We all know about lifestyle inclusions – those extras offered by your builder that often help make a house into a bit more of a “home”. But often, when it comes to the final agreement, these inclusions are often more complex than once thought. Does it pay to add them into a build, or is it worth installing upgrades further down the road?
With this in mind, we spoke with the experts at HomeQuest Luxury Display Home Village to gain insight into which lifestyle inclusions are worth building into a new home.
What is a lifestyle inclusion? And what might be some ‘lifestyle inclusions’ that don’t necessarily appear to be so?
Lifestyle inclusions can be any part of the build that is nice to have but not essential. This can vary between builders as well. Some examples include a fireplace, outdoor barbecue, or a secondary oven or dishwasher for easier entertaining.
While some builders consider extra additions as “lifestyle inclusions”, it’s important to think long-term when planning your build. In particular, home upgrades such as air conditioning, window glazing and insulation should be done at the time of build – as these will all be very difficult or impossible to change in the future.
While many of us build for the long-term, it can often seem tempting to save home additions for the future in order to lower the initial build cost. What are some elements in the home that should be added during the initial build, rather than later?
Often a builder works on a home with the good intention of creating a cohesive design that lasts for years to come. This means that it is almost always better to include major upgrades at the time of the build.
In particular, any upgrades to kitchens and bathrooms to make them more liveable or more luxurious are best done at the time of the build. As the finishes in these rooms are intended to be permanent, it often makes future changes in these rooms far more expensive than painting or updating carpet in other rooms.
Any integrated joinery is also best included in the initial build. Inbuilt entertainment units, bookshelves or buffets will often look their best when the rest of the home’s design is taken into account as well and completed by the original craftsmen. These are also generally more cost-effective.
Other lifestyle inclusions best completed at the time of build include fireplaces, underfloor heating and any in-built surround sound systems.
It’s clear that a range of upgrades are best made at the time of build to avoid difficulty and future costs. But are there any lifestyle inclusions that are best done after the build, rather than during?
Some homeowners do prefer to wait for major upgrades that don’t affect the general integrity of the home. Outdoor upgrades are a very popular example of this trend. In particular, projects like installing an outdoor kitchen can be easily fitted if the electrics and plumbing have been set up to accommodate these upgrades.
Skylights are also a popular choice to be retrofitted. These might be left out of an initial build where a homeowner anticipates them for extra light, but finds they aren’t needed. Your builder can often advise on what will be best for each room.
So what should a future homeowner consider when exploring lifestyle inclusions for themselves?
Firstly, anything that can be afforded during the build should be added then – it will save future time, cost and avoid any issues.
Secondly, consider how you live. Choose the lifestyle inclusions that will help you enjoy your home more, whether underfloor heating or premium kitchen appliances, rather than how you see others living around you. This will help you save, make your build easier, and most importantly, help you get much more enjoyment from your new home.
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