Welcome to the third installment on the most popular upgrades customers made when building a new home in Calgary. We’ve dug into our research over the last five years to share what our customers chose to put into their houses when they built with us. In previous articles, we covered the most popular kitchen upgrades and ensuite upgrades. Now, we’re covering trending features added throughout the house.

If you’re building a new home, we understand that it can be hard to decide which builder upgrades to skip and which to go for. Worse yet, it can be difficult deciding on the must-have finishes from a builder’s standard specifications list. That’s why it’s helpful to know what other new homebuyers decided to invest in and put into their home.

Here are the top 10 most popular upgrades for new homes in Calgary.

10. Pot lights in the great room and bonus room

Pot lights are great for accentuating unique architectural features such as an entire room, a wall section, or even a piece of art. They are also a great way to upgrade your main living space and bonus spaces used as a home theatre, home office, playroom or family room.

The versatility of pot lights has made them quite popular. Lighting helps add to the atmosphere of a home and it can help illuminate tasks. They have been added to great rooms and bonus rooms in Calgary in the last 5 years to brighten and lighten these spaces for everyday life.

9. Flush mount hardwood vent

Customers added flush-mount hardwood vents to create a seamless finish to their hardwood floors. Vent covers in various shapes, sizes and materials that can differ from your floor and may clash with your chosen home décor.

Flush-mount vents are set into the floor so they appear flat on the surface—at the same height as the rest of your flooring. In most cases, the vent frame uses the same hardwood finish on the vent to appear like the surrounding area. While it fits into place securely, the vent is still removable to allow for cleaning.

8. Stone on the fireplace

Stacked stone fireplaces have become a must-have feature in Calgary’s new homes. This stunning home upgrade makes a statement and is the perfect way to turn your fireplace a focal point in the room. A fireplace can be finished with lots of different materials such as granite, marble, and Quartzite.

Natural stone fireplaces are not only heat-resistant but are also appealing for several reasons. This includes their unique look, durability, eco-friendly, and added value to your home. They can also be installed in many different configurations depending on your tastes.

7. Audio conduit for the great room fireplace

Great room fireplaces have always played an important role as a family gathering place. And so, it is only natural to want to add one with a hidden audio conduit, which can be installed as a stand-alone or mounted with a TV.

Choosing to add an audio conduit while building ensures the wires can be properly placed and hidden. Installing one afterward can sometimes be problematic and difficult because the fireplace gets in the way of cables coming from below and the top wall prevents access from above.

calgary-most-popular-new-home-upgrade-features-mudroom6. Mudroom lockers

A mudroom’s main purpose is to help store things that would clutter up the house. The best way to keep these things organized is to give each member of the family his or her own locker. These are great for storing backpacks, coats, outdoor shoes, umbrellas, and other items. They often come as elongated cabinets or cubicles that look like gym lockers.

The locker configuration means everyone has dedicated storage, and there’s no excuse for dumping stuff all over the place. Mudroom lockers in Calgary typically come in the form of a painted or stained wood construction trimmed to match the home décor.

5. Develop stairs to the basement

Although the basement is usually an overlooked part of the home, more customers have begun paying attention to theirs. Finishing the stairs to the basement, as part of the building process, is a great way to add more quality to your home. It also gives you peace of mind that it is done properly. Plus, when your new home builder finishes the stairs, it is included as part of your new home warranty.

Stairs can be finished with carpet, metal or hardwood. You could also use a combination of two or more materials to make your basement stairs look nicer and more upscale.

4. 8-feet interior doors on the main

Interior doors do more than just separate rooms and provide privacy, they add architectural details to a home and define the décor. Taller doors dramatically improve the look of the space, and can add to the grandeur of a home. Installing eight foot interior doors looks more impressive and gives your home a roomy feel, which is why more Calgarians are upgrading them on the main floor.

3. 9-foot basement

The trend towards more livable, open spaced has resulted in homeowners rethinking their basements. No longer are they cave-like dark enclosures, modern basements tend to be larger open areas, which are enhanced and better suit tall ceilings.

Installing 9-foot ceiling during construction is the best time—regardless of whether you choose to finish your basement right away or not. Upgrading to 9-foot ceilings has the advantage of better resale value in the future, in addition to the improved usability of the space while you live there.

2. Second sink to the main bath

If you find yourself fighting for a spot to brush your teeth or to wash your hands, then a second sink in the main bathroom is a must. It’s a practical feature if the main bathroom is shared with more than one person. Adding one when you’re building a new home is more cost effective rather than adding one later and can potentially increase your home’s resale value.

A double sink can be a smart choice for large or growing families, and a lifesaver during the early morning rush hour in your home to get ready. Another benefit of an extra basin is the increased counter space to keep personal belongings like skin care products, toothbrushes and styling tools separate.

1. Full-width deck

It should come as no surprise that the most popular upgrade in Calgary new homes are decks built for entertaining. Regardless of our Calgary weather, full-width decks allow families to take advantage of the warm weather when it arrives with space for family and friends to gather.

Today’s modern families want to do more with their deck space after moving into their custom-built homes. Full-width decks allow homeowners to create a custom outdoor space with many different material and configuration options. These decks are usually fitted with couches, additional seating, a BBQ and outdoor kitchen spaces where people can sit, relax and eat.

Why Upgrades Matter

All these upgrades lay the foundation for a custom built home you’ll love for years to come. Choosing any of these are your best bets to help you make upgrade choices that are worth the investment and highly desirable when you go to sell your home in the future.

One thing you should know is that if you’re working with a builder other than Broadview, you may need to upgrade more items. Broadview Homes’ standard specifications include higher quality features to give you more value for your money.

The best advice is to look for upgrades that are compatible with the way you live. In most cases, spending a little more on well thought-out upgrades can increase your home’s resale value — and your satisfaction.