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My 5 Favorite Upgrades

When building our house last year, we were confronted with an 80 page packet of options and upgrades.  Suddenly, the fun job of creating our dream home turned into a dizzying challenge of what minute details to pick and how much would it all cost.  While I didn’t get every upgrade I wanted (no raised countertops in the bathrooms- boo!), I did get a selection of upgrades I was passionate about.  These are my top 5 that have made all the difference in the enjoyability of our home.

5 Home Upgrades I Don't Regret

5. Subway Tile Backspalsh

The builder price included a tile backsplash of 12″x 12″ tiles.  It was nice, but not what I wanted.  We wanted a light grey subway tile, but our builder didn’t offer that.  What they did offer was this taupe tile that looks grey when it’s paired with grey grout.  The result has been stunning and I love it so much!  It brings a different vibe to the kitchen.  Plus, our house has a lot of long, dramatic open spaces that look much more grand with rectangle shapes in them rather than square, so having rectangles in the backsplash fits well with our floors, furniture and decorative touches.  Cost: $590.

There's an awesome color trick to these subway backsplash tiles

4. Oil Rubbed Bronze Knobs

This was a really inexpensive upgrade.  We have dark accents on our lights, stairs, shower and front door so going with the oil rubbed bronze doorknobs made a lot of sense to keep that look cohesive throughout.  I think it adds a bit of elegance.  With any luck, oil rubbed bronze will stay in style while we live here.  Cost: $85

Oil rubbed bronze doorknobs...an easy, inexpensive home upgrade

3. Extended Porch

Our old house had a tiny slab of concrete outside our back door and there was nothing covering it.  When you opened the door in the rain, you’d get splashed.  And when you’d sit out on the porch in the sun, you’d get burned.  The slab was so tiny that a small patio table set couldn’t even fit on it.  It made it hard to be comfortable out back.  When we saw that an extended covered patio was an option on our new house, we jumped at it.  It was rather inexpensive and the finished result is impressive.  Our covered, lighted porch now has enough room for a BBQ and a full outdoor livingroom set.  This summer, we’ll definitely be taking advantage of that space and enjoying coffee by the pond.  Cost: $1,940.

This covered, extended porch made all the difference when building our home.

2. Balusters at the top of the stairs

Our old house had a sort of half wall the went up the stairs.  It worked, but the stairway was always dark.  I had to bargain with my husband to get the balusters instead of the half wall in this house (that’s how I lost those raised countertops), but it was worth it.  The stair area is so light and gorgeous, it just makes the house feel different.  Had we gone with the half wall, it would be like coming up the stairs and into a dark tunnel and that’s not the relaxing vibe we were going for.  Cost: $2,250.

Balusters on your stairs are a great way to add a lot of light and make your home more dramatic.

1.  Raised closets

My number one favorite upgrade we made wasn’t in the massive packet from the builder.  It was an upgrade that I asked for specifically.  Most builders now are building closets where the bar is at 5 1/2 feet.  This seems good, except when you use a hanging closet extender (which is a lot cheaper to do than creating a custom closet).  When you hang a closet extender from a 5 1/2 foot high bar, adult sized clothes on the extender tend to touch the ground.  Not only does that look sloppy, but it keeps you from using that floor space.  We had our closet bars hung at 6 feet.  This allows us to double the space of our closets (by way of those hanging extender bars) while still easily reaching the items on top.  It has been my absolute favorite upgrade and was actually the cheapest. Cost: $50.

When you raise your closet bar up to 6 feet, you literally double the capacity of your closets. It's one of the easiest closet upgrades you can do.

Those are my top 5 upgrades.  Do you have an upgrade that you’ve done or wanted that you feel passionately about?  I’d love to hear about it!







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2 thoughts on “My 5 Favorite Upgrades

  1. TwoPlusCute says:

    Love the extended porch! And the kitchen tile really looks great Christine.
    I did the raised bars in our closets too, the moment we went in the house. Insta double space to hang clothes.

    As for the balusters, way to go! So much better than half walls. 🙂

    1. Christine says:

      Thank you so much! Great minds must think alike 😀

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