Design Center Confessions: What You Need to Know

We know the design center process of building a new home can be confusing and a mystery. We took a deep dive and shared our best advice and maybe a few confessions in our newest Youtube video! I’ll break down a few of the key points below. If you’re curious what finishes we got, check out our previous design center post here or our home finishes post here.

Have a Gameplan

This is not the time to be hands-off, at least for most people. Many people will only build a house once and if you’re really lucky, twice. You want to get the best return on investment in addition to making sure the home you build is one you love. I highly recommend visiting the design center before signing your contract so you can get an idea of what they offer, what comes standard and how much it costs.

Figure Out Your Budget

The average person spend about 10 percent of the base price of the house on upgrades. We spent a little bit more than that. We’re pretty proud of how we stayed on budget and were able to get the upgraded finishes we want. We priced out the most expensive items, kept the must-haves and then cut everywhere else to make our home perfect for us.

Think Longterm

This doesn’t only apply if this is your forever home. This also ties into the care and maintenance of daily living. For example, we never could have afforded marble counters, but we also knew we couldn’t live with those. They are porous and not as durable as quartz, so we wanted something easy. I get asked often how I keep our kitchen so clean and to be honest, it’s not hard because it’ white. I can very easily see dirt, spills or stains so I clean them up right away.

Getting More Bang for your Buck

Somthing we really toyed with was if we wanted one thing, if it was worth it to go all the way or not to do it at all. For example, in our shower we were already paying for expensive subway tile. It only made sense to pay to have it go all the way to the ceiling versus having it cut off at the standard eight feet. That way we get the full effect. This was the same with our island. If we were going to get a waterfall island, we might as well get a higher quality stone to really give it that impressive effect.


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