Where to Splurge and Where to Save When Building a Home

April 14, 2020


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Welcome to the Alma Homes blog! Our team of designers and architects share weekly design cheat sheets, product roundups, and frequent updates on our current projects. Enjoy reading!

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Building or renovating a house is no cheap task. There are so many decisions to be made on design, brand and retailers to buy from, and it can be so easy for the budget to get out of hand fast. We have a few tips for how to build your dream house with the look and quality you want, without blowing your budget!

Where to splurge

Main areas

If you’re building or renovating on a budget, try to focus on high-traffic areas in your home, like the kitchen and bathroom. A beautiful custom hood over your kitchen range or a showstopping soaking tub in the bathroom are going to make a huge statement, where the laundry room and bedrooms probably won’t.


This isn’t a “fun” splurge, but so necessary! If you go the budget route with windows, be prepared to spend more down the line as a result. Plus, the right windows are absolutely a design feature, too, and add so much to your space!


Another not-so-glamorous one, but so important! We always recommend LP Smart Side and never do vinyl siding. It’s more expensive, but it performs so much better – well worth the added cost.

Where to save

Kids’ rooms

Of course you want the kids’ rooms to be fun and look nice (and you want the kids to love them!) but you just don’t need high-end pieces for kids, who may damage them or outgrow them anyways! Focus on simple decor that can grow with your child, and add some fun pieces in as well!

Plumbing fixtures

These can add up fast, and the expensive ones end up looking almost the same as the more budget-friendly options. Opt for the cheaper fixtures and we bet you won’t be able to tell the difference! Plus, you can save money for more fun purchases.


Unless you’re going for a super specific look, you can shop around to find good deals on tile. We bet you’ll be able to find similar materials as high-end tile for much less. If you are set on a specific material or tile, try to prioritize one or two rooms, and find more budget-friendly tiles for the rest of the spaces.

Insider tip: compare brands!

Finally, don’t just buy the first item you see that fits the design aesthetic you’re going for – shop around a bit to find similar items from other brands, and see where you can save some money. Every little bit adds up!

With a little planning ahead, you can pick and choose the items that you’re willing to spend more on, and make inexpensive replacements in order to stay within budget. Tell us, where do you put your priority in spending money on your home? How do you cut corners in less important areas? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below and over on Instagram @AlmaHomes, too!

Photography: Melissa Oholendt, Laura Rae Photography, Spacecrafting Photography, Sarah Olfelt Photo, Alma Homes

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