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Cool Things to Include When Building a House

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Cool Things to Include When Building a House

Building a new house is an exciting time. All the budgeting, saving, and planning have paid off, and you can finally see your vision coming to life. Now is your chance to get creative and consider all those extra features that can really make the home your own. There are so many cool things to include when building a house, from automatic blinds and heated floors to stargazing skylights and your own home theatre. There are even robots that can help around the house. Read on to check out 37 of the coolest things to include in your new home.

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Smart Home Automation

Smart home automation is the automatic and electronic control of features in the home via your network or the Internet. It allows you to manage things like temperature, entertainment, appliances, and home security through a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and smartwatch. You can even use virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant to control these connected gadgets verbally. With the convenience of smart home automation, you can program the coffee machine to turn on before your morning alarm and the heater to power up when you walk up the driveway wearing your smartwatch. Let’s take a look at some of the fabulous examples of smart home automation.

  1. Housekeeping Robots. Robots are not just something we see in old sci-fi movies. The automated reality is well and truly here. There are robots to vacuum floors, clean pools and windows, clean grills, and tidy the yard. There are even robot pets that can be used for home security. The Amazon Astro is a robot that acts as a virtual assistant and can follow a person from room to room, monitors home security, and can be used for remote care of elderly people.
  2. Smart Thermostat. This is a wifi enabled device that automatically adjusts heating and cooling in the home. You can program a schedule of heating, cooling, and zoned temperature control or use a high-tech version that can learn your schedule from your behaviour and adjust the temperature accordingly.
  3. Smart Appliances. These days more appliances, including refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and vacuums, are being specifically designed to connect to the internet to be operated remotely. Smart refrigerators can look up recipes, create a shopping list and even notify you if food is about to spoil. Smart dishwashers will modify the cycle according to the load and turn on automatically, and smart microwaves can be operated with voice commands.
  4. Automatic Blinds. Controlling the blinds from a voice command or tablet has taken motorised blinds to the next level. These automatic blinds can even be operated remotely or programmed to be opened and closed, which is great for security if you are away from home on holidays.
  5. Home Security. Devices like smart doorbells, smart locks, smart cameras, and smart smoke alarms add another layer of safety to the home. With home security connected to your wifi, you don’t need to be home to ensure safety. Security cameras, door locks, and smoke alarms can all be checked remotely.

Many smart home technologies could technically be added to your home after it’s built, but the more you plan ahead, the more you can include them seamlessly. For instance, you could have a special spot for household robots built into cabinetry or storage, or a thermostat connected to the built-in HVAC system rather than separate split systems. By thinking ahead during the building process, you can make your home even smarter and more convenient.

In-built technologies

The emergence of inbuilt technology throughout the home has added another level of convenience and comfort for the homeowner. Technology that is built in is not only cool. It can have major health benefits as well as practical applications. Imagine coming home from work and just throwing your phone onto the bench to charge it or knowing that you have arrived home to air quality better than anything outside. Let’s take a look at a sample of the cool in-built technologies you can include in your new home.

  1. Wireless charging surface. Power up smartwatches, tablets, and phones with wireless charging surfaces that are built-in to the home. Turn your sofas, coffee tables, desks, tables, cupboards, pantries, kitchen tops, or even wardrobes into a charging surface with these cool built-in devices.
  2. Automated Air Purification Systems. This advanced technological system actually purifies the air in the home by removing pollutants, allergens, and unwanted particles. Advanced smart air purifiers can even use ultraviolet light to kill viruses and bacteria in the air.
  3. Ducted HVAC Systems. These built-in ducted heating and cooling systems are energy efficient, save money, more comprehensive at temperature control and improve air quality. They are also aesthetically pleasing, as they don’t protrude from any wall or ceiling, adding further value to your home.
  4. Ducted Vacuum & Automatic Dustpan. No more lugging a heavy vacuum around the house when you install a ducted vacuum system. Ducted vacuums are lightweight and cordless and even provide allergy relief. Take it to the next level with an automatic dustpan built into the wall or kitchen cabinet. Utilising the ducted vacuum system, these automatic dustpans open with the tap of a foot and vacuums in crumbs and dirt from the floor.
solar panels on a roof

Energy-Efficient Design

These days, energy efficiency is a major factor to consider when designing a home. As the name suggests, homes can be designed to save energy. An energy-efficient home reduces the demand for non-renewable energy resources like coal and gas by replacing it with a natural alternative like solar energy. It can also reduce the amount of wasted energy and offer healthier living conditions in some cases. A huge benefit of energy-efficient design is the potential to save money in the long run. An upfront investment, including energy-efficient features will reap enormous rewards. Statistics show you can save up to 50% on energy bills if you make your home more energy-efficient. Energy-efficient design can be anything from positioning the house on a block facing north to take advantage of the sun to installing controlled ventilation. Here are some examples of how to make your home energy efficient.

  1. Passive Design. Something that can only really be done when building a home is ensuring your home is designed for passive temperature control as much as it can. Aspects like orientation, airtightness, and positioning of your home can have a drastic effect on how hot or cold your house can naturally get across the seasons of the year. Accounting for this in your build can amplify the effects of other temperature control systems, meaning you don’t have to use them as often as other Australian households typically would.
  2. Thermal Insulation. Effective thermal insulation keeps the living spaces in your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, reducing the need for artificial heating. Common materials used for thermal insulation include fibreglass, polyurethane foam, polystyrene, and cellulose.
  3. Pressure Controlled Ventilation. Controlled ventilation regulates the amount of fresh air in the home based on the pressure within the home. It monitors temperature and humidity and adjusts the ventilation accordingly to keep indoor air quality.
  4. Solar Panels. Solar panels harness the power of the sun to produce electricity. You can use this electricity in place of buying it from an electricity provider, allowing you to save on power bills whenever the sun is shining. What’s more, using solar panels isn’t just about energy efficiency, it’s also a renewable energy source. Meaning you’re not only saving on your electricity bill, you’re also helping to save the environment.
  5. uPVC Double-Glazed Windows. Frames made from uPVC material and double-glazed windows are the perfect combination for energy efficiency, reducing your carbon footprint, reducing outside noise by up to 90%, and withstanding extreme weather conditions.
  6. Kinetic Energy Floors. Floor tiles that capture kinetic energy from people walking on them and then convert that energy into usable electricity. This energy source is mainly used in high-traffic areas and public spaces at the time of this article but is an interesting concept that could be harnessed in the home going into the future.
  7. Cool Roof. Perfect for warmer Australian climates, a cool roof is designed to reflect more sunlight than a conventional roof, which lowers the home’s temperature. Reflective metal roofing is one of the most popular cool roof materials in new home builds. It uses cool pigments in the paint as a solar reflectance tactic, keeping the home much cooler.

Indoor-Outdoor Living

Incorporating the outdoors into our everyday lives is more than possible with the growing trend towards indoor-outdoor living. Homes are now designed with seamless transitions bridging the gap from inside to outside. Outdoor indoor living provides the best of both worlds and utilises the entire property. Your outdoor area simply becomes another living space, offering trendy areas for relaxing, entertaining, and pure aesthetic enjoyment. Check out these cool ideas to include in your indoor-outdoor living space.

  1. Retractable glass walls. These are a perfect way to create a seamless indoor and outdoor living space. Retractable glass walls can be bi-fold or sliding. If your space is restricted, a sliding glass door is more suitable, but for larger spaces, bifold glass doors create an elegant and sophisticated look.
  2. Outdoor kitchens. This functional kitchen space outside has become a popular trend for alfresco living. They can comprise everything from built-in barbecues, food preparation areas, pizza ovens, sinks, and even outdoor fridges.
  3. Fire pits. Another outdoor trend is the fire pit. It can be anything from a purpose-built hole in the ground to a modern and sleek structure fueled by wood, gas, gel, or ethanol.
  4. Stargazing Skylight. You don’t have to be outdoors to watch the stars anymore. Stargazing skylights allow you to watch the stars from the comfort of your room. They are pretty much windows on the roof and will also bring loads of natural light into the home during the day.
  5. Sun Tunnels. Unlike skylights, sun tunnels are tubes through which natural light is reflected. Install them anywhere you want natural light in the home.
Outdoor firepit with wine glasses on the rim

Luxury facilities

With the plethora of luxury facilities you can have custom-built, it’s possible to experience a life of extravagance right in your own home. When designing a home that suits your exact needs, take a moment to indulge in what luxuries you might enjoy. Perhaps an elegant bathroom offering a day spa experience is your heart’s desire, or detoxing in your own steam room. With a custom build, the level of luxury is only limited to your imagination. Let’s look at a few fabulous luxury facilities to consider for your new home.

  1. Spa bathtub. The ultimate in relaxation, spa bathtubs are elegant in any bathroom. These fabulous bathtubs can be freestanding or fixed and have power jets to massage the body.
  2. Walk-in Shower. Add a sophisticated edge to your bathroom with a walk-in shower. These open-design showers create an exotic bathing oasis by adding a rainfall showerhead and body jets.
  3. Heated floors. Super comfortable and convenient, heated floors allow you to walk around the house barefoot, and they also distribute the heat evenly throughout the home.
  4. Sauna/Steam room. You will never want to leave your house when you have your own sauna or steam room. The perfect place to relax your mind and body, saunas and steam rooms can be incorporated into the home’s design or an outdoor feature.

Outdoor Amenities

When thinking about house design, don’t forget the endless possibilities for outdoor living. Australians love the great outdoors, and there are so many cool things you can include in your own backyard. Create your dream backyard with a tennis court, paved pergola, patio, or lush gardens. Any outdoor enhancements will add value to your home and increase the family’s enjoyment. Check out these cool ideas to take your outdoor living to the next level.

  1. Pool. Imagine stepping outside to a private oasis in your own backyard. Lap pools and large luxurious pools come in all shapes and sizes and are great for exercise, entertaining and pure relaxation.
  2. Tennis court. Having a tennis court of your own is a solid investment in prestige. It’s great for socialising, keeping fit, and let’s face it, looks impressive.
  3. Dog Bathing Station. Take all the hassle out of bathing your precious pooch with your own dog bathing station. These can be set up in the garage or outside and are an easy and convenient way to bathe your dog.
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Custom Storage Solutions

Storage is far from boring if you think outside the box. Some of the coolest and quirkiest places can be ideal for housing random items that don’t have a place in the home. You will probably find that most wasted spaces can be utilised in one way or another for storage, whether that be creating a study nook under the stairs or custom shelving around a doorway to keep your books and ornaments on display. If you really let your mind run wild, hidden rooms could also be a cool solution. Check out our custom storage ideas here.

  1. Under stair storage. Maximise wasted space with storage under the stairs. A bookcase, wine cellar, study area, or even hidden laundry means the possibilities are endless.
  2. Hidden Closets. Add an element of intrigue to your home with a hidden closet. It all sounds very mysterious and fun, but a secret closet can actually be a great place to hide valuables or even act as a panic room should an intruder enter your home.
  3. Multipurpose Furniture. Another cool idea for homes, multipurpose furniture includes items like a child’s bunk bed with a built-in playground, modular shelving units that can be configured to different shapes and sizes, and coffee tables with hidden compartments, desks and wireless charging.

Custom Room Options

Tailor the home’s design to the family’s individual needs by creating custom rooms. Basically, a custom room comprises those extra spaces that will make living in the home more comfortable and convenient. Custom rooms can be anything from multiple studies to huge home theatres or mudrooms. Here are a few custom room ideas to consider.

  1. Home Theatre. Imagine watching movies, sports, and your favourite tv shows in your purpose-designed home theatre. Custom-built for the sole purpose of enjoying entertainment, these rooms usually have a large flat-panel TV or a screen and projector, rows of seating, surround sound, and controlled lighting.
  2. Video game room. Gaming is huge, so why not create a sacred space dedicated to video games? You only need a decent screen, gaming chairs, headphones, and gaming devices.
  3. Multiple studies. Study areas don’t have to be limited to just one. Stop arguments in the home by custom-building multiple studies for every family member who needs one.
  4. Mudroom. Take off your muddy shoes, and store umbrellas and coats before entering the house in a custom-built mudroom. These transitional rooms are usually a second entrance to the home and help keep the interior tidy and clean.
  5. Deep Pour Basement. Basements can be more functional if they have higher ceilings, which is better known as a deep-pour basement. Basements are quite rare in Australia, so it’s likely not something you can find already built on the open market. So whether you’re thinking of a wine cellar or a man cave, the opportunity to include a basement in your home is an opportunity you should consider when designing your custom-built home. A deep-pour basement can add extra living or storage space to your home without impacting the main house design.
  6. Expanded Garage. No one ever said they have “too much garage room,” so consider an expanded garage in your custom build. Changing a garage from two-car to three will allow more room for storage, a workbench, or an extra car if you are lucky enough to have one.



Building your dream home is a wonderful opportunity to create a space that reflects your personality and style. There are so many features that can be customised to suit your wants and needs and a multitude of cool things to make your home amazing. Our list of 37 cool things covers everything from inbuilt technology to smart homes, outdoor living, custom rooms, and cool hidden storage ideas. If you want to design a custom home that truly reflects your lifestyle, have a chat with the team at Forme Homes today.