Our creative director, Andy, just went through a massive renovation, and by massive, we mean an overhaul of existing house plus an expansion to the basement and main floor. This took over 2 years to renovate and build. It was a big project to take on for himself and his family.
A question you might be thinking – with a project that large, why not just build new? Well, there are many things to consider when looking at a new build versus renovation.
1- Reason to Renovate:
A house upgrade can happen in the space you are currently in, you may love where you live, your neighborhood, proximity to work/schools, like the area of the city you live in, your existing lot is appealing, and the existing house has “good bones”. Finding lots that qualify on your list of wants/needs for a location of a new home can be hard to find, especially in more densely populated cities.
Typically, because you already have many facets of a home (ie. foundation, roof, walls) this cuts down the cost compared to a brand-new build. Often homes already built are grandfathered into certain city bylaws due to timing of house build, therefore by renovating you can maintain that status.
Also, a renovation can look like a brand-new build – ask Andy, he has been asked on many occasions if his renovated home is a new build.
2- Renovation Situation:
Renovating also tends to be more flexible with living arrangements. Andy and his family lived in their home during the renovation. They lived upstairs while they renovated the basement, and then moved downstairs when the main floor was being renovated
He does mention this is part and parcel to what can take so long to complete, and perhaps in hindsight living elsewhere might have been better for getting the project completed sooner, if time is an issue.
3- Renovation Considerations:
Renovating can save money, in comparison to a new build. As mentioned above, regarding materials, but also proximity of the renovation can allow you to contribute to it as well. For example, DIY projects and maintaining site clean-up are a couple ways that can keep costs down.
However, living in the home while renovating can mean dirtier and dustier living spaces. Lives will be temporarily disrupted, living in a renovation zone is naturally going to disrupt normal family and living function.