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The Top 11 Features to Include in Your Toronto Custom Home

Like any blank slate project, building a custom home is both exhilarating and daunting. It’s exhilarating because you have a ground zero from which to build the house of your dreams, and it’s daunting for the same reason. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it on your own. Experienced and well-reputed Toronto custom home builders have ample experience to help you make your architecture, design, and finish choices with confidence. As you begin to develop your dream home, here’s a checklist of top features to help guide your vision. 

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1. Indoor Fireplace

With Toronto’s typical four to five-month spell of cold and windy weather, an indoor fireplace is a must. Not only are direct-vent gas fireplaces a highly efficient way to heat your home, but they also serve as a focal point of comfort. However, gas fireplaces can add a lot of extra heat to a room. Ranging anywhere from 20,000 to as high as 60,000 or more BTU outputs, this can provide enough heat for the whole home. With all the extra heat, this can affect the thermostat, which can cause other areas of the house to get cold as the furnace shuts off. Additionally, if you want to install a wood-burning fireplace,  you must consider its effect on air flow in your home. Outgoing air from the dryer, bathroom exhaust fans, and range hood exhaust can all be affected by indoor smoke. Fireplaces can add a cozy and cheerful ambiance to your home and there are several ways to get creative with your fireplace design, making winter weather its own celebration.

2. Outdoor Dining

After Toronto’s bitter winter comes summer months of warm and sunny weather, and you and your loved ones will want a way to enjoy this season to its fullest. If your lot accommodates it, consider adding a patio with an outdoor dining area. A full outdoor kitchen, comfortable seating, and an outdoor firepit may also be great options for outdoor dining and entertaining. Best of all, patios are among buyers' most wanted home features, so you can rest assured that the addition will contribute to your home’s value. 

3. Windows to the World 

Large windows are another great way to stay in touch with the changing seasons. In a modern world where most jobs are on the computer, these architectural choices have the opportunity to keep us connected to nature and anchor our daily routines. Adding large sliding or bi-folding glass doors can seamlessly blend outdoor living space with the comfort of your home. Additionally, adding extra natural light and long views will give your home a feeling of spaciousness and elegance.

4. Island Seating

Kitchen seating, particularly on an island, has become an expected and highly practical home feature. Typically, island seating works well with an open floor plan, which is another desirable design choice. These two go hand-in-hand because they allow the spaces in your home to be multi-purpose -- a convenience that has only grown in importance post-COVID-19 as more people spend more time at home. 

5. Energy Efficiency

According to Kiplinger, energy efficiency is something 89% of home buyers want. Sustainability and green building go hand-in-hand with this and influence everything from the fixtures selected for installation to the types of thermostats installed to the build of the house itself. All of this helps to reduce the amount of energy used to heat and cool the house, and choosing the right fixtures can also reduce the amount of water used. Drastic improvements in energy efficiency are expected over the next 12 to 15 years; from building materials, air tightness, high R-value insulation, U value windows, and more. For a more energy-efficient way of living, many modern homes are built to standards beyond the current building codes. Not only are sustainable homes environmentally friendly, but they also benefit the homeowner’s pocketbook over time.

6. Custom Stairways

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Stairways are statements. Because of the interesting angles they introduce, they can be celebrated rather than hidden behind full walls. For example, demarcating stairways with fully transparent glass walls gives them a unique floating look and visually expands your home’s square footage, while using half walls that follow the lines of the staircases can add depth and interest. No matter what you choose to do, think through your options and know that a custom stairway is a perfect way to add creativity to your home.

7. Custom Built-Ins

Custom built-ins are a desirable feature for almost any area of your home. Because they’re made to exactly accommodate your personal storage needs, they are highly practical and serve to keep your home free of clutter. They keep background storage items minimal and can also draw your eye by making artistic statements. Consider using custom built-ins in your entryway, kitchen, bathrooms, basement, living room, kids’ playrooms, and beyond. 

8. Soaker Tub

We all want an easy way to relax in our own home, and one of the best ways to do this is with a soaker tub. It’s a practical and inviting way to treat yourself, adding a touch of glamour and spa-like elegance to your routine. Bonus points: having a soaker tub will remind you to relax when you’ve forgotten you need to!

9. Creative Lighting

Lighting sets the ambiance of your space. It has the ability to make it intimate and romantic, fresh and airy, or dynamic and spunky. Consult with your architect and builder to discover creative ways to set the tone you’re looking for.

10. Home Automation

With technological advances, home automation is becoming more prevalent and is a desirable option in the modern home. Being able to control your lighting, window coverings, heating and cooling, audio/visual, and alarm makes for easy access to manage your home.

11. Custom Finishes on Windows and Walls

Materials are practical, and they are also playful. There’s a lot of interest you can add to your home by introducing a full wall covered by horizontal timber, adding privacy slats to glass windows, etc. Of course, each material needs to be used carefully and properly, but expert designers and builders can help you realize your home’s potential with creative configurations of materials.

12. Exterior Finishes

Finally, the outside of the home is also a place to add interest. Consider blending brick, rock, glass, timber, and traditional elements like stained glass to create a harmonious and fully custom appeal for your home that starts on the outside. 


Inspired to create your custom home? Let’s talk!

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