As you watch Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s hit show “Fixer Upper” transform another home remodel from mundane to magnificent, an exciting thought enters your mind. “I could do that.”
Your brain starts to swirl with ideas. All the areas of your home which are dated, run-down or lacking a sufficient percentage of shiplap begin to tally in your head. You begin to visualize what life would be like with new woodwork, cabinets, floors, doors, windows and of course… More shiplap!
While it’s easy to get consumed with excitement when considering a home remodel, you must take a step back from your emotions and carefully consider what you’re actually looking to achieve. With proper planning you can ensure a home remodel is the correct decision and avoid the regrets.
(1) The “Money Pit” Home Remodel
Most home remodels begin by focusing on transforming a particular area of the home. This allows the homeowner to continue to live in the majority of the house and reduces the initial financial outlay. While this might seem like a smart move, it usually results in a remodel that never really ends. Once one area of the home is complete, the other areas of the home feel dated. Instead of a single renovation, the remodel continues incrementally over time. When homeowners total up the costs for all of their small remodeling projects, they are shocked to discover what they’ve spent — and usually it’s still not complete.
(2) The “Hodge Podge” Home Remodel
When you engage in a sequence of smaller remodeling projects it’s difficult to keep a consistent style. As time passes between remodels, it becomes difficult to retain a coherent design throughout the home. Certain components might have become obsolete or your contractor might be unable to perfectly match previous work. Before you know it you have a home that doesn’t feel quite right.
(3) The “Work Around” Home Remodel
One of the difficulties with remodeling is that you must work around the existing structure of the home. For example, just because you want to eliminate a wall to make for a more open floor plan does not mean this will be possible. Depending on the original construction of the home, what you want to achieve may be completely out of the question. This can lead to sacrifices and being forced to settle for a remodel that doesn’t meet your original vision.
(4) The “Shocking Discoveries” Home Remodel
When you start a major remodel you never really know what you’re getting yourself into. Once the process starts there is the potential for unearthing some shocking discoveries that could quickly drain your pockets. Even the best sub-contractors have no way of knowing exactly what they’re in for, one simple discovery could result in a complete change of course. As a general rule, the older the home the greater the chance of unveiling significant problems.
(5) The “Loose Ends” Home Remodel
By the time that you’re approaching the finish line of your remodeling project it’s easy to run out of patience and/or money to put the final touches on the job. When you’ve been living for months in a cloud of dust, you can throw in towel and skip the details. The end result is a home that is livable but never really complete.
(6) The “Diamond In The Rough” Home Remodel
Transforming your home into a work of art will be good for the entire neighborhood, but this doesn’t mean neighbors will follow suit. In fact, you could benefit your neighbors more than yourself! The market value of your home will not see significant increases unless the surrounding homes make similar improvements. No reasonable buyer wants to own a beautiful home that stands amidst a backdrop run-down neighbors. This only matters if you intend to sell, but nevertheless, is an important decision before you begin investing your hard earned cash!
The Alternative: Build A New Home
When you start examining your objectives and tallying the total cost of a remodel, you might be surprised at how impractical it can be. Depending on the extent of the project, a better option may be to simply start from scratch and build your own home. Building a new home gives you an empty canvas upon which you can design your dream from start to finish. The potential unknowns and unforeseen costs associated with a remodel are usually eliminated by being able to plan all aspects.
Benefits of Building vs Remodeling:
- Control design. You aren’t tied to working around the existing bones of your home. All aspects can be customized to your liking.
- Consistency. The entire home is designed at the onset for a consistent, coherent design.
- Control costs. There is less unforeseen work to create unexpected increases in cost.
- Improved energy efficiency. Use all new materials and an energy efficient design to yield significant reductions in your utility bill. (plus, potential rebates and tax incentives)
- Less maintenance. Spend less time and money on maintenance by having a home where all aspects are new, under warranty and designed to fit your needs.
- Better investment. In most instances you’re more likely to recoup an investment in a new home than sinking money into a remodel.
How To Decide?
Your decision as to whether to remodel your existing home or build a new one starts with one question: “What does your dream home look like?”
Visualizing your perfect living space can provide considerable clarity as to the best decision for you. Would you like to see your home transformed by renovation? Or, would you love to build a completely new home from scratch? Figuring out your desires is the first step in developing a long term plan. If you’re simply renovating as an interim solution to your living needs, looking at alternatives might be in your best interests.
Think you might be interested in building a new home? We’ve put together a blog post on the reasons why you might want to build a new home sooner than you think. Read the blog post here: “7 Reasons For Building a New Home Now”