11 Sneaky New Build Budget Busters (and How to Avoid Them)

You’ve painstakingly picked out your paint color and chosen the perfect bathroom tile. Now it’s time to let your builder take over the details, right? Some production builders utilize a fixed price model after the estimating phase, but it’s not always the case. Building a home yourself or using an individual contractor could leave you on the hook for extra costs. After all, there are some things you just can’t plan. Whether it’s a weather delay or inaccurate plans, incidentals can really blow your budget. Knowing what areas to plan for and leaving a little padding in your new build budget can keep you on track. Keep an eye out for these common new build budget busters and talk to your contractor or builder about the game plan.

Land costs

Your land costs could affect your budget before you build. Image: Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association

Some of the sneakiest budget
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Boring Garage? Turn It Into a Showstopper

garage red car

A garage is no longer an afterthought. Image: Stonecreek Building Company

Garages used to be (there’s no other way to say this) boring enclosures for your car: functional and practical, but plain and bare. Some homeowners also used them as storage areas for all the junk they didn’t want cluttering the house. But times have changed. Now, garages are so stylish that you’ll be tempted to spend more time there than in the house.
garage entertainment

“These are a few of my favorite things…” Image: Architectural Photographer Ron Rosenzweig

With a pool table, a poker table, a TV and a fabulous view, the addition of an entertainment room ensures you’re never far from your favorite activities.
garage farmhouse

Barn doors and a tin roof add a touch of Americana. Image: 3North Architecture

The farmhouse look – updated. This classic farmhouse-style enclosure holds three cars, and the main space has barn doors that open on
garage tools
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Patterned Tile: What the Portuguese Can Teach Us About Style

patterned tile

Look to the Portuguese for patterned tile that transforms a room. Image: CTI Kitchens

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.  During any renovation or new build, the designer – or design-minded property owner – is tasked with balancing functionality and style. Choices present themselves at every turn. Will you prioritize form or function? Blending your vision with the realities of a space is a major undertaking. If you’re in the thick of this process and feel overwhelmed, we’ve got good news. Patterned tile can deliver both high impact and high function. Your days of deliberating are over! The patterned tile revival in the US leans into Mediterranean culture. If you’re looking for inspiration to turn a simple stretch of tile into a permanent art piece, go straight to the
patterned tile - minimal kitchen
patterned tile - kitchen backsplash
patterned tile - bathroom floor
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patterned tile - bathroom shelf
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Here Are 6 Surprising Home Improvements That Will Get You the Most Bang for Your Buck When You Sell

Zillow, the website that values home properties according to local area sales, just released a report on how to add value before selling your home. Their research team looked at the 100 most common terms found in home listings from the last couple of years to identify the trends of what people are looking for in a new home. They looked deeper to find which of these wish list items return the most money for the investment. If you’re thinking granite countertops, wood floors or a new outdoor deck top the list, you might be surprised to read that none of those three are mentioned. In fact, most of the top six home improvements driving profitable sales today are unexpected. And some don’t cost a ton of money to add.

1. A wine refrigerator

how to add value before selling your home

Even a small under-the-counter wine fridge could add thousands of dollars to your home’s sale price.

how to add value before selling your home
how to add value before selling your home
how to add value before selling your home
how to add value before selling your home
how to add value before selling your home
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Take a Look Inside Ben Affleck’s Plantation House Full of Southern Charm Before It Sells

Ben Affleck is selling his gorgeous southern antebellum Greek-revival Georgia plantation for $8.9 million through Engel & Volkers. It’s nicknamed “The Big House” and here’s why:
  • It’s situated on 87 acres on Hampton Island.
  • The main “Big House” is 6,000 square feet and has several stately fireplaces and 15-foot ceilings.
  • There’s also a 10,000-square-foot guest house for 20 featuring five bedrooms and three master suites.
  • The property includes a cottage.
ben affleck georgia mansion celebrity homes

The antebellum-style main house has four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms.

Located just 35 miles from Savannah, the historic-looking home is perfectly polished. Here’s a look inside:

ben affleck georgia mansion celebrity homes

The living room is elegant yet relaxed and inviting, thanks to the slipcovered sofas. The grand fireplace has a mirror hung over it that reflects the centerpiece of the room: the chandelier.

ben affleck georgia mansion celebrity homes

Reclaimed brick adds a historical feel to the home.

The open, airy kitchen has a relaxed feel. Large armoires and an island provide

ben affleck georgia mansion celebrity homes
ben affleck georgia mansion celebrity homes
ben affleck georgia mansion celebrity homes
ben affleck georgia mansion celebrity homes
ben affleck georgia mansion celebrity homes
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Floor Your Guests With These 2018 Rug Trends

2018 rug trends

These 2018 rug trends can help you pick the perfect addition to your floor. Image: Allison Lind Interiors

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. Perhaps it was the Dude who said it best: A rug can really tie a room together. Laying down a single piece of fabric has the potential to completely transform a space. Rugs can take a room from cavernous to cozy, from disconnected to designed. Every decorator knows just how important a rug can be. Think of it as a huge piece of art. That being said, it’s also something you’re going to walk on – and have to look at – every day. You want a rug that is visually interesting but won’t overwhelm a room. Picking the perfect rug can be quite the challenge.
2018 rug trends - tassels
2018 rug trends - multi-textured
2018 rug trends - geometric bohemian
2018 rug trends - responsibly sourced
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Palm Springs: Your Hot Spot for Mid-Century Modern Design

Mid-century modern is a trend that’s here to stay. You can thank “Mad Men” or our parents’ hand-me-downs, but either way, this style has taken up residence in homes across America. Nowhere is that more apparent than in Palm Springs. In fact, in Palm Springs, mid-century modern styling isn’t a return to anything; it’s honoring a style that never really left. Palm Springs has historically attracted a huge range of stars, from Frank Sinatra to Liberace. And who can blame them for choosing this spot? The warm weather, palm-lined streets and myriad of pools make it quintessential Southern California. Although it’s been decades since the Rat Pack called it home, Palm Springs still embodies that nostalgic mid-century glamour. Today, the area celebrates its fashionable heritage in a number of ways, from flat-roofed homes to Modernism Week in the fall. If you’re looking for some of the best mid-century architecture
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palm springs - windows
palm springs - kitchen
palm springs - modern architecture
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palm springs - bathroom
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palm springs - retro fireplace
palm springs - turf rug
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Getting Ready to Move? Here’s What to Look for in Your Real Estate Agent

Picking a real estate agent is a huge step toward becoming a homeowner. However, sometimes that’s easier said than done. There are often more than enough agents in your area to choose from, but how do you know when you’ve found the right one? If you’re about to enter the real estate market, this post is for you. We’ve outlined four crucial qualities to look for in your real estate agent. When you land on the right combination, you’ll have found your perfect match.

Ask questions of your potential real estate agent to gauge experience levels. Image: Norris Architecture

Overall experience

Buying a home, especially for the first time, can be a nerve-wracking experience. After all, you’re about to make a huge purchase, one that requires managing several timelines and signing legal documents. If you’ve never done it before, you’re going to want someone to lead you through the
area
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How To: Incorporate Surfboards in Home Decor

surfboards in home decor

Are you ready to catch the wave of surfboards in home decor? Image: Starr Sanford Design

Americans have always had a love of surf culture. We associate it with cool people and a laid-back lifestyle. Surfers are famed for soaking up days in the sunshine, setting their own schedules and pursuing their passion for the ocean. What’s not to love? The surf culture hype is nothing new – but its introduction into interior design is. Now, everywhere we look, we’re seeing surfboards in home decor. Whether you love or scoff at this new trend, there’s undeniable proof that it can work. When done right, using surfboards in home decor can give a room a laid-back air. Surfboard decor is ideal for homes with a beachy vibe or for modern structures seeking a little playfulness in certain areas. Ready to see how this trend works in practice? Here are some samples of
surfboards in home decor - curb appeal
surfboards in home decor - living room
surfboards in home decor - kitchen
surfboards in home decor - kids rom
surfboards in home decor - game room
surfboards in home decor - outdoor shower
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Our Top 5 Prime Day Smart Home Picks

Prime Day isn’t over yet! You’ve probably had some fun poking around all of the great deals on furniture, textiles and home decor on Amazon. All of the easy-on-the-eyes pictures – and even easier-on-the-wallet prices – make it tempting to spend your savings stocking up on home goods. However, don’t miss out on the great tech deals just because it’s not as fun to window-shop them. This is the year to make your house into a smart home, and Prime Day has just the deals to help you do it. Whether your home is fully fitted with the latest tech or you’ve been hesitant to jump on the bandwagon, there are some key Prime Day smart home deals you shouldn’t skip. Most people who’ve eschewed smart home tech have done so because of the historically high price of getting started. Amazon is changing that, thanks in part to its deals today.
prime day smart home - echo dot
prime day smart home - roomba
prime day home deals - home security
prime day smart home - deadbolt
prime day smart home - lawn
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The Best Prime Day 2018 Home Deals

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.  Have you been making the most of Prime Day 2018? We’ve had quite a few hours now to get our Prime Day feet under us. You may have made some impulse purchases – no judgment here. With everything so steeply discounted, it’s hard not to click that enticing yellow “Add to Cart” button. You shouldn’t let today pass you by, though; there are many more sale items available that you’ll be sincerely glad to own a few weeks from now. We’ve gathered up some of the best Prime Day 2018 home deals. Use this list to score big before the day’s deals are done.

Prime Day 2018 home deals: furniture

Prime Day is a lot like Black Friday. The deals on low-dollar items
prime day 2018 home deals - couch
prime day 2018 home deals - dining chairs
prime day 2018 home deals - desk
prime day 2018 home deals - stone & beam chair
prime day 2018 home deals - duvet
prime day 2018 home deals - throw
prime day 2018 home deals - rug 2
prime day 2018 home deals - mirror
prime day 2018 home deals - print
prime day 2018 home deals - plants
prime day 2018 home deals - diffuser
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How Much House Can I Afford? Here’s a Breakdown by State and Major City

Are you planning a move or a relocation? You probably have questions like, “How much house can I afford? or “Should I rent or buy?” We’ve taken data from websites like Zillow, How Much and Unison to break it down for you. First off, these figures were calculated by taking data from Zillow about each state’s median home sale price and deducting a 10% down payment. The remaining amount was dropped into a mortgage calculator with an interest rate of 5%. And according to How Much, “Financial advisors commonly recommend the total cost of housing take up no more than 30% of gross income (the amount before taxes, retirement savings, etc.).” Following that sensible rule, they worked out what your annual salary should be to own a home.

Here’s the answer to “How much house can I afford?” and the salary you’ll need to make
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how much house can I afford
how much house can i afford
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Prime Day 2018: The Best Home Deals From Amazon’s Big Day

amazon prime day

Amazon Prime Day 2018 is here! Image: Amazon

It’s here! Prime Day is basically Christmas for online shoppers who live for two-day shipping. It starts today at 3 p.m. ET, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to get in on some great deals. Amazon is already rolling out discounts and stocking its digital shelves with a huge range of products.

What is Prime Day?

If you haven’t already heard, Prime Day is a big deal in the online shopping world. It’s the biggest sale of the year for Amazon, arguably the top player in e-commerce. It offers Black Friday-esque deals on a huge range of products. Essentially, if you were planning on buying something from Amazon, now’s the time. Prime Day continues through tomorrow, July 17. It’s 36 hours of sweet deals from the store that sells just about everything. Keep in mind that not all Prime
prime day - rivet chair
prime day - rivet pillows
prime day - chair cover
prime day - vitamix
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5 Ways Baskets Can Revolutionize Your Pantry Organization

pantry organization baskets

Baskets change the game in pantry organization. Image: Cummings Architects

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.  You’ve seen them: pictures of beautiful pantries, their shelves lined with clearly labeled glass jars and neatly arranged bins. They seem to repel dust and disorganization. If your pantry doesn’t look like that, you’re not alone. Keeping your pantry in top shape is a challenge – especially if you actually use it. Whether you’re a master chef or newbie in the kitchen, your pantry will be in a constant state of flux. With so much coming in and going out, how do you keep things in order? The answer might be simpler than you think. Look at those pretty pantry pictures again. What do they all have in common? Baskets. They might be
pantry baskets - areas
pantry baskets - packaging
pantry baskets - party
pantry baskets - appliances
pantry baskets - use your food
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5 Creative Ideas for Forest Scene Walls

Artistic wall design has become a huge trend in homes over the years. From geometric patterns to realistic art, statement walls fit into just about any home style. Using either paint or wallpaper, a good design adds dimension to a room through a point of interest. One of the best ways to take advantage of this statement wall trend is to incorporate forest scene walls. Forest scene walls don’t have to be just about the trees. Whether you’re going for a natural vibe in your home or something more artistic, there are several ways to pull off the idea depending on the home style and overall room function. Read on to find out how versatile forest scene walls can be.
Forest Scene Walls Subtle Accent Wall

Painted forest scenes can make subtle accent walls. Image: Waypoint Living Spaces

Use subtle tones in forest scene walls

Forest scene walls don’t have to dominate a space. For a
Forest Scene Walls Realistic Dining Room
Forest Scene Walls Basement Workout Space
Forest Scene Walls Abstract Nursery
Forest Scene Walls Classic Bedroom
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Beyond the Terra Cotta Pot: CB2’s Modern Planter Line

cb2's modern planter - zen

CB2’s modern planter line includes interesting shapes in classic colors, like these Zen planters.

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.  We’re loving the houseplant trend. What’s better than surrounding yourself with lush, affordable decor that will only get more impressive with time and will help keep your air clean? It’s no surprise that plants are in style. Whether you’re just starting to test your green thumb or have a veritable jungle at home, CB2’s modern planter line has something for you. Its sleek new planters will help you transform your home garden into a work of art. If you’re still using terra cotta pots for all of your plants, CB2’s here to upgrade you. Its unique planters deliver clean lines, classic colors (that aren’t earthen brown!) and a
cb2's modern planter - olly
cb2's modern planter - blox
cb2's modern planter - nile
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Which Architectural Style Is Right for You?

Planning to build a home may leave you equal parts excited and overwhelmed. Building means making hundreds of choices on the way to your move-in date. The first, of course, is the type of home you’ll build. Architectural style is almost as unique as the families that live within the home, so it’s a deeply personal decision. Good design is the combination of two factors: aesthetics and function. Find the perfect balance between what looks great and what works for your family, and you’ve got a dream home in the works. Not sure where to start? Understanding the most common architectural styles helps you narrow down your choices. With a general style in mind, your architect can create the perfect plan. Here are some of the most common styles and what makes them stand the test of time.
architectural style cape cod

Cape Cods are simple but charming. Image: Elaine M. Johnson Landscape Design

architectural style craftsman
architectural style modern
architectural style colonial
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Check out Oprah’s New Orcas Island Getaway

Variety has done some super sleuthing to discover that Oprah Winfrey just spent $8.275 million on a private estate on Orcas Island, Washington. Orcas Island is between Seattle and Vancouver in the San Juan Islands archipelago. Oprah’s new compound, named Madroneagle Estate by the seller, features two waterfront parcels totaling 43 acres and 3,000 feet of shoreline.
Oprah Winfrey real estate

Views from her property of the eastern part of the island.

Here is part of Oprah’s private shoreline.

Check out Oprah’s new getaway:

oprah winfrey orca island

There are several structures including a tea house (shown on the left), the main house featuring four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half bathrooms (shown on the right), a large barn with a gym, a woodworking studio and yoga studio and a large guest house on the cliff overlooking the bay.

Rustic craftsman in style, the three-story main residence is 7,303 square feet of oasis. Stone facing, rustic timber accents and

oprah winfrey house
oprah winfrey kitchen
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7 Easy Ways to Decorate With Lilac

lilac dining room

Rich lilac walls highlight pretty white accents. Image: PPG Voice of Color

Lilac has unseated Millennial Pink as the most exciting pastel for our homes, and we couldn’t be happier. While pastel pink can be a soothing addition to a contemporary color palette, lilac and lavender are more versatile and easy to use. Once thought of as nostalgic and sentimental, today’s lilac works wonderfully in contemporary spaces with clean lines and simple decor, and in rustic spaces with a simple color palette.  Painting is an easy and quick way to introduce a new color to your home when you’re ready to decorate with lilac. Here are six on-trend lilac paint colors we love:

Six paint colors you’ll want to try

Why Your Foyer Needs Color (And How to Choose It)

blue foyer color

The foyer color combination of aqua and white creates a tranquil space. Image: Alexandra Rae Interior Design

We love foyers that are filled with color and personalized accents. Your foyer is not just a welcoming transition into your home; with a little planning, you can give guests a preview of what’s inside. Even if your home doesn’t have a dedicated foyer, you can still create a designated space near your front door that is both beautiful and functional.

If you use your side or back door more often, your foyer becomes a mudroom. Despite the name, this can be every bit as attractive as a traditional foyer — in fact, borrowing from the most useful features of a mudroom makes any foyer an essential space in your home.

Basic must-haves for a stylish (and functional) foyer

No matter where you situate your foyer, there are a few necessary items to
eclectic foyer colors
foyer with blue ceiling
foyer wallpaper
colorful foyer rug
foyer chandelier ideas
foyer mudroom colors
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