Should You Renovate Or Rebuild? Here Are The Facts

Should You Renovate Or Rebuild? Here Are The Facts
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    Whether to renovate or rebuild is a common question for homeowners who want to update their properties. Rebuilding resets the clock for everything from fixtures down to the foundation.


On the other hand, remodeling can be highly targeted or carried out incrementally at your own pace, as your budget allows. The older your house, the more likely you might be to tear it down and rebuild from scratch.

Alternatively, your fixer-upper might not warrant the cost of a complete rebuild. Whatever your circumstances, there are other considerations to review before you make a decision, including these five core issues.

1. Your Goals and Preferences

Your goals and preferences are the starting points for working out which is the better choice. Consider what you want to achieve out of remodeling or rebuild, whether it’s a property refresh, aesthetic upgrades, or more space.

Real estate experts, Northern Virginia Home Pro, state, “Review how your needs will change in five, 10, 20 years.

For large families, rebuilding could be the only choice if you want to accommodate an extra generation or two.

On the other hand, you could be downsizing with limited property supply on the market, so you settle on buying to remodel.“

2. Land Features

The incline of your block of land and other features should be taken into account at the earliest planning stage as they can potentially affect everything. Land features can impact both renovations and rebuilds, but it tends to be more important for rebuilds.

For example, soil composition impacts earthworks and stability. Orientation affects how you can design to optimize heating and cooling. Incline or a sloping block can mean extra building costs including cutting into the hillside.

3. Restrictions

Check for restrictions such as zoning, work, and building permits and licenses applicable to your local area, and other rules. Local building, construction, plumbing, electrical, energy-conservation, and other codes can drastically impact which one would be the better choice for you.

Furthermore, if you’re planning a condo renovation, get in touch with your condo association first, as there are varied policies for developmental projects. You have to make sure that you are not breaking any rules or regulations.

Your city council could have prohibitions on tear-downs or significant changes. Consider all the rules that could apply to your property. For example, a historic home may be subject to stricter restrictions on what you can change.

4. Existing Condition

Whether you decide to renovate or rebuild can also depend on your home’s existing condition, and with this, what your goals are. The condition of your home includes any features that hold sentimental value for your family or offer market value for potential buyers.

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For example, your home might have spaces with special significance for your family. Similarly, features such as antique flooring, stonework, and ceiling beams could be worth retaining for attracting buyers. If your home has structural damage, a rebuild could be better.

5. Budget

Overarching all other considerations is the need to work within what you’ll be able to afford – or how much you want to spend. Take into account things like the likely boost to your home equity or overall ROI as well as whether you’re selling soon.

For example, the selective demolition of your home could be more challenging than a tear-down, ultimately yielding a lower ROI than a rebuild. Similarly, an involved renovation might not recoup your costs if you sell soon because your home will still be an older one.

Generally, a rebuild will cost 20% more than an extensive remodel, which starts at around $100 to $500 per square foot. However, factors like materials, workmanship, and where you live can lead to far higher costs.

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In Summary

Renovation or rebuild might seem like a simple choice at first glance but often becomes a more complex question when you look at it closely. With an older home, a renovation might end up costing you much more especially if heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems are updated.

It is important to be aware that unexpected issues may arise from mold to structural issues. The general rule is to choose renovation if you’re updating only selected areas or if a comprehensive remodeling will cost considerably less than a rebuild. Renovation might also be the better option if your older home has historical or design features of value.

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