Renovation Vs. Building New
When it comes to choosing between
renovating your current home or building a new one, there are many things to
consider. If you’re looking to downsize and your current home is too big,
chances are that renovating won’t solve your problem and you’ll have to look at
If you have a growing family and need more
space, you might be able to renovate your current home to make better use of
the space you have, or to add an addition. Of course, you also might just want
to move on and build something new that’s perfect for you and your family.
One trend we are seeing regularly is that
big houses are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. More and more people
are instead looking for smaller houses that are easy to look after and don’t
cost an arm and a leg to run. Even people with growing families are looking for
spaces that use space efficiently, so they don’t have to build the gigantic
houses of the past.
However, the choice isn’t always so simple.
Maybe you don’t want to move, or perhaps you’re in love with your current
neighbourhood. These things and many more are what you should be considering
before making any decisions.
When you should consider renovating:
Location, Location, Location- You love your
current neighbourhood and would hate to leave. Popular neighbourhoods can be
hard to get into. If you don’t want to think about leaving, then renovating
might be more suited for you. However, check to make sure there are no
available lots in your preferred area for sale first.
Emotionally Attached-You have an emotional
attachment to your current home and the thought of moving makes you cringe. If
you don’t want to move from your current home and have the money to make
changes then renovating is a good option. Just be sure to check with your local
municipality to approve your blueprints as you may not be able to change as
much as you would’ve hoped for.
Property Value is Rising- The property
value in your neighbourhood is rising and depending on how much money you spent
initially you could make a bigger return on your investment. Check with a
realtor and ask them what the market is like in your area and whether it’s wise
for you to sell now or hold on to it a bit longer.
Poor Home Value- Your home is in a prime
location but it needs a lot of work compared to the other homes in the area.
Building a new home can be expensive so selling your current home for top
dollar is important. Renovating your current home can increase its value and
will make it easier for you to sell when/if you decide to.
In Love with Character- Most new homes
don’t come with all the character that old homes do. If you’re in love with the
old charm of your home and can’t imagine yourself living in a modern home,
renovating may be a good choice. You can always add charm to any new build,
however it can be costly depending on the amount of work.
Short Timeline- Building a new house can
take time, especially depending on the time of year and the weather’s
cooperation. If you have a short timeline then renovating is probably the best
idea. Depending on the amount of work that needs to be done, renovating
typically takes less time than building a new home.
Tips on surviving a kitchen renovation project
kitchen remodel can be one of the most
rewarding home improvement projects and also the most frustrating to endure.
Family life tends to center on the kitchen, and functioning without one
disrupts all aspects of life. Tearing out the heart of your home requires a
plan of how to survive the weeks to months of construction ahead.
The duration for a kitchen renovation
depends on the scope of the project. Is it a simple tear out with the same
basic footprint or a major redesign? If it is a basic tear-out, plan on four to
six weeks without much access to the kitchen. If it’s a significant renovation,
expect at least three months of disorder.
Set up a separate, temporary kitchen.
If at all possible, move your current
refrigerator to another room in the house, where you can still access it.
Otherwise, get a small college fridge to keep the essentials. A spare microwave
is also a critical appliance.
Find a place in your home to eat.
Many families eat meals in the kitchen, so
think about how alternate living spaces will serve at mealtimes. We ended up
eating most of our meals in the family room, where our temporary kitchen (a
fridge and microwave) was set up, but I wish we had better utilized the dining
Invest in paper plates and disposable
You will end up having to wash dishes in a
bathroom sink, so it’s best to keep a stockpile of disposable plates and
utensil handy. If at all possible, keep a sink hooked up on main level during
How to assemble the perfect ‘team’ for home
Like most things in life, sometimes “it
takes a village” to do a remodeling project right. So the critical first step
on your home improvement journey is to assemble just the right team of
For simple repairs or small projects that
are just a bit too much for you to do yourself, a good handyman is an
invaluable ally. Some homeowners I know have theirs on speed dial.
A well-rounded handyman can do everything
from simple repairs, like fixing a leaky faucet, to those projects you’ve been
putting off, like building a no-frills deck out back. Smart ones can help solve
just about any routine problem around the house. They’ll hang your flat screen,
pictures and shelves; replace your shower door, change your air conditioning
filter, clean your gutters and power-wash your porch.
Specialty tradesman. Painters, plumbers and
electricians are trained and experienced in a single specialty. When you’ve got
a job that requires expertise, hire an expert.
Anyone can slap paint on a wall, but a
professional painter knows that for those walls to look nice and for the color
to last, painting is only half of the job. Pros will prep your walls by
patching cracks, caulking holes, sanding and covering imperfections. A painter
will know how many coats your walls need and can advise you on colors and paint
brands. He’ll do the job quickly, and he won’t make a mess
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DOING A FULL HOME
Renovating may sound so good and exciting
but reviving a home is a process that requires a lot of time and money.
Realistically, a full home renovation can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to
be. To experience a stress-free home renovation
Plan your renovation.
You can’t start a renovation without a
plan. It can be a formal architectural plan or just a set of ideas. The
important thing is you have a concrete process for the whole-house renovation.
You can do it by researching or looking for
contractors and subcontractors if you do not want to do it yourself.
To help you form out a rough outline,
here’s a checklist of some things you should check out.
Work out the costs.
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to do
your homework. Budgeting the whole cost will help you in maximizing the renovation.
Remember to work out the total expenditure requirements/limit. Make sure to
check your budget with your contractor regularly
Assess the condition.
Knowing what you need to fix is crucial
before starting a home renovation. Invest in a detailed survey from a reputable
building surveyor before buying. Discover the true condition of the building to
help you in forming an accurate plan in fixing the damages.
Things to consider when renovating your home for a higher resale value
Get an inspector
You want to get an inspector before
anything else. You don’t want your basement to be leaking or your home to have
structural, heating, electrical or plumbing issues. It’ll all be taken in by
the buyer, so when you do market your home, you’ll be able to advertise the
fact that it has been inspected. If you don’t make the changes necessary to
pass an inspection, a buyer will usually hold it against the seller to
negotiate for a lower price.
When to just sell
It’s important to speak with both your real
estate agent and contractor to find out the value of your home and which
improvements are financially feasible. But you need to be aware of your home’s
circumstances. If you’re selling a bungalow near Avenue Road and Wilson Avenue,
it’s likely it will ripped down regardless, making any renovations irrelevant.
From voice activated smart lighting to a
keypad on your door that can be controlled from your phone, there are simple
additions that will add value to your home; spending $2,000 on smart home
technology can conceivably add $20,000 in perceived value. Because the
technology is new, people may view it as expensive and complicated. But once
explained, it’s quite easy to use and understand its value in your day-to-day
What’s worth renovating most
Kitchens and bathrooms will allow you to
get the most money back in terms of resale value, but they need to be done
right. These are areas of the home that feature appliances that are used
everyday. A bathroom renovation in Toronto (with its old plumbing), can cost in
the mid- $20,000 range, while in York Region you’ll be spending around $15,000
to $20,000. Kitchen renovations start at around $40,000, but could be a bit
less expensive if you’re looking to simply change your cabinets. These changes
have seen an added resale value of 75 to 100 per cent.
What should you stay away from?
There’s little reason to renovate your
basement and living space, or to change the flooring if you’re simply looking
to sell your home. These areas usually involve someone’s personal taste. So,
they shouldn’t be cheap and cheerful just to sell the home because the buyer