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By : Brian Carlin

How Much Do Custom Home Upgrades Cost?

saddlecreek_kitchenWhen we talk about custom home upgrades, the cost is largely determined by the type of home you’re building, as well as the number of options your builder allows you to do throughout the home building process.

At Hedgefield Homes, we typically build homes that value anywhere from $150,000 to $350,000 - not including the cost of land. When we think about custom home upgrades and options, we have to put it into that context.

For homes up to $250,000, we usually see 3 - 7% of spending for enhancements like fixtures, flooring, countertops, electrical additions, etc. So if we’re selling a house that values anywhere from $150,000 to $215,000, most of our clients will spend anywhere from $4,500 to $15,000 on upgrades for their home. These options can include room changes, energy-efficient building choices, design material upgrades, etc.

Once we clarify the value and size of home our clients are wanting, we can help them think about their build budget, their side budget and their design budget to make sure they have a clear picture of how much it will cost to build their home. 

Custom Home Budgeting

Which Custom Home Upgrades Will I Be Able to Choose?  

There are a lot of options when it comes to home upgrades, but it mostly depends on the type of house you’re building, the builder you’ve chosen to build with and your personal design preferences for these upgrades.

Common Upgrades by Home Type

Farmhouse Style

- Black, vinyl windows

- Oversized front doors

- Big porches with wooden columns

- Metal roofs

Craftsman Style

- Trim and siding detailing

- Window and door patterns

You can build very affordable 2,000 - 4,000 square foot homes, but it all depends on what’s in them. Another common upgrade for homes is a tall stone fireplace with a wooden mantel. That may run anywhere from $2,000 - $3,500.


Options Offered by Type of Home Builder

There are 3 types of home builders you have to choose from when pursuing custom home building. The type of builder you choose will determine the number of options and upgrades you can make throughout the home building process.

Production Home Builders

Production home builders offer a set number of upgrades by floor plan. For instance, you may find a 3 bedroom, 2 bath floor plan with a formal dining room. You could upgrade the formal dining room to a study or add a bonus room upstairs for an additional fee.

These home builders will often have model homes for many of their floor plans that you can walk through. On the plan brochure, they will allow you to pick which upgrades you’d like for the floor plan you choose.

Then, when it comes to design choice upgrades (i.e. light fixtures, countertops, flooring, etc.), you can choose from a selection of material choices they have. These will go into your home design budget determined at the beginning of your contract.

Semi-Custom Builders

Semi-custom home builders will have a portfolio of plans you can choose from, but they will be more accommodating in which options and value-added investments you can choose. If you want to move a room to another side of the house, add in a laundry room or extra study, etc., they will usually be able to accommodate such requests - for an additional fee worked out at the beginning of your contract.

You will also be able to choose from a variety of materials (countertops, flooring, tiling, etc.) for the home design.

Fully Custom Builders

Fully custom home builders will allow you to choose whatever options and upgrades you want, as long as they make sense with the structural plan of your home. Of course, if it doesn’t, you can rework your plan so it does.

These builders are more expensive than other types of builders, so you have to make sure you’re aware of the costs associated with your choices and changes to plans.

Custom Home Material Options

When you think about your upgrade options, these can also factor into the design of the home. For instance, you may choose granite over quartz countertops. This is a design choice but also an upgrade to your plan. The same can be said of your flooring choices, lighting fixture choices, etc.

What Are the Most Popular Custom Home Upgrades People Choose?

Based on the work that we do and considering a typical custom home we build is anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 square feet, here are some of the most popular custom home value-added investments people choose.

Most Popular Custom Home Options
Typical home size: 1,500 - 2,500 sq. feet

Home Option

Estimated Price

Paving for a Parking Area
4” reinforced concrete

$3,000 - $6,000
(500 - 1,000 sq. ft.)

Gutters and Downspouts

$2,200 - $4,000
(1,500 - 3,500 sq. ft. homes)

Tile Kitchen Backsplash

$300 - $800

(Price varies by tile level and kitchen size)

Convert Acrylic Tub/Shower to a 5’ Walk-In Shower

$3,950 - $5,000

Cabinet Upgrades

  • Finishes                

$300 - $500 for a kitchen
(Up to $1,500 or more for the whole home)

  • Additional Laundry Cabinet and Top        

$800 - $1,000

Mud Area Bench with Cubbies & Hooks

$800 - $1,300

Upgraded Front Door

$750 - $2,000

Substitute Quartz in Kitchen for Granite

$850 - $1,750

Upgrade to Stainless Appliances


Energy-Efficient Upgrades; Foam Encapsulation

$3,500 - $6,000

Radiant Barrier Decking

$500 - $1,200

Upgrade HVAC Seer Rating

$2,000 - $3,000

Add Craftsman Casing Package

(Base, door casing and window sills)

$1,000 - $1,500

Engineered Flooring in the Main Living Areas

$2,500 - $3,500

Additional Electrical Plugs & Outlets

$50 - $250 per plug/outlet

(Price varies by plug/outlet type and placement)

Generator Plugs

$375 - TBD

(Price can vary by simple plugs to automated transfers)


Larger Structural Home Options

Add a Powder Bathroom


Separate Walk-In Shower & Master Tub w/ Double Vanity

  • Formed Acrylic shower


  • Tiled Shower

$7,000 - $7,500

Covered Porch & Patio

Avg. $3,5000 - $6,500 for 100 - 200 sq. ft.

(Price varies by porch size & add’l features)

Add 12” Tray Ceiling to a Room

$1,000 - $1,500
(Price varies depending on the room)

Convert Formal Dining into Enhanced Laundry Room and Mud Room

$2,800 - $3,500

Convert to Legacy Elevation

- From all siding to all brick up to wall plate and stone accents in front

- Includes upgraded garage door, front door and increasing wall plate height to 9’ standard


Wood-Burning Fireplace

$2,500 - $3,500
(Price varies depending on the hearth and surround type - stone or tile)

Should I Make Each Upgrade Now or Are There Some I Could Add to My Home Later?

If you are conscious of your budget and your wish list of additional home features is significant, you may be able to make your choices by considering which upgrades you could potentially add later with minimum work and interruption and which upgrade choices would add the most value to your home now.

Best Value-Added Upgrade Options

Some of the best value-additions to your home could include:

- Open floor plan

- Stone veneer for outside curb appeal

- Energy-efficient home features:

- Windows

- Appliances

- Thermostats

- Insulation

- Kitchen cabinets & layout

- Generator plugs

Upgrades to Add Later

Unfinished Spaces

One way you could save some money but get the option to add your desired upgrade later is asking for some unfinished spaces - i.e. a basement or attic - so you can get the space that will add value to your home but finish out the space at a later time.


Consider choosing cheaper fixtures at the beginning if you are torn between them and more expensive options. Then, once you’ve moved in and have more of a budget to work with, you can go back and swap out those fixtures for the more expensive ones you had wanted.

Outdoor Upgrades

While you may want that specialty driveway or backyard swimming pool, if you’re trying to find ways to save money on your home build or spend your budget on other value-added investments, consider postponing these types of options until later.



An important conversation you should have with your builder early on is what is included in their home building price. One of the most common mistakes people make when building a home is not understanding everything that is included in the home building price - and a large part of that comes into play with your options and upgrades. These options have a tendency to push you over your budget unless you are clear from the beginning that these choices are an additional cost.

To help, we have created this Scope of Work Home Planning Tool so you can know from the beginning what you are getting with your money and which options would be an added feature or upgrade.


Want to Learn More About Our Home Upgrade Options? Schedule a Call with Us!