The housing market is still flat and value is still the order of the day. So while builders may want to use the latest cool products in their homes, they are often forced to ditch those plans for less costly substitutes.

That’s where we can help. Our February story on high-end products and lower-priced alternatives generated so much interest that we decided to show you some more.

While our story was well received, it was not without its share of minor controversy.

“We build custom and luxury homes and have a lot of experience in learning which materials can be suitable substitutes,” one reader wrote. “Nice try, but your research is lacking. The 16-gauge sink is a very cheap and noisy alternative that tarnishes. The Crestline is a cheap vinyl slider and is in no way a comparison to Marvin. Behr paint does not have similar coverage and therefore cannot be compared. Generally, you spend about one and a half times on material to equal the coverage of better quality paints.”

To clear up any misconceptions, we are not saying you should necessarily use the cheaper version instead of the higher-priced product. We assume that a custom builder of luxury homes would have the budget for very nice options.

We are also not saying that these products are the exact same and, therefore, the lower-priced products will perform equally well as their more expensive counterparts. After all, we assume there is a difference between a Marvin lift/slide door made with 2¾-inch-thick panels, mahogany interiors, extruded aluminum clad exterior, and bronze PVD hardware and a door made from vinyl.

What we are saying is that builders can’t always use the product they want to use, but entry level housing can take some design influence from luxury homes. An affordable product can offer the look of a higher priced offering.

Here are some examples.