Buying a brand new spec home can be both exciting and, let’s face it, a little overwhelming! If you’re lucky enough to get in on the action early enough in the process however, you might have an opportunity to further customize your new home to your liking, even adding elements like a bar or a finished basement with extra bedroom and bathroom to your project. But even if you’re not planning to go further than what the builder is proposing, it’s still important to know what questions to ask your Realtor so they can coordinate with the builder.

The flip side of this lucky scenario however, is that there can be a lot of open questions, a lot of decisions to make—and a whole lot of details to keep track of. The list below should help you organize your thoughts and consider some of the details that might otherwise be overlooked. That way you’ll know what to expect in terms of features and costs. But perhaps more importantly, if you keep these questions at the forefront of your mind as you go through the building process, you may also find you can access some ripe opportunities to maintain a kind of “consistency of design” throughout your new home. Ensuring that there is continual flow from room to room in your house—whether achieved by consistent flooring or other design elements, can make what would otherwise be a perfectly good house a simply great house.

Keeping the questions below in mind will also mean keeping surprises to a minimum. And that’s one of the best ways to manage your stress levels during what should undoubtedly be an exciting and but very busy time for you personally. At Lake & City Homes Realty we hope to be a part of that process by introducing you to area builders and sharing our expertise with you as we help you navigate the building process. So here are a few important new construction questions to keep in mind when building a new home:

Top 20 New Construction Questions

1.) Are bathrooms ceramic tile or vinyl? Will you have any choices in terms of color?

2.) Is the kitchen flooring going to be composite hardwood, laminate, or vinyl? 

3.) Is the hard surface located throughout the kitchen and the balance of the second floor or is it limited to the kitchen area? What about the eat-in area between the kitchen counter and the living area?

4.) If the lower level has a walkout, is a hard surface (e.g. a tiled area) included in the lower level entrance area? Is all the hard surface material identical?

5.) Are all carpeted areas carpeted with the same style of carpets? Is there a choice of style or colors?

6.) Who are the manufacturers and what are the models of the gas stove, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher and washer/dryer? Is the washer/dryer two separate units that are side by side, stacked, or are they one combination style unit?

7.) Is the microwave hood vented to the outside? Is there an option to do so or is it already too late?

8.) Are the kitchen/bathroom cabinets all matching? Is there a choice of color or a door panel option? Is cabinet hardware (cabinet knobs/pulls) included in the price?

9.) What options are available for the granite countertops (edge finish, backsplash, etc.)?

10.) Are bathroom countertops granite or quartz? Are they the same or different from the kitchen?

11.) Is the kitchen sink a lay-in or under mount style? Is the kitchen sink stainless steel?

12.) Is there an upgrade for a deeper kitchen sink?

13.) Is a garbage disposal included in the kitchen build?

14.) Are the bathroom sinks porcelain and under mount?

Are bathroom towel bars included?

15.) What type of door hardware (knobs and hinges) and the finish (gold, chrome, oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, silver, etc) are planned for the house?

16.) Can the builder do an accent color on one wall or is it a “one color per entire room” deal?

17.) Is there an intercom or security system?

18.) Is there a choice of light fixtures? Where are all the places that light fixtures will be included? (For example, above the eat-in kitchen table, hallways, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.)

19.) Are all the bedroom (and kitchen ceiling lights) pre-wired for ceiling fans with light kits?

20.) What is the rough opening of windows and sliding doors? Consider getting blinds pre-made or pre-cut prior to closing so that window coverings can be installed after closing the same day.

Whew! If you made it this far you must have the patience to go through the building process! In all seriousness though, if you’re thinking of building a new construction home in the Madison area, would like to customize a spec home that’s currently being built or is about to be built, or would like to be introduced to area builders to discuss your options for a new construction build in Dane County, you’ve come to the right place!

We know all about new construction homes, the latest new construction neighborhoods, reputable area builders, and much more. We can also introduce you to completed spec homes for sale (some with opportunities for further customization) or barely used homes (homes on the secondary real estate market that are only 2-3 years old). To get started, simply call the broker/owner, Jolenta Averill, at (563) BUY-SOLD or fill out the contact form below.

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