We’re not going to downplay it: there’s a lot of things to choose and a lot of options. You’ll even have to pick your power outlet covers!
It’s the most fun part of the build though, because those fixtures and fittings turn your house into your home. They’re the elements that create a look, feel and style that will match you and your lifestyle.
It’s a daunting process, especially if it’s your first time building new. But don’t worry, we’ve got it covered in this 5-step, no-regrets guide to choosing perfect fixtures and finishings!
The difference between fixtures, fittings and finishes
Fixtures, fittings and finishes are all different elements of your home and aren’t interchangeable words. Here’s what each one means:
- Fixtures: are elements built into the home. For example, lighting, ovens and dishwashers, sinks, baths, toilets and tapware.
- Fittings: are items that aren’t attached to the house, like hanging mirrors, paintings, and curtains. You won’t need to choose fittings for a new house build, only fixtures and finishes.
- Finishes: are surfaces for kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, benchtops, flooring and possibly even exterior colours for render, cladding and the roof.
When you build a new home, you’ll need to choose all the fixtures and finishes.
It’s a good idea to choose neutral fixtures and finishes and add colour, personality and flair with your fittings (that can be removed or changed easily), if you’re thinking about resale value down the track.
That’s especially true if you’re building the home as an investment property. Go with colours and stock that won’t date easily, will stand the test of tenancy, and appeal to the largest market.
Getting started: where to find inspiration
Before you have an appointment with your home builder’s design specialist, you can start compiling a ‘vision board’ of styles and colours that you like.
- The easiest place to start is online. A Google search or a wander through Pinterest will give you tons of ideas on colour palettes, tiling, flooring and how to mix and match colours and textures.
- Make a list of things you do and don’t like. Do you prefer brass taps, matt or gloss finishes, large format tiles or finger tiles? Keep track of styles that catch your eye, like hamptons or contemporary.
- Get hands-on. Look through display homes so you can touch, see and feel the tiles, taps, carpet and flooring. If your builder has display homes, that’s even better.
Doing a little research into what you like will help you when it comes to eliminating choices and feeling confident about your decisions. The goal is to create a coordinated, themed look for your home, one that you love and that suits your household.
5 steps to choosing perfect fixture and finishing
1. Have a budget in mind.
When you buy your new home, you’ll likely be given an inclusions brochure that explains all the fixtures that are part of your new home package. However, there are optional upgrades for some fixtures and fittings that will cost more.
Being savvy about the maximum you’ll spend on any upgrades will help you prioritise where the money will go.
Luckily, there are smart and easy ways to create a beautiful home without splurging unnecessarily, especially if your builder offers a good range of inclusions. Our design team are experts in helping you choose a beautiful look and still stay in budget, especially since we include every detail of your home right down to the classic Aussie clothesline!
2. Think about your main colour scheme first.
Unless you’re going for an eclectic look, your home will flow from a main colour scheme. That colour scheme is typically set by the roof, render and brickwork outside, and flooring, benchtops and cabinets inside the home.
Simplify your selection process by focussing on these colours and styles first, and let the rest of your choices flow from there.
3. Don’t skimp on kitchens and bathrooms.
These areas sell houses, so it’s vital to concentrate on making them beautiful, appealing and functional. You’ll need to choose all your appliances, handles, benchtops, cabinetry, tapware, tiling, splashbacks and more.
They’re also expensive areas of the house, which means you really want to avoid replacing or repairing cheap or unappealing items down the track.
4. Use the professional at your fingertips.
There are sometimes dozens of swatches and samples to choose from, but you can always ask for the help of the design expert at your property group or builder.
These experts are interior design specialists who can answer your questions, help with mixing and matching colours and styles, and give advice on popular choices. You’ll usually have several consultations with the designer to help you work out the details.
5. Try to lock in your choices before signing.
Usually, you’ll make your fixture and finishes choices before you sign the contract with your building company, so your contract reflects the final build price. After that, any changes you make could cost extra.
To avoid budget regret, try to be confident in your choices before you sign. However, some companies work well with clients to make changes during construction. We understand things change sometimes, and do our best to incorporate changes with minimum fuss and charges.
Your builder choice makes a difference
It’s a good time to recommend choosing your builder well too, and making sure they have a solid reputation in your area. Some builders provide fewer inclusions (like landscaping or even a driveway) or cheaper products as their standard.
We provide all inclusions right down to the letterbox, and offer only the best quality items for you to choose from. You can download a full list of our inclusions here.