Where to Splurge & Save in a New Build: Part 1

Where to Splurge & Save in a New Build: Part 1

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TO SPLURGE OR TO SAVE

Part 1

Designing a home from scratch comes with a million opportunities to upgrade, customize and tweak the basic plans into your dream home. But those changes cost money and can really add up. One thing I come across constantly with my new build clients is that they (rightly) feel like these decisions are now or never.

A homeowner excited about the house of their dreams coming to life doesn’t want to choose the wrong finish and regret it later or choose the basic option and wish they had spent just a little more to make it feel special. There are some areas that you’ll just need to trust your gut and/or your designer but there are also some spaces that the customization is really worth it or really not.

We want to make sure our clients make decisions that are responsible for right now and smart for the long term. #noregrets. 

SPLURGE

 

Okay, spend is probably a better word than splurge on this one. You don’t have to shell out ALL your money on these upgrades but even choosing the next tier level option can go a long way.

 

HEATED FLOORS

You can’t go back and do this one later. If the idea of walking through your home in the dead of winter without feeling cold or uncomfortable is appealing to you, let your builder know this is a feature you’d like to add. It’s surprisingly not as expensive as you’d think and to save money, you can choose rooms that need some extra heat (like kitchens and baths) and rooms that you just want to feel cozy (like bedrooms).

Heated floors are a lux, unexpected upgrade that buyers also love so the return on investment are there if you’re worried about resale value later on.

FIREPLACES

Fireplaces aren’t just cozy, they anchor and focus a room. Instead of a blank, rectangular box to fill with furniture, a room is given purpose and character from the get go. And in case you haven’t seen after-market fireplaces, custom built by your home’s contractors is the way to go. I’d say the living room is the highest on my list for including a fireplace but if offices, bedrooms and family rooms all love a good mantel-moment. The costly part will be whether you want a stone, plaster or wood-trimmed façade. And if you want cabinets/shelves/other built-ins paired next to it. But remember that a stand alone fireplace is gorgeous and definitely better than no fireplace at all.​

Heated floors are a lux, unexpected upgrade that buyers also love so the return on investment are there if you’re worried about resale value later on.

TRIM CARPENTRY

Have you ever walked into a home that SHOULD take your breath away but something about it just feels unfinished? That’s probably the crown and millwork. It’s crazy how much a room is changed by a simple piece of trim. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to board-and-batten or wainscot your way through your entire house but adding a little extra trim carpentry isn’t something you should pass on in my opinion.​

Heated floors are a lux, unexpected upgrade that buyers also love so the return on investment are there if you’re worried about resale value later on.

FINISHED LOWER LEVEL

Okay, so this is not the small decision or upgraded cost that the others seem like in comparison but I need to address it. I’ve been involved with so many projects where the builder suggests to save time or money by giving the option to leave the basement unfinished. The idea is that down the road, you’ll come to a time in your life that refinishing the basement is more convenient. There’s nothing convenient about living in your home while a crew is in and out, carrying out basically new construction beneath your feet. And that is unused space you could utilize or at least have the option to as soon as you move in originally. My advice if you’re short on funds or don’t necessarily need the extra space now is to finish the basement but maybe wait on furniture or the extras. It’ll cost way more later to have a crew come in than it will cost them to just do the work while they’re building the home initially. And it’ll save you so much stress down the road. Promise. ​

Heated floors are a lux, unexpected upgrade that buyers also love so the return on investment are there if you’re worried about resale value later on.

LANDSCAPING

Your lot will go from beautiful, grassy land to dirt pit to construction zone to brand new house in the blink of an eye. While the house itself is surely to be spectacular when it’s finished, it’s likely that you’ll be able to move in before the sod or a single bush is planted. When you make landscaping a line item on the budget, you can actually feel like the house is finished when you move in. No one wants to be sitting in the living room with feature windows that look out onto dry dirt. You bought that specific lot for a reason–let’s make it look stunning.
Where to Splurge Okay, spend is probably a better word than splurge on this one. You don’t have to shell out ALL your money on these upgrades but even choosing the next tier level option can go a long way.

HEADTED FLOORS

Heated floors are a lux, unexpected upgrade that buyers also love so the return on investment are there if you’re worried about resale value later on.

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