Resale value is definitely important when considering upgrades—but before we sell our homes, we live in them. Here are 5 of our favourite (and relatively inexpensive) choices for builder upgrades that you’ll be thankful you said “yes” to every day you’re in your new townhouse, semi-detached or single family home.
#1 Windows that open
We’ve found that 90 per cent of new home builders install only the number of operational windows that are required by code, which is a surprisingly small number. “Does this window open?” isn’t a question that many new homebuyers ask. But, for most of us, ventilation and views go hand-in-hand. On that first sunny warm day of spring when you want nothing more than to let a sweet breeze blow the winter blahs right out of your home, you’ll be glad you upgraded a few of your windows.
Cost: $200 to $300 per window
#2 Upgraded switches
Higher-end homes have special switches that throw light where—and when—we need it most. They’re cost-effective convenience items that you quickly won’t be able to live without. Device-operated switches, usually found in the master bedroom, allow you to turn bedside lighting on and off as you enter a room. Jam switches, installed in the door jams of closets, turn closet lighting on when the door is opened and off when it’s closed. You can also add separate switches for pot lights, lighting under cabinets and bathroom lights, allowing you to create ambience without turning on the task lighting.
Cost: Around $200 a switch
#3 Gas line for the BBQ
Barbecuing is a year-round activity for many households, and no one wants to run out of propane once the steaks are on the grill. When you have a gas line installed for your barbecue, you have a never-ending supply of fuel for your grill, making those last-minute trips to Costco or Canadian Tire for a refill a thing of the past.
Cost: $500 to $750
#4 Soffit outlet for Christmas lights
Unless you’re purchasing your new construction home in December, this inexpensive but oh-so-convenient upgrade may be overlooked. A soffit outlet allows you to plug in Christmas lights under the eaves rather than running ugly (and potentially dangerous) extension cords to ground-level outlets.
#5 Extra electrical outlets
Seems like every family member has at least one device that needs constant charging and competition for prime outlets can get heated. Anticipate locations where charging will be most desirable (beside the bed, for example) when siting electrical outlets and add one or two extra outlets in high volume charging locations, such as family rooms and kitchens. You can also add a wall outlet specifically for your wall-hung TV and floor outlets for lamps.
Cost: $100 to $150 per outlet (a floor outlet costs a bit more)
DiCenzo Homes is building beautiful futures for new home buyers, one two-way switch, soffit outlet and operable window at a time. The Foothills of Winona development is a perfect example of our attention to detail—affordable luxury in a beautiful greenbelt setting, minutes from the QEW.