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KNOCKDOWN AND REBUILD or RENOVATE

You purchased a new house and you think about making a few changes to your new home, but after doing the math you ask yourself, wouldn't it be better to demolish and rebuild?

You inherited the house and you always thought about the changes you would make, but again there are so many changes that you also need to consider, isn’t it better to build from scratch?

Your house is many years old and for some time you have been wanting to remodel but you do not know whether to demolish and build or just do renovations?


So, renovate a house or tear it down and build a new one? 

Reforming a house is a very profitable alternative, although depending on the characteristics of the remodeling, demolishing and rebuilding a home from scratch can be cheaper and better. In this article, we provide you with some guidelines to make the decision that best suits your budget, your tastes, and your needs.

 

Either you need more rooms or space because your family is growing or even due to an increase in your income you might be thinking of upgrading your residence. Renovate or tear down and rebuild your existing home will always be a good option. However, these two options are very different in terms of cost and lifestyle impact and depend on many factors.

Renovate a house vs. Tear down and rebuild

Before making a decision, it is essential to consider what you and your family need from a home and if those needs can be covered with a renovation. If you want to dramatically expand the amount of square footage, make changes to every room, or design a custom home, you may want to consider tearing down and rebuilding the home. If you only plan to remodel the basement to make it a useful space, expand the kitchen or add a second floor, remodeling your home may be the cheapest and smartest choice.

 

But before making a decision it is essential to consider what are the advantages and disadvantages of reforming a house or demolishing it and building a new one.

Advantages of tearing down and building a new home

The design is 100% customizable, so you can get the type of house you want as long as the budget fits your pocket.

The satisfaction that comes from being involved in the design and construction process of your home is indescribable.

Disadvantages of tearing down and building a new home

The process of tearing down a home and building it again takes time.

Some construction tasks may take longer than anticipated due to contingencies that may arise.

If the house has an important historical value, the architectural charm would also be demolished.

Demolition permits take a longer time to obtain in some locations.

Advantages of renovating a house

Renovating a home can be very entertaining and allows you to incorporate the features and style you want.

If you like the area where you live, reforming your house is a great alternative to improve various aspects of the home without the need to move.

If you plan to sell your home in the near future, renovations could add value to the sale price and make it a more attractive option for potential buyers.

Disadvantages of renovating a house

The discovery of structural problems can lead to unplanned extra expenses.

Factors to consider when renovating a house or tearing down and rebuilding

1. The costs

As we have explained before, if you are planning a very radical renovation that includes structural changes (roofs, floors, electrical installations, plumbing, etc.), it may be cheaper to start from scratch. 

 

In addition, the costs to reform a house can also skyrocket due to unforeseen problems that arise during the works; That is why it is essential to request a budget for everything before making a decision. We at ACM offer our Fixed Price Contract to avoid any surprises.

 

2. The age of the home

If you've recently been looking at old homes to renovate because you like hardwood floors or decorative ceilings, you know that it's not worth tearing down your home to build a new one. However, you must be very careful if it is too old it can present structural problems and become a real danger. If it was built before 1978 it is subject to HAZMAT inspection mostly because of asbestos.

 

If, on the other hand, the house is old and has no historical value, demolishing it and building a new one may be the most suitable alternative. Remember that when renovating an old house it still has old characteristics, while when rebuilding it you can achieve more modern finishes, energy certification, etc.

3. The location

While renovating a home is a more prominent practice in the cities, the idea of ​​tearing down and rebuilding is more popular in places with scarce land offers, as well as in areas near the beach, where there is little risk of over-capitalization.

 

It is also essential to go to the City Council of the area where you plan to renovate a house or demolish and build to request the new construction permit or the construction license and find out about the current legislation. The City Council will also let you know what is the amount of square meters that allow you to build, the maximum height of the building, and the meters of space that you must respect in relation to neighboring homes.

 

4. Your lifestyle

Rather than trying to carry out an unworkable plan to renovate a house, it may be easier and cheaper to start with a clean slate.


Taking down and rebuilding will allow you to choose a completely custom design and meet your needs; While renovating a house limits you to modernizing and adapting only some spaces.

 

On weekends, you need to ask yourself if you are really prepared to take on the responsibility of a home under construction.

 

5. Your budget

According to Roger Greenwald, RA, AIA, "the cost of tearing down and rebuilding will be about 20 percent higher than engaging in an extensive whole-house remodel. But the architectural benefits of tearing down and working with a clean slate can be huge: Better fundamental architectural design, all new systems, clean circulation, high-quality windows, new and efficient heating and cooling systems, tall ceilings, and space designed for your personal living patterns placed where you need it."

Renovate a house to add value

If in addition to comfort and a touch of modernity you want to add value to your property with a renovation but you do not know what to modify, you can take into account the following options:

  • An outdoor swimming pool

  • This is a highly valued feature in homes and adds great value, especially in summer cities.

  • Green areas

  • Reforming a house does not only involve doing works in the kitchen, the living room or the bathrooms. The garden and leisure areas also bring great value to homes.

  • Better lighting

  • The environmental impact that a home can have is a feature highly valued by buyers today.

  • A house with enough natural light is more welcoming and looks more spacious; In addition, good lighting and optimal insulation reduce costs in the monthly budget by using less artificial light, heating, and so on.

Before making a decision

Many people really enjoy the opportunity to participate in the process of designing and building their own homes; while others may find the experience more difficult and settle for having their personality stamped on the renovations.

In conclusion, between reforming a house or demolishing and building it from scratch, you only have to make the decision that you consider the most correct according to your tastes, your budget, and your needs. 

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