Deciding to build your own home can be both exciting and daunting. You get to set everything up the way you want it – or at least as far as your budget will let you.
People usually know certain things they want in their house – soft-close drawers in the kitchen, main floor laundry, a master bath and walk-in closet. But there are other things you’ll want to plan for early to avoid hassles after you’ve moved in to your new place. The earlier you think about setting up your internet, cable TV, home security and phone services for your home, the better.
Download our checklist of questions to ask yourself and your builder, and read below for more things to think about.
1. Burying the Service Line
Talk to your builder early in the process to make sure your cable and internet service line is buried before the concrete for the driveway is poured or sod is installed. This will help you avoid having to dig in the line later on.
2. Modem Placement
Decide where you’ll want to put your modem and/or router. It’s best to place it in a central part of your home, and put it on a shelf or table to keep it off the floor. Think about where it makes sense to have your modem and extenders (if your home is large enough to need them), and make sure to have an Ethernet port nearby.
3. Hard-Wired Devices
Do you have smart TVs or a gaming console? Make sure you have an Ethernet port wherever you might put them. Even if you don’t plan on ever bringing cable TV to your kids’ rooms, think about the gaming consoles or computers they may have. Hard-wired connections are best to get the fastest internet speeds for doing homework, watching movies or gaming.
4. Built Ins
Consider adding built-in shelves or full built-in entertainment center to your home. These can add personality to a room – and give you a good place to put your TiVo® DVR, modem, sound bar, gaming console, smart home hub or other electronic device. They’re also much easier to plan for now than to add later.
Think about where you’ll put your TVs and make sure you have enough electrical outlets for all your equipment in convenient places (and not behind where you’ll put a couch). Keep your options open by thinking for the future – such as if you want to rearrange furniture or have TVs in your kids’ bedrooms, the kitchen or the garage.
If you’re going to mount a TV on the wall, have the electrical outlets placed higher on the wall to make it easier to plug in (and hide the cords). Your builder can also add some blocking in the wall of the built in to reinforce your studs and give you plenty of locations to screw in the mounting bracket.
6. Home Phones
Don’t forget about phone jacks. While mobile phones dominate the world, it’s helpful to have a phone line for emergencies – giving 911 immediate access to your address – and to make sure there’s always a connection to call out for your kids, babysitters and others who might visit your home.
If you know you’ll eventually want a home security system, speakers in the ceiling or even solar panels on your roof, have your builder run wires for that equipment while your house is just studs. This will help you avoid having to fish wires through walls later on.
While you should wait until after you move in to schedule a security system installation, think about where you’d want to put security cameras. Make sure there is an outlet close to where you want them placed. For outdoor cameras, have your builder run CAT5 cable to those locations to avoid having a power cord on the outside of your home. If you want smart door locks, have your builder pre-drill the deadbolt holes in your doors. If you want a smart thermostat, check with your builder, electrician or HVAC installer about any local ordinances or set up needed to add that to your system.
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