building a new home, where would you spend your money?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Philip_G, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    As far as upgrades go? The budget is tight and I don't have a lot for upgrades, but this is what I have so far;

    corian countertops in kitchen- 900
    side by side refer.-805
    cabinets (maple, toffee finish) - 1020
    6 panel doors whole house- 600
    nice dishwasher- 384 (I think.. tough to tell from the price list)
    upgraded range/oven 206
    2nd bathroom sink- 604 (resale value I figure)
    guestimated $200 for light pre-wire
    fair carpet, the cheapest stuff is AWFUL!! The minimum I could spend and be happy- 1550

    A couple of things are a waste, but the rest I feel is worthwhile and will add value. THe rest of the flooring I'll lay tile myself, the faucets I'll replace myself etc.. No sense in paying their rip-off prices. I'm spending this much because I get a 3% allowance, but that's about all I can spend and still afford the house.
     
  2. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    My opinion is if you're on a budget, only extras that would be impossible or extraordinarily difficult to do yourself. Structural changes and the like.

    Some of the stuff, like the faucets you mentioned, are trivial to do yourself.

    Other stuff like the better cabinets are nice, but are they worth it?

    The house we just bought is 7 years old. At the time we bought it, there were several houses in the neighborhood for sale as well (same builder and style). They had different tiles, countertops, and cabinets and you know that some people spent more money on them than others when they had the house built. But now, 7 years later, the asking price on all of them are roughly the same. Nobody factored in the more expensive cabinets into the sale because at this point, it really didn't seem to matter a whole lot to the buyers. The only thing that changed the price was bigger changes such as an 2.5 bathrooms instead of 2 or an extra bedroom vs a loft. Anything that added square footage was also worth more. But the rest of it, nobody really seemd to care and the selling prices for these homes reflected that.
     
  3. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    Central Air if its an option and not included.
    6-panel doors are nice, but are they the hollow core or solid type? White or stained?
    Bullnose corners, again, if they are not standard.
    Upgraded padding.
    Hardwood floors if its an option and feasable for you.
    And last but not least, I personally would have paid top dollar for the builder of my house to have NOT put up popcorn ceilings, blech!!!!!
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    the doors are hollow, white. Those are fine to me. I'm not a huge fan of bullnose corners, I know a lot of people love them but because of the fitting of the wood trim I prefer square, I'm weird like that.

    Hardwood floors aren't an option on a concrete slab, I could rip out the carpet and do pergo later, I'll replace the vinyl flooring with tile SOON!

    No popcorn, just knockdown texture like the walls.

    As for cabinets, to me they're worth more than 1k, when you walk into a house (at least me..) and see cheap cabinets it makes the house feel cheap in my opinion.
    Besides the "standard" cabinets are particle board with a nasty "oak" vinyl veneer. I feel that the maple will give the house a better feel, though maybe not with the cheap plastic shower surrounds [​IMG]

    I'd love to have a walkout basement to finish as a HT room but I just can't afford it, that adds 13k to the price and I'm already struggling to get into a single family home.
    Here's the floorplan if you're curious.

    http://www.kbhomes.com/Community/Com...::193995::1568
     
  5. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    I'd go for upgraded carpets and cabinets. The second bathroom sink would be nice if budget allows.
     
  6. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    is it worth the cost though?
    it's $1500 to upgrade 2 levels to a decent carpet, I figure with 2 dogs any carpet is going to be shot in ~3 years, and then I'll go to the carpet barn or wherever and probably get the whole house done for 1500 or less.
     
  7. CapnSharpe

    CapnSharpe Stunt Coordinator

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    Philip_G,

    You might want to check out KB Homes reputation in your area. They aren't well thought of here in Texas - check out hobb.org and hadd.com for the details.
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  9. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    As long as the dogs dont make in the house and are only tracking dirt in - Id say forget the carpet and go for wood flooring. I installed carpet for years, and hate it. I'll never own carpet in my home again. A common mistake people make is to get really nice carpet and cheap pad. Then they dont understand why their carpet is worn in 3 years. For a bit more you can get a floor that will last much longer. Some of the synthetic flooring comes with 10 and lifetime warranties.

    Theres lots of products out there that are easy to install and look great.Its worth it to spend a bit more and get the nicer stuff(as the cheaper stuff looks cheaper).Im gonna be living on plywood and carpet fragments for awhile and finish the rooms as I can afford to.

    Im gonna be closing on a house soon myself and it needs major renovations.Im a bit lucky as I can do floring and alot of the work myself. My G/F knows carpentry and is making nice wood cabinets for the kitchen and bathrooms with stained glass.

    My advice to u is do what Ive been doing - watch DIY and such. I used to make fun of my G/F for watching those shows and now Im watching them all the time. It'll give u a great idea of what kind of products are out there and rebuilding ideas.

    Good Luck!
     
  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I had thought about that, I can't do real wood because I'm on a slab, but down the road I could rip out the carpet and lay down pergo or something similar, might do that.

    would you do the whole house? bedrooms, kitchen, entry ways too?

    I was planning to rip out the vinyl in the kitchen and baths and lay down tile almost right away, but if I were to do wood I don't think it would look right
     
  11. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    for us, we chose mostly standard stuff. the builder markup is ridiculous. most of the standards we can live with for a while until we get the flooring we want. the builder wanted us to pay $1700 for upgraded padding. i said forget it because carpet is only going in lower traffic places and i got a quote for new carpet with upgraded padding and it's less than what the builder is charging just for padding. for a stainless steel sink they want to charge like $580 where if you go to lowes or home depot, the sink costs $225 and the handyman will charge you $50 to put it in. Got the standard cabinets. Although they are 42" I can get less expensive cabinets for less than the upgrade if we chose that option. Also, if we chose to get new cabinets, the existing cabinets can be reused later when having the basement finished. Our builder is charging about $40k for a finished basement. That does not include the bar area. They must have lost their damn minds! The people who have really lost their minds are the ones that are paying for a finished basement. The quote that I got for framing and drywall is $2000 for the entire basement. Carpet and tile (bar and al fresco area) around 4k. Although i didnt factor in plumbing and electrical, thats still a hell of a lot less than 40k. Also, to get jets in the jacuzzi tub, the upgraded price is $1600 versus $800 for the Home Depot price and $200 for installation. We decided that we cant stand the corner tub design of the bathroom so we will be getting that done over, so no jets and no upgrades for the master bath. So if you can cut corners and reuse stuff for your basement or sell it to someone who will be ugrading their home later on, I say get as many standards as you can live with. Otherwise, we see that finished basements, kitchens and bathrooms give you more value on resale. So get the upgrades that you can afford, but dont go overboard because there is no difference in resale value in a 42" oak vs 42" maple. There is no difference in granite vs corian as far as resale is concerned. in our existing home, we got the wood laminate floors and i love them but they cost more than carpet. easier maintenance though since all you need is a swiffer.
     
  12. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    some of the stuff is quite reasonable, some of it isn't. I can't live with the cheap cabinets, they look like something from a bad apartment, but I'm not upgrading to taller. I'm sticking with the laminate in the bathrooms, all of the stuff you mentioned I could do myself pretty easily I think, I'm getting a metal painted sink standard, I can live with that.

    they told us that the "average" is 10% of the home's value is spent in upgrades. WTF!? I'm buying the cheapest house and that's still almost 20k? no effing way.
     
  13. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Philip, there are wood products you can put on concrete. Its wood on top with a padding underneath. Its a floating floor, kept n place by the inlocking of the pieces and the walls.

    Im doing the whole house in wood, with area rugs. Ceremic tile in the bathroom and kitchen.

    Alot of people are putting wood floors in their kitchen nowadays.

    I went to Home Depot and Loews and got every booklet they had laying around for free. The kitchen dept, floors,paint doors,tile,countertops, windows, everything, Ive got a stack of the stuff. In the kitchen booklets, theres alot with wood floors.

    Also guys, check out local lumber warehouses for clearing sales. I got a perfect set of French Doors (going to the porch)for $400. A similar set at Home Depot was over $1000
     
  14. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Oh, you're right, I saw those at the design center. You know, pergo is good enough for me [​IMG]
     
  15. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    How much do they charge for tile? And have you ever done this yourself? This happened to be something that was important to me, and I wasn't about to risk doing it myself because if you do a bad job it'll look like shit, and be a pain to replace. Fortunately my builder didn't overcharge for tile in my opinion.

    As for the carpet, take their cheap shit and redo it yourself later. Look into what areas you can do in carpet and what areas you can do with tile/vinyl and see if you can separate the carpeted areas. That way you can replace carpet in rooms as needed. For instance, if you can run tile from the garage to the main entrance, and it'll look decent, that isolates the carpet in the bedrooms from the living room.

    As for the sinks, cabinets, faucets, etc., I agree with your plan 100%. The extra sink is a great thing. I would encourage you to take their price list to Home Depot and compare some of the stuff. Oddly enough it only cost me $200 to have the builder put in better looking door knobs on all doors and a real nice set on the front door. I've got something like 12 or 13 doors that had to be done, including the deadbolt on the back door, so that was a good deal. It's odd how some of their prices are good, and some suck.

    I'd highly recommend having gas drops put in the kitchen and laundry room even if your appliances are electric just so the option is there.

    I'd imagine that things light nicer light fixtures, ceiling fans, window treatments, will all be cheaper if you do it yourself later on, or at least stuff that is fairly easy to do as your budget permits.

    By the way, here is my journal chronicling my build. All the pictures are broke at the moment, I'll look into that. And here is my thread from when I went through this myself.
     
  16. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Most of this stuff doesn't even register on my list of "need to upgrade"

    Honestly, I would be perfectly happy with a mobile home's kitchen. The second sink in the bathroom is a good idea. and I'm one with the imitation wood-floor group. If i built tomorrow I'd only have carpet in the HT/stereo rooms.

    And I didn't see any budget for radient sub-floor heating. what up with that?

    Also spend more on your garage. Nothing says slick like painted conceret floors and extra lighting (good for workin).
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    No need for subfloor heating. Something I can easily live without. Denver winters are bullshit, it never gets cold.

    I painted this place with the Behr concrete floor epoxy before I moved in and it's mostly gne after a year, not too happy with that. This house will get racedeck flooring... eventually anyway.
     
  18. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    OK, I can see that if your gas enters at the back of the house, but otherwise you are going to have rip out drywall and drill holes through studs and do a hell of a lot of work to get that pipe from the water heater to the back of the house unless I'm missing something. You can't snake iron pipe through walls like you can cable.
     
  19. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Personally, I'd forego the carpet upgrade and do it later.
    I would opt for the second sink, despite being gouged for it. Kitchen cabinets I can see upgrading.

    I would also look at the fireplce option, unless that's where your HT is going.

    I would also seriously look into changing the door on the laundry from a swing to a pocket door. You are cutting off half your pantry as it is now.

    I'd go for the service door in the garage as well.
     
  20. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    Get the best, largest fridge you can afford. It's something you use everyday, and anything less than 21 cu ft is too small.

    Get solid core doors for the bedrooms and bathrooms.

    Get insulation in between the bedroom walls.

    Prewire rooms with Cat 5 for ethernet.

    Get a high efficiency furnace.

    Upgrade the carpet underday. This is more important than getting better carpet, as it's actually the underlay that will determine the life of the carpet.

    I wouldn't bother with the Corian counters. I've always thought that it looks awful. Get granite later. It's easy to upgrade.

    Oh, and get the pocket door for the pantry!!!
     

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