Renovating vs Building New

Which Construction Option is Right for You?

Are you looking at your current space and thinking it doesn’t fit your family’s needs? Maybe you have a new baby on the way. Maybe your children are growing and you are using the space quite differently than when they were small. Or maybe you’re looking at starting a family. Regardless of the reason, two options you might be considering are renovating your current home or building a new one.

You own your current home

If you own your current home, you’ve built up equity. Many people were able to lock in really low interest rates in the last few years and looking at a new loan with higher interest rates is intimidating. This helps build a case for people to renovate if they have the cash on hand to support it. It is important that you understand the full scope of renovating before you commit to that option.

Cost Creep

When you are working with a builder, you will be given a bid or budget. A bid is a formal quotation based on a set of drawings with specifications outlined. A budget on the other hand is more of a rough estimate based on the plans that have been discussed. 

With new construction, the bid is more firm. The builder has firm plans and is putting that on dirt. There aren’t a lot of unknowns. Yes, your taste could impact product selection which will impact the overall price, but the general construction is pretty straight forward. The new walls will be squared off to fit the cabinetry, bathtub, or whatever is being installed. 

A renovation has a lot more unknowns. The integrity of the existing structure needs to support the new or additional structure. As homes settle, walls are rarely square which makes changes sometimes difficult. The electrical wiring is often older and may not support the needs of the addition. You can get into HVAC rerouting. The list goes on and on. Because there are so many unknowns, you can run into budget creep quickly with a renovation. 

What are some benefits of renovating?

There are lots of reasons you may want to stay in your home and renovate it to fit your needs.

  • You are emotionally attached to your home. Your family has built memories there.
  • Economically it may make sense to stay in your current home due to the interest rates.
  • You hate moving! With smaller scale renovations, you can live in your home during a renovation. This can reduce costs since you won’t have to rent somewhere to live during the construction process.
  • Updating your home can reset the age on your home. Brand new electrical and plumbing will make a big difference on maintenance costs of your home. 
  • Updates can result in energy efficiency which will save you money. Improved insulation, windows, and doors can reduce your heat and air conditioning bills.
  • Location. Your home is in a desirable location for your family. You don’t want to tear it down and start from scratch so renovating is your best option.

Advantages to new construction

There are pros and cons to any choice you may make. New construction definitely has some advantages.

  • New construction is in pristine condition as you are the first family to live in the space. But with that means, you are also working out any kinks. There will be little things that the builder has to come out to repair such as a door knob that isn’t turning correctly or some cabinets need to be straightened. 
  • The space is even more customizable than a renovation when you’re working from a blank slate. You can push out an entire wall when you aren’t working with an existing roofline that already exists. 
  • With a renovation, any space that isn’t updated might not be energy efficient. With a new home, it is 100% energy efficient.
  • You can select all of the materials used. You won’t have to deal with original flooring that is just okay when you’re building something totally new from the ground up.

The answer might not be easy for your family. Take into consideration where you want your home to be, how renovating or building new will impact your finances, what type of character you want your home to have and hopefully you will begin to see the answer that is best for your family. If you are looking to select a construction company for your project, MB&R Contractors has a team that can meet your needs. We are a local full service construction company who can help with design, permitting, and construction and leave you with a completed project on time and within budget. Please reach out to us and let us help you on your next construction project.