Reply by bobkberg

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Posted on Building a House, In Phases

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439 posts in 3312 days

#1 posted 02-10-2011 10:40 PM

I’m a fan of this approach – simply because you can do it on a pay-as-you-go basis. I don’t know if there is a term for this or not, but here’s my take on what’s necessary.

Plan, plan, and plan! Think of everything you might ever want in such a house. If nothing else, this will give you and your wife some fun “what if” time to fantasize about all the goodies you could have.

Plan to put in chases for future expansion space.
Put conduit to boxes stubbed out to the crawl space and/or attic for future wiring that you don’t know about yet.
Make room for a central wiring room, and make sure you allow stubs and space for future expansion.
Plan for central vacuum – the pipes are cheap – we had pipes but no central unit for years
Think about recirculating hot water (saves water), or look at the “instant” hot water.
Make sure that everything can be placed or built to be serviced without intruding on your living spaces.
Think about security systems – both sensors, and cameras
Plan for finial finish, but make it workable now – we lived with painted subfloor for years to save money.
Allow for LOTS of insulation, attic and underfloor, thicker walls, etc.
Plan for solar – both water heating, space heating, electrical generation.

Bottom line – you don’t have to install any of these things – but if you have installed conduit, externally accessible chases, plumbing that doesn’t go anywhere yet, etc. then when you DO want to install them, there will be a minimum of tearout to do so.

Similarly, you can build nice cabinets, and put in formica countertops for the time being – Home Depot/Lowes, etc. sell them pretty cheaply.

Plan on putting outlet strips just underneath the cabinets that overhang your kitchen counters – they’re out of sight, but very handy. Also plan on under cabinet lighting the same way.

I could go on….

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

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