What Post-Completion Upgrades Should You Really Make When You Buy A New Home?

If you're about to close on a new home that is still being built, you have to decide on what upgrades you want to have done to customize the home. Many upgrades are better done as the home is being built, while some are obviously better done after (such as painting the walls -- you kind of need the walls to be there in the first place). But other upgrades can be done either before or after the house is completed. The following upgrades are particularly well suited to post-completion work.


Your home may or may not come with appliances pre-installed; each developer is different. In some cases, you can ask the builder to upgrade the appliances and put the cost for those into the total cost of the home. However, that often limits you to certain styles of appliance. If you wait until the whole house is done, you can choose whichever refrigerator, stove, and other appliances you want because you can get them from any appliance dealer, rather than from the limited builder catalog.


Bathroom, kitchen, and lighting fixtures are relatively easy to change after the home is built. Add the type of toilet you prefer, or switch out the showerhead for something handheld. Your kitchen faucet can make working at the sink a breeze or a bear, so find the type of faucet that works best for you. You can also add or remove a garbage disposal.

Security Lighting

Your home might come with some exterior lighting, but the fixtures might not be aimed at areas you want illuminated at night. As you plan your garden and yard, also look at where you want additional lighting at night for security. Here's your chance to install cameras as well, if you want that security feature.


Chances are you'll have at least a small backsplash installed in the home as is, but after you purchase the home and get a better feel for how you function in the kitchen, you'll know whether that backsplash is enough. If not, it's one of the easiest things to replace and a project that you can likely do by yourself if you have enough time. Look at how tall you need the backsplash to be (some people need a large one, while others work some magic so that when they cook, they never splatter anything up very high on the wall) and where you need it to be. Behind the stove is an obvious spot, but you may need more backsplashes above the counters as well.

It's important to know exactly what features are included in the basic home; sometimes in the excitement of purchasing a home, you can overlook things or make assumptions. Talk to the builder about what upgrades they can do and which you'll have to arrange for yourself.