The Best Builder Upgrades to Buy in a New Home

upgradesphoto courtesy of douaireg flickr.com/photos/douaireg/2276393370/New home builders make most of their money by selling upgrades. Usually, if you get all the builder upgrades, you can easily double the price of your home or more. This article will explain which upgrades are best to purchase from the builder and which can be done at a later date.

Lot
Upgrading your lot to a larger lot or a more preferred location is a great upgrade to purchase since you generally cannot change your home's location in the future.

Structure
Structural changes are also good to upgrade before the home is built. Adding an additional garage, an extra bathroom, or a covered back porch are usually more difficult and costly after the home is built.

Electrical and Plumbing
Electrical or plumbing additions or changes are good to upgrade before a home is built. If you were to add electrical or plumbing at a later date, the changes would often require costly wall repairs.

Kitchen Cabinets
Kitchen cabinets are good to upgrade before a home is built. Select the tallest kitchen cabinets since maximum storage is preferred by most people. Upgrading cabinets in the future is rather cost prohibitive because it requires removal of the countertops, backsplash, appliances, plumbing, and more.

Kitchen Countertops
Kitchen countertops are good to upgrade, but might be able to be upgraded at a later date for about the price of a builder upgrade. Keep in mind that you will also need to change your backsplash at the same time since the backsplash sits on top of the kitchen countertops. If you are going to upgrade the countertops, you are probably going to want an upgraded sink, so that will also be an additional cost. If you upgrade your countertops, make sure you also get an upgraded backsplash. Generally, if you have a natural stone countertop, you will also want a natural stone backsplash.

Kitchen Appliances
You may want to upgrade your kitchen appliances, depending on what the builder is charging. Consider selling your new generic appliances and use the proceeds to purchase new. Look online to price refrigerators, ranges, microwaves, and dishwashers to see if the builder is charging more for the upgrade than you can purchase new.  You might also want a special top of the line appliance that the builder does not offer. 

Front Door
You may also want to upgrade your front door, but once again, price what a new door plus installation would cost to see if it is cheaper or more expensive than what the builder is charging.  You might also want a front door that is special and not like your neighbors'.

Lighting
Upgraded lighting sold by a builder is usually not that thrilling. It is usually the same generic light fixtures that are just a little larger in size. This would be a good item to purchase later for probably a lot less (if you install it yourself). Research the price of light fixtures online and see what is available before making the decision to upgrade with a builder.

Flooring
Flooring upgrades might be a good option, but then again it might not. If you love the tile flooring that comes with your home and just want to add it in more places, then go ahead. If you do not love the flooring, you may want to upgrade it on your own at a later time.

Trim
Crown molding and other trim work is relatively easy to add later. It will require 2 tradesmen - a carpenter and and a painter.

Sprinkler System
A sprinkler system is something that can be added later, just check to make sure your home has the necessary plumbing and electrical requirements for the system you select.

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