When we head into building a new home, it’s exciting and an opportune time to upgrade a lot of selections for better home functionality, value, and appeal, but there’s also a budget that must be maintained. Our team helps homeowners through the right upgrades to choose, but in the years of working with different homeowners, we have put together a short list to keep in mind when looking where to spend more money and where to save.
If we’ve already built a deck to fit a 4-person hot tub and an owner comes back later to say it now needs to fit 8-people, there’s a lot of cost in changing the size of that deck, including bringing in sub-contractors and parts of the team that have already moved on, like architects, designers, framers,and engineers. Structural changes are best met sooner rather than later to help save with costly charges later. Think ahead of what you may be using the home for – how many bathrooms will you need, how many carports will you need, how many bedrooms will you need? And think how this may change 5 years, 10 years, and even 20 years down the road. Thinking through these questions early on helps save money.
When it comes to reselling, homeowners love a big, open, and functional kitchen. Spending money on higher-end appliances, counters, and countertops is usually worth it in the end.
From carpets to hardwood floors and premium tile, we look at the floors of our homes more often than you’d think. People can usually tell the difference between cheap carpet and hardwood floors, so upgrading during building is a good time to go ahead and spend the money. If you go to resell, you can always have the hardwood floors re-sanded and sealed to give them a brand-new look. Also, consider in floor radiant heat. In areas where there’s more cold that warmth throughout the year, like in Winter Park, Colorado, warm floors can make or break a deal.
Finished Lower Level Floors
We don’t often see basements up in the Rocky Mountains, but with steep slopes, we’re often left with building a lower level floor that is sometimes finished and sometimes not. By not finishing your lower level, you can save a lot of money upfront, but having it finished – or at least carpeted – before you go to sell will help bring back a better return on investment.
We often get asked if ceiling fans should be installed in every room, just in the main rooms, or not at all. The answer for most homeowners is if you like ceiling fans, go ahead and install them now. That’s because coming back and changing electrical later to install fans can be costly; n other words, if 6 can lights are installed in the living room, electrical would have to be changed to bring the electricity to the middle of the room. However, we also let homeowners that are moving to the Grand County area know that most homeowners don’t use ceiling fans or air conditioners. The temperatures are usually cool enough at our elevation that simply opening windows can create a breeze to cool things down.
Built-in bunks, upgraded lighting fixtures, upgraded cabinet hardware, smart home automation, and other simple items can be done after closing and help save the budget. Talk with your builder to see what can be done later onto ensure you stay within budget.