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Where to Save and Where to Splurge on Design

Have you made the decision to build a custom home? Congratulations! The next step is to set a budget, which can be tricky and exhausting when trying to determine where to splurge and how to save when designing your home. Avoid breaking the bank with some of these tips and consider splurging on key areas that are sure to pay off in the long run—adding long-term value to your home.

Where to SAVE

The most logical ways in which to save on costs would be those things and areas that can be easily changed, replaced, or added in the future.


The icing on the cake. This is often what we think of when considering the lighting fixtures, cabinet and drawer hardware or even sink, tub and shower faucets in our homes. While these are necessary for any functional home, it’s one of the simplest areas in which to cut costs. Plus, these fixtures are easy to find and replace at a later time.


You can always find a standard of something that you need to complete your home and then upgrade later on. For instance, many custom homes can be upgraded over time. Consider finishing your kitchen initially with a classic, short-tile backsplash—or no backsplash at all. This not only saves on upfront costs, but it also offers extra time to find the perfect statement material in which to install later. The same is true with other finishes such as countertops and flooring. Finish your custom home with a less expensive granite that’s still attractive, but upgrade to quartz, marble or a higher-end granite later on when your budget allows.

Function vs. Space

Always opt for functionality over space. Typically, the bigger the house, the higher the cost. Rather than focusing too heavily on size, try to focus on a layout with features that can offer functional spaces. Instead of just making a bigger house, build the most efficient home. Paul Gray Homes’ talented designers will help you plan a functional layout that saves on costly square footage.

Where to SPLURGE

The Kitchen

Still considered the heart of the home, your kitchen is the place where you not only cook, but also entertain and enjoy a meal with family and friends. We spend so many special moments and holidays in the kitchen, so it makes sense to invest in this space. Here are some things to think about while designing your kitchen: What’s the most efficient layout for the way you cook and entertain? Do you need more than one dishwasher? What unique finishing touches reflect your style?

Insulation, Windows and Doors

Keep in mind the permanent parts of your home, such as the insulation, windows and doors, that keep your home safe, structurally sound and secure. These are not places where you want to cut on costs. High- quality, energy-efficient insulation, doors and windows will always recoup upfront costs more quickly since they help you save on your heating and cooling costs.

Storage Space & Flex Rooms

Spending more on storage space is always an excellent investment for the future. It’s not uncommon to acquire more and more the longer you live in your home. As the family grows, you’ll have more clothes, children or grandchildren’s toys, various pieces of lawn equipment—the list goes on. Inside the home, an added multi-purpose “flex space,” either finished or unfinished, can serve many uses. We’ve seen flex rooms used as overflow kitchen space for entertaining prep, storage for holiday decor (or a Christmas gift wrapping room!), a pet-dominium, an exercise room, an extra bedroom or bunkhouse/room, as well as extra storage spaces added in the garage to house all kinds of gear. Whatever you decide the space will be for, when you build your new home, you don’t want to end up paying extra for storage. We recommend creating a functional plan upfront that will house all of your current belongings neatly in your new home!

Paul Gray Homes’ design professionals are willing and ready to help you design your home to ensure it’s not only beautiful, but functional, too! Call us today at 316-978-9047!