When building a new home or remodeling, it’s exciting to choose from all the latest and greatest options — especially when we’re talking about kitchens and bathrooms. But many of today’s “luxuries” can become tomorrow’s nuisances. Here’s a list of high-end items worthy of adding and another list of luxury upgrades you might want to skip.
Consider installing more outlets than recommended, as well as USB ports, during renovation or home building. New wireless home theater options mean fewer cords for your television, while smart home systems integrate many electronics with phones or tablets.
Solid Surface Countertops.
While these now come standard in most new homes, granite and quartz countertops are a wise investment for remodelers. Granite and quartz are durable, easy to clean, resistant to heat and most stains, and last longer than softer surfaces.
Heated Tile Floors.
No one likes to walk on cold tile floors in the winter. When building or remodeling you can fix that by adding a heating element below the surface of the master bathroom. You’ll also cut your heating costs. Completely worth the splurge.
Closet Organization Systems.
Gone are the days of a single bar and a lone shelf hung across a closet space. Most homeowners want the highest functionality possible. If adding or expanding closets isn’t possible, have a professional install shelving and drawers to meet your needs.
HVAC System Upgrades
If you are making frequent HVAC repairs or your system is greater than 10 years old, it may be time to consider a system upgrade. Keep in mind that an Energy Star certified system is 10 to 15% more efficient than standard models which translate to greater cost savings in the long run. Also, a higher end system will require less frequent maintenance appointments and will be less expensive over the life of the system.
Resort-Worthy Bathroom Upgrades.
Spa-like bathrooms still appear high on the list of popular luxury home upgrades. However, ten body jets, plus two shower heads, a waterfall or rain can, and a hand spray can be overkill. A shower is designed for quick but thorough everyday use. Think about how much time you spend in the shower, and how many fixtures you will use. It may be possible to get the experience with two shower heads and save yourself thousands in plumbing costs. While you’re at it, reconsider that whirlpool tub. The novelty wears off quickly and owners are left with bacteria-laden jets.
Professional-Grade Kitchen Appliances.
Many homeowners may dream about cooking up a gourmet feast on a regular basis but it’s a rare owner who actually does. Professional ranges and refrigerators can cost up to $10,000, while typical home models cost about $2,000. Unless you are – or plan on becoming – a professional chef, skip the pro appliances.
High-Maintenance Outdoor Areas.
Outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and water features, including hot tubs, may be highlighted in all the design magazines, but seriously evaluate your entertainment needs (and budget) before committing. Many homeowners find that extensive outdoor features aren’t worth the time and money required to keep them in top-notch condition.
A Final Note on Luxury Upgrades.
Add an extra 10 percent to 15 percent to your upgrades budget to cover unforeseen costs that often come up during the construction of a new home or remodeling of an older home. Also, keep your expectations realistic. Remember that money spent on upgrades does not translate dollar for dollar to a positive return on investment when you sell.