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Old 04-24-2012, 11:21 AM
 
28 posts, read 202,654 times
Reputation: 19

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I have bought a new home from a builder and am in the process of selecting my upgrades and I see that the prices for most of the upgrades are skyrocketing. I have been looking online for advice from people who have been through this process.

What I would like to know is for the list of mandatory upgrades that I should go with the builder which I cannot do later. Also the list of upgrades which I can do later with an independent contractor.

Below are few which I have already agreed upon to be done with the builder.
  1. Stone front - 7k
  2. Additional stone by the garade - 4k
  3. Increase basement height from 8 to 9feet - 7k
  4. Rough plumbing for future bath in the basement - 3k
  5. Oak tread Pine Risers (stairs ) - $2,100
  6. 2 Zone heat & A/c - $4,425.

I have an appointment scheduled to select my interiors and the rest of the home. Am in a confused situation whether to go for all the standard which the builder provides for now and later hire a contractor to redo the job for a much lower price. If I opt for this choice, what are the mandatory things that I should go with the builder.

Below are list of upgrades with pricing provided by the builder which I have selected for the kitchen randomly for comparison purpose and the below list is not yet finalized.

  • cabinets - $5500
  • crown moulding - $965
  • rope - $800
  • rollout shelf - $100
  • lazy susan - $325
  • wine rack - $425
  • clear glass door - $435
  • 4 drawer base - $370
  • trash pull out - $315
  • dishwasher front pnl - $315
  • false door - $2000
  • kitchen full bksplash - $2000
  • countertop granite - $5000
  • dishwasher ug 7 - $880
  • microwave - $500
  • range - $1185
  • soap dispenser - $90
  • kitchen faucet - $500
  • sink deep 9" double undermount - $1205
  • kitchen tile - $2500
  • tile diagnol - $600

Please advice me.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:38 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,426 times
Reputation: 10
My husband is a builder here in NJ and, after reading this list to him, he warns that bringing someone in to do the job later will save you about 30%, but may cause a huge mess [and added $$$ later]. Given the fact that he may not be a completely unbiased opinion, take that with what you may. He also suggests that you avoid getting any appliances through the builder... get them independently. Good Luck!
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:25 PM
 
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Our realtor advised us against going under contract with a builder unless the home is at least 80% done. She sais that they will nickel and dime you on everything that they were planning to do otherwise for the same price. please do some hardball negotiating and don't fall into that trap!
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:27 PM
 
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What is the price point for this house? If it is in the higher tier for the area, granite is not an extra as there is no way he builder would be able to sell pricey new construction without upgraded counters.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Midwest transplant
2,048 posts, read 5,264,885 times
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You can get your appliances from an independent company or even from Sears and they will install for much less than you are being quoted.

I would negotiate HARD for many of these. Consider what you really want or think you'll need, and what might just be nice to have. If you think you are staying in this house forever, then go for it. But if it's a home that will be sold in a few years, I would probably not sink the money into many upgrades.

If you wouldn't mind disclosing the base price or price range for this home, I would agree with the others, in that some of these would/should be standard in a higher end home, and if the home is in the mid-range, many of these upgrades will outprice your house from others in the neighborhood.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:54 AM
 
3,870 posts, read 5,558,609 times
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Came across your thread...

Having built 3 houses, the one thing that can never be changed are structural.

Stone front - 7k
Additional stone by the garade - 4k
Increase basement height from 8 to 9feet - 7k
Rough plumbing for future bath in the basement - 3k
Oak tread Pine Risers (stairs ) - $2,100
2 Zone heat & A/c - $4,425.

All of these are upgrades that you cannot do later except the Pine Risers..... Are you putting hardwood in everywhere?

dishwasher ug 7 - $880

Top of the line dishwasher with two drawer is $1300

http://www.lowes.com/pd_332016-46-KUDE50CXSS_4294796368+4294857925+5003705+5005561_4 294937087_?productId=3364060&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ ord_nbr|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&curre ntURL=%2Fpl_4_4294796368%2B4294857925%2B5003705%2B 5005561_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_n br%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetIn fo=$1000%20-%20$2000|4

microwave - $500

Again you can find a convection top of the line for $500

range - $1185
soap dispenser - $90
kitchen faucet - $500
disposal $800 It's $200 at home depot for a 3/4 horse power...
sink deep 9" double undermount - $1205

I would do this even though they are gouging you on this it should be around $500 including installation.

Last edited by bellhead; 04-25-2012 at 07:09 AM..
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:19 AM
 
28 posts, read 202,654 times
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Thanks everyone.

Bayra1ae,
Going with the builder, the rough estimate for the jus the kitchen upgrades is coming to 28k. Am looking to make a decision if it’s worth going with a contractor down the road to save any $$ I can. The builder insists that I have to get all the appliances through the builder at his design center except refrigerator, washer & dryer.

Magic78,
Unless I sign the contract and provide them with a bank commitment letter, they wouldn’t start building the home (atleast the story with this builder).
House base price is 500k. We tried negotiating hard on the base price but haven’t succeeded a bit. However they have provided with 22k incentives which I can use against the upgrades. This has already been spent against the structural upgrades J
It’s surprising the granite is an upgrade here for this pricey new construction. Below are the standard features provided by the builder.
Kitchen features designed for gourmet dining:
· Recessed panel wood cabinetry with 42” uppers
· Laminate countertops
· Center islands (per plan)
· Panty (per plan)
· Vinyl flooring
· GE® self-cleaning gas oven/range
· GE® microwave vented to the outside
· GE® multi-cycle dishwasher
· Sterling by Kohler® single bowl stainless steel sink
· Kohler® single-lever faucet with sprayer

Teachbeach,
When I asked the same question with the builder, they out rightly said that am obligated to buy all the appliances at their design center, except for the refrigerator, washer & dryer. They said Sear, HD and the rest are quite competitive and they can’t match those prices.
I am looking to stay here for around 7-10yrs. So the whole reason me being here is am trying to figure out what I really might need and a separate list of what might be nice to have (based on my budget). Am a first time homebuyer and not quite familiar with the whole house thing. All the homes in this community are priced over 500k. It’s a 350 homes community (08872)J.

Bellhead,
I was told that if I do the carpet now on the stairs, I wouldn’t be able to change that to hardwood down the road for whatever reason. That’s why I had to go with Oak tread pine risers.
Out of the structural upgrades I listed, am still debating if I need to get the ‘rough plumbing for future bath in the basement’ done now for 3k. I was told that the price was just not right. Am not looking to finish the basement atleast until 2/3 yrs.

I initially wanted to do hardwood all over the 1st floor, tiles in kitchen & foyer and carpet on the 2nd floor. Now am debating if I need to go with the standard the builder is offering and later upgrade it with a contractor. What the builder is offering is -
· carpet on 1st,
· hardwood in foyer
· powder room – tile
· laundary room – vinyl
· kitchen/breakfast – vinyl
· dining room – carpet
· living room – carpet
· family room - carpet
· bedrooms - carpet

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Old 04-25-2012, 09:41 AM
 
357 posts, read 931,431 times
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nj_dude, out of curiosity what area of NJ is this.

I can't even believe that for 500k you don't even get tile.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:43 AM
 
28 posts, read 202,654 times
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Townelake at Sayreville, NJ
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:10 AM
 
3,870 posts, read 5,558,609 times
Reputation: 1932
The reason he is wanting you to go with appliances out of his design center is he gets a cut of the price. Basically is he buying them at dealer price and then adds a % to them.

The risers on the stair thing is not now or never, but the price isn't unreasonable. The question is what type of hardwood do you have in mind two to three years down the road?

Take a look at Lumber Liquidators. A house I own in Cincinnati when I bought the house, I didn't like any of the builder flooring options at that time and they were extremely high on the price. Most builder prices are around $12 a square ft. for the cheap oak, more if you want exotics. I ended up going to LL and paying a contractor $3 a foot to install 1400 square feet of flooring. I bought the flooring for $2.19 a foot. It came out a lot cheaper that way and I had a lot better floor. The current house I am in now, we had a 50k options pack we negotiated and my wife at the design center had a melt down and got her flooring, it costs 22k for Brazilian Cherry covering 1600 square feet which is $13.75 a square foot and the downstairs is engineered and cheap. I hate it.
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