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Bob Reynolds

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Thanks @bud16415 that's helpful to know!

@Bob Reynolds that's really helpful too, especially the point about fixing problems on paper before driving a single nail or pouring a single drop of concrete. But I do think you over-state the case for future-proofing. I hope there will always be people who push back against "smart appliances", for example -- I sure as heck would never bring a toaster or fridge into my house that requires a bluetooth or wifi connection, and plan to instill that wisdom in my kids. Also, the future adapts to what's available from the past sometimes too: we didn't have to get a fiber optic line laid in just to get internet, it comes through the same coaxial connections that in days gone by provided my parent's generation with television. To me, simplicity and cost are always higher considerations than keeping up with the Joneses. I'd rather have a house that's a pleasure for me to live in and maintain than one I'm sure the gadget-freaks of the 2060s are going to scramble for.
In all reality, it's impossible to "future proof" a home. But you do have to plan to be able to adapt when necessary.

In the late 1990's and well into the 2000's, the conventional belief was that internet service would come from the phone company. No one thought the cable company would be the one to provide, much less dominate, high speed internet service.

Home builders back then installed Cat 5 wiring in homes running from the managed system portal to each room in the house. That would have been the perfect solution if the phone company had been able to deliver reliable high speed internet.

As you know today, most internet is provided by the cable company. Wireless internet is predominate throughout homes so you don't even need wires anymore.

Many people don't even have those kind of phones that you actually plug into an RJ11 jack because smartphones have taken over. We didn't even have smartphones prior to 2007.

At one time, there was a problem with the phone companies running out of numbers because of all of the fax machines and pagers. That's not a problem anymore as the phone company became a declining business and could not retain customers. The phone company used to publish a great big phone book with all of the listed phone numbers and yellow pages in the back that generated incredible advertising profits for the phone company. Back then everyone got the phone book. Today, most people don't even use a phone book. When was the last time you picked one up and actually looked up a phone number?

Today, the cable companies are having problems retaining customers as people cut the cord because technology makes it possible to receiving programming in many different ways.

Technology will continue to change and we will change with it. That comes with the good and the bad.
 

zannej

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Some very good points. Bob, I completely agree with the making the changes on "paper" although, I think nowadays you can do it in a layout program like Sketchup so you can see it in 3D and it lets you do a sort of perspective of a person walking through it.

When we renovated our kitchen in the 80s, my dad sketched it out on paper because it was before computers had software for it. Our Apple II E computer only had DOS and 3kb of RAM. He did however, put down tape on the floor to mark where things were going to see how it would feel. He had a bit of a dispute with Mom. He wanted to keep the fridge over near the pantry but for some reason she wanted it closer to the living room instead. I think because it was closer for bringing in groceries through the front door. Years later she regretted it and now claims it was his idea to switch it up, but I remember the conversations they had so I know it was her idea. LOL.

For future-proofing, I think adding in backing braces for shower walls to later add grab bars is a good idea.

I wonder if it's possible to add a slope/ramp for a garage so the garage can be on the same level as the house if it's on top of a crawlspace. Probably more practical to have a larger garage and some steps though. If I could have a garage, I would want it oversized to have room to get things in and out of vehicles, have some tool chests and other stuff nearby, etc.

Wish I could have a basement here, but water levels are too high. The soil type is another thing to consider. Will it make it difficult to dig a basement? If you want a septic tank or water well, how difficult would it be to dig them out and can a septic tank go deep enough without hitting waterline? They almost hit water when digging for my new septic tank.

Another thing Bob mentioned that I completely agree with is when they design layouts but don't think about furniture. It's one of my pet peeves. I see it so often where there isn't enough room for the couch.

One pet peeve in my home is not enough electrical outlets. I think by code they need to be every 12 feet now, but there are only a few scattered throughout my house. Only 2 of them total in my bedroom (on opposite walls). My parents room only had 2 outlets as well-- one behind the bed and another next to it. Living room was a newer part so it has 4 outlets but only 2 work.

So, having a large enough circuit box with room for upgrades is a good idea.
 

Bob Reynolds

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Another thing that I push during renovations are electrical outlets and switches. I always ask where they plug in their vacuum cleaner. Then I point out how much easier it would be if there was an outlet here, here and there. When you express it in those terms, the homeowner will see the benefits of having those extra outlets.

I do the same thing with switches. I want switches where they naturally should be. I don't want to have to walk through a dark room to turn on the lights.
 

bud16415

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Bob hit one of my big points in this post. I have seen so many homes wired in the craziest manner. Mostly high dollar homes as well.



I remember one huge home where the kitchen had 12 ceiling cans all on one switch. They would get up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and they would fumble in the dark rather than light up the whole neighborhood. To make matters worse the switch was on the wrong end of the room.



We have family members that just bought a fancy new home and there was no forethought in switch location. To make matters worth they did all rocker switches and half of them were upside down. That I could fix for them.



One thing I do that I don’t see anyplace else is if I’m doing a ceiling fan with a light below it I use a double switch that takes up one spot. The upper switch is the fan the lower the light. It becomes easy to intuitively understand the placement. Same way with if you have several rows of lights just place the switches in the same way the rows are.



I really hate this trend for pre-wiring above a fireplace with those big recessed boxes. But I understand people like TVs up in the air like that. For me it is a distraction from the look of a fireplace. If it were my house I would rather pre-wire it and don’t connect the wires and just map where they are behind the drywall if I ever decide I need a TV up there.



I also like the idea of an outlet here and there put in with a switch at switch height for sweepers and such. Nothing worse than looking for an outlet behind an end table to plug in the sweeper.



Where we live central air isn’t a necessity but a lot of people use window units for a couple months in the summer. I picked the window I wanted to use in the living room and the bedrooms and put a dedicated outlet right below the window. Normally the outlets are off to the sides of windows. It makes it nice and neat and I like having loads like that separated out.

These changes cost a few bucks during construction and cost 100s after.
 

BuzzLOL

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Hot water heating used to be called The Cadillac of Heating Systems... but makes it hard to add central air later... forced air heating makes it simple... a quiet central air system is nice because the house just seems to naturally magically be comfortably cool without the racket, look, dripping water, or drafts of window air conditioners.
I just stopped using TV's and now use these projectors and you can have any picture size you want, 40" - 300". The unit is about the size of a small VCR and can be on floor, a table, atop a cabinet, or from ceiling and costs about $220 ordered direct from China for a nice one. 40,000 hour bulb life. I show it on a light colored or white wall. Currently have mine set at a 200" picture size, 14' wide by 8' high. Had it at 160" at first, but then realized I had a better spot for it. Great for watching Ohio State football games. I run the sound through the home stereo+ receiver which is 5.1 and several large (now used as surround) speaker systems that I picked up in 1971 in Vietnam. (has built in speakers, also, with decent sound and volume, but I wanted sound coming mainly from in front of us) It picks up WiFi, internet, youtube, etc., etc. from the Cable Router. For $17, got and added a wireless keyboard and mouse kit from Walmart. I use a digital TV box and rabbit ears to pick up and drive it with about 40 local digital TV channels. Can also be used as a computer and/or gaming monitor. A search for Free Movies on Youtube will bring up more good movies than you can watch in 10 lifetimes! And watch on your own schedule.
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