Many homeowners who have outgrown their homes wrestle over whether it might make more sense to renovate their existing properties or instead build new homes. Several factors will be important in determining which is the best way to go, including your current home’s location, the extent of the renovations that would be needed to make it into what you imagine, your financial goals, and your future plans. There are advantages offered by choosing to renovate your existing home or choosing to build a new home. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of both options and some factors to consider before you make your decision.
New Construction vs. Renovation
Whether you ultimately decide to build a new home or renovate your existing one, you will need to carefully consider your budget, goals, and what you want to accomplish. You will need to interview several contractors to ensure you choose the one who can do what you want within your budget constraints. When you interview contractors, it is not always best to go with the one that offers the lowest bid. Instead, review their work records, references, and past projects.
The contractor you select should be able to explain in detail exactly what they can do and is willing to collaborate closely with you for every design element. A good contractor should be licensed, have a contractor license bond, and should have the right types of insurance in place to protect against potential losses. Make sure your contract is detailed and includes information about all of the important details before you move forward.
Advantages of Renovation
When you renovate your home, you will make changes to it that can range from remodeling a single room to completely gutting the interior. Choosing to renovate your existing home offers the following advantages:
• You can keep the home in which you have made memories.
• Renovations can help your home to feel new again.
• If the renovation is fairly small, you might be able to remain while the work is being performed.
• Renovations might improve the energy efficiency of your home.
• Renovating your home might be less expensive than building a new home.
• Renovations might increase the value of your home.
Before you decide to renovate your home, you need to consider multiple factors. Some of the things you should think about include the following:
• Whether the location makes renovations worthwhile
• Whether the renovations would provide a good return on investment if you later decide to sell
• Whether your home contains hazardous materials that can’t safely be removed
• Whether past renovations have been completed, when, and why
• Whether the foundation and structure are sound
If your home’s structure and foundation are unsound, it might not make sense to renovate your home. In that situation, it might make more sense to demolish your home and build a new one instead.
Ask a potential contractor about any changes in the building codes that have occurred since the time your house was built. This can help you decide whether renovating your home will make more financial sense than building a new home. For example, if you will need to completely rewire your home and replace all of the plumbing to bring it up to code, you’ll need to review your budget to determine whether moving forward with renovations is the best choice.
Advantages of Building a New Home
Building a new home will involve many decisions and a lot of planning. However, deciding to build a new home also offers the following advantages:
• Minimal repair and maintenance costs
• Everything under warranty
• Ability to design an efficient home
• Planning for new technology through an expanded electrical system
• More design options
• Ability to choose the floor plan and layout that works best for you
There are several things you need to think about before you decide to build a new home instead of renovating your existing home, including the following:
• Local building codes
• Environmental conditions and their potential impact on your design (flood plain, tornado risks, hurricanes, earthquakes)
• Soil quality
• Neighborhood restrictions
• Availability of supplies and labor
• Budget constraints
Other Factors to Consider
Whether you decide to renovate or build a new home, you will need to think about how you want to use it. The room you will need, the spaces you want to have for your lifestyle, whether you want to age in place, and other factors should all inform your decision.
If you have specific ideas, you will want to discuss them with your contractor to make sure they understand your needs. You will need to be detailed and prepared to make many decisions.
If you decide to build a new home, you can expect the process to take longer than it would if you instead renovated your home. While a complex renovation project can take a few months, building a new home will involve permits, approvals, site preparation, and all of the various phases of the construction project.
Deciding whether to renovate your existing home or build a new one depends on factors that are unique to you and your situation. If you choose to build a new home, you might find it easier to determine your desired floor plan since renovating an existing structure will limit the changes you make. If you decide to renovate your existing home, and all of the renovations will be made to the interior, weather delays shouldn’t be a factor. By contrast, building a new home can involve weather delays that can lengthen the timeline.
Cost differences might also factor in. While the costs of renovating your home will largely depend on the extent of the changes you are planning, unexpected discoveries during the process might make the costs increase. Building a new home won’t involve discoveries of rotted wood, asbestos, or a plumbing or electrical system that needs to be brought up to code.
In the end, the decision to renovate your existing home or build a new one will be up to you. Evaluating your situation, needs, and your budget can help you make an informed decision. If you love your existing home, renovating it might be better. If you instead want a home that is built to meet your unique desires, you might instead decide to build a new home. Whichever you decide, make sure you thoroughly investigate your contractor before you choose the company to hire. Having a great contractor can make a difference in realizing your dreams.