There’s no denying the impact design can have on the world of residential pre-construction. 

Just consider how bleak the landscape would be if every project was rolled out exclusively with builder basic features and finishes. No. Thank. You. 

Which is why – from one project to the next – there must always be elements that pique interest, offer original touches, and evoke emotional responses.

Thankfully, it doesn’t take an industry expert to appreciate the elevated features and finishes found in new developments these days. We’re talking quartz slab backsplashes, glass railings, chevron wood flooring, and tiles that serve up a spa-like aesthetic. Think: eye-catching design that is uniquely catered to each project across the country, yet includes commonalities that appeal en masse. 

There’s just one thing that’s left a mystery: what does it cost the developer – or better yet the consumer – to build out their unit with these coveted features? And do these features truly sell?

Well, that’s where data comes in. At The Interactive Abode (TIA), we’re constantly accumulating sales data from all over the country, on projects of all different shapes and sizes. Our Design Studio also receives direct consumer feedback, further enabling us to successfully navigate the needs and desires of buyers. 

And those needs and desires are all about upgrades. In fact, at TIA we’ve seen upgrade sales reach an all time high. 


Working with over 60 pre-construction builders across Canada and the US, we’re able to glean important shifts in data-driven-design as they relate to buyer preferences – whether that be investor or end user. 

This analytical approach extends to past projects, as well as to current and future builds. Think of it as being able to unfurl a design timeline at a huge scale. And we’ve been seeing some major shifts in recent months – notably, that pre-construction buyers (the majority of which tend to be investors) no longer exclusively care how a finish looks. They need more than aesthetics to commit. 

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This means that what’s ‘on trend’ at any given moment no longer bears the weight it once did. Time and again, cost-effective, durable, and timeless finishes are what perform. Our data shows that even when the purchaser is an end-user, they are more likely to allocate their budget to things they likely cannot do themselves later, or things they see tangible value in having. Think: pot-lights and more durable flooring upgrades.

As more and more units continue to be built across the country, it’s important that design programs stay ahead of the game – and the best way to do that is by continuing to listen to the data.

Cover image:The Interactive Abode

This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.