6 of Our Most Popular Upgrades Featured Image



Building a new home over buying a resale comes with plenty of perks. You can choose your ideal floor plan, choose the exact lot on which to build, and really personalize your new home to your exact needs. And of course, one of the most enticing reasons to build new is you can get more in-depth with your choices of colours and finishes.

To really get the look you desire, you can also select various sophisticated upgrade options for a more refined home. Many of our homeowners choose to upgrade key items within their new homes, and we’d like to show you some of the most popular choices.

1. Quartz and Granite Countertops 

One of the most common upgrade choices for new home buyers is definitely countertops. While laminate countertops are extremely durable, cost-effective and come in a variety of colours and designs, higher-end materials like granite and quartz are quickly becoming the norm in many new homes. 

Granite is a beautiful stone product sourced from the earth. Because of its natural properties, each slab is essentially one-of-a-kind. It offers far more variety in terms of colours and features and can elevate the overall look of your kitchen and bathrooms. 

While granite is extremely durable, it’s a little more porous than quartz and does come with an extra level of care in terms of keeping it sealed (once per year is best) and keeping moisture off its surfaces as much as possible. Keep in mind this is a small trade-off for the unique appeal this material has to offer. 

Quartz is a beautiful alternative to granite and is a man-made stone product. It has a simpler look than granite in that it’s more uniform, but comes in a wide variety of colours with varying flecks of metallic pieces. Because it is man-made, it’s not as porous but you should still clean up bathroom or kitchen spills immediately. 

2. Hardware 

Speaking of bathrooms and kitchens, have you given much thought to your new home’s hardware? Hardware primarily refers to the various types of handles and knobs on your drawers and cabinets. As an upgrade, hardware is a great example of how a little thing can make a big difference! 

For example, if you’re designing your home have a modern farmhouse appeal, using black iron hardware with farmhouse style cup pulls will enhance the look you’re going for. For a minimal cost, upgrading your cabinet and door hardware will go a long way.

3. Vinyl Plank, Hardwood or Laminate

Vinyl plank is versatile, cost-effective and has a much more upscale look too old-fashioned vinyl flooring. As an added bonus, it’s durable (great for kids and pets), easy to clean and comes in many appealing styles and textures. 

However, if you love the idea of upscale flooring options you may want to consider laminate or hardwood (yes, we said laminate). Laminate costs slightly more than vinyl plank because it’s a wood-based product (vinyl plank is synthetic). Because laminate is known to have deeper embossing (to look more like real wood), comes in an array of designs (i.e. whitewashed oak) and is just as durable as vinyl plank, many home buyers opt for this type of flooring instead. 

Then, of course, there’s luxury hardwood. While we think this type of flooring speaks for itself in terms of high-end appeal, it is also easy to clean and makes for a great long-term investment. While it can be more susceptible to damage, most species of hardwood are very durable – not to mention, there’s so much to choose from!

4. Fireplace Entertainment Units 

Most homeowners today install a wall-mounted television in their great room. For this reason, many decide to upgrade this area to include a built-in entertainment centre around their TV with a fireplace below. This provides a beautiful focal point within the room while also serving as a functional place for your TV, game systems, electronic equipment, and added storage for books, games, or artwork. 

If you opt for this feature, you can also design it to hide cords and keep everything neat and tidy. This entertainment system can be designed and built to match your kitchen cabinets to complete your home’s overall design or it can stand-out as a statement piece all on its own. There are many different types to choose from to suit your style. Cultured stone and ceramic tile can be added to many of the different designs for an even more upscale look.

6 of Our Most Popular Upgrades Kitchen Image

5. Lighting 

The style and type of lighting you choose can make for a beautiful focal point in the various rooms in your home. By choosing lighting pieces that work with the design of your home and its floor plan, they become a cohesive, yet bold part of your design. Lighting is a very popular upgrade choice for this reason; a simple lighting change can make your home look more upscale while still offering the function you need.

Many people opt for stylish hanging pendant lights over the island and undercabinet lighting in the kitchen. Potlights are also a very common feature many people choose to include in their great room, dining room, and kitchen. Choosing the right lighting is a great way to change the ambience from room to room and highlight features such as your built-in entertainment unit or shiny quartz countertops.

6 of Our Most Popular Upgrades Ensuite Image

6. Tub, Shower and Ceramic Tile 

Let’s take a moment to imagine the end of a long day at work. Having a stunning bathroom in which to retreat is what makes your home truly your personal sanctuary. Many homeowners will upgrade their ensuite tub to a soaker or jetted tub to create that spa-like experience. With Sterling Homes, you can upgrade to a luxurious soaker tub and separate shower in our “Deluxe” ensuites. Complete with a full ceramic tile floor (and shower if you like!), you can even add a chandelier or potlights over the tub – perfect for winding down and relaxing. 

By building your new home, you can personalize it as you wish to make it your very own. Upgrades are a popular way to achieve your dream home, and by making these selections at the time of purchase rather than waiting to renovate later, you’ll be able to enjoy these options today and truly settle into your new personal palace.

Interested in more specialty must-haves? Check out our previous posts 4 Upgrades You Can Add to Your New Home Build and 3 Reasons Why New Home Upgrades Are More Affordable Than You Think.

*Originally posted June 2, 2017, updated October 17, 2018

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