Building a house is an exciting process! Sure, there are a lot of decisions to be made, but this gives you the opportunity to include new home features that will make your life more convenient, comfortable, and satisfying. One of the best parts of building a house really is considering those extra additions that really make it yours. This is the place you return to day after day to throw off the stress of the outside world and relax.

There are many cool things to add when building a house. The key isn’t to follow a trend or add what your friends would enjoy. The key is to find exactly what will keep you excited about your home for years to come. Do you know what things to consider when building a house that helps you do this?

Cool Things to Include When Building a House

1. Energy-Efficient Design

Energy-efficient design is, you guessed it, all about saving energy. Some of the new home features involved in it are pretty simple. For instance, designing the home so windows face north and south instead of east and west helps avoid the sun shining in directly. This helps stop the house from heating up as quickly, saving you on cooling costs. Trees and landscaping that shield the east and west faces also help to keep the home cool.

A step beyond this involves installing energy-efficient systems in your home. High-quality, energy-efficient appliances will last longer, cutting down on eventual replacement costs. An energy-efficient home design won’t strain your HVAC or your wallet when the energy bill comes. If you can save a thousand dollars a year with some simple, energy-efficient designs and materials, that racks up quickly and helps build your home’s value in future markets.

2. Smart Home Technology

Connect your devices and enjoy the convenience. For example, if you have a smart refrigerator, you can connect it to your smartphone so it sends an alert when you’re running low on your favorite food. Then you can connect those devices to your Amazon account and re-order. Easy-peasy.

Touch panels can be used to perform tasks such as turning up the heat or changing the channel on your television. You can find options that are cleverly disguised as an attractive decoration.

  • Smart Appliances: Speaking smart refrigerators, smart stoves, coffee makers, and other appliances can make working in the kitchen that much more enjoyable, too. And they offer a great range of functionality. For example, if you’re running late at work, you can tell your stove to preheat while you’re on your way so it’ll be ready for that casserole.
  • Smart Thermostat: A smart thermostat senses when you’re home: it can automatically adjust the temperature to your specifications, and you don’t have to do a thing.  You can even control it remotely. Auto shut-off and energy efficient operations add up to savings.
  • Voice Control: Hey, Google: turn up the music. Digital assistants are becoming integral parts of many households. They can perform a variety of functions, from setting a timer to giving you the latest weather forecast.
  • Wireless Charging: Never lose a charger again or go without a boost when you need it. Ditch the wires and cables and opt for a wireless charging system. These handy pads charge your devices when they are placed on it, and again, they can be disguised as a decoration or even be integrated into furniture. Clear the clutter!
  • Robots: Move over, Jetsons. Robots are coming home. Many are used for cleaning, but you can find smart pets if you want to boost home security or enjoy a pet even if you have allergies.
  • Security: Forgot to lock your door before leaving for work? No problem. Your smartphone can help when you have a wi-fi based security system. You can also open the door to allow a guest or trusted service worker in when you’re not home, turn on the lights, and even feed your pets. That is smart security!
  • Smart Lighting: Smart lighting conserves energy and can save you on energy costs. It does so much more than this, though. It can also set the perfect mood. Many people struggle with falling asleep at night or getting up in the morning. This can drain your energy and patience for days at a time. Smart lighting can be programmed to emulate the light outside.Our bodies still respond to natural changes in lighting. In the morning, for instance, you need more intense light to feel awake and refreshed. As the sun sets, we grow tired. As it rises, we wake up at a certain pace. Using harsh lights until just before bedtime and first thing in the morning can be disruptive to your sleep and waking cycle. At night, you need to block out the blue light for a restful sleep. You can set your system to accommodate you seamlessly and choose different tones and hues that suit your mood or purposes (e.g. reading, dining, etc.). By programming lights to emulate the light and light temperature outside, it helps many people to fall into more natural sleep rhythms.

3. Dual Kitchen Workspaces

As cool things to add when building a house go, you might not immediately think of the kitchen. Correct that oversight! If you entertain regularly, or multiple families are cooking at once, it’s easy to get in each others’ ways. That leads to hassle, arguments, and burned meals. A kitchen with dual workspaces incorporates two sinks, prep areas, extra cupboards, and other ideas so that everyone can work at their own pace.

You can go as far with this idea as you want. Many dual kitchen workspaces still revolve around one oven or stovetop, but you can incorporate two if you want. The idea’s as flexible as you need. You can even have one workspace dedicated to cooking and another to baking, helping you specialize and keep tools for each separate. This can help you enjoy each so much more, and makes preparation of multiple dishes a breeze.

4. Indoor Air Quality Systems

This one’s more of a practical pick, but it can influence every part of your life. The air you breathe at home can actually be more polluted than the air outside. Homes are closed off from the outside world. Bad weather, allergens, and extreme heat can all be good reasons that you keep your home closed up. This lets pollutants, allergens, and dust that are inside build up without good air circulation, though.

Indoor air quality systems help clean the air as it cycles. These can be implemented as part of your entire HVAC system or as separate systems. For example, there are smarter smoke and CO2 detectors that also monitor air quality. They’re not terribly expensive, and they literally help you stay healthy and breathe more easily. The easier you breathe, the less stressed you become. Outside stresses are going to happen – that’s life. Putting ourselves in a good place to handle them is important. When you ask what things to consider when building a house, this is one of the biggest difference makers you can include.

This is a must these days for anyone with strong allergies. Another cool part of new home features like smart smoke and CO2 detectors: they send an alert to your smartphone when they need a new battery!

5. Sun Tunnels

Think about all the elements of a home that make it easier and more relaxing to live in. Chances are you didn’t think of natural light. Yet natural light is relaxing and reassuring. It eases stress. How can you incorporate this in a home? Just as importantly, how can you give rooms more access to natural light without heating them up and making your air conditioning work harder?

Sun tunnels are tunnel skylights that help illuminate a room without using electricity. They run from roof windows into living areas. They’re airtight and watertight, so they resist weather just fine. You can place them wherever you want in the home. Popular areas include living rooms and kitchens, to help them feel fresh and lively. They’re also well implemented in bathrooms. This is because natural light helps you get up in the morning. It’s also because natural light kills bacteria. It can make a bathroom cleaner and healthier, and make it feel that way, too.

Natural light through sun tunnels is also an easy way to impress guests without them being able to put a finger on why exactly your house seems to be bright and cheerful. You may also find them called daylight tubes or flexible skylights. They’re relatively inexpensive to incorporate as part of a design.

6. Jetted Laundry Sink

This is definitely a luxury, but it’s such a useful one. Laundry sinks are often positioned in hard to reach areas at the back of the room. It makes washing anything in them a pain, and can be difficult if you’re too short or tall for their height. Yet you still need to use the laundry sink to rinse and soak hard stains, or to wash delicates.

A jetted laundry sink uses air jets to agitate the water so you can achieve a deep clean on delicates without damaging them. It also helps any preparation you need to do to get out difficult stains. It saves you a ton of scrubbing, so it’s a luxury well worth having.

7. Outdoor Outlets

Here’s another practical consideration that can save a lot of hassle. Running countless electrical cords outside can be frustrating and dangerous. It’s easy to trip over them. If you entertain regularly or like outdoor lighting, this can cause a mess.

Having independently controlled outlets outside saves you the trouble of fighting over cords and wires. It’s a very small and inexpensive change that makes entertaining outside so much easier.

8. A Room for What You Love

This may seem old fashioned, but many people still like a library. Even a small, dedicated room to read can be a place of solace. A library doesn’t just have to be about books. It can be about music, too. You can keep a lovely sound system in it.

Libraries evolve with the times, too. Maybe your library includes a collection of your favorite games, and the gaming systems you play them on. Whether library, listening room, or gaming room, all variations are about one thing: giving you a place to kick back and enjoy the art and entertainment you love. Create a space for it, and you’ll always have a room where you can escape and breathe easy.

9. Skylights for Stargazing

Stargazing is an exceptional way to fall asleep. The only problem is you don’t want to fall asleep outside where the mosquitoes will get you. You want to fall asleep in your bed, in your covers, with your music, feeling safe and sound. This doesn’t mean you can’t still stargaze as you drift off.

Broad skylights can be positioned to allow you to stargaze. This means falling asleep as you count the stars and dreamily connect the constellations. It’s one of the most relaxing additions you could include in your home.

10. Dog Bathing Station

This is a great one for pet lovers. It’s difficult to get some dogs into the tub. It hurts your back to lean over, lather them with soap, and then rinse it all off thoroughly. If you have to lift in or out a dog who’s scared of a bath, it’s that much harder. Lifting a medium-sized dog out of a bathtub when everything’s wet or slippery can be dangerous for both you and your pet.

Chances are, you never thought of a dog bathing station as one of those cool things to add when building a house, but it saves you so much trouble. This makes it easy to safely and comfortably clean your dog, and it’s less scary for the animal, too. It’s best put in an area like a garage, where water can run out and down the driveway.

There is an endless list of cool things to include when building a house. What matters is what is on your wishlist! Whatever it is, let the team at Synergy Homes know: we’ll put fun new home features to work in your house!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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