Let’s talk money pit . . .

     Have you ever been in the middle of a construction project and nothing is going the way it should? As a custom home designer with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, training and experience, I can help you make the best decisions throughout the building process to save you money and time.

     Everything that goes into your home has to be decided upon and I mean everything! Most builders will give you an allowance for your selections. The problem arises when you go shopping with your set allowances that you got from your builder and you realize it’s not enough. I’ve seen this happen over and over again. Either you have extra money lying around somewhere, you’re wealthy or you’re not getting it. Most people are already maxed out to their access to cash at this point. I cannot stress enough the importance of making your selections before you sign any contract with any builder so you know exactly the amount of money you will need. It sounds like a lot of work, but it is. The only difference is you do it up front instead of doing it after you’re under contract with a builder. You have a lot to think about – color, texture, design, use of space for growing families – now and in the future, finish, size, style, appliances, furniture placement, landscaping, lighting etc. and what is all of this going to cost.

Here’s a sample of homeowners extras (money they had to pay up front for):

     Surprise #1 Builder never put a plug under the kitchen sink so the new homeowner could not add a garbage disposal. Imagine paying a high mortgage payment and not having the luxury of disposing your waste thru a disposal on a daily basis. You would have to put your waste in a small plastic bag, tie it then threw it away in your kitchen garbage can in order to keep the odor down or compost daily.

     Surprise #2 Homeowner was told each plug was $17.00 before they signed there contract. They selected what they wanted and all was well until they decided to add a plug doing construction before the electrical work started. Now each new plug is $50.00.

     Surprise #3 Homeowner has a new 3 car garage with 3 overhead garage doors and was shocked to find that the 3 openers for the cars was an extra.

     Surprise #4 Homeowner moved into a brand new custom home that there builder built them and didn’t realize that the 38 windows did not come with screens. Guess what – extra.

     Surprise #5 Missing step. I designed a 6’ wide x 12” deep x 4” tall oak step to go from the foyer to the sunken living room. Since it was not written in the specifications, the builder forced them to pay $1000.00 cash up front for the step. The step was in the drawing and the builder wrote the specifications off of the drawings and left the step out of the specifications and the homeowner didn’t catch it. $1000.00 mistake.

     Before you know it you’re 1000’s of dollars behind. You need a master plan. You need specifications. Upon hiring Merrie Ann, we will go room by room and item by item until you have the design you love. Merrie Ann will make your selection process easy with everything written down for you. The goal is to have a well thought out plan without any extras or very few.