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Old 02-20-2015, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Building a new house

The wife and I have decided it's time to start planning our new home. I've done resi new construction for the past 6 years and am rather familiar with the process, so I'll be the general contractor, just got the banks permission today.
What would you guys suggest that I might forget.
Building in Wisconsin, 2300sq ft ranch unfinished basement for the time being.
So far on the list I have:

Minimal fixtures, cans where possible given the price.
320a service.
2 low/line voltage chases (attic to basement) one on each side of house for future work without drywall repair.
Prewire for whole house sound.
Dual cat6 to all tv locations.
All led.
No geothermal or solar, the costs don't seem worth it.
Floor trusses to hide pluming with no soffits in basement.
Cans all around the exterior of home for security lighting.
2 zone Hvac.

Budget is around 350k for house and garage.

Thanks for your help.
-knauer.
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:59 PM   #2
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A few exterior receps on a central timer for holiday lighting.
Back-up genny.
A 1 or 1 line from the mechanical room up through the attic for satellite. Put a weatherhead on it over the roof. Multiple RG-6s can be installed. Just stub it up where it's easy to install the dish to it.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:09 AM   #3
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Radiant in floor heat for the basement.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:27 AM   #4
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Whole house back up generator.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:40 AM   #5
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T-5 Ho strip lights in the garage and at least a 12' high by 16' door so you can drive your trucks in.....
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:54 AM   #6
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Insulated concrete forms for outside wall construction. Wisconsin gets cold and ICFs have vastly better insulating value, fire resistance and air tightness than a 2x6" stud wall with 20" centers and pink fiberglass insulation.

Also, I always liked high-velocity small-duct HVAC systems(like these guys). Their HE-Z model comes ready for zone control out of the box and has a VFD. You just need to add a boiler or Polaris hot water tank for a heat source, and some dampers for the ductwork. If you're going with floor trusses the ductwork will disappear inside them as you'll only need an 8" round main supply plenum.

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Old 02-21-2015, 01:01 AM   #7
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Dont forget the custom doorbell that plays Freebird when it rings!
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:07 AM   #8
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Run this stuff to wherever you think you want a TV

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Old 02-21-2015, 01:24 AM   #9
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I wouldn't bother with a 320 service, but that's just me, unless you are planning on a gigantic shop fed off from the house. Just adding unnecessary money when you get right down to it.

I would run LED tape hidden by trim in the hallways between bedrooms and bathrooms. Run it off a photocell and dimmed down. When the kiddos or guests get up in the middle of the night to go pee they won't have to turn on lights to see as they walk down the hall, and they won't be blasted by bright lights.

I would go with a modulating gas boiler for heat, and have a 50 or 80 gallon Super Stor tank run off the boiler for domestic hot water. You will never run out of hot water, and when it is cold the boiler won't kick priority to water heating when you take a shower or bath and neglect heating the rest of the house. Have the heating guy install an ECM circulator. ECM circulators are basically variable speed pumps, so they help save some energy. Also get an outside temp sensor so when it is 40 degrees outside, the boiler isn't running at full temperature. That alone saves a good 10% a year on heating fuel consumptionI would also definitely do radiant floor heat. If you do a tiled shower, run radiant in the shower floor and also run it in the shower seat. It's awesome. I would also get a decent sized pellet or wood stove and set it up in the basement as additional heat. Crank that thing during the winter and it will help offset your gas usage. I would avoid doing forced hot air for heat if at all possible. Personally I find it uncomfortable, you have to worry about covering up the diffusers, and it doesn't zone worth a dam. If you want whole house AC, have the guy do the High-Velocity AC so you don't have gigantic duct work running everywhere. Really cleans up the basement. Another option would be a multi-zone mini-split system, so you don't have any duct work at all. With how tight modern houses are, and with the weather in Wisconsin, you probably don't have to run AC very much anyways.

I would get an underground propane tank buried if you don't have natural gas available, and either way run a standby generator off of it. Soo worth it. If you are doing a deck or patio where you can have a grill, have the gas piper run some pipe out to your grilling location with a regulator, valve, and grill adapter. Enjoy never having to get 20lb grill tanks ever refilled again.

Definitely do LED undercabinet lights in the kitchen. I love those things. Especially when they are shining on freshly oiled Soapstone countertops. Soapstone puts granite to shame.

Oh yeah, when you are specing a roof material, either do standing seam or architectural asphalt shingles. Don't let them slap up the 3-tap pieces of junk. For siding, RUN AWAY from Hardee plank. That stuff is garbage in our climate. If you do vinyl siding, make sure it isn't the new stuff that has a membrane on it and is nailed directly to the sheathing. You want the conventional stuff that can move around so it can expand and contract. Wood is much better with the gigantic temp swings we have, but maintenance is something to worry about.

Good enough start?
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five.five-six View Post
Run this stuff to wherever you think you want a TV

1 1/4" sump pump hose works just as well and is cheap cheap cheap.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Going_Commando View Post
1 1/4" sump pump hose works just as well and is cheap cheap cheap.
\


That stuff comes with a pull string and is rated for the application, about 65 cents a foot for 1" and you can pull (3) HDMI cables in it if need be. I have actually gotten 4 in one but wouldn't recommend it.



If you are going to do ceiling speakers, pick a few and run a cat5 to them for PoE WiFi nodes, it's nice when you have a full mesh system with full bars all over the house.

personal, I like plugmold under-cabinet much better than recepts in my back-splash.
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:22 AM   #12
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If you're a good DIYer ,you might pull off $152 sq ft w/amenities mentioned knauer.

good luck

~CS~
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:45 AM   #13
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Based on your budget you might be waiting on the whole house generator but in the layout of your service I would make room for ATS. I would count the branch circuits and if close to filling up two panels install a 3rd panel now. You will always be adding circuits.


Also I agree a 320 amp service is most likely not needed, unless you are all electric. But on resell the HI will make a big deal out of not having a 320.

What are you heating with if it is hot water, pipe the basement the initial install is cheaper than electric .

Watch that chase from the basement to the attic that can be a chimney in a fire use conduit and seal the ends.

Pipe in for central Vacuum add extra Vac outlets just easier than stretching th e house, even if you do not but the central unit at this time. When you buy the central unit buy one for a house twice your size, the wife will appreciate the aded power. Also install clean outs in easy to get locations.

Following Ken's lead if you want candles in each window place a receptacle under all windows controlled by a single switch.

Install conduit on the outside a decent distance from the house for future flood lights.

If you have sidewalks around the house install PVC under the sidewalk and driveway now for future chases.

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Old 02-21-2015, 09:18 AM   #14
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Give some thought to wether or not you want (or even may want) landscape and/or driveway lighting. Install the conduits now to the areas you might want it. I've dug up my yard three times now to install conduits to the areas that wifey has decided absolutely must be lit up.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:25 AM   #15
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All good suggestions but I wouldn't waste money on a 320 amp service. 200 amps can go an awfully long way.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:30 AM   #16
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MTW is right......200 amps should be plenty for a 2300 sq ft rancher unless you plan on lots of electric heating of some type.

Mine is 2400 sq ft two storied farmhouse plus the basement is finished and it was run on a 100 amp service for a looooooong time....with zero issues.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:36 AM   #17
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Check out the cost of running a three phase service. It would require less amperage. Also a whole house surge protector and back up genny
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:37 AM   #18
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The 2 things that are a must ...

(1) Pasta Cooker in Counter Top , next to sink .

(2) Baby Grand Player Piano ... Great for dining .




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Old 02-21-2015, 09:46 AM   #19
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Have a hidden room and a bookshelf as a door. A friend of mine has this at his house. It's the coolest set up.
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:01 AM   #20
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Check out the cost of running a three phase service. It would require less amperage. ........
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