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Integrity

144 New Home Modification Ideas

When designing a new house, you want it to be as perfect as possible. Everything depends on your priorities and personal preferences, but it will often take ages to decide which elements you want to include. Planning for any modifications when you build can help increase the usability and value of your home and even help save on utility bills. Here's a checklist of modifications you can ask your designer and/or builder to include to make your new house the perfect home.

Flooring Ideas

Install hardwood floors – The value of your house will likely be higher if you choose wood flooring instead of wall-to-wall carpets. Wood floors offer elegance and easy cleaning, and seem to be easier to match with décor.

Install radiant floor heating – There are many advantages of radiant floor heating; it's easy to install when building, simple to operate, and works with a variety of floor coverings. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk on a heated bathroom floor?

Attic Ideas

Add a bonus room in the attic – A great way to utilize the extra, often unused space above your garage is to turn it into living space. That extra square footage can come in handy!

Add a bedroom in the attic – This is the perfect way to add value to your home without building an extension. An attic bedroom is a very cost-effective way to increase sleeping space.

Add attic storage – Attics are the perfect place to store things you don't need to access too often. Add walking/storage surfaces and shelves to store items that can be exposed to heat. Remember that attics get very hot in the summer, unless you finish them completely!

Add an attic fan – An automatic operating attic fan can reduce your cooling bills by moving heat out of the structure. If heat builds up, it can affect the temperature of the finished interior.

Add a whole house fan – If you’re not interested in central air conditioning, sometimes just exhausting the air in the house can reduce the temperature inside and avoid the need to run an air conditioner.

Basement Modifications

Add extra height to basement walls/ceiling – A bigger basement is a great investment. By increasing the height of the space, you can add natural light and turn the square footage into whatever you want later on.

Finish the basement – Although an unfinished basement works well as extra storage space, if it were completed, the basement could provide much more. Many people create home gyms, playrooms, and rec rooms here.

Put extra outlets in the basement – If you are thinking of turning your basement into a workspace, add extra outlets to accommodate your tools, gadgets, and extra lighting for a safer environment. Be sure to place outlets where you'll need them, like above a workbench or where you might put a fridge.

Prep the basement for a bathroom – A basement bathroom definitely increases convenience and value. Whether there's living space down there or not, you'll enjoy the extra facilities.

Kitchen Additions

Add a deep over-fridge cabinet – This kind of cabinet can make your fridge look more built-in. It also allows for easy access to the cabinet doors―no need to get out a stool.

Install stone countertops – Marble countertops are stunning. You may also like the look of granite. Natural stone promises a one-of-a-kind look, but it also requires upkeep. If you want a low-maintenance alternative, there are a variety of gorgeous engineered quartz options that will elevate any kitchen.

Install tiled backsplashes – You can get creative by designing beautiful (and practical!) tile wall accents for the spaces above your countertops and behind your stovetop and/or sink.

Add extra-height kitchen cabinets – Do you like the sleek, continual look of cabinets that go all the way up to the ceiling? You can also increase your kitchen storage potential with this!

Add some light in the kitchen – Maximize visibility by adding extra lights in working areas. Consider well-positioned ceiling spotlights help illuminate worktops for food preparation. Darker spots in the kitchen can be brightened by unit or under-cabinet lighting.

Add a bay window behind the sink – Look into installing windows around the kitchen sink to create more space and bring in natural light.

Expand the kitchen island – If you want a larger kitchen island, plan for it now to ensure it fits the dimensions of the kitchen. Some modifications might be needed elsewhere.

Create dual kitchen workspaces – You may want to consider having two workspaces in the kitchen. If you have a larger area, spread out sinks and trash/recycling containers to tackle more when family and friends come to visit.

Add a walk-in pantry – A walk-in pantry allows you to store items in bulk, which means fewer grocery store visits. You can customize it to hold other things, too, from a rechargeable vacuum, to a fire extinguisher, to a coat rack, if it's near an exteior door.

Add a breakfast nook – A breakfast nook is cozy and conducive to intimate conversations and convenient meals. It's a great addition if a formal dining room feels too fancy for everyday.

Bathroom Modification Ideas

Add heated bathroom mirrors – Heated bathroom mirrors don't get steamed up like normal ones!

Add a guest bathroom – Do you have friends and family come to visit? An extra bathroom for your guests will increase comfort and convenience, and that'll bump up the property value, too.

Have 2 sinks in the master bathroom – Your very own sink ensures you can keep your lipstick, moisturizers, or shaving kit out as needed without getting in your partner's way.

Add a heat lamp in the bathroom – A heat lamp makes using your shower or bath much more pleasant because it adds plenty of heat to the room. In particularly cold weather, a heat lamp can provide an immediate burst of warmth that makes getting out of the shower easier.

Add a larger shower and/or tub – When bathing, having a larger shower or tub can increase ease of use.

Add a walk-in shower – One of the most common add-ons for bathroom projects in recent years has been the walk-in shower. A walk-in shower creates the illusion of more space and offers a clean-lined look. Many homeowners add a large walk-in shower in the master bathroom instead of a shower/tub combo.

Add a rain shower head – This low-cost addition can take you a step closer to the spa bathroom you dream of!

Add a steam shower – A steam bath is the perfect way to end a workout. One of the benefits of a steam shower is that it provides warmth to help open capillaries and increase blood flow, which speeds up recovery from exercise.

Add heated bathroom floors – Heated floors have been around for a while and are considered a luxury for many. If you only install them in one place, let them supplement your regular heating in the bathroom to ensure it remains comfortable in winter.

Add an ensuite master bath – If you have the space and it's not already included in the house plans, adding an ensuite bathroom to a master bedroom is a fantastic idea. Not only will it make your life a lot simpler by providing private facilities that you don't have to share with the kids, but it also greatly increases the value of the whole house.

Install vanity shelves – When creating a sleek, structured bathroom of any size, look into smart storage solutions. With no-fuss, ready-to-hang convenience, bathroom vanity shelves add attractive storage and an organized look.

Add jetted or sunken bathtubs – If you need legroom, a jetted bathtub (aka a whirlpool tub) or sunken bathtub (which is easier to get in and out of) could be the answer. They are typically ideal for larger bathrooms and saved for ensuites as a result, but if you have the space, go for it!

Add water-saving toilets – Installing water-saving toilets helps preserve our resources and reduces costs for homeowners because they use less water per flush.

Consider his and her toilets – His and her bathrooms are getting popular. This arrangement provides each partner their own totally private facilities.

Consider Jack-and-Jill bathrooms – The Jack-and-Jill bathroom allows occupants of two bedrooms to directly access the same bathroom. This is perfect for larger families and helps kids promote sharing. Just make sure there's a hall bath for guests to use!

Garage Additions

Swap to a side-entry garage – Many house plans are flexible or easily modified when it comes to the garage entrance. Many prefer side-entry garages because they provide enhanced curb appeal.

Add garage door openers – It's convenient to have a garage door opener. Plus, they're safe, reliable, and inexpensive to install!

Add a garage – Don't have a garage in your plans? Ask how to add one to the blueprints! A garage can store all sorts of vehicles and act as a laundry space, a storage area, and a place to work and play.

Upgrade your garage door – A well-built garage door increases the protection of your home and decreases the expense of maintaining and fixing old garage doors.

Add a 220 outlet in the garage – Most tools and equipment are in the garage and it often serves as a workshop space, so it is a great idea to add a 220 outlet.

Add a sink in the garage – Working in the garage can be pretty grubby. Having a sink in the garage means you can easily clean yourself and your tools without tracking the mess inside.

Heat the garage – One of the best benefits of having a heated garage is being able to get the work done comfortably even when temperatures fall. It can also protect cars from the cold and keep them running better.

Convert your garage to living space – A garage conversion is a great way to add living space. If you don't need the parking, think about what else you could do with that square footage.

Include golf cart parking – Owning a golf cart is like having another car, so the best way to protect it is by having a dedicated parking space with its own garage door.

Install a dog grooming area in the garage or mudroom – After a stroll with your dog, the best place to wash or groom your pet would be in the garage or the mudroom. Many plans are starting to include this feature now, but it's also an easy modification so long as you have the space.

New Home Outdoor Ideas

Add a front walkway – Your home's first impression is decided by its exterior and the path leading to the main entrance. Make it a good one to ensure the house looks welcoming!

Add a side walkway – Don't forget a path to the garden, yard, or driveway. Of course, whether you need this depends on the design of the house and its orientation on the lot.

Install fencing – If you have kids or dogs, a fence in your yard will help contain and keep them safe.

Install an invisible dog fence – If you don't want your house to be surrounded by a physical fence but need to keep your dog from wandering, an electronic fence will set boundaries for the dog and give you peace of mind.

Add a back deck – A deck boosts your home's value by opening the door to outdoor enjoyment and enhancing your living space. Imagine how much easier it'll be to host indoor/outdoor gatherings!

Add a concrete or brick patio – It is hard to beat a patio. A concrete one is flat and smooth, so it's perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities and furniture. If you want a more traditional ambiance, look into brick or stone.

Add built-in seating areas on the porch – Benches are always a great addition to a porch. Consider built-in outdoor seating options if you're tired of replacing porch furniture year after year.

Add a pergola – A pergola expands the living space and increases the amount of time you can spend outside comfortably.

Add outlets on the porch – Lights, speakers, fans, and even laptops and mobile phone chargers can all be part of taking your life outdoors. Adding outlets on your porch will allow you to make the most of the fresh air.

Add a ceiling fan to the porch – A ceiling fan can circulate air to reduce the temperature, making it enjoyable to sit outside on a day without a breeze.

Add a garden shed – If you are an avid gardener or just need a handy place to store tools and/or outdoor toys, a garden shed can help. It can also add some charm to the backyard depending on the style!

Add garden hose cocks on all sides of the house – If you have plants all around the house, consider adding garden hose cocks on all sides for an easier watering experience. This can also help with washing your car and maintaining your home's exterior with algae sprays, power washing, etc.

Install a heated driveway – Installing a heated driveway system can help keep the driveway free of snow/ice during the winter. A heated driveway safely melts snow and ice without putting your landscape, the environment, or your vehicles at risk.

Install an outdoor shower – Need to rinse off after the pool or a muddy hike? An outdoor shower makes it easy!

Add a conservatory/sunroom – One of the best ways to add more space to your home is to have a conservatory or a sunroom. It can function as a dining room, TV lounge, or playroom, and you can alter its use as the needs of your family change.

Add a paved driveway – A paved surface reduces maintenance in the winter, increases curb appeal, and can even keep your car cleaner. Say goodbye to gravel dings and sitting in mud!

Add a stone driveway – If you want a low-maintenance driveway with a classic look, stone could be the answer.

Install independently controlled outdoor outlets – Build your home with plenty of outdoor receptacles to make decorating for the holidays a snap.

Add an outdoor kitchen with cabinets, grill(s), appliances, etc. – So many of us want to spend more time outdoors when the house is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes. Why not think about adding an outdoor kitchen? It's also great for preparing strong-smelling foods outside to keep them from lingering in the house.

Add a courtyard – Adding a courtyard provides your home with a calming and sometimes cooling effect. It's the perfect place to take a moment away from a hectic day.

Electrical and Appliance Additions

Add heating and outlets to a bonus room – Having extra space in your house means that you can turn it into a future bedroom, office, or even a home gym. If you want to make the extra space livable, add outlets, insulation, and HVAC.

Add recessed outlets and wiring for wall-mounted TVs – To avoid visible wires when installing a new wall-mounted TV, consider adding recessed outlets to have a cleaner finished look.

Add smart thermostats – A first step towards saving money on heating and cooling is to install a smart thermostat that directs your HVAC system more efficiently.

Install solar panels – Reducing electricity bills and saving the planet are just two of many reasons why you should add solar panels.

Move wall sockets or light switches to make them easier to reach – It's not that difficult to move a light switch or socket that is poorly located. You may want it to be lowered, raised, or moved closer to a door or another wall. It all depends on how you intend to use the space!

Add a central vacuum – The powerful suction of a central vacuum can remove more allergens from your home than a portable model.

Add a whole-house generator – For continuous electricity despite power outages, look into a whole-house generator as a backup system. It can be used to power medical devices, lights, kitchen appliances, air conditioning, and more during a regular outage or a natural disaster that takes down the grid.

Include electrical switches to turn off lights across the room or in two locations – For example, installing three-way switches at both ends in a hallway or across a large room lets you turn the light fixture on or off from both locations.

Install recessed outlets – You can keep your cords from bending and crimping with recessed outlets. It might not seem like much, but a damaged cord is a fire hazard.

Add security cameras – Home surveillance cameras allow homeowners to view their homes at any time from virtually anywhere. Safety is the major concern, but you can also use them to check in on your pets when you're out!

Install video doorbells – A video doorbell is a worthwhile investment if you want a security camera with eyes on your front door at all times.

Upgrade to smart smoke alarms – Smart systems give you more information and control. Some smart smoke alarms will tell you what and where the danger is. And if you're sure it's a false alarm, you can easily turn off the siren on an app.

Have power outlets with USB ports – “Do you have a USB connection so I can charge my phone?” It is a common question asked by family and guests alike. Just add a USB outlet; some include a USB port along with regular receptacles to make sure you always have the kind of outlet you need!

Install extra wiring for a sound system – If you're thinking of having a sound system, add the wiring early so you don't have to do it later at a higher cost.

Use lighted outlet covers – Add light in hallways to eliminate having to turn on lights in the middle of the night. Some are automatic and detect motion, too!

Place 4 plug outlets near the bed – To accommodate lamps, chargers, humidifiers, or other electronics in your bedroom, consider a 4 plug outlet instead of the regular 2.

Invest in whole house surge protectors – An entire house surge protector can prevent damage inside the house (appliances, computers, etc.) from threats like electrical storms and power surges.

Have an elevator – Necessity and luxury are the key reasons for adding an elevator in a residence. Think about the size and layout of the house (maybe you have a drive-under garage and an elevator would help with groceries?) as well as the physical capabilities of the people living there to decide if it's worth the investment.

Include a wine fridge – A wine fridge can provide a safe home for your wine at the proper temperature and display your bottles beautifully.

Put plugs in bathroom drawers – It's helpful and convenient to have plugs in bathroom drawers so you can store and use electric styling tools there.

Have a secondary stacked washer/dryer in the master closet/bathroom – Especially if the laundry room is inconveniently located, a secondary stacked washer/dryer in the master closet/bathroom can make the chore easier.

Have plugs inside a walk-in pantry – Plugs inside the walk-in pantry can be used to accommodate your appliances like the microwave, toaster, blender, coffee maker, etc. They don't all have to clutter the countertop!

New House Lighting Additions

Add remote-control lights – You'll be able to control your lights without getting out of your seat or bed! Whether it's just the lighting system or part of a whole-house smart setup, you'll appreciate the convenience.

Add motion-detecting lights on walkways – In and around your house, motion sensor lighting provides an automated, hands-free way to turn lights on when you need them and off when you don't. It also gives any property a feeling of safety and security.

Upgrade your lights to save energy – One of the simplest ways to save energy and decrease carbon emissions is to switch to energy-efficient lighting.

Upgrade to smart lighting – Smart lighting benefits include being able to trigger lighting scenes from your phone and saving energy by being able to turn off your lights from anywhere.

Add landscape lighting – It's the perfect way to add excitement, elegance, and allure to the exterior of your home.

Install recessed lighting – Recessed lighting makes a room feel bigger because it consumes less visual space than other fixtures. Nothing hangs down because the light cans are embedded into the ceiling itself.

Install outdoor lighting – After dark, outdoor lighting offers improved protection and makes maneuvering around easier, preventing tripping and falls.

Light the house numbers – When a visitor needs to find your house at night, lighting your house number can help.

Have lighting on the sides of bathroom mirrors – Lighted mirrors create a simple and modern look and also help you shave and apply makeup more precisely.

Room Additions and Modifications

Turn any room into a bedroom – Either by installing a cabinet closet or a freestanding wardrobe, transform your office or den into a functional bedroom. So long as it has a door and a window, that's all the room needs to be a bedroom!

Add an extra guest closet – If you anticipate having lots of guests, why not add an extra closet in the guest room to store luggage?

Transform a bedroom into an office – Working from home has its challenges, and especially if there is no dedicated home office space. You can transform a bedroom into a home office with a desk, task lighting, and proper furniture for books/files/etc.

Transform a bedroom into a home gym – Make room for exercise at home by converting a bedroom into a fitness room if you enjoy working out. Pick a room without hanging lights and put down some mats for a safer and more comfortable gym.

Add a mudroom – Mudrooms are the perfect addition to your home, especially when you want to be organized and cut down on cleaning.

Add an extra bedroom – To create space for an expanding family, somebody moving in with you, or even a lodger for some extra rent, you can add a bedroom to your house. Think about the attic, basement, garage, or anywhere else you have room.

Create hobby rooms – Hobby rooms are centers for innovation and must be both practical and inspiring. You can set up a hobby room practically anywhere, but many decide to use the laundry room.

Extend bedrooms – If you don’t want a bedroom to feel crowded, or you want to add an ensuite bathroom, consider extending a wall out to make more square footage inside, or adjusting wall placement to take space from somewhere else.

Add a laundry room – There is more to a laundry room than a place to put your washer and dryer. A well-designed laundry room with enough space and accessories (countertop, sink, cabinets, etc.) makes it simpler to wash clothes and linens.

Turn a spare room into a library/study – A home library is a fun way to show your interests and give yourself a special reading room.

Have a hidden room – A hidden room offers a safe and almost impenetrable refuge if you're concerned about intruders.

Have a storm room – Storm rooms can provide protection from severe weather events.

Add a bathroom in the bonus room – If you have a bonus room, you might as well consider adding a bathroom. It will increase your home's value and provide convenience to whoever is going to use that room.

Put a laundry room near the master bedroom – The best place for your laundry room is near bedrooms or bathrooms for easy access when dirty clothes are taken off and clean clothes are stored.

Have a cigar room with a vented humidor – At the end of a long day and while entertaining friends, you may enjoy a cigar. Many place cigar storage beside wine storage.

Heating/Cooling Modifications

Add central air conditioning – Central air conditioning has more effective temperature control than a window unit.

Insulate your roof, walls, and floors – The most efficient way to decrease heat loss in cold weather and heat gain in hot weather is to install plenty of insulation in your home.

Install a gas fireplace – A gas fireplace cuts down on the fuel your furnace uses and can help minimize bills for home heating. It's also a great backup for power outages if you have electric heat.

Wall and Ceiling Upgrades

Add crown molding – Crown molding is both classic and new, and there are ways to make it perfectly blend into your home no matter the style you have in mind.

Add stained molding – Stained wood trim is very common in older homes, and it adds a feeling of warmth and rustic charm.

Replace a wall with a glass wall – Glass walls make a room feel bigger and bring in natural light and outdoor views. It looks elegant and contemporary, too.

Water System Modifications

Add low-flow fixtures – Water-efficient, low-flow fixtures will provide the homeowner with considerable savings on their water bill. It's also great for the environment!

Install rainwater tanks – Using rainwater tanks reduces water bills and can help maintain a lush, safe garden during water restrictions by providing an alternate supply.

Add an irrigation system – It's the perfect way to keep a lawn green in even the hottest days of summer.

Add a tankless water heater – A tankless water heater generates hot water on demand and for as long as you need it. This saves energy compared to heating a full tank of water and maintaining its temperature until used.

Roof Modifications

Install a metal roof – Metal roofing is becoming popular as it is robust, adds elegance, and helps to reduce energy costs. This roofing is available in a variety of colors, textures, and designs that can fit all aesthetic tastes.

Install skylights – Natural lighting, ventilation, and beautiful views can all be provided by a skylight. It can improve a room's aesthetics and also the atmosphere.

Sun tunnels – Sun tunnels take sunlight from the roof and reflect it down inside. It's natural light that looks like recessed lighting, and can slash your electricity bill.

Add dormers – Consider adding dormers to your home to maximize usable space. A small dormer will increase space, bring additional light inside, and add interest to the exterior of your home to improve curb appeal.

Add a roof deck – A roof deck provides outdoor living space when a lot doesn't provide space for a proper yard.


Window Upgrades

Upgrade or add more windows – Adding more windows to your home gives you great views of the outside world and increases natural light.

Choose double-glazed windows – Double glazed windows keep homes warmer and reduce noise from the outside.

Install storm windows – Extra-durable storm windows provide protection against high winds and windborne debris in storm-prone areas. They'll also reduce your insurance premiums!

Stair Modifications

Upgrade your stairs – The stairway is an excellent place to add a pop of design interest. Maybe you'd like floating stairs, glass railing, or something else?

Use wainscoting or paneling along the stairs – Wainscoting or paneling creates a decorative accent, protects the wall from damage, and dresses up the appearance of the stairs.

Add under-stairs storage – Every household could use more storage space. An optimal place for drawers and cabinets is under a staircase.

Upgrade stair banisters and handrails – Stairs are a prominent structural centerpiece of a building, so their appearance and build quality should be considered.

Furniture/Cabinets/Others

Add custom cabinets – Custom cabinets provide many advantages. You have full design control over every single aspect of your new piece, and can invest in its consistency, durability, and overall workmanship.

Add handrails and grab bars – You can avoid serious accidents by simply installing handrails in bathrooms and other key locations. For those with weak balance who are vulnerable to falls, this is an inexpensive yet invaluable addition.

Add built-in trash drawers – Many individuals prefer to hide their trash out of sight within a cabinet. A trash cabinet that pulls out is ideal since bags can get too heavy to easily remove.

Install recessed medicine cabinets – A recessed cabinet saves space. Many people prefer this look, too, because it connects to the surrounding walls rather than sticking out.

Install built-in dressing vanities – A dressing table in the wardrobe helps ensure that there's space for every single item in your makeup collection.

Have a gun safe – Having a gun is a huge responsibility, so it's important to keep it in a safe and secured place to make it inaccessible to children and others.

Put plugs in drawers – Remove cable clutter from countertops! Drawers with outlets mean that you can charge devices out of sight.

Put plugs in closets – Just like drawer plugs, having plugs in closets can provide a clean look and avoid messy cables.

Have roll-out drawers in kitchen cabinets – To optimize storage space for easier access, add rollout trays/drawers/organizers to your kitchen cabinets.

Have a built-in safe – A built-in safe can help save space because it's mounted inside the walls. Use it to protect important documents in a home office or master walk-in closet.

The list goes on, but these are some the most common ways that homeowners modify their new homes. The house keeps you warm and protected and also represents you, your principles, and who you are as a person―that's why it's a great idea to make modifications when you build rather than after the fact. Whether you have a small budget or a limitless one, take the time and effort to figure out which things to invest in!