Must Have Items For New Home – There is SO much that goes into building a house. Literally so. Much. THING. Of all the tough decisions you’ll have to make, like location and funding, the design decisions will be the most fun! When preparing for your design studio meeting, keep these tips in mind to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
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Must Have Items For New Home
The first step in the design process should always be gathering inspiration. I love browsing Pinterest and pinning anything that catches my eye or that I might want to see in my future home. Ira and I created a shared Pinterest board for new house design inspo and pin it almost daily. I love that we can easily see each other’s ideas and add to them whenever we want.
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We also divided the main board into several parts so that none of our inspo gets lost in the sea of images and everything is easy to find. There are almost 500 pins on the board right now, so being organized has been extremely helpful. We have separate sections for each room, such as the kitchen and bedroom, and also for lighting and flooring. Even after moving in, we can keep expanding the board by creating new sections for every DIY and home improvement project we want to tackle.
Once you’ve collected all your ideas in one place, it’s time to make a mood board for your home. Similar to my Pinterest board, I created custom mood boards for different rooms and one that incorporates the overall look and feel of the house. Since you’re just planning your designer meeting, don’t worry about figuring out every room in our room down to the furniture. Focus on the hard surfaces you’ll be choosing during the meeting—paint colors, flooring, cabinets, countertops, hardware, doors, windows, lighting and ceiling fans, appliances, tile work, window treatments, siding, electrical, exterior options, landscaping, and plumbing. .
You have a million design decisions to make once you actually attend the design meeting, so it helps to have a clear idea of what you want. On my mood board I just posted pictures of all the surfaces I planned to use in my house, but you can also use some inspiration from my Pinterest board. Also, don’t forget to include things you know for sure you’ll want to add or replace later. Our design studio process was a little different than most due to the COVID-19 restrictions, so we practically had to select a few before the in-person meeting. We were able to compare the prices of the design studio with the online retail prices of, for example, door handles and faucets. This was a lifesaver when deciding which items to upgrade and which things to do on our own later to save money. We used the objects we made on our mood boards
We want for our home, not the usual construction options we move in with to get an idea of the final look. Check out our selection of designs below and scroll to shop!
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Entrance door: Modern 4 Lite Door (black stain) // Door hardware: Halifax Square Handles, Iron Black // Kitchen countertops: Silstone Quartz in Helix // Wall color: Sherwin Williams Extra White // Door color: Sherwin Williams Repose Gray // / Master Bath Sconce: Revolve 4-Light Vanity Lamp // Guest Bath Hardware: Black and Brass Round Handle Pulls
Everyone has a budget. Your budget may be bigger or smaller than your neighbor’s budget, but believe me, everyone has a budget. And if you think not, talk to your husband. He’s quick to tell you what your budget is haha. But seriously, set yourself a budget. It’s incredibly easy to get carried away in the design studio and go crazy adding luxury and upgrading it to level 10. Knowing what your budget is ahead of time will help when the hard part comes—when you have to let some things go.
When you’re thinking about finances, it’s also important to think about what options you want to pack into your mortgage. Financing improvements is great because it allows you to roll the costs into your loan amount instead of paying everything out of pocket like you would with a DIY or renovation. However, this can be a double-edged sword as it increases the price of your home and you end up paying more overtime. For example, let’s say you pay $10,000 to replace your floors with hardwood. At 3% interest over 30 years, these floors will actually cost $15,178. Obviously building a house is expensive, so certain things need to be wrapped into the mortgage because you’re not a millionaire baller with tons of cash. ready to branch out. (Or maybe it does. More power to you.) There are also things that make more sense to include the cost of building a house because it just adds more cost and time. Structural details, electrical work or, for example, my waterfall island all fall into this category. As long as you consider what makes the most sense for your budget now and what you can do later, you’ll know you’re making good design decisions.
Like I said, more than likely you’ll have to give some things up because life isn’t fair and upgrades aren’t free. Knowing which things you can’t live without and which things you don’t absolutely need will make it much easier to narrow down your choices. We created a list of two columns—must-haves and nice-to-haves—and referred to it religiously when it came time to make final decisions. We really tried to keep as many of our ‘must haves’ as possible and then use the remaining budget to add the ‘must haves’. When all is said and done, you’ll likely have some items on both sides of the list for pricing, availability, whatever the reason. Just make sure you’re happy with your choices and you’re good to go!
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This is the list we used to finalize the design selection. The crossed-out items are the ones that didn’t make the cut, and the asterisked items are items that we’ll make ourselves later instead of paying the builder.
Most people are very surprised to find out exactly what is considered an upgrade over the normal option. As a general rule, almost everything you see in a model home is an upgrade – this applies to all builders. The essence of a model home is to make you fall in love with what home is
Looks and convinces you to spend more money. With luxury builders (think Toll Brothers or MainVue Homes), your home is likely to come with nicer features as standard. These homes are already priced to include the more unique looking luxury features in the home’s base price, which is one reason the asking price is higher. With everyday semi-custom builders (think Taylor Morrison, Ashton Woods, Pulte), the home’s asking price is typically more affordable because the standard features aren’t as nice. This does not mean that the homes will be of lower quality, just that there may not be as many modern, unique looking details right away. You have to add these options yourself – aka, spend money on developing the design studio. This brings me to the next two points…
The builder must provide a “Standard Features” sheet that lists everything that is standard in the home. You can list aesthetic things like crown molding, type of flooring, or flip and flip light switches. It usually also includes some more functional features, such as the degree of wall insulation and whether the water heater is tankless or not. Standard options vary by builder AND community, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the standard options you receive. In addition to reviewing the list, you can also ask the sales consultant to walk you through the model and explain what the upgrades are. This was incredibly helpful for us because he was able to tell us exactly what the upgrades were (basically everything) and gave us a general idea of how much those upgrades would cost. I read this online
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