This might be my most important tip to building a house – make sure you get the allowances for selection upfront! That means – when you get a price for the house, find out exactly what that will get you. For example:
- Type of HVAC (Carrier, Trane, etc)
- Counters: Granite, Silestone, Quartz, etc
- Appliances: KitchenAid, Wolf, Viking, Jenn Air, etc.
- Windows: Wood, vinyl, something else
- Deck: Wood or Trex (composite material)
- Fence: Wood or Composite Material
- Floors: Wood (different types of wood flooring), Carpet, Tile
- Paint: Do you get to paint colors or is the house to be delivered white?
- Siding: HardiePlank, Brick, Vinyl (unlikely)
- Options: fireplace, wet bar, gym, etc.
- Tile: the cheapest tile is basically white subway for a few dollars a piece, really nice tile can run over $20+
There are several levels to each selection. You may think you’re getting a great deal on a home, but once you start adding things or upgrading selections (the fastest way to ring up your bill is the tile, flooring, appliances, custom closets, etc) are things you haven’t thought of yet and don’t know to ask about. Most people have no idea how much tile costs until you start actually looking at the options.
Do some research on what stuff costs before you agree to anything. When you’re building a multi-million dollar home, you don’t want to be haggling over $100 worth of tile, or $200 worth of appliances, etc. You want to get what you want. There’s a reason they say to allocate an extra 10% of your purchase price for overages…it’s for stuff like this!