A few things we learned the first time around, and a few questions! We had a house built in 2011 and we have just sold that house. And quickly, too! Went on the market on a Thursday, prospective buyers looked at it the following evening, and it went under contract that weekend. Crazy! We have purchased a house lot in another area, but they haven't broken ground yet on the new house, so we will be in limbo for a few months. We didn't expect our house to sell that fast! So...back to the drawing board. We've always purchased existing homes, so 2011 was the first time we actually started with an empty lot and built from the ground up. At least now we feel like old pros! For the house we just sold, we spent over six hours and two days at the home gallery choosing options. For our new house, we went last week and were done in four hours! Here are a few things we learned the first time around, and things we'll do differently. The new house is going to be a single story, as opposed to our two story house. We didn't downgrade in size much, though. It will be around 2300 square feet as opposed to 2500. The kitchen island will be counter height and not tall, like the one we have now. Exactly what I want! We also went with the gourmet kitchen (double ovens, french door refrigerator, built in gas stove.) We learned we didn't need an outside fan on the patio. It didn't really add much of a breeze, so we hardly ever used it. We never once used the separate garden-style tub in the master bathroom, so this time we're installing a large, tiled walk-in shower and no tub in the master bathroom. We will have the water softener/conditioner system installed when the house is being built, instead of adding it later. I quickly learned that I hated my new Levelor blinds with the continuous loop, and will not be installing those again! We're not doing the full granite backsplash this time, and will instead do tile or something else after the house is built. Now, a few questions: I love the french doors (patio doors) we had installed in this house, but they weren't an option in the new house. We will have regular sliding doors that lead to the patio. If you have sliding doors in your house, what kind of window treatments do you have covering them? I know there are a lot of options (curtains, blinds, panels, etc.) and ways to cover the doors. What do you like or not like about your door coverings? Also looking at other window treatments. I'm not a fan of curtains, though. What do you like or dislike about your window treatments? Thanks so much for any help or ideas! Oh, and yes, we are going with an inground pool this time! Just too hot around this part of the country not to! Safety will be the biggest concern (with young grandkids running around) so we will be researching fencing, alarms and anything else we can think of to keep everyone safe. If anyone has any particular safety fencing/alarms that they like, I'd love to hear about them! Thanks so much for any suggestions!