Let’s build a house

The process to build our new home has begun! After much debate on whether to stay in our house or start from scratch, we decided to take the leap and move forward with the build process. It was pretty scary since there are many unknowns (including final price!) when you do new construction. But the house, the builder and the location just kept drawing us back.

Morrison Ranch - Aspen Manor

For those unfamiliar with the process, once you made the decision to build in a community, you pick a lot, a floor plan and elevation, then work with a salesperson to determine a general idea of structural and interior options you’d like to put in the home. They tabulate all this for you and give you a general idea of cost. Negotiations take place to build in discounts and incentives, and if you’re satisfied and committed to move forward, you sign a contract at that point to hold the lot and begin the process.

Of course there is lots of paper signing and you have to hammer out a basic mortgage guarantee. The real financial details don’t have to be finalized until approximately 60 days from completion, though.

Then you move on to the fun stuff: choosing your interior finishes.

Ashton Woods Design Studio Phoenix

Yesterday we started this process. The builder we’re using (Ashton Woods) does it over two 3 hour appointments. And boy, do you suffer decision fatigue after three hours.

We got through the big ticket items: cabinets, countertops, tile and carpet.

Ashton Woods interior finishes Aspen Manor Morrison Ranch

The colors are all very neutral and similar to what is in our home right now.

White cabinets are a must.

Flooring is still being debated but we definitely wanted a lighter wood look tile since we have dark engineered hardwood right now. It dings really easily and shows every spec of dirt and dust. With kids and dogs, they are a nightmare to keep clean.

Countertops are an even bigger debate. We narrowed it down to two granites and a Silestone (quartz).

Bianco Antico

Bianco Antico Granite

Casa Blanca

Casa Blanca Granite

Pietra (Silestone)

Pietra Silestone

We currently have honed Bianco Venatino Marble countertops. We hand selected the slab and chose specifically which sections would be cut for particular areas of the countertop. It looks just like Statuary Vein Marble, but is slightly less expensive. Those counters were the crown jewel of my kitchen renovation.

But we need to stay within budget and pick something more practical (because of kids). Marble is extraordinarily beautiful but hard to maintain. So granite or quartz are our two options. I’ll be honest, neither really “wow” me like the Venatino, but we’re leaning towards the Silestone since its more white than the other options.

Bathroom tile was an easy choice since they had a very white, marble looking ceramic. This will grace the entire shower surround, floors and tub surround. We’re going for a very white and very clean look in the master bath.

Carpet was a fairly easy choice – something that matched the other materials and would wear well for the kids. Over time, this is an easy one to change-up, so we didn’t let ourselves get stuck on it.

At the next appointment we finish up the smaller details: lighting, hardware, railings, plumbing fixtures, etc. It’s a very exciting process, even though it’s a bit overwhelming. We still have eight weeks for permits to be drawn up before groundbreaking can happen, so after the second design appointment it will be quiet for a while. But we’re hoping for a smooth build after that.



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