Everyone is familiar with the concept of remodeling a house. Some of us have probably heard successful remodeling stories, while others have heard tales of terror in which budgets explode, tears are shed, and darkness descends.
What most people don’t realize is…if you want to create your dream
home, remodeling your current home is NOT the only option. Another, often
better, option is to buy a stock house
plan and build a brand new home from scratch.
Sounds scary, doesn’t
it? Guess what? It is scary. And
expensive. But most major life projects are scary and expensive, like attending
college, having kids, or visiting your in-laws. Just believe in yourself and
carefully consider all options.
“If the renovation is extensive enough where you're basically gutting the entire house...it's almost the same as building a new house, cost-wise,” says house plan designer and architect Nicholas Lee, based on his experience working in California. He notes that you may save on some costs with remodeling, such as grading, foundation, and permitting, but if you're really gutting the house you could come close to the cost of a new home. See Nicholas Lee’s collection of house plans here
, or go to www.houseplans.com
Below are 6 reasons why building a new house from scratch
might be a better option than remodeling your current home.
1. Consider Location
You can’t remodel train tracks or an airport out of your
backyard…or snow out of Minnesota…or sun out of Santa Monica. So, ask yourself
this simple question: are you super happy living in your current location? If
the answer is a hard Yes, then remodeling your current home is something to
If the answer is No, sort of, or “it’s complicated,” buying a stock
house plan (customizing, if necessary) and building a new home might be a
2. Consider Footprint
If your dream is to live in a sprawling ranch style house
that spans 80 feet or more in width…but your current lot is only 35 feet wide….Guess what? That’s a problem. You can’t remodel your way out of a small
footprint unless you plan to build up. Building up means stairs, and stairs can
obstruct the prospect of aging in place. Since a dream house, by definition, is
not something you will eagerly want to move out of, make sure it’s built in a
way that will allow you to enjoy it for as long as possible.
3. Consider Force (The Force May Not Be With You…)
Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen an episode of HGTV’s
Love It or List It
or Flip or Flop
in which a powder room is created out of what
looks like 10 inches of space. Then, when it’s done, someone says, “Well, it’s
tiny, but it exists!” Sigh…Yes, it exists, but… really? Look, if your dream is
to have the tiniest powder room in the history of powder rooms, then God bless
you—go for it! BUT, if you actually want a powder room that’s larger than say a
linen closet, consider if the force is with you….What does that mean? It means forcing a space to do or be something it was never meant to be may
cause more harm than good.
For instance, if your current kitchen is on the left
side of your house, and you want to move it to the right side… consider all the
factors that make a kitchen functional, like pipes, electricity, gas, and
space. Does the right side of your house have these things readily available?
If so—GREAT! If not…that’s a whole bunch of stuff you’re going to have to pay
to install and force to work.
4. Consider Budget
“In general, remodeling is almost always more complicated
[than building a new home] because you don't know what's necessarily there,”
You can’t know for sure what’s lurking behind walls until
you start punching holes in them. Older houses, especially, tend to have many
secrets, vulnerabilities and problems—be it black mold in the bathrooms or
faults in the foundation—which makes planning and staying on budget that much
On the other hand, when you build a new home, everything is
brand new, up to code and built to your specifications.
5. Consider the End Product
Let’s say you want to remodel three areas of your house—the
master bedroom, the master bath and the kitchen. Once these areas are revamped,
that still leaves the rest of the house unchanged.
A lot of different factors impact the budget of a remodeling
or new home building project, like location, quality of materials, what exactly
you want to do, and what goes wrong as you’re trying to do it. Often, building
a new home from scratch does cost
more than remodeling your current home (assuming the remodeling project doesn’t
go completely off the rails). But, the quality of a brand new home—built
exactly to your specifications—is also worth
a lot more, as Lee points out.6. Consider the fact that…. YOU HAVE US!
You don’t have to go to an architect and spend thousands
getting a house plan drawn from scratch. Houseplans.com has
nearly 40,000 stock house plan designs to choose from—all of which can be
customized to suit your needs.
We also offer Cost to Build reports so you can
better understand (from the get-go) what your budget needs to be.
So how does one select a house plan? First, consider your lifestyle. For example, do
you have kids or often entertain guests? If so, an open floor plan like 888-15, above
might be a good option. That way the chef of the house isn’t isolated from
activity in the living area.
Or consider your location—do you live by the water? In the
mountains? If so, you might be interested in a beach house plan
or log cabin
home. Imagine relaxing and enjoying the view in plan 124-951, above!
If you have a sloping lot, consider a plan with a daylight basement,
like plan 928-11, above.
Houseplans.com offers home plans in a wide variety of shapes
and sizes, and we can help you find a plan to fit your individual needs—like a blueprint
specifically designed for a sloping lot on the beach or a narrow lot in the
city. If you’re looking for a particular architectural style, rest assured that we have
everything from contemporary
(see all styles
Start your house plan search online today by going to www.houseplans.com, or call us at 1-800-913-2350.
The minute you start to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of
building a new home, just remember… remodeling SUCKS!