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Fun, Functional and Efficient Ideas for Your New Home Construction

Fun, Functional and Efficient Ideas for Your New Home Construction

Maybe you’ve lived in your house for years and it’s finally time for an upgrade. Or you’re building a new house from scratch and want to create something amazing.

Whatever the reason, you’re looking for ideas to make your space fun, functional, efficient, and green. But where do you go for these ideas for interior design for new homes? You could start stalking professional home builders and interior designers in the hopes of becoming their friend and picking their brain…or you could just read on.

Hopefully you’ll choose the latter, because below you’ll find 15 fantastic ideas on what you should add to your home to build the perfect space for you.

    1. USB wall charger

    Many newly built homes come with wall outlets that have USB slots these days, but even if you aren’t building from scratch, they’re an incredibly useful addition that is fairly easy to add for someone with a bit of electrical experience.

      2. Hidden parking spot (and garage)

      Hideaway parking isn’t something for beginners (or those without lots of money), but if you have the means, being able to raise a secret entrance and pull into your underground garage is too 007 to pass up.

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      Mount-Pleasant-Custom-Builder-Sea-Island-Builders

        3. Steam shower

        These showers not only have health benefits like helping you to relax, installing one will likely raise the value of your home. Oh, and it’s incredibly green. While typical showers use seven gallons of water per minute, steam showers use only one.

        Impact-Rated-Windows-Sea-Island-Builders

          4. Impact-rated windows

          If you live in a coastal area where hurricanes are common, windows like these are required by law, but even for those living in other areas there are many benefits to installing impact rated windows, such as improved security, reduced noise, and better energy efficiency, that make them a wise investment.

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            5. Outdoor theater

            This one is great because it can be done in a very low-end, DIY way (using a projector and simple outdoor seating), or you can go all out and create a true theatre experience with a space designed for projection and built-in seating.

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            Unique-Hidden-Door-Bookcase-With-The-Unsymetris-Design

              6. Secret room(s)

              Like your privacy? Instead of doors, have some bookshelves built that open to allow you to go from room to room.

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                7. Window seat(s)

                What’s better than having a window seat where you can curl up with a good book and spend the day reading? A window seat is a useful addition to any new home or remodel project and can also help hide storage.

                  8. Floor drains

                  Adding drains to the floors of your bathrooms and laundry room may not be the most aesthetically pleasing addition, but since they can keep a plumbing problem from flooding your house, they seem well worth it.

                    9. Stair shelves

                    Want a great way to make use of your space while adding a fun and funky design aesthetic to your home? These shelves are a great addition.

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                      10. Door levers

                      Houses in senior communities have used levers instead of knobs to open doors for a while now, but they don’t need to be relegated to something solely for the elderly. Quite simply, levers make opening doors easier. If you have a senior who lives with you, or visits frequently, consider these upgrades as well.

                        11. Cast iron sewer stack pipes

                        These are the pipes that handle the load, so to speak, when you flush your toilets. So why do you want to go with cast iron? Because otherwise everyone in the house will know when you go to the bathroom.

                          12. Multi-zone HVAC

                          Is there one room in the house that’s always too hot? Or too cold? You can solve that problem by getting a multi-zone HVAC with thermostats in each room that allow you to adjust temperatures on a room-to-room basis.

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                            13. Fresh air ventilator

                            Build one of these into your house and you won’t have to worry as much about the quality of your air, whether that means giving nasty chemicals a way out or getting rid of unwanted smells.

                              14. In-wall pest control

                              Did you know that you can have a wire placed so that pest control companies can inject chemicals right into your walls to get rid of critters you don’t want?

                                15. Indoor gardens

                                In other countries around the world, it’s common to include little gardens throughout houses to make rooms feel bigger and improve air quality and ventilation, so bring a little international flavor to your home.

                                What are some functional or creative ideas that you have for new construction?

                                Featured photo credit: Coastal-Home-with-Impact-Rated-Windows/Sea Island Builders via seaislandbuilders.com

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                                Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                                How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                                We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                                The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                                Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                                1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                                Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                                For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                                • (1) Research
                                • (2) Deciding the topic
                                • (3) Creating the outline
                                • (4) Drafting the content
                                • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                                • (6) Revision
                                • (7) etc.

                                Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                                2. Change Your Environment

                                Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                                One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                                3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                                Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                                Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                                My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                                Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                                If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                                Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                                I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                                5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                                I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                                Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                                As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                                6. Get a Buddy

                                Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                                I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                                7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                                This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                                For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                                8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                                What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                                9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                                If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                                Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                                10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                                Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                                Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                                11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                                At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                                Reality check:

                                I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                                More About Procrastination

                                Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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