Building a new home comes with a million decisions, some big and some small. When you’re working with a custom homebuilder like CMS Homes LLC, you can choose exactly what you want in your new home. But what if you have a long-term plan that doesn’t quite fit into your short-term budget? Or what if you just want the freedom to change your mind, without having to spend a fortune? Here’s are some tips on what you should try to include during the initial build, and what can be most easily added or changed later.
What to Include
Starting with energy efficient appliances can save you money right from the start, but pay special attention to cabinets and storage spaces. Kitchen remodels are one of the most costly — and frequent, especially if you start ripping out walls to make room for that island you thought you could live without.
Plumbing is another one of those things it’s best to install during construction, before the drywall goes up and things get tricky. Structural upgrades, like special nooks and crannies in walls for your shampoo, conditioner and soap, are also best to do from the start. (This holds true for any special structural customizing you might want to try throughout the house, whether that’s built-in bookshelves or a window-side reading nook.)
Light fixtures themselves are relatively cheap to replace, but the wiring and installation can often be messy and expensive. If you think you might want a dimmer switch or something similar in the long-run, be sure to at least get the capability set up during construction — before the drywall goes up.
While you’re at it, take special care with the electrical work during construction. Add extra outlets — indoor and outdoor — and consider running cable conduits throughout, just in case that future home theater ever becomes a reality. And if you are big on Christmas lights put an outlet in the soffit on a switch that’s located inconspicuously. It may seem like it’s expensive now, but that cost will only get higher if you wait and try to put it in later.
Anything that you think could involve tearing something out and replacing it later, it’s probably best to just upgrade it now. The staircase for instance — if you want to upgrade to solid wood, it will be more cost effective to do that during the build process than to tear out the stairs and replace them later on (not to mention, this way you don’t have to use a ladder to get to the upstairs bathroom). Closets are another big item to take into account. If you want that walk-in closet, don’t wait. Fireplaces are also best planned for during construction.
Windows and Doors
Once again, anything that would require a major structural change to the building is much easier, and more cost effective, to accommodate during the building process versus after. Think you want a large picture window or a sliding glass door? Put them in now. Even if you just want a couple extra windows here and there, go for it sooner rather than later.
The big takeaway here is that any major structural change that requires tearing up floors, ceilings, or walls, gets messy and expensive in a hurry.
What You Can Wait On
If you’re not sure what sort of look you want the outside of your property to have, or if you know but can’t quite afford it just yet, that’s OK. Landscaping can be worked on once the home build is complete in various stages, generally at whatever budget level is comfortable for you.
If you change your mind on what color your new home should be, that’s a relatively inexpensive upgrade you can make after the fact. You can hire someone to do it for you, or you can even head over to your local hardware store and buy the supplies to do it yourself.
If you want a deck or a patio, or some other outdoor space, that can be installed to an existing home relatively cheap. Improve.net estimates that the average deck costs about $6,500; more elaborate ones can cost much more than that, while very basic ones might cost even less. (Keep in mind, you will likely need to get a permit before installing.)
Still have questions on what to upgrade now and what can wait? Contact us, and we’d be happy to help!