After nearly a two-year home search and going through the process of building our first house, we learned a lot about the features of southern homes, especially here in Texas. Now that we’ve sold our first place and know what we’re looking for moving forward, I’m keeping track of a list of the features we would re-purpose or remove the next round.
1) Formal dining room
Many of the newer floorplans feature both a formal dining and a breakfast nook. In our case, both were large enough to fit at least a square / round 6- or 8-person table. And because of this, our formal dining was never used, even with guests over. Instead, it just became a catch all room for stuff we didn’t have storage space for. So we sold our smaller table, moved the bigger one into the breakfast nook, and created a craft room in its place.
Next time, we’d wall the space off and add a door so that we could use it for a second study, a storage closet (or walk in pantry depending on where it’s placed), a craft room, a spare bedroom, or an exercise room.
2) Laundry room
I realize this sounds like we’re saying we’d nix the laundry room. On the contrary, I’d love to make it bigger! Ours is rather small as is and barely fits a washer, dryer, and small cabinet for supplies. The trend has been to expand the space and make it multi-purpose, creating more of a utility room per say.
We’d rather make it large enough to include a washer and dryer, a utility sink, a pet bath / foot shower, hooks and storage for backpacks, a table for crafts, and additional storage for the house.
A lot of houses include a bare patio, many times without coverage or space for outdoor cooking. We ended up investing some of our incentive money on a covered patio. But with this Texas heat and an abundance of mosquitos, a patio is practically unusable during the day.
Instead, we’ll include a screened off porch or a sun room in the next house. That way, we could enjoy the summer sunsets or a June rain shower without the hassle of getting completely bitten up.
4) Extended garage
The running joke in our family is that no matter how many garage bays you have, you always want another. Mainly because we end up creating a shop in the garage as well. Our general consensus is that one more bay would give us plenty of room to both park the cars and add work benches / storage areas for automotive and gardening supplies. And of course, storing the trash and recycle bins.