Doors, windows, light fixtures, and cabinetry are all essential components of any house. While we might be able to upgrade them because fewer materials needed might mean more available cash for such things, that's by no means a guarantee. In fact, sometimes, it seems like more compact materials come at a higher price point.
Luckily, we do have standardized sizing for most parts though. For example, front doors are often 36" wide and back or kitchen doors are usually 32" and they will frequently come with the casing ready to drop into a prepared opening. Square it, then nail it in ... easy peasy. More or less.
If you are handcrafting a home, you might get parts bit by bit as they come available and then build to fit. It's a great sustainable solution, but can be somewhat frustrating to deal with maintenance and finding replacement parts as many pieces are history. (Old house owners know exactly what I'm talking about!)
I'm collecting research as I go through my house with its updates. I must get my kitchen functional so key elements that will be replaced include the back door, cabinets, sink and faucet, and floor.
I don't love big box stores because the materials are often "made in China" and are very generic ... a conclusion many of us have reached. There's a reason that stuff is "affordable" ... it's disposable.
Don't be surprised then when my solution is to take stripper and naval jelly to an old floor register to remove paint and rust and then repaint instead of replacing it with a new $15 metal and plastic register. Done that and have learned from my mistakes. Maybe you'll decide I made enough mistakes for both of us!
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