Moving into a new home means the opportunity to change your decor along with your location.

Maybe you’re tired of the look you’ve lived with since college, your honeymoon or since the kids were in elementary school. It’s time to freshen up your interiors with a different style or colorShenandoah model home scheme.

Good news! If you’re building a new home with us, you’ll do that freshening up at the ICI Homes Design Center. It’s a required visit after you sign your contract. Our builders need to know what you want inside your home and how much of it to request on purchase orders.

At the design center, you’ll choose your flooring, hardware, paint, countertops, cabinetry and a whole lot more, with the aid of our design center consultants. Be aware that your design session is on the horizon and begin considering what you’d like.

Deadlines are another reason it’s important to nail your design session. The work you do with your consultant gets relayed to other departments, so those choices represent a line in the sand. You’ll be one step closer to construction — a win-win — but get those choices right, first.

Here are a few tips.

Make any structural changes before you get to the Design Center

That’s why ICI Homes offers potential customers a free customization consultation. Pre-contract, you’ll meet with one of our architects or other design experts, to tweak the floor plan you like, to get our help in drawing one, or to re-imagine one of ours to fit your vision.

We’ve done it for nearly four decades and rock at it, but please complete your customization consultation BEFORE you even think about the design center. The reason? The design center deals only with interior design, not structural stuff.

This means you can’t arrive at your design session and ask to add square footage, switch a bathtub to a shower (it changes plumbing), or add floor outlets.

“Anything that penetrates the slab or changes the shell of the home,” says design center consultant Janna Pettegrew, of requests that can’t be accommodated.

So mind your Ps, Qs and customization tweaks before you visit Pettegrew and her co-workers. Everyone will be glad you did.

Pay attention to your plan review

One of the first things that will happen in your design session is a review of your floorplan. Your design consultant will go over any of those structural changes or customization tweaks, plus your Reviewing floorplan at design session meetingcontract. It assures you and your consultant that you’re working off the same information.

Don’t zone out during this exercise, even though you may think you’ve memorized everything. The design center submits everything to engineering for final preparations. Be sure the items you requested show up on preliminary drawings.

And yes, there are a few easy tweaks you can request. Adding recessed lighting is one of them.

“We’ll mark up if there’s anything they want to change,” Pettegrew says of those possibilities. “A door swing or something like that, simple not structural. Adding recessed lighting — bumping out an outlet. CAD (computer-aided design) will see that.”

Pettegrew and her co-workers are there to guide you through each step. But your part is equally important. Asking questions, following checklists and meeting deadlines helps ensure you’ll nail your design session along with that new decor.

Ready for a new custom Florida home? Talk to ICI Homes here.