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TOP 5 UPGRADES you should consider when building.

That aren’t focused on the aesthetic of your home...

First things first, most builders will have a list of “standard inclusions” that are automatically included in your build quote and contract - until that is, when you decide to either remove or upgrade these inclusions, so be sure to familiarise yourself with these first!

Second to that, if you are working with a designer for your project, ensure you discuss these following items with them, that way they are guaranteed to include them on the drawings, and in the specification documentation.

It's so important for the builder(s) receiving the job during the tender process, so they can be sure to itemise these upgrades and provide accurate pricing in their quotation.

Lastly before I jump into the top 5 upgrades I think you should consider, I want to disclaim that not all these items aren't necessarily going to be things you "see" in your home, but let me tell you, they are things you will definitely feel the difference with.

Also, these upgrades aren't easy to change later on, whereas you can always swap your laundry tap to a beautiful gold one down the track.

Alright let's get into it!



If you can upgrade to a better batt, I highly suggest you do it.

Some of the areas you can include insulation are underfloor insulation if you’re building on stumps, internal walls (not just external) or getting a fully insulated garage door, if your garage is attached to the dwelling.

There are different types of insulation for different climates and locations throughout Australia, and they are measured on an R-value, the greater the R-value the greater quality and efficiency of the insulation.

If you are building a new home, you have ample opportunity to add as much insulation as physically possible, and at the best quality your builder suggests you can increase to. However, with the higher R-value batt, the thicker they get in size therefore, this can take up space into your room as the walls increase in thickness. (something to remember in the design process). But - there are other ways you can increase the insulation other than using batts, such as foam boards or spray foam are two examples.

You’ll notice in older homes, they get very very cold in winter and extremely hot in summer, this is due to lack of insulation! Having a well insulated home is going to minimise your need to use heating and cooling which will save on bills and will in turn save you $$ in the future.



Since we are on the topic of thermal protection and focusing on keeping your home temperature balanced, let’s talk windows!

Orientation of the home plays a large part in an energy rating determining which windows need to be double or single glazed, you will feel a noticeable difference no matter what.

So, why the upgrade you ask? Well, double glazed glass protects up to 5 times more against the heat and cold than single glazed glass. It's simply adding an extra barrier of glass against the conditions of the natural environment. But, not only does double glazed glass act as a strong barrier from allowing heat and cold in, it keeps it in.

Whilst also adding a layer of noise protection, allowing noise reduction in/out of the home.


VINYL PLANKS.....yes they're cheaper but doesn't mean they're better.

As I mentioned at the beginning, most builders these days will include a particular flooring specification in the quote, which may appear to limit your choices when you get to the selections stage. Depending on your builder, most will suggest using Vinyl “Timber Look” Planks as they are much more affordable and easier to access than real timber floor boards.

They may look nice however, choosing the “right” plank is VITAL, the colour, grain, width, thickness…the boards can come in as little as 2mm thick, and not at all good quality. Due to the thinness, the boards are more flexible and likely to absorb moisture causing them to expand or shrink, warp and move.

Upgrading to at least a 5mm thick board will help minimise these errors from occurring in the future. Personally, I would do my own research on what other engineered flooring options are out there, and IF real hardwood floors are in the budget - GO FOR YOUR LIFE! They add so much value to your home and look beautiful and timeless.



Dedicate a meeting time to go through your lighting plan with your designer / builder / electrician in the design stage. Most drafty's / architects will provide a basic plan, which you should triple check. Look at which lights are connected to which switch, will that work, is it too far away etc.

Add more GPO ( general power outlets / power points) to the bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, kitchen, everywhere you can!

If you need a more visual idea of the lighting plan, ask if you can do a walk through with your electrician at frame stage to make sure you’re both on the same page, and again after rough in to make sure nothing was missed or wrong before the plaster gets hung.



Now not every builder has this as an automatic upgrade however I'd suggest discussing this; depending on the height of your ceiling will dictate the heights of your doors, for example, if you have 2400mm ceilings = choose 2040mm doors, if you have 2700mm ceilings = choose 2340mm doors and so on…

What I am referring to here however is the width… designing wider entryways, doorways and walk ways is important for a number of reasons.

Whether it be to give clearance for a pram, a wheelchair, furniture or large deliveries to be carried through the doors such as a couch.

This feature to me comes more importantly from a place of designing a space that is inclusive to everyone, making a home accessible and readily available for all abilities and persons to use the space with ease. SO consider increasing doors to be at least 920mm wide if you can, or even changing to sliding doors instead both internally and externally.




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