You’ve picked the community, you’ve picked the builder, you’ve picked the homesite and you’ve picked the floor plan.
Your decision-making isn’t done yet — there’s still a lot more to figure out.
Even if you don’t make any upgrades to the existing home design, you still have to pick out flooring, paint colors, countertops and more. But most people do add extras and some builders even give you allowances to help you pay for them. And when you start considering home upgrades, an entire world of choices emerges.
First consider putting your design dollars toward things that would be very difficult or very expensive to change later on:
- Taller kitchen cabinets
- Under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen
- Additional outlets throughout the home and outside
- Larger shower and/or tub
Think really long-term
If this isn’t your first home, could it be your last? If so, you might want to consider flexing the home’s design to allow for wider hall and doorways, which would be extremely difficult to change later. And while swapping out door hardware is usually a DIY project, if you think this might be your forever home, go ahead and select lever door handles as doorknobs can be hard to grip when you’re older. Lighting is also very important for people with failing eyesight, so don’t skimp on lights throughout the home.
Make it durable
Wood floors are lovely — until they get scratched by the family pets and little ones racing cars. Consider how your family lives today and five years down the road (there’s that thinking long-term again) and then select flooring that will hold up well against the expected onslaught. The good news is that if you love wood floors, you have plenty of choices of wood-like tile. And if you go the tile route, make sure to have a grout sealer applied.
Keep cabinets durable by investing into soft-close doors and premium hinges. Their expense will be much less than having to replace cabinets later on.
Extras that count
Have some money left over in your design budget, but just a little? Put your dollars toward carpet padding over carpet. Your carpet will immediately feel more plush and when you do have to switch out the carpet down the road, you won’t have to purchase new carpet pad.
Another nice-to-have upgrade that is usually easier to do at the construction stage is storage enhancers. Built-in cabinet organizers and pull-out trash and recycling bins are functional favorites. Closet storage systems not only make your life happier but can also increase the price of your home if you ever have to sell.
Finally, research the standard smart home features and data packages your builder offers. And if there are upgrades to be had, go for it.