During the long, harsh Canadian winters, our homes become an oasis to escape the frigid temperatures, slush, and snow. We encourage our clients to consider their year-round needs when we are working together to design their custom homes, but we always put a particular emphasis on winter-based accommodations because outdoor activities are so limited during those months. To help you get started brainstorming winter features for your custom home, we’ve put together a list of the most popular design features to keep in mind.
Wood-Burning Fireplaces & Stoves
There are few things more relaxing than sitting in front of a crackling fire with loved ones or a good book, and the warmth and ambiance is a great way to make time spent indoors more enjoyable. Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves are both great ways to bring the campfire vibes indoors, but each option will bring its own set of benefits and features into your custom home. Fireplaces add a lot of character to any room they’re placed in, and they create the true bonfire ambiance that a lot of homeowners are looking for. Wood-burning stoves can be used as a primary or supplemental heat source, and they still add a lot of character to your home but in a safer, more efficient package.
In Ottawa especially, heated floors are quickly becoming less of a winter feature and more of a winter necessity when you’re designing and building a custom home. You can install heated flooring under most finished flooring styles, but they work best with stone and tile, and coincidently, rooms with those types of flooring benefit the most from heated floors. Bathrooms are the most popular choice for heated floors because mornings are hard enough without having to tiptoe across frozen floors to get in and out of the shower. Basements can also benefit from heated flooring because they are notoriously damp and cold, plus, heated floors can help heat the air above them in addition to the floors themselves.
Don’t let the name fool you, your mudroom can be tidy, elegant, and organized, and it will quickly become one of the features in your custom home you won’t know how you got through winters without. Your mudroom should keep the winter slush and grime from entering the rest of your home, but it can be luxurious as well as convenient. You can create personal cubbies for everyone in your family, shoe racks, and even a space to dry all of your wet outdoor gear. The customization can go beyond the human members of your family as well. Many homeowners choose to build a dog washing station in their mudrooms so that they can clean their furry friends before they track mud through the rest of the house. The possibilities are truly endless when you design a custom mudroom for your dream home.
Enclosed patios are a great way to spend time outside during the summer and avoid mosquitoes and other pests, but they can also be an excellent way to get some much-needed time outdoors during the winter as well. By designing the walls in your enclosed patio to accommodate custom-fitted transparent panels during the winter, you can quickly turn your custom home’s patio into a usable winter space with many of the features you enjoy during the summer. You can include any customizations that suit your specific needs and interests as well to take the space to another level. Outdoor heaters and fireplaces are a great way to extend the amount of time you can spend outdoors, and outdoor speakers and television sets allow you to enjoy all of the luxuries of your family room while getting some sunshine and fresh air.
It’s important to let as much sunshine as possible into your home during the winter, but once night falls you’ll need a way to cover your windows to conserve heat. Most homeowners see motorized shades as a luxury item that’s more for show than functionality, but that’s simply not the case. Thanks to advancements in technology, you can now control your window shades and skylight shades from smart devices like phones and tablets. This feature allows you to remotely control your shades from anywhere in your home, but also while you’re out so that you can get the most from the sun’s natural warmth all winter long. Plus, you’ll appreciate having this winter feature in your custom home the first time you don’t have to get up just as you get comfortable because the sun is in your eyes.
While we’re on the subject of windows and sunlight, it’s important to consider the style of windows for your custom home and their placement to get the most natural light and warmth during the winter. South-facing windows are imperative if you want to let in the most sunlight possible, but you’ll still want effective window coverings for those grey and gloomy days to trap as much heat as possible. In terms of the type of windows you should install, awning, casement, and fixed windows tend to have the tightest seal, and you should avoid single and double-hung windows where possible.
Build the winter resilient custom home of your dreams with Omega Homes!
Custom Home Building Process
At Omega, it’s important to us that our clients know what to expect when we start the process of building their custom home. We’re there for you every step of the way, from finding the perfect lot to picking out the final intricate details that will turn your custom build into your dream home. Once your home is complete, we will be available to you for any warranty concerns and all necessary aftercare.
Before we start any build, we take the time to sit down with clients and discuss exactly what they want. Involving our clients in the design process ensures that they get a home unique to their taste that they will love for years to come. We openly discuss budgets with every client and break down the costs associated with building a custom home so that our clients are never left in the dark.
We don’t just build you a house, we build you a home. We assemble the top architects, designers, and trades personnel to work in conjunction with our experienced and licensed staff in order to make your dream home a reality. As a Tarion Custom Home Design-Builder, we feel it is our responsibility to be adaptable to each client’s individual needs. There’s no job we can’t handle, and we will do whatever it takes to meet your requests with high-quality results. Our architects and designers are always looking for new and exciting challenges, so the only limit is your imagination.