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Old 03-26-2011, 08:55 PM
 
8 posts, read 26,874 times
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wow! There are SO many great suggestions! Thank you for taking the time to write them out for us. I am feeling so much more prepared for our big design appointment.

I especially love helendha's comment about going into the appointment saying, "here are the big ticket items... let's price them out and then figured out what funds we have left over in our budget." So smart!

It's easy to get starry eyed with all the upgrades, but one of the big reasons we decided to build in the first place is so that we could pick the floor-plan that fit our family and be able to pick out a FEW of the pieces that were most important to us.

Love the suggestions. If you have more, keep them coming. I'm taking notes!
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:41 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
188 posts, read 548,786 times
Reputation: 144
I think the suggestions here are so great. Here's my 2 cents - some may be a repeat...

I agree with extra outlets in the garage. Also if you have a balcony, get an extra outlet up there or under your eaves... for holiday lights! And extra outlets in a pantry or closet for rechargable appliances such as a dustbuster, and one on stairwells for the vacuum or a nightlight...those are the best and aren't very standard.

Instead of granite countertops we have silestone which is a quartz composite, and I could not love them more. Cheaper than granite, but just as good I think and you don't have to seal it or worry about stains, etc.

Rounded top doorways for passthroughs with no door (such as into the kitchen, etc.) - it looks so nice and isn't really easy to do later. Also rounded corners are also nice.

Agree 100% with the water softener loop and block/wire all rooms for ceiling fans! Also phone/tv/internet jacks in each room.

Master bath, 2 sinks, big tub (as big as you can as it's hard to replace later, but buyers LOVE a big tub... at least I know I do...) and a separate shower. Elongated toilets yay!

If your lot won't allow for a 3 car garage (if it does... get it!!!) then maybe you can ask to extend the garage out or over by even a couple feet? This isn't enough for another car of course, but gives you a lot more storage space.

Congrats on the new house! Welcome to SA!
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:32 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
581 posts, read 1,002,851 times
Reputation: 406
Definitely get plumbed for the water softner. We did that and we have a neighbor that did not and she got a price to do it afterwards and it was a lot of money.

I forgot to mention that we also installed a cable outlet outside on our patio since we do enjoy taking a TV outside to watch while relaxing on our patio or hot tub.

We did not upgrade any lighting, facets, etc. We didn't want to be limited with builder choices and we could do this ourselves. All rooms were blocked for ceiling fans. Of course master and family room came with ceiling fans.

When we were building our house I had a spreadsheet that I put together that included every line item and the cost. I had the pricesheet before going to the design center so I knew the cost down to the penny of everything. Things like cable, phone, 3rd garage, bay windows, 42" cabinets, etc. I knew I was going to do so I instantly new the cost. Of course deciding on colors was what I needed to do at the design center.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
188 posts, read 548,786 times
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Ooh just thought of another one... looking up at the top of my pantry... it is all just wasted space. I know they don't put shelves up that high because really, who could reach them without a stepstool or something, but I WISH I had asked for shelves all the way up (or at least ONE more shelf). It would be the perfect place for those large items you only use rarely, like a turkey fryer or tiered plate stand. Same for the laundry room - a shelf high up for bulk TP/paper towels so I can shop at Costco and not have a storage issue!
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:13 AM
 
10 posts, read 17,136 times
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We are building to and just called my sales rep for David weekely and added a plug in the pantry!!!! What a fab ideas!! I wish I posted this post before we went to our design meeting!!!
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,620 posts, read 12,857,510 times
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First things to remember when going to make your selections at a builders showroom, One- it's a profit center and it's designed to up sell you. Second- NEVER upgrade any wearable like carpet. You'll be paying on that carpet for the next 30 years but it's life is only 10 or so years. Up grade the pad will add life to the standard carpet, make it look and feel like the upgrade carpet, and the pad is reusable. Same for upgrading appliances-don't. If it's an option, upgrade tubs to enamel steel at least. Avoid any fiberglas showers or tubs. They don't last long and they don't clean good. Unless you have already owned one, avoid a spa type tub. They are a growing ground for mould and mildew. Avoid any paint upgrades as the builder will almost always charge you for the paint and labor to put it on but he will not give you credit for the paint that comes standard with the house. Avoid lot premiums. In most subdivisions where you might pay $5,000 for a tree, in 10 years you can grow your own where YOU want it. Lot premiums are major profit makers for the builder- he didn't pay more for it I can assure you. Avoid the "green" options like an A/C unit of a higher SEER rating. You'll be paying for that upgrade including interest for the next 30 years- the unit will not last as long as the payment. Just remember whatever you select you'll be paying for it for the entire length of the mortgage including interest and possibly mortgage insurance. It can get EXTREMELY expensive over the long run.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:52 PM
 
846 posts, read 921,336 times
Reputation: 995
WOW!!! This is great stuff and I now have a great list of things to consider when I go pick my options. I'm considering David Weekley to build my new home and I'm looking at the Preserve. We really love the 2x6 framing but when I worked the numbers comparing them to another builder I'm looking at, I'll be paying about 19k more for that framing because so many things that come standard with the other builder are upgrades for Weekley i.e. granite counters, large covered patio, stainless steel appliances, and the list goes on and on. We like the quality and look of the other builder that uses 2x4 framing so we're just trying to figure out if the 2x6 framing is really worth the extra money. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:20 PM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,253 posts, read 8,958,775 times
Reputation: 6339
Yeah - you get what you pay for. Cosmetic stuff is gonna be gone in 20 years - the bones of the house are what's gonna make you appreciate long after the other stuff is forgotten/replaced. Go price a 2 x 4, then a 2 x 6 - I think you'll better appreciate just how little that better wood is costing you.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:49 AM
 
846 posts, read 921,336 times
Reputation: 995
Very valid point. I think I'll do that. Thanks for the tip
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:06 AM
 
846 posts, read 921,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transplant-texan View Post
My husband and I just signed a contract on a David Weekley home. We're new to this whole "building" process, and have our first appointment at the Design Center on Monday. Because they only schedule TWO appointments for you to decide ALL the details of your home, we've feeling a little overwhelmed.
We know to upgrades = lots of money, so we're seeking your advice.

What were some of the "must-have" upgrades that you made to your Weekley (or any other builder, for that matter), and approximate cost?
Were they worth it? Was there anything that you didn't upgrade that you now regret skipping? Anything you upgraded that you wish you hadn't now that you've moved in, or wish you had done on your own after purchase?

We could definitely use any advice you have on the matter! THANK YOU in advance!
Please let us know how your experience has gone with Weekley because we are about to make our decision on them as our builder so any feedback you can share would be helpful.
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