Renovate or Rebuild – What You Need To Know Before You Start

Renovate or rebuild? It’s a choice you will have to make after you have decided to improve your home either to meet the needs of your family, your lifestyle, or modern design trends. The decision to renovate or rebuild is crucial and expensive; therefore, it is best to make such a decision after considering and comparing the factors that make each option viable and best for you. This article discusses some of the factors that you should consider before making a decision to renovate or rebuild, read on.

Renovate vs rebuild

Everything – the entire project is hinged on your budget, how much you have to spend to improve your home or recreate your existing home into your dream home determines whether renovation or rebuild is best for you. In recent years, the cost of renovation and rebuild seem to have levelled out with the latter offering more long-term value to homeowners. Metricon Victorian housing general manager Peter Langfelder notes that the “increased cost of renovation in terms of Dollar per square metre has made a knock down rebuild a cost-effective option for value seekers.”

Renovation costs could blow up due to unforeseen circumstances encountered during the knockdown and construction of the home.  For example, midway through the renovation process, your builder finds a damp wall that needs to be replaced or a depression in the foundation of the home. This automatically leads to further reconstruction to shore up the weak areas, which was not factored in the budget for renovation.

On the other hand, rebuilding gives you the advantage of entering a fixed contract with your builder before the start of the project. More importantly, you get the freedom to build what you want right where you want it.

A better way to understand the budget requirement of each option is to request a quote from two or more contractors. They will provide an approximate cost considering the scope of work involved. With a quote from your local builders in hand, you will have a clearer understanding of which option to choose.

Knock down rebuild vs renovation

Although rebuilding seems to be the best option considering long-term value, other factors such as personal goals could mean renovation is the best option for you. Before you decide whether to renovate or rebuild, you have to consider your goal for improving your home. Are you trying to give your home a cosmetic makeover or are you trying to change the layout and spaces to accommodate your family?images

If you are trying to give your home a face lift by changing the painting, flooring, and installations, then renovation is a suitable option. Renovating will involve restoring the older parts of your home and adding new features to improve the home. That said, if your goal is to change the layout and recreate the spaces in your home to accommodate your family, then you should consider knocking down and rebuilding because it gives you the opportunity to influence the design and building of your home.

Another goal to consider is your purpose for improving the home. Do you want to improve the home to increase the value and flip it on the real estate market immediately or live in it for the foreseeable future?

Renovation or rebuild are viable options if your aim of improving the home is to increase the value and sell. In this case, the profit margin you hope to make at the end of the transaction could decide whether renovation or rebuild is best.

Renovate or rebuild

Whether to renovate or rebuild is a tough question to answer. However, considering factors such as the condition of your home can help you reach a decision. The condition of your home determines the viable option as well as your personal preferences. Is the structure of your home still strong enough to serve you for the next foreseeable future?

Are you comfortable living in the same home if only minor reconstruction is done? Or do you want to make a major change because of the dilapidating structures?

Your answers to these questions will help you gain clarity. You will understand the best option for you considering the condition of the house and your preference.

An older building with dilapidating structures will require extensive renovation, which can blow out in cost. In this case, rebuilding will be more beneficial than renovating because it gives you the opportunity to control the design of the home from the start of the project and you can build a solid home for long term.

The age of your home could also mean that you have to renovate rather than rebuild. This happens when your home is close to or over a hundred years mark. Homes that are close to 100 years are usually categorised as heritage homes. Getting approval to knockdown and rebuild such a home might be near impossible especially if renovation can preserve its heritage qualities for as long as possible.

Renovate or knock down rebuild

When considering renovating or rebuilding, one important factor that should influence your decision is the return on investment. If you choose to renovate, will the total renovation cost exceed the value increase in your home? If there is a possibility that this could happen, then you run the risk of spending and over-capitalising. Then, it would be difficult to recover the money spent on renovation if the value increase in your home is not greater than the money spent on renovation. renovation 883585 960 720

Keep in mind that the cost of renovation can be equal to the cost of rebuilding. It all the depends on the design of the new house and materials used in creating the design. $200,000 can cover the cost of constructing a new home, again it all depends on the design and the price of materials used for construction.

Having said that, if you choose to rebuild, will the cost of demolition and rebuilding exceed or be on par with the cost of a new home in your neighbourhood? If the answer is yes, then you should consider purchasing a new home in your area rather than going through the hassle of rebuilding. Even when the difference between the cost of rebuilding and buying a new home in your neighbourhood is marginal, purchasing a new home is preferable because of the stress and time involved in building a new home.

Is it cheaper to knock down and rebuild or renovate?

Usually, a new home requires little maintenance, unlike an old structure that is improved by renovation. New homes are less susceptible to termite infestation, drywall cracking or any structural issues because the materials used to build the home are new. However, it does not mean that a new home cannot have structural issues or a problems requiring maintenance. The quality of material used to build a house determines the durability of the structure and whether it will require maintenance. This is the case in renovation; although other parts of the home not restored can determine the frequency of maintenance.

You should aim to use the best materials whether you decide to renovate or rebuild. Although a good builder will make an effort to use the best materials, you can still request specific materials to be used. For example, roof tiles are the common roofing materials used in Australia not because they are the best but because they are cheaper. Your builder may want to use this material for your roof, but you can request for a better roofing material such as roof shinglesasphalt-roof-shingles-on-new-home

Not all roof shingles are the same though. There are many brands out there, but the best brand of roof shingles are GAF. If you like the look of roof shingles, then have your builder get GAF asphalt shingles. Your choice of roofing is just one way to ensure that your home requires little to zero maintenance for a long time. You should choose quality materials for other parts of your home, whether you want to renovate or rebuild.

Choosing between renovation or rebuild is a tough choice but it will be much simpler if you have the facts. Hopefully, the factors listed in this article will guide you to make the best decision for your needs.


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