Decor decisions don’t have to be daunting
Buying a brand new home is one of the most exciting things you will ever do, whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned real estate veteran.
The new home experience, however, doesn’t end at the purchase of your house or condo. It continues as you make all the choices regarding features, finishes, upgrades and even exterior brick and paint. It can be a daunting process, but if you are prepared, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Many builders offer decor centres staffed with consultants to help you navigate your way through the process, and those builders who don’t have their own decor centres often provide similar services via an outside specialty company.
The professional consultants in the design centres work with new homebuyers and guide them through the process of making their new house or condo reflect their lifestyle and their personal tastes.
For the best result, make sure that before your appointment, you understand what features and finishes come standard with your new home. If the standard features fit your tastes and wants, you will need to make many selections – including colours for the cabinetry and floors, bathroom tiles, as well as stair railings and spindles if you have more than one floor. Sometimes making all these decisions can be overwhelming, but if you go prepared with the knowledge of what is standard and what is an upgraded choice, the process will be much easier.
It would also be a good idea to make some decisions before your appointment. For instance, if you know the colour and material you want for the kitchen cabinetry, that’s a good step forward. Types of countertops, flooring (carpet, tile, stone or hardwood), and appliances (gas or electric, stainless steel or white), are just some of many choices you will have to make.
When visiting a decor centre, go well ahead of your appointment and, if you can, go more than once so you can browse to get a sense of the many options available. Some builders have hundreds of choices, so knowing what you like is a great head start.
Give yourself plenty of time for your appointment. The process can take an hour for a small condo or up to five hours for a large detached home and the only rule of thumb is that it will take longer than you expect. Sometimes, especially if you have never been through this process, it can become exhausting, so it’s OK to book another appointment to finish or finalize your selections.
If you plan on making upgrades, make sure you budget for them, usually about 3 per cent to 5 per cent of the purchase price. And there will be a lot of paperwork so make sure you review the documents carefully with your design consultant to confirm that everything has been recorded accurately.
You want your new home to be perfect, so take the time to get it right.
Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and is a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments. Find him at twitter.com/bildgta, facebook.com/bildgta and bildblogs.ca.
Edited on 25 October 2017