Blue Designs - Architectural Designers

Should I Build or Renovate?

We still live in a time when we do plenty of things that are very harmful to our planet. It seems we’re all aware that fossil fuels like oil and coal create a considerable portion of our greenhouse gas pollution. But many people don’t understand that we also do a lot of harm to our planet with the materials we use to build and remodel our homes and buildings.

1. Weigh up the costs.

If you’re planning an extensive renovation with a lot of structural changes, it can definitely be cheaper to start from scratch.  Keep in mind renovation costs also spiral due to unforeseen problems that arise along the way. One of the upsides of building a new home is you can ask your builder for a ‘fixed price' contract.

2. Consider the age of the home.

If you’ve purchased a heritage home because you love the old timber floors and decorative ceilings, renovation will obviously be the best way to go, even if it is more costly.  The most suitable knockdowns are the ugly ducklings that can often be purchased for close to land value.


3. Location is a factor.

Knocking down and rebuilding is more popular in locations where vacant land is scarce and also in sought after areas, where there is little risk of over capitalising.  It’s also essential to find out from your local council what you can and can’t do under local bylaws.

4. Consider your lifestyle.

Rather than trying to fix an unworkable floor plan by extending existing house, it can be easier and cheaper to start with a clean slate. Rebuilding allows people to choose a new home design to suit their needs. 

5. Budget for ongoing expenses.

New homes are easier to maintain and more energy efficient. Building practices and regulations are also better and a new home comes with the added peace of mind of a warranty on the construction. 


6. Do want the hassle of renovating?

If you work full-time or are raising a family, you need to ask yourself whether you really want to spend every weekend working on the house. Renovating can be very disruptive, often requiring the homeowners to move out for a period of time.  

 When a whole house remodeling project is undertaken, the builder is forced to work in an existing structure.   Work crews from the various trades often work on top of each other.   Making an open plan concept design choice means removing walls; the challenge is that you don't know what is in those walls...  With renovations you can always count on surprises and surprises cost more money.

While whole house remodeling is almost always more expensive than new construction, the cost of a home is only part of the equation.



When should you remodel versus looking to build new?

  • You love your neighborhood.
  • There are no available stands in your neighborhood.
  • You have an emotional attachment to your home and have the money to make the changes.
  • Property values in your neighborhood are rising.
  • Your home value is not at the peak for the neighborhood.
  • You’re looking to buy in a mature neighborhood with grown trees and landscaping.


When should you look at the option of building a new home?

  • Stands are available in your neighborhood or a neighborhood you really like.
  • The cost of remodeling your home will outpace its resale value.
  • You want a home with changes that can’t be added to your current home.

 But don’t think you’re getting off easy by building a new home; it is still a lot of work.  The construction of your home is not the only costs you’ll incur.  When budgeting, you’ll need to include non-construction costs such as an architect, financing and moving expenses.

Knocking down and rebuilding can be a more cost effective option than renovating an old home.  Reality is, for the price of a used home, you could get a brand new house.  

Claire - 082 399 0180 / 011 025 4458

Whatsapp - 066 232 3676

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