As Moonie hinted in the comments on the previous posts, the next decisions will be what to add onto the basic plans. What should I add now, what should (or could) wait until later?
Somethings obviously will be better to incorporate at the time of construction. Other items perhaps would be easy to add on later, saving money right now is a BIG item on my agenda, we need to avoid unnecessary expenses where at all possible.
OK - having said that....I am looking for feedback on the following:
Central Air. Yes, I know I am in Canada - but believe it or not we don't live year-round in igloos at minus 40. This week alone Southern Ontario (and yes, I know parts of Quebec too!) has sweltered under an oppressive 47 degree heat that has left us all wilted to say the least (117F for those still who still need the Fahrenheit scale). Where the boy and I live now, we don't have central air, and we have managed not too badly. We have window AC units, although this year we actually have decided to try and manage without it all. ("Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun," as Noel Coward would say). The house is constructed with ducting sized for future air conditioning. Seeing as AC is not a MUST HAVE for the boy and I....is it better to "do now...or do later?"
Flooring. As wonderful as hardwood floors are, this is something I definitely can wait for until later. The builders install a 35 oz broadloom with a 7/16" underpad as standard. So far everyone seems to be in agreement that this is one item I definitely need to upgrade. A thicker underpad will extend the life of the broadloom carpeting by years. Anyone have a suggestion as to what level to upgrade it to?
Ensuite bathroom. Now this one is a toughie. I have the option of upgrading the master bedroom ensuite from a standard 3 piece bathroom to a 4 piece "oasis of luxury" with a step up soaker tub, glass corner shower etc. Obviously all this doesn't come cheap, another $4,000...and it will eat into my actual bedroom space. Ahhhh decisions, decisions.
Rough-in bathroom in basement. The basement comes unfinished, but I do have the option of having a 3 piece bathroom roughed in for future possible renovations. Cheaper to do at time of construction, so they wont have to rip up all the concrete later to lay the pipes. Definitely increases the re-sale value. Thoughts?
Optional Cold Cellar. I also have the option of having an optional cold cellar excavated as an add on to the basement. More storage is wonderful. I am not much of a jams/ preserves kinda gal, but a wine cellar sounds wonderful...and a lot of the women at work have said they use their cold cellars for storage (canned goods, non-perishables etc). Again, adds to the resale value.
Gas Fireplace. In the living room this time. Now even the builder suggested not bothering with this upgrade, simply because it restricts furniture arrangement, takes up a wall, blah blah blah. I've always wanted a fireplace, although in my fantasies it had been an open fire and a bear skin rug, not a gas fireplace with glass enclosure. So perhaps the builder dude has a point. He suggests if I absolutely HAVE to have a fireplace then I should try one of those new electric plug in mantles that are available. Realistic looking, ornamental and totally PORTABLE. He may have a point.
Door from garage to house. This option is totally dependent on the grade of the property. But still an option.
Central Vac. Not something I have ever really thought about to be honest, and I haven't a clue how much they are charging for it yet. I have never had central vac. The idea of not lugging my vacuum cleaner upstairs however is very tempting. Any Central Vac users out there able to share the pros and cons? Anyone? Please?
Phone/TV Wiring. This one is a no brainer for me...and I am assuming I can get it upgraded, but I noticed in the "standard fixtures" list from the builder, that they rough-in telephone in the kitchen and master bedroom only, and in the living room and master bedroom only for cable TV. Both of these items I would like available in other rooms. In addition they only offer 1 exterior weather-proof electrical outlet. So I either don't have an outlet at the front or the back of the property. I'd like both.
OK, hopefully I haven't left anything out, I will update this later if I suddenly remember anything. I do however think I have to make some major decisions this coming Tuesday when I sign the agreement and hand over my deposit.
Feedback people...lemme know what you think!
OK you think I am bad now? Wait until we get onto choosing cabinets, countertops, tiles and carpetting. OMG - this is going to be the home version of "Bridezilla".