Don’t Let Color Selection Be the End of Your Homebuilding Fun!

By Ryan Siebert

Nearly every time that I have been involved in a custom build project my clients have gotten to one point in the design process that neither of them can agree to 100 percent, selecting colors.  All of the sudden my clients modo goes from, “Happy wife happy life” to “If it isn’t brown, I’m tearing the hole thing down”.  Heck even with our spec home design process myself and my business partners will often snicker with one another over the colors that we select.  The good news is for us that we go back to our separate homes at the end of the day, while you and your partner have to live with each other while you battle it out for which shade of accent wall to select.  Here are five tips you can use to avoid the big meltdown. 

    1. Define your roles – Nothing will become more chaotic that each person thinking that they are in charge.  It is important that you have the conversation with your partner early in your design process on who is doing the communication with your builder on selections processes.  I can also tell you that nothing is harder for a builder than working with clients who will need to be told the same story to each member of the family.  Treat your selection process like a business and designate a decision maker to communicate and make final decisions before you start selecting anything. 
    2. Hire a designer – If you want to avoid the bickering and back and forth from the get go, hire a designer.  Make it clear to your designer that they are the ultimate trump card in any argument between colors.  I do caution that designers come at a high price, be sure to communicate what the cost of your designer is so you can avoid a mental breakdown on budget, not colors.
    3. Pick rooms – I’ve had many transactions go great by dividing the rooms up.  One person may want to design the kitchen and master bedroom, while the other may be concerned with the finished basement area.  Defining your roles by rooms can sometimes facilitate any anger issues as you each get your own area to put your personal touches on.
    4. Copycat – Websites like Instagram, Pintrest and Houzz are extremely popular for the fact that you can see what other people are doing to their homes.  If you want to avoid long debates and trips to one tile store after another get your head strait ahead of time by selecting your favorite examples and providing them to your builder.  Odds are they will be able to facilitate the selection process much easier if they know what it is you are looking for.    The key here is to be able to define the style of home that you want early so you don’t get confused and end up with multiple styles throughout the house.
    5. Trust your builder – Of course I am going to believe this is the best way to end up with a successful house.  Let’s face it builders do this for a living, and you are picking ONE house.  Odds are your builder has a questionnaire process they will review with you to understand the style of home that you want.  They will also have suggestions for you as to what to select first, and where to go for examples or ideas.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that because you have watched hundreds or thousands of hours of HGTV that you know more about building and designing than your builder does.  They can help, so talk it out with them and get their suggestions, that is why you picked them in the first place.

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