The short-term and long-term benefits of upgrades

When it comes time to make standard colour, features and finishes selections after purchasing a suite in a new condominium, buyers have the option of selecting upgrades as well. Is it wise to invest in upgrades, and if so, which are the best when it comes to your living comfort and the suite’s resale value down the road?

Nowadays, builders’ standard features are better than ever before – finishes that were once considered upgrades have become standard to most suites such as quartz slab kitchen countertops. However, as the level of standard material expectations have been elevated, so have the next level options. Therefore, upgrading is perhaps even more tempting. It has become a bit of a cliché, but today’s standards are the upgrades of yesterday. When buying pre-construction, however, choosing some upgrades may be a great decision on your part. Selecting an item that is of an even higher quality relates to better performance from that product. Longevity is an important characteristic of many upgrades. They may simply last longer, so having to replace them is not an issue for many years to come. They may also be more durable, which is significant if you have pets and/or children. As an example, upgraded flooring may have some protection against sun damage, off-gassing and daily use.

Become informed about product selection as well. Flooring, which is so important to everyday life, deserves special consideration. Hardwood is an excellent choice, but some people still cling to the outdated belief that they would have to sand and refinish these floors in the future. Unless the hardwood floors are site stained, there is no need to refinish them in the future. Developers and designers prefer pre-finished hardwood flooring for their inherent shop-finished protection, ease of installation and incredible resiliency. When it comes to desirability and resale value, hardwood is a definite plus, especially with people who suffer from allergies. They are also easy to clean.


Heated floors are also great to invest in. So are automated shades and window treatments, especially with the massive expanses of glass in today’s architectural designs. It would be cumbersome to manually open and close draperies on large spans of wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows, so accomplishing that with the push of a button is great. Speaking of automated systems, you may be able to upgrade your unit to tie in lighting, surround sound and security so that you can literally control your suite from a keypad or from your mobile. What a convenience!

On the practical side, closet organization is a hugely popular upgrade today, especially with condominium suites being compact for affordability. Having a place for everything so each belonging can be in its place is a tremendous peace of mind.

Today’s upgrades are also fashion forward and right in style. When it comes to return on investment, the focus should be on kitchens and bathrooms. Fully-integrated kitchen appliances reduce visual clutter and aesthetically expand the space. As suite designs tend to feature open-concept living areas that incorporate the kitchen, today’s appliances resemble furniture. Although stainless steel still remains a favourite finish, panel ready fridges and dishwashers provide the ‘clean-line’ aesthetic. Leading manufacturers tend to push the creative edge by breathing new life into coloured appliances – finished in unique ways. For example, Miele’s back-painted glass front faces.

Any upgrade you incorporate now adds value when it comes time to sell. Resale consideration is important, but if you are going to live in your suite for years, remember to choose features, finishes and upgrades for your own enjoyment. Choosing upgrades at your colour selection appointment before the condo is built saves you money, mess and stress from having large elements upgraded in the future.

At your colour selection appointment, ask your decor consultant for advice. These professionals are familiar with the choices, and they are experts at knowing which finishes will look amazing when combined. Certain levels of customization are necessary if your goal is to create something unique to you. Generally speaking, if you are debating whether or not to spend more on upgrades, remember that usually you get what you pay for!

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