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Old 03-25-2011, 06:20 AM
8 posts, read 27,082 times
Reputation: 11


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!
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:11 AM
284 posts, read 819,598 times
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We built with Weekley. You will work with a licensed interior designer so don't worry about being overwhelmed! They can help!

Even though our cabinets are apparently nice, I wish I would have upgraded them even more. They scratch so easily! I also would have liked to upgrade the edge on our granite.

We extended the tile from the entry leading into the kitchen so that you can walk on tile from the front door to the kitchen. I hate traffic patterns on carpet!

We upgraded the fireplace with all stone to the ceiling. That is just something I wanted...it cost about $1400 to do that.

All in all, I think we added about $40k to the base price including the lot premium. There are lots of things we have done since....we just didn't want to add it to our 30 year note...luckily my husband is handy so we can do it ourselves. We just installed wood flooring for probably a 1/4 of the cost it would have cost to pay someone.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:16 AM
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Upgrade the carpet and pad. You will thank yourself later. It will feel better under your feet every day and wear longer than the basic carpet, so it pays for the upgrade with a longer life.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:43 AM
8 posts, read 27,082 times
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Texasgirl1, we're planning to upgrade the cabinets and do an extended foyer, so I'm glad you are helping to justify those decisions. And, I'd never even thought about the edge on the granite! Do you mind if I ask what other things you've done since building?

And Rustybolt, thanks for the help on the carpet. We have little ones that will be on the carpet the majority of the time, good idea to upgrade the carpet AND the pad.

These are great suggestions! Any more ideas?
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:47 AM
5,629 posts, read 6,438,549 times
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The downside to granite counter tops is that when you chip or crack them, they can not be repaired. Even if you replace a section under a warranty, you will most likely not be able to match.

Last edited by Azure110; 03-25-2011 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:48 AM
291 posts, read 537,101 times
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I agree with the carpet pad comment. Our builder also had an interior specialist who helped.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:08 AM
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We've added crown molding to all of the bedrooms. I'm not sure if they will even do this upgrade but if they will at a reasonable cost, I would add it...it really finishes off the room. We added wainscoting/beadboard to all of the kid's bedrooms. We added wainscoting to the dining room. We installed some custom cabinets in our media room with a work area for my crafts and also installed recessed lighting on dimmers in there. We took out the carpet in the dining, study, & living and installed 5" distressed wood. We've also changed out most of the light fixtures in the bedrooms.

I don't think we will do too much more to the house. We are not sure how much longer we will live in this house. We have put about $15k in the house and we know we will be lucky to break even if we ever try to sell. There is too much development in this area going on now and in the near future.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:51 AM
199 posts, read 625,192 times
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I used to manage options departments for two different builders in CA. What a wave of panic your thread title brought on, LOL! Besides all of the great ideas already brought up, here are a few others that might not be obvious to think about. As long as your home is in the pre-drywall stage, you have more freedom. Additional electrical outlets, 3 way switches, water softener loop if not already standard, if it's early enough - additional hose bibs outside. Ask your design center designer to show you the standard electrical for your plan and have them explain the symbols so you can think through your house. Sometimes there are not standard outlets where a homeowner might think is a no brainer, and it's pretty inexpensive to add now. And that goes for most upgrades, because once you move in, esp. w/ little ones, you are not going to want to do it later.

Don't know where you are coming from, but in S.A. you NEED a water softener. So at least get the water softener loop if you are going to buy the system elsewhere. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask or DM me.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:52 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,822 posts, read 33,200,060 times
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If there's an insulation upgrade, get it. If there's an option for radiant barrier in the attic, get that too. They won't make your home any prettier, but your electric bill in the summer will be much less painful.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:59 AM
Location: Stone Oak
320 posts, read 935,732 times
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See if they'll let you get a preview of their design center so you can more or less get a sense of what options you'll be asked to select. Take a camera with you and then you can mull over looks and colors this weekend at your own leisure. Most design centers have a lobby area where you can roam around looking at brick colors, door types, faucet fixtures, paints, carpet types and colors etc. This area is separate from the designer's office/cubicle so you won't be interrupting anyone - but call anyway to ask for permission.

Ryland let us do this which was great since we flew in from out of state to sign a contract then we had to fly back weeks later to select options. We left from our first trip with photos of most of their design options.

Bring a camera with you anyway when you meet with the designer. This way you'll have a visual of what you selected instead of just a printed list of the options you selected that you'll be given. I don't believe your selections will be set in stone on your first or even second meeting. We changed some options weeks after we signed off on them without any problem, but do ask about dates since at some point they'll order your selections.
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