When you purchase a resale home, you also purchase its charms – for better or for worse. With a new construction home, you have a blank slate to bring your own idea of charm to life. Although some new construction homes that are attached to a planned development or subdivision have many predetermined aesthetic and structural attributes, there may be a surprising amount of room to customize if you simply ask and are willing to pay for the additional expenses. This may save you from saying to yourself, “you know what would be really be great,” after the home is already built.
The top 5 most surprisingly customizable features of a new construction home include:
1) A Custom Garage
The garage just may be the most undervalued room in the house and its custom features overlooked. Think about what you’ll use the garage for. Do you like skiing, mountain biking, or other outdoor activities? Do you have kids that play baseball or football? You may want to consider a mudroom. A place where dirty items are stored. Another item that is often considered a garage necessity is an industrial sink. You can use it to rinse off outdoor tools like paint brushes, hand shovels, or wash items that are too dirty to bring in the house--like the dog who rolled in something with a mysterious odor. If you think you might use the garage as a place more for people than for cars, consider asking the builder to have its walls and ceiling insulated.
2) Sufficient Electrical Outlets
Before builders begin construction look at where the planned outlets are located. Are there enough and are they in the places you’ll really want them? Sometimes the one outlet hiding behind the couch simply isn’t enough to power your entire living room. At holiday time, you may put light up decorations in our front windows or on top of fireplaces, where an outlet nearby would be useful. In the bathroom you may want a plug above our backsplash to plug in your personal grooming devices or for music players for shower time. Often, kitchen islands also become a places to plug in a laptop or a phone while viewing recipes for a crowd pleasing dinner, making an outlet on the side a must. Additionally, in places where you’ll be charging phones, look into upgrading to outlets with USB ports. And don’t forget the outdoors! Do you spend a lot of time outside? Do you plan on building a garden or fire pit in the corner of the yard? Ask about wiring an outlet there. Only you know where you need power most, so don’t move in and find power gaps later on.
3) Ceiling fans
If your current home’s blueprint doesn’t involve ceiling fans, have them put in! Ceiling fans across your home can provide year-round comfort and relief for stressed air conditioning systems, saving you money. In the winter months, setting fans to run clockwise to disperse rises heat back down walls and into rooms. In the summer months, setting fans to run counter-clockwise provides a light breeze for relief from undesired heat. The movement of air by fans enables you to keep your thermostat at less extreme settings, saving you on your monthly energy bill. If you have an outdoor patio, consider having fans installed there as well, so you can enjoy your patio in comfort and beat the summer heat.
You don’t have to settle on builder-grade appliances for your new construction home. If a basic white refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher aren’t going to make the impression you want, ask for black, stainless steel, or whatever color suits your unique taste. Think about how you use your kitchen--do you drink a lot of water? Opt for the water and ice dispenser on your refrigerator or freezer door. Do you cook often, or frequently host dinner parties? Opt for a modern range with an induction cooktop and a dual oven. If you have a child, look for an oven with cool touch, child lock doors. Create the kitchen that will best serve you and your family.
5) The Perfect Outdoor Space
If you are an outdoor entertainer who enjoys daytime barbeques and nights under the stars with good friends, consult with your builder about upgrading your outdoor space. Most builders will have options for swimming pools and screened-in areas, but how about pricing an outdoor gourmet grill or wet bar. These upgrades will require additional electricity and plumbing, which is what makes these types of upgrades so much easier with a new construction home. Talk to your builder about running wires for the easy installation of outdoor televisions or stereo systems.
Build Your Dream Home With a New Construction
These are just five things that you may not have known to ask your new construction builder about. Your builder is in charge of constructing your home, but you are still in charge of your builder – and your dreams. Reasonable requests and adequate funds will usually open up the doors to negotiation. You just have to ask.
If you’re ready to build your dream home in the Maryland and Washington, DC area, contact the expert realtors at the Creig Northrop team today!