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What is essential in a home? I think we can all agree that walls and roof that keep out the elements are essential for a house but that isn’t what makes it a home. The special ingredients that make a home are as individual as the people who live in them. A custom home allows you to build exactly what you want and to incorporate whatever makes your house feel like home.

That said what are the features and amenities that will make your house a home? Which trends have staying power and which ones are you going to be cringing at in a couple of years?

Design trends we think are going to stick around.

Curbless showers

A seamless transition to your shower is the height of luxury but also totally practical. There are different iterations of this design solution from low lip shower pans to completely seamless floors.

The key to this installation is floor sloping and drainage. The shower floor should slope ¼”/ ft. toward the drain but also slope gently from the sides to guide water towards the drain. A linear drain at one end is clean looking as well as leaving the floor uncluttered. Adding a curbless shower to an existing structure is difficult since floor joists need to be reinforced to allow for the slope. A good builder can do it but it is one other reason to start fresh with a custom home.

There are some really great things you can do with tile in this kind of installation. The whole room can be done in the same tile or the shower area can have a definite outline. The two different tiles can intersect as an organic sort of pattern or can transition in a straight cut off. It is recommended to use smaller tiles for shower floors, more grout lines give texture and provide better grip for wet feet.

Some curbless showers are doorless and wall-less as well. The look is very uncluttered and seamless, and there are less surfaces to clean and maneuver around. The downside to this look is water everywhere and depending on the size of the room also a wee bit draughty and exposed. There is no reason you can’t have a wall, door or a curtain to give you a cozier feel.

curbless shower

Multi use rooms

Open concept multi use rooms forming the hub of the home are likely to remain popular. These spaces can be personalized in whatever way works best for you. Room for pets, kids, pianos or sports equipment, drafting tables, quilt frames or traditional furniture, the way you use your space is up to you.

multi purpose room


There are new technologies that are changing the way we use our homes arriving with dizzying speed and complexity. Smart fridges that know when you need groceries, thermostats that learn your routine, sound systems and lighting systems that can follow your movements through the house. All controlled by a smart phone or home hub that listens to your every word. Exhilarating and kind of creepy too.
The problem is that technology is changing at such a rate that systems are obsolete very rapidly. It is important to do your research and make sure that the systems you build in are going to last or at least can be upgraded and modified without a major renovation.

Finished Basements

Even though the square footage of a basement is not included in real estate sales basements are still usable space.

Basements can be in-law suites, media rooms, workshops or work out spaces. Because they are underground the chances of flooding are increased. A good builder knows how to waterproof the foundation, install drainage and properly grade the earth around the house to keep your basement dry and functional.

Properly done basements are wonderful and badly done basements are a nightmare. This is not the place to cut corners or try to economize, you cannot be too careful when it comes to basement finishing.

Green and Sustainable Design

In 2032 the Government regulations on new builds will require all new buildings to be Net Zero or Passive House Standard. That is only 12 years away. In the meantime the trend of insulating better, using building science to increase comfort and reduce carbon emissions will continue to be important. Many builders are moving ahead with these building now. After all net zero and passive house standards are a win for the home owner and a win for the environment.

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Epic Renovations and Custom Built Homes for the Discerning Homeowner