How to build in cleanliness!(37 Posts)
We have just been granted planning permission to build a new house, and now we need to decide what to do with the inside!
I have always lived in crumbling old cottages, and so have just accepted that my slatternly ways mean that the house is always a bit grubby
I want to build in as much tidyness/easy cleaning stuff as possible, however, it is still on a working farm, with labradors, children and a log burner!
What have you done/would you do to make life easy and keep the housework down? I have been considering a central vacuum system and hard floors with no change in surface throughout downstairs. Outside door from yard into utility room with space to dump muddy clothes and boots.
Cupboards. Storing things in cupboards keeps them clean and dust free. Tall, built in cupboards to the ceiling can't get dusty tops. Organise small things in boxes with lids.
If you have the space, have a vestibule or porch area for muddy footwear before you go into the utility room. That way you don't have mucky things where your clean laundry is.
In your kitchen make sure your smaller appliances aren't on surfaces. As little as possible on your bench etc means it's an easy wipe down.
Have been pinning various pantry pictures on pinter est, and was thinking to have toaster and food processes shut away in there. Also wondering whether having a boiling hot water tap rather than a kettle.
Good idea about the boot storage, might have a look at putting some sort of covered shelves/hanging space for the worst of the muddies!
Master bedroom is in the eaves, so will have built in storage there. Kids rooms aren't huge, so may be best use of space there too.
Gah... Sorry for typos, Friday night wine and phone...
My friend has a bog standard 3 bed semi, but has 4 big dogs, 5 cats and numerous other furries to contend with. She wanted everything to be easy cleaning.
The same flooring throughout the downstairs. She went for tile, but wood would work too. She has two roombas that she programmes to hoover overnight, and a large steam mop for day cleaning.
Kallax style units with leather box storage
TV on the wall
One coffee table and no ornaments
Kitchen has units to the ceiling and built in white goods.
High gloss wipe clean cabinets and sides. She's got nothing out on the sides - even the toaster stays in a cupboard. Oh I lie, her kettle only.
They have a large boot room with a built in hip height dog bath (it's fab and if I ever have any money that's where I'm spending it!). That's an extension into the kitchen, they only use that door to enter the house and all coats etc live in there.
Upstairs all the rooms have built in storage with the same high gloss doors.
The bathroom is fully fitted/built in too.
Rooms are carpeted and the Miele Hoover stays upstairs.
She has a large storage cupboard where all the bedding/towels etc live
That's all I can think of. But I can honestly say that if I didn't know her I'd have no idea she had pets - so her cleaning regime must work!
Bathroom: Modern style, simple fittings (not period style twiddles which catch dirt). Wall hung loo and basin. Do not have a free standing bath. A company called Bette do (good quality) baths and shower trays with a built in upstand which you tile over, which means no silicone sealant (where the mould always grows). Grey grout not white. Mid or dark coloured or patterned flooring. If in hard water area consider a water softener to reduce limescale. Large tiles to reduce amount of grout. Avoid loos with the "poo shelf". Single mixer taps rather than two taps.
Kitchen: Cabinets not open shelves. Built in appliances not free standing. Plinths under all cabinets and the cooker - no gaps underneath to collect dust. Have the fridge freezer, microwave etc fully built in ie wood round the edge so there is no gap. You could consider wall units going all the way to the ceiling but depends on room proportions. Seriously powerful extractor fan, and try to have a opening window near to cooker. Glass splashbacks are pretty easy to clean. Bombproof kitchen worksurface (granite or a good composite). Same comments as for bathrooms re flooring and grout, water softener, modern style. Oven: pick one with self cleaning (you know, where you can put it on super high and all the crap burns off). Induction hob not gas.
Hallway: massive built in doormat (coir? washable?) as first part of hallway flooring. same at back door. Storage for shoes/coats/hats/etc.
Storage absolutely everywhere, as much as you can build in.
Think about where to put laundry machines/baskets/ironing board - ideally near bedrooms as that"s where laundry is generated and put away (unless you tend to hang lots in the garden).
Yy to underfloor heating, if you can.
Don't have a stair runner, I hear the uncarpeted edges always collect dust and are a bugger to clean.
Pale or dark floors always look grubby, white cabinets are lovely but also need much more cleaning than mid colored ones. I had wood before the white ones and passed from a none existent clean to a weekly job. Plain flat ones are also better than grooved/shaker styles ones. Stainless steel looks clean until someone uses the appliance once.
If you can configue the floorplan so that there is a toilet close to the entrance, so the tracking does not cross the whole house if there is an emergency (daily occurance here).
I'd suggest you list all the chores and mess generating habits in you family and work around it
You probably know this, but be critical, when ever you look at a new item think of the upkeep. I would love wood worktops but I just know I would not keep up with the regular oiling required. If you talk to experts, tell them that low maintenance is your priority.
Have a boot room back porch that leads to a separate utility. The porch should have bench seating, hooks for wet coats, storage for dog stuff, wellies, shoes, junk etc. and my genius invention, the outside tap over a sunken 'Bath' or trough - made from concrete would do, with a drain...perfect for dogs and muddy boots
I was just about to post almost all of Enriques points! A boot room entrance would be very practical on a farm and should keep a lot of mud at bay. You could have rubber trays for boots, a large coat cupboard with a radiator at the back, handy shelves & hooks, a seat for putting on socks and boots all with moppable flooring. I know someone ( very house proud) whose family are builders, she makes them take off working clothes in the outhouse, putting them in the special working clothes washing machine and come in in slippers and dressing gown to go straight in the shower! Her house is spectacularly clean though
The key is corralling the mud.
Agree with lots of storage and cupboards to ceiling. And no shaker style doors with ledges.
And a home for everything - go round your house now and see where your storage is , what you have and where you keep things - think about where you are going to keep your ironing board, vacuum, mop bucket etc.
I looked round an open plan house -they had obviously had a massive declutter to sell, but I noticed it had no storage -it had one okish cupboard under the stairs but eg the vacuum was in a wardrobe upstairs.
And there was literally nowhere to hide your coats, shoes etc - I guess you had to put them straight into bedrooms. It did have a small utility basically big enough for a washing machine and dryer but you went through it to access the back door so you couldn't even hide things away in there -if you wanted to put a drying rack up downstairs it would be on display (or blocking the back door off)!
Ideally I also think you need a separate utility and a cloak/boot room. (And an open drain outside under a tap for washing shoes etc is something I miss and want...)
Plenty of shoe and coat storage and for hats and gloves, umbrellas - wet waterproofs and muddy boots. And for school bags and activity stuff for the DCs. (I have an activity bag on a hook for everyone - washed kit goes straight into the bag, no hunting in drawers.).
Also somewhere for paper work - I opened a kitchen cupboard in that open plan house (just to look at the quality) and there was an avalanche of paper ...obviously nowhere else to keep it.
I would say if you are having hard floors downstairs (I have and would recommend) and carpeted stairs (I'd recommend for noise - but whatever you do don't have open plan as everything underneath gets coated in filth) - you probably want some kind of mat at the bottom. I find my stairs get covered in grit/bits as the carpet cleans everyone's feet (and I have no outdoor shoes in house rule!)
Finally I would also say try and avoid any narrow gaps - if a hoover head won't fit in it, you don't want it!
At the house we are renovating I have a 2 inch wide gap between a meter cupboard and a door - it has already collected builders mess - too narrow for a brush, it is a hoover tube job...I'm having that cupboard ripped out and replaced with something built right up to the door...
(Actually I'm planning on having a basket/small chest of drawer system near the door for everyone's clutter - purses, keys, bus passes etc- to stop people dumping them around the house or in a pile on the hall table and a post sorting station -maybe a build in paper bin for opened envelopes and all the junk mail you get)
Also if you go for radiators make sure they have a decent gap under them - about half in current house you can't fit the hoover head under ...drives me insane -but I would agree underfloor heating (no radiators collecting dust) is what I'd go for...
These are all brilliant, thank you!
I will definitely see if we can build in an outdoor dog bath, and husband might get hosed off in it too
Mud room with dog shower.
Hard floors (not tile unless you love scrubbing grout).
Floor to ceiling storage everywhere.
Consider laundry upstairs to corral sheets and clothes - no more stray socks all over the kitchen. Or laundry chute into utility from bathroom!
I would love a laundry chute...and actually agree with laundry room upstairs . The only downside is pegging out and having to cart filthy muddy things upstairs ...except maybe you could have a laundry room on each floor?
I know this one of my eccentricities - I actually currently have my (condenser) tumble dryer in my bedroom - it was put there as a temporary measure whilst we had a new kitchen fitted and it is so handy (big flat space for folding and sorting -aka my bed) and conveniently located for putting stuff straight in drawers that I never moved it back - put an extra freezer in the space left for it in the kitchen -one downside of new house is there is a space for it in the utility but I don't really want to move it there...I like having it where it is....even though others think it is odd.
I'd actually quite like a dumb waiter too - so you can pile stuff in there and send it up/down when its full...no more piling stuff on the stairs...but then I bet it would end up causing more work in maintenance etc than it saved in hassle...
On a working farm, quarry-tiled ground floor throughout. Much more durable than wood and laughs off wet-mopping or cleaning. Assuming it is a concrete ground floor you can incorporate insulation and wet underfloor heating. Boot room and hall vestibule might benefit from a yard drain, and, like porch, can have a tile skirting if they are likely to be hosed down, to keep the walls dry. Use random mix of similar colour tiles so you can replace a broken one without it being obvious.
I'm scared of shiny tiles as you might slip when wet and break something.
Use black grout, or dark grey, never white on floors.
I've always said I want sloped window sills
all non essential flat surfaces so that nothing can be put on them and left...
Not keen on quarry tiles unfortunately. Had them in our last house, but not the look I want this time.
To clarify, we are not farmers ourselves, but are building in the family farm. So hopefully less mucky than the farmhouse, but certainly not townhouse clean!
Does anyone have any experience of polished concrete floors? It looks like it would be forgiving of dirt like travertine, but without the dirt trap grouting.
I'd love a dumb waiter and a laundry chute! Kids rooms on ground floor though, only ours upstairs, so really I need some sort of pulley system into their room!
Brilliant thread. Am currently renovating a shack.
We are going for underfloor heating throughout (bungalow) & floor to ceiling units with lots of built in storage. Eg window seats that act as storage benches too.
Google leak proof shower pod - were putting these in both bathrooms.
Not very well liked here but UVPC wood effect windowsills for easy maintenance.
I did toy with polished concrete floors but Internet research suggested it's quite porous & spills etc need dried straight away. I have a toddler (and hopefully more DC) so I didn't think it was practical - that's without the obvious hardness of it! But I love the look of it.
When I redid my kitchen I had the kitchen table at the end of a run of cabinets. There was a cabinet with three drawers, top drawer cutlery, middle drawer cups and glasses, bottom drawer plates and bowls. Next to it a dishwasher, the drawers in it match, i.e. top drawer is cutlery etc. Next to that is the sink. That set up has save cumulative hours as it's piss easy to load and empty the dishwasher and lay the table. Plus I found that with the new setup everyone in the family is willing to empty the dishwasher as it's so quick, the old layout it was such a faff that everyone pretended that they didn't know it needed emptying and I had to always do it.
Love this thread
Love the tip of floor to ceiling cupboards
We have an ALTRO floor in the ensuite wet room it is the Aquarius version which is safe to walk on with bare feet that are wet, the floor comes up the wall by approx 10/15cm so the whole floor is waterproof
All the things like toilet etc are sealed in
So it is sort of a sealed waterproof room iyswim
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