As the new home construction boom continues across the country, more people are getting directly involved in customizing their living needs to closely fit their lifestyles. Assuming you have made the obvious choices of home location, size, and style, you will be faced with several other choices throughout the lifecycle of the construction process. New construction involves a range of selections and decisions and can easily become overwhelming to even a seasoned homeowner.
In this month’s blog, we review the types of choices you will need to make for the interior of your home and we provide you with some tips to help you make more informed decisions. We also explain our process in working with our clients to help you through this daunting task of selecting the options and features of your new home.
Know Your Budget and Your Builder
A key consideration in the choices that you will make for your new construction home is your budget. It is definitely advisable to work out a budget so you know how much money you want to apply toward upgrades, add-ons, and materials. Having a budget gives you the ability to also prioritize between some of the big ticket items and your wants and needs.
- Tip: Make a list of the items that are non-negotiable (needs) for your build vs. ones that you can live without (wants) or add on later.
If you are working with a builder who offers the “all inclusive” type of construction packages, your choices may be limited to what they include in their options. When the builder you are working with gives you more room and flexibility in your decisions you may need to do more research on your own. When working with Prominent Builders, our professional design consultants will walk you through the process and help you make the right decisions based on your interests, tastes, and preferences.
- Tip: Ask your builder how much flexibility you have on choices and also what level of involvement they provide in helping you make selections.
Major Decisions for Home Interiors
Once your home has gotten past the concrete, framing, and drywall stages it will begin to take shape in the manner you have determine by your individual selections. This list is not a comprehensive list but some of the major decisions you will make about your home interior.
Flooring: The flooring decision is one of the biggest you will make for your new home and one you will most likely live with for quite a long time. The range of options is wide from tile, wood, laminates and carpeting.
- Tip: Think about comfort for your feet if you walk around the home a lot. Tile is typically harder on your feet.
- Tip: If you are an allergy and asthma sufferer, think twice about carpeting.
- Tip: If you have dogs, hardwood may not be a good choice.
- Tip: If you are building a second story home, consider the floor choice that will offer you the best sound protection from up above.
Laminates are becoming more popular as manufacturers craft many new styles and colors. Laminate flooring can resemble hardwood, but is durable and can resist damage better than real or manufactured hardwood.
Cabinets: Any of your wet areas will include vanities and of course, your kitchen will include cabinetry. Remember that vanities and countertops will also be in your home for a long time before you replace them, so make sure you really love what you choose.
- Tip: If possible, choose more neutral colors and classic pieces that never go out of style.
- Tip: You don’t have to match all of your bathroom vanities with your kitchen cabinets so make choices you like for the particular style and room.
- Tip: Hardware pulls and knobs can add a lot of distinction to your choices if you go with more neutral patterns and colors. Hardware can always be replaced more easily than the cabinets.
Countertops: Like flooring, countertops are available in a variety of materials from stone (example: granite), tile, and composite materials like Corian or Formica. Some homeowners may even choose to use Butcher Block. You may not know this but concrete counters are gaining more popularity.
- Tip: Think about the materials and colors and how well they may hide wet areas. For example, black granite in a bathroom would not be a good choice.
- Tip: If your bathroom or kitchen countertops will get a lot of use, make sure to choose a material that is durable.
- Tip: If you have a lot of counter space in your kitchen, such as a large island, you may have to review your budget and make sacrifices on other items if you choose an expensive countertop material.
- Tip: Bathroom and kitchen countertops do not need to match.
Appliances: Depending your builder, you may have a limited choice of brands and styles for your kitchen appliances. If that is the case, ask your builder for the options so you can do more research on them before making your final choices.
- Tip: Read online reviews of the appliances so you know how other homeowners rate the specific products.
- Tip: Appliances should match each other so make sure to choose from a brand family, or pick appliances that are neutral. For example, Bosch dishwashers are more neutral so they can be mixed with other appliances while Kitchen Aid appliances have very specific features (like handles) that are unique to their brand.
- Tip: You may want to extend your definition of appliances to other systems like your heating/cooling, and even water purification. More homeowners are choosing to put in water purification and conditioning to stem problems that may develop from hard or heavy mineral water.
Minor Decisions for Home Interiors
Plumbing: Plumbing components (like faucets and toilets) are more easily interchangeable if you don’t like the options that your builder provides to you. However, if you prefer wide-spread faucets over the smaller type, you may need to work out something with your builder because they will need to cut different holes in your countertops.
- Tip: If you are not happy with the plumbing choices offered by the builder, go with the least expensive ones so you can replace it after construction.
Interior Paint: Most builders will usually offer a neutral color like white for all of your interior walls. If you like color, you may want to work with your builder to paint the interior vs. doing it yourself.
- Tip: While painting is an easier task that many homeowners will choose to do on their own, make sure to consider the amount of time and effort it will take vs. your available time.
- Tip: Remember you may not have a choice in the finish of the paint from the builder, so if eggshell over flat is important to you, then consider painting yourself.
Lighting: There are many options to include in your home such as recessed and track lighting, pendants, chandeliers and even under counter lighting. Some builders may provide limited options for lighting so it’s best to have the electrical work done and replace lights with the ones that you prefer.
- Tip: If you are not happy with the lighting choices offered by the builder, go with the least expensive ones so you can replace it after construction.
Building a new home is exciting and scary at the same time. The excitement lies in being able to make choices that fit your style, interests, and preferences. The scary part is getting through those choices without any direction. If you are thinking about building a new home, contact one of our consultants at Prominent Builders who can talk to you about how we work with our clients to guide them through this process.
In this blog, we skimmed the surface of choices you have as a homeowner, and we can consult with you so that you build a home that exceeds all of your needs.