I've never built a house before, and from looking around the internet, I gather there are a lot of little projects to be done after closing, either because the builder is over charging for something that you can easily do afterwards, or simply because the builder doesn't do it. Also, maybe there are things that always need to be done regardless of the builder, and I just don't know about them, so please chime in.
I'm certainly open to suggestions.  So far, at this early stage in the game, my list of things to do after closing include:
  • Paint the garage. Toll Brothers leaves the garage walls dry-walled, mudded and sanded, but not painted, and they charge $1,500 to paint it. I'm thinking this is something I can easily do, and I don't have to be a pro painter. I'm thinking a light gray to hide dirt
  • Hang a real closet system in the master bedroom closet. (I'm just not a big fan of the closetmaid wire shelving for a master closet) Toll does offer closet systems, but they only offer 2 pre-configured setups from one company. They seem willing to customize things, but I feel that this is a project that I can turn into an excuse to invite friends over, and get a configuration that fits me at no extra cost.
8/6/2012

Target has incredible "California Closet-ish" systems. I have friends that have done it and love it.

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10/2/2012

Sounds like you need a trip to Ikea!

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Suraj
10/18/2013

I read through all your posts...and have to say I really appreciate you taking the time to track all this.

I'm in the process of signing papers to build a Toll Brothers home in Houston, TX and this information is very valuable.

From having read your comments, and noticing that TBI does not offer any closing costs, I will not be going with them to do my mortgage. TBI is a large company, and I can understand there's bound to be a few morons at every company, so I will not shoot the company down for that. However, the thing that turned me off is when they asked you to send in the competitions offer, and they will try and beat it. My reaction is, if you want the business than dish out your best offer.

On a different topic, I'm actually considering doing a ton of recessed lights throughout the house - I like a house that's well lit-up. But TB's wants to charge $150 per fixture+installation. Looking on Home Depot's website, the fixtures all together range from $20 - 70 (per light) - I'm thinking after the house is built, just hire an electrician to install these and not put that cost in the 30 year mortgage.

Suggestions?

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Owner
10/20/2013

What perfect timing - I just finished installing pendant lighting over my bar today that I didn't have the builder install.It was a simple 8ft fish job from the unfinished part of my basement to over my bar, so no drywall access required Here's my personal opinion on your situation, and what I did:

Have the builder install recessed lights anywhere that you won't have easy access to, either through the attic, or from the unfinished part of the basement. So, that means have the builder install recessed lighting anywhere you want them on the first floor, and in most of the basement if it's finished. I opted to have the bedrooms upstairs have recessed lights from the builder, because walking around in the attic can be tricky, depending on your roof line, and the fact that you can only walk on the trusses, but if you're trying to use the money for something else, it should be easy enough to install recessed lighting from the attic later. Also, you may not be able to physically access everywhere from the attic, again, depending on the roof line, so factor that into your decision. In the basement, if you'll be running electrical wire in the same direction as the floor beams, and can access it from the unfinished part, you or an electrician can easily fish wire to where you want the lights.

Keep in mind though that electricians charge more to fish wire, and by the hour, and if they have to cut into the drywall, you're going to have to pay for or take the time to do drywall patches, so despite the low cost of the materials at home depot ($10 per recessed can, however much romex cable you need - 250 ft is about $60, wire nuts and misc materials), the cost of hiring an electrician, or the cost of your time will probably come to about equal, or maybe even a little more than just having it done by the builder. I know $150 seems steep, but, but it's actually pretty reasonable (not the cheapest, but not the most expensive) Get a few opinions from electricians about the cost, or if you're going to do the work yourself, how much your time is worth.

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Joe
7/1/2014

Wish I found your site earlier. My wife and I are considering a TB and have been overcome by all the options (and the pricing!). Thanks for all the useful information. I'd love more about nice "looking" options that in the end may not be worth it.

PS. the bar in the basement sold me too

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