New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

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pdanet
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New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by pdanet » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:19 pm

Finally, after 2 month search - we narrowed down a lot in a community and a floor plan that we like.

Home Price (Base + Lot premium + structural upgrades) is about $510K.

Builder has offered $20K incentive towards home upgrades and if we stay at or below $20K, $510K will be our final price.

We anticipated spending between $20k -$25K but found out from the sales agent with the builder that on an Average, home owners in this community have put in approx $50K in upgrades.

We'd like to stick to $20K or possibly $25K(Max)

We are looking to spend the money on:

1. Upgrading tiles from Level 1 to Level 2 in existing areas, other areas will have carpet.
2. Upgrading Bathroom countertops from laminate to corian.
3. Upgrading staircase from Carpet to Oak.
4. Prewiring home for music/speakers in select rooms(Kitchen, Masterbath, Media room).
5. Prewiring for ceiling fans and light fixtures.
6. Cabinet underlighting in Kitchen and recessed lights with switch.
7. Additional electrical and cable outlets throught out the house.
8. Laundry tub and cabinets.

With only these 8 upgrades, we are already at $21K so far and this doesn't include appliances or wall tiles in bathrooms, gutters around the house, iron railings for stairs etc.

Are there any specific upgrades at the Design Center that we ought to choose or consider now even though they maybe done cheaper later but will require significant time/energy and committment.

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:30 pm

After 7 years in our home, this summer, we're going to change the carpet with laminate on our first floor. A toddler mashing fruit into the carpet the past couple of years has really taken a toll and the carpets look bad now. We wish we had done that to begin with when we bought our home (it was a new home and we had the option to upgrade to laminate/hardwood/tile). Tile is too cold for our preference and hardwood is more expensive. So my advice would be to think carefully about flooring over the long-run. We didn't have a kid when we moved into our house but she sure has made a difference!

sport
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by sport » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:35 pm

It is difficult to suggest upgrades without knowing what the standard package includes. It also depends on whether the builder inflates the price of the upgrades, or if you can get them at builder's cost. We bought a new house 10 years ago, and I can tell you what we did for upgrades. However, much of that may not apply to your situation.

delamer
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by delamer » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:48 pm

I would prioritize changes 4-7 since doing them after the fact would require getting into, and potentially damaging, your walls. They are just easier to handle during construction, rather than after. Not to mention the cost of hiring electricians.

For the flooring and countertops, one advantage of postponing is that you'll have a greater number of options to choose from if you aren't limited to the Design Center options.

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teacher
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by teacher » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:18 pm

Our son's experience was any upgrades from the design center translated to an increase in the mortgage for the duration. He decided to limit upgrades so he wouldn't be paying interest on those options for 30 years.

srmach05
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by srmach05 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:26 pm

pdanet wrote: 4. Prewiring home for music/speakers in select rooms(Kitchen, Masterbath, Media room).
Unless you're an audiophile, this seems like an unnecessary use of $ considering the rising popularity & quality of wireless speaker systems (Sonos, Bose, Klipsch, etc.).

njuser
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by njuser » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:42 pm

I would not do #4, either.

I would consider keeping the laminate in the bathrooms, also. The new laminates look pretty good and it's easy enough to replace a bathroom countertop later. Not sure how many recessed lights you are getting, but I have them all over and I wish I could get rid of them. Just not a look I am fond of.

radiowave
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by radiowave » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:45 pm

Put anything behind drywall now. Consider prewiring for security system as well if an option.
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Bacchus01
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by Bacchus01 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:11 pm

Upgrade things that are hard to change, like tile, showers, kitchen cabinets, hvac. Go cheap on things that are easy to change - lighting, plumbing fixtures, carpet, counter tops, doors.

I wouldn't wire for I'm wall speakers. Get wireless. Depending on where you live, absolutely wife for ceiling fans and lights. Wood floors will never be cheaper than when the build is happening.

Don't go overly trendy as it will cost you to replace. Iron spindles, for example, were the rage 10 years ago. I'm surprised they are still the rage. I wouldn't put them in.

Buy appliances outside the mortgage. You will do better typically on your own and you don't want to pay or mortgage on them long beyond when they are gone.

renue74
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by renue74 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:25 pm

  • Ethernet run to porch (for IP camera)
    Outdoor receptacle on the front soffit (for Xmas lights)
    Skip the audio wire runs. Remember those 1970s houses with intercoms? Yeah....it's not a good memory.
    Large PVC or Smurf Tube for places where you think a TV might be placed on a wall.
    Upgrade your blown-in ceiling insulation.
    Use as little carpet as possible...upgrade to hardwoods, if you can.

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tdhg566
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by tdhg566 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:50 am

Just went through same thinking process a few years ago when we built what will be our last house. I've had a few years to reflect on those same decisions.

Agree with dropping #4. I did the surround sound pre-wire and never used it. Ended up putting Sonos in each room. waste of money to pre-wire imo

Agree with moving any other pre-wire and behind drywall to the top of the list. I put Ethernet and coax in every room. game room had it on every wall because we couldn't decide which walls would have what electronics. we didn't use coax some years, but other years we did, depending on internet/tv provider

agree with pre-wiring for fans, but installing them yourself. we had 3 fans installed by builder, I did remaining four.

Undercounter lighting is great. The builder's choice of fixtures and placement was horrible and stupid. I had to re-do it after two years. if I had to do it again, I would have the wiring run to the area under the counters, and do my own fixtures. color temp of that lighting is critical

we have zero carpet in the house, tile and area rugs. best choice we could make BUT flooring can be changed later, and you're not paying for it over 15/30 years
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armeliusc
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by armeliusc » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:14 am

We also just did this; In fact we just moved in to our new construction home last week and now are still settling in.

We're pretty happy with the choices we made. One guiding principle we used: if it is require some kind of construction, and if it is something we'd really want / going to put in anyway, do it upfront (since we hate construction). In general, we upgraded the kitchen counters, pre-wire for ethernet, upgraded / added carpet pad (makes the carpet last longer), and other things such as stair railings (aesthetic choices). My wife decided most of the aesthetic choices; I decided on functionality upgrades (ethernet wires, outlets, etc).

For stuffs that's easy to change, and can be delayed, we didn't do. An example of this is all LED lighting, since I can do them myself. Other minor things such as faucets and things, we just decided to do it. I checked online prices and their prices are the same, some even cheaper. Plus we'd get them installed. Anything that seems disruptive or require construction, we just decided to do upfront. With small kids and everything, I just don't see how it's useful to delay (if we can afford it). Also we upgraded the appliances to the 'mid-level'; not the least expensive that comes with the house, but also not the most expensive package.

I don't understand the argument with "not willing to pay it for 30 years", for anything. That's all just mental accounting. If you don't feel like paying that particular upgrade for 30 years, then price out how much it cost, and pay that to the principal with your first mortgage payment. There, you're done paying that upgrade.

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Random Poster
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by Random Poster » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:29 am

pdanet wrote:With only these 8 upgrades, we are already at $21K so far and this doesn't include appliances or wall tiles in bathrooms, gutters around the house, iron railings for stairs etc.
Gutters are an upgrade???

Is installing shingles on the roof considered to be an upgrade as well?

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hand
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by hand » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:40 am

pdanet wrote: 1. Upgrading tiles from Level 1 to Level 2 in existing areas, other areas will have carpet.
2. Upgrading Bathroom countertops from laminate to corian.
3. Upgrading staircase from Carpet to Oak.
4. Prewiring home for music/speakers in select rooms(Kitchen, Masterbath, Media room).
5. Prewiring for ceiling fans and light fixtures.
6. Cabinet underlighting in Kitchen and recessed lights with switch.
7. Additional electrical and cable outlets throught out the house.
8. Laundry tub and cabinets.

With only these 8 upgrades, we are already at $21K so far and this doesn't include appliances or wall tiles in bathrooms, gutters around the house, iron railings for stairs etc.
Often builder upgrades are priced at a premium vs. what the work would cost on the open market.

Clearly with the incentives, you want to "spend" a least $20k in upgrades, but the trick is to get the most value from the upgrades.

Two key questions:
1) Can I do this later, and if so at what cost?
2) Does this add value to me while I live in the house, or at resale (and do I care about resale?)

Of the list you've selected, builder pricing seems way higher than what I would expect on the open market (though I suppose this could be location dependent), but about par for the course for a production builder.

Of your list, upgrading stairs, prewiring and plumbing for laundry sink seem like good things to do while building.

Laundry cabinets & bathroom countertops could likely be done better and cheaper after the fact - even if you had to rip out the old builder grade stuff.

Tile is tricky; if you're committed to tile day 1, absolutely pay to get the tile you want put in. As an alternative, consider having the builder put down cheap carpet (or nothing at all) and having your own contractor tile to spec immediately after closing.

Not mentioned, but a potential addition is having a good think about outlet counts and locations - code minimum doesn't necessarily meet your needs... Want a cordless vacuum charging in a closet, lighted closets, extra outlets for your computer / home theatre / stereo, heated bidet toilet seat?

Additional items I'd consider spending money on when building (though possibly not an option with your builder) are additional insulation and air sealing, sound reducing insulation on select interior walls, solid doors for bedrooms & public spaces, pre-plumb for radon system.

Good luck!

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hand
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by hand » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:36 pm

P.S. Look long and hard at your lot premium and make sure you understand if your lot will continue to be "premium."

Occasionally tract builders are known to sell premium view lots of woodland / farmland and then after the sale is complete and premium pocketed, develop the woodland / farmland into more tract housing effectively destroying the benefit of the view and location.

staythecourse
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by staythecourse » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:59 pm

hand wrote:Often builder upgrades are priced at a premium vs. what the work would cost on the open market.

Clearly with the incentives, you want to "spend" a least $20k in upgrades, but the trick is to get the most value from the upgrades.

Two key questions:
1) Can I do this later, and if so at what cost?
2) Does this add value to me while I live in the house, or at resale (and do I care about resale?)
I would second that.

If you are choosing from upgrades from the builder options then there is a premium placed. It would seem the builder is making a profit off you already even with the 20k extra thrown in considering they are likely getting a kickback from the various vendors.

When we built a house I made sure I could choose all my own vendors just to prevent this.

Good luck.
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sls239
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by sls239 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:39 am

I thought that cultured marble was the default for bathroom counters, not laminate. You may want to double check that. There's not really anything wrong with cultured marble.

Common upgrades involve lighting - the pre-wiring for ceiling fans, undercabinet lighting, but also you may want more actual fixtures or a different kind of fixture and you certainly want to pay attention to potentially dark closets and corners. Even reach-in closets should have lighting. Also, make sure that there is wiring available for your desired outdoor lighting plan.

I agree with making the stairs wood and not carpet.

And personally, I prefer adjustable shelving in the laundry room (Elfa), not fixed cabinets.

Oh and it may not apply - but ceiling heights - you want them high.

Rupert
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by Rupert » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:27 am

Random Poster wrote:
pdanet wrote:With only these 8 upgrades, we are already at $21K so far and this doesn't include appliances or wall tiles in bathrooms, gutters around the house, iron railings for stairs etc.
Gutters are an upgrade???

Is installing shingles on the roof considered to be an upgrade as well?
I thought the same thing about the gutters. And I bet the builder will install the smallest gutters possible. Gutters are not terribly expensive. I'd call a couple of local gutter places and ask for back-of-the-envelope quotes on adding properly-sized gutters later. I bet it'll be cheaper to do those yourself.

Wagnerjb
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by Wagnerjb » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:15 am

pdanet wrote:Finally, after 2 month search - we narrowed down a lot in a community and a floor plan that we like.

Home Price (Base + Lot premium + structural upgrades) is about $510K.

Builder has offered $20K incentive towards home upgrades and if we stay at or below $20K, $510K will be our final price.

We anticipated spending between $20k -$25K but found out from the sales agent with the builder that on an Average, home owners in this community have put in approx $50K in upgrades.
I found the same thing when my wife and I bought our first new home, and it was extremely aggravating. After going to the Design Center and coming back with sticker shock, I went back to the builder and pushed back. I told him that all of the model homes had high-end finishes, hardware and lighting and that my expectation was that I could put those finishes and design choices in my home for the budget I got. I told him (using your home price for example) that I was buying a $500k home but was only given an allowance to afford $150k design finishes. He responded by bumping up my "allowance" by a small amount. I went back a second time to the builder and got another small bump in the allowance.

This whole "bait and switch" kind of experience left a very bitter taste in my mouth and I still haven't forgotten it 25 years later.

Of course, the builder makes money in this game so they hope you spend lots to bring your $500k home in line with your neighbors and with your expectations for such a home. At the very least, I would encourage you to push back on the builder and see if you can get an increase of $2,000 or $5,000 (or more) in your allowance.

Best wishes.
Andy

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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:20 am

This is an interesting thread and makes me confident in our choice to not build.

Your choice to build effectively is a choice to not maximize the dollars spent. That is fine. Lots of people have to build. New is new.

I would much rather find a previously owned home where the previous owner made all the upgrades, blew their budget, added things they needed after the initial build, etc. etc.

Try to target the most important things. The tricky part is you won't know what the most important things are until you have lived there for a period of time.
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sport
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by sport » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:52 am

bloom2708 wrote:This is an interesting thread and makes me confident in our choice to not build.
It doesn't have to be this way. Perhaps my builder was an anomaly, but he did things differently.

1. He sent us to the electrical supply company for lighting and fans. He told us we had a $1000 allowance and that would cover the standard package. We could upgrade whatever we wanted and we got the builder's discounted prices.
2. He sent us to his flooring supplier. We could get whatever we wanted above the standard package, and we paid the difference at builder's prices.
3. Same at the cabinet supplier.
4. Same at the plumbing supplier.
5. We upgrading the AC at builder's cost.
6. I was unhappy with the builder's standard garbage disposer, and I did not like his quote for an upgrade, because I could buy it for less. He told me to buy it, and they put it in and gave me a credit for the standard one.
7. We bought our own appliances and got credit for the standard ones.

As far as I am able to tell, I believe that my builder did not make any additional profit from any of the upgrades we selected. He had his profit margin included in the base price of the house, which was not an unreasonable price. Gutters and prewiring for fans were standard features. Two ceiling fans were included. The gutters drain to city sewers. Landscaping was also included.

Rupert
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by Rupert » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:56 am

sport wrote:
bloom2708 wrote:This is an interesting thread and makes me confident in our choice to not build.
It doesn't have to be this way. Perhaps my builder was an anomaly, but he did things differently.

1. He sent us to the electrical supply company for lighting and fans. He told us we had a $1000 allowance and that would cover the standard package. We could upgrade whatever we wanted and we got the builder's discounted prices.
2. He sent us to his flooring supplier. We could get whatever we wanted above the standard package, and we paid the difference at builder's prices.
3. Same at the cabinet supplier.
4. Same at the plumbing supplier.
5. We upgrading the AC at builder's cost.
6. I was unhappy with the builder's standard garbage disposer, and I did not like his quote for an upgrade, because I could buy it for less. He told me to buy it, and they put it in and gave me a credit for the standard one.
7. We bought our own appliances and got credit for the standard ones.

As far as I am able to tell, I believe that my builder did not make any additional profit from any of the upgrades we selected. He had his profit margin included in the base price of the house, which was not an unreasonable price. Gutters and prewiring for fans were standard features. Two ceiling fans were included. The gutters drain to city sewers. Landscaping was also included.
Custom builders will sometimes do it this way. Tract builders usually will not.

HillCountry
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by HillCountry » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:13 am

pdanet wrote:
We are looking to spend the money on:

1. Upgrading tiles from Level 1 to Level 2 in existing areas, other areas will have carpet.
2. Upgrading Bathroom countertops from laminate to corian.
3. Upgrading staircase from Carpet to Oak.
4. Prewiring home for music/speakers in select rooms(Kitchen, Masterbath, Media room).
5. Prewiring for ceiling fans and light fixtures.
6. Cabinet underlighting in Kitchen and recessed lights with switch.
7. Additional electrical and cable outlets throught out the house.
8. Laundry tub and cabinets.

With only these 8 upgrades, we are already at $21K so far and this doesn't include appliances or wall tiles in bathrooms, gutters around the house, iron railings for stairs etc.

Are there any specific upgrades at the Design Center that we ought to choose or consider now even though they maybe done cheaper later but will require significant time/energy and committment.
I lived in my new home for 8 years. I liked prewiring of my home theater. But other full house wiring I do not even touch.

I would say any upgrade if you think that will be your final/best after 10 20 years.

I just ripped up all my first floor wood, as I want to replace 8 year old carpet with full house wood flooring.

Your item 7 is good. All my first floor outlets got good use.

My kids swim, so I have good use of laundry room tub. Otherwise don't see usage.

Enjoy your future new home. It is different feeling.

sport
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by sport » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:15 pm

Rupert wrote:
sport wrote:
bloom2708 wrote:This is an interesting thread and makes me confident in our choice to not build.
It doesn't have to be this way. Perhaps my builder was an anomaly, but he did things differently.

1. He sent us to the electrical supply company for lighting and fans. He told us we had a $1000 allowance and that would cover the standard package. We could upgrade whatever we wanted and we got the builder's discounted prices.
2. He sent us to his flooring supplier. We could get whatever we wanted above the standard package, and we paid the difference at builder's prices.
3. Same at the cabinet supplier.
4. Same at the plumbing supplier.
5. We upgrading the AC at builder's cost.
6. I was unhappy with the builder's standard garbage disposer, and I did not like his quote for an upgrade, because I could buy it for less. He told me to buy it, and they put it in and gave me a credit for the standard one.
7. We bought our own appliances and got credit for the standard ones.

As far as I am able to tell, I believe that my builder did not make any additional profit from any of the upgrades we selected. He had his profit margin included in the base price of the house, which was not an unreasonable price. Gutters and prewiring for fans were standard features. Two ceiling fans were included. The gutters drain to city sewers. Landscaping was also included.
Custom builders will sometimes do it this way. Tract builders usually will not.
This was a development of 100+ cluster homes.

KATNYC
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by KATNYC » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:21 pm

pdanet wrote:Finally, after 2 month search - we narrowed down a lot in a community and a floor plan that we like.

Home Price (Base + Lot premium + structural upgrades) is about $510K.

Builder has offered $20K incentive towards home upgrades and if we stay at or below $20K, $510K will be our final price.

We anticipated spending between $20k -$25K but found out from the sales agent with the builder that on an Average, home owners in this community have put in approx $50K in upgrades.

We'd like to stick to $20K or possibly $25K(Max)

We are looking to spend the money on:
1. Upgrading tiles from Level 1 to Level 2 in existing areas, other areas will have carpet.
2. Upgrading Bathroom countertops from laminate to corian.
3. Upgrading staircase from Carpet to Oak.
4. Prewiring home for music/speakers in select rooms(Kitchen, Masterbath, Media room).
5. Prewiring for ceiling fans and light fixtures.
6. Cabinet underlighting in Kitchen and recessed lights with switch.
7. Additional electrical and cable outlets throught out the house.
8. Laundry tub and cabinets.


With only these 8 upgrades, we are already at $21K so far and this doesn't include appliances or wall tiles in bathrooms, gutters around the house, iron railings for stairs etc.

Are there any specific upgrades at the Design Center that we ought to choose or consider now even though they maybe done cheaper later but will require significant time/energy and committment.
$21K seems high to me for these upgrades and we're in NYC.

We just renovated and went through this process. We had all wiring put behind the drywall and all electrical upgrades and plumbing completed to add a sink in the bathroom. Anything that would require ripping out a wall later, do it now.

If it were me, I'd go with this order:
5. Prewiring for ceiling fans and light fixtures.
6. Cabinet underlighting in Kitchen and recessed lights with switch. (check color temperature, we have 3000k LED not 2700 since counters are white)
7. Additional electrical and cable outlets throught out the house.
1. Upgrading tiles from Level 1 to Level 2 in existing areas, other areas will have carpet.
2. Upgrading Bathroom countertops from laminate to corian.
3. Upgrading staircase from Carpet to Oak.
4. Prewiring home for music/speakers in select rooms(Kitchen, Masterbath, Media room).
8. Laundry tub and cabinets. (I would add cabinets/shelves later but have them put in the plumbing & tub)

petiejoe
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by petiejoe » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:46 pm

Lots of hate for the prewiring. I probably wouldn't pay for prewiring sound to miscellaneous rooms, but if you have a room you're already designating as the media room, absolutely prewire that. Wiring is super easy (and should be cheap) if you do it before the drywall goes in and becomes a pain in the butt (or a permanent eye-sore) if you do it afterward. I'm cheap and lazy (and have never bought a new house), so I stick with the eye-sore, but would love to have the chance to do built-in wiring for cheap.

Also think about sound isolation. My in-laws bought a house a couple years ago and they said they had a chance for upgraded sound isolating drywall that they only did in one of the rooms but would have been very nice in the whole house.

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Go Blue 99
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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by Go Blue 99 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:49 pm

We are in the process of building a new home with a tract builder. We just went through the design center process (three different 3 hour appointments at their huge design center). Obviously the builder is charging a big premium for upgrades- our agent was shocked at some of the prices they were charging.

Since you have a limited budget, I'd focus on the functional upgrades, instead of design upgrades. Items such as:

- pre-wiring for surround sound in your main TV room (whether that be media room or family room)
- functional upgrades in the kitchen. for example, thinking about how you use your kitchen, and changing cabinets to drawers or vice versa
- adding gas line to patio if you use a gas grill
- upgrading kitchen appliances (not fridge- buy that on your own)
- converting garage door opener to belt instead of chain
- adding electrical outlets
- adding in-ceiling lighting to otherwise dim areas (e.g. we had to add one above a guest shower)

The designer we worked with said, when in doubt, spend money on the rooms you will spend the most time in. That's typically kitchen, master bath, and family room.

Enjoy the process- we really loved the whole design center process and getting to pick out all of your finishes.

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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:25 pm

pdanet wrote: 4. Prewiring home for music/speakers in select rooms(Kitchen, Masterbath, Media room).
I think wireless solutions have moved so fast that this will be obsolete the day you put it in (not sure re in bathroom). I think you can just investigate wireless solutions. I doubt that you would get future value from this if you sell.
5. Prewiring for ceiling fans and light fixtures.
6. Cabinet underlighting in Kitchen and recessed lights with switch.
Yes. We put in cheap ("yellow light" ie 2700K) strips from IKEA for the under cabinet lighting, and they work wonderfully.

Make sure everything works with an LED solution. The future of lighting is LED. In a few years, there will only be LED bulbs, except for specialized applications.
7. Additional electrical and cable outlets throught out the house.
You can never have too many of these.

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Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by Saving$ » Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:42 pm

No reason to install "cable" outlets. If your house has an unfinished basement, just run some smurf tube from the box to the basement. Co-axial is on it's way out.

Don't prewire for speakers. Add electrical outlets instead.

Laminate in a bath as a standard in a $500k house is outrageous. I would push back on that one.

Get someone else to do the gutters.

Rupert
Posts: 3428
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by Rupert » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:45 am

Saving$ wrote:No reason to install "cable" outlets. If your house has an unfinished basement, just run some smurf tube from the box to the basement. Co-axial is on it's way out.

Don't prewire for speakers. Add electrical outlets instead.

Laminate in a bath as a standard in a $500k house is outrageous. I would push back on that one.

Get someone else to do the gutters.
I had also thought the same thing about the laminate in the bathrooms, but then I reminded myself that I live in a low-cost-of-living area where a $500K house would be considered a high-end home. A $500K house here would nearly always have either top-of-the-line finishes or acreage. In some parts of the country though, a $500K house is a starter home.

pdanet
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:29 pm

Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

Post by pdanet » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:09 am

Thanks everyone for the suggestion. It was very helpful.

We will focus and spend towards more on functional upgrades and how often we use them va something nice to have.

We really really want to stay closer to $20K, maybe $25K. let's see.

There is no basement.

On the laminate - I suppose that's one way builders force you to upgrade! we really disliked it when that was the standard option.

We are building in South FL and also, the builder has no interest in offering any more incentives since new homes are selling at a consistent pace. We've tried to negotatie with no positive results.

Note: $500K homes are pretty much starter homes and priced in the mid-level price range as we want to stay within a certain geographic area. If we drive another 15 miles, home prices start in $300K so it's all about location, location, location.

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