1. Place the water heater and furnace in the basement. If there’s no basement planned for your new home, place the furnace and water heater on the main floor of the house. Have the water heater placed in an aluminum drain pan with the drain pan plumbed to the sanitary sewer.
2. If there is a basement, have the water heater, water softener, furnace, sump pit, sewage ejector pit, main water shut-off valve and sewer connection all in the same corner.
3. If you are building on a crawl space, have a main water shut-off valve plumbed into the living space of the house. Most homes on a crawl space have the shut-off valve down below where they are generally inaccessible or not convenient to get to in an emergency.
4. Even if you are not getting a water softener, have the house plumbed for one, especially if this is going to be a slab home. This can be a selling feature down the road or allow for an easier installation of a water softener after the house has been built.
5. Have the sump pump discharge line plumbed to the storm sewer or to an area away from the house.