Are you in the process of building a new home, remodeling, or adding on to your home? Do you get overwhelmed by all the choices the builder’s design center has to offer?


Understandably, it can be a very overwhelming and emotional experience deciding on the finishes you want in your new home. Imagine picking out every surface of an entire home – from exterior selections to flooring, cabinetry, paint, appliances, countertops, lighting etc all in 4-6 hours. And to add to the overwhelm, doing it from small swatches and within a certain budget.

Most homebuilders offer standard finishes for your home and then options that you can select as upgrades. These upgrades are usually priced a bit higher than what the homeowner can get them for if they were to shop around. These upgrades are priced higher because the homebuilder has made it more convenient to have these items installed in your home during construction. But is it worth paying extra for?


There are ways you can confidently choose the finishes for your new construction home, without losing your sanity.

  • There are great resources out there that can help you to determine the look you want in your home. Websites like Houzz and Pinterest offer great photographs of finished spaces that are sure to inspire you. Create inspiration boards that you can refer to during your design center appointment or share with your design consultant.
  • Take advantage of  “previews” offered by homebuilders. Some homebuilders will allow you to go to their design center prior to your actual design appointment to browse and get an idea of what you want. It is usually unassisted, and you won’t get pricing at that point, but at least you get to see what’s available
  • Visit the homebuilder’s model homes in your area. Not just one, but as many as you can. Homebuilders usually add a lot of upgrades to model homes and they base it on the demographics of that particular market. Visiting all these areas will allow you to see the range of upgrades in actual spaces.
  • Check out spec homes or inventory homes under construction as well. They are full of options that the builder chose that they feel would appeal to most buyers. The finishes are usually not as elaborate as the model homes, so they give you a truer picture of what is reasonable.
  • For exterior selections, it helps to drive the neighborhood and look at completed homes for inspiration. If it is within a subdivision, your sales person will have record of the exterior finishes for each home (even if it is another builder’s home). There is usually an Architectural Review Committee that keeps track of this information and shares it with each builder.
  • Consider hiring an Interior Designer to accompany you to your design center appointment. For just a small investment, you will be confident that the selections you are making will work well in your home. An Interior Designer has a trained eye and the experience with working with small samples of these materials and can guide you in the process. They are knowledgeable about the value of the finishes in relation to the value of your home. This is one of the many services we offer here at Casa Vilora Interiors. With years of experience working with custom home builders and production builders, we have the experience to make the design center experience go smoothly and efficiently. For just a small investment of $95 an hour you can leave your design center with the confidence of knowing that your home will turn out beautifully. Ripping out tile and granite is no fun after the fact… don’t want to make a mistake with that.

We provide design service to production, custom home builders and remodelers in the Katy and surrounding areas by assisting their buyers with selections for their new homes.

  • Wood, tile and stone flooring
  • Granite and stone countertops
  • Bathroom and kitchen wall tiles
  • Carpet, carpet pads and rugs
  • Cabinetry
  • Light fixtures
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Stair parts
  • Doors and trim
  • Paint colors
  • Exterior selections – brick, stone, siding, shutters
  • Window Treatments – shutters, blinds
  • Architectural detailing

Our new construction and remodeling clients enjoy the benefit of bringing us in from the very beginning or the construction phase. If you are a homeowner in the Houston area going through the building or remodeling process, or a homebuilder looking for design services for your customers, please feel free to contact us. It starts with a consultation in your current home to discuss your needs, what you love about your current home and want you don’t.

Wishing you beauty and inspiration!

Veronica Solomon
Owner/Lead Designer
Casa Vilora Interiors[/caption%5D

76 Comments on How You Can Confidently Choose The Finishes For Your New Construction Home

  1. Debbie Denny
    September 15, 2014 at 12:24 am (2 years ago)

    Great advice. It can be so overwhelming trying to decide on a design.

  2. Masshole Mommy
    September 15, 2014 at 12:28 am (2 years ago)

    Oh jeez. There is so much to think about and I would totally end up getting overwhelmed.

  3. Heather D. (@GirlGoneMom)
    September 15, 2014 at 12:28 am (2 years ago)

    We were very overwhelmed by the upcharge anywhere and everywhere for every little thing. It would be nice to have an unlimited budget!

  4. toughcookiemommy
    September 15, 2014 at 12:58 am (2 years ago)

    All of these decisions are really important when it comes to redecorating. I will be considering some of them when I remodel my kitchen.

  5. mmgmom
    September 15, 2014 at 2:09 am (2 years ago)

    Wow thanks for all the tips. When we were building our houses choosing finishes was very overwhelming. I wish I had these tips when I was going through that.

  6. Manu Kalia
    September 15, 2014 at 3:40 am (2 years ago)

    This is one of my weak point, choosing a lot of design then come out with nothing haha. You are really the best in what you do.

  7. Felicia
    September 15, 2014 at 4:23 am (2 years ago)

    These are such great tips. I’m sure it can become overwhelming.

  8. Lori Gunn
    September 15, 2014 at 5:19 am (2 years ago)

    The picture with all the cupboard doors is a great example of how much choice there is in design. Thanks for sharing these great hints.

  9. Laurel Bill
    September 15, 2014 at 5:26 am (2 years ago)

    You always offer such valuable tips – choosing finishes can be overwhelming!

  10. Debbie L.
    September 15, 2014 at 8:28 am (2 years ago)

    We are installing new hardwood floors in our home. Deciding which wood is much harder than I would’ve thought. So many size and color choices to choose from. Good tips! Thanks!

  11. Paula Schuck
    September 15, 2014 at 11:48 am (2 years ago)

    This is good information to have. I didn’t know that about model homes and denmographics. I would refer to this for sure if I were constructin a new home. Thanks!

  12. Jennifer Williams
    September 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm (2 years ago)

    I am currently getting ready to pick out the final touches for our new home. I have no talent in this area at all so I love all the suggestions. I spent hours walking through the models this weekend making notes of what I like or didn’t like.

  13. Nolie
    September 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm (2 years ago)

    I don’t think I could survive a new build. So many choices you have to make it is crazy. I rather a finished home that I can slowly make changes to as time goes on.

  14. Jennifer Clay
    September 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm (2 years ago)

    I have never remodeled or added on to a house but I can only imagine all the different decisions you would have to make.

  15. Lois Alter Mark
    September 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm (2 years ago)

    Those are great tips. I remember how overwhelming it was when we were doing construction and had to make so many major decisions.

  16. Marvelous Mommy
    September 15, 2014 at 2:26 pm (2 years ago)

    We are in the process of doing each room in our house! I really want to redo the tile in our master bathroom like the picture above!

  17. Liz Mays
    September 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm (2 years ago)

    I’ve never built my own home, but I’ve heard how overwhelming the choices can be. I’m so glad you and others like you are out there to help!

  18. becca112971
    September 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm (2 years ago)

    Great advice. we got lucky when we bought or home it came with the furniture and a lot of the home decor with it so I liked that.

  19. Rena McDaniel-Alzheimers Caregiver
    September 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm (2 years ago)

    These are some great tips! I love the pictures of the library/office and the bathroom. I have always dreamed of having my own office/library room! Oh well maybe one day!

  20. dallassocials
    September 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm (2 years ago)

    I just remodeled my house and loved selecting all the finishes for the wood. It’s such a fun process.

  21. Amanda H.
    September 15, 2014 at 4:24 pm (2 years ago)

    We faced the same issues when we built our home. We did purchase a few upgrades right off the bat, but chose the standard option for things we can upgrade ourselves later.

  22. listen2mama
    September 15, 2014 at 4:35 pm (2 years ago)

    One of the things I love most about buying a new construction home is being able to choose the finishes. I’ve had the pleasure of doing this twice!

  23. Sarah Bailey
    September 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the idea of being able to ask for help from someone as amazing as you when it comes to such things I wouldn’t know where to start! x

  24. Susanna @Zealous Mom
    September 15, 2014 at 6:11 pm (2 years ago)

    If I ever get to renovate my kitchen, I would have to bring in a designer to help. Too many decisions for me to make alone!

  25. kungphoo
    September 15, 2014 at 6:17 pm (2 years ago)

    That is really nice, I really like seeing the samples it makes it such a better decision making process….

  26. Jaime
    September 15, 2014 at 6:18 pm (2 years ago)

    Design is so overwhelming to me. I love being inspired, but I never know where to start!

  27. Melinda
    September 15, 2014 at 6:41 pm (2 years ago)

    thats great advice. i know i’d be overwhelmed with a complete renovation

  28. Debra Fazio-Rutt
    September 15, 2014 at 7:07 pm (2 years ago)

    Great tips and things to consider when you are picking everything out. We had a great decorator help us to pick out cabinet color, countertops and backsplash. Without her guidance I would have been totally overwhelmed.

  29. Deanna Heiliger
    September 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm (2 years ago)

    Those are all great tips! I have been through the process, and it is very overwhelming. We took a lot of home tours and took many pics!

  30. Amber Nelson
    September 15, 2014 at 8:54 pm (2 years ago)

    what great tips! We went through this when we were trying to figure out our house details and let me tell you, it was a lot of work and a lot of decisions to be made!

  31. Jeanine @
    September 15, 2014 at 9:26 pm (2 years ago)

    Such great tips! I need to redecorate. However I will be waiting a little while for us to move or have anything to redecorate! I love your tips and style!

  32. yumeating
    September 15, 2014 at 9:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Love, love , love that shower. Even the colors are fabulous. I have a lot of redecorating to consider once we get our new house. For now we have a few small projects to do around here before we list the house.

  33. Ben @ Cheap is the New Classy
    September 15, 2014 at 9:43 pm (2 years ago)

    These are great tips, especially for someone like me who has NO eye. It’s really difficult to choose finishes when there’s so much out there to choose from.

  34. Rosey
    September 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm (2 years ago)

    You’re right about ripping tile out. My SIL ripped hers out in her kitchen when she was trying DIY things…I don’t think she’s over it yet and it’s been years. 😉

  35. Pam
    September 16, 2014 at 12:15 am (2 years ago)

    These are great tips. My brother and sister in law visited so many model homes before deciding on how they wanted theirs built and the cabinets installed.

  36. Maria
    September 16, 2014 at 12:55 am (2 years ago)

    Finishes are so important even down to the brick color. I never knew there was a difference in brick counter but it was definitely a process. Great tips!

  37. Brett Martin
    September 16, 2014 at 1:24 am (2 years ago)

    You’re soo right. It can be so overwhelming. The services you offer are amazing.

  38. April @ Everyday Fitness and Nutrition
    September 16, 2014 at 1:58 am (2 years ago)

    I used to work for a homebuilder so I got to see how overwhelming this was for so many people. Some people made change after change after change and could never decide.

  39. Shell Roush
    September 16, 2014 at 2:28 am (2 years ago)

    This can be such an overwhelming process. So nice that there are people to help!

  40. Amanda @ Growing Up Madison
    September 16, 2014 at 2:49 am (2 years ago)

    Those are some great tips. We are actually in the process of looking into buying a new home that is bigger than the one we currently live in so these tips would surely come in handy once the search begins.

  41. Joanna Sormunen
    September 16, 2014 at 3:09 am (2 years ago)

    Thank you for the great advice! I know I want tile floors because they are so easy to keep clean and fresh here in the hot and humid climate. But I’m not sure about doors and cabinets. To tell the truth I’m scared about how long the wood can last in a climate like this.

  42. Lori
    September 16, 2014 at 3:14 am (2 years ago)

    We have built two homes and both times it was completely overwhelming. The choices that the builders had were just too many and I wish I had this post back then. Thankfully I have it now because we are searching out builders for our third and final home (our forever home) and I am looking forward to the process thanks to this post and other posts on your blog. 🙂

  43. Janell Poulette
    September 16, 2014 at 3:40 am (2 years ago)

    I am pinning this for later! We hope to build a house early next year and this will help.

  44. danisdecadentdeals
    September 16, 2014 at 3:46 am (2 years ago)

    I absolutely love that tiling in the bathroom above! Thank you for the great advice! So much awesome stuff you share.:)

  45. Beth@FrugalFroggie
    September 16, 2014 at 3:54 am (2 years ago)

    I have never built my own house. I think it would be fun but also stressful

  46. Theresa
    September 16, 2014 at 4:06 am (2 years ago)

    I think researching is very important to get what you really want. It would stink to plop down a lot of money, only to find you didn’t really like the finish after all. It took us months to decide on finishes for our kitchen, but ultimately we love them, even if it took a bit of time to decide.

  47. Veronica
    September 16, 2014 at 5:13 am (2 years ago)

    Thanks for all the comments and shares! Building a new home is an exciting part of your life. Don’t forget to enjoy it!

  48. Christie
    September 16, 2014 at 10:40 am (2 years ago)

    When we redid our kitchen, I was amazed at the wood choices. It took us awhile to get the finish we wanted

  49. chrysa
    September 16, 2014 at 11:46 am (2 years ago)

    Your designer post are always so helpful! I wouldn’t know what to do first! Thanks for all the ideas.

  50. Stacie
    September 16, 2014 at 12:01 pm (2 years ago)

    It’s a huge decision, but 1 of the fun parts, right? Picking what you like… I’d enjoy the challenge!

  51. Jenn
    September 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm (2 years ago)

    We had a heck of a time agreeing on stuff when we did our 1st new home build. Great advice!

  52. Krystal's Kitsch
    September 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm (2 years ago)

    I’d love bright white cabinets! We are in a rental that was recently upgraded and while it is nice since they are brand new, the brown wood kind of darkens the place up.

  53. Bradley Finnearty
    September 16, 2014 at 12:43 pm (2 years ago)

    It has to be tough trying to keep budget and get what you want. I have expensive tastes that I have to control, the best way for me to do that is to not even look at the high end stuff.

  54. Jessica
    September 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm (2 years ago)

    this is fantastic–i always go back and forth on these sorts of things!

  55. prettyopinionated
    September 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm (2 years ago)

    I think I would have a hard time! It takes me hours to design a Sim’s house with limited choices, lol. Imagine if I had all the choices in the world AND couldn’t just erase something I didn’t like? Eeek!

  56. displacedyinzer
    September 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm (2 years ago)

    I rent a house with all white paint, floors and ceilings. I have a hard enough time decorating that! This would be difficult for me.

  57. Janel (A Mom's Take)
    September 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm (2 years ago)

    That bathroom. I’d love to have a new construction home. I would probably have a really hard time committing to finishes, but I’d like the opportunity. I would probably try to step outside of my comfort zone a bit.

  58. Ann Bacciaglia
    September 16, 2014 at 3:45 pm (2 years ago)

    It is definitely a challenge making a decision with so many choices available. It can get very overwhelming.

  59. Shannon Gosney
    September 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm (2 years ago)

    I love being able to customize everything in a new home. The cabinets look great!

  60. Alice Chase
    September 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm (2 years ago)

    I love having choices but choosing so much at one time CAN be overwhelming. Thanks for breaking it down and making it seem manageable,

  61. Travel Blogger
    September 16, 2014 at 8:28 pm (2 years ago)

    These are great tips! Personally I love the challenge and working from swatches. Plus I’m a control freak and savings nut. lol

  62. Danielle @ We Have It All
    September 17, 2014 at 12:40 am (2 years ago)

    That is one thing about new construction I would LOVE. But at the same time, it would be so hard to put things together. I would have a hard time choosing.

  63. Amy Desrosiers
    September 17, 2014 at 1:46 am (2 years ago)

    These look like beautiful cabinet choices! We are redoing our wood finishings next year and have a lot to think about.

  64. aordinarylife
    September 17, 2014 at 2:39 am (2 years ago)

    You always have such great tips. We plan on building in another year or so. Great info here!

  65. April
    September 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm (2 years ago)

    That is a very neat service!!!! We just bought our land and hope to start the building process within the next two years or so.

  66. Melissa @ This Girl's Life Blog
    September 17, 2014 at 4:28 pm (2 years ago)

    I definitely think there are some upgrades worth paying for. Otherwise in a few years you will be like I hate all this builder grade material and wanting to have it redone.

  67. Ashley Gill
    September 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm (2 years ago)

    My husband and I have discussed building from scratch! This has been very helpful!

  68. Hazel Owens
    May 3, 2016 at 2:14 pm (4 months ago)

    I think that visiting the home builder’s model homes is a great idea. As you mentioned, a lot of model homes have added upgrades and features. Seeing what options and designs are available can help you better decide what you want in your home. Thanks for the tips!

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          July 26, 2016 at 2:45 pm (4 weeks ago)

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  69. Kendall Everett
    August 23, 2016 at 7:02 pm (2 days ago)

    Getting and idea of what the neighbors houses looks like is a great way to narrow the exterior selections. Having your home match the style of the neighborhood is important to the value of the home. Asking for a designers opinion would also help in choosing exterior options.


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