We recently built a new house, and we love it!! We used a builder that had about 40 different home plans that we could chose from, to build on their lots, in their neighborhood. We then met a Design Consultant at their Design Studio to pick out the exterior colors and everything in the interior, such as lights, fixtures, floors, etc.
We never built a house before and I learned so many things in this process!
Would I do it again? Yes! Would I use this builder again? Probably not. Would I recommend this builder to others? Yes, probably, but I would say you have to be prepared to do it their way.
While it was nice as a first time builder having limited options, I feel at times there were options that were not offered to us, which now being in the house and seeing other houses I wish our house had!
There are things I wish we would have added that we didn't. I wish I had payed more attention to the window configuration in the basement. When we go and finish our basement, we are going to have to add and change around the windows.
Pay attention to electrical, and where they put your outlets and your switches. I knew what was going to be my craft room and I knew I wanted an extra outlet, because you can never have enough outlets for your sewing machine and glue gun and whatever else is running, so I added another outlet!! And I knew we wanted to mount our TV in our bedroom, so I had them place an outlet for that! But the electrician asked me where I wanted my switches for my island pendants. I had no clue, why would I know that? He said we will never use our island pendants, so he told me to put the switch in a completely odd spot. If we leave out of the garage door, there is not a switch to turn off the island lights, because you have to walk to the other side of the kitchen.
Be prepared to make sacrifices. Because it all adds up! I still wish we had spent the extra $350 to add a tray ceiling in our master bedroom. But really is that necessary? Probably not?? It is a lot of compromise. I wanted to spend the $4,500 to add a fireplace, my husband wanted to spend the money to add white cabinets. While yes, technically we could add a fireplace later, it was easier to add that at the beginning and change out the cabinets later!
At one of our early walk through the placement of the island didn't seem right. It seemed way too close to the mudroom door and too crowded to the dinning area. My mom, realtor and I spent a good 30 minutes at the house brainstorming how this could be fixed. Did the island have to be made smaller? We eventually decided the island had to be pushed a foot out into the living area. BEST DECISION EVER! When I called to talk to the builder, he originally told me it was going to cost an additional $400 to move it, since the island was framed. I stuck with what I wanted, they moved it, and it didn't cost me anything additional. I am so glad I stuck to my guns and didn't let them scare me with the additional cost. It was WORTH IT!
I wish I had asked for a gas stove. I know before hand I said I wanted a gas stove, but some how I still do not have one. I was so overwhelmed with all the decisions, I forgot to ask for a gas stove. I will probably add a gas line before we finish our basement so I can add a gas stove in the future, but know what you want and make a list so you don't forget!!
I feel like I have complained a lot. There are a lot of things I love about my new house!!! I LOVE the space. We have so much more space. And it all good functional usable space. We have a Butler's Pantry. Which is great for organizing bills and other things you don't want out on your kitchen counter. We have an AMAZING mudroom. We had custom shelving put in and it is AWESOME. We have never had a mudroom before so just having this space to begin with is a huge plus. We now have an upper level laundry room!! It is right in between both of the kids bedrooms. I feel like I do so much more laundry now than I ever did before. It is life changing!! I love that we have 9 foot ceilings on the entire first floor. It makes it feel so open! I never knew I wanted 9 foot ceilings until I saw this house, but it is a must!!!
Do your research and don't be afraid to speak up for yourself. You are spending a lot of money and you have to love it. So make sure you get what you want. I would love to build again (I am not sure my husband will let me - but if we do move, it will be to a house we build) and next time I will be more prepared and have a better understanding of what I want.