02.26.15 | Posted by Jaime Derringer | Interior Design

Since moving into my new home out in the suburbs, a few people have asked me about the challenges of purchasing new construction in a planned community/tract home. It’s not like building your own home. In fact, it’s kind of like buying any home, but you just happen to be the first owner. If you purchase early enough in the development process, you usually have the opportunity to choose your finishings and materials. We were lucky enough to do so, but we quickly realized that there were limitations. First of all, you have to choose from the builder’s pre-determined manufacturer options. So, if you want specialty cabinets or a specific brand of bathtub, they will typically not allow it and you’ll have to do that work post-construction. Many builders will offer a pretty decent variety of options, but most likely, (if you’re like me) there may be a few things to choose from that wouldn’t be your first choice had you not been restricted. Being a person who has very particular taste, this process was especially difficult for me.

Our home isn’t the most architecturally interesting home, and the inside is even more lacking of character. Even the baseboards look bored (baseboreds – get it?). I thought it would be interesting to share my experience in purchasing a new home and what I did to modernize it and give it some pizzazz. Yeah, pizzazz. Moving on…

I think my master bathroom is probably the best example of making modern decisions during the materials selection process and demonstrates the recommendations we would make to other home buyers going through this same process.

Upgrade one or two things that you know are going to be the most expensive, time consuming and interruptive to replace.
Yep, I’m talking about cabinetry, flooring, countertops… all things that will be disruptive to your life to replace once you move in. And who wants that mess as you’re just getting settled into your new home? Trust me, you will be much more preoccupied with other things. If you want marble, get marble. If you want hardwood flooring, now is the time! Usually the builders will have a lot of options for cabinets, flooring and countertops, since they’re the most expensive things to upgrade. In our case, I wanted completely flat doors, in white. However, this wasn’t an option and so I went with my next best option, which were very dark doors in a Shaker style. In the end, I was able to prevent them from drilling for knobs so I could install my own handles, creating a much more modern look. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

We opted to upgrade our countertops in both the master bathroom and the kitchen. In the kitchen, we went with Caesarstone, which we’d had in our old kitchen, too. And, in the master bath, I couldn’t help myself and we splurged on Carrara marble. In the other bathrooms, we left the builder’s standard white cultured marble.

SEE MORE: https://design-milk.com/new-construction-making-modern/