OT? Amenities in homes

Page 1 of 4  

I posted a similar inquiry to the home repair newsgroup and would appreciate any suggestions for other, active, newsgroups where it would get a good response. ==I have a lifelong background in real estate and am now retired. I'd enjoy discussing the differences in upscale single family residences found in various parts of the country, if anyone is interested.
I am now retired to NV. Here, after looking at various custom and semi-custom homes, I was surprised to learn I'd not "seen it all," yet. Besides the expected features and amenities found in most upscale homes today, such as commercial appliances in kitchens, media wiring, built in vac, granite counters, cabinetry in the closets and multiple car garages, I have seen some new things. These include a separate sink for vegetable preparation, usually located near the one or two refrigerators, two dishwashers, pot filler faucet by the cooktop, outlets inside bathroom drawers for curlers and hair dryers, fireplaces in major bathrooms and the master suite, steam showers and (always) an in-ground pool with spa.
Upscale flooring in Nevada is typically Travertine in most areas and carpet in the bedrooms, with large tile being acceptable if it matches the theme of the home. Ceilings are usually 10' in the "lower" semi-custom homes and 12' to 15' in the better custom ones. Doors are almost always 8', solid, and have Baldwin or Emco hardware. Windows are low E double pane, of course, and insulation is extensive. Exterior walls are 6" and the better homes have 5/8" drywall throughout. In some of the better custom homes, the front door(s) are massive iron with swing out leaded glass inserts, weighing in around 400# each.
Another feature seen in the upscale homes is stepped, or coffered, ceilings- many with crown mold as well on the vertical portions. Pot shelves are found in even the tract homes. Drywall corners are rounded, rather than square, and there is every conceivable finish to the drywall other than flat and smooth. Even in the multi million dollar homes, though, trim and baseboards are almost always painted and of man-made material, rather than hardwood. Hardwood trim and doors are simply not evident.
What amenities, features and the like do you find in your own area of the country, such as the above?
Nonny
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hey Nonny. Crossposting, in general, is bad newsgroup etiquette, but when it's the same question, and applicable to a few newsgroups, it's better to have all of the answers in the one question/thread. Otherwise people will have to read the responses in each newsgroup separately, and if it's an active thread, you'll get a fair bit of duplication of responses. That just wastes people's time. R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Currently My wife and I are preparing to build a new home. Certainly not high end but it will most likely have most of what you have mentioned. I suppose it is all relative as a for instance your mention of 10' ceilings being in lower custom homes. Our 30 year old "starter home" has 10 foot ceilings. Rounded corner sheet rock has been the norm in all new construction for 15 + years. Hard wood trim is common but typically a marginal up grade. What is a Pot Shelf? Skupltured/stepped ceilings and crown molding are available in starter homes. Fancy front doors are common. Starting to see fire places offered in the back yard patio. Granite is common place and a 3 car garage is becoming a common neighborhoow sighting for homes in new neighborhoods. Our new home will have a 3 car garage.
At the moment the home we are most interested in and appointed the way we want will have, 10" ceilings, Island kitchen, extra study room, 3 bedrooms, formal dining, breakfast nook, 3 car garage, brick 3 sides, extral high roof line, tile in all rooms except bedrooms, oval tub and seperate shower, remote controlled fire place, radient barrier decking, double pained low-e windows, Cat 5 media wiring to name the most obvious and just under 2100 sq. ft. single story. $148K.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When I looked at new homes in the Des Moines, IA area *every one* had a three-car garage. Only one of the several tens of new homes here in Alabama had one, and that one was almost the identical size as a normal two-car, only with three doors. The trickery wasn't evident until I measured. ;-) I would certainly go for a three-car garage, if I built.

10" ceilings? ;-)
Our house isn't "high end" by any means, but it's certainly not a starter, either. We have 2600ft^2, 3 bedroom, 3-1/2 baths. There are granite tops everywhere except the laundry (5 surfaces in the kitchen, living room shelves, and the four bathrooms). Fireplace, formal dining, great room (kitchen, living, and breakfast separated by a bar area). The master suite is about 1/3 of the main floor, with two bedrooms upstairs. 9' ceilings, with cathedral ceilings over the great room (not kitchen or breakfast areas).
The master suite is connected by two hallways to the great room, with the master bath on one end of the second and to walk-in closets leading to the bedroom at the other end of the hall. Whirlpool tub and 6'x6' shower, with rain head, in master bath, all tiled. The master bath is about 12'x15'. The other two full bathrooms have the crappy one-piece fiberglass tubs and surrounds. This sort of master suite setup is quite common here. Almost all new homes had similar.
The other nice feature was the screened in porch and a space big enough over the garage to build a shop (current project ;-).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

for 148K, at least in my neck of the woods. I assume that's no basement and not including the lot?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Garages here are incredible. In the Midwest, a good 2-car would be 22 X 22 or even 24' deep. Here, if you get 20', it's considered a jumbo. Doors for a 2-car are almost always 16' wide and singles are 8' wide. It's common to see a single and double door side by side. However, the single garage is only 14' or so deep and really intended for storage. Since storage isn't something builders think will sell for much, it's absolutely minimal in tract and even semi-custom homes. We see many whole subdivisions where people park on the drive so that they can use the garage for storage. I've seen homes advertised with 4-car garages, only to see a single 16' door. The person will explain that "the garage is extra deep, so I'm calling it a 4-car." <grin>
Nonny
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Living in the Houston area there are no basements but yes the price is on a lot in a 2 year old neighborhood. Actually about 30 miles SW of down town Houston. We currently live about 12 miles SW of down town.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You mean a 1000 SF workshop, right? Or is SWMBO reading over your shoulder? ;)

What's the fourth side?
If I might make an observation about siding... Around here you'll see some homes which I call Colorform homes. Remember those plastic sticky things where kids would put a sticky dress cutout on the two dimensional figure of a girl? They were just applied. When they do that with siding - just apply it like it's painted on - it becomes analogous to a Colorform toy.
Brick and stone are the bones of the house and usually show the best when they are designed to work that way. Some house styles, like Federalist houses, pretty much require all brick veneer. But if the house is not such a style, having the brick/stone closer to the ground and edges and corners, then transitioning to another style of siding (such as stucco) between and above the brick/stone, can look sharper and more distinctive than just having it all one way of the other.
Tudor houses, when well done, are good examples (though this link isn't the best it does give the idea)
http://www.tulsapreservationcommission.org/images/buildings/mcbirney.jpg
This is a remodeled box of a house that's been broken up with the stone - it's on the way, but not quite there yet.
http://www.peakstuccoandstone.com/images/residential/lg/GrizzlyPeak-SandStone.jpg
and another from that site:
http://www.peakstuccoandstone.com/images/residential/lg/Brick-MtColumbia.jpg
Here's a what not to do picture - too busy and arbitrarily done siding:
http://gzcontracting.info/images/stucco%20glenwood%20str.jpg
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RicodJour wrote:

Ohhh...quoins too :)
Plus, neat roff, goptta love all those nested peaks and valleys.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You mean a 1000 SF workshop, right? Or is SWMBO reading over your shoulder? ;)
LOL, no more like 540 sq ft. I am dealing with 380 now.

What's the fourth side?
Painted Hardi Plank, all exterior other than brick and shingles is Hardi products.
If I might make an observation about siding... Around here you'll see some homes which I call Colorform homes. Remember those plastic sticky things where kids would put a sticky dress cutout on the two dimensional figure of a girl? They were just applied. When they do that with siding - just apply it like it's painted on - it becomes analogous to a Colorform toy.
Brick and stone are the bones of the house and usually show the best when they are designed to work that way. Some house styles, like Federalist houses, pretty much require all brick veneer. But if the house is not such a style, having the brick/stone closer to the ground and edges and corners, then transitioning to another style of siding (such as stucco) between and above the brick/stone, can look sharper and more distinctive than just having it all one way of the other.
This particular bilder does not offer many options in that reguard however he is 15-20% less expensive than his competition. We do have the option to have brick on all 4 sides but to tell you the truth I would prefer no brick and all Hardi.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 12 Aug 2010 08:02:00 -0500, Leon wrote:

I still remember my father, when looking for a home back in 1950 or so, turning up his nose at brick veneer. None of that "fake" stuff for him, he wanted a real brick house - and he found one!
I'm guessing that the '50s were about the time that brick veneer started being used to lower costs.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Solid wall masonry construction is not a good choice in all climates, and energy code requirements for a wall's R-value are a hang up of plan examiners and building inspectors. It's tough to argue the thermal mass point with them.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Having grown up in a 1840ish-built home with 16" thick brick exterior walls, I have to agree about the benefit of mass. However, beyond the price of materials, solid masonry construction doesn't easily permit wires or pipe to be installed, modified or maintained. Insulation, if required, is also a problem, as is the cost of labor building it.
Nonny
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Typically concrete walls have a very low R-value when compared to typical insulated stud walls. In 1986 the car dealer I worked for built a new state of the art facility. Solid poured on site contrete walls. Inside the air conditioned offices the walls were quite warm to the touch from the afternoon sun.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

From what I read about that kind of massive wall, they almost need to be "tuned" to the area. Ideally, the cooler night would offset the warmer day and the overall climate wouldn't have much summer/winter swing, such as in a desert setting. There, clear nights are cold and days are hot, but winter-summer is not that much different. If it's much colder than warmer or the opposite, the mass has less significance. In one city were we lived, it was colder than the dickens and a poured concrete wall would have required extensive thermal break and further insulation to be effective.
Nonny
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is why you use Insulating Concrete Forms. Strength of masonry, efficiency of good insulation. Such as: www.integraspec.com www.greenblock.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 12 Aug 2010 22:23:57 -0400, "Ed Pawlowski"

Yeah, ICFs and SIPs are the only way to build any more. http://www.sips.org/content/about/index.cfm?pageId=7 example
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 12 Aug 2010 09:52:20 -0700, RicodJour wrote:

This was Louisville, KY. Not the Arctic, but not the tropics either. We did get some snow. I lived in a similar house, although it was much older. I can't remember the walls being cold in the winter or warm in the summer. That dead air in between works pretty well. The one I was renting had 12' (at least) ceilings and the gaslight fittings were still there.
This was before residential AC was common and the house was nice and cool in the summer - in fact it did better than my father's house.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm assuming that that $148K is for the house built on your lot, right? This is what $140K gets you around here: http://www.redfin.com/NY/Elmont/1485-Sweetman-Ave-11003/home/20469891 Around here meaning about ten miles away - closest I could find, and not exactly what you'd call a good area, but at least it includes all 1/8 acre!
This one really hurts: http://www.redfin.com/NY/Huntington-Station/10-2nd-Ave-11746/home/21092286 It's on the market for less than half of what it sold for four years ago. This one's about 15 miles away.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What area of the country would this be in? The price is a bit lower than found here in NV, but not my much. We have actual new starter homes advertised in the $80/sf range, but by the time you are ready to live in them, completing what's left off, you're at $100. To get to where you're talking, it'd be $150/sf or more.
FWIW, a pot shelf, as they're called here, is a decorative "step" about 30" or so from a dinette, dining room or living room wall, presumably to set greenery, decorative plates or pots, or vases on. It's near the ceiling and usually reached by a step ladder.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.