Upgrade your thinking about upgrades

Purchasing a new condominium suite during the pre-construction phase brings with it many benefits. Among them is the opportunity to select the features and finishes that turn your suite into your home. These choices reflect your personality and aesthetic tastes. They also serve other purposes: to make your life more comfortable, to avoid the mess and inconvenience of adding features in the future, and to enhance resale value. When selecting your appointments – especially upgrades – think through all of these considerations carefully.

Having said that, you may find the level of standard features and finishes is so high that you can forget upgrades. Today’s standards in buildings across the GTA are far and beyond what builders offer in other places in North America. If, however, you decide to indulge in a few options, keep in mind that most experts advise focusing on kitchens and bathrooms, particularly if your budget is limited. Apparently, these two rooms offer the best return-on-investment when it comes to fixtures and finishes.

Upgrades are fabulous for both of these rooms. How about self-closing drawers, cabinetry with glass fronts for displaying special dishware, and even panelled appliances? If you purchase an open-concept design with a linear kitchen, that space essentially becomes part of the living/dining room. Panelled appliances look more like furniture and create a natural extension. Potential kitchen upgrades may include tall upper cabinets, under-counter valance lighting, bull-nose edges on counters and useful gadgets like wine fridges.

As for bathrooms, today’s savvy purchasers love a spa look. Consider marble, rainwater-type showerheads, etc. The possibilities for the entire suite are remarkable, with items such as elaborate closet organizers, cornice moulding, enhanced wiring, built-in shelving, extended islands and the like. And of course, everything “green” is red hot right now, with upgraded finishes that will leave less of a carbon footprint on the environment. Stone kitchen countertops may be standard in your suite, but if not, you may want to select granite, quartz or Caesarstone as an upgrade. Nothing beats the timeless beauty and durability of natural stone.

If hardwood flooring is not standard in your suite and you suffer from any kind of allergies, choosing this as an upgrade is beneficial to your health. Hardwood is easy to clean, and is definitely a plus when selling a home. You can choose from an amazing array of colours and textures, and you can add area rugs to change your look from time to time with little financial outlay.

Do some research before your colour selection appointment to find out what’s new and innovative in the way of finishes. Your design consultants are experienced in working with condo spaces and understand how to help you choose combination palettes and finishes that match your personality. I mentioned resale, and frankly, with all things being equal between two suites, buyers will typically choose the one with the better finishes. When you select your features, finishes and upgrades, you get to put the finishing touches on the design you have chosen to make it feel like “home.”

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