2013 was a huge year for me in learning all about new construction. Not only did we finish our first house, but I also started working as an Interior Designer at Ivory Homes. I have learned so much through both of these experiences, so thought I’d share a few tips today.
#1 Surroundings: Usually when building a new house it is hard to focus on anything other than the floor plan. It is so important to look at your surroundings of the neighborhood. What direction your house face has huge impact on the amount of light in your home (think strong evening light and snowy north-facing driveways). What is being built either side of your lot? How much space will you have between your neighbors? Does your community have an HOA? All these things are going to impact your life in your new home and should be some of the first things to consider. Don’t be afraid to ask your builder to flip you house plan on the lot for better views, or to make changes that you’d like. It’s always worth asking!
#2 Choosing a Floor Plan: This can be very overwhelming, especially when builders offer dozens of plans. First look at square footage, and the number of beds and baths for your price. These are the specs that will primarily value and eventually sell your home so it’s important to compare with existing home prices in the neighborhood. Also, it’s amazing how builders price their plans so differently. For example, a home that had 700 sq foot less than our home was only $4k less. Most importantly, hopefully the builder can walk you through home plans you are interested in, It’s hard to get a feel by looking just at blueprints. Once you’ve decided on a floorplan walk through the plan again, taking pictures and paying attention to light, and areas of the home that you may want to change. It is also important to remember you will need to leave a little room in your budget for upgrades, you don’t want to max out your budget on the base plan of a home, leaving no wiggle room for additional costs.
#3 Structural Changes: The first thing you want to think about upgrading is anything you can’t change easily. Adding windows, raising the ceilings, extending the garage etc. After thinking of any structural changes, you want to next think about semi-permanent features such as cabinetry, flooring, and baseboards.
#4 Electrical: It is so hard to think of everything during the building process, but getting sufficient lighting and outlets in a home is something that buyers often overlook. The small cost for adding can lights and extra outlets is so worth it in the long run. Hallways and closets are often areas that get neglected, add those cans for a bright and cheery home!
#5 The Kitchen: If budget allows upgrade your kitchen. It is usually so much cheaper to upgrade cabinetry and counter-tops with your builder than if you wanted to upgrade these items later. More than anywhere else, your kitchen truly is the heart of the home where your family and friends will spend a lot of time. You’ll always be happy to have invested in this space.
Building a home is very stressful, but at the same time such a fun experience. I hope these tips will help a little if you’re thinking of building a new home soon!