Elfur Logadóttir noted: >>As it happens my family will be building 4 homes in the coming three years Wow!! Congrats to the Northern "L" clan!! Pretty cool. Well, normal stuff is 'normal' so I'll mention an odd thing or two: - I saw this interesting gizmo at a home and flower show maybe 10 years ago, so _maybe_ it's commercially available now ... and it's specifically for homes in 'northern' climates! You press a button in the evening and the space between your double pane windows fills up with tiny styrofoam bits - giving you more insulation. In the morning you press a button and the little bits are vacuumed away and stored for the next time they are needed. The demo was really neat. Never seen one actually installed though. - 'Spider-b-gone'. More for a lake or forest cabin with outside porches and balconies. It's a small bit of very thin piping. (about the thickness of a keyboard cable) It's run about the exterior and set to a timer. It comes on at 3am or so and sprays a bit of bug spray. Pretty much eliminates walking into spiderwebs - or having to sweep them all up before company comes over. Very popular in the lake communities around here. - Kitchen junk. (1) A 'hot water' faucet. I've been in a few homes lately that have a separate water faucet in the kitchen that gives 'instant' hot water. No waiting and no guessing on the temp cuz it's set to a constant 140F or 170F or whatever. (2) A flexy hose faucet coming out of the wall by the large gas cooktop. Lets you fill those monstrously large pasta pots while they sit on the stove and not have to move them. Very handy! - Coloured concrete. You can now have your driveway poured in a lovery 'rose' shade to match your trim or just to be different. - Electrical outlets in the floor. "Large" "open" "greatrooms" are nice and all ... but I really hate trying to hide the electrical cords for the coffeetable lamps under throw rugs. I had some brass electrical outlet fixtures put into my living room floor and I'm quite happy with them. Hide them under a couch or something and still have power where you need it without folks tripping over the cords. - Electrical outlets in the eaves? Some of my neighbors have electrical outlets in their eaves. Makes short work of putting up their Christmas lights ... which is actually about the only thing they are good for. Is it worth a couple hundred for a convenience you only use once a year? Some folks think so! - Misc. (1) I once had a neighbor with a 6' deep trench cut into the middle of his garage floor. He liked working on his car and it was cheaper than buying a lift. (2) I've seen a few houses with a 1/2 bath in the detached garage. A very good idea I think. Keeps muddy children out of the house a bit longer and the sink gives you a nice place to wash up all kinds of things you might not want to drag into the house. All for now, RonL.