Balance applies to everything! Almost every item you put in your home has options and choices. Balancing the initial cost of equipment and materials with what it will cost to own and maintain those same materials and equipment, is VERY important. Sometimes it is a much better idea to spend a little more initially, and pay less to own and maintain the home and sometimes it is not. This is different for each individual home and home owner.
A great example of this is your SEER rating for the HVAC system in your home. A lower SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is less efficient that a higher SEER rated unit would be. The SEER is not the only variable in the total energy equation. You may be better off paying a little more for a higher SEER unit than paying a higher power bill over the course of a few years. However, you also may be best served in buying a mid-level rated unit and spending a little more to achieve a better insulated home. Balancing the total construction of your home with your budget and the “cost of owning your home” is a VERY important part of truly balancing the total cost and the quality of your home.