10 Must Do’s For Your Build
Having recently finished our build there are a few things I feel compelled to recommend to my building and reno friends. Some make your life so much easier, some will save you money and maybe a couple will mitigate some spousal disputes. I’m no expert and I’m sure others have fantastic ideas too, but sharing what I’m thankful we did and I hope it helps you. Let me know what you think!
1. Cubbies in the shower
What’s the alternative, a plastic little caboodle sitting on the floor of your brand new shower? Such an easy one to overlook and it’s a serious no brainer. It comes in a form that fits in right between the 2x4’s and gets tiled over, minimal additional cost.
2. Faucet handle
Bear with me on this one. Typically the handle is positioned right under the faucet and that works great for tub/shower combos where you get in from the side (even though you still have to bend over). With walk in showers you would have to do some matrix bullet scene moves to turn it on and not get wet. I think about these things, late at night. So, we put ours right to the side so you don’t have to bend over, step in, or get wet to turn the water on. Another great idea at no or minimal cost to you.
3. Shower head
I’m married to a guy with #tallmanproblems, and even if you’re not a freak of nature giraffe like my husband (love you boo), why are shower heads always so low? Don’t people like to pretend they’re in the amazon enjoying a rain shower, just me?
4. Half Shiplap wall
I’m probably going to make the world really pissed off at me, but I’m just going to say it. I love shiplap, I drool when I see it on entire walls and rooms, it really is so pretty. Here is my honest moment, I’m not sure I’m always going to love it and it’s always going to be on trend the way it is now.
5. Pick out your big items ahead of time, do this for two important reasons
1) So you’re not stressed when all of a sudden your house is almost done and you need to buy all the furniture and fixtures. It takes A LOT of mind space and wallet space, stretching all that out helps so much with stress and space design.
2) Save money, a lot of money. Pick out what you want early and wait for it to go on sale. Building takes a long time so use that to your advantage. I was able to get my pottery barn island pendants and dining room fixture but waiting for them to go on sale and I registered my email and got another coupon that I used on top of the sale prices. My World Market kitchen stools is another one I got ahead of time, they go 40% off a few times a year so I waited and ordered it then.
My only caution on this approach is to make sure you unbox and check the items really well when you get them because they may be sitting around way past the return date before they make it to your new place
6. Custom Touches
This is where everyone’s husband, or whoever reels in the budget starts to hate me. Do something special and uniquely you somewhere. Not everyone can build everything completely custom and you don’t need to at all to give your house its own identity. We did this in a few places, the custom barn doors and front posts our builder made for us give our house its own distinctiveness. Another lower budget thing we added was the custom metal sign on our kitchen hood, it really shows the personality of our family.
7. Illusion of a metal roof
When we picked our floor plan I NEEDED the metal roof, I was prepared to rearrange the entire budget to make it work. I did a ton of research on metal roofs and what I learned is that in our area they cost about 3x a traditional roof and only last 2x as long. When we actually figured out our budget and had to make decisions on the types of finishes we wanted throughout, it became clear to me that I’d rather invest on the inside, where we actually spend our time than the outside. It was a tough one, I felt pretty deflated about it at first to be honest. My heart hurt, and I kept thinking about it so we came up with the idea to just do the overhangs in metal. This gives a metal roof feel and it gives the illusion of a metal roof, I’m seeing this approach on more and more builds now and I really do think it’s an awesome idea!
8. Electronics Cabinet
This one was 100% my husbands idea, I freggin love that guy. We had this gorgeous stone fireplace going in with a big custom mantle, the only spot for the TV is on the wall above the mantle. Where are all the electronics going to go, the cable box, dvd player, remotes, Wifi tower thingy, wires? Our builder was able to craft this cabinet on the far side of the fireplace that’s only visible from our master. Just do this one, make sure they put an outlet in there too.
9. Take your time to shop for counters
This was a journey, first I wanted Quartz but the specific ones I wanted were way out of budget.Then I wanted white granite. We went to the local granite store and they had some but nothing I was in love with, they sent us to the distributors where we could see thousands of slabs. What I’ll say is that granite looks SO different in real life then it does in photos.Pieces we thought we would love online, we hated in person, it took a lot of time. We settled on White Ice granite but each slab is so different, many of them having a yellow/beige in the background. We went to a few places and found the whitest one that had blue hues in it to match our navy island. Long story short, start early and if you go with granite pick out your specific slab. And please enjoy the irony of my putting a granite picture here after saying you can't go by pictures.
10. Take pictures of the framing with the electric and pluming before the sheetrock goes up in each room
Why? So you don’t screw up the wall in the future when you decide to nail in 100 fabric flowers or whatever.You’ll never have to wonder how things were run or what’s behind the walls!