When we began to build our first custom home in 2002, I was very excited. Finally the project was underway. But in many ways, we had no idea what we were getting into. Choosing paint colors was fun. Deciding on kitchen cabinets was great. But when it got down to choosing hinges and such I became, well, unhinged.

One day the builder asked me what kind of threshold I wanted.

“Threshold? Is that an actual part?”

I'd always thought that was just the area under the door that grooms carried less-hefty brides over.

When you undertake the task of building a completely custom home, be prepared to choose all sorts of things you never even knew existed. And remember, that often those parts can make the difference between a phenomenal home and a merely great one.

One such detail is the heat vent registers. I'm guessing you haven't given much thought to these elements — I hadn't either — but they can really add a touch of elegance and a real finished look.

I found a source for really gorgeous heat vent registers in some of the home design magazines I read. Take a look at Reggio Registers. They have gorgeous metal scroll grilles that remind me of the one's in my grandmother's home. They also have more modern wood and metal grilles.

If you're looking for some beautiful detail work without spending a lot, look at the difference a beautiful heat vent register can make in a formal room.