The Great Debate: To Build or Renovate?

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By Don Weiler, Bailey & Weiler Design/Build
Specialists in Custom Home Design, New Construction and Renovation 

As your life evolves, your home needs change. A growing family, personal health issues, new hobbies, income changes,… any number of life events can result in the need for more, less or just different living spaces. A new home might be the best solution, while a renovation or addition may make more sense in other cases. We present some items to consider when weighing your options:

The Cost:

A room addition or remodel will generally cost less than building an entirely new home. However, the cost per square foot will typically be higher as renovation may involve demolition, dust containment, and the possibility of unforeseen surprises within your walls.

If financing is necessary, your existing home equity could ease the process of obtaining renovation funds. Generally, the interest rate on primary home mortgages is lower than rates on home equity loans or lines of credit.

The Return:

Even if you don’t plan to sell your home in the near future, it is still wise to evaluate the return on your investment. Conventional wisdom says that kitchen and bathroom renovations bring the most bang for the buck. Additional areas that also provide an excellent return include exterior living spaces like patios and fireplaces, an additional bedroom, upgraded interior trim, or a new layout for an underutilized space.

Be careful that enhancements to your existing home do not put you near the top end of your neighborhood. If that is a likely scenario, it may be worth building in a different area where your home will have higher relative value.

Time and Convenience:

Building and remodeling each present distinct lifestyle considerations. A little advance planning can go a long way toward minimizing the inconvenience.

If you build a new home, do you need to sell your existing home first? If so, where will you live as the new house is built? Will you need to store your furniture during this time?

If you renovate, will you be able to live in your home during the project? Will there be lengthy periods when you won’t have access to important areas of the house such as the kitchen or bathroom? How long will the water, electric, heat and air conditioning, etc. be disconnected?

Appearance and Functionality:

A properly designed and constructed addition will complement the existing style and lines of your home rather than look like an “attachment.” In addition to simply creating the space, important considerations include the roofline integration, electrical capacity, ventilation and structural engineering.

Consider how the new space will flow with the rest of the home. For example, if you need to add a bedroom, consider the location of the nearest bathroom and the noise level of adjacent rooms. If the layout gets too contrived, it could adversely impact your home value and make a new build the more attractive option. 

Bailey & Weiler Design/Build specializes in the design, construction and renovation of custom homes. Learn about their integrated design and construction process, and gather new ideas, by visiting their website at Arrange your personal consultation by calling Craig Bailey and Don Weiler at (812) 330-1169.

Before construction of your new home or renovation begins, you deserve a full explanation of the budget and specifications, along with renderings of the finished product so you can visualize how it will look and feel. Appropriate planning on the front end yields time and cost savings by paving the way for a smooth construction process. (RENDERING: Bailey & Weiler Design/Build)

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