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Standard upgrades and options

January 12, 2020

Ask the builder or salesperson about the common new home features to check what is standard and what is an upgrade. For upgrades, you need to ask what the additional cost will be, and consider what the standard feature is like to help you decide.


  • Windows (including bay windows and accent windows) quality, glazing, low-e coating, material and locks, flyscreens
  • Exterior doors – quality, material, sidelights
  • Trim (windows, doors and skirting boards) – plain or colonial, natural or painted
  • Paint (interior or exterior) – type, quality and colours
  • Carpet and underlay – quality, material, weight, colours, backing, manufacturer’s warranty
  • Linoleum and vinyl flooring – quality, colours, patterns
  • Ceramic tiles (floor and walls) in bathrooms, kitchen and entryway – colours, patterns and finish (for instance slip resistant), grout
  • Kitchens – materials, cupboard doors, bench tops, dividers, pot drawers, ‘lazy Susans’, wine rack, microwave oven shelf, sinks and faucets
  • Bathroom fixtures – colours and quality
  • Shower screens, baths and/or spa baths
  • Vanities, pedestal sinks, mirrors
  • Towel bars, soap dish, etc. – quality, material and colour
  • Electrical fixtures – where and what kind
  • Staircases – material, floor coverings, balustrades and handrails


  • External finishes – brickwork, render, bagging, boards, timber
  • Porch and patio – size, material, finishes
  • Decorative touches – shutters, trim
  • Driveway and walkways – gravel, concrete, paving, interlocking brick
  • Landscaping – trees, grass, garden walls
  • Exterior lights
  • House numbers
  • Mailbox
Know what you are getting for your money – discussing specifications and options with your builder upfront will eliminate surprises, disappointments and disagreements down the track. 

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