One of the most exciting aspects of buying a new home is that you get to choose the features and finishing touches that are what you want, right from the very beginning.
Standard Features & Finishes
The standard features and finishes that are included in the base price of the home vary from one builder to another, and often from one home design to another. For a number of finishes, home buyers are offered choices that won’t affect the purchase price, such as the style of kitchen cabinets and the colour and design of floor coverings.
Upgrades and Options
Most builders offer a full range of product upgrades for higher quality features and finishes that will add to the price of the house. Some builders will credit you with the cost of the item you are replacing, so the extra expense is limited to the difference between the items.
Some builders will ask you to consider other extra features and finishes that will add value, enjoyment and convenience to your home, from sunrooms to luxury shower stalls to built-in wine-racks.
Making the Right Choices
How do you choose the features and finishes that are right for your home, budget and lifestyle?
Find out what standard features are included in the base price of the home, and how many standard choices are offered. Also, find out what upgrades and extras are available and at what additional cost.
Choosing upgrades and extras are usually a matter of trade-offs. Items that involve construction, such as larger windows and doors, are the least expensive to do when the house is being built. On the other hand, other items such as carpeting can easily be replaced in the future.
Some builders have relationships with suppliers (e.g. flooring, lighting, cabinets). Appointments are made for you to visit the showrooms of these businesses and work directly with their representatives to make your product selections.
Consider your family’s needs and match your selections with your lifestyle and make sure they are compatible with your belongings.
Plan for long term appeal as you might have to live with your choices for a long time. Keep the “big ticket items” neutral, and add colour through items you can change easily later without significant expense.
Take your time selecting your choices. You want to do it right as you are going to live with your choices for a long time.
Make sure that every product you choose is approved by the Canadian Standards Association and backed by a reputable manufacturer with a solid warranty and after-sales service. Many builders work closely with leading national manufacturers of brand-name products in order to provide their clients with the quality and service they can depend on.
Some builders include the services of an interior decorator or designer to assist you in your choices.