Building a new home and choosing new home upgrades is an exciting process. Depending on the range of selection in your builder's specification, you may have lots of choice before needing to pay for upgrades or you may be quite limited. The options available are also forever changing, so what to choose and what to upgrade can present you with endless opportunities to add those special touches to a home that really make it yours.
However, not all upgrades are created equal. The key to building the home you want at a price you can afford is to choose your upgrades wisely. Use these tips to stay on track and create an upgraded space your whole family will fall in love with.
Get the Facts on the Showhome
A builder’s showhomes will give you a good idea of what your home might look like when it’s finished. Of course, there are some things you need to know about showhomes ahead of time. These homes are built to impress, and builders want you to be able to see all the possibilities when you build with them. Therefore, the showhome will probably already include many features that are offered as upgrades. Talk to the area manager about which features are upgrades and what comes standard for each home model.
Scrutinize the Specs
Ask each builder for spec (specification) sheets to get a better feel for upgrade costs. Try to accurately compare the costs between builders. For instance, a feature that comes standard with one builder may be an upgrade with another. Remember to factor in additional costs for what you want, before simply comparing the starting price of the homes.
When comparing builder specifications, you’ll also want to find out why prices are different between builders. A company’s price might be lower because they’re using a lower-quality product or because it takes them less time to install. Ask if you’re not sure why there are differences.
Expect Choices – Lots of Choices
When you’re building a home, you naturally expect to have quite a few options to choose from. That’s part of the fun of building. However, having a large number of choices can make all the difference. You don’t want a builder to only offer you a choice between carpeting and laminate. If you decide you want genuine hardwood, the builder should provide you with a wide range of types and colours.
The best builders will be able to set up one-on-one meetings with their distributors to help you make these kinds of choices. It helps you better understand where you’re willing to cut costs and where you want to pay more for better quality.
Making the Right Choices for You
Of course, upgrades are only the right decision if they work well for your family's specific needs. For instance, hardwood floors have a classic look and can last a long time, but they may not be the best choice for families with young children and pets. Laminate will give you the look you want while still being able to withstand the wear and tear of active kids. Similarly, everyone seems to love granite countertops, but they require regular sealing to avoid chipping. Quartz or a different type of material might be better suited to your needs.
So where should you spend your money? There’s no doubt, any money you spend to reduce your energy costs is going to be well worth it. Consider triple-pane windows, radiant heating in the floor, and energy efficient appliances. Not only will it save you money when you heat and cool your home, but it will also help with resale value.
Upgrades in the kitchen tend to retain their value, though you may want to avoid styles that can quickly look dated. You should also look at the bathroom for upgrades that can really boost your home's value. Think about including a luxury ensuite or simply an extra half-bathroom downstairs with a few desirable features.
Little Upgrades, Big Value
Smaller things may not seem like such a big deal, but they can add real value to your home. For instance, most families have many electronic devices, making it practical to have more electrical outlets throughout the home. “His and Her” outlets on either side of the bed or close to the mirror in the master bathroom are popular trends.
Additionally, ceiling fans can still efficiently keep the home cool in the summer. They can even help keep homes warm in the winter if you reverse the direction that they spin. Simple upgrades like this won’t cost a lot of money, but they can really add convenience and comfort to your new home.
Sticking to your budget when building your new home is the key to a great experience. With careful consideration and the right builder, you’ll be able to make choices that work for your family's changing needs.
Photo Credits: couple meeting interior designer, interior designer working