What We Picked And What We Cut

One of the most common questions that comes up when people ask about the new-build process is around the cost, specifically, upgrades.

We really had no idea going into it but we knew I would want to do a few projects on our own and with that we had set an upgrade budget that felt pretty healthy to accommodate our wish list. It didn’t take long for our ‘must-have’ list to get knocked down a few notches. Now that we’re on the other side, I can tell you – anyone considering a new construction home should plan on 10% of your purchase price for your budget if you have the mindset that your *dream* home should be everything you want. Ours was cut significantly 🙂

So I wanted to detail some of what our original must-have list included, what the upgrade costs were, and what we cut.

White shaker cabinets – $1,800



Quartz upgrade – $600 (stock selection included Granite)


Fireplace – $3,900



Wood treads on the staircase – $2,800-$4,000

Wood floors in the upstairs hallway – $1,800

Backyard sod – $3,000 (home only included sod in the front yard)

Front yard irrigation – $3,000

Tiled shower – $7,000

Upgraded hardwood floors – up to $5,000 (included prefinished 3″ oak)

Central A/C – $3,500

Kitchen Island – $4,000

And these were just the big ticket items! You have to pay for additional outlets, pot lights, ceiling lights in all bedrooms, nicer carpet, nicer trim, nice plumbing fixtures, certain colors for the vinyl siding, etc. You can see how quickly the budget can be eaten up for ‘making your dream house a reality’, we ended up cutting around ~$20k worth of upgrades because we had no idea how expensive it would all be, and what we thought were must-haves were quickly must have-nots.


Hope this helps anyone else considering going down the new construction path!

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