When you have your first home built from scratch, your contractor will offer a handful of upgrades from the package you paid for. For example, they might offer to install an automatic garage door as an upgrade to your manual one. They might even offer custom paint jobs as an add-on to the construction service they’re providing you.
What with their sweet sales talk and your excitement to build your dream house, you might feel like saying yes to all these upgrades. But that excitement will immediately disappear when you see your final bill and realize you were persuaded into paying for upgrades you don’t really need at the moment.
This is why it’s very important to practice restraint and to be strategic in picking which builder upgrades are worth your while and which final touches you can just do yourself later.
Upgrades You Don’t Need Immediately
Dreamy kitchen counters that look like they came straight from a magazine catalog are wonderful final touches to any home. But if you let your builder provide this as an upgrade, you might not have that many choices, especially when it comes to the material to be used, since your builder would already have their own supplier to tap.
Your dream countertops can always be installed later when you have sufficiently canvassed other suppliers. Trust that you can close a much more affordable deal for your dream countertops if you source your own materials and labor by yourself.
Rooftop solar panels
In some cases, your builder may have a partnership with a solar company and would therefore offer to install solar rooftop panels as an add-on to your newly-built home. While it’s absolutely good to have access to renewable energy in your residential home, there are more affordable ways to do it.
In fact, if you sign up to choose solar, you won’t even need to buy solar panels to be installed on your new roof. You just have to pay for the subscription to have unlimited solar power access in your new home. This is a much more convenient and affordable means to hook your house up to renewable energy, not to mention you won’t be left with a bunch of expensive panels to maintain and possibly repair when they break down.
Such as in the case of marble countertops, you could get a much better deal for your statement rangehood if you do it yourself instead of getting it as a builder upgrade. Of course, your new house won’t pass the final inspection without a rangehood, so the best strategy here would be to ask your builder to install their most standard range fan option, and just plan for upgrades later on.
It’s highly unlikely that your builder will overcharge you for something like custom paint. More often than not, you might be able to get this at a great discount. However, nothing beats having complete freedom over your choice of paint later, especially with environment-friendlier options to source elsewhere. It might also help for you to have some downtime to think long and hard about what colour combination you want in the house after you move in. Skip this upgrade for now and you might come up with an even better outcome later on.
Lastly, your builder might offer to install all the lights in the house as a finishing touch, but this is something you’re better off doing yourself at a later time. After all, you can expect very basic options in your standard builder’s lighting package, so just let them handle the wiring and choose your own lighting fixtures later on.
These upgrades are all good and necessary for your dream home, but trust that you can give yourself better options than your builder. So try to rein in the excitement and be more strategic in the upgrades you pay for now and ones you can refer back to later.