Renovating an old house vs building new which is better

At some point that perfect home you purchased years ago begins to wear on you, perhaps it becomes out of date or it no longer fits your family’s needs. You will have to decide what is next, and that requires an understanding of the difference between renovation and new construction.

There are benefits to renovating your home and to starting over with new construction to create that more up-to-date version of the perfect house. The difference between renovation and new construction sometimes boils down to price, what you’re willing to spend on that next dream home. It may boil down to the physical limitations of your property, either lot size or the structure of your house.

The choice to renovate old house or build new comes down to your family, your budget and your long-term intentions. For example, if you plan on moving out of the area in a few years, then it wouldn’t make sense to tear down and rebuild. There are other factors to consider before you decide to remodel. Will your existing lot accommodate the changes you’re planning? Is the foundation strong and capable of serving a new construction home? You’ll have to make sure your dreams for a new house don’t overwhelm the reality of what your property can offer.

Location, location, location

Perhaps you love the neighborhood and location of your home, just not the older features and styles that worked a decade ago when you bought it. In that case, you could renovate or rebuild, but you should think about how long you plan on staying in that location. That’s the difference between renovation and new construction, and only you can make that choice for your family.

If the location is ideal and you determine that you’re not planning to move in the next 10 to 15 years, then rebuilding helps you create the ideal home now for your family while offering a buyer in the future a home that’s newer than if you just remodeled the existing house. The 15-year-old house you remodel today will be 30 years old when you sell it 15 years later. But the new construction home you build today will only be 15 years old at the same point you decide to sell, along with all of the elements, like the roof, the styles, the features, even the exterior.

Budget constraints

Perhaps money is a greater concern, and you don’t have the finances now or don’t want to borrow what you need to rebuild. That’s the time to consider remodeling your home. You can focus your efforts on areas of your home that are more important to you. Perhaps a bigger, better kitchen, or a redesigned master bedroom suite. Remodeling gives you the option to use more limited funds in a better way to improve aspects of your home that are important to you. It also allows you to stagger projects over time, perhaps in different rooms or areas of the house.

There’s a saying that if you want a better home, tear down and rebuild. But if you want less expensive, remodel your existing house. You may not be able to reimagine your house entirely because you’ll be working within the design of the original structure. The remodel option, however, will help you use what money you do have available more efficiently, and save you on average about 20 percent what a tear down and rebuild project would cost you.

Life in a construction zone

Another consideration when thinking about the difference between renovation and new construction is your current lifestyle. It’s one thing to be a younger or older couple planning for the construction, but its another thing to have a family with children and pets you must consider when thinking about how the project will disrupt your lives. A remodel can be done with everyone remaining in the house, but it comes with the inconvenience of your family living in a construction zone for a while. That might be easy for a couple to accommodate, but much more of a challenge for a larger family.

A new rebuild will require everyone to find temporary housing at another location, perhaps with a relative, a close friend or even a short-term lease arrangement. You could also get out of the home during a remodel, but you lose the convenience of continuing to live in your family’s home during the less disruptive project and perhaps should consider a rebuild if you’re willing to move out for a few months.

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