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Everything but the kitchen sink…

What not to forget outside the home.

When it comes to building a new home, getting the major things right, such as orientation and spatial flow are key, but once you’ve got those things sorted, it’s the little things that can make a huge difference to how your home functions. We all have those niggly annoyances in our homes, those small features or functions that don’t quite work for the way we live. Building a new home is an amazing opportunity to avoid those irritations, so we’ve created a list of things that, when carefully considered and well designed, can really help to make your busy household run that little bit more smoothly. This list could go on forever, so first we’re going to focus on things you need to consider outside the house!

Managing waste and garbage

Yes, they’re smelly, dirty things you’d rather forget about, but giving proper consideration now to how you dispose of your home’s waste will save you an untold amount of frustration later. Firstly, think about the different types of waste you produce, and how much of it you need to store before it’s collected or recycled. Depending on where you live, there will be different methods and schedules of waste disposal and collection, so if you’re building in a new area, find out what the local protocol is so that you can ensure you’ve got adequate storage until collection day. There are some great designs out there for outdoor bin stores that can also incorporate storage for bikes, fuel, and planter beds. You can buy these off the shelf or work with a craftsperson to get a perfect fit.

Bin store with green roof by Fenton Roberts Garden Design via Pnterest 

Be sure to locate your outdoor bin store so that it’s easily accessible from your kitchen, where most of your waste will tend to come from, and with an easy route to the street or wherever they will be collected from. Make sure that you have a smooth and unobstructed pathway on which to wheel bigger bins.​You can build a simple compost area in your garden, or buy a dedicated compost bin – consider its location in relation to your kitchen, making sure to balance both convenience and any negative impacts caused by bad smells or flies. You might even like to design a covered walkway between to save you on rainy days.

Brilliant sliding bike storage pod via 

I can’t tell you the number of city homes I’ve been in that essentially have a bike park in the front hallway. Bikes are an amazing, environmentally-friendly way of getting around, and a wonderful means of exercise, but unless you have space to safely store and easily access your bike, it won’t get used as much as it might. Bike storage solutions range from garage racks to small, lockable pods for your front yard. You could even build a storage space in to the front wall of your home. If space is an issue, you can add some of these great designer bike racks inside your home.

Bike Hanger 2 by Malet Thibaut 

Electrical Power

f you’ve ever found yourself adding extension leads together and trailing them through the garden, then you’ll know how invaluable outdoor power sockets can be. Whether it’s for charging your laptop while sitting in the patio or powering Christmas lights, carefully considered sockets will make your life easier. You may also want to consider the following items which will need to be wired during the construction stage: electric gates, outdoor music or speakers, garden lighting, key-pads for entry doors or gates, intercoms, and CCTV. You may also wish to provide a powering station for an electric car in future. While you may not install some of these items from the outset, allowing for cables and ducts through your garden or yard now will make future installation hassle free


Similarly to having an outdoor socket when you need it, an outdoor tap in the right place will save you headaches. Consider what you will need for gardening, car washing, and any sprinkler systems you might use. In addition, an outdoor sink, tap, or shower – chosen depending on your situation – is a great idea for a multitude of uses: washing outdoor furniture, pets, surfboards or kayaks if you’re near the coast, cleaning muddy boots… the list goes on.

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