Thursday, 27 September 2012


Aaah upgrades, they can take over if you're not careful and leave you well over budget. Once you get the must have items out of the way it becomes harder to decide what you should try and stretch to include and what should be left standard. Even now I can be heard moaning " we should have kept that upgrade it was only a little bit more for it". The problem is every upgraded item while on it's own can be just a couple of hundred dollars but add them all together and you have a hyperventilating husband haha.

As it stands we are over what I was hoping we would spend and it is entirely my fault. You think a little differently when you plan on staying in the house for a long time then I think you would if just building to live in for a couple of years, everything becomes a must have.

While we went over budget I think we got most of what we wanted and there are also a number of things we decided not to upgrade and have kept standard or left out altogether. I'm also loathe to admit we paid a few variation fees along the way, mostly due to my indecisiveness. My biggest tip for anyone going with a project builder is to add everything in at your studio appointments because it is easier to take them out then add them in later. My husband kept telling me this but really I just felt foolish upgrading things that while we wanted them we knew we most likely wouldn't go with. I should have just went with the feeling foolish. Take my advice, add as much wish list things into your quote at your appointments and save yourself the variation fees.

Okay so onto some of the things we upgraded.

* 9 foot ceilings, with internal doors, bi folds and french doors, front door upgraded in height to suit higher ceiling.

* Solar hot water system instead of gas.

* Cornices, architraves and skirtings to wider size.

* Roof pitch to 25 degree instead of 22.

* Recessed shelves in showers.

* Frontage is not standard, it is an upgrade.

* Grand outdoor room.

* Change of paint colour in kitchen, dining and family room.

* Panelled lining to the entrance ceiling and made it 3m high.

* Freestanding bath to main bathroom instead of standard.

* Upgraded the carpet to the gold range, upgraded underlay and upgraded from the standard floorboard range.

* Tiled kicks under bathroom vanities.

* Upgraded everything in the kitchen and butlers pantry...this needs it's own post, too many numerous things to list.

* Added built ins to the laundry.

* Added internal glass cavity sliders in sitting room and butlers pantry.

* Upgraded internal doors.

* Using weatherboard was a big upgrade as was the render.

* Upgraded Ceasarstone colour from standard range.

There were lots of little things but those are the main items. We also took out a couple of things...the glass splashback, mirror in powder room, all the kitchen appliances except the microwave and the hanging rails in our wardrobes.

We kept all the basins, showerheads and mixers in bathrooms standard as they are of a high standard.

If anybody building would like an idea on prices I'm happy to help.

Tash x


  1. To be honest we are a bit the opposite. We didn't get many upgrades, and it was more because we didn't do our research enough to realise we could. Coral Homes don't realise just how much up-selling they could have done with us! We would have happily upgraded the kitchen cabinets, and looking back we would have loved the recessed shelves in the shower. We upgraded in other areas though with changes to our design, mirrored doors and electrical fittings.

  2. I agree, we only knew to upgrade these things because I had pieced together different things I wanted from reading other blogs and disregarding what I didn't want.I don't know what type of a house I would be building without sitting up reading blogs and threads on Homeone.
    The recessed shelves and roof pitch I had not thought of before. That's why I listed it all, if you're new to building you might not realise your options. I actually wished my Studio M lady had shown us more of the upgrades available internally, credit to her she did for a couple of things.

    Tash x