By Amy Kahler and John Rives
Buying a new home is an exciting, sometimes overwhelming event in anyone’s life, especially if you buy the home before it is built and get to choose options and make selections. One of the most personal aspects of buying a new home from a builder is getting to choose the selections for the home such as paint colors, cabinets, countertops, floor coverings, fixtures and finishes.
Doing your homework and understanding the choices you will be making at the selections appointment will save time and stress. The following new home design center checklist and selection tips can help you come to your appointment prepared so you don’t feel overwhelmed and can make the best selection choices for your new home.
- Walk some of the builder’s houses to see the types of materials used for cabinets, flooring, tile, etc. This will give you a better idea of what to expect at the selections appointment.
- Find out what brand appliances the builder uses so you have a chance to review their appliances by going to the stores or Online. Most builders only show one set of appliances in their design center and not the entire line. Most builders are able to give you a better price than you could get yourself, even if you find a sale. However, don’t expect the builder to match a bargain basement or closeout price that you find Online.
- Find out what siding company the builder uses so you can look at choices before your meeting. Many siding companies allow you to upload a picture of a house and add siding, trim, shakes, shutters, roof color and door color so you can get an idea of what your house will look like when finished. It’s also a great idea to drive through neighborhoods to see the exteriors of other houses that the builder has built. McKee Homes offers an Interactive Design App that allows you to choose a floor plan and play with the exterior colors for siding, doors/windows, roofing and stone.
- Most builders offer at least five interior paint and accent colors. Find out what the builder offers before the appointment so you can pull color swatches and put them against your furniture. This will help you decide on the best color beforehand as you will have a lot on your mind with many decisions to make during the selections meeting.
- Remember that carpet padding is more important than the actual carpet. Upgrading your carpet padding is an inexpensive way to have your carpet last longer and feel softer.
- Upgrading a kitchen backsplash with tile is often an inexpensive way to dress up your kitchen.
- Remember that it’s less expensive to upgrade during the building process than to remodel later. Plus it’s less hassle as remodeling can be disruptive, noisy and messy once you are living in the house. Think about adding hardwoods or laminates to living areas and tile in wet areas.
- Don’t forget the little things like cabinet hardware. Adding your own hardware takes a lot of time and precision.; Going through the builder is normally less expensive than buying the hardware at a retail shop and paying someone to install it. Another good reason to have the builder install the hardware is liability. If you install your own cabinet hardware, or hire a handyman to do it, and the cabinets are damaged, it is up to you to have them repaired.
- Many times buyers like to upgrade their light fixtures and plumbing fixtures to Oil Rubbed Bronze, but forget to think about the doorknobs and hinges. Make sure to upgrade your cabinet hardware to match any other finish upgrades.
- Make sure you feel 100% satisfied with your home selections before you leave your selections appointment because many items for your house such as windows and doors are ordered before construction even begins to make sure the home is completed on time. Changing selections while your home is being built can cause delays in construction and result in additional costs.
Coming to the selections meeting prepared and taking the time to make sure you are satisfied with all of your decisions will help make the new home building process more enjoyable, go smoother and be less stressful for everyone involved.
McKee Homes has an expert Design Consultant who works closely with our buyers to make sure they have the most positive experience possible while making selections for their new home. The design center has a variety of selections available to touch, see and experience, including carpet samples, kitchen and bath tile, exterior finishes, lighting and plumbing fixtures, and kitchen cabinet options.