Remodel Existing Home vs. New Construction? Pros & Cons
Is your current home not working for you anymore?
Maybe you have a growing family and need more space. Maybe you’re tired of cooking in the same old outdated kitchen. Maybe you’re just ready for something new. Whatever your situation is, it’s always worth making a change if you’re not 100% happy with your home.
In this article, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of a home renovation vs. building a brand new custom home! Keep reading to learn about all the factors you should consider and decide what’s right for you and your family.
Renovating an Existing Home
A home renovation involves updating a previously built residence with cosmetic changes. When a renovation involves significant structural change (i.e. extensive demolition and construction), it’s more commonly referred to as a home “remodel.” But these terms are often used interchangeably, and both involve making improvements to an existing home.
Building a Custom Home
Building a new custom home – commonly referred to as “new construction” – is a very different process than renovating an existing one.
Since it involves constructing an entirely new (and unique!) home on newly developed or newly cleared land, there’s almost never any demolition involved. Instead, you’re working with a blank canvas and creating a brand new home from the ground up.
Renovating an Existing Home Pros & Cons
1. You don’t have to move.
One of the most obvious advantages of “working with what you’ve got” with a home renovation is that you don’t have to deal with the hassle, stress, and sometimes-extensive costs of moving.
Especially if your family is established in your current area with jobs, schools, neighbors, or friends, staying in your current home and remodeling it to meet your needs may be the ideal solution.
2. You might be able to stay in your house during the project.
In many cases, you can avoid having to temporarily relocate for a home renovation. For very large projects, it may be necessary (or preferable) to move out for a short time while construction takes place.
But if you’re working with a good builder who values your time, budget, and convenience, you can often stay put and watch your home transform!
3. You can keep what you love, and update what you don’t.
Do you absolutely adore the original hardwood floors in your home, but hate the outdated countertops in the kitchen? With a home renovation, you can keep the features that you love and make changes to the features that aren’t beautiful or functional for your family.
You can also use a remodel to update your home with smart features and environmentally friendly materials and appliances!
1. There are limits to the changes you can make.
From updating an old or poorly laid-out kitchen, to adding an en-suite bathroom to your master bedroom, and even adding an ADU for multigenerational living or rental income, you can do a lot with a renovation!
But some things you can’t change. For example, your location, neighborhood characteristics, lot size, and the age of your home are all pretty set in stone.
2. You may need remediation to remove certain materials.
Depending on the age of your home and the type of renovation you’re doing, you may need to test for potentially hazardous substances like mold, lead, and asbestos in your building materials before demolition can begin.
Considerations for Remodeling a Home
Here are a few questions to ask yourself (and your designer/contractor) when you’re planning for a home renovation:
- Is your home in a good location? Do you like your current neighborhood?
- What’s your budget?
- Do you have original floor plans?
- What are the regulations, restrictions, and building codes where you live?
- How much future maintenance will be required after the renovation?
- What’s the scope of the project? What will each phase of the renovation involve?
New Home Construction Pros & Cons
1. Maintenance costs and requirements will probably be lower.
When you build a new home, you’re far less likely to discover the common hazards that come with older buildings, saving you money, time, and stress.
Most newly constructed homes also come with a builder warranty. This provides you with coverage for structural materials and other components, potentially for several years.
2. You can create your dream home.
When it comes to building a custom home, you have the opportunity to personalize virtually every aspect of the house to your specific needs and preferences.
From size and floor plans to finishes and materials, you’ll have the chance to be intimately involved in the design process and truly create the home you’ve always dreamed about.
3. New homes are more energy efficient.
Most modern builders prioritize energy efficiency when constructing a home. Structural materials and smart design strategies can be helpful in limiting waste and saving you money on your monthly utilities. If sustainability is important to you, you can add additional features and customize your home to contribute to a healthier, greener world.
1. Construction may take a while.
Building a brand new home is usually a bigger time commitment when compared to remodeling, as basic framing and construction all have to be developed from scratch.
Additionally, initial design and getting all the necessary permits and approvals can slow down the process. On average, the building process for a custom home can range from 6-10 months.
2. You’ll have to find temporary housing
You won’t be able to move into your new home until construction has been completed. That means that while you’re building, you’ll need to set up another living situation for at least several months.
Whether you choose to stay in your current home, live with friends or family, or travel, there are several factors to consider when it comes to temporary housing.
Some questions to ask yourself and discuss with your custom-home builder include:
- What is the weather like? When is the best time to build in terms of cost and timeline?
- What is your budget?
- What is the lot like? Is it flat or sloped? Do any trees or other structures need to be removed?
- What is the availability of the materials you need?
- Who will your design-build team consist of? Can you trust them to deliver the results you’re looking for and be transparent and communicative?
- What are the phases of the design-build process? How long will it take?
Looking to update your home with a renovation or build the house of your dreams in the perfect location? We can help!
Kamanski Construction is a full-service residential contractor based in Duncan, South Carolina. We build custom homes and renovate existing ones. There’s no project too big or too small for our amazing team of expert designers and builders.
We love working with homeowners (and soon-to-be homeowners) to create the spaces they’ve always wanted. We take the time to truly understand your vision, goals, and concerns and we’re committed to transparency, communication, and high-quality craftsmanship in every project we take on.
Andray Shcherban is the owner of Kamanski Construction Inc., a second-generation family business that was passed down to Andray by his father, Vasiliy Shcherban. Andray began working at Kamanski Construction as a painter and handyman when he was 14 years old. Now Andray continues to work alongside his five brothers. Andray loves bringing value to his customers through renovating and building real estate for them. In his free time, he loves to spend time with his wife and kids on the farm or in ministry for the Lord.