Does your current home feel a little cramped, like your growing family could use more space? Or perhaps your home has plenty of room but its style no longer reflects your unique tastes and preferences? There are many different reasons that homeowners decide to add custom home additions, remodel their homes or to build a brand new home that better suits their current needs. But how do you decide which plan makes the most sense for you and your family?
Here are 5 things you need to consider before deciding which option is best for your situation.
Consideration # 1: What do your village/town regulations allow?
If you’re thinking about simply changing the aesthetics inside your current home, you’re good to move forward. But if you’re considering adding a new master bedroom with luxurious en suite, building an entire second story addition or completing a whole house tear down and remodel, do some research on your town’s building codes and regulations before you get too invested. The rules in your area may end up having a huge impact on your ultimate decision of remodeling versus starting from scratch.
For example, in places where new home construction regulations are especially tight, it may be much better for your budget (and your timeline) to strip your existing home down to its barest bones and work from there rather than going through with a complete demolition, as the regulations and fees that dictate a totally new home are much more time consuming and expensive than those that regulate a remodel. A little research will go a long way.
Consideration #2: How long will you stay in your home?
Building a new home or renovating your home is certainly an emotional decision, but let’s face it—it’s also a financial decision as well. So before you decide whether to revamp your current home or build a new one, ask yourself this question: Is this home going to be your “forever” home, or is it going to be your home for now? Your answer to this question can help you determine where you’ll get your greatest return on investment (ROI.)
The general rule of thumb in the industry is that if you’re planning to move out of your home in the next 7 years, you’re better off renovating. The reasoning is that you’ll be more likely to recoup at least some of the value of your improvements within this relatively short time frame, whereas if you’d built a completely brand new construction, you’d need to wait longer to anticipate similar gains.
Consideration #3: Are you prepared for renovation surprises?
When thinking about renovating your home or adding to it, always remember that anytime you’re working with an existing structure, you’re bound to run into at least a few surprises along the way—and you’ll need to plan accordingly in both your budget and your timeline. There’s nothing like moving walls and pulling up flooring to expose areas of otherwise unnoticed damage and evidence of previous contractors’ shoddy work.
Unlike gut remodels where the plan from the start is to demo everything so that a new home can be built in its place, in renovations and additions any unforeseen issues must be fully addressed and resolved before moving forward. Make sure you have money in your budget set aside to cover these kinds of things or you may be caught short mid-project.
Consideration #4: How old and efficient are your home’s systems?
When deciding between a remodeling and new construction, look beyond the walls, floors and trim to the aspects of your home that make it livable—your electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. If they are in bad shape, need constant repair or simply don’t perform efficiently, that should weigh into your decision-making process.
Consider other green elements as well, like the home’s windows, doors and appliances. Are they environmentally-friendly and efficient or are they energy hogs that will drive up your monthly bills and expand your carbon footprint? Technology has made it easier for homeowners to be responsible energy consumers. Consider all of the costs associated with energy efficiency when determining whether to renovate your existing home or build a new home so that you’re satisfied with the end result.
Consideration #5: How much should cost matter?
Certainly, cost is a big factor in your decision-making process, but don’t let it be the only factor. The reality of the situation is that you’re making a change because your current home is no longer serving your needs or your lifestyle. Regardless of if you choose to add rooms to your current home, renovate your existing space or build a brand new home, your main goal should be to get exactly what you want and need.
Focus first on ensuring that your newly-created space will suit your family and reflects your tastes today and for years to come. By investing in your own needs and enjoyment, you’ll be striking the right balance between luxury and value and setting yourself up to delight in your choices for a lifetime.
Home Additions, New Home Construction & Home Remodeling in Chicago and the North Shore
Want a second opinion on your new home construction options or more home addition advice? Orren Pickell Building Group can help you make a smart decision. Get in touch with us today to set up a free consultation.