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Old 03-25-2011, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
680 posts, read 1,552,030 times
Reputation: 509

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If you are on a budget, don't do solid surface countertops. There are some REALLY fun laminate options out there, and they are so easy to change later. If you want to splurge just a little, you could do your island in solid surface and the countertops in laminate, the mismatched look is very popular right now.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:02 AM
 
39 posts, read 76,937 times
Reputation: 29
Toilets with elongated toilet seats, your bottom will thank you for it : ) and don't forget Radiant Barrier Decking.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:53 AM
 
15,065 posts, read 19,701,220 times
Reputation: 12234
When I bought my house from Fieldstone I made sure that I got:
- House facing west to get shade in my backyard in the afternoon
- Porch, I was told that once your house is built, you can't expand forward at all.
- Optional bathroom downstairs.
- My wife tells me that the dishwasher that we got is crappy, we got the cheapest one.
- Don't build anything in the backyard. I was going to be charged $2000 for a 10'x10' patio with cover. I hired some guy and built a 40'x10' with no cover for the same price.
- Try to get as many windows as possible. (pantry, bathroom, garage)


Check the size of your garage, we had the option of having a 1 or 2 car garage. What they call 1 car garage fits one car and you can barely open the doors.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:08 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,164 posts, read 20,470,249 times
Reputation: 26443
We got vaulted ceilings and 42" upper cabinets. We didn't get any upgraded light fixtures, ceiling fans, etc. because those are easy to change out later.

I wish I had gotten the tile backspash in the kitchen, and elongated toilets. I can change out the toilet myself but my husband is insisting on getting several years of use out of the ones that came with the house.

In terms of resale value, our realtor said if you have an option to get two sinks in the master bath, it's always the best thing to do.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:20 PM
 
10 posts, read 17,232 times
Reputation: 20
We are building with DW also in Indain Springs. They started this week WooHoo!!!!! We went to the design center 2 weeks ago and it was so fun but stressful at the same time, since we did it all in ONE day... I think we went a little over broad We did the watersoftner loop... adding the system later.... Kept the basic britch cabnets, so I could get my level 3 granite.... added hardwoods to all non wet floor area.. (not a big carpet fan) but the carpet we did do was the level 1...they said it it would never smell!!! We will see about that with my 2 kiddo's. We also did a bump up to the cabnets in the kitchen, so it would look more custom. One thing I had to have was a frosted glass in the bathroom and the elongated toliets... it was about $500 for 4 of them.... It to warn you things add up fast!!!!! We went about 4,000 over our buget but I think it is going to be well worth it!
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:11 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
584 posts, read 1,009,457 times
Reputation: 412
We upgraded many items. It cost us approx. an additional $45K
-Radient Barrier Roof
-Cable/phone outlets in all rooms (bedrooms, study, media, family, etc.)
-42" Cabinets
-Shaver height counters in bathrooms. Kids can use a step stool but I don't want to bend over to a short sink
-Carpet and bad
-appliances
-Bay Windows
-3rd Garage
-Countertops (corian)
-extended concrete patio (we have since added on and put a patio cover)
-Sprinkler system in front where the builder did sod. (we hired same company to put sprinkler/sod in back yard)
-Rounded corners
-Stone on front of house (of course the one I liked - Old Colonial - was an upgrade)
-Paint (yes the one I liked was an upgrade)
-Front door
-First floor (except study and Master) all tiles and on a diagonal.

I upgraded a lot but in the end I got the home I wanted I wasn't ready to change anything.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:28 PM
 
8 posts, read 27,100 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you to everyone who has responded! There have been some really great suggestions. I never ever would have thought of an elongated toilet seat?! hAAA! thanks rocksmom!

I'm keeping good notes with so many of your suggestions. Keep them coming! THANK YOU!
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:31 PM
 
5,632 posts, read 6,445,424 times
Reputation: 3608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penquin927 View Post
We upgraded many items. It cost us approx. an additional $45K
-Radient Barrier Roof
-Cable/phone outlets in all rooms (bedrooms, study, media, family, etc.)
-42" Cabinets
-Shaver height counters in bathrooms. Kids can use a step stool but I don't want to bend over to a short sink
-Carpet and bad
-appliances
-Bay Windows
-3rd Garage
-Countertops (corian)
-extended concrete patio (we have since added on and put a patio cover)
-Sprinkler system in front where the builder did sod. (we hired same company to put sprinkler/sod in back yard)
-Rounded corners
-Stone on front of house (of course the one I liked - Old Colonial - was an upgrade)
-Paint (yes the one I liked was an upgrade)
-Front door
-First floor (except study and Master) all tiles and on a diagonal.

I upgraded a lot but in the end I got the home I wanted I wasn't ready to change anything.
Seems like to me that some of these listed should just be options but not necessary upgrades that you have to pay extra for.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:59 PM
 
15,065 posts, read 19,701,220 times
Reputation: 12234
Quote:
Originally Posted by transplant-texan View Post
I never ever would have thought of an elongated toilet seat?! hAAA! thanks rocksmom!
You only need that if you have an elongated ..... family
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:15 AM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,274 posts, read 9,037,947 times
Reputation: 6380
Here's what we did w/ours:

3-car garage (all the neighbors now hate me ) - but the extra room is NICE
Extra 110 v outlets in garage - all garage outlets @ 46" (LOTS easier to access, and stuff on floor doesn't block 'em. Also had a 220 v outlet installed @ 46" in the garage for my air compressor.
Water softener loop, with the drain @ no more than 12" above the floor. I then installed a "mud sink" in the garage next to the softener, with one faucet giving me soft water, the other hard water (so wife has hard water for her inside plants without having to go outside).
Radient Barrier Roof - this house is 'bout 800 sq ft larger than the old one, and yet our average utility bill the past 6 years is about $80/mo less.
Cable/phone outlets in all rooms (bedrooms, office, living, family), made sure phone outlet next to cable outlet in living room in case phone lines ever became usable for cable service
We opted for fairly standard cabinets, because the plan is to pay the house off early, then remodel the kitchen, knowing that it would be about the same cost as doing it during construction, but we wouldn't be paying long term finance charges that way. Extra cabinets above all commodes, as well as above washer and dryer. Watch the cabinet heights above the washer/dryer. I measured the height of the washing macine with an open lid, and had the cabinets mounted 2" above that height.
Upgraded carpet and padding w/scotchguard
Double oven, vent-top island stove w/duplex outlets on each end of the island. Cabinet cut-out for trash compactor.
Two windows in garage - sliders @ 5' height for head-high ventilation.
12 x 25' cement patio
Rounded corners
Full brick exterior
Leaded glass entry door
Full tile in kitchen and Master Bath
Separate glass shower
French doors leading to office
Prewired for surround sound and stereo into dining area
Prewired for ceiling fan on front porch
Prewired for external speakers on back patio
Lots of other little stuff that escapes me right now...all told, about 40k, and 3 pages

Thanks to Peguin for his detailed list - sounds to me like we had a lot of the same "hot buttons", so I used his listing as a basis for mine! One of the big issues for me was the extra outlets (and height) in the garage - can't tell you how many houses I've had to add wiring into the garage over the years, so I was determined to have plenty in THIS place!
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