First Steps: Customization

In my quest for more information on home building, I have found it is much more common for people to write blogs about building their custom house (from scratch, with an architect and building permits and all that fun stuff) than it is for someone to write about their experience with a “big builder.” Additionally, a lot of these custom-build bloggers kind of look down their nose at the big builders, like their home would not be unique if they went with a “cookie cutter home factory.”


I don’t think we’ll ever be quite this unique… From Zillow Blog

But for our first build, we weren’t looking for ultra-customized. We weren’t looking for the adventure of buying vacant land…and drawing up blueprints…and finding a contractor… Not that there is anything wrong with that! But for us and our first build, we felt better with a little bit of hand-holding. So, we found ourselves looking for well-established builders in the area that were semi-customizable, but would handle all the headaches of the actual building process.

Now that we are officially signed on with Allen Edwin, the next step is choosing all of the customizations that we want in our new home. First off, we agreed on several structural elements that we both wanted: we chose a kitchen layout, added a window in the master bath, and extended the garage for extra storage, just to name a few things.

Then comes the fun part.


Screenshot from the Allen Edwin New Home Showroom virtual tour

Welcome to the Allen Edwin New Home Showroom!

Next week we have a six hour appointment to visit the Allen Edwin showroom and pick out every. last. finish. I mean, top to bottom, in and out, every floor, wall, ceiling, and fixture will be decided on during this appointment. We’ll have a designated consultant that has a degree in interior design to help us along the way.

For anyone that is here to read specifically about the process of building with Allen Edwin, please note: normally this appointment is split up into two 3-hour appointments. However, because of our work schedules and the fact that the showroom is two hours from where we are currently living, we asked for a special day-long finishes extravaganza.

showroomScreenshot from the Allen Edwin New Home Showroom virtual tour

Their 7,000 square foot showroom has pretty much every finish you could possibly want. I mean, look at all of the choices for kitchen cabinets. And this is just one of the cabinet displays — there is an even bigger room full of cabinet choices on the other side of the wall!

kitchen showroom

Screenshot from the Allen Edwin New Home Showroom virtual tour

While we are both absolutely giddy with excitement over our selections appointment, we both know it’s going to be a lot of work and likely a little bit stressful to make all of these decisions in one day (anyone who has met me can attest, I am horrible when it comes to making decisions. This should be interesting.). For these reasons, I’ve attempted to do as much pre-work as possible. This came in the form of lots of Pinterest and Houzz browsing, multiple spreadsheets of price comparisons, and downright stalking the New Home Showroom virtual tour to try and pick my favorite finish through the computer screen (not at all recommended). Once we leave our selections appointment, everything will be set in stone and no changes can be made, so we’d better come prepared.

The best part about the selections appointment is that it marks the official start of the construction process. Even though it has been almost 3 weeks since we were pre-approved to start building, nothing has been happening at the lot — not an ounce of dirt has been moved in preparation for our new home. This was completely expected, as Allen Edwin will not begin the construction process until after selections, but that knowledge definitely has not made the waiting any easier. We are already very much looking forward to seeing that big beautiful hole where our house will eventually sit.

I’ll be back soon to tell you all about our visit to the New Home Showroom. There will also be plenty of upcoming posts to reveal our inspiration and our final choices. Until then, wish us luck on our selections appointment!



2 thoughts on “First Steps: Customization

  1. I can see where going with a Big Builder would be a logical first-build step–you find what you like and tweak it rather than starting from scratch! Good luck with the finish selections–I’m not sure I’d want to make them all at once but if it has to be that way, then I’m sure you guys’ll do fine!

  2. I’m decisive to a fault so I would despise splitting the appointments into two – no way, Jose. All at once to get this shit done.

    Also, I had no clue big builders were scoffed at – they’re big for a reason, people!

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