5 Things Worth The Extra Coin
Sticking to a budget is hard. Like, super hard. One of the first things I learned when going through the process of building is that even when you are really careful, there are so many things that can add to your initial scope of work. For us, it was additional rock, the cost of building products also went up from when we initially got our quotes to when we broke ground. Landscaping was a huge (necessary) but evil extra.
What made all the extra money a little easier to cope with, was knowing that almost every new construction project goes over. Every other account I was following on IG was singing the same song. Our banker (who was amazing by the way), told us over and over that 90% of projects go over and to be ready for it. Note- if you are building count on going over. Period. You will.
Christy, our builder, did a really good job at laying out our budget for each item— if she hadn’t, I am sure we would have gone even further other budget.
So of course when you are building (at least we did) you have two thoughts happening at the same time:
- If I am doing it, I want to do it right.
- And, OH MY GAAAAA we are hemorrhaging money, make it stop. Pick the cheapest thing you can find.
We lived in-between these two states for months. We have no money left, it doesn’t matter that this is the perfect FILL IN THE BLANK. And, oh well, you only live once, right?
Now that I am in the house, and can look back on those choices I can honestly say there are some places I would recommend spending the extra whatever and getting what you really want, and the things that actually, don’t matter so much.
5 Things Worth Spending Extra Money On:
- The Kitchen Design.
This is the heart of the home. The place where you will spend the majority of your time. You should love it. Every part of it. This is one area we went over. Our cabinets were about $5k more than we originally allotted. And, I wanted an extra long island, so that added cost for both the cabinet and the tops. We spent extra on our hood and had it custom made.
Although, you can probably scale back on your hardware. For example, I really wanted gold but the Emtek pulls I wanted were outrageous (beautiful but outrageous) so I found almost the same thing on Amazon. Another area I saved on was the pot filler. The Delta Champagne color I wanted was about three times the one we got (this is that area that I would say didn’t matter to spend an extra $200).
By the time we got to the front door I was over it. We had spent hours scrolling through pages of you-name-it looking for the perfect everything and although this was one of the most fun things about building, it was also the most stressful and overwhelming. Long before we broke ground I had pinned doors I loved, but by the time we got to placing the order I couldn’t find it and was honestly, tired of looking. But, luckily our builder didn’t let me settle. She said, “it’s your front door. You’ll regret it if you don’t love it”. She was right. We finally found a company that would make it custom for the space we had (because the plans called for a single and I wanted a double), it was extra but it was worth it. *Note, this is another reason you want to find the perfect builder. Christy knew my total style and vision and wouldn’t let me settle even though it meant more work for her.
3. The windows
From when we first started our search for house plans, and we decided to build a modern farmhouse, I knew I wanted black windows. But, yes, this was extra. So so so worth it. It makes the house. It makes every room. It elevates the design. And I am not talking about just the color, because it doesn’t matter if you want white, black, whatever. I think this is a place for you to get what you want. It’s not like paint, it’s not something you can change when you tire of the shape, design etc. Find your perfect windows and go!
This is everything. Another place we went over. But, it changes the whole vibe of the house. When we started to look at our budget (after we know we were over) we started thinking about places to cut back. So although we wanted hardwood on the whole lower level, we considered making the bedrooms carpet. After all, it was about half the price. I’m not sure why we decided to just go for it, but ultimately now looking back I am so glad we did. You might not ever be able to pull up that carpet and add in more wood (that matches) later. Plus, this is a huge design choice.
A place I made a mistake, I wanted black hexagon tile in the master. I loved it. But, again it was about 10x more expensive then all the other black(ish) tiles. So, I chose something I liked and used the expensive stuff just in the powderoom bathroom. Now, I wish I would have just gone for it. Again, my husband is handy but no one wants to rip up a room full of tile!
5. The Lot
Honestly, this was the biggest area we went over. Finding a lot was a whole lot harder than I thought it would be. As I mentioned, having HOA restrictions against a white modern farmhouse made our choice even more difficult. Not only that, but price was a high hurdle. For us, we wanted a flat lot- which is very hard to come by in Tennessee. We wanted a private yard where our kids could explore, play. Where we could build a playhouse and have a trampoline. But again, this is something you can’t change later. We have sat on our back porch so many times and said, we are so glad we didn’t settle. The lot is the house. So find something that checks as many boxes as possible.