If your current house no longer meets your needs, what should you do? Maybe you just need some more living space. Or maybe you feel that your current house needs significant updates to bring it up to level of comfort you desire. Regardless of the reason, if you’ve outgrown your Connecticut area home, you have a couple of options. You can either build a new home or you can remodel your existing home to achieve what you want.
One of the biggest factors to consider as you face this question, of course, is what it’s going to cost. One question our clients ask us frequently is what the comparative cost of building a new home is compared to remodeling an existing home. Does remodeling/adding an addition cost the same amount per square foot as building a new house?
It might surprise you to know that remodeling an existing house generally costs more per square foot than building from scratch. In part that’s because remodeling almost always involves the tearing out existing structures and disposing of the materials. That’s a cost you don’t have with a new build.
Another expense associated with remodeling is that some kind of temporary protection often needs to be erected to protect the areas of your house that aren’t being worked on.
Related: Should I Build or Remodel?
And while you may be dealing with a smaller area for a remodeling project, many of the fixed costs (such as permit fees, inspections, etc.) remain the same. With new construction, a builder has a “clean slate” to start with. Then there are the surprises. Builders on a remodeling project sometimes run into hidden problems that nobody knew about (or could know about) before the project began.
Here’s something that skews the cost-per-square-foot comparison a little bit. The most expensive rooms to build or remodel are kitchens and baths. Guess what? Those are also the most popular rooms to renovate.
To be fair, there are also expenses you’ll have with a new build that you won’t run into with a remodeling project. Your design/architect plans will probably be higher for a whole house project. And you’ll have the cost of the lot and excavation fees to deal with as well.
When you come right down to it, it’s difficult to do a straight “apples-to-apples” comparison between building new and remodeling. And you want to make sure you understand the costs before you jump in.
We build custom homes from scratch and we also do high-end remodeling. And we love doing both. What’s important is that you end up with the house that meets your needs and really feels like home to you.