How to Upgrade Builder Grade Features in Your New Construction Home in Portland

Builder Grade UpdatesAs you search for homes for sale in Portland, you may find that new construction homes offer the criteria you want. If you buy a new build in Portland, in most cases it will come with builder grade features. When you find yourself in a newly constructed builder-grade home, characterized by standard features and finishes, you may be eager to infuse your living space with character and distinction. With the right plan, you can efficiently elevate your new construction home in Portland to be personalized and feel more high end, replacing builder grade finishes with custom or upgraded options. 

If you want to find new construction homes for sale in Portland, we can help, so contact us any time. Looking for tips to upgrade your builder grade new construction home? Keep reading. 

What "Builder Grade" Means

In the design world, you will hear the term "builder grade" to describe finishes and features in a home. It refers to standard materials and finishes that builders commonly use in new construction projects. These materials are chosen for their cost-effectiveness and general appeal, but they may lack the unique or high-end qualities that homeowners often desire.

While builder grade features do not necessarily need to be replaced as they can usually function just fine, they may make the home feel basic and make it look inexpensive or impersonal. 

Factors like cost efficiency, mass production, and broad appeal make these builder grade features and finishes common, and keep them here for good. There's nothing wrong with keeping your builder grade features, but elevating them can increase your home's value while making it more beautiful, personalized, and functional. While builder-grade homes provide a solid foundation, many homeowners choose to enhance their living spaces to reflect their unique tastes and preferences.

Elevating Your Builder Grade Home

Looking for ways to quickly elevate your builder grade home? Here are some ideas you can tackle quickly after moving in, some without having to hire a professional. 


Builder grade lighting is noticeable, not really in a good way. Replace standard light fixtures with statement chandeliers or pendant lights in key areas like the entryway and dining room. This not only adds a touch of luxury but also serves as a focal point and can help you create a better ambience in the space. 

Incorporate wall sconces and task lighting in bedrooms and living spaces to create a warm and inviting ambiance. If you don't want to hire an electrician for this, you can install wall sconces that use battery operated bulbs or discreetly plug into the wall outlets. 


When your home is brand new, it may seem crazy to talk about updating the flooring already. However, if you have the less expensive builder grade flooring it is likely to need replacing within a few years anyway. When the time comes, consider an upgrade from standard carpeting to hardwood or engineered wood flooring for a timeless and sophisticated look. This not only elevates the aesthetic but also enhances durability.

Flooring can also be a great place to make a design statement. Consider patterned tiles in entryways or bathrooms to introduce visual interest and a touch of personality.

Custom Built-Ins, Trim, and Storage

Carpentry can go a long way toward making your home look and feel more custom. Integrate custom-built bookshelves or entertainment centers to add character and practical storage solutions to living areas. Create cozy window seats with built-in storage for a charming and functional addition to bedrooms, playrooms, or living spaces. Transform standard closets with built-in systems that optimize storage space and provide a customized solution for organizing clothes and accessories.

You can also install wainscoting or paneling to add architectural interest to hallways, dining rooms, or entryways and add trim like crown molding throughout the home. 

Exterior Features

Don't forget about the exterior of the home. Builder grade exteriors often feature common plants and simple landscape design, which can both benefit from some creativity and personality. 

Enhance your home's curb appeal by investing in custom landscaping with native plants, garden beds, and unique hardscape elements. You can also create inviting outdoor living spaces with patio furniture, decorative lighting, and perhaps a fire pit or outdoor kitchen. 

By incorporating these upgrades and personalization touches, you can transform your builder-grade home into a one-of-a-kind space that reflects your lifestyle and preferences. When you are ready to learn more about buying a new house in Portland, we are ready to help. Contact us any time to get started. 

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