Building a Home VS. Remodeling - The Ultimate Question Answered! 1

If you aren’t satisfied with your current home, you typically face three options: 

  1. Buy a new home 
  2. Remodel your current home
  3. Build a new home

It’s relatively simple to buy a home and move in, and most people understand the pros and cons of this first option. However, it’s a bit more complicated to remodel your existing home or construct an entirely new home!

So which is better for you—remodeling or building new? What are the pros and cons associated with each? 

In this article, we cover both of these options in-depth. We will explore the pros and cons of both and help you get a better feel for which one best fits your needs. 

Let’s get started!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1.  4 Good Reasons to Remodel Your Home (+ 3 BAD reasons)
  2. 6 Steps to a Home Remodel
  3. 5 Reasons to Build a New Home
  4. 6 Steps to Building a Custom Home
  5. The Bottom Line on Remodeling vs New Construction

4 Good Reasons to Remodel Your Home (+ 3 BAD reasons)

First, you should consider why you might want to remodel. 

Here are four good reasons to get started on your remodeling project, plus three bad reasons that should give you pause before you start. 

4 Good Reasons To Remodel Your Home

  • You want to increase your enjoyment and comfort in your current home  

Perhaps you love your home but it has a few quirks. If it feels like your “forever home,” it’s worth making it into a space you absolutely love that fits your needs and lifestyle. This is especially true if you love your home’s location, but you feel like the actual house needs alterations to fit your family’s style and needs. 

If you plan to stay in your current house for years to come, then remodeling may be a good option. 

  • You want to improve your home’s resale value 

If you plan to sell your home in the next few years, home renovations are a great plan—just make sure you pick renovations that provide a good ROI and help attract potential buyers.

Here are a few home remodeling projects that have a great ROI: 

  • A bathroom remodel
  • Updating the landscaping
  • Remodeling or updating your kitchen
  • Converting an attic into a bedroom
  • Adding a deck, patio, or porch
Remodeling a bathroom
  • You want to fix a safety issue 

If your home has a safety issue, fix it right away. 

Whether it is uneven stairs, slippery bathroom floors, electrical issues, or deceptive closet doors with loose hinges – it’s best to fix these things right away instead of waiting until someone gets hurt! 

  • You want to increase your home’s energy efficiency 

New windows, efficient entry doors, or a new heat pump can lower your energy costs. They also usually make your home worth more on the market if you ever want to sell. 

 

3 Bad Reasons To Remodel Your Home

There are plenty of good reasons to spend the time and money to remodel your home. However, some remodeling projects might end up getting you into trouble. 

Here are three reasons remodeling your home may be a mistake. If you notice any of these warning flags in your own thought process, stop and reconsider before proceeding. 

  • You need to be trendy 

Be careful before spending a lot of money renovating your home to fit the latest trend! You might not like it in a few years, and you’ll have to go through the process of altering your home all over again. 

For example, wood paneling was trendy in the 1970s, but most people don’t want it in their homes anymore. Or maybe it’s that old floral or damask wallpaper. Outdated as it seems now, someone thought they were at the height of society when they installed it. 

Renovating your home
  • You want a really “custom” remodel 

If you are already living in your forever home, feel free to personalize it all you want. Paint the entire thing yellow, add polka dot kitchen cabinets, or make a mosaic on your bathroom floor—we won’t judge!  

But if you plan to sell your house in the near future, don’t do anything excessively quirky or customized. It may not suit everyone’s taste, and it could make your home languish on the market. 

  • You want your house to be the fanciest in the neighborhood 

Giving your home a facelift is a rewarding job. However, be cautious in making your home the fanciest or most extravagant in your area.

Why do we say this? 

Because it’s actually difficult to sell a home that costs significantly more than the homes around it.  

For best resale value, keep your home within 10% of the value of the other homes in the neighborhood. 

6 Steps To A Home Remodel

We’ve laid out some good and not-so-good reasons for remodeling your home. 

But there’s still a big question to answer: just how much work is a home remodel going to be? 

  • Will it take a week, or will the timeframe stretch across months? 
  • Do I need to acquire special permitting before I begin? 
  • How disruptive will the remodeling project be to my normal life? 

Before you go further in starting a remodel project, make sure you contact a reputable, local contractor. They can answer all your questions and walk through the process with you step-by-step. Plus, good contractors ensure that your remodeling work gets done properly and on time. 

Aside from hiring a reputable contractor, here are six other steps that are critical in ensuring the project goes well. 

1 – Make a plan 

To have a successful remodel, you need to begin by clearly defining your priorities for the project.

Planning for a home renovation project

Figure out what you want to remodel and its purpose: Do you want more space? Another bathroom? Better efficiency? Updated home aesthetics?

Once you’ve defined why you want to remodel, make a plan for how you are going to accomplish your goals. For example, do you need to knock out a wall? Or, could you accomplish your goals with new trim and fresh paint?  

If you feel overwhelmed with this process, talk to an architect or professional to figure out what needs to happen. As a bonus, they can check to make sure your plan is structurally sound and up to code. 

When you’re finished with this step, you should have a plan that includes drawings and plenty of backup ideas in case plan A doesn’t work. 

2 – Set a budget

Home remodels are a big project. One of the worst things you can do is start blindly and hope that things will work themselves out. 

Before you start, look at your finances and decide how much you can comfortably spend. Here are a few tips to help set your budget: 

  • Request cost estimates from professionals 
  • Price the materials you will use
  • Account for permit fees and labor costs 
  • Take into account what you can do yourself 
  • Have a contingency fund for the unexpected—it will pop up!

If the cost estimates for your planning do not fit your budget, go back and adjust your plans until they fit. Start by eliminating projects and elements that are of lower priority to you.

3 – Create a timeline 

Next, create a realistic timeline for the job. Remember, the duration of the project depends on its size and scope. 

Quick tip: If you want to save some money and possibly speed up your project, schedule it in the off-season. The most popular season for remodels is typically the summer months. If you schedule your renovation for January or February, business may be slower for contractors, and you may get a discount.  

Remodel project timeline

4 – Decide what you can DIY

DIY-ing may or may not be an option for you, but if it is, it’s a great way to save some money! 

Just make sure you know your limits. It may be okay to do a few things yourself, but don’t attempt a major renovation if you don’t have the tools, experience, or manpower required for the task.  

After all, saving money isn’t worth pouring time and energy into a project only to be frustrated and unhappy with the results. 

Quick tip: Even if you aren’t very handy with general construction, it may be possible to do your own demo and cleanup, which can cut down on the initial labor costs. 

5 – Hire the Necessary Contractor(s)

Once you know what you can do yourself, the next step is to hire the required contractor(s) to do the rest.

If you aren’t comfortable doing any work yourself, feel nervous about permitting, or want help coming up with a top-notch remodel design, make hiring a general home contractor your first step. A good contractor can make the whole remodeling process simple and stress-free for you. 

When hiring a contractor, look for: 

  • Years of experience – The longer a contractor has been operating, the safer an option they are. 
  • References – It takes time and a few phone calls, but it’s a good idea to ask for references and then actually call them. Otherwise, you may end up with a contractor who is only good on paper.  
  • Ask friends and family for referrals – Getting a good recommendation from someone you know is a top way to ensure quality. 
  • Proper licensing – Your contractor should have all the licenses they need to operate their business legally in your state and city (as applicable). 
What to look for in a contractor

6 – Get started! 

When the plan and budget are finalized, it’s time to start working! 

The demo comes first, followed by the order of construction depending on your project: framing, electrical work, plumbing, drywall, painting, flooring, cabinetry, and finally – the finishing touches. 

Depending on the extent of your remodel, the actual demolition and construction phases may not be too pleasant. There will likely be dust and debris, and you might lose access to parts of your home during the process. However, a good contractor makes sure to protect your home while working and cleans up the mess when they are finished. 

If you get discouraged, keep the end product in mind. If you stick out the unpleasantness, you will eventually get to enjoy your beautifully transformed home!  

5 Reasons To Build A New Home

Building a whole new home is usually a larger undertaking than a remodel. However, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to build a new house instead of remodeling your current home. 

Let’s look at the top 5 reasons to build!

1 – You want complete control over your “forever home” 

With a remodel, you have to work with what you have. But with a custom build, you get complete control over every detail of your new home. 

You don’t have to settle for anything less than exactly what you want! 

Custom home

2 – You want to lower your energy bills and save money in the long run 

It is usually more expensive to build an entirely new home than to remodel an old one. But old homes often aren’t the most energy-efficient, and even if you update all the utilities and fixtures in your old house, your money may slowly leak out over the years in the form of utility bills. 

Construction materials and practices have improved over the years, and today you can build energy-efficient homes that can save you a lot of money throughout a lifetime. 

3 – You want to avoid excessive maintenance 

Sadly, older houses can take a lot of maintenance: Replacing the roof, updating windows or doors, replacing siding, or upgrading the HVAC system gets old in a hurry. It’s no fun to have a constant maintenance task list hanging over your head, and major upgrades take a lot of money.

Thankfully, if you build a new house, you should have a relatively maintenance-free home for years to come.

4 – You want to be in a particular geographic region 

Maybe you want to live in a particular area, but there aren’t any homes available for purchase near the location. 

If there is land available in the area, you can purchase a lot and build a new home! This allows you to choose your location and customize your floor plan. 

5 – You want the pride of ownership 

There is something deeply satisfying about owning a truly custom home. There is nothing like the sense of ownership when you work for something and invest thought and time into it. 

Plus, your custom home will be a testament to your personal tastes and priorities, and it will fit your family’s needs and lifestyle for many years! 

Building a new home

6 Steps To Building A Custom Home

So what does the process of building your own home look like? 

It can be a big undertaking, but hiring the right builder will make it easy. Here are 6 steps you will need to take if you build your own custom home. 

1 – Start dreaming 

Before you decide on anything concrete, start dreaming. What would your dream home look like? What would you prioritize in your perfect house? What features would you love to have? 

Don’t worry too much about the final budget or design at this point. Start getting an idea of what your custom home could look like and begin outlining your plans. 

2 – Find a location and buy a lot to build on 

Before you start building, you need to have a place to build. 

Buying land is a large project, and we wrote another article with tips and steps to buying land. Please read that article for an in-depth look at buying land, but in summary, the main steps are: 

  • Finalize your budget 
  • Find a preferred location 
  • Determine how much land you need 
  • Begin your search and select your land


3 – Select a home builder 

Once you have a spot to build, it’s time to start the process of building on your lot, and the first step is to find a builder. We discussed best practices for hiring a contractor in the remodeling section, so we won’t review them all again. 

Hiring a skilled home builder

But we will say this: 

Take your time hiring your home builder. 

A poor decision can result in a lot of stress and heartbreak. You could end up feeling confused and frustrated, and you could even lose money. Plus, your new home could turn out to be underwhelming. 

On the other hand, a good builder makes the whole process a breeze. They keep you informed about everything and take care of the details. Building your custom home, a project that could be messy, painful, and frustrating, instead becomes a wonderful experience when you hire the right crew for the job. 

4 – Work with your builder to design your home 

Designing your home requires a lot of long conversations with your builder and an architect. You will have to establish a budget, create a floor plan, decide what features you want to include, and finalize all the details. 

It’s going to take a lot of work, but a good home builder will help you every step of the way. 

5 – Track construction 

You will make many decisions before construction starts, but there will still be a lot of decisions for you to make along the way. Work with your builder to track how construction on your home is going and keep in close contact throughout the process. 

6 – Love your new custom home! 

Designing and building a custom home is a lot of work! But once you are done, you will have a beautiful home that fits your family and lifestyle perfectly.

The Bottom Line On Remodeling VS New Construction

By now, you know more about both new construction and remodeling. Which option is better for you? Ultimately, it depends on your needs and situation. 

But here are a few general things to keep in mind: 

  • In most cases, remodeling is more affordable, but it may result in more unforeseen difficulties such as structural issues. It is also very messy and may interfere with your normal living space for several months. 
  • New construction gives you more control over the finished product but takes more time, budget, and brain power. 
  • Remodeling cuts down on the number of decisions you have to make because you already have something to work with. 
  • Remodeling is usually quicker, but the finished project is often not as customized as building new. 
Remodeling is quicker than buying new

What you need to do depends on your situation. The only person who can really know is you. However, if you’d like professional advice on whether remodeling or building new is best for you, feel free to contact a builder in your area and have them assess the situation with you. 

As a custom home builder in Houston, the team at Design Tech Homes is happy to help you remodel your existing home, or walk you through each step of building a new home. If you aren’t sure which is best for you, feel free to contact us and receive personalized advice for your situation. 

Conclusion

We hope this article has been helpful for you! 

If you want to know more about what it looks like to build a new home, please give us a call. We offer turnkey construction to make your dream home a reality!

We make the process as simple as possible:

  1. Call or visit us 
  2. Design your home 
  3. Watch as we build your home 
  4. Move in! 

Design Tech Homes also has a remodeling business if you want to remodel your current home. 

Give us a call today! We look forward to hearing from you.

Facebook