Should I Renovate My Old Home or Build a New One?

1) Can you renovate within the current footprint?

Renovating within the home’s existing footprint generally costs 40 percent less, than expending out. But remember existing space contains old problems that may need to be corrected.

2) Do you want to live through a renovation?

Renovations cause dust, noise and disruption for weeks, changes can make the process longer than the initial estimate. If you’re redoing your kitchen, for example, you may be without a sink or stove for several weeks.

3) Can you legally do the renovations you want?

Every municipality has building rules, including ones regulating how much of the lot you can cover, whether you can add a second story and how close structures can be to the property line. Permits are required for major renovations, and renovations also can trigger a requirement that existing elements, like outdated electrical panels, be brought up to current building standards.

4) Does the renovation makes sense for your home's value?

Putting a $100,000 kitchen into a $150,000 home never makes sense, but updating a 1970s kitchen with new cabinets and counter-tops probably does. Never make renovations that are disproportionate to the value of your home.

5) Is your home structurally up to the renovation you want?

Not all houses can support a second story, for example. Or, if you want to move walls, you may find theproject also will require new support beams structural walls or new footers.

6) Will renovating one section of your home gring to light other sections that need work?

A bathroom renovation, for example, could reveal old plumbing that needs to be replaced. Once a building inspector comes into your home, he may demand you bring other items up to current codes.

7) How long do you plan to live in your house?

As a general rule if you want to be there for seven to 10 years renovation can be a good option.

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