August 29, 2016 7:00 am

Building your dream home: When to splurge and where to save


Investing in your dream home is all about choices: from the location, to the layout, right down to the kitchen cabinets. When you’re making that many decisions, everything can feel like a bit of a splurge, but there are ways homeowners can save, too.

Justin Mauro is the marketing manager for Calbridge Homes in Calgary, and he helps families design their dream homes daily. “We try to do things uniquely,” he says of Calbridge’s many offerings. That unique take means more flexibility for homeowners to choose what parts of their homes to invest in, and where they can cut back.

Ultimately, where you spend or save is up to you when creating your dream home, but with many complex choices it helps to have experts on your side. According to Mauro, Calbridge’s sales professionals bring years of experience to the table. “They’re going to guide people through that process,” he says.

Here are some areas where you should splurge when creating your dream home.


This one may seem obvious, but choosing the perfect location isn’t just about increasing your home’s value, it is also about improving your quality of life. Having your dream home means living in a neighbourhood that has everything you need and maybe even that little bit extra. Says Mauro, “it’s important to pick the right location for you in an area that’s going to grow and really increase the value of your home.” Cranston’s Riverstone, a community in Calgary featuring Calbridge homes, boasts a thriving family-focused community with properties that back onto a serene river. Choosing a location you love that will grow with you is the first step in creating your dream home.


Your favourite room

If you love cooking and entertaining, chances are you’ll be spending a lot more time in your kitchen than anywhere else in the house, and your budget should reflect that. Instead of spreading your cash evenly around the home, concentrate more of it in the areas where you’ll get the most joy from your splurges. If you’re the type who likes friends and family to gather around the kitchen counter, it may as well be a counter you’re in love with. Prefer to pamper yourself? Upgrade the ensuite. “That’s where you’re going to spend your time, so that’s where you should splurge,” says Mauro.

But not everything needs to be a splurge. Here are some ways to save on your new space.


Unfinished rooms

While the basement can be prime real estate for a second living room, a bar, or a hobby room like a gym, it can just as well be a storage space until you’re ready for your next splurge—maybe years down the line. “If your rec room is not where you want to hang out, you don’t have to put in the additional electrical wiring, you don’t have to finish your basement,” says Mauro. That freedom of choice means you’re able to envision the rooms that mean the most to you and put your energy there upfront. And the best part is, when you figure out how you’d like to use the space it’ll be right there waiting for you.



If you’re not a chef in training or someone who likes to lounge in a soaker tub, then save in your kitchen or bathroom with your appliance choices. When it comes to areas you’re less passionate about, “you don’t have to go high end,” says Mauro. There are stoves that will break the bank, and stoves that will simply get the job done—what’s right for your lifestyle is up to you.


Whether you’re ready to go all-out on high end appliances and fixtures, or you’d like to concentrate your cash on the rooms that feel special to you, designing your dream home is about the freedom to choose how you use your budget.


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