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Selecting Products for Your New Home

After you purchase house plans, your construction documents will have all the details you need to start selecting the products your builder will use to build your dream home. All those measurements and symbols on the blueprints are basically a shopping list! Go through and count all the fixtures, add up the square footage of each room for flooring, and start talking to dealers about your design ideas. There are so many options for every kind of product, and so many places to buy them—here are some ways to get ahead and set yourself up for a smooth build.

Why to Shop for Products Early

There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed to make a decision. And when it’s a decision you’ll have to live with for years, the pressure can be even more overwhelming. That’s why we recommend shopping for finishing products early—the best time to buy is often well before you’re ready to install each product.

Your builder will handle most of the major construction purchases, like concrete and lumber, per the contract you signed. They will also often order exterior finishes like roofing, siding, windows, and doors, but these items definitely require your input. Get settled on these as soon as you can, because they’re the first products installed as part of the enclosing stage of building. They also have longer lead times than interior finishes (sometimes months long, depending on your choice), so you might have to place these orders before you even break ground. Very early on in the process, sit down with your builder to hammer out these details.

When it comes to interior finishes, you have more time to make selections, but it’s still a good idea to start shopping as soon as possible. Not only can you go around to compare products and prices, but you can take advantage of any sales or closeouts. You need to schedule some things for delivery, like flooring, countertops, and tile, so that should be coordinated with the progress of the build. For smaller fixtures and furnishings, you have more wiggle room, but you still don’t want to feel rushed at the last minute.

Where to Look for Finishing Products

With the internet, it’s never been easier to research products and shop for better deals. Even if you want to see items in person, starting online allows you to quickly zero in on styles you like. You might learn vocabulary that helps you communicate your wants and needs, or you may find a store you didn’t know existed. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our Product Ideas page to see some of the latest innovations for all around the house—we have sections for kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor living, and all the various product categories you have to specify for.

Whether you buy online or in-store, shopping sooner rather than later allows you to make sound financial choices. It’s a great idea to ask your builder for recommendations, because some professionals get special discounts at stores, and you could save by having them buy the things on your list directly. You also never know what you might find on your own at a discount or thrift store, or how long it’ll be available. Sale codes are only live for a limited time—and they aren’t very common for building products, anyway. If you don’t mind a longer wait, you can also sometimes find fantastic deals internationally!

Once you start making purchases, consider renting a storage unit to hold products until the house is far enough along for them to be installed or moved in. Scheduled deliveries aside, there’s still a lot that goes into a house, and it may not be safe to leave it at the build site. Consider the short-term rental an investment against losses that would cost a lot more to replace.

If you’re excited to start choosing products, but aren’t sure how you’ll keep your ideas in order, remember that The House Designers offers a free Home Building Organizer with every house plan purchase! This handy binder includes budget and product worksheets to help simplify the process. You could be well on your way to a streamlined build faster than you thought was possible!