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Thread: New build upgrades?

  1. #1
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    Default New build upgrades?

    Anyone have some advice on what makes sense and what doesn't? Specifically for a condo in this case but some stuff may translate between the different styles.

    I plan to live in it for a while but maybe considering an upgrade sometime in the 5-10 year time-frame. My current thoughts are limiting my upgrades to the following:
    • Ensuite - glass shower enclosure
    • Air Conditioner (less for re-sale, more for personal comfort - west facing)
    • Hardwood Floors
    • Appliances - Stainless + Front Load Washer/Dryer
    • Kitchen Island

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    What's the price on all of those?
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    Last edited by Cos; 12-28-2016 at 07:54 PM.
    Originally posted by adam c

    Line goes up, line goes down, line does squiggly things and fucks Alberta
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    Originally posted by CompletelyNumb
    What's the price on all of those?
    I'd have to check but I think I was looking at spending around $10-13k in total. The bulk of this was for the hardwood and island/AC.

    The AC is really the biggest questionable item for me... it was quoted around $4000 which seems way overpriced to me for a 1 ton unit - but I've been in hot condos before and would rather throw away the money to be comfortable

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    Last edited by Cos; 12-28-2016 at 07:54 PM.
    Originally posted by adam c

    Line goes up, line goes down, line does squiggly things and fucks Alberta
    "The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones"

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    Originally posted by Cos


    Is it a small suitcase style one? I hear those are more money. If it isn't then you're over paying. My 3-ton quote was $3800.


    Kind of like this.

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    Generally get the structural/electrical/plumbing upgrades, since they're more difficult and expensive to do after the fact.

    The more cosmetic things like appliances, flooring, etc really depend on the price and how easily you can do them on your own later on.

    Builder upgrades I got for my townhouse:
    - Knockdown ceilings
    - BBQ gas line
    - Quartz countertops
    - Under-cabinet lighting

    I'd hold off on the air con until you've lived in it for a bit and can properly assess how worthwhile it'd be. It's not like $4k is a good deal you can't pass by.

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    Originally posted by tch7
    Generally get the structural/electrical/plumbing upgrades, since they're more difficult and expensive to do after the fact.

    The more cosmetic things like appliances, flooring, etc really depend on the price and how easily you can do them on your own later on.

    Builder upgrades I got for my townhouse:
    - Knockdown ceilings
    - BBQ gas line
    - Quartz countertops
    - Under-cabinet lighting

    I'd hold off on the air con until you've lived in it for a bit and can properly assess how worthwhile it'd be. It's not like $4k is a good deal you can't pass by.
    I think the AC counts as "structural" since it goes through the building envelope which is common property for a condo, so it's a giant pain in the ass to do afterwards - hence the markup.

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    one thing I dislike about my house is the Patio slider door.. I were to do it again, a real door, or a garden door..

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    I'd add after living in four condos:

    -heated floors in the kitchen sink area and the bathrooms.

    -a/c is a need in a condo, airflow is usually pretty restricted and windows generally do not open all that much.

    -under cabinet lighting.

    -higher quality wood cabinets in the kitchen area.

    -gas stove, once you've used gas there is no desire for anything else.

    -real hardwood floors, so solid no one asks if it is real wood. if someone asks, well you went cheap.

    -lighting on the sides of the bathroom mirror only and NOT above the mirrors like so many do in error. night and day difference, ask anyone who knows lighting and how it impacts skin tones.

    -heated toilet seats, at least get the electrical plug installed near the toilet, as adding one later is a pain.

    At least four of the above are a solid must-have for the females who will later have a strong say in buying your place.
    Last edited by CanmoreOrLess; 10-25-2014 at 09:40 PM.

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    Knock down ceilings - to cheap now to not do.

    Upgraded casings - again really cheap now and major pain later

    Futures for gas and electrical

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    I have friend that lives in a condo, and the one thing when I was looking to purchase a similar condo he said was to make sure that I opt into the A/C because that is something that he regrets not getting.

    I know $4,000 may seem like a lot, but chances are if you try to get it done after the fact your are going to end up wasting more time, trying to get it approved through the board, and altering the building envelope to get it put in. And who knows if it will be at all possible to get it done after.


    When I did upgrades, I upgraded things that would have been a pain to do myself if I wanted to do them. So we got:

    - Natural gas for the BBQ to the balcony
    - Full length kitchen cabinets (they go all the way to the ceiling so there isn't any space above them for dust and grease etc to accumulate on)
    - Granite counter tops (ended up only costing $2,500 etc)
    - Rough in's for central vac, water to the fridge, garborator etc.

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    Originally posted by triplep
    I have friend that lives in a condo, and the one thing when I was looking to purchase a similar condo he said was to make sure that I opt into the A/C because that is something that he regrets not getting.

    I know $4,000 may seem like a lot, but chances are if you try to get it done after the fact your are going to end up wasting more time, trying to get it approved through the board, and altering the building envelope to get it put in. And who knows if it will be at all possible to get it done after.


    When I did upgrades, I upgraded things that would have been a pain to do myself if I wanted to do them. So we got:

    - Natural gas for the BBQ to the balcony
    - Full length kitchen cabinets (they go all the way to the ceiling so there isn't any space above them for dust and grease etc to accumulate on)
    - Granite counter tops (ended up only costing $2,500 etc)
    - Rough in's for central vac, water to the fridge, garborator etc.
    Thanks, you just sold me on the A/C

    Natural gas BBQ line for the balcony and Granite are standard luckily. Water to the fridge and garborator are sort of on my nice-to-have list right now, but I'm not completely sold.

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    Originally posted by tch7
    Generally get the structural/electrical/plumbing upgrades, since they're more difficult and expensive to do after the fact.

    The more cosmetic things like appliances, flooring, etc really depend on the price and how easily you can do them on your own later on.
    I'd agree with this.

    Go for the A/C.

    As for the rest, if you can do them afterwards cheaper, and will actually have the motivation to do it, then don't upgrade now. If you want a turn-key build that you never have to upgrade, get them now. None of them will hurt resale.

    And I would go for water to the fridge. I would imagine the upgraded fridge has water/ice.
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    Some people have mentioned knock-down ceilings - I don't see the point of upgrading that.... if you have 9ft high ceilings you will never have to worry about that popcorn stuff falling down...

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    Last edited by Cos; 12-28-2016 at 07:54 PM.
    Originally posted by adam c

    Line goes up, line goes down, line does squiggly things and fucks Alberta
    "The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones"

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    Structured wiring.

    In ceiling speakers

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    Originally posted by avishal26
    Some people have mentioned knock-down ceilings - I don't see the point of upgrading that.... if you have 9ft high ceilings you will never have to worry about that popcorn stuff falling down...
    Looks modern and premium when compared to popcorn. It may not be something that everyone notices but for those that do it's a very nice touch that is a very cheap upgrade over popcorn (at the building stage). I would imagine the cost to do it later would be prohibitive.

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    Originally posted by tsi_neal


    Looks modern and premium when compared to popcorn. It may not be something that everyone notices but for those that do it's a very nice touch that is a very cheap upgrade over popcorn (at the building stage). I would imagine the cost to do it later would be prohibitive.
    What is the upgrade cost for an apartment?

    I know it is about $2,000 for a new build house (approx 2000 sq ft)

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    Originally posted by avishal26


    What is the upgrade cost for an apartment?

    I know it is about $2,000 for a new build house (approx 2000 sq ft)
    I paid less than that, about $0.50/sqft.

    What I really found cross shopping the builders was upgrade costs varied greatly. For instance a tile upgrade to a similar quality tile and square footage was 1200 for builder A and if I remember 6000 from builder B. But then builder A would gouge elsewhere, total upgrade cost was comparable between the two.

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