I, like many buyers who consider buying a new home, feared the great unknown of the design center (as well as the cost of cabinets, appliances, and everything else – check out my prior blog posts here!) Even though I’m a real estate agent and have a good idea of what to expect, I have to admit, the unknown of my tastes and preferences vs. upgrade costs was pretty daunting. Walking through model homes, I always know they are full of upgrades and special features most budgets likely exclude – but it never stopped me from wondering – how much does all that cost?
While we were searching for our perfect home, we asked every builder we visited for ballpark pricing of upgrades. Some builders (Parkwood included) openly list the specific upgrades and costs of the model home, however, we found most builder representatives did not know the costs of the (terribly specific) upgrades we asked for. This isn’t because they don’t want to tell you, it’s that options and prices often change and the builder’s representatives don’t want to make assumptions or give information that may prove to be incorrect. I completely understand – but lucky for you, I’m not a builder’s rep – so I’m going to share my discoveries so far (photos here: Pinterest Design Center)!
Flooring – Hardwood
Parkwood’s standard hardwood flooring is a beautiful 3¼” hardwood in a natural oak or hazelnut stained oak. Of course my husband didn’t like either of them. His guidance was to find something with planks as wide as possible and a color as dark as I was okay with. Given these limited parameters, I narrowed down the hardwood options to one upgrade level up (same width, but upgraded stains called Charrington & Waterloo), a different hardwood brand at 3¼” in “Urban Grey”, the “Urban Grey” in a 5” engineered plank and a lightly handscraped “Hastings Oak” with an engineered 7.5” plank width. Pricing? For my home:
- One level up (upgraded stain) ~$2500
- “Urban Grey” hardwood in 3¼” ~$5000
- “Urban Grey” engineered in 5” ~$6000
- “Hastings Oak” engineered in 7.5” ~$5000
Our design center had options all the way past $12,000+, but these were the reasonable selections we narrowed it down to. I’d suggest not going too crazy on the hardwood colors. I’ve seen some beautiful $10,000 hickory floors that didn’t match anything else in the house and I’ve seen plenty of homes with standard or upgraded stain floors that looked designer. As for us – I actually listened to my husband’s request – and went with the 7.5” plank floors! It’s going to be crazy!
Flooring – Carpet
Let’s all agree on one thing, you’re going to hate the standard carpet. I haven’t seen a single builder that had great standard carpet, so expect to upgrade. That being said, there are more than 20 levels of carpet upgrades – which seems crazy to me! Okay, I like nice soft carpet, but if you have kids, they’re going to muck it up and you’ll probably want to replace it in 5-7 years anyway. Most resale homes I’ve seen in Stapleton go with 1-2 upgrade levels up (there are always exceptions….), so I’ll address those. With one upgrade level you get stain resistant coating, thicker carpet and better color options which, for our home, came in at about $1200. 2 upgrade levels up got us closer to a $3000 upgrade and some other multi-color options. In the end, we decided our kids will destroy the carpet and we’ll need to replace it, so we chose to stay at the $1200 upgrade!
With carpet you also have the choice of a few different padding levels. These upgrades ranged from $775-2000. Although I was sure I would upgrade the standard padding, I actually couldn’t tell the difference between the lower-end upgrades, so we stayed with the standard.
Flooring – Tile
Parkwood’s master bath tile options were definitely a bit too traditional for me (12” x 12” in faux brownish stone designs) and I dreamed of that tile that looks like wood. Our design center had a number of beautiful woodgrain tile options, but my favorite happened to be the least expensive! For about $650, our master bath will have a beautiful grey-tinged woodgrain tile, and for an extra $250, we were able to have the backsplash and shower pan tile match those lovely floors. Even the most expensive options we looked at for flooring tile topped out around $1500 – so this might be the most cost effective area to create your personal sanctuary.
So we’ve wrapped up flooring! In my next design center post, I’ll talk about countertop dilemmas, kitchen backsplashes, bath tile that goes to the ceiling (and why it’s worth it) and even the kitchen sink. In the meantime, I invite you to check out my Pinterest/New Home boards (forgive me, my furniture pinning may be out of control….) or contact me anytime if I can be of assistance!