Anyone considering building a custom home in the Poconos will be faced with a tough question: Does paying more guarantee you’ll get better quality?
Many of us grew up with the old adage: “You get what you pay for.” At the same time, we’ve all heard the cautions about not paying more than you should for something. So which approach is right?
It’s not always as straightforward as we’d like to believe. As a builder, we’ve noticed that sometimes homeowners equate price with quality. But just because something is expensive doesn’t make it better. The real question to ask is whether including something in your home delivers value—to you. That’s the real advantage in building a custom home.
It’s not necessarily that the home costs more (and, yes, a custom home will generally cost a bit more than a standard, cookie-cutter home). The important thing is that a custom home fits your needs, your lifestyle and your sense of aesthetic. Sometimes that costs a bit more. But it doesn’t have to mean extravagance, and building a custom home is nothing to fear.
Let’s consider a couple of examples.
The kind of appliances you choose to put into your home can vary drastically in cost. If you do an online search for kitchen ranges, for example, you’ll find everything from a Whirlpool freestanding oven for about $550 at Lowe’s to a natural gas Baker’s Pride unit that retails for about $5,400. That’s quite a range (pardon the pun) of prices. But does the unit that costs 10 times as much deliver 10 times the value? That depends on your needs. If you’re a gourmet cook and often prepare meals for large groups of people, it might actually make sense. If you are more of a “microwave gourmet,” the high-end model is simply not worth the extra money.
There are more options for countertop materials than you can shake a spatula at. They vary widely in look, feel and price. You can spend a lot of money on your countertop materials. There’s no question that a granite countertop (with proper care) will last longer than a laminate material. And granite has a certain appeal (both visual and tactile) that laminate can’t match. It also costs a lot more. Is it worth it? Again, that depends on a number of factors. How do you use your kitchen? What kind of work do you do on the countertops? How long do you plan to live in your home? Will you want to change the look of your kitchen in a few years? There’s no one, “right” answer. And on top of that, you have lots of other material choices from which to pick. Here’s some helpful information for choosing the right counter materials for your home.
Master Bathroom Fixtures
You can spend relatively little on your master bath fixtures – or quite a bit. Does spending more offer extra quality? Almost always. You can get by with bottom-of-the-line vanities, sinks, toilets and tubs. Bear in mind, however, that this is a room you will use every single day. You want it to look nice and function flawlessly. Spending a bit more in this room (including on the design of the room) can really pay off. And if it’s important to you to have a very comfortable—even spa-like—environment, you’ll only achieve that effect by spending more for something like a soaking tub or a steam shower.
There are times when spending more buys you better quality. Some materials simply look better, last longer and function better than others. Again, it comes down to what delivers value for you. Don’t spend more just because something is trendy or because the host of some remodeling show says it’s the wave of the future. Spend more for quality on the things that really matter to you and your family.