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To Build or Renovate

To Build or Renovate

Which Makes More Sense for You?

To build or renovate, that is the question. If your home no longer meets your needs or has seen better days, you may wonder whether it makes more sense to build a new house or renovate. There is no clear answer, but it will depend on your ideal scenario and your budget.

Renovating involves making changes to your existing home. It can include anything from a single room remodel to a complete interior gut. Renovating may also mean the construction of an addition to your existing structure. You will have control over the project but within the confines of your pre-existing space.

Building involves designing and constructing a new home on an empty lot or one you plan to clear. You will put together a team – generally consisting of an architect, a builder, and an interior designer – that will collaborate closely to make decisions about every element of the new building. Hiring a construction management company can ensure even better results and eliminate much of the work you’ll need to handle yourself.

Both building a new home and renovating have unique advantages. What you choose will depend on various factors like your budget, what you want to build or change in your home, and whether you still need to live in it while the project is happening. Let’s compare and contrast building vs renovating.

The Advantages of Renovating

Let’s look at the benefits of renovating over building a new house:

Cost – This is one of the most influential factors in a construction project. When you take on a construction project, it is important to make a budget and stick to it so that you don’t end up spending money you don’t have.

New construction is generally the more costly option when compared to renovation. It involves more work, materials, and additional considerations like installing utilities and constructing the foundation and even city levies & fees. Renovations use pre-existing structures and features, which helps to keep the cost of the renovations down. However, in the case of an old home or building, renovating may be more expensive than a new build. Older buildings are full of surprises, including toxic building materials like asbestos or mould. Older homes also often have significant structural issues, leaky basements and shifting problems. The remediation of these issues is costly and time-consuming.

In the end, your budget will dictate your choice, and although renovating is generally less expensive, you need to look closely at your existing structure to see if it is still more affordable to renovate. A construction management team can offer valuable advice to help you make the right decision.

Duration – The duration of a project will vary based on the scope of the renovation, the condition of the existing structure, and whether you want to live in a mess and chaos while the project continues. However, renovations are usually the faster option because they are less extensive than building new. Like with cost, the exception to this rule is if you are working with an old home that needs extra work.

Character – If you are working to repurpose an old home or building, renovations can help preserve the character and charm that would not otherwise exist in a new project. Old-school character can go a long way in creating an attractive space for your family, customers and clients.

The Advantages of Building a New home

Now let’s look at the benefits of building a new house over renovating:

Control – If you choose to build from scratch, you have ultimate control over your project’s design, scope, and aesthetics. The only limit is your budget and your imagination. In the beginning stages, you will help to create the floor plan and choose building materials. As the project progresses, you can select details like lighting, water fixtures, and finer details like paint colours and cabinetry. You are the boss.

Progress – The site for a new home will always be in a separate location from where you are currently located, even if it is on the same property. Renovations might require a multi-phased schedule to limit disruptions to your available living space, but with the construction of a new home, there is a separation and no disruptions. There are also fewer chances for unforeseen building conditions, such as toxic building materials that could be found on the site of a renovation. As a result, the lack of disruptions means that progress on the building will be relatively smooth.

Functionality – When you have ultimate control over the design of your new home, that means you can design it to fit your needs exactly. Whether you need a particular layout, a certain number of purpose-specific rooms, a secondary suite, heated parking, or anything else, you can control how each feature comes together in the new home.

Materials – If you choose to build new, you have the opportunity to use sustainable materials and design an environmentally friendly house. Your newly constructed home will have the capability to support future technology using an updated electrical system. Finally, everything, including appliances, is new and under warranty, so the maintenance and repairs in your new home will be minimal for the first few years.

To Build a House or Renovate - Which is Best for You?

Now the bottom line: are you better off to build a new house or renovate?

Renovating is best for: People looking for a quicker and less expensive change to their existing house, wanting to refresh the space or rearrange it to meet current optimization needs. Renovating makes more sense if you want a less drastic change and are working with a smaller budget.

Building a new home is best for: People wanting to start from scratch and have a say over how their home looks and functions, as long as they have the time and budget to support the project. Building new makes more sense if you want more control over your new home and don’t want to be burdened by interruptions from construction.

Choosing whether to build or renovate is challenging but crucial to the construction process. At 76 Construction Management, we’ve helped clients navigate the building and renovating process for over 25 years. If you are looking to build or renovate in the Niagara region, we would love to help you determine the best course of action. Contact us today to learn more!

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