Building a new custom home in Southwest Florida can be an exciting, overwhelming, experience. Today’s custom homes have endless upgrade options—it’s hard to know what’s worthwhile, and what’s worth skipping.

Upgrades that improve the function of your home on a day-to-day basis will always be worth it. Consider these upgrades when building your new custom home.

The Heart of the Home: Surefire Kitchen Upgrades

No matter what stage of life you are in, we all spend a great deal of time in the kitchen, from making dinner to making memories, the kitchen is the heart of the home, so don’t pass up any chance to make the most of this space. Cabinets and appliances should be your main focus. Not only are the right choices here practical for your own use, these are the things future buyers will focus on when it comes time to sell.


Higher-end, energy efficient appliances may come at an additional cost to you initially, but the return savings in both time and money come quickly. Ovens that have convection options and quick heat burners, refrigerators that have features to keep food fresh without drying, quiet dishwashers with more racks designed to hold more dishes are all appliance choices that bring higher functionality to your kitchen, saving both time and money well beyond the initial extra investment.

Other appliance upgrades that you shouldn’t overlook include:

  • Microwave drawers that offer easier access than over the range style
  • Stand-alone ventilation hoods
  • Well-placed under-the-counter beverage centers for guests and children to grab drinks and snacks from without getting in the way of food preparation

Cabinet replacements down the road are far more costly than making the investment in better choices at the time you build. Even mid-range semi-custom varieties offer large selections of finishes and higher quality materials and build quality. Consider choosing deep cabinets that are ceiling height for maximum storage and a custom feel. Pull out drawers in the pantry and cabinets offer easier access and more storage overall.

If your kitchen design doesn’t include an island, consider adding one, and expand it to seat 6-8 people. This can take the place of a separate informal dining space, or replace a formal dining room – freeing up space for more storage and closets!

Closets and Storage: The Bigger the Better

While we have all seen the trends of keeping only our “joy sparking” possessions, the reality of today’s family calls for storage space and closets aplenty. When you have the option to choose between formal living or dining space that you’ll use only a handful of times a year – or – more closet storage space, always opt for the closets. Storage upgrades add great value when selling your home later.


Light it Up: Never Too Much of a Good Thing

Great lighting not only adds to the overall atmosphere of the home, it can also make everyday life easier – from cooking breakfast to homework, well-placed task light is essential.

Kitchens and bathrooms are areas most overlooked when it comes to great lighting, yet they are probably the two places you need the best light! In the kitchen, under cabinet lighting provides both great task lighting for cooking, and creates atmosphere – offering a less harsh option than overhead light first thing in the morning or when entertaining.


The bathroom should be lit evenly, both from overhead and around you, with a focus on task lighting where you’ll need it most – for shaving, doing hair, and applying makeup.

Think about other areas you’ll want specialized lighting, and if you’ll want these light controlled by dimmers or smart home automation switches. Consider where you will pay bills, do homework, and watch TV – you’ll want specialized lighting for these activities.




Flooring: A Step in The Right Direction

Choosing upgraded flooring is another area that may seem like a frivolous added expense at first thought, but in the long run, better choices here can save you down the road. Lower grade carpet and other floor coverings tend to wear out more quickly than better options.


Large, stone tiles lend a timeless look, are cool on your feet, and are a perfect choice for your Southwest Florida home. Higher grade carpets have more densely-packed yarns, lending a softer feel underfoot and longer wear overall. If money is tight, focus on the main living areas and kitchen for your upgrades.

Energy Savers: The Real Stars of the Upgrade Scene

If you choose one area to focus on when considering upgrades to your custom home, let it be energy savers. High-efficiency air conditioning systems, tankless water heaters, water saving plumbing fixtures, and circling back to kitchen appliances - choosing those with the best EnergyStar rating – can make a huge impact on your energy bills and are arguably the best places to start with upgrades.

Planning ahead to make space in your budget for upgrades that you may want can take some of the overwhelm out of your new home building process. Ready to get started planning your custom home, complete with upgrades you’ll love? Contact us today for details on available floor plans and lots in the Cape Coral area!


Home buying guide southwest Florida

*Pictures, photos, features, colors, and sizes are approximate and for illustration purposes only.