Most people dream of hardwood floors and fireplaces when they design a new house. Don't forget that there are many special extras that you can do in the plumbing department that will take your house from nice to "wow."
1. Pedal Valve Kitchen Faucet: Commercial kitchens use a pedal valve to turn on faucets. When a chef's hands are covered in raw chicken, he simply uses his foot to turn on the water and wash his hands. This same technology can be installed in a residential kitchen if planned for during the construction stage.
2. Water Purification System: Installing a water purification system is another great idea. These whole house filtration systems can remove impurities in your home's water that effect the taste, smell, and appearance of the water. Not only will you reap the benefits of cleaner water, but it will be a positive selling point in the future.
3. Tankless Hot Water Heater: Everyone likes hot showers, but the traditional hot water tank is a waste of energy. It heats up to 100 gallons of water and keeps it hot until you are ready to use it. Unfortunately, this could mean that it sits there for 12 or more hours, wasting energy. A tankless system, however, simply heats what you use as you use it. There is no wasteful holding tank. This unit is best installed during construction, so talk to your contractor about adding this plumbing extra.
4. Mop Sink: Also known as a floor mount sink or a janitor sink, this style of sink is a great non-traditional addition to your home. In commercial applications, this sink is installed at floor level to make filling and emptying mop buckets easier for the janitorial staff. In your mudroom, however, the idea is pure genius. Simply request that your plumber install a faucet and shower pan. While you could fill a mop bucket, you can also use this handy sink to wash pets, to drain wet boots, or even to rinse out those large items that don't fit in the kitchen sink, like a picnic cooler.
5. Pre-Plumbed Basement: Another plumbing option that you can select is pre-plumbing the basement for an additional bath. Even if your budget is stretched to the max and you never plan on finishing your basement, pick this extra. Running plumbing and sewage lines when the house is built is only a few hundred dollars, but re-working those lines after the fact can cost thousands. It is so much cheaper to prep for it from the beginning.
When planning and building a new home, there are many options available to you. Some decisions can be delayed, like carpet color, while others need to be made very early on. Special plumbing features need to be put into action at the same time as the walls start going up, so talk to someone sooner rather than later.