If you’ve never built a new home from scratch, you may not know that it’s your responsibility to select all the interior finishes and materials when the time arrives to do that.

Nope, that model home you’ve fallen for won’t be magically reproduced on your lot unless it’s exactly what you want and your budget allows. But the building process is more involved than walkingDesign Center pricing into a model-home center and saying, “Yeah, this’ll work.”

That’s a good thing because all of us have individual tastes.

Buying a home as a couple or with your partner? One of you may adore the interior design of a certain model home while the other simply can’t abide it. See what we mean?

So, if you’re a first-timer at home building, prepare mentally and aesthetically to make those interior design selections. We’ll add one more tip: know what splurges you must have, and where top-shelf stuff simply isn’t necessary. Being smart and thrifty with those choices will pay off on your bottom line.

The Design Center has all the answers

A little tongue-in-cheek, but mostly true. If you build with us, this is where you’ll go to make your interior design choices. You’ll be guided by one of our professional design consultants, who’ll walk you through samples and mock-ups of flooring, cabinetry, decorative tile, paint and hardware, to name but a few.

You’ll need to do this within a specific timeframe after signing your contract because ICI Homes builders can’t start construction on your new home until they know what goes inside it. All those interior design choices also affect the final price of your new home.

This is where design pros such as Janna Pettegrew can help.

Many selections, many decisions

“Typically everything’s going to come down to pricing,” says Ms. Pettegrew, an ICI Homes design center consultant.

That’s true for most of us. You can decide between several different pricing levels for many elements, and it’s up to you where to put your dollars. But Pettegrew has some suggestions.

For instance, flooring will be the biggest expense because it’s everywhere in the house. Also, most customers use the same cabinetry throughout their home (there’s a small fee if you change it up). If you want a statement bathroom vanity that’s more of a furniture piece, account for that.

The key is assembling your top sample choices and ballpark-ing the total cost with Pettegrew’s help. Then you’ll know whether you need to add or subtract.

Happiness and function should be top of mind

Need to trim dollars from your interior design costs? Pettegrew — who’s there to guide, not to decide for you — again steps in with suggestions. With the caveat that decisions are all yours.

Pettegrew says she counsels customers to, “Keep something they really want and cut somewhere else.”

An example is choosing between fancy kitchen countertops or a spa-like shower. Per Pettegrew, weigh practicality and perks. You’ll stare at those kitchen countertops a lot more than you will that fancy shower.

“I try to make adjustments that don’t affect the look of the room,” she says. “I don’t ever want those changes to be a sacrifice. I want it to be something you didn’t need.”

Apply those smart but thrifty guidelines to all your choices, and you’ll design yourself new interiors you can’t wait to show off!

Interested in a new custom Florida home? Talk to ICI Homes here.