• Kalyn Hill

5 Tips NOT to Forget in your Home Remodel or New Home

Updated: Mar 22, 2019





I've seen a few newly remodeled homes that obviously were poorly planned, or not articulated well to the builder/contractors. (Even some brand new homes!)

So I thought I'd make a list of little problems not to be overlooked when remodeling your home!








1) Switch Locations & Wall Outlets



Wall Outlets:


Think about how you will arrange your furniture and where you will need any outlets. You can have a simple Electrical Plan done by your designer/architect with furniture arrangements and outlets. Here's an example of a simple electrical plan by me for a client.


Electrical Plan by Khiller Designer

Don't forget to add outlets inside your island so you can store and use the appliances on a accessible roll-out shelf! Or on the side of an island when your baking and using a mixer.



Switch Locations:



Have you ever walked into a dark room, went to reach for the light switch and couldn't find it anywhere? I've ran into this problem myself at several rental properties we've lived in... drove me nuts. Make sure to take into account of which way the door will swing open when planning a remodel, you want the switch to easily be found next to the opening of a door upon entering.

This is surprisingly a common problem overlooked!


When adding your new switches and outlets necessary in a new addition, why not update and add smart switches you can easily turn on/off from anywhere with an app. Save on electric bills, by turning lights off when not in use. You can find these at Home Depot or any large hardware store.




2) Additional Storage:


I've never come across a home owner who said "we don't need anymore storage space, we have just what we need."



Kitchen Storage:


If you have a big enough space for a pantry in your kitchen addition that's great, if not, they have great built-in roll-out pantries now! The first one I've ever come across was while working at Ikea.


Ikea has wonderful storage space ideas. Roll-out spice racks, and shelves in the pantry or island that you can easily store small appliances in. You can roll-out your toaster or baking mixer and tuck back away while not in use. Of course they're available in all home stores.



Hidden Storage:



Don't forget about utilizing storage space where you wouldn't even notice it!


You can cut into the space between your walls about three to four inches depending on the thickness of your walls. People used to do this for medicine cabinets behind the sink, but now you see it a lot in showers. Shower selves are a must if adding a new tiled out shower for your bathroom reno!


I came across a picture on Pinterest a few years ago of a newly put in stair case with drawers beneath the treads of the stairs! I thought that was absolutely brilliant! Why not add a roll-out drawer where space would go unused to store everything from shoes to blankets.


Going along with the unused area beneath a stair-case.. (if your designer/architect doesn't put the basement stairs beneath the upstairs case) you could add a reading nook with storage beneath instead of just a closet.




3) Future Accessible Planning:



It's always a smart idea to start planning for your future now. There is a way that you can make a wheel-chair accessible home beautiful to where you barely even notice it is set up to be accessible.


Here is a bathroom I did for a client planning for her and her husbands futures by making it completely accessible by wheel-chair. She wanted a shower that could be easily used in a chair, with a separate toilet room. But, she wanted to use a modern bathtub still to give it a sense of luxury!



I have a blog coming soon on all the building code ADA guidelines to accessible living. {I will link this post to the ADA guidelines}



ADA Accessible Bathroom by Khiller Designer


She wanted a sliding barn door, which separates the toilet room and the master bath area. I absolutely love how it looks in this space.

The roll-in accessible shower has a floor drain that is at the edge of the opening so that the wheel-chair can easily access it. The shower will have a slight slope towards the drain. There is a large shower seat, grab bars, and a move-able shower head, and the on/off controls all within ADA guidelines.

There is also another control for a rain shower head! The tub is not actually wheel-chair accessible, without help from a nurse or loved one.




4) Architectural & Interior Details:


Most older homes have a ton of character, when remodeling an older home you should make sure to continue the charm and character into your addition or updated space.

I can't stand the way new box homes (as I call them) look so plain and sterile.. although I do understand there are a lot of people out there that appreciate that about new homes. Just not for me.



Adding salvaged architectural materials:



When you add an older piece into a newer home I think it gives the home so much character and charm. For example old doors, corbels, and beams! I'm a huge fan of Fixer-upper and the way Joanna adds these elements in everyone of her homes.. who isn't?!



Wood Feature Walls:



Adding ship-lap like Joanna or old salvaged boards/pallets to a wall can really warm up a space and create a sense of the space not being brand-new and sterile. I personally love the look of live-edge boards on a wall for a feature! It gives more of a rustic feel adding wood on a wall, but you can still make it gorgeous and clean by adding newer fixtures and furniture.



Tray Ceilings, Crown Molding, & Baseboards:



Tray ceilings are ceilings with architectural detail by opening the ceilings into tiers. For example the outside tier may be set at 8 feet and then the next tier (inside the first) is higher at 10 feet. I do see this architectural detail in a lot of the new box homes. Thank goodness, some architectural character!

You tend to see this done in formal dining rooms or master bedrooms.


Wider crown molding and baseboards give the home a feeling of luxury, more detail within the crown molding or baseboards adds character.




5) Functionality & Flow of a Space



Kitchens:



A big one that I'd advise people to check is the kitchen work-flow. Not only the work triangle (the shape that should be between the sink, stove-top, and fridge for good work-flow) but the space between the lower cabinets and island to easily move around with more than one person.



Kitchen by Khiller Designer

I've come across kitchens where you go to open the oven and it buds up against the new island! You wouldn't be able to put a turkey in that oven!

You need a minimum of 3 feet between the appliance and island to open well, and to be able to walk around.




Open Concepts:



Open concepts are great, but when planning a new open-concept living plan you have to make sure the open spaces flow efficiently throughout.


Having dedicated "rooms" laid out in your open concept is the secrete to having a good flow from space to space. A big open area doesn't look right unless your furniture is placed where it makes sense.

This is easiest by having a furniture plan from your architect or designer to see how it will all come together.


In an open-concept it is best to have all the same flooring material throughout the open space. If you have different flooring it creates a sense of division between the space (which could be okay if done right). But having the same flooring gives it a sense of commonality and flow.


Pay attention to the direction the floor boards are being laid as well. If you have wood floor boards spanning towards the length of your room, it makes the room seem longer. Whereas spanning wood flooring to the width of the room, may make the room seem cut-off from the open-concept flow.






That's all I have for now on what not to forget in a home remodel! I may add more as I consider the {surprisingly!} common issues that go unnoticed when planning.


Please leave any feedback or questions on my first blog post! Also, help me out and share if you like this post!



Make sure to check out my next blog coming soon on the local building code ADA guidelines for accessibility!



















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