August 18, 2022

Should you remodel or rebuild from scratch?


Whether looking for improved functionality in your kitchen or added space to house a growing family, many home owners reach a point in their lives where they contemplate the pros and cons to either building a new home or remodeling the one they’re in. So let’s take a look at some of the things you should keep in mind when making this important decision.

The first thing that tips the scale is your home’s location. For instance, you might own a home in a desirable locale. A remodel, in this case, would allow you to stay in the same community amid accommodations and schools you love while still upgrading your space. The same holds true if you live in a one-of-a-kind or historical property that you couldn’t bear to lose—or if you’ve already invested in cherished upgrades, landscaping, hardscaping, or customizations. As you consider which path to take, reflect on aspects of your home or nearby conveniences that could not be replicated elsewhere.

Space is another consideration. For example, are you hoping to expand square footage beyond your existing foundation? If so, a new floorplan has the potential to bump up against mature trees or property lines. So assess whether your current layout and lot size would be amenable to the type of add-ons or expansions you’d want. Then ask yourself, would the new look suit the neighborhood’s aesthetic? And would you be willing to sacrifice the loss of outdoor space to make those dreams come true?

You’ll also want to consider the feasibility and expense involved in retrofitting new amenities or features. For instance, many homeowners today are looking to incorporate eco-friendly technologies, energy-efficient enhancements, natural power sources, and green materials. But this type of home renovation—like taller ceilings or larger windows—can prove cost-prohibitive. The same holds true for issues you might want to escape, such as lead paint, asbestos, old knob-and-tube wiring, and toxic home building materials. So be realistic about what you can and cannot afford to keep up or replace, and what you might disrupt during an upgrade. For most homeowners, it will all come down to cost and resale value.

For those opting for new construction, which tends to be the most expensive option of the two, you’ll have your choice of spec or custom build. A spec home is one built by a developer on their chosen lot for sale in move-in condition, a process that makes it more affordable, whereas a custom home is built to the home buyer’s precise specifications.

But what if you want the best of both worlds? Consider a full demolition of your existing property to make way for a new structure. If you opt to go this route, simply plan for housing accommodations while your new home is being rebuild and check into historic preservation and zoning regulations. After careful consideration, you’re sure to find a solution that best suits your needs and situation.

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