You can read all about my experiences building a house here.
Here are my tips on how we saved on building our house!
- We put in laminate counter tops. While I would have liked something prettier, I like what we picked out, and we can easily change them out in the future!
- Wire Shelving. I asked them not to add the wire shelving that is standard in all 3 of the closets in the kid bedrooms, the laundry room and the mudroom. I knew day one I was going to have a wooden closet organizer put in the kids bedrooms, and the craft room I was going to do some sort of adjustable shelving, so why have them put the holes in the wall just for me to tear them out! We saved a lot! But then we had a laundry room and mudroom with no shelving what so ever.... it took a couple moths to get these spaces functional, but I would do it again!
- Mirrors. I asked them not to put mirrors in the main floor powder room and in the master bathroom. I bought my own, and in my style for less than the boring builder ones.
- Bath Room Accessories. Originally I upgraded my powder room towel bar and toilet paper holder to bronze to match my lighting and door nobs, but after thinking about how much they were charging for the upgrade, I had them completely remove these items from the bathroom and I ordered exactly what I wanted online for less than what the basic builder ones cost. Yes I had to install a toilet paper holder and towel ring day one, but it was so easy!! And saved me!
- Towel Bars. In both the kids bathroom and the master bathroom, I asked for all towel bars to be removed. Towel bars don't work for kids, in my opinion, and I had hooks with their initials I wanted to use. Simple money saved!
- Carpet. I have a 5 and 3 year old. They are messy. It is only a matter of time before they pee, poop and throw up on the carpet. At some point in the future, we can replace the carpet when this is gross. The included carpet is just fine!
- Vinyl Flooring. I almost upgraded the vinyl flooring in our mudroom. I am so glad I didn't. The included kind I picked looks fabulous. And honestly I never look at it anyways. We also used the included vinyl in both upstairs bathrooms. Someone thought it was tile, it looks great. Money saved!
- Deck. I do NOT want a cookie cutter deck. So we saved about $1,000 by having them put in a "Jump Deck" which is about 4 feet by 8 feet. Basically, it is considered a legal exit in the event of a fire, because we could jump from it??
- Kitchen Faucet. Our island with our kitchen sink is in the middle of everything. This was a must for me.
- Front Door Handles. The standard front door handle was just a simple twist knob. Seemed like the thing to do to put a prettier handle on to welcome people to our home.
- Laundry Sink Hook-up. I have never had a sink in my laundry room before. Several people told me we would want this. So I got this. Almost 6 months in, I have not added a laundry sink yet.
- Light Fixtures. I splurged on pendants for above the island and for the dinning room. They were really not that much of a splurge, but man were they worth it. Several people ask if the fixtures are Pottery Barn!!! I almost only did the island pendants and not the dinning room light, but I am so glad I did both. The lights are fabulous!
What I almost upgraded, but didn't
- Tray Ceiling in Bedroom. This was $350. I wish we would have upgraded this. But then I think does it really matter??
- Built in Garbage Can. I remember telling the builder a pull out garbage can was a must. A MUST!! Then I saw it was $250 for a pull out garbage can and I re-thought it. And I am actually ok with the fact I turned this down. It was a small container and we have a lot of garbage, we would have had to empty it a lot during the week.
- Painting. When they handed us the keys, the entire house was painted "Heather" or white. By the time we slept here for the first time 2 days later 3 rooms were no longer white. And since then a total of 7 rooms have been painted. At the time I wished we would have had them paint the rooms, but we survived and my husband so nicely even helped out with a few rooms!!