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    Builder Upgrades: Now or Later Frame Featured Image

    Builder Upgrades: Now or Later?

    Topics: build a new home, upgrades
    Posted on November 3, 2017 by Kirsten Warwick

    When building your new home, it can often be difficult to decide whether to go all-in for upgrades at the start or wait until you've lived there for a while to either renovate yourself or hire professionals to complete the upgrades you want. 

    Builder Upgrades: Now or Later Dreaming Image

    In many cases, your original decision will be a budgetary one, going for the best-designed home you can afford, but it can be hard to decide between upgrades that are relatively affordable.


    In this article, we'll discuss which add-ons and upgrades are worth considering at the time your home is built. 

    Every Decision Counts

    Your home is far more than just some walls and a roof. Each room of the home has its own special considerations, and your builder is likely to have a lot of options when it comes to designing your home, including:

    • Accent Paint - Even for amateur DIYers, it only takes about a day to paint a room. If you have not decided on a style or decor items yet, wait until you have lived in the house before you commit to an accent wall.
    • Flooring - Working with your builder on what type of flooring would work with both the space and your lifestyle is best to do before construction has began. 
    • Windows - More or bigger windows will be something you should add to your blueprint at the time of construction.
    • Light fixtures - Most builders offer standard lighting packages to fit your space, with the
      ability to upgrade lighting in their design centre when you view the lights in person.

    Important Factors to Consider

    Builder Upgrades: Now or Later Couple Image

    Some upgrades make a huge difference in terms of the comfort and value of your home. Whether during initial construction or later on, here are the best add-ons that most builders offer:

    • Detached or Triple Car Garages - Garages are perfect when you need more storage space, a workshop, home office, or a guest room.
    • Garage Side Doors - A side door is a great addition to any garage. You can easily roll out the garbage bins through an exit door or get into your garage without going inside the house or leaving the garage wide open while you are working outside.
    • Ceiling Height - Re-arranging duct-work and wiring later on is difficult and expensive, so choose your ceiling height right from the start. They'll give your home a lighter, more airy feel.
    • Upgraded Counter Tops - There's no doubt that upgrading to granite or other kinds of counter top material can be expensive, but this renovation can be done at any time if it adds too much stress to your initial construction budget.
    • Christmas Light Outlets - These outlets located in the eaves (underneath the roof overhang) can be used for much more than just holiday light decorations. They're also perfect for plugging in heat tape during the coldest parts of the winter.
    • Windows in Basement Bathrooms - You might think that a bathroom in the basement will not be used and so won't need a light, but even a small window will do wonders in helping to ventilate the space and drastically reduce mould and mildew build-up.
    • Master Closet Window - This will add much-needed light when you're getting ready in the morning, and it's a great way to keep the space ventilated and prevent mustiness. Choose a small window high up to preserve privacy or install a privacy window so you do not have to worry.
    • Pantry Outlet - Many people use their pantries to store small kitchen appliances like a toaster oven or blender. With an outlet in the pantry, you won't even have to take them into the kitchen to use them.
    • Jacuzzi in the Master Bath - To some homeowners, this may seem like a frivolous and unnecessary expense, but you'd be surprised how often you'll use a Jacuzzi tub. Few experiences can compare to a refreshing soak after a long day of work.
    • Cable TV Outlets - Every home usually comes with a cable TV outlet in the living room, but it's an affordable upgrade to add cable TV outlets in other rooms too, especially bedrooms.
    • Fire Pit/BBQ Gas Line - Even if you don't have plans to install a fire pit or gas-fuelled BBQ right now, it's a good idea to have your builder add in the line during initial construction.
    • Under Cabinet Lighting - One of the most difficult types of lighting to wire and install elegantly yourself is under cabinet lighting. Choose this upgrade during initial construction, and you'll be glad you did.
    • Basement Rough-in - No plans of finishing the basement yet? Make sure you get the washroom plumping roughed-in before the house is built. This will save you a lot of time and money when you want to finish your basement.

    Choosing which upgrades or add-ons to include during initial construction can sometimes be a difficult choice. Some people will spend their upgrade dollars when thinking of selling, but including these things at the time of your new home construction can secure more value in your home should the thought of selling arise later. 

    Your budget, tastes, and DIY skills all factor into which options are best, but sometimes waiting until later to renovate can be a costly and a time-consuming process. At the end of the day, it's most important to choose home upgrades you'll be happy you made.

    Don't be afraid to ask your builder plenty of questions when considering your options, and remember there may be builder incentives to look for 
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