Whole House Remodel or New Construction?

Posted on: September 30, 2021

Is a whole house remodel the right choice for you? When considering this plan, you need to assess if you want to invest in your current space or build an entirely new home with all the customized features you desire.

An accurate cost-analysis of a construction project will often reveal that a  renovation to your existing home will be less expensive than to build from the ground up. To educate you more on this concept, look at the benefits of whole home remodeling and its impact on your finances and overall property value.

Whether you want to do a whole house remodel or build a new construction from scratch, you have one common goal – to get a significant return on your investment. Remember, you will be spending a lot of money on either project, so it is best to stay informed.

Let’s get started!

Considerations For a New Construction or Rebuild Project

Are you deciding between remodeling interior and exterior spaces versus rebuilding everything with new construction? Most contractors will agree that the average new-build costs 20% more than remodeling what you already have. Here are some reasons why:

Demolition Costs

If you go with new construction, you’ll need to pay to demolish your old house and start from the bare foundation once again (or even change the foundation!). It can be quite costly to demolish a house. You must pay for permits, labor costs, and waste removal.

Pre-build Costs for New Construction

New construction means you need to consider pre-build costs, which are not necessary with a home remodel. You need to pay for a new home design and blueprints, then coordinate with your general contractor to make things happen. Building permits must be complied with, along with Homeowners Association restrictions. Moreover, you may deal with other suppliers to ensure your build is on the right track.

Pay for Everything

With a new home construction, you must pay for everything from framing to the roof. You will fork out money for all the materials down to the last nail and labor going into the rebuild. This is one aspect you can bypass if you opt for a home remodel instead.

Design with Freedom

However, if money is not an object, new construction will give you more freedom. After all, you will be starting with a virtually blank slate, allowing you to let your dream home come to life. This type of project will provide you many options. You can play around with the following:

  • Layout
  • Interior design
  • Square footage
  • Ceiling height
  • Fixtures
  • Wallpaper

Address Deeper Issues

In general, new construction, especially rebuilds, are bigger projects that require multiple professionals from the demolition phase to the final finishing touches stage. However, this approach can help you address structural issues with an older property because you will start afresh. In addition, it works well if you have deeper issues with an old house, while a remodel is more focused on layout and cosmetic upgrades like a vanity kitchen or an upgraded bathroom.

Create Modern Efficiencies 

This option will also make more sense if you incorporate smart upgrades like energy-saving appliances or water conservation features, which means your older home becomes more energy-efficient and eco-friendly, representing a smart investment in the long haul.

The Lowdown on Home Remodeling

If your home is rich in history, you may opt for a home remodel to ensure they do not demolish your home’s historic or stylistic charm. Check if your old home has many authentic turn-of-the-century details like hardwood floors, antique fixtures, intricate moldings, etc. Should this be your situation, a remodel can retain the character of your home.

Common details when considering a remodel:

Keeping the Rustic Look

Even if you change the footprint of some rooms like the living area or kitchen, your remodeling contractor can reuse materials to keep the genuine feel of the historical home. They can also find new materials to complement the rustic look of your old house. For homeowners that feel attached to their homes, the home remodel is a good option for retaining its unique personality while enjoying modern fixtures and upgrades.

Preserving Memories

Your family could also have sentimental attachments to the house because you have a lot of memories there. A full home remodel is an excellent way to give your old home an update you love. With proper planning, you can keep the original home intact but still enjoy:

  • Modern cabinets
  • New flooring
  • Fresh paint
  • Different finishes
  • Upgraded fixtures

Going with a remodel will make you love your old home even more. Best of all, with upgrades, you can stay in the home longer while enjoying upgraded amenities and modern features. In addition, you can readily reconstruct and customize existing space with the help of the right design-build contractor.

Cost-Savings on As-Is Spaces

When compared with a new home rebuild, you will get far more flexibility with a remodel because you can choose which parts of the house to modify. Everything that you leave as-is can be additional cost savings. Therefore, remodeling is much cheaper on your pocketbooks.

With this approach, you must carefully assess what your ultimate non-negotiables in the finished project are. This means getting new features for areas while doing surface retouches for other parts that do not show signs of significant wear and tear.

Foundation and Structural Requirements

Remember, although home remodeling may be cheaper, you must always revert to the existing foundation and structure for all your plans. But this approach does not mean you can’t beautify your house. With proper planning and working through plumbing  and electrical routing, you can still do the following:

  • Open walls
  • Combine rooms
  • Replace cabinets
  • Build new bathrooms
  • Fix up an unfinished basement
  • Redesign the kitchen

A remodel means you cannot add to the square footage of your home unless you combine it with an add-on project. On top of that, beam heights will restrict what you can do with your ceiling height, so opening vertically may be an issue.

Move a Lot Faster

However, a remodel will progress significantly faster than new construction because the latter will need different permits, which can take a while to move through local government permitting offices. In contrast, remodels require fewer permits. You also deal with fewer regulations and inspections because you are working with existing materials. As such, you can speed up the project timeline.

Increases Home Value

Investing in a home remodel will raise your property’s value. For example, your goal is to increase square footage but do not want to tear down and rebuild. You can finish your basement and add a new floor to your house. This move can increase your home value by a whopping 20%+.

Alternatively, you can knock down walls and open the floor plan to create the illusion of more space. Any remodel has a direct and positive influence on your home equity. Thus, you must do some number crunching to evaluate if you can truly afford this investment and if it is indeed a worthwhile expense.

These are all the things you must consider when choosing between a whole house remodel versus a new construction project. For best results, consider all these details when meeting with your contractor. Then, ask for accurate estimates for the whole house remodel versus new construction so you can perform a cost analysis to see which is the most pocket-friendly choice.

Tips on Finding the Best Team For Your Project

A whole house remodel is a convenient option to give you that new home feels without the expenses of new construction. But if you want to get the home of your dreams, you must find a firm specializing in home transformations with customized designs and the right space planning methodologies.

Remember, a good firm can bring your renovation visions to life while keeping your budget into consideration. It is important to vet the right candidate to make sure you are happy with the results. Look at these tips to help you find the right firm for the job:

Work with Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

Word-of-mouth recommendations from family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues often provide the best results. When the people you trust vouch for a contractor they loved working with, you feel more at peace and assured. Additionally, you can see the end results to truly assess the craftsmanship of their chosen builder.

Check Online Reviews and Testimonials

If your immediate network does not yield any decent results, take your research online. With the Internet at your disposal, you should be able to t find a decent design-build firm with a rich project portfolio and customer reviews. Look at different candidates and find out what third-party ratings say about them.

Work with firms that have glowing reviews and steer clear from the ones with a bad reputation. A reputable firm will usually reply to negative feedback so you can dig in further to see what went wrong and how the contractor handled the situation.

Peruse Official Websites

A reputable firm will always invest in a quality website because they know it speaks volumes about their reputation and expertise. So, look at their websites to find out about their licenses, accreditations, certifications, and industry affiliations. From there, look at the ‘about page’ to check how long they have been serving this niche. Longevity says a lot about a company’s level of customer service.

You must also check if they offer insurance in case of property damage or a worker’s injury. A construction zone can be a hazardous place and reputable companies provide insurance coverage to protect their clients from lawsuits while getting a home upgrade. Most of all, look at their online galleries of past work to gauge their skills and gain ideas for your home remodel or rebuild project.

Conduct In-Person Interviews

Before you finalize your choice, you need to speak with the contractor and meet face to face. A telephone interview will not suffice for a project of this size and scope. During this meeting, ask all the questions you want to get to know them and how they would approach your project. 

Listen to see if they are able to communicate their answers clearly and speak with confidence.

Notably, you should meet up at one of their active construction sites to assess how they carry out their work. Depending on the job, this may or may not be an option.

If it is, while you are there, check for the following:

  • Is the work zone neat?
  • What safety precautions are in place?
  • How do they store the materials?
  • Are the workers cautious?
  • How is the rest of the home protected during the renovation process?

Vet Several Bids

After narrowing your list, vet several bids from different contractors. Find out if they offer traditional general construction or a more comprehensive design and build approach. Make sure you get similarly structured cost estimates so that you can compare them.

Keep in mind; the cheapest option is not always the right choice. You need to compare estimates with the value between the materials provided, the timetable, and the warranties offered. Read the fine print of your contract before you sign anything.

Achieve a Newly Constructed Look With a Remodel

If you are on a tight budget, demolishing and constructing may be out of reach. But you can likely enjoy the many benefits of a whole home remodel. By collaborating with the right home contractor, you can customize any area of your house that needs refreshing.

You can go for a simple aesthetic touch-up and replace cabinets or repaint walls. Alternatively, you can get the interior stripped down to its bare bones and replaced with whatever you like that fits in the same space. Here are some examples of what you can expect from a remodel:

  • Opening walls on the ground floor to create a larger living room
  • Removing or adding a kitchen island
  • Replacing fixtures, floors, finishes all over the house.
  • Overhauling the bathroom with custom vanities or tubs
  • Including high-end materials for a more lux feeling

You can also consider remodeling different parts of your house in phases. Remodeling in segments allows you to work within your existing budget over time. For best results, consult with a reliable professional to help you redesign your home. You should be upfront about your budget and work with the contractor to set realistic expectations. Finding the right firm that can fulfill your project is the key to success.

If you need help, we can help you with our home remodeling services. The team at Eco Minded Solutions specializes in remodels for all areas of your home. Check out our extensive portfolio for inspiration, then, get in touch with our team for a free consultation. 

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