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Condo Upgrades with best value

Everyone here speaks about resale value and yes, that should be a consideration but not the ONLY consideration. I spent a lot on upgrades because I see myself living in my unit for a long time and it just adds to my level of enjoyment. So I haven't really thought about resale since I'll be the one living with it for awhile.

I also agree that you can get it done cheaper after the fact, but this becomes a huge hassle. I'd rather be paying a premium to have things such as smooth ceilings, hardwood throughout, upgraded tiles/backsplashes, etc. done before I move in.

If you can, prior to your meeting have the builder or upgrades coordinator send you a scan of your unit showing where the electric outlets/cable outlets/lighting sources/drop ceilings will be. This will give you time to decide whether you need more put in. My builders upgrades coordinator was awesome in that she even drew light switches and showed which outlets/ceiling lights it would control.

RE: potlights. These are very easy (and cheap) to have installed later if you want them in areas that HAVE dropped ceilings. If your ceiling is concrete you're pretty much out of luck.


Wow these upgrades are quite pricey! Thanks for your info/advice. It's gonna be a while before we discuss upgrades as the building is not scheduled to start until Jan 2012. Hope the cost of the hardwood upgrade is not too pricey, at least I have next year to save for it!

The upgrades you had to pay for separately, right?
 
I agree with paying the premium on hard to do things like some of the upgrades in the kitchen and bathroom. My builder wanted $5,700 for smooth ceilings and $12,000 for the top upgrade hardwood on a 900 sq ft unit. I had the builder leave the ceiling raw and have a contractor that will do it for $2,500 and the floors depending on the hardwood I choose will cost between $4K to $7K.........it will all be done in the first month of occupancy before I move in.
 
Cityboy, our builder won't do smooth ceilings, so I have no choice but to get them done after occupancy. Can you please pm me the name of your contractor? I'll be looking for someone!
 
Just to give an example, I have an unit at Victory Condos, I selected a beautiful white laminate fllor that they were offering as standard, however the bedroom is carpet. They were asking almost $1300 to do the laminate in the bedroom, which is 10'x10 so 100 sq ft, so I found out who was the supplier for that laminate and I went to the store to inquiry about that laminate, same color, it was $2.50 per sq ft, so the material was only $250. I decided to keep the carpet in the bedroom and do not pay $1000 to install 100 sq ft laminate.

I think $1300 is reasonable. Considering it's about $300 for materials after HST. Plus labour will cost around $1000 after HST too. Labour is the most expensive part of renovations. Of course if you can live with carpets, you can save the money.
 
I think $1300 is reasonable. Considering it's about $300 for materials after HST. Plus labour will cost around $1000 after HST too. Labour is the most expensive part of renovations. Of course if you can live with carpets, you can save the money.

I don't think $1000 is reasonable to install 100 sq ft of laminate, a room of 10' by 10',
 
yes, sorry for the confusion.

I spent most of my upgrade budget with the builder in the kitchen (counters, sink, island upgrade, and cabinets) and the bathroom (frameless glass, rain head, tile, sink and counter). Other upgrades will get done after I get occupancy. You can upgrade anything for less than the builder is charging, however, removing tiles in the shower and off the floor to put in new tiles is a messy job. If your contractor doesn't do a good job and it leaks to units below, you will be responsible for all the damage caused to other units .

Depends what you mean by upgrade. If you have to remove tiles and reinstall tiles this could be more expensive than having the builder do it the way you want it in the first place especially when you factor in the fact that you already paid for what you are now tearing up. Also drilling conduits through concrete is more expensive and may be impossible after the fact.
 
I think $1300 is reasonable. Considering it's about $300 for materials after HST. Plus labour will cost around $1000 after HST too. Labour is the most expensive part of renovations. Of course if you can live with carpets, you can save the money.

i think it would be reasonable IF that included labour and all materials, PLUS IF it was a reno.

however, in this case, it's a new build so there's nothing to remove and labour was already factored into the condo price's carpet installation, so additional cost should only be the material (laminate + maybe underpad if the cost is different from carpet underpadding.)

$650 would probably be more reasonable given the above.
 
Depends what you mean by upgrade. If you have to remove tiles and reinstall tiles this could be more expensive than having the builder do it the way you want it in the first place especially when you factor in the fact that you already paid for what you are now tearing up. Also drilling conduits through concrete is more expensive and may be impossible after the fact.

Yes. That was my reasoning for doing those upgrades through the builder. It was basically the same money after factoring the cost of removing all the standard product the builder installs. The builder charged me $1,900 for a rain head. When I discussed it with a kitchen and bath store, he mentioned I would have to change the guts on the inside and because the shower is against a wall I would need to cut out the tile. He also mentioned if there was a leak or a problem after, I would be liable for any damage caused to other units. Same problem with the kitchen sink.......once the counter is cut, I would have to replace it.

After leaving the decor centre upset, I decided to upgrade the floors, ceiling, light fixtures, and faucets on my own. I will end up saving over $10K on these items from what the builder quoted me. These projects are easy to do before I move in (I don't have to wait 3 mons for custom kitchen cabinets or a counter to be cut).
 
i think it would be reasonable IF that included labour and all materials, PLUS IF it was a reno.

however, in this case, it's a new build so there's nothing to remove and labour was already factored into the condo price's carpet installation, so additional cost should only be the material (laminate + maybe underpad if the cost is different from carpet underpadding.)

$650 would probably be more reasonable given the above.

All builders are like that. They are reasonable if they factor in the price it would cost you if you had to get someone to redo it (renovation). If they weren't reasonable, they would charge you 3 times the amount or more than the price of if you got someone to renovate it afterward. I have yet to meet a builder that only charges for the upgrades and not the extras. As an example, when my sister bought a condo in Scarborough, the appliance was white. They offered stainless steel upgrade, but the price was like buying a new one. You might as well just buy a new one and end up with extra white appliances you can sell off and get cash back.
 

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