How to Be Prepared for Your Colour and Upgrade Appointment Image

How to Be Prepared for Your Colour and Upgrade Appointment

By Jo-Ann Capelaci on Jul 08, 2015

Tiffany Park Homes – Westhaven Towns on Islington - Décor Area

It has been said that how you do one thing is how you do everything. I am very much a planner. So it baffles me when some new homebuyers arrive unprepared for their colour and upgrade appointment. Then it occurred to me that many new homebuyers probably don’t know how best to prepare for their appointment.

This post will discuss why to be prepared, how to prepare, and will include a handy checklist to help you prepare for your new home colour and upgrade selection appointment.

  1.   Why prepare?

Your new home purchase is probably the largest investment you have made in your life. The decisions at your appointment will affect your investment and your lifestyle. Any time you plan for something you increase your chances for success. The colour consultant that will assist you at your appointment is trained to guide you in combining your finishes and explaining the features and benefits of upgrade offerings. When the consultant understands your preferences, lifestyle and budget, they are better equipped to assist you to make the best choices.

Imagine Condos - Finishing Packages Beautifully Appointed Pre-selected Finishes at Insoho Developments - Imagine Condos

  1.   How do I prepare?

Understand what features and finishes come standard in your new home. Many builders send out a list of upgrade offerings prior to the appointment. Take time to review the list before the appointment. You may not fully understand all the items, so make a list of questions to ask at the appointment.

If you haven’t purchased a new home before, you may be surprised by the upgrade pricing. Some new home owners ask: “Why doesn’t the builder include everything in the price of the home?” Buying a home is similar to purchasing a car. Not everyone has the same needs and preferences. The more upgrades included in your home, the higher the purchase price of the home, and homebuyers don’t always want the same things. Your builder may charge more than you would expect to pay for some upgrades. The builder of course needs to pay for the item, do the paperwork, place the order, supervise that it is installed correctly and warranty it in case something goes wrong. When you factor in the convenience, peace of mind and time saved, the prices seem reasonable.

How much should you budget for upgrades? Our estimates show 3-5% of the purchase price is fairly typical for the average amount spent on upgrades. Keep in mind how long you plan to be in your home and the value of other homes in the area. Some builders allow you to add the cost of the upgrades to the purchase price which makes for easy-to-handle payments over time.

Do you want light cabinets or dark? Wood or painted? What type of counter? Do you like colours to blend or contrast? What about flooring? Carpet, tile, stone, laminate or hardwood? Not to mention additional electrical, plumbing and lighting requirements! With so many decisions to be made, this appointment can be overwhelming! Some builders have dedicated Décor Centres while others have the selections in their model home or sales offices. Visit the Décor area before your appointment to see what finishes are available in the standard and upgrade levels. If your builder has model homes carefully go through the model noting things that you like. You may want to check out our good friend Google and search sites like Houzz or Pinterest to be inspired (Follow me on Pinterest for lots of great ideas). You will find other helpful blog posts on the Blog for selecting cabinetry, flooring and lighting.

Appliance choices today are numerous and varied. It is recommended and important that you decide on your appliances prior to the appointment. With many appliances, special provisions need to be made to cabinets, counters and walls. Slide in stoves require a change in the countertop and cabinet. Some fridge doors will not open all the way if they are placed too close to a wall. Your fridge may need a water line. Gas appliances may require that a gas line be added. These are just a few of the many different scenarios that can occur with appliance changes. Therefore, you need to decide on your appliances before the appointment to be prepared with what you require. If appliances don’t come with your home, shop before your appointment for what you want and bring a copy of the appliance specifications with you. This will ensure your cabinets, counters and electrical will be adjusted accordingly. If you are lucky enough to have your appliances included in your new home, then you don’t have to worry about this; the only decision you need to make is whether you want to upgrade your appliances with the builder.

Your colour and upgrade appointment may be as short as an hour for a condominium or longer than five hours for a large home. Generally speaking, it will likely take longer than you expect. The better prepared, the less time it will take. For a smooth appointment, come with the majority of your decisions made, and because these appointments are long and detailed, it is best for all if you make arrangements to leave your children at home.

You will find that there will be lots of paperwork to be filled out to ensure that the builder has all the information needed to build your home as per your specifications. Review the paperwork carefully with your décor consultant to confirm all is accurate.

Tiffany Park Homes – Westhaven Towns on Islington - Model Home includes a Décor Area Tiffany Park Homes – Westhaven Towns on Islington - Model Home includes a Décor Area

  1.    Your checklist!

o   Reread the standard features and finishes list

o   Review your available upgrade offerings from the builder (when available)

o   Make a list of any questions you may have

o   Create a wish list of upgrades to be discussed and decided on at your appointment

o   Visit your builder’s model homes when possible

o   Visit the Décor Center or sales office to see what finishes are available

o   Look at magazines and sites like Pinterest and Houzz for inspiration

o   Read our other posts about selecting features and finishes for your new home

o   Decide on your appliances (unless they are included and you are not upgrading)

o   If buying appliances, choose beforehand and bring specifications to your appointment

o   Think about your budget allocation for upgrades

o   If you have small children, arrange for a babysitter

o   Double check your colour & upgrade paperwork for accuracy

Wishing you years of enjoyment in your new home!

Jo-Ann Capelaci is president and principal interior designer of Colours & Concepts. The company specializes in model homes and colour and upgrade selections for builders. They have been helping new home buyers choose finishes for their homes for over 20 years. Jo-Ann is dedicated to helping new home buyers create a model home feeling in their new home. Look for future articles on other topics to assist in decorating and designing your new home.

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