Building a new home? What to upgrade now and what can wait until later?

hand drawing room

When buying a newly constructed home, unless you are doing a custom build, it’s likely for most of the home finishes you’ll get builder’s grade quality unless you choose to upgrade for a higher cost. As a result, many homeowners choose a mixture of builder’s grade and custom options based on their personal preferences.

But what’s the best way to decide what to upgrade? Can I afford upgrade everything all at once? Or should I plan it out one project at a time? Which finishes will increase my home’s value? There’s a lot to consider before you commit to upgrades on your new build. And we’ve identified three things to think about that we believe will make it a lot less stressful.


What’s going to be most convenient for you and your family? Bigger upgrades like a room remodel can take a lot of time and leave you temporarily down a bathroom, bedroom, or even a kitchen. And depending on the size of your family, you might need every bathroom you have. And sometimes there’s no convenient time to upgrade. So, it really depends on what works best for your family. We also recommend looking into the convenience of flooring upgrades before all of your furniture is moved into the house. It will be much more convenient to upgrade these up front. But upgrades like fixtures can happen without inconveniencing you or your family.


Value is always top of mind with homeowners. The reason people buy houses, besides to make a home, is to gain equity and benefit from increased value. So, you should also consider what value an upgrade will bring to your home related to its costs. For example, granite countertops are typically a more expensive upgrade but they’ll almost certainly increase your home’s value. The same goes for hardwood floors. Whereas, upgrading to the latest and greatest appliances can cost you a lot but won’t really add much to your home’s value.


We’re covering this last but it’s probably where every home upgrade starts and stops. What’s this going to cost me? And, how am I going to pay for it? Some upgrades can be cost prohibitive, so you need to decide how important they are to you and if they make sense in the context your home. When you space upgrades out, they won’t feel as heavy of a financial decision but they may require more effort on your part once you are no longer working with a builder. It is also important to note, some upgrades might cost more in the future than they would now. If you can, do those projects up front.

Adding custom finishings to your home is always exciting. It’s the best way to make a home truly your own. And who doesn’t love that? But it can be stressful if you take on too much at once. So, think through the areas we covered and make sure you have a plan to get the most out of your upgrades. And if you have questions about financing your upgrades, our Guardian Home Loan Specialists are always ready to provide you with answers.