So on to what we picked! We selected the elevation E layout after much debate between that and elevation B. What swung us to elevation E was the double windows in the dining, living, and two bedrooms vs. the "skinny windows" in elevation B.
Option wise we got as a free promotion a free morning room addition as well as a free 10x12 synthetic deck by using their in-house mortgage company. We had (and did) opt to pay additional to extend the deck to 18 feet instead of the 12. As for the mortgage qualification other than the surprise at the amount of documentation required now vs. when we bought our current home was fairly smooth so far.
As for 1st floor options here's what we have. On the garage we selected the 3 car side-entry garage (looks like above), extra windows in the morning room, added the 4 foot extension on the family room, added the third window on the back family room wall, a stone fireplace on the side of the family room, the gourmet kitchen upgrade (big island, woohoo!), and the tray ceiling in the dining room. In lieu of their 'lighting package' for the dining room we just added a switched outlet up there instead and will buy our own lights later.
Now the 2nd floor options are a few (but pretty big ones). We selected the owner's luxury bath with the upgraded shower, added the 2nd vanity in the hall bath, and added a bonus bedroom w/ bath above the garage in lieu of finished basement. The thought is to make it a multi-purpose space for a guest suite, play area, etc. and later down the road possibly finish the basement. We did however pay for the plumbing rough-in for a bathroom in the basement for when we do finish it. It does change the front a little (picture the pic above with the extra window above the garage below and you'll get the idea):
We did select cabinetry, flooring, etc. as well as had our appointment with Guardian to select those options. The only thing outside of cable / phone / data ports we did was prewire 5.1 in the family room (low access) and upgrade the phone / data runs to CAT6 vs. CAT5e.
As for the design options the one big thing to remember with this plan is that if you plan on carpet in the living room and the stairs / 2nd floor is that you will see both areas from the front door in this design. We ended up picking the same color for both just so we didn't have clashing carpet when you enter the house. We selected the base hardwood in the foyer and powder room, tile in the kitchen / morning room / laundry room / bathrooms, and carpet elsewhere. Since we also have two dogs and our infant daughter, we needed stain protection on the carpet, so we went to the first upgrade on the carpet (a few upgrade levels on the family room) and upgraded the pad.
Next up is the pre-construction meeting!