Where to Splurge & Spend in a New Build: Part 2

Where to Splurge & Spend in a New Build: Part 2

There are definitely places you’ll notice and appreciate spending a little extra to make your new build your dream home. But what about the areas that could cost significantly less than the builder’s original plan that you’d never know the difference? Or even like better?

Yep. Let’s chat.

Where to Save

Your builder wants to make things as easy as possible on everyone. Makes sense right? If 5 previous clients all liked the same aspect of your builder’s plans, it’s just easier for the builder to present their ideas to you as if they’re fixed.

This is especially true when it comes to vendor relations. In the design/build industry, we all find the people we generally want to team up with because of quality, cost, professionalism and even just likability. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look outside the box to save in ways that don’t impact the final look or durability of the home.

Custom Vanities

Your kitchen cabinetry will (and should) be designed by a reputable cabinetry company that will make sure it fits great, looks great and holds up to 30+ years of wear. And because it’s easy to just put all cabinetry in the entire house under the scope of the cabinet designer, you can spend more money in the bathrooms than is really necessary.

Your cabinet designer is more than capable of designing you a cost effective option. Things to double check would be that you aren’t using a custom finish or cabinetry line. Sticking with the standard options will help significantly!

You also could consider designing your bathrooms to fit pre-made and store-bought vanities.  Many of these vanities will come with countertop, sink, and hardware included!  

DESIGNER TIP: If you choose a vanity with exposed pipes, be sure they are “pretty.”  Doing a chrome or metal pipe instead of white PVC will give it a more polished look. This will need to be communicated with the plumber.

Where it Counts

Pick your expensive items strategically.  Don’t spend an arm and a leg in a bathroom off of a guest bedroom in your lower level.  Save money in secondary locations so you can amp up the locations that are used day-in and day-out. For example the extra money could be shifted towards the powder bathroom’s wallpaper or a lovely light fixture in your dining room!


One of the best things about building a home is that you can make sure natural light floods your home through the windows. Large windows are beautiful but large windows in non-standard sizes can really add extra expense during the building AND furnishing stages.

Consider the size of your windows. Will they require custom shades or will a standard size of window covering work? If you can, stick to the nearest available standard sizes in as many areas as you can. Go big but don’t get spend-y if there’s a similar size offered as a standard. Your building budget and window treatment budget will thank you.

Tile Work

Tile goes from super cheap to super pricey very quickly. Part of that is the design/material of the actual tile and part is the cost to install.

To save money on tile labor, choose larger, linear tile. It’s a breeze for the contractors to install. To create a unique look with cost effective tile, make your own pattern by combining different colors of an inexpensive porcelain or ceramic. This can give you all the drama that you want but at a fraction of the price.

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