Rebuild v. Renovate: Questions You Need to Ask

Repair or Start Over

When you’re ready for a major home overhaul, the first thing you need to figure out is whether you want to basically gut your home inside or whether you’d prefer to start from scratch by tearing down your current residence literally. This is a huge decision, and it should not be taken lightly.

There are several important questions you and other household decision-makers need to answer prior to making your final decision. Several of these have been detailed for you below. Remember, these are general questions that are designed to help you start thinking along the right lines. You’re likely to also need to consider additional issues that pertain to your specific situation.

Do I love the character of my historic home?

Generally, when people are considering tearing down and rebuilding a house, rather than remodeling it, it is an older home. One of the first things you need to think about is the irreplaceable character of your historical residence. If you have, for instance, marble fireplaces, original woodwork, and other great architectural features you need to think long and hard before you tear the structure down.

Remember, it’s impossible to one-hundred percent replicate original historic features, so even if you try to mimic the look of your current house in a new construction project, you might end up disappointed. As long as your home is structurally sound and has great character, a remodel might be your best bet.

Is my house structurally safe?

Historic homes that have rock-solid foundations and bones are often worth saving, but if your house has a myriad of structural issues, such as a crumbling foundation, rotting studs, or other major problems that will cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair, tearing it down may be the wisest decision you could make.

You will, of course, need to weigh the pros and cons with your family and your contractor, but it’s not worth the risk to house your loved ones in an unsafe structure.

Are you bound by city laws and regulations?

In some areas of the country, you can’t just decide to tear down your house and rebuild it on your own. You’ll have to get permission from the city. Places like Charleston, SC, where there are a lot of homes with great historical value, often make it difficult for people to tear down houses; they may, however, offer financial assistance in the form of grants so you can remodel without spending so much of your own money.

How much money is in your budget?

It is crucial to consider your budget before you make a final decision about the fate of your house. If you discover one option is going to be significantly cheaper than the other, the choice of whether to tear down or remodel might make itself. It’s important to get opinions from qualified professionals rather than attempting to estimate the cost of the total project yourself.

At Hatch Homes, we would be thrilled to work with you on your dramatic renovation, whether you decide to start from the ground-up or preserve the historic charm of an old house. Call us to schedule a consultation so we can begin working toward a decision about your home’s future together.

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