8 Must-Have Features for your Modern Custom Home
You’ve found that perfect location in Victoria to build your custom home. This will be the realization of a goal that you’ve been striving towards for years and you almost certainly have a vision of how you’d like your individuality and unique aesthetic reflected in the design. LIDA Construction will bring your vision to life by helping you explore the full extent of design possibilities, but it’s also our role to help you consider function as well as form. Following are some must-have features for your modern custom home that will not only ensure value on investment but are also game-changers for convenience, comfort, sustainability and that little touch of luxury.
1. Luxury Chef’s Kitchen
It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and a sure way to make yours beat a little faster is with a luxury chefs’ kitchen. Some key features might include:
- Dual Islands. This is a design trend that’s becoming more and more popular in the modern custom home. If you’re dreaming about extra space for preparing your kitchen creations and entertaining friends and family, dual kitchen islands are a fantastic option with endless scope for design.
- Butlers or Walk-In Pantry. More than just extra counter and storage space, a pantry can be customized to include features like a wine fridge, a small dishwasher especially for your stemware or perhaps a well-organized recycling centre hidden behind custom cabinetry. You can also integrate independent temperature control making it ideal for baking and food storage.
- Breakfast Nook. With our fast-paced lives, another feature that’s gaining in popularity are eat-in kitchens. If dual islands do not appeal, a breakfast nook is a great way to create a gathering space and an opportunity to incorporate additional windows that can make the most of your views and bring additional light into your kitchen.
- Custom Cabinetry & High-End Appliances. While these might seem obvious with a custom home build, they are key to the function of your kitchen and with the volume of options out there, extra consideration should be given. You might consider dual wall-mounted ovens. If you’re going with a gas range, why not opt for a 6 burner plus grill option? In addition to ensuring that all your cookware and utilities have their space, custom cabinetry can be leveraged to hide that oversized dishwasher or double-door commercial refrigerator for added design sophistication.
2. Main Floor Master with Spa-Like Ensuite
Having an expansive master suite on the main floor of the home, is one of the most sought-after features, particularly for families looking for both safety and a little separation with their sleeping quarters. Since custom homes are often “forever” homes, a first level master bedroom eliminates the need to climb stairs and reduces falls as homeowners age.
Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are one of the top areas that, when done right, can add exponential value to your home and create a spa-like oasis to help you relax at the end of a busy day. Spacious walk-in showers with multiple shower heads, deep soaker jetted bathtubs and even infrared saunas are some of the features you might consider. And of course, bathrooms are one of the best spots to incorporate some serious design impact. From tile selection, to fixtures and finishes, these comparably small spaces can really create that wow-factor.
3. Secret Spaces and Extra Rooms
From dedicated wine cellars to decked-out home theatres and game rooms; and from home offices spaces to creative playrooms hidden behind invisible doors, more and more homeowners are getting creative with incorporating secret spaces and extra rooms. This is a great way to cater to your specific lifestyle needs and really put a unique stamp on your custom home design.
4. In-Law Suite
Whether you’re looking for rental income to support your retirement, planning a special space for your parents, or simply looking to create private accommodations to host out-of-town visitors, incorporating an in-law suite is a worthwhile consideration. Planning for dual access, both from the main house and from a dedicated entrance can add to the flexibility of the space. Also, designing with accessibility in mind might be particularly important if the goal is to support aging family members.
5. Mud Room & 2nd Floor Laundry Room
These two spaces may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but they have the potential to greatly improve the function and convenience of your home life, particularly for bigger families. Consider a larger mudroom with space for all the family’s shoes, coats and sporting goods as well as a pet bathing station to rinse the sand off the family dog after a walk on the beach. If you’re building a two-story home with the majority of the bedrooms on the upper level, consider a 2nd story laundry room, and if you really want to treat yourself, you can add an additional washer / dryer to the mud room (for those extra grubby clothes) or in the main floor master suite for Mum and Dad use only.
6. Outdoor Living
You’ve chosen to live on Vancouver Island in one of the most temperate and beautiful cities in Canada, which means outdoor living space is a must! The sky is the limit here, so we recommend considering your priorities for use. Do you have a large family with younger children? A pool and a separate pool house with an outdoor shower may be an option for summer fun and sleepovers. Are entertaining and dining alfresco a priority? Then consider a fully equipped outdoor kitchen, barbeque and bar area with a two-side fireplace for that extra touch of ambiance and comfort on those cooler days. Do you have Western and/or Southern exposure and a passion for growing your own food? Consider a hybrid solarium and greenhouse to maximize those gardening months and provide a light-filled shelter from the elements in the cooler months. Whatever design path you choose for your outdoor space, you can’t go wrong with incorporating expansive glass folding doors to maximize light and indoor-outdoor flow, and create a major wow-factor.
7. Smart Home Automation
Technology is quickly becoming a staple of dream home interiors. LIDA Construction can work with you to incorporate home automation advances, such as programmable thermostats that help monitor and adapt energy usage based on occupancy in the home. Lighting, kitchen appliances, sound systems and even landscaping irrigation can all be controlled at a click of a button from your smartphone. Smart technology can even be used to protect the home with many apps that feature one-touch security notifications including surveillance camera alerts, presence detectors, and live-stream audio-visual transmission.
8. Energy Efficiency & Green Home Features
Perhaps the fastest growing (and arguably most important) trend in modern home design, is incorporating features to support more eco-friendly, sustainable living, including:
- Solar Panels. Leveraging the inexhaustible energy of the sun, solar rooftop panels can provide a lightweight, long-term and cost-effective way to boost the passive energy of a home. If you want to ramp things up, upgrade your battery capacity to store excess energy for later use.
- Geothermal Heating and Cooling. Similar to solar panels, geothermal technology harnesses the forces of nature to provide optimal indoor conditions at any time of year. This is a fantastic way to keep your environmental footprint small even if your custom home design plans are expansive. An efficient geothermal system can provide 20+ years of reliable heating and cooling with minimal maintenance, so the benefits of installing one outweigh initial costs.
- Radiant Floor Heating. Underfloor radiant heating systems provide an average savings of 15% annually thanks to the efficiency with which it heats the home. Professionally installed, underfloor heating has virtually zero maintenance requirements and can come with a 30-year guarantee.
- Electric Vehicle Charging Station. As more of the population shift to hybrid or fully electric vehicles, considerations for home charging stations are also on the rise. Even if you don’t have an electric vehicle now, but are planning to in the future, we recommend installing a charging station during the initial build rather than doing a retrofit down the line.
- LED Lighting. Gone are the days where LED lighting only came in abrasive spectrums of orange or blue. Modern LED lighting now comes in an endless array of aesthetically pleasing and intelligent design options, with customizable, smart home compatible features to create the perfect ambiance in any room. Depending on the product and usage, LED lighting uses anywhere from 25% to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent and can last 3-25 times longer.
- Water Regulation Features. There are many low-flow features you can implement in your home to help conserve water and cut down on your water bill, including faucets, showerheads and drip irrigation systems. Believe it or not, toilets are the most obvious place to start as they represent approximately 25% of the water used in your home. Older toilets use as much as 3.5 gallons per flush (GPF), while modern toilets use as little as 1.28 GPF which can translate to a savings of 3,000 gallons of water per year per toilet.
You Can Trust the LIDA Construction Proven Process
Building your custom home can be the most exciting and rewarding experience of your life. LIDA Construction will ensure that your home design journey doesn’t become too overwhelming by helping you navigate the endless options to create a home that is your perfect blend of style and function. With our LIDA Construction Proven Process, we’ll remove any uncertainty with completely transparent communications, guidance through all stages of design and construction, and a commitment to helping you stay on budget with high-end (not high-cost) solutions.