How designing your house is like preparing for a Thanksgiving feast

In the spirit of the season, we’re saying thanks to our clients and readers with some invaluable budgeting tips for those of you getting ready to build a new home. 

Here’s the thing about budgets: whether you’ve got a small one or big one, the important part is to make one and stick to it. But how do you know what to include in the budget? Think of it as a holiday meal. You wouldn’t want to miss any of the courses, but you also don’t want to make more than you can finish! With this in mind, here are some key points to consider when making your budget: 

Appetizers. Start by making a wishlist of all the little things you’d like to see in a new home. It’s your amuse-bouche—the delicious bits whetting your appetite for this home design process. 

  • Make perfect menu pairings: Just like most dishes benefit from being paired with a tasty beverage, think about which things will enhance your new house. Include the small stuff, like brass kitchen cabinet pulls, a picture window in the office, or a sink in the laundry room. Identifying these dreams helps solidify a vision of your home, even if they all don’t fit in your budget. 
  • Then prioritize: Don’t overeat before you hit the mains! Focusing on the must-haves in your budget can help you know when to pass on other small-plate items, like luxe wallpaper. This might mean postponing putting it in the dining room until a later date so you can stay within the budget you have now. But since you’ve kept some key items on your wishlist in the design, it’ll still allow you to build a home you love and feels like you.

The main course. Moving on to the star of the show, now focus your design on the essentials. This is the “meat” of the meal. 

  • Pick your protein: What kind of beast will you build the rest of your feast around? Do you need a lean white meat option, like a simple 2-bedroom plan? Or does your family need a different animal entirely? Some people prefer a cavernous critter with 3 large bedrooms. Others need a surf-n-turf style split plan to keep kids on one side of the house and adults on the other.
  • Then add garnish. Consider your lifestyle and the little things you can sprinkle into your design to make it fun and functional, even if you can’t do it right away. For example, maybe a finished garage with oodles of built-ins is on your wishlist, but not in the budget. Our Palisades Homes still come with an attached garage, so the raw space will be there until you can add to it. 

Side Dishes. Just like your cousin who always brings her famous bacon green bean casserole to Thanksgiving every year, most folks have sides they must have to feel the holiday spirit. The same is true for houses!

  • Identify Comfort Foods: Ask yourself what will make your home more liveable. Is it cozy carpeting in the bedroom? A huge soaker tub to escape to once the workday is done? 
  • Curb some cravings: While it might be tempting to overdo it, pause before you exceed your budget. For example, if you have your heart set on ultra-plush carpet and a soaker tub, can one of those wait just a little longer? Pick wallet-friendly floors for now so you can have your big bath, and add the carpet at a later date. And if you do have to wait, Trilogy can still make it feel like you with paint and other selections within your budget. And whether it’s massive or mini, there are always ways to incorporate new features down the road. 

Dessert. Now for the sweetest part of the home feast: style. What kind will be a reflection of you? 

  • Pick a satisfying finish: From the exterior to the interior, identify the style that suits you best. (Not sure? Trilogy’s got a blog to help you find your own style.) Whether it’s Farmhouse to Modern, Tuscan to Coastal, style is truly the cherry on top of your design.
  • Savor small bites: Do you want to go big for your home style, only to come up short in the finance department? Even if your budget doesn’t allow for a full-on farmhouse wood accent extravaganza, we can help you scale it down to find some small, satisfying notes to include in your design and still illustrate your style.

*Burp*. Overstuffed your budget? One of our top tips is to make choices you can edit over time. You can always trim some of the non-essentials now (like a marble-topped kitchen island) and then add it later once the build is done and you have more breathing room in your finances. Or if you had your heart set on a gorgeous laundry room complete with high-end wood cabinets, you can just install the washer and dryer for now and add cabinets down the road. There are so many ways to get creative about budgets while still creating a home you love!

Got more questions? Trilogy is here to help. We’ve got a custom True Quote process for our clients to take the guesswork out of what you’ll be paying when you build a Trilogy home. It gives you an exact budget so you can get what you want at a price you can afford. Contact us to find out more!

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