Bernadette M., Lombardo Homes Sales Manager and homeowner, contributed to this story.
Building a new construction home gives you the opportunity to personalize your home to be exactly what you want. Sometimes, however, customers move into their new home and quickly realize things they wished they had built or added during the build process. Being a Lombardo homeowner and an employee, I thought I knew exactly how to build a home and not have any of the “I wish I would’ve” regrets. But alas, that’s not the case. Below are four options I absolutely love, along with two options I wish I had selected when building my Lombardo home.
- Dimensional shingles. To me, this is a key option that we offer. Depending on the home, the option to add this during construction is a fraction of the price of what it would be to replace later. Dimensional shingles have an immediate desirable impact on the curb appeal of your home. Whether you plan to live in your home for less than five years or more than 10 years, both the beauty and the warranty certainly outweigh the cost. If your purchase is for the short term, this option provides an automatic selling feature to your prospective buyers. If you are there for the long haul, these shingles will out perform standard 3-tab shingles, making for a sound investment.
- The laundry tub in the laundry room. This is an option that one might want to consider, especially for a second-floor laundry, as it can be somewhat challenging to add in the future. Think of all the muddy baseball pants, paint brushes that need to be rinsed, the dog needing a bath, or any other household task that you absolutely don’t want in your kitchen sink or bathtub…this is when the laundry tub becomes a necessity.
- Additional outlets. Your home will have plenty of outlets throughout, but there are certain areas to consider for additional outlets. The laundry room comes with one outlet, but if you like to iron, you should purchase another. The mud room and walk-in closets do not come with outlets, so I added one in the mud room for my Dyson handheld vacuum. The garage typically includes one outlet, and while I didn’t need to add another, many customers like to add others, especially if they need to plug in another appliance or will be installing a workbench in this space.
- Additional lighting. Lighting was something I spent a lot of time thinking about because adding lighting to the first floor is difficult to do later. Typically, the study, loft, and great room do not have overhead lighting, so it’s a good idea to consider adding additional lighting to those rooms in particular. In my home, I added six recessed lights to my kitchen, four to my great room, and a light opening in the study so I could install my own chandelier after closing.
So, what options do I wish I added to my Lombardo Home?
- A larger doorwall. The included doorwall is 5’ wide, but Lombardo Homes offers a larger, 6’ doorwall. This is something that I wish I added because has two benefits: it allows more natural light in the kitchen, as well as an easier way to move larger outdoor furniture pieces inside and outside. The cost to extend the doorwall is minimal, but the aesthetic value is well worth it.
- A wider driveway. The standard driveway is 16’ wide, with an option to extend 2’ on each side. Although both of our vehicles fit in the driveway, the additional space would have made it easier for us, or our guests, to get in and out of the car without having to step on the lawn, or into the snow during the winter months. Fortunately, this can be done later, and Lombardo Homes is able to add the 2’ extensions on the driveway at a lower cost than most after-market companies will charge.
Overall, I found this process to be very exciting and – admittedly – a little overwhelming. I hope you find my experience helpful in your own homebuilding experience. And remember, your Lombardo Homes sales manager is always eager to help you maximize your home for your comfort. If you’re not sure about an option, just ask! They’ll be sure to give you the pros and cons. Best of luck in your homebuilding experience!