Tips & Ideas

We kept a running list of tips and ideas we discovered in a variety of places. These were collected from friends, other homes, open houses, magazines, Houzz, and a variety of other sources. The list started in a spiral notebook, then became a computer file as it grew. In case it's helpful, here are some of the items on our list, along with the reasons for some of them.  (Check back for additional items - which I will try to mark "NEW" as I add to this list.) 


  • Place clothes dryer on outside wall of house (It is much easier to clean the vent when you can reach both inside and outside. This is one of my "biggies."  We owned a property that had the clothes dryer vented from the middle of the condo, up an interior wall, between the ceiling of the first floor and flooring of the second floor, then to an outside wall. We could not clean the vent ourselves, so it was added expense to have someone clean it periodically.)
  • Plumb for both gas and electric stove; plus both gas and electric clothes dryer. (You don't know what you or a future homeowner will want later.)
  • Try to find a space for a small closet that can be a dedicated "electrical closet" with fuse boxes, alarm box, modems, and other electrical wiring. It's so much better than having to move clothing out of the way when a repairman or technician needs to work on the equipment.

    When studying our floor plans with the architect and builder, we noticed a small area where there was "dead space" between three rooms. The space was in the shape of two adjoining triangles. Better yet, one wall of this space was on the bedroom hallway. We asked for that space to be made into an electrical closet. It's so tiny you have to reach into it from the hallway, but the photo shows that we have tons of wires that would be chaos in a clothes closet. (It will be "cleaned up" before we move in because it was still a work in progress when this photo was taken.)







  • Emtek Annapolis Two Point Lock
  • Use deadbolts + locking doorknobs on every outside door. This includes doors that are between garage and house. Emtek Annapolis is a good example of a two point lock on a single backplate that gives you a clean look for exterior doors.









  • Visit lots of homes and take photos if allowed. Always ask first. Model homes have tons of ideas.
  • Check prices online and ask the builder's vendors if they can match that price. Sometimes they can.
  • Sometimes buying online with a coupon gives you a better price even with shipping than you can get in a local store. However, remember that you won't have the builder's warranty or their help if the product doesn't work.
  • Start collecting boxes early. It is hard to have too many boxes. Break them down if you don't have room to store them before they are needed.
  • When packing, label the contents of each box. Include the name of the room where you want that box to be placed. (We do not know where we want to hang the art we have. We don't even know if we want to use all of it. ------- BUT, we might keep the frames even if we don't use the art. We have a small room that will have no furniture at first. We're placing all art work in that room until we can figure out how the furniture will be arranged and where we will need to hang art. When ready for art, we can "shop" in our temporary art staging room to see what we can use.
  • It would be an awesome "gift" to future homeowners to keep a binder of information about the house. I printed a page about how to clean the kitchen countertops, who installed and services various equipment, etc. Of course, future owners can change companies, but at least they have some background information to use when first moving in and needing to get acclimated to the house. 





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