Renovate or Build? How to decide.

It is a million-dollar question (sometimes literally), and one we are asked often by our clients, both residential and commercial. Should they reinvent their existing home or commercial building, or start from scratch and build new? Our answer depends on many factors, including:
  • How far off is the existing structure from your dream? 
  • Do you like your current location? 
  • What is your budget? 
  • What are your future plans for the space? Do you plan to stay forever, or are you looking to eventually sell and recoup your investment? 
There is no right or wrong answer, but it is important to consider what each option entails and make the best decision for your situation. There are advantages and disadvantages of both renovating and building new. 

Advantages of Renovating

There are many benefits to renovating your existing home or building:
  • You can stay in a location that you know and love. 
  • Avoid the hassle of moving and changing your address.
  • Depending on the scope of your project, you may not need to move temporarily.
  • Retain the space you have memories in while making it more functional for you. 

Things to Consider When Renovating

Renovation projects can greatly vary. Whether you are remodeling a bathroom or doing a full-gut, you’ll want to consider the following:
  • What is the market like in your area? Are home values rising or falling? 
  • Are you going to be able to eventually recoup the cost of your project? 
  • Do you have access to the original building plans? 
  • Are there any hazardous materials in the building that may need to be addressed before construction?
  • Consider the foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Are they sound, or will this project include repairing or replacing them? Unexpected issues may drastically affect your budget. 
  • Are you renovating a historical structure? How will local building codes affect your project? 

Advantages of Building New

If you plan on starting from scratch and building the space from the ground up, there are many advantages:
  • Everything will be new, so repairs and maintenance should be minimal.
  • You have the opportunity to create an energy-efficient home or commercial structure with sustainable materials. 
  • You can easily plan for new technology and smart devices throughout the home.
  • Your design options are virtually unlimited.
  • Your architect will ensure your home or building is optimally situated on your lot. 

Things to Consider When Building New

Of course, there are factors to keep in mind when building new:
  • Are you familiar with local building codes? 
  • What is the weather and environment like? Are you located near the water or in a flood plain? 
  • How will the soil impact your plans and foundation design? 
  • Are you building in a neighborhood with an HOA? Are there restrictions in place for architectural design or color scheme? 
  • New construction can often get delayed due to the weather and your project may fall behind schedule. Expect the unexpected. 
There are so many things to think about when deciding whether to renovate or build, and it all boils down to what currently exists compared to what you want the end result to be. At Patuxent Architects, our team of professionals is ready to help you see the possibilities and make informed decisions. Contact us today to learn how we can make your dream – whether it involves a new build or renovation/addition – a reality.
Posted in Residential.