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Essential Planning for High-End Residential Projects

June 27, 2024
Osman Dadi
This article explores three often overlooked but essential functions in high-end residential projects: trash disposal, storage, and plumbing.
When designing and constructing high-end residential renovations, we easily get caught up in the allure of aesthetics and architectural grandeur.

However, experienced professionals understand that the true measure of a home’s success lies in its functionality and livability. While beautiful spaces and striking architecture are undoubtedly important, the most crucial aspect of any home is how it serves daily living.

From my own nearly decade experience in Project Management, this article explores three often overlooked but essential functions that should always be discussed and prioritized in high-end residential renovation and construction projects: trash disposal, storage, and plumbing.

These three items must be raised between Designers, Contractors, and Architects in both the design and the construction phase.

Preparing for Trash & Disposal: The Hidden Necessity

Trash disposal is a fundamental aspect of daily life that, if not properly planned for, can significantly detract from the overall living experience. Every room in a house generates waste, and without an efficient system in place, this can lead to clutter and compromise the design integrity of the space.

In high-end residential projects, it’s crucial to incorporate well-designed trash dispensers and disposal systems throughout the home. This doesn’t mean simply placing garbage bins in obvious locations; rather, it involves integrating sophisticated waste management solutions that complement the overall design aesthetic while providing maximum functionality.

Always consider and design for hidden pull-out bins in kitchen cabinets, built-in trash chutes for taller properties, or even automated waste sorting systems. Also always consider the aesthestic of covers and finishes for such trash bins and systems, and how much capacity each is capable of. It’s worth noting that this consideration extends beyond residential projects. Commercial installations equally benefit from thoughtful trash and recycling planning, ensuring that waste management doesn’t interfere with the intended use and aesthetic of the space.

In outdoor areas, plan for discreet but easily accessible trash and recycling stations. The goal is to make waste disposal effortless while maintaining the home’s elegant appearance.

Storage: The Key to Clutter-Free Living

Ample storage is another critical factor that can make or break the livability of a high-end home. No matter how spacious or beautifully designed a house may be, insufficient storage can lead to clutter and disorganization, detracting from the overall living experience and the beauty of the space.

When planning storage solutions, it’s important to think beyond just closets and cabinets. Consider incorporating a variety of storage options throughout the house, including:

  • Built-in shelving units
  • Hidden storage compartments in furniture
  • Hidden shelving units.
  • Climate-controlled storage for valuable items

I’ve written a special, dedicated article just around the topic of storage in High End Residential projects.

Plumbing: The Foundation of Comfort

No other element can impact a homeowner’s satisfaction more profoundly than the quality and functionality of the plumbing system. From luxurious showers to kitchen sinks and water dispensers, the plumbing fixtures and lines throughout the house play a crucial role in daily living.

When undertaking a high-end residential project, it’s imperative to thoroughly inspect and evaluate the existing plumbing infrastructure, especially in remodel projects.

This includes:

  • Checking for rust or debris in existing pipes
  • Assessing water pressure and flow rates
  • Evaluating the capacity of water heaters and filtration systems
  • Inspecting for leaks or potential weak points in the system.

As an Owner’s Representative, I find assessing flow rates and water pressure to be incredibly important. I’ve seen numerous complaints about hot water reaching spout dispensers, especially in tall residential townhomes such as in Manhattan, where it can take 2-3 minutes for hot water to reach a fifth-floor bathroom without adequate water pressure.

In many cases, particularly with older homes, it may be necessary to replace entire sections of plumbing. This can be a significant undertaking. Still, it’s far preferable to address these issues during the renovation process rather than dealing with plumbing failures after the project is complete. Often times I’ve seen a project finished, only to find newly installed finishes destroyed because of a leak in an existing pipe that wasn’t discovered or fixed.

In new construction, plumbing is equally important. Hot water lines should be insulated. In particular, the hot water plumbing systems should be designed for adequate water pressure for functional showers and faucets. All plumbing lines should be equally insulated and protected from cold weather, including freezing pipes.

When selecting plumbing fixtures, prioritize quality and durability over trendy designs. High-end faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures should not only look luxurious but also perform flawlessly for years to come.

Final Thoughts

While trash disposal, storage, and plumbing conditions may not be the most glamorous aspects of high-end residential design, they are undoubtedly among the most important. These elements form the backbone of a truly livable and enjoyable home, ensuring that the day-to-day experience of residents matches the aesthetic beauty of their surroundings.

It’s crucial for design teams and ownership to place emphasis on these areas during the planning phases of a project. Owners should actively push for their design teams to focus on these elements. They may not be immediately visible or impressive. Still, they will have a profound impact on the long-term satisfaction and functionality of the home.

By prioritizing these often-overlooked aspects, designers can create high-end residential spaces that look stunning while providing an unparalleled living experience. We find true luxury not just in appearance, but in the seamless integration of form and function. We can create a home that is as practical and comfortable as it is beautiful.

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