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Build New or Renovate: Which Is Right For Me?

Jul 15, 2022

Some questions are easier to answer than others, but it’s always nice to get a bit of help from an expert. When it comes to homes, there’s bound to be some wear and tear after years of use, and you can only predict so many changes in life that’ll cause you to need an upgrade. It’s good to weigh the pros and cons of major decisions like building a new home or renovating your current one.

If you are a homeowner and discover that your current living space simply does not meet your needs, should you renovate your current home to meet your changing needs, or start over and build a new one? Spoiler alert, we believe that building new is almost always the best choice, but we’ll walk you through the pros and cons so you can decide what’s best for you and your family. If you decide that building new is right for you, then connect with us; we'd be honored to be your home builder!


Building A New Home

A new home looks great, runs efficiently, and even smells good (that fresh cedar scent!), but it's got even more going for it than meets the eye.

PROS

  • More Control — You'll have more control over your project, from the design and layout to how it flows and functions.
  • All-New Everything — We're talking about what’s in the walls — insulation, wiring, plumbing, and systems.
  • Up to Code — Everything in your home will meet or exceed existing building codes — no retrofitting involved.
  • Predictable, Streamlined Process — Once your design plans are set, sit back and let the process unfold.
  • Fixed Cost — Once selections are made, there's no danger of going over budget.
  • Built-in Resale Value — New homes are built to appeal to a wide audience, so it's easier to sell years from now if necessary; the value is already built in.

CONS

  • More Expensive — A new build can sometimes be more expensive than a gut renovation — this is actually a misconception! When you build new, you get to decide up front exactly what your costs are and that doesn’t always mean more money.
  • Longer Timeframe — This is another misconception. Most of the time, the renovation takes longer than anticipated.


Renovating Your Current Home

If you're in a neighborhood that you love or absolutely must stay in (for the school district or to be close to family, for example), doing a gut renovation of your existing home may be the best choice. Our best advice is to plan ahead, prepare for the unexpected, and be over-budget since renovation projects are notoriously unpredictable. But there are a few pros, too.

PROS

  • Add Value to Your Home — If done properly, a gut renovation can add to your existing home value. But you have to be very careful not to spend more than what the max value of your home is.
  • Perceived Shorter Timeframe — Small renovations can be done in a short time frame, but gutting and rebuilding take WAY longer than anyone ever thought. Just ask anyone who has ever done it!
  • No Moving — Stay in the neighborhood without having to relocate.

CONS

  • Less Control — There are more design restrictions because you're bound by the size and structure of your existing house.
  • Unpredictable — You can never be sure what you'll run into once you start tearing down walls and ripping up flooring.
  • Costlier Than Expected — The older the building, the more costly it is to renovate because you'll need to bring everything up to code. There may even be mitigation work required if there is lead paint or asbestos involved.
  • Inconvenient — You may need to move out of the home or lose the use of an important room for a time — like the kitchen or a bathroom.
  • Overwhelming — If the homeowner assumes the role of Project Manager and is managing the process and contractors, it can get overwhelming very quickly.
  • May Not Add Value — The renovation may not always translate to increased home value, especially if the design is too personal or the use is too niche.
  • Easy to go over budget — According to the 2020 U.S. Houzz & Home Study: Renovation Trends, one-third of renovations go over budget.


Whichever you decide to do, you'll make the decision that's best for you and your family. But if your decision is to build a new home across Alabama or Georgia that's personalized to your unique lifestyle, Stone Martin Builders is ready to offer you a home designed to your heart’s content! Contact us to learn more about our building process and customizable features.

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