down into your living space anyways.
8. Have a landscaping plan before digging
You can save money and get nicer landscaping if you know what you want the finished landscaping product to look like. We can have the excavators place the dirt where you'll want it and build up your yard as part of the excavation.
9. Have a flood lighting switch in the master suite
This is a little thing, but one that makes a lot of sense. If you hear something in your yard at night, it can be harrowing to make your way all the way out to the garage in order to turn on your yard flood lights. Have the electricians wire a switch to your flood lights right in the master suite - something that won't cost much at all but adds peace of mind and security.
10. Get an interior decorator involved
Great design is not an accident. At Amity Homes we've negotiated with some of the most talented interior decorators in Utah to give each homeowner that personal touch and decorating guidance as a standard part of the Amity Homes package.