Category Archives: Home Improvement

Should your Renovate Your Existing Home or Build New

Renovating versus Building a Custom Home

Renovating your current home will typically be much cheaper than buying a new home. Building a custom home, in particular, will tend to be much more expensive if you are installing high-end materials and appliances. However, as with most choices, there are benefits and drawbacks of building new versus renovating. The question you’ll need to ask yourself is whether or not it is better to renovate your current house or should you build a new.

Why Build a Custom Home

Building a new custom home is a chance to completely design your dream house from the ground up. You’ll get to choose exactly what you want, including where your build, floor plan, materials, size, etc. Even with a comprehensive home renovation, you’ll still be living in your old home with the old yard, garage and neighbours.

Of course, the costs of a new custom home are more expensive than renovations, but, you also need to include the sales price of your current home. When you are building a new home, you’ll sell your current home and the proceeds from the sale will go towards the new custom home.

Smaller cosmetic renovations, like repainting or updating kitchen cabinets, are typically not that expensive and make more sense than buying new. If your old home needs major renovations, particularly structural renovations where supporting beams, the foundation and other important structures need to be moved,  costs can quickly balloon. If renovation costs don’t substantially increase the value of your home, it might be a better idea to sell your current home and build new.

Be careful when undertaking renovations on older homes. Tearing open walls and ceilings will often introduce many other problems like outdated plumbing and electrical that needs to be modernized. More serious problems like mould or asbestos might require expensive removal and remediation.

Older homes will typically have smaller bathrooms, closets, bedrooms and other poorly utilized space. They also often require more electrical outlets, better insulation, new windows and doors and other expensive upgrades. All will significantly increase renovation costs, and the higher costs likely won’t be recouped in a higher resale value.

When Renovations Make Sense?

The best reason for renovating your old home is because you love your location and house. If you are in a great neighbourhood with great neighbours, it can make sense to stay put and renovate your home. If your home doesn’t require major renovations, then it will minimize your disruption by staying in the same house and only getting minor updates. A fresh coat of paint, new kitchen and hardwood floors can go a long way into making your home feel new again.

Is it Time to Build a New Home?

You’ll have to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of building a new house versus renovating. The proceeds from selling your old home can go a long way towards the costs of building a new custom home. Also, even though you get a reasonable renovation quote from a contractor, prices can balloon once renovations start if unforeseen problems are discovered.

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