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Whether You Should Renovate or Rebuild Your Home, According to an Expert


The house is getting too small, but you love the area — so what are your choices? It’s a common question families must deal with: What do you do when you outgrow your home? If you choose to move, get ready to pay for not only moving expenses but also possible renovations on your new home. If you’re not ready or willing to move, you will then weigh whether renovating your existing home or knocking it down and rebuilding are options. To help you figure out what would be best for you, we spoke to Stephen Thompson, managing director of Allworth Homes, about what to consider when you find yourself in this conundrum.

RvR Reno Getty Images

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Which do you think is the most common decision: new builds or renovating?

I don’t believe that either option is more popular. It all depends on your budget, the time you can dedicate, and the resources you have at hand.

When deciding whether to renovate or knock down and rebuild, what should people ask themselves?

You could renovate the home by extending and adding bedrooms, living spaces, and changing kitchen and bathrooms to meet current trends — but this can get costly. At times, renovating seems like the best bet, rather than building an entire home from scratch, but is it? This is something that many people are asking today.

So why not just knock the whole place down and build a completely new property on the existing site? You already have a great block of land, why not utilize it? Rebuilding on your existing property could be beneficial in the long run, financially and logistically — short-term pain for long-term gain.

RvR Bathroom Getty Images

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

What’s the most important first step in deciding whether it’s rebuild or renovate?

  • Consider the sale price of your home as is and the price of relocating to your idea home in the area. With all things included, what would it cost? With that budget, could you renovate to achieve your goals? Will a renovated home in your area fetch the resale price you hope for? Is it a good investment?

Traditionally, knocking down and rebuilding will cost a little more, but a brand-new home in an established area is gold. If you plan a long-term stay, there is no better investment.

What are some of the key benefits of renovating?

RvR Kitchen Getty Images

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

What are the benefits of knocking down a home and rebuilding?

  • Staying where you are in a beautiful new home with all the modern trimmings.
  • No compromising — choose a design to suit your needs.
  • New everything means no maintenance hassles.
  • Great resale value.

What usually costs more: building or renovating?

While renovating can seem like an easier and cheaper option in the long run, this can actually cost far more, and you may find there are a lot of hidden extra costs. Knocking down and rebuilding can yield a better sale price. If this is your end goal, not only will your new abode be sparkly new on the inside but also the structure and integrity of the home will be totally sound and up-to-date.

As you can see there are benefits to both building something new and renovating — which is why it’s often hard to choose between the two. If you’re stuck, it may be worth getting quotes for both options to help you decide and get started on planning your dream home. Companies can provide upfront pricing for a brand-new home, while your builder should be able to give you an accurate quote when provided with a detailed plan of the renovations you want.

This article was written by Homes to Love editors. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.

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