Tips for Working With Your Home Builder's Design Center
Your new home plans are finalized, and now it’s time to choose the details—colors, flooring, countertops, cabinetry hardware, lighting, door knobs, and so much more. It can be a bit overwhelming if you’re unprepared, so follow these tips for working with your home builder’s design center to get the look you’re going to love for many years.
Set a budget for upgrades. You can select choices among the standard features that your home builder offers—type of color of flooring, wall colors, cabinets, lighting and plumbing fixtures, to name just a few. These are included in the price of your home. However, you will also be presented with choices for upgrades. Maybe you want granite or quartz countertops instead of a solid surface, or different doors for your kitchen cabinets. Before you walk into the design center where you will be tempted with shopping made so easy, determine how much you can afford for adding upgrades to your new home. Be sure your design center professional understands you have a limit and provides you with cost of each upgrade.
Determine your priorities. Along with coming to the builder’s design center with a budget, be clear about how you want to use those funds. Think in advance—before all those shiny choices are staring you in the face—what’s more important. For example, can you live with certain fixtures in your powder room in order to upgrade the light fixture in the foyer? Consider which details will deliver more satisfaction in the long run—and stick with that decision.
Bring pictures and swatches. You probably have ideas in mind for your interiors. Maybe you’ve pinned photos on Pinterest, torn pages out of magazines, and collected fabric and paint swatches. Bring everything you’ve gathered so you can share it with the designer. Snap photos of furniture you’ll have in your new home, with measurements, too. You’ll be able to better envision your new space when you have all these details together.
Describe your lifestyle. When you meet with your selections coordinator at the design center, talk about the way you’re going to live in your new home. Offer details like how often you entertain, the age of your children (and whether your home is the “fun place”), and where you like to eat your daily meals. Are there bottleneck places in your home, like the bathroom or kitchen? How often do you do laundry, and do you fold it in the laundry room? The more you share, the better this pro can guide you toward smart choices.
Take your time. The decisions you make at the design center will have a lasting impact on your new home. Don’t rush through them. It might be helpful to ponder some of the choices for a few days before you commit. Borrow the swatches and samples you need, look at them at different times of the day (bearing in mind it might be different in your new home), and then return to finalize the design details on your new home.