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Renovation Vs Rebuilding Your House: Which is Better?


How much time will you spend in the house?
How much can you spend?
Are you emotionally attached to the property? 
How much do you need to change?

Buying or living in an old house has a number of downsides. While you may easily make changes to some of the exterior and interior elements, such as getting a paint job or replacing the main gate, if there is a major structural change, like adding a room or increasing the height of the ceilings, then you’ll have to go for rebuilding. The decision to choose between renovation vs rebuilding your house can be tricky and there are some factors that you need to take into account.

This blog will give you a fair understanding of the major factors you need to consider before going for renovation or building a house. 

Renovation Vs Rebuilding Your House – What To Do?

renovating a house
Renovation is opted when you want to repair damages to the walls or upgrade doors, windows or fixtures

Renovating your house means fixing what is already there, improving its condition and, in some cases, adding a new thing or two. It usually includes changing the look of the house by installing new finishes, getting new paint, building new racks and cabinets and changing the exterior.

Rebuilding on the other hand is a structural change to the house. It involves re-constructing the entire unit from scratch so that stronger foundations can be laid, architectural design and use of space can be improved. Practically both projects will take a lot of time and include high costs but rebuilding is comparatively expensive because it’s actually building a new house on a piece of land.

Older houses more often than not have issues like cracked walls or deteriorating structures that may require immediate attention in order to be used or sold. Therefore, if you’re someone who’s dealing with an older property, and you’re having trouble choosing between renovating and rebuilding a house, consider following factors:

  • How much time will you spend in the house?
  • How much can you spend?
  • Are you emotionally attached to the property? 
  • How much do you need to change?

How much time will you spend in the house?

The time that you want to spend in the house will largely affect your decision. If your plan is to live at the property and you have sufficient finances to spend, the best decision will be to demolish the existing structure and build it from scratch. This will allow you to use materials and finishes of your choosing. Every tiny bit of the house will be according to what you want. When you will be rebuilding your house, it will be like resetting the timer on the house before it demands any improvements or renovations.

In the second case where you are planning to sell the house in the next one to two years, it is probably best to go for the renovation so that you can patch it up and make it livable. This way your house will not look deteriorated at the time of sale and you will be saving a huge sum of money.

Rebuilding the house when you plan to sell it in the near future not only demands money but also a lot of your time. You will have to go over the design layouts with the architect and monitor the construction progress with the contractor. 

How much can you spend?

The sum of money you can set aside for the house will be an important determinant to make your choice. Renovation is economical as compared to rebuilding. You can start by renovating the kitchen or the lounge and then move on to the next room if and when your budget allows. Renovation can be done over a period of time but you cannot drag the construction as and when suits you because the materials are prone to get affected by weather conditions.

rebuilding a house
Renovation is economical as compared to rebuilding but you get a fresh new house if you rebuild

There’s a bunch of other things you’ll have to consider if you plan to rebuild the entire house. If this property you are about to rebuild is your primary address or the only address, your cost will also include the rent of the house where you will stay during the construction. You can obviously not stay on the property, so the rent of another house and utility bills of your own property will be added to the overall cost of rebuilding. 

Are you emotionally attached to the property?

Some people develop an emotional attachment to their house due to a number of reasons. So, before selecting an option, ask yourself how much you’re willing to add to or remove from the original structure. Renovation only leads to slight changes in appearance but the overall design and structure remain the same. However, rebuilding will lead to a complete change in structural design as well as the outlook of the house. The windows and entrance to the rooms may not be where they used to be. 

For houses that are older than 40 to 50 years have a uniqueness in their design and some people like that originality. Renovations let you keep that originality to the house but it may not be ideal to make it perfect for sustainable and energy-efficient living. This may not even be doable through renovation and rebuilding will be your only option to go with.

How much do you need to change?

This is an important question to ask yourself: how much do you need to change in the house? This can only be answered if you are clear about your needs and what you expect to achieve. If you are looking to make minor changes to the house like making it more practical, increase the functionality of the rooms or want to add or change the place of windows, the restoration will offer you what you need to achieve. However, if there are some major changes that will include changes to the structure like changing the height of the ceiling or making major changes in the floor plan, rebuilding will be the answer to your issues.

Rebuilding a house lets you alter the space completely, make design improvements, increase the functionality of a room, improve wiring and plumbing and give the whole house a perfect new look. On the other hand, renovation is opted when you want to repair damages to the walls, doors or windows, upgrade the fixtures, floors or ceilings and replacing old furniture with new ones. 

altering space for better functionality
Rebuilding a house allows you to alter the space for better functionality

If your plan is to live for about five years or more in the same house and you have the budget, rebuilding will give you a chance to live in the new and desired construction and at the time of resale, it will give you an edge to negotiate. 

This is all that you should take into account before choosing between renovating vs rebuilding your house. Getting professional advice is always helpful because they may also tell you few other things that may need your attention. If you have any queries regarding this, you may get in touch with us at blog@zameen.com

Since you have read this piece till the end, you may also like to learn about some renovating different rooms of your house. We have prepared individual guides on:

We’ll now wrap up our blog. If you are still confused about it, getting professional advice from an architect or a contractor is recommended. To learn more about different home décor ideas, head over to Zameen Blog now and don’t forget to subscribe to Zameen Newsletter for regular updates in the real estate sector of Pakistan. 


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