albert

Best simple ideas and concepts to design in to new build

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I have asked my electrician for a master light switch by the front and back door  that shuts down all lighting apart from the external lights. My idea is when all the light are left on I just hit one switch to turn them off when we leave the house. Simple to wire.

 

Does anyone have any other ideas that would be useful to incorporate in to a design? 

 

My wife is insisting that we  are also having 2 dishwashers side by side, not sure on that one.

 

We live on a farm so dust is always a problem especially on skirting boards I'm thinking a tapered  or flush skirting board would be better.

 

I have ruled out a laundry shoot and built in hoover points, but I am sure there are other simple ideas out there that make life easier and or more environmentally friendly.

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We will be making sure our shower  controls are far away from our shower head,  no more wet arm turning it on in the morning. 

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Aico do a test and silence switch for their smoke alarms. So much better than going round with a tea towel to silence one and makes testing them very simple. 

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6 hours ago, albert said:

[...]

My wife is insisting that we  are also having 2 dishwashers side by side, not sure on that one.

[...]

 

What a sensible woman.

Dishwashers work when they aren't working. Where do you put dirty crockery when the other one is washing?

Like I say, top lass !

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Angle the bath panel inwards at the base - easier to stand close to it.

 

Sink the bath feet into the floor so the bottom of the bath is level with the tiled floor.

 

Both together make it much easier getting in and out especially when older.

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15 minutes ago, recoveringacademic said:

 

What a sensible woman.

Dishwashers work when they aren't working. Where do you put dirty crockery when the other one is washing?

Like I say, top lass !

 

Also have a look at the models and it may pay to have two different one as the space between drawers can be different. I know someone who has one for glassware and one for plates..!

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I was thinking 2 washing machines side by side (white and colour wash at the same time), but have not thought about 2 dishwashers, how CLEVER!

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Two easy to implement and useful ideas that really work well, both involving MVHR. 

 

Firstly, connecting MVHR extract ducts to the toilet cisterns really does remove all odours at source (i.e. in the pan) and is so discreet that it's invisible if you have a built-in cistern,  can be done with standard waste pipe fittings and a bit of ingenuity when it comes to adapting these to the MVHR extract ducting.  This shows one of our cisterns with the lid off, with the extract pipe on the left:

 

5746b0292a7b4_Looodourextracter.thumb.JPG.acb14397bbcc538b3f1bf2a508625cd7.JPG

 

The second idea was to fit an MVHR fresh air supply vent immediately above the kitchen door, on the outside of the kitchen.  This acts as a very effective "air curtain" we've found, and is remarkably effective at keeping cooking smells inside the kitchen where they get extracted from the kitchen extract terminal.  We're still surprised at how well this works, as you literally take one step through the open doorway and go from cooking smells to no smell at all, and vice versa.

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With your "all off" switch, is it worth leaving one or two lights out of it so you can leave them on to make it look like someone's home when you're out?

 

In our kitchen, we have a pull-out bin to the left of the sink, and the dishwasher to the right. You can dump dirty dishes above the bin it you're in a hurry. Scrape them into the bin when you're ready, rinse anything that needs rinsing (or dump in sink if it needs hand washing), and the rest keeps going in the same direction into the dishwasher. It's a very small thing, but it works surprisingly well.

 

All our plates, cups and cutlery can be put away within a single step of the dishwasher, which also feels efficient.

 

Think about a boiling water tap. We've had one for three years and it's just awesome. It needed a repair under warranty after two years. The three weeks we were without it were incredibly frustrating - imagine having to wait for water to heat on the cooker to quickly cook some broccoli and peas when you've forgotten to put any veg on for the umpteenth time!

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Wouldn't suit everyone but my washing machine is going in the dressing room/ensuite area.  It's clothes I wash mostly, then sheets and towels, and didn't see the point of taking them downstairs to wash only to have to bring them back up to put away.

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Just now, Hecateh said:

Wouldn't suit everyone but my washing machine is going in the dressing room/ensuite area.  It's clothes I wash mostly, then sheets and towels, and didn't see the point of taking them downstairs to wash only to have to bring them back up to put away.

 

I did that in a previous house and it worked well, in our new build i put the washing machine in the plant cupboard in the cloakroom which has enough room for a pulley maid drying thingy (the room has MVHR extract) and room to use an ironing board.

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7 minutes ago, joe90 said:

 

I did that in a previous house and it worked well, in our new build i put the washing machine in the plant cupboard in the cloakroom which has enough room for a pulley maid drying thingy (the room has MVHR extract) and room to use an ironing board.

 

We've found that the pulley maid thing we have in the utility room, with an MVHR extract above, dries everything, even towels, very quickly.  The towels still have to go in the tumble dryer for ten minutes to get them fluffy, but that's far better than having them in there for half an hour or more as we used to at the old house.

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6 hours ago, recoveringacademic said:

Where do you put dirty crockery when the other one is washing?

 

Or alternatively buy one with a timer built in.  We put ours on overnight.  We don't tend to generate many dirties when we are sleeping. :)

 

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We put the DW on when it is full, which means not every day. Once we have fitted solar PV that will be modified to only in daylight hours.

 

Back to simple ideas.  A comment on another thread made me think of something I wish I had installed, an "essential power" circuit.  In a discussion about battery storage there was mention of low power off grid generation being available during a power cut, so a dedicated circuit for things like fridge, a few of the lights, and perhaps 1 television etc that could be powered up independant of the mains would be handy.  Too late for us now.

 

Our other simple ideas are hiding all the hifi stuff in the under stairs cupboard all remote controlled to de clutter the house. The printer and router are in there as well.  Also recessing some items into the wall thickness, e,g our filing cabinet (which is essential but damned ugly) is recessed 6" into one of the walls such that the bit that sticks out will be hidden behind the sliding doors of what is essentially the shoe and coat cupboard in the hall.  I have done similar to make a pocket in the wall so the surround sound amp won't stick out further than the wall hung tv.

 

My other usual wiring thing is I have the hall lights 2 way switched from up and down as well as the landing lights, something I always advise to my customers. 

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1 hour ago, jack said:

With your "all off" switch, is it worth leaving one or two lights out of it so you can leave them on to make it look like someone's home when you're out?

 

 

Lamps set on timers? 

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A generator switch at the cu. 

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1 hour ago, Hecateh said:

Wouldn't suit everyone but my washing machine is going in the dressing room/ensuite area.  It's clothes I wash mostly, then sheets and towels, and didn't see the point of taking them downstairs to wash only to have to bring them back up to put away.

 

I have that provision on the landing (plumbing etc). The intention was that the downstairs washing machine would do dirty work clothes, dog beds etc and upstairs the cleaner stuff but with just me here now I haven't bothered installing a second washing machine and dryer as it seems OTT. I do agree however, I spend time carrying the clothes and bedding downstairs and then back up again so I think it's a good plan. 

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35 minutes ago, TerryE said:

 

Or alternatively buy one with a timer built in.  We put ours on overnight.  We don't tend to generate many dirties when we are sleeping. :)

  

 

I always worry about running appliances when I'm out of the house or in bed (fire risk). I only ever switch those things on when I'm around, but I'm thinking that if I ever move to economy 7 or 10 I will have to get over that ... 

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Cat 5 or 6 near where you will use PCs, laptops etc so you aren’t reliant on Wi-fi all the time. 

 

Downstairs wet room if possible. Never thought I would need mine but it became essential when my hubby got sick. 

 

Oak skirting doesn’t really show the dust 😉

 

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Deffo twin dishwashers, and shower controls outside the shower. Overlays of lighting to create texture. Don’t just wang a 40w pendant in. Get creative 

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From reading some of the threads on here, a real hard look at any sockets etc that you might want in the middle of your floor before you complete the screed or whatever. Lots of threads here where people change their mind / didn’t think of it, in relation to kitchen islands or for open plan living so sofas being in the middle of the floor and wanting floor sockets there. Better to install cables (or plumbing) and not use them than to have that ‘oh crap’ moment afterwards. And the right type of cables for the thing being connected too. 

 

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I am very pleased with my new build but one thing I am a bit dissapionted with is the noise transference between floors, it has 100 mm rockwall insulation in the upper floor void but noises, music etc can be heard more than I would like. In hindsight I wish I had either double boarded the ceilings downstairs, used sound block plasterboard or used top hats to hang the plasterboard from. Not something that can be done afterwards easily. 

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21 minutes ago, joe90 said:

I am very pleased with my new build but one thing I am a bit dissapionted with is the noise transference between floors, it has 100 mm rockwall insulation in the upper floor void but noises, music etc can be heard more than I would like. In hindsight I wish I had either double boarded the ceilings downstairs, used sound block plasterboard or used top hats to hang the plasterboard from. Not something that can be done afterwards easily. 

Hi Joe 

Can you let me know your first floor build up as I am about to start plaster boarding and would like to eliminate as much noise as reasonably possible. My son's bedroom is under ours.

 

My first floor build up is:

20mm timber floor

20mm Overfloor EPS400 (Wunda UFH) 

22mm Caberdek glued and screwed

225x47 floor joists at 400 centres filled with 100mm Rockwool, I could increase Rockwool.

12mm Plasterboard

 

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We have light switches next to our beds, great so that you don't have to get out of bed to turn lights on or off.

 

We have inset sockets in our island rather than the pull up ones, much tidier, one socket and 2 usbs

 

Spent more money on a really quiet dishwasher in our open plan kitchen/diner/lounge it is so quiet great when you have company

 

Also love our stair lights, really add the wow factor for very little money

 

 

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