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Remodeling Blog

Should You Build a New House or Remodel Your Old One?

Date: Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Remodeling your home can be a daunting task, and hidden costs can often make the undertaking far more costly and time consuming than initially intended. With this in mind, many find it more effective to tear down their old home and build from scratch. Both remodeling and rebuilding have their pros and cons, and it is not a decision that can be made lightly. There are many issues and variables to consider; be they sentimental, legal, practical or financial. Here are a few key questions you should ask yourself before going one way or the other.

How Does Your Current House Suit Your Needs?

Consider what it is you and your family need from a home. If you are satisfied with the floor space and layout of your current house, a renovation may make more sense than a rebuild. You should also avoid a rebuild if your house already has unused space, such as an attic or basement which can be remodeled and utilized. However, if your needs are more complex and specific, than a rebuild is the better option. If you start from scratch, you can make sure the new space will suit you better. Your imagination,and finance of course, are your only limitations.

What Condition is Your House In?

How old is your house, what condition is it in, and does it have historical value? Many older houses were built with more durability and quality in mind. If this is the case with your house, you should ask yourself if you can afford the same level of quality in case you choose to rebuild. If your home already has hardwood floors, high ceilings and strong walls, it may be unwise to tear it down. Historical charm and significance adds to value, and should also be considered. On the other hand, older homes can be structurally unsound, as well as not energy efficient. Mold, termites and damp are frequent in old homes, and may prove too expensive to get rid of with a remodel. Also, choosing the right contractor is essential for these projects.

What Are the Local Laws?

Local zoning laws and building codes could be the deciding factor in your choice between a new construction and a remodel. Definitions of a remodel may vary greatly from place to place. Depending on your neighborhood, it might even not be possible to tear your house down, or it might be mandatory to leave a certain percentage of the structure standing. Be sure to consult builders and architects to make sure your construction plans are in accordance with the law. Sometimes adding an additional story is a simple way to solve your building conundrum, building laws permitting, of course.

What Is the Average Value of Other Houses in Your Neighborhood?

Do some research and find out what houses in your neighborhood are selling for, and be sure to get an estimate on your own home. If the houses in your area are selling for significantly more than your own, it might make sense to rebuild. On the other hand, you should be careful not to overdo your remodel. If the improvements to your house drive its value significantly higher than the other houses in your neighborhood, it might prove difficult to sell in the future.

A Few Words in Conclusion

There is a myriad of factors that go into this decision, but ultimately you are the one that will have to deal with the consequences. Both options have their merits and downfalls and whatever your choice, it will certainly take up a lot of time, money and nerves. Renovating your home can be a lot of fun, as well as a rewarding experience. However, it will almost certainly require a more hands on approach as there are more unknowns than if you choose to rebuild. Dealing with builders, noise and mess is not everyone’s cup of tea. In this case, it might be easiest to move out for a while, wait for the builders to get the job done and simply move in when completed.

 

Jody Costello

Americas’ Home Renovation Planning Expert

Home Improvement Expert

eLocal.com

Home Improvement Expert

eHow.com

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