Want to know the design center upgrades you should never get when building a new home? I’m here to help and tell you the upgrades that are worth every penny. When we bought our current home, hubby and I got to have the full design center experience. And let me tell you, as nice as it is to be able to pick out almost everything in your home, it can be quite overwhelming. With choice after choice, how do you know if what you chose is actually worth it? Keep reading and I’ll go over what you should avoid and what’s a good deal when building your new home. Plus, you can grab my free New Home Design Center Checklist. Let’s get started.
New Home Upgrades to Avoid
Of course, you can decide to upgrade any of these items now, but if it’s not in your budget, don’t’ feel obligated. The below lists what I think you should pass on for now. Take some time to do some research and see if these are options you are OK with updating later.
Kitchen hardware – I think it’s OK to skip this upgrade under one condition. It’s easy to change out kitchen cabinet hardware if the holes are already drilled. So, if you have a dream set of hardware and you know the pulls are spaced 5 inches on center, then make sure the builder’s standard pulls are also spaced 5 inches on center.
Lighting – boob lights might not be the most pretty light fixture, but they get the job done. You can always upgrade your lighting and it’s not very hard to do. You can switch out light fixtures as a weekend DIY project or you can have your local handyman electrician take care of it for you.
Painting – painting is another quick and easy DIY project that you or your local handyman can tackle later. So, unless you have the extra money and a really good understanding of the color scheme you want for you house, then don’t worry about getting this upgrade now.
Laundry Cabinets – adding cabinets to your laundry room sure can keep the clutter bug away. All of your laundry essentials are nicely tucked away and out of site, keeping your laundry room organized and clutter free. But if this is an upgrade that doesn’t fit your budget, then don’t worry about it. Adding laundry cabinets is another easier than you think upgrade that you can do later.
Carpet Upgrades for Secondary Bedrooms – there are a few reasons why it’s okay to skip on upgrading carpet in your secondary bedrooms. One reason is that your kids might not do a good job taking care of it. Another reason is that you probably won’t be in those rooms much to enjoy them. How much time are you really going to spend in that guest room? And is it worth the cost? One thing to consider when prioritizing your upgrades is how much enjoyment you (yes, you, the homeowner) will actually get from them. If the upgrade won’t help you love your home any more than what you already do, feel free to skip it.
Faucets – these can be added later as well. I’ve seen several DIY blogs and Home Depot classes that walk homeowners through changing our their bathroom or kitchen sink faucets. So again, unless the upgrade is a good deal or you have the financial wiggle room to do it, and it to your home improvement list for later.
Mirrors – your new construction home will most likely come with the standard big large mirror that’s in almost every full bathroom. I have them in my house, and they’re pretty ugly. They don’t really match any particular design trend either. But here’s the good side. They’re also a blank sleight. And for less than a few hundred dollars, you can swap them out or add trim around them, so they look like a custom framed piece of beauty.
Kitchen backsplash – my parents actually had a backsplash added to their house a few years after they moved. And even though it looks really nice now, they didn’t have any issues using their kitchen before they got it. There isn’t much a disruption in the kitchen during the install and it’s a pretty quick process to.
Custom Closet – custom closets came standard in the master bedroom of our current house, and yes, I’m totally grateful for them. But can I keep it 100 for a minute? I probably would have configured it a little differently now that I’m in the house. So, I’m going to take a bit more time planning when I add custom closets to the other bedrooms. That’s the luxury that you’ll have by waiting. You get to see how you’ll actually use the space. And then you can truly have a custom closet – either as a DIY weekend project or by hiring the work out.
Window treatments/blinds – a lot of times people order their custom shades directly from the builder because they want to have window treatments installed as soon as they move. But let me say this – if you plan your move-in correctly, you can have your window treatments installed either on closing day or pretty soon after. So, let pricing (and style) help you decide who you want to install your window treatments. Not timing.
Builder Upgrades Worth Getting
In my opinion, the builder upgrades worth getting are the ones that are difficult, challenging, time consuming or costly to add later. Check out my list below.
Kitchen Cabinets – one of the reasons why I think it’s better to upgrade your cabinets with the builder is because I hate to see cabinets torn out when there’s nothing wrong with them. It seems like a big waste of money to me. So, if you’re able to, spend a bit more money now and get the cabinets that you really want. You’ll be in your kitchen for three meals a day for many years to come.
Tile Floors – really, any type of flooring is a pain to switch out. To replace tile floors there’s going to be a lot of banging to get the old tile up. And it can be a pretty messy job. This is also an upgrade that’s worth it.
Hardwood Floors – this one right here can be pretty challenging to handle later on. First you have to remove all the furniture from the room before you can have the flooring installed. And where carpet can be installed in day, hardwood typically takes longer. Certain hardwoods need to get acclimated to the space first, so you’ll have it sitting in your house adjusting to the temperature. But even if you can simply lay the new flooring down, it’s another messy project that will prevent you from using a big part of your house until it’s complete.
Electrical upgrades and more lighting – so while I agree that you can upgrade light fixtures at any time, adding new light receptacles requires a lot more effort. You’ll need to hire an electrician and have them cut holes in drywall. And when I think of this, all I hear is cha-ching! Yep, money and a lot of mess. This is where I’d say, pay the extra money now while the electricians are already building your house and have extra lighting installed. We had extra light receptacles installed over our kitchen island covered until we can decide what pendants we actually want to add to that space.
Appliances – this is another area where I don’t like to see people waste money getting rid of appliances when there’s nothing wrong with them. So, if you’re thinking that you’ll wanted the upgraded cooktop, oven or dishwasher, now’s the time to upgrade. Do your research and read reviews on the appliances you’re looking at to see what fits into your budget.
Structural upgrades – get your structural upgrades now. I mean, sure you can add an addition onto your house later, but you’ll need to factor in hiring a contractor, getting a building permit and going through the hassle of construction crews at your house for several weeks or months. And lets’ face it, some structural upgrades are just cost prohibitive. So, if you fit it into your budget, this is definitely one upgrade worth getting.
Design Cent Upgrades You Should Never Get (And The Ones You Should)
We just covered the top new construction home upgrades that I think you shouldn’t purchase at the design center. Then I shared the upgrades that I think aren’t worth getting from the builder. The next best thing is to grab my free New Home Design Center Checklist now.
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