Where to make the cuts...

njbuilding143July 27, 2014

So we got the price back from a builder that we recently met with.. He priced 475k which includes the 20k for permits and associated hookups.. So 455k for the house with all of our wants.. Now this price includes MANY things that we wanted and even some that we werent even planning for...

- Basic Finished basement (1400sq ft).. This includes basic tile with all framing, sheetrock, electrical, paint, and HVAC..
- Structured wiring system (all cable, cat5e/6, phone, etc) run to a central media closet in basement
- Full hardwired alarm system to include all doors, windows, motion sensors, alarms, etc..
- Prewire for Legrand Unity system which includes 17 pairs of speakers homerun to basement and about 40 home run cat5e cables
- Whole House Generator
- All recessed lighting to be LED and include under cabinet lighting in kitchen
- Hardie Siding
- 16 seer HVAC Units sized for whole house
- 3 1/4 Hardwood throughtout first floor
- American Standard Plumbing throughout (exact fixtures to be determined)
- Prewire for 16 Camera IP Security System
- Composite 18x18 deck
- 1000 square foot paver driveway
- Central Vacuum with Hide a hose
- Crown Molding on first floor

We want to get the price down for the house.. I am getting a more detailed list for the house but trying to think of what would be the best things to cut out that perhaps we could do later.. He said if we cut the basement out and don't finish it would save us about 20k.. If we go to vinyl instead of hardie siding we would save 8k.. Just trying to see what the easiest ways to cut would be that wont effect the end result.. We had planned to finish basement dwon the road so we were thinking of just asking him to frame it and we will do it ourselves down the road.. Just looking for some input.. Thanks

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Ok.. So I got an update from the builder that provided the above quote and what he is including.. Not the best stuff so need to figure out where to make the biggest cuts.. Here is a more detailed figure:

- Kitchen includes Fabuwood cabinets with a 7k allowance..
- Kitchen Granite Countertops - 3k allowance
- HVAC is a Goodman 16 seer setup
- Fireplace included provides a 1500 allowance
- Windows included are Silverline 2000 series
- Floors included were 3 1/4 Red Oak #1 throughout house

So after reading this I have found we have places we need to upgrade but at the same time we need to make cuts... So here are prices he gave for some individual items:

- 20k for the basement so if we decide to scrap the framing, sheetrock, painting, and just do the lighting we would save 20k
- 8k savings if we swap Hardie siding for vinyl siding
- 5k savings if we swap LED lighting to standard lighting
- 9k savings if we cut out whole house generator
- 5k savings if we go from composite deck to patio
- 10k UPGRADE to Andersen 200 series windows
I am thinking that we are going to have to scrap the basement, led lighting, whole house generator, and deck.. This would save us 39k. We would then have 10k to put towards the Andersen windows and 8k to bring the Kitchen allowance to 15k which should get us a better brand/quality cabinet.. We then have a total savings of 21k which would bring the house down to 454k including permits.. Still a little higher then we wanted to be but the best I think we can do.. I cant really see where else we can cut without cutting quality..

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:37PM
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What size is the house? Floor plans?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:41PM
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House is as follows:

1st Floor = 1394 Square Feet
2nd Floor = 1438 Square Feet
Basement = 1394 Square Feet
Garage = 650 square Feet
Driveway = 910 Square Feet

Floor plans as follows:

This post was edited by Jason143NBPD on Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 21:12

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:11PM
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Even if you scrap finishing the basement, I would suggest getting the rough plumbing done.

If you plan on getting a whole house generator in the future, wire the house with a separate panel for the generator now.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:25PM
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Yes.. I am sorry I didn't put that.. The rough plumbing and lighting will be installed, as well as the ductwork for HVAC.. If I recall correctly there just wont be any framing, sheetrocking, etc.. I didn't think about prewiring for the generator.. I was really hoping to have it done right from the start.. Just seems like too many cuts... The issue is that we are at the very top end of our budget.. So we could do everything but the basement like upgrade the windows and add money to the kitchen, however we would have very little wiggle room if something were to come up.. We would probably have 20k on the side to spend comfortably but wouldn't have much more then that.. I guess we will just have to extremely specific when it comes to the contract and having each and every item included down to the model numbers so there are no surprises..

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:31PM
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Look at the Sylvania Surface Mount LED lights - they are cheaper and also better than cutting holes in your ceiling for the traditional recessed lights that have cans in the attic space. There are other brands so do your research, I just like the Sylvania ones the best and that's what we are planning on using. They mount in a standard 4" junction box so you should cut down on labor and material costs but still get the benefit of LED. They are model # 70732 at Lowes or 71911 on Amazon and other sites.

Prewire for the generator (that was where we cut some costs)

Can you do something else other than pavers for the driveway?

like others said, skip the finished basement

you can always add a deck later, patio is less maintenance

Spend the money on the structure itself and items that are hard to upgrade later...like windows, insulation, roof, etc....do not skimp on those now, you'll regret it.

Hopefully your builder will allow you to purchase items on your own....that's where we are saving money. I have very small allowances for plumbing & lighting fixtures and appliances. I am buying most of those items ahead of time at great savings by shopping around. Granted the builder won't provide a warranty for those items, but the manufacturers warranty still stands so as long as you are capable of switching out a faucet/light fixture or installing a refrigerator, you will save there. I did not include a refrigerator, washer or dryer in our budget. Will buy after the build is complete and install. You will also save on builder percentage for these items if you are doing cost plus.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:56PM
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Just curious where you are building?...what part of the country? I am jealous seeing your price and what you get! We're in the northeast..so getting gouged left and right.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:34PM
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Me too, where are you building? That's a lot of stuff for that price. Jealous.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:04AM
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Where are you building, Frozen?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:11AM
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Duluth MN

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:15AM
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Did the builder break out a cost for the crown molding on the first floor? That's the sort of thing that's easy enough to add after the fact.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:46AM
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If you don't finish the basement, where will you do laundry?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 3:08AM
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Farmhousegirl: We are building in Hudson County, New Jersey... We are getting a lot for the price.. The problem was that I am seeing that the price is including fairly low allowances.. It originally included a 3k allowance for appliances.. We are scrapping this and I am going to buy the appliances on my own as I have pretty good hookups in my town.. He only gave us 7k for kitchen cabinets.. Granted our kitchen is relatively small (12x14) I still feel that we will need a bit more.. I am reworking our wishlist to try and bump this up to at least 15k.. He also factored in using Fabuwood cabinets which is an import cabinet.. I have heard their quality is good and they have upped their warranty to 5 years but still a little on the iffy side.. We have a 3k allowance for granite which I think we will be fine with... We just want basic granite, nothing fancy there.. As far as the bathrooms go the budget is $350 for 30" and $750 for 60" and he factored in cultured marble unless we can get a combo with granite.. We only have a 1,500 allowance for the fireplace which we were told would be a Lennox direct vent gas fireplace.. This allowance is to include the direct vent chimney work.. He is also factoring in American Standard plumbing or equivilant price.. Issue is he gave no price yet.. We actually took a stroll through the local hardware store and found that many faucets and plumbing fixtures in the American Standard price range also fall in the Kohler price range.. So we still have discuss that a bit further..

HomeSweetHome1: He broke down the cost for the crown molding at 2k.. He said this would include the entire first floor which is roughly 1400 square feet..

Overall I think I have figured out how we are going to do this..

  1. Have him do a partial finish in the basement to include the electrical, lighting, and framing.. This will save 10k..

2. Skip the hardie siding.. No one in our area uses it and really wasn't even a want on our list.. That saves 8k..

3. Dump the LED lighting.. That saves 5k..

4. Prewire for the generator only.. This should save about 8k.. We based that off of 1k for a pre wire fee (hoping that is all it will be)

5. Remove the 3k appliance allowance

6. Original quote had hardwood factored for entire second floor.. We wanted carpet for the upstairs which is all bedooms.. We are figuring this should save about 3k..

After deducting all of the above and then adding in the 10k for Andersen 200 series windows we come to about 428k.. Add in the 20k in permits and I am at 448k.. If we add in then another 8k for a boosted cabinet allowance I am at 456k.. There are not many more places we can factor in for savings.. I thought about dumping the rear deck and doing a patio.. However I realized that the layout of the yard is not perfectly level and based on the site plan I think it would be more work to do the patio the way we would want it.. Plus it is only a 5k savings.. I am going to inquire about maybe doing an asphalt driveway vs the cambridge pavers.. I think this might add a significant cost savings.. Plus it is something we can do later on and its more money to either deduct or put into the house.. I did a very quick internet search and see that it could be a savings of up to 8k.. We have a large driveway, about 1000 square feet.. I am just going to make sure we get as detailed as possible in the contract so that there will be no surprises.. I think we are going to get it down to specific model numbers for things like toilets, faucets, etc.. Get the exact number of data, telephone, and cable runs and all of that.. Once I get everything down we can rework the numbers and see where we are at.. We really need to stay on budget.. We are putting a hefty amount of savings down on this and wont have much left over for surprises..

PixiLou: The laundry room was/is being finished completely no matter what our choice is (finished, semi finished, unfinished).. All other areas will be just framed and have electrical run.. The bathroom will have roughins for plumbing..

I appreciate all of the input and look forward to hearing more..

This post was edited by Jason143NBPD on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 3:40

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 3:37AM
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I don't know if this would save you much money but the high end vinyl windows are much better performers than the Andersen 200''s (Okna, Sunrise, etc). You may want to get some quotes and post on the windows forum for advice.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:39AM
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Scrappy25 - We did want good windows in the house which is why we already went from silverline 2000 to the Andersen 200.. That jump was 10k.. I was going to see how much more it would be to go to the 400 series but from what I am reading the 400 series seems like it just has more color options.. The 200 series that we are planning for have the Low-e option which puts it in-line with the 400 series giving them both the same energy ratings.. The only difference from there is if we want a color not provided by the 200 series which we wanted white..

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:26PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Have you said how much you need to cut?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 4:21PM
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I too am jealous of this pricing!! Paver driveway, central vac, whole house generator, whole house audio, hardwood throughout first floor - we don't have those! And we are also paying extra for deck, alarm system etc. Good job on those things!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 4:44PM
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I can't really help you with the budget, though I want to remind you that building projects almost always go over budget, so allow for some contingencies.

What does the roof line look like? A complicated roof can add to your costs.

I would hate to haul laundry up and down two flights of stairs, from the bedrooms to the basement and back. Can you tuck the washer and dryer into the linen closet on the third floor, and put the closet in the hallway, over the stairs? I know it isn't ideal, but to me it would be better than navigating the stairs with laundry baskets.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:03PM
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NorthPole - There was a lot included in the price.. Keep in mind though that the whole house audio will be an added cost.. The price only reflects the prewiring for everything.. This means running cat5e or cat6 from basement to each keypad and also running speaker cable from basement to each keypad and then from keypad to speakers.. But everything else is pretty much included..

Got a little bit of bad news.. Apparently to prewire the generator will run 6500 and this is to include everything needed with the exception of the actual generator itself.. I am just a little confused on this pricing.. Most whole house generators I have seen are around 10k.. Based on this pricing it leaves 2500 for the actual generator.. I guess we will have to see what we need.. But its back to the drawing board for calculating the pricing..

We also found that he factored in block foundation which we thought was going to be a savings since we originally mentioned we wanted poured concrete..

AnnieDeighnaugh - We wanted to get the price to 450k including the cost of permits and fees which are 20k.. Well we would have liked to see it drop to below 450k so we had a little more comfort level in case the build goes over..

Annkh - Trust me.. We talked this over multiple times.. I wanted to laundry upstairs but after talking with my fiance, she wanted in the basement.. Her father does basic contracting and said he has seen multiple house destroyed because of an upstairs laundry.. She is the one that will be doing the laundry and she gets the final say.. So she chose the basement..

This post was edited by Jason143NBPD on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 18:10

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:06PM
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" Her father does basic contracting and said he has seen multiple house destroyed because of an upstairs laundry.."

This is why you have homeowner's insurance.

Your father-in-law's opinion isn't going to matter a bit to the folks you'll be selling this house to some day, but trudging laundry up a flight or two of stairs is going to matter a lot.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:20PM
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There are practical solutions to the potential problem:

Here is a link that might be useful: avoiding a laundry room flood

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:05PM
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After you have a child or two her mind might change. A house being destroyed by a leaking washer is a gross exaggeration.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:14PM
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Poured foundations are much cheaper than block in my next of the woods (MI) due to the high labor associated with block.

I would dump all the audio wiring personally. We had to have that in our current house. We kind of used it for about a year....now I prefer my little Bluetooth Bose unit in the kitchen.

Add me to the list of jealous peeps for all the extras. Although I do agree that your allowances seem very low.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:52PM
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Michelle - We thought about dumping the audio... It is a lot of runs.. You need about 40 cat5e runs and 17 pairs of speakers which need to be home runned as well.. The issue is that if we ever decide to do audio in the future out only option will be wireless unless we want to rip open walls.. Plus it is more then just audio.. The Legrand system incorporates audio, intercom, lighting control and more.. If I have the calculations correct, we would only save about 3000 by cutting the audio.. Yes it is 3000 but to have everything wired up its a small amount.. I actually have a bluetooth unit now and it is a great unit, but sometimes trying to connect to it from a distance I have problems.. I have also had interference where it drops the audio device and/or cuts in and out..

As far as the poured concrete goes.... In my neck of the woods its a big cost difference.. I was told by a separate builder that if we went from poured concrete to block foundation we would save 10k.. So its a huge savings, except that the builder I have been getting recent quotes from has already factored block foundation..

And for the allowances we do agree that they are relatively low.. We are already trying to factor in making the allowances a bit more.. I am waiting to hear back about the savings for the driveway.. I am thinking it will be about 8k savings by doing a full asphalt driveway.. We would just add this 8k to the kitchen cabinets so give us a 15k allowance.. Our kitchen is on the small side as you can see in the plans.. On top of that we don't have many cabinets.. We will barely have 1 wall of cabinets between having double ovens, fridge, etc... So we are reworking the numbers to try and accomodate.. And as others have suggested, we are looking at cutting down on expenses for things outside that we can change later.. We want to up the spending on things like cabinets, insulation, and other structural things..

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:48PM
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"Apparently to prewire the generator will run 6500 "

You need to ask the electrician about that. My pre-wire is less than $500. There's not much to it away from the electrical panel. It would be a second panel with those items you want to run in an emergency (ie limited lighting, etc), wiring to an outside box, and transfer switch wiring.

I would find a new electrician if they are charging $6500 just for a pre-wire!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:08AM
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$3k for appliances. What brand is he figuring? Hotpoint & IKEA?I would be shocked if you could get a houseload of Kenmore appliances for that much money. I think I am spending more than that on cabinet door hinges.

Oh and $6500 for generator prewire is crazy. I think I am getting a whole generator installed for ~$10k.

This post was edited by caben on Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 1:11

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:10AM
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Some of the things I am writing about is me looking at my cost sheet and telling you how we have cut the costs thus far.

And I am curious about the $3k allowance for appliances. Our appliances are $8K and include a 5 burner Jenn-Air downdraft gas cooktop, GE double wall oven, microwave, dishwasher, and counter depth fridge.

Are you doing paint grade cabinets or wood stain grade cabinets? Paint grade are less expensive. I personally didn't want stained cabinets so I had no problem saving that money.

I am not the biggest fan of the whole house audio. Personally, I don't see how we would ever use it in our house so we are considering doing the pre-wire at least and then later, we can add it if we want.

Another place we cut costs was doing a lower roof line, and doing coffered ceilings. We originally had 10-12 foot ceilings with our original plans. When we brought in a new builder, he said we could do ceilings that started at 8 foot then coffered up to 10 foot ceilings. So you get the feel of a higher ceiling without the cost. With a multi-level floorplan, the coffered ceilings may be able to be done on your top floor, but it would save you on framing, labor, brick/siding, etc.

I don't know what your exterior is, but we had originally planned on brick, stucco, and stone. The stucco was the most expensive so we cut that out, and then we are doing mostly brick with a little stone in there for visual interest.

Maybe for the bathrooms, do cultured marble tops instead of granite if you were planning that. Builder said that would save 40% if using the cultured marble instead of granite.

If you have picked out plumbing, maybe consider a different brand. We originally picked Moen fixtures, but when cost needed to be cut, we changed to Delta Fixtures. Good savings there. You have a lot of bathrooms. To save on mirrors, find some nice ones at Kirklands or Hobby Lobby.

With painting, builder says if you want to do multiple colors through your house, they charge you extra. Pick a more neutral color that you like, and then paint the other rooms later yourself.

What is your shutter situation? Plantation shutters are popular here, but the cost of those versus faux wood blinds in the thousands. We are going to do plantation in the front and then faux wood or some other blind in the side and back.

If you don't have a specific plan, I think not doing the fully finished basement is a good idea. You have great square footage on the other floors. My old house was a 2 story with laundry on 1st floor and all bedrooms on 2nd floor. After living in it for 6 years, I can tell you that hauling laundry up and down stairs was not fun. I don't miss it at all.

I know my ideas are small changes, but they could add up

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:57AM
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caben and dolphin - The way he broke it down was like this.. The whole generator package is 9k.. He said to prewire would cost 6500 but that would include running gas line, running all house wiring to transfer switch and installing the transfer switch itself.. According to him (and I am still concerned as the price is low) the generator is a whole house generator.. Basically if the power goes out then the entire house will be powered by the generator and not just specific items.. I know some generators will turn on when the power goes out and run heat/ac, fridge, etc.. The way he explained this, the generator would kick on and it would be like the power was still on.. I am a bit concerned as I have looked online at whole house generators and on a wholesale website I have seen the cheapest at 8k.. Based on his figures it would leave roughly 2500 for the generator itself as all wiring and the transfer switch is incorporated in the 6500.. Still waiting for a reply back on what model generator he is thinking of installing..

Aimless - Thanks for your breakdown.. 3k for appliances was a very basic allowance.. I know it is possible to get a full house of appliances for 3k if you are looking at budget items to get you by.. Just go on bestbuy or similar website and add the cheapest items and you will be under the 3k budget.. I did this and came up with around 2k.. But again that is low quality appliances.. We already wiped out the appliance allowance as we are going to source our own appliances.. As far as cabinets we are doing stained cabinets.. Still working out the brand.. As I mentioned the builder we are talking to uses Fabuwood.. Trying to see if his vendor carries any other brands.. Exterior of the home is siding all around.. A portion of the front is stone.. The builder has included painting and has allowed as many colors as we want.. Just no fancy finishes.. The basement was planned to be unfinished.. The only finished area in the basement was the laundy.. We are thinking of letting him do a semi finish and we will do the rest later on.. As far as the laundry goes, again I left it up to my fiance.. She is the one that handles the laundry and I gave her the option.. I suggest putting it on the first floor but she said she would rather just put it in the basement.. She always had the laundry in the basement in her house and didn't mind continuing with it.. The only way to add it to the house is to bump out the garage a bit and make a built in for the laundry.. There was no other place to put it.. The second floor doesn't work because the stairs need the opening for head room.. We actually had to move the wall between master and master bath so we could pull stairs out downstairs.. The only place I could see putting it upstairs would be the area where you go into the bedroom on the left side.. You would have to swing the door around onto that wall and then close off the space in the hallway by the master closet.. That would give you a 3'8" x 3'4" space.. This would be just enough to stack two units.. Basically something like the picture below.. The issue with doing that is that you move the door to that wall and now if we ever want to change that loft area to a bedroom you lose all that space for the entry to that bedroom...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:51AM
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I actually just found this photo.. This is what it would look like..

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:16AM
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I don't know, I would be very leery. Especially since he has not given you a firm written price yet that you could do that house for that dollar amount. From what I know this is just outside of NYC and considered part of the NY Metropolitan area which is not exactly an inexpensive place to build. I would be very careful if I were you. How does that saying go, if something seems to good to be true..........

This post was edited by millworkman on Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 7:22

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:21AM
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For resale, I'd definitely find a spot for the laundry room on the main level or second floor.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:41AM
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Re laundry facility - I'm another fan of having the washer and dryer on the same floor as the bedrooms and bathrooms! If you ever have to sell the house, having to carry laundry up/down two flights of stairs will scare off many potential buyers. I know it would be an absolute deal-breaker for me.

I know you're looking to cut costs but I suggest that you strongly consider making the upstairs linen closet deep enough to hold a washer/dryer and install the necessary plumbing for it. With a stacking W/D, one could still have half of the linen closet to use for storage. But, if one preferred side by side machines, well, I for one would much rather do without a linen closet completely than have to carry laundry up/down two flights of stairs!

I also thought someone ought to point out is that there is something "wonky" about the door from MBr to MBath.

As for MBath - do you or your spouse actually take long lingering baths? Most adults actually prefer to shower. Thus, fancy tubs in master bedrooms often sit unused 99.99% of the time. There is no way I would devote so much real estate to a fancy bathtub that might get used once in three years...especially not when my daily-use shower was crammed into a space about 3 ft x 3ft. And, twin sinks on a vanity that is less than 6 ft long leaves you with almost no landing space for things like toothbrushes, make-up, shaving gear, hairbrushes, etc. that one normally wants to have out on the vanity for convenient daily use. One way to save some money - and get a more user friendly MBath - would be by deleting the humongous bathtub in favor of a nicer shower and expanded vanity space.

Oh, and I'd strongly recommend cutting back on the whole-house audio. If/when you ever have kids, I can assure you, they are NOT going to want to listen to the same music you're listening to. DH wanted whole house audio and even though we wound up on only wiring the great room, library, kitchen, his office, our TV room and our bedroom and skipping the secondary bedrooms/bathroom, etc., I still find myself turning speakers OFF in whatever room I am in b/c, even though I do LIKE the same kind of music as DH, I don't want to listen to it all day long the way he does! Sometimes I just prefer silence or the sounds of the birds chirping outdoors.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:13PM
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MillworkMan - You have to remember that many of the things are not included in the price of the home.. So it will be extra.. As I have stated the price point only had a 3k allowance for appliances, it provides 0 allowance for hanging fixtures, 7k for kitchen cabinets, 3k for granite, 1500 for fireplace, etc.. The wiring for audio and alarm is just pre wiring.. This does not include any of the equipment to run it as I will be sourcing that on my own as I can get it way cheaper then what a dealer would charge..If you look at the breakdown it comes out to roughly $160 per square foot which is actually higher then average.. And based on what we are getting we are actually pretty inline with several builders.. For example.. The a builder I spoke with in a more upscale area quoted me 450k but did not include any prewiring, generator, led lighting, paver driveway, or a finished basement.. They did however, include larger allowances.. For example they offered 15k for cabinets, 5.5k for fireplace, 8.5k for plumbing fixtures, 7k for granite, $5.00 per square foot material tile, 1500 front door allowance, Andersen 200 windows and poured concrete (10k upgrade).. So the way I look at this is that both builders did come back with similar prices.. It is just that one builder focuses on finishes while the other focuses on providing the most for your dollar.. The builder in an upscale area may be used to installing $800 faucets while we may be more modest and doing $200 or $300 faucets.. They may install $800 toilets while we like a $250 toilet... They may be used to installing a high level of granite while we just want a basic level 1 color granite..

All in all we still have to see the breakdown but it is not impossible.. We obviously have upgrades to make to their price but also have cuts.. We are losing a lot of the upgrades they gave for better quality.. It is just a matter of balancing out what upgrades we want compared to what qualify finishes we want.. I would rather sacrifice a paver drivieway to add the extra money to better cabinets.. I would rather sacrifice the full finished basement and do a semi finished and save 10k to be put towards better windows.. Or even scrap the whole basement and add an additional 10k to other finishes..

bevangel - We did the bath like that as we originally wanted a corner tub.. I know we can discuss this more when we actually get to the bathroom, but we too have been contemplating scraping it.. We were thinking of just doing a straight tub vs the corner.. The shower as it is now would be roughly 4feet x 3 feet which is slightly bigger then what we have now and that has always been enough for us..The vanity can also be lengthened if we get rid of the cabinet.. We thought the cabinet was a good idea but that too might be scrapped..

As far as the audio goes, the system we are getting will allow each room to play their own music/audio as they have the choice of 4 sources plus the choice of a local input that is being wired into each of the bedrooms.. This would mean, for example, that a kid in his bedroom could listen to either of the 4 main sources or a local source (personal ipod, tv, etc) while someone in the adjoining room can listen to another source.. So not everyone will have to listen to the same thing.. However you could have a problem if the person in the living room wants to listen to one thing and the person in the kitchen wants to listen to another as they are open concept.. The audio is more for gatherings anyway.. Each room will be able to turn on/off the audio and/or listen to what they want.. We just figured for holidays, dinners, bbq's, etc that having the audio would be perfect.. Plus we like our music while just laying around.. We are having it wired to several areas in the yard, every room in the house, the garage, and even the front of the house.. We were contemplating if it would be worth it to wire the front of the house but we thought it would be nice during the holidays to play some holiday music.. Plus I am one of those guys that goes all out with decorating lol..

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:15PM
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I would stay away from brand name cabinets. You're paying brand name prices for 'boxes'. Look at the local cabinet builders in your area and get quotes.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:38PM
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