Renovate or Rebuild? How to Know Which Option to Choose

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When you own a home, whether it’s a new purchase or one you’ve owned for a while, the itch to change things up inevitably begins to show itself.

And, if the space you’re in needs a lot of work, or if you’ve just got much grander plans than the bones of your space seem to allow, you may be deciding between renovating and rebuilding to start with a fresh canvas.

To help you figure out which approach is right for you, here are 5 things to keep in mind:

Your Budget

For many people, this is probably the main deciding factor when considering renovating or rebuilding.

Renovating your space can help improve the overall value of your home without having to go all-in on the cost. Even a bunch of smaller projects or just renovating a couple of rooms can make a big difference to the right house, and may help you feel more content with the space until you can finance further renovations.

Rebuilding, on the other hand, is a serious cost commitment.

Once you’ve torn the house down to studs – or lower – there’s no going back. In order to properly rebuild your home, you need to be able to allocate a good chunk of money for all stages of the project, from planning right through finishing touches.


Like money, the timeline for your home project is a big factor that needs to be taken into consideration.

While large-scale renovations can take up a fair amount of time, leaving you with a half-done kitchen for a while, they can usually be undertaken in stages so you’re not left with a completely inoperational house. Renovations are far less time-consuming than a full rebuild, getting you back to normal life more quickly.

Although fully tearing down a house can be done within a matter of a few days, the rebuilding process takes much, much longer.

If you’ve got a longer timeline to work with, and have somewhere you can stay while your home is being rebuilt, you may be a better candidate for a full rebuild over a renovation.

Your Goals

Think carefully about what you hope to achieve from your project.

If, for example, you’re serious about ending up with a home that requires less upkeep and builds better long-term value, rebuilding may be the way to go. Renovating an older home, for example, still leaves the bones of the house in place and can mean you’ll be on the hook for pricey, frustrating repairs sooner than you’d hoped.

For homes that still feel as if they’re workable on the whole but just need some updating, renovation may be the better path to pursue.

Cosmetic or More?

Even if you feel that every room in your house needs something, a rebuild may not be the way to go.

What sorts of changes do you feel need to be made?

If you’re looking at installing new fixtures, upgrading appliances, changing out floors, or even updating plumbing, opting for a rebuild instead of a renovation may be overkill.

However, if your project requires fixing problems with the foundation of your house, or altering the fundamental layout, you may need to think about a total rebuild.

Local Regulations

In some areas, knocking down and completely rebuilding may not even be on the table despite the condition of your house – at least not without jumping through some serious hoops.

If your home is considered historic, you may not be able to make significant changes without prior approval and permits. 

This may mean your only reasonable option is to renovate, especially if you don’t have the time or money in your budget to devote to ensuring your rebuild is on the up-and-up with local authorities.

Home Renovation & Rebuilding Contractors in MD & PA

For more than 35 years, Irvine Construction has helped homeowners in Maryland and Pennsylvania realize their home dreams. Whether you’re looking to remodel a few rooms or want to go for a full rebuild, our team can walk you through your project so you get the results you deserve. Schedule a consultation today!

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