Townhouse New Construction Pet Peeves

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I’ve been silent on this too long!

After seeing, what is likely well over a hundred new construction townhouses this year, here is the official list of Urbnlivn townhouse new construction pet peeves. While townhouses have been generally flying off the shelves, I suspect that given the crazy amount of coming inventory that a slow down is likely. In which case, buyers are going to have choices and might be a touch pickier.

Sloppy construction: it is shocking how fast townhouses are going up and you can tell in the quality. Look closely at the paint job and drywall, most places we look at need a fresh coat of paint before you even move in. Are the walls straight? Often they’re not. Tile job? Did they take their time or rush through? I can’t believe how many places have cracks in new grout.

Dirty: before you host your first open house fix the “blue tape” issues then get a cleaning crew in there. Don’t forget to clean the windows.

Master suites with no doors: more and more floorplans are featuring a master floor, often times without a door. When you have guests, or kids, or just want to hide the master bed you didn’t make, a door sure is nice!

No tub: you don’t need to put one in the master bath, but I’d at least include one somewhere in the house.

Colorful tile: it might look good for a moment, but colorful tile is not going to age well. Fortunately re-tiling a bathroom or kitchen backsplash isn’t crazy expensive.

Fireplaces: for the most part, living rooms in townhouses are too small and get smaller when you include a monster fireplace.

TVs mounted over fireplaces: the optimum viewing height is to center your TV at 42″. There’s no way to do that if you force buyers to mount it over a fireplace.

Air conditioning in living room but not bedroom: if you’re going to pick one, air condition the bedroom. Hats off to all the developers who, while they cheap out on installing both, they at least pre-wire the one they didn’t install.

Carpet in bedrooms: I’ve yet to meet a buyer who doesn’t want hardwoods throughout.

Washer dryer far from bedrooms: townhouses have too many stairs at is. Let’s not make people walk up and down three flights just to do laundry. Put the laundry on the master floor.

No gas, water on rooftop deck: why build an awesome rooftop deck if owner’s can’t properly entertain on it? Plus it is super expensive to do this later.

Walkthrough closets: I have yet to meet a client that likes this. If you’re forced to do it, please put doors on the closets!

No parking: driverless cars aren’t here yet.

Outlet placement: I’ve seen too many kitchens where the outlets aren’t horizontally aligned. That is just sloppy. But equally frustrating is when outlets are placed every 6′ according to code, but no thought is given to the fact the default spacing might not make sense for say, bedside tables.

Freestanding range: don’t cheap out and use a freestanding range with backguard instead of a slide-in. They look so cheap.

Fridge not included: I don’t get this?

Fridge doesn’t fit the cabinets: no gaps above the fridge please!

Mis-matched appliances: don’t source every appliance from a different manufacturer. No more than two brands in the kitchen please!

Powder room privacy: too often the powder room feels like it is in the kitchen or in the living room. Find a way to give it a touch of privacy or skip it if it won’t fit.

Shower pan: I’m sure it is tempting to save a few dollars here, but if you’re tiling the walls, tile the floor.

No shower rods (or doors): save your buyer the hassle and just install these. Trust me, they don’t know how to drill into tile and those tension rods suck.

Narrow garage doors: I suspect developers have never tried parking in the garages they build. No one wants to have to push their mirrors in everytime they come home! It drives me especially crazy when the crazy interior is wide but they put a super narrow door in when they could have put a wider one in.

What’d we miss?

About Matt Goyer

I'm the publisher of Urbnlivn and a real estate agent. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction and mid-century moderns but will help you buy or sell just about anything.
Get in touch to:
• Understand the market
• See homes for sale
• Sell your home

Contact Matt matt@urbnlivn.com / 206-618-1600

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  • +1 x 1,000! Thanks for writing this all up in one place!

  • Katie

    Spot on! The TV over the fire place fad needs to be left in the early 2000’s model homes of the past… also, I lived in a house with AC only in the living room. It was a nightmare.

  • Flash

    Nice article and great points! But I must be the rare buyer who doesn’t mind carpeted bedrooms. They’re warm and soft and inviting underfoot and they dampen noise and they provide a welcome and cozy contrast with the hard surfaced public/entertaining areas of the home. In fact I recently installed new carpet in one of my condos with the full support of my great designer, and even though we installed hardwood elsewhere. The carpet was cheaper than wood, but cost wasn’t a big factor. On the other hand, I once bought a condo with wall-to-wall carpeted BATHROOMS. Now that was gross!