Home Build – Follow Up
Many of you followed us through the construction process of our home. It’s hard to believe we have been living here for over a year! I thought I would post a follow up that may be helpful to others that are considering new construction route.
It’s been a great first year in our home. We love the layout, garage space, kitchen, home office, and we lucked out with awesome neighbors all the way around us. There have been a few minor things that, looking back, I wish we would have done a little different or given more thought during construction process. For instance, there are a couple places additional outlets would be handy (I’ll probably add a couple). We were sticking to a budget when we built, so we opted for some cheaper finishes, like laminate flooring instead of hardwood. Now, I wish we would have just sprung for the hardwood. All in all, we have been quite happy with everything though.
One thing people should be aware of when buying a brand new house though… If you think a new house means no work and no extra costs because everything is done and new, you’re mistaken. We’ve had a steady stream of home owner projects since we moved in. Of course, this is partly because we didn’t spend the money to have these things done for us up front, and that was our choice. Unless you are paying the builder for every detail down to the landscaping, you’ll at likely have some work to do. Just make sure you are prepared for the work and the costs associated with your projects. Luckily, I’m pretty handy and I enjoy household projects (when I can find the time). Here’s what we’ve done:
First we finished the closets; you can read about the closet upgrades in a previous post. We decided we wanted more than the standard builder shelf and closet rod, but it would have pushed us over our budget to have the builder do it. So, we did it on our own. This was a bit of a headache, because when you move in, where do you want to put things to get the boxes out of your way, the closets. This ended up being a rush job.
Next we finished our home office. The office was an empty room. We added cabinetry that matches our kitchen, shelving, and counter tops. This is probably the most used room in the house. It has been great for working from home, and it’s set up perfectly for meeting with clients.
Following the office, we spruced up the front of the house with some red brick landscape edging, landscaping stone, plantings, a small tree, and a screen door. Within our subdivision covenants, we are required to do a certain amount of landscaping based on a scoring system within a year of occupancy. I don’t really think anyone is going around checking to make sure people have done this, but I’m glad we did it anyway. We have some work to do yet with a few more plantings next year, but at least the yard is starting to look a little more complete.
Finally, we had Ageless Concrete do a stamped and stained patio for us. It turned out great. We opted not to have the builder do a patio/cement slab or deck when the house was originally done. This is probably the most enjoyable addition to the house. It’s created another entertaining space, and we’ve enjoyed many bonfires and cookouts with friends and neighbors already.
On the list of projects to finished will be the basement and install cabinetry in the mud room. Now that we have a recent addition to the family (Charlotte is 5 months old already), we need some space to stash all the kid stuff.
With any home, there will always be things you’ll want to improve and add. Although, just because your buying new, don’t think it’s all done. This is the great thing about home ownership – you have the opportunity to make it your own and change what you want.