Understanding Key Terms
Standard vs Upgrade
Standard Features: Builders typically offer standard items that are included in the negotiated sales price of the home. This may include items such as standard flooring, cabinets, faucets, appliances and more. Be sure you are clear what items are included in the sales price of the home before you sign the contract.
Upgrade Features: Available upgrades can vary greatly by builder. They may include structural options such as rear decks and finish options such as faucets, fireplaces, and lighting.
Structural vs Finish Options
Structural Options: Structural options include items that impact how the home is built. Examples include whether you would like to turn a study into an extra bedroom, add a rear deck or other changes to the home’s layout. If you are purchasing a custom built home, you will likely have more options to choose from than if you are purchasing a production home. These decisions need to be made early in the construction process.
Finish Options: Finishes refer to items that are the finishing touches of the home – cabinets, countertops, faucets, lighting and more. Decisions on finish options can be made later in the construction process.
Mix and Match vs Packages
Mix and Match: Custom home builders may offer purchasers the option to select each individual option in the home, or at least a wide variety of them. This is typically called mix and match as you can mix appliances, cabinetry or whatever you desire.
Packages: Builders may offer various packages, such as a standard kitchen package vs an upgrade kitchen package. You would not get to choose the individual items in the package (refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, etc) but would select all the appliances as a group. This type of options process may be preferred by those who would like to make fewer decisions and is likely offered more often by production builders.