Right from the beginning of this process we have had a goal: build as much house as we can, with all of the main structural options we'd like, and upgrade finish details as time goes on. Since we are very hands-on and have remodeled our current home from top to bottom, we are happy to take on renovation projects and make improvements to our future home. By doing this we have lowered our cost to purchase, won't have to finance cosmetic upgrades for 30 years, have a broader range of options to choose from, and won't have to pay exorbitant property taxes on things like hardwood flooring, lighting, faucets, extra outlets, etc. etc.
With that said, here are a few of the projects we plan to undertake post settlement:
1. Deck...RH options for decks are pretty limited. We want to do something a bit more custom. This is an upgrade we will be undertaking very shortly after settlement since we hate the "safety rail" they screw onto the back of the house.
2. Central Air Conditioning...This was originally slated for installation this summer, however, we have decided it would be in our best interests to postpone this until next summer so we can see how well the furnace heats the home. Should there be any issues, we do not want RH to claim our AC installation has a negative impact on the heating system and therefore releases them from any liability.
3. Hardwood Flooring...We would like to install hardwoods in the foyer, powder room, kitchen, and morning room to start. We have installed 1000's of square feet of HW's in our current home and on other projects and will be doing so in our new home ASAP. RH price for this is fairly high and we really don't mind doing the job ourselves.
4. Tile Flooring...Eventually we would like to install ceramic or granite tile flooring in the main bath, laundry room, and mud room. This is another project we have done quite a bit of and the materials for tile flooring are really quite inexpensive.
5. Storage Shed...This is a must have. We would like to be able to put at least 1 vehicle into the garage and we don't want to store lawn mowers and gas powered equipment in the garage. I am thinking 12 x 24 feet should be about right.
6. Recessed Lighting...We did opt to add the recessed lighting package to the kitchen and eyeball lights over the fireplace, but that was the extent of our recessed lighting upgrades. We plan to add at least 4 cans to the family room, maybe some in the master bedroom, and possibly the dining room.
7. Tray Ceiling in Dining Room...Since the first floor has 9' ceilings, we are probably going to add a tray ceiling to the dining room. We will also add recessed lights or some other decorative lighting element at that time. This is one of those things we can do for significantly cheaper than the ~ $1500 RH charges.
8. Whole House Audio...We definitely want to add speakers to the master bedroom and bathroom and probably the family room as well. Good speakers can be purchased for far less online than the RH offerings.
9. Additional Phone/Cable/Network Outlets...This was another item we did not want to pay their fees on. That, and we weren't exactly sure what we wanted to add and where we would add it. We did get the "future tube" which is a 1 1/2" pvc conduit that runs from the basement to the attic. This should simply getting our wiring runs to the second floor.
10. Crown Moulding/Chair Rail/Cased Openings...Basically we want to add lots of crown molding and chair rail, as well as casing to the doorways that aren't trimmed out.
11. Many other things that I can't think of right at the moment....