Building a new home is exciting, but it can also be very overwhelming with all the decisions.
We’ve done a ton of research and thought that with our list of things we wanted in our new home, we thought we had it all figured out.
Two years later and we definitely have things we love in our new home, but with that there are things we do regret and wish we had done differently.
Of course this is all a matter of personal preference, but none the less, I thought I would share our experience to keep in mind if you’re thinking of building a home in the future.
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Let’s start out positive, the things we love about our new build.
This was probably the thing that drew us into this neighborhood.
The spacious lots, away from a busy city, and the lot itself were enough for us to make the decision to move.
No matter if you’re building a new home or buying one that’s already built, location will definitely play a factor in the value of your home now and later when you ever decide to sell.
No carpet in the entire downstairs
We have dogs and the headache we found with our last home was it was too hard to keeping carpet smelling fresh.
While the price made me cringe, adding hardwood flooring in not only the primary bedroom, but all the bedrooms, including the closets, was a great decision.
Not only are they easier to keep clean than carpet, we also chose a color that wouldn’t show dirt as bad.
Thankfully our builder saved a bunch of flooring for us in case we needed to do a repair, but we later found out that the flooring wasn’t available as the development was being completed.
Should we have changed our minds down the road, we would have had rooms with completely different flooring.
Not the end of the world by any means, but having the same flooring throughout makes it feel more cohesive.
Waiting to add more concrete
We knew we wanted to expand the patio that already existed with our home design, but there is definitely a line between something you should do in the beginning and something you should wait to add.
Having the builder do certain things often comes with an upcharge and adding concrete was one of those things.
While we love our new patio addition, we paid way less by adding it later.
**Note, when adding concrete to existing concrete, make sure the company knows to match it to your existing concrete. We got really lucky, but we have seen people who added to their driveways and patios and it’s a completely different color. This may not be something that bothers you, but definitely something to consider, especially for resale. **
Not adding a sprinkler system
I know it might sound crazy since we live in SC, but for us it’s never been an issue.
My husband loves to research lawn care and has become quite the mad scientist about the process.
Yes occasionally we have to break out our hose and sprinklers, but it’s not enough to warrant the expense both of installation and the water to put on the lawn.
Again, personal preference, but he does get complimented almost every time he’s out mowing the lawn.
Our home layout gets a middle of the road rating.
Thankfully the house that was already permitted to be built on the lot we loved, was a house we loved as well; with one small snag.
I didn’t want a second story, but there was no other lot where we could put the same house with a three car garage and have the same view.
I do wonder if I could have pressed a little harder to get the permit redone if it would have changed things, but it’s neither here nor there now.
Having extra square footage isn’t a bad thing for resale and if we add a closet to one of the upstairs rooms we could list this house as 5 bedrooms instead of 4.
BUT, we do love the overall flow of the house and all the windows and the amazing natural light we get.
Things we regret in our home building process.
Not installing a utility sink
I don’t know what happened that day at the design center where I took a utility sink out of the plan.
Maybe I was frustrated with the process, maybe I temporarily blacked out, but whatever happened it was definitely something I should have included.
You would think with all the DIY and paint projects that I do, having a utility sink would have been a priority.
Not that it’s something we can’t add later, but it could be a little more complicated.
Which leads me to…
adding electrical for a hot tub
What I really mean, we should have done a ton more research about hot tubs and their electrical requirements before adding it to our house build plan.
Hot tub electrical is different than normal outlets inside your home and we added that kind of electrical during our build process knowing down the road we would get a hot tub.
We bought a hot tub off of a neighbor that planned on moving, not knowing that particular hot tub required a very expensive type of electrical making the electrical we spent extra money on virtually useless.
It’s great if you know you’re going to have an outdoor kitchen, pool, or hot tub to add those sorts of things, but make sure you do your research so you don’t end up costing yourself more money down the road.
Also, adding the electrical later meant digging up our yard which created it’s own headaches, especially with the dogs.
Not tiling secondary bathrooms
In our primary bathroom, we went total luxury spa with floor to ceiling tiles and a walk in shower.
It’s amazing, not going to lie and highly recommend.
For the girls bathroom and the other full bathroom we decided to do the fiberglass shower inserts and I had regrets during the design process and instant regrets once we moved in.
I should have trusted my gut during the design process and added the tile then.
Our goal with this house was to only do minor DIY projects, we’ve retiled a bathroom before and it’s not my cup of tea.
Not adding a hose bib on the opposite side of our house.
We have a hose bib on one side of our home and one in the back of our home, but it would have been smart to add another hose bib on the opposite side of the front of our home.
Our front lawn is large and having a secondary hose bib on the front of our home would have made things a lot easier whenever we do need to water the lawn or the garden.
Otherwise we have to connect multiple hoses together and I’ve dragged a few through our mulch making things a bit more complicated.
Black framed windows
Trends are funny, but this is one that makes my heart flutter.
Unfortunately having black trimmed windows was not an option with our builder, trust me I asked.
Yes there are tons of tutorial on how to do this yourself, but I’m not about to paint brand new windows, nor replace them.
This will be one of the design choices I love, but got away.
BUT, this brings up a good point.
There are going to be things in the design process where you’ll say to yourself, we’ll pick the included option at no additional cost, and do x,y,z later.
You do need to weigh the cost of is it worth it to do it now, or is it something we can definitely do later.
Cosmetic things will always be a thing I would recommend waiting on, but the structural things I would definitely encourage you to do from the beginning.
Structural changes down the road may require permitting and inspections which also carry their own cost.
Not sealing the grout (and bathroom counters)
I’m not quite sure what our builder used, but the counter tops in the bathroom and our grout is extremely porous.
Our countertops show all kinds of water drop spots, a tissue box holder paint soaked in leaving a ring, and they never feel clean even after I’ve cleaned.
Definitely talk to your builder before hand especially to find out what kind of material the countertops are before you do seal them, but I think I could have saved myself a lot of frustration sealing them the moment we moved in.
Even with the good and the bad, we still very much love our home.
Making the decision to move and build our new home was still the best decision for us.
Overall we are EXTREMELY happy with our home and all the memories we’ve created so far.
If anything I recommend making a list of all the dream items that you want, the things about your current home that drive you crazy, and what is the best cost effective decision for you and your family should you decide to build.