Wood, marble samples, eye glasses and blueprint of a house sitting on the desk with plants on the side.

Dos And Don’ts To Pre-Construction Design Selections And Upgrades

Buying a pre-construction property might be a whole new experience for you. From choosing a unit to selecting decor, it is an exciting process but can sometimes be overwhelming. Especially the choosing decor part. It happens after the builder’s done with laying the foundation and can be as soon as within a couple months of signing the purchase agreement to a couple years later. 

As part of the design process, the builder will offer you a few selections for tiles, flooring, and cabinet finishes that are included in the purchase price. They’ll also offer you some upgrades, for example, hardwood flooring, additional lights, backyard fencing, and better quality cabinet finishes. You’ll have to sell out extra money for these upgrades. Some builders offer up to $15,000 in decor dollars for specific townhouse and single family home projects, which usually sell out quickly. 

Here are 5 do’s while choosing pre-construction design selections and upgrades:

1. Do: Take a look at your finances before booking updates 

It’s easy to get carried away with customizations. Set a budget for your upgrades. Remember, every little addition can add up quickly and there’s no need to do all upgrades at once. Focus on upgrades that will add value to your home and your quality of life, rather than purely cosmetic changes. Some upgrades we recommend at That Pre-Construction Guy include flooring, electrical and plumbing, and room expansions. 

2. Do: Prioritize Structural Upgrades

While aesthetic upgrades are tempting, it’ll be more beneficial in the long run to invest in structural upgrades during the pre-construction phase. Think enhanced insulation, better windows, or upgraded electrical panels — these are not only harder to do later but can also increase your home’s efficiency and comfort.

a clean white bedroom with large windows and natural sunlight coming in.

3. Do: Enhance Natural Light

Canada gets gloomy and dull for half of the year and that’s why you need as much natural light as possible to enter your home. So, how will the builder make it possible? Additional windows or a skylight is the answer. Natural light not only makes your home feel more spacious and welcoming but also helps to reduce electricity costs during daylight hours.

4. Do: Think About Resale Value

While your home should reflect your personal style, you must consider the potential resale value of your upgrades. Highly personalized choices might not appeal to the broader market. For instance, converting a bedroom into an elaborate personal cinema might be your dream, but it could be a turn-off for future buyers. On the other hand, some customisations can add value. For example, a sunroom or turning an odd corner into storage or kids homework area will increase the resale price. 

5. Do: Keep Documentation

It goes without saying that you should document all upgrade and design selections. Keep detailed records of agreements, receipts, and plans. It not only helps during the construction process to make sure everything is as per your specifications but also serves as a record for future reference.

Here are 5 don’ts while choosing pre-construction design selections and upgrades: 

1. Don’t go in without research 

With so many materials and finishes available, take your time to research and compare different products. Check out showrooms, ask for samples, and consult with design professionals. Also consider how different materials sustain in the Canadian weather. As a thumb of rule choose light and airy designs as moodier options are niche and won’t fetch you a good resale value. 

2. Don’t get swayed by every update option 

Before diving into the many design selections and upgrades, think about how you live day-to-day. If you love to cook, investing your money in a gourmet kitchen is a great choice. You can customize the cabinetry to streamline your cooking process. On the other hand, if you’re rarely home, the latest high-tech home automation systems won’t be of much use. Instead, you’ll enjoy some living room upgrades when hosting guests or friends and family. 

3. Don’t choose design options that are too trendy 

Trends come and go, but classic design remains stylish for years. Opt for design selections that are timeless. Neutral colors, simple kitchen cabinets, and classic hardwood floors tend to appeal to a broader audience, which is all a bonus if you ever decide to sell your home.

4. Don’t overlook quality 

Cheaper materials might be easier on your wallet now, but they could lead to higher maintenance costs and decreased longevity. Always invest in good quality, long lasting finishes. Quality should always be a priority over cost.

5. Don’t invest in lighting 

Lighting fixtures, including extra pot lights or dimmable lights, cost a lot when done through the builder. A fixture that’ll cost you around $50-$60 for installation will cost $300 roughly through them. Always compare market prices from local contractors or handymen for simple upgrades. 

Invest your hard-earned money smartly and talk to friends and family you’ve purchased pre-construction units in the past for their experience. If you miss out on an important upgrade, you may have to pay extra later. 

For more pre-construction tips and advice, follow That Pre-Construction Guy.

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