I am just going to list some items on the internet that have helped a lot in the search for items I have found to buy. Your builder may have sources for you to go to and buy from. If you have time in advance, shop around and find things at really good prices you can buy. The builder may or may not reimburse you and check to be sure he is okay with what you are purchasing outside of his suppliers.
Of course, the most obvious would be Home Depot and Lowe’s. I used these to search for everything including sconces, dining lights, bath lights and fixtures like towel bars, and ceiling fans, doors and windows. I compared prices and found some things on clearance online I could order, like my dining fixture.
On EBay I found fantastic pricing on some cabinet knobs. In a store they would have been pricey, online I found them for about 69 cents each. I bought them and stashed them since February. I bought them at “lot” prices. Count up what you think you need and throw in a few extra. You may need to make changes on cabinets and add or delete some. For what you save it can’t hurt to have a few extra and they may not be online when you need them. Shop from reputable sellers; check out their reviews. Watch out for shipping charges and return policies. Converse with the sellers for options on quantity, shipping charges and returns.
Signature Hardware and Simpson’s have good choices and prices for door hardware. For door hardware I am currently looking at EBay for some good pricing on what I know I want. I have Googled the brand of the item and found who sells it so I can research the pricing, etc. Just be sure you can return it with no issues if you need to.
Our flooring research was started months ago. We went to Floor &Décor and walked the huge warehouse style selections. What is nice is they have lots and lots of samples put up on boards for you to see, and also in a design group that can give you ideas of patterns and colors.
I researched online for granite before we went to the builder’s supplier. I don’t like granite at all, but anything else I was considering was outside of our budget and I didn’t want to put extra money into this. I had to understand what I was looking for and an idea of a “kind” of granite. Stone-network.com is the best site to look through. I pinned so many to my Pinterest board (I kept it a private board so others would not be inundated with my pins). It helped me identify styles of granites that I preferred. I prefer flowing granite with something interesting to look at, and particularly the island. I want it to be a focal point. The other counters can be neutral. The backsplash along those will be the focal point in a stone stick mosaic with copper accents.
And speaking of backsplash, I found my style preference at Home Depot. The Jeffrey Court brand (they have a website too) is in my budget and has natural stone. The Satin Copper Slate is what I hope to have. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Jeffrey-Court-Satin-Copper-11-5-in-x-12-in-Copper-and-Slate-Mosaic-Wall-Tile-99612/203485325#.UeRUaWwo7IU
It is time-consuming doing all this looking, but I will feel good about choices made if we know we left no stone unturned.