Thursday, January 8, 2009

Best Upgrades

In making the decision to build our new house. Cory and I have been very conciously making design decisions that will affect us in the long run: in terms of Re-sale.

We certainly don't intend on being in our house forever, so we have to take into consideration what would be appealing to other people when purchasing a home.

#1. Flooring - It was a non-negotiable for me to go with carpet and lino for our main floor. This area is just too high-traffic to have carpet, and lino looks cheap (cause it is!) Plus, knowing that we have animals, and are intending on adding a couple more to our family, it only makes sense to forgo as much carpet as possible. So, while we haven't made our flooring selection yet, you can bet that we've written into our mortgage an allowance for flooring. Ideally, a combination of hardwood and tile would do the trick, but alternatively, we'll settle for some laminate.

2. Electrical Wiring -If there is anything you are planning to add down the road, that would require making holes in the walls/ceiling or floors, is best done in advance. We've made sure that our house is able to do the following: pre-wired for air conditioning, roughed-in Central Vac, wired for both alarm system and sound system. We plan on doing all of that down the road, so doing it before the drywall, saves time and money. **As well, take a good look at where your outlets are placed in your rooms - are there adequate outlets?? Are they in locations that make logical sense? Having a brief idea of where you will place furniture and appliances, is a good idea.

3. Future Development Mapping - Does your house have a basement that you plan on finishing down the road?? Ours does - so we took a look at floorplan ideas on how to best finish the space (courtesy of our builder). Glad I did, cause we made sure the rough-in for the 3 piece bath would be in the right spot. Same thing for our laundry room. ** I also took into consideration that since we have a walk-out basement, I moved the location of the French doors to the outside, so they'd make sense. I also added stairs down from the deck and a concrete pad outisde the doors.**

Here are some options we had, that we chose to forgo:

4. Specialty Painting - yup, there's a premium charge if we want to paint in more than one color, or if we want to have a feature wall color. Why on earth would I pay someone to paint?? Plus, doing it yourself allows you to choose paint from any supplier

5. Fixture & Hardware Upgrade - Everything from the light switch plates, towel bars and cabinet pulls can be upgraded. Seriously?? This stuff is so small. If your builder standard stuff is REALLY that ugly. Save yourself some moola and head over to your local hardware store. You'll have to do it yourself, but it takes no time. ***p.s. The light fixture in our dining area is a ceiling fan - uh... NO!!! I'll be switching that out at the design center. If I can't find anything pretty, I'll take the cheapest fixture and a cash credit to source my own option.

6. Decorative Touches - Did you know that a lot of builders do not include tile backsplash or tub surround?? If yours doesn't (ours does), do it yourself. Your local Building Supply store probably has a DIY Workshop. Your tiling options will be limit-less and you'll feel so proud when you're done. **Down the road, we'll probably add a stone wall feature to our fireplace wall.**

**Photo courtesy of Style At Home

1 comment:

Katie said...

wow girl - this was a great post. When we bought our house it was from the 30+year owner and we asked for an appliance allowance instead of having them put new ones in the kitchen. I loved it because we got exactly what would fit our lifestyle - higher grade microwave and dishwasher - only decent stove. But I never thought about it dealing with a builder. Maybe I will need to revisit this advice when the boyfriend and I build our dreamhouse...oneday!

Thanks for your supportive comment on Bower Power today. I think I haven't laughed over comments in a while - so it was nice to see friends gather round to rejoice in some fun :)

XO - Katie