Should You Renovate Your Home or Build a New One? Here’s What You Need to Consider


If you have the vision of a perfect home, it is highly unlikely you will be able to find it on the market. This leaves two options: build a new one or carry out home renovations on an existing property.

It goes without saying that both of these options will be costly, so it is essential you make the right decision.

With either choice, selecting the right designer and contractor will be essential to the process. Choosing a team that combines design, construction, and project management will benefit you.

This article will explore everything you need to know about carrying out a home renovation. We will also explore whether building a new home is a good option for you.

Renovate Your Home or Build a New One


The Dilemma of Renovating vs. Building a New Home

Deciding whether to renovate your existing property or start fresh can be tricky. You will have many considerations to make including:

  • Budget
  • Existing Property Suitability
  • Planning Permission
  • Timeframe
  • The Scale of the Project
  • Finding a Reputable Home Renovation Company

The best way to make a decision is by exploring all the options available to you and weighing up the pros and cons. Speaking to a home renovation contractor to get a better idea of costs and timeframes will also help.

The Pros and Cons of Renovating Your Home

Home renovations can be great if you are carrying out work on a particular area of the house. This can include:

  • Basement Renovation
  • Bathroom Renovation
  • Kitchen Renovation
  • Laundry Room Renovation

If you are swaying towards carrying out a home renovation project, you might be interested in learning the pros and cons of this.

It will give you a good foundation to start your research. You can then determine whether carrying out home renovations is right for you and your property.

Should You Renovate Your Home or Build a New One? Here's What You Need to Consider 1

The Pros of Renovating Your Home

  • Cost savings: Renovating your home may be less expensive than building a new one from scratch.
  • Increased property value: Renovations can increase the value of your property. They will also make it more attractive to potential buyers if you choose to sell in the future.
  • Personalization: Renovations allow you to tailor your home to your specific needs and tastes.
  • Preserving character: If you have an older home, renovating can allow you to preserve unique or historical features while still modernizing the space.
  • Environmental impact: Renovating an existing home can be a more sustainable option than building a new one. It reuses materials and avoids the environmental impact of new construction.
  • Avoiding the hassle of moving: Renovating can be less disruptive than moving to a new home, which can be a major upheaval.
  • Community ties: If you are attached to your current neighbourhood and community, renovating your home can allow you to stay in the area you love.

The Cons of Renovating Your Home

  • Unforeseen costs: Renovations can be expensive. Unexpected issues can arise during the process that can drive up costs.
  • Disruption to daily life: Depending on the scope of the renovations, living in your home during the process can be disruptive and uncomfortable.
  • Length of time: Renovations can take a long time to complete, especially if you are making major changes to your home.
  • Limited options: Depending on the layout and condition of your existing home, there may be limitations on what you can change or improve.
  • Code compliance: Renovations may require bringing your home up to current building codes and safety standards. This can be costly and time-consuming.
  • Outdated infrastructure: If your home has outdated electrical, plumbing, or HVAC systems, renovations may require updating these systems.
  • Resale value: Although renovations can increase the value of your home, they may not always recoup the full cost of the renovation when you sell.

The Pros and Cons of Building a New Home

If you are interested in carrying out a complete home renovation you may want to consider building a new home from scratch.

Should You Renovate Your Home or Build a New One? Here's What You Need to Consider 2

Here are the most significant pros and cons of building a new home:

The Pros of Building a New Home

  • Customization: Building a new home allows you to tailor every aspect of the design and layout to your specific needs and preferences.
  • Modern features and technology: A new home can feature the latest technology and energy-efficient systems. This will reduce your energy costs and increase your comfort.
  • Fewer unexpected issues: A new home is less likely to have hidden problems that can arise during the renovation process.
  • Less maintenance: A new home requires less maintenance and repair than an older home, which can save you time and money in the long run.
  • Warranty protection: A new home typically comes with a warranty that covers any defects or issues that arise during the first few years of ownership.
  • Energy efficiency: New homes are built to modern standards for energy efficiency. This can help lower your utility bills and reduce your environmental impact.
  • Building code compliance: A new home is built to meet current building codes and safety standards. This can provide peace of mind and reduce the risk of future issues.
  • Increased resale value: A new home may have a higher resale value than an older home. This is especially true if it features modern amenities and is located in a desirable area.
  • Freedom of location: You will be able to choose the location of a new build property. This will allow you to choose a more convenient or desirable location.

The Cons of Building a New Home

  • Higher costs: Building a new home can be more expensive than renovating an existing home, due to the cost of land, permits, materials, and labour. Hidden costs can arise, impacting project budgets.
  • Time-consuming process: Building a new home can take a long time. Finding the right property, finalizing the design, obtaining permits, and completing construction all take time.
  • Uncertainty: There may be uncertainty about the final cost of the project. Unexpected issues can arise during construction that can drive up costs.
  • Limited options: Depending on your budget and location, there may be limitations on the size, style, or features of your new home.
  • Environmental impact: Building a new home can have a larger environmental impact than renovating an existing home. This is due to the need for new materials and the disruption of natural habitats.
  • Building code compliance: Building a new home requires complying with all current building codes and regulations.
Should You Renovate Your Home or Build a New One? Here's What You Need to Consider 3

Assessing Your Current Home's Condition and Suitability for Renovation

If you are interested in carrying out a home renovation project, it is important you check whether your property is suitable.

Before carrying out home renovations, the property must be checked to ensure it is structurally sound.

It is important that planned changes are checked to see whether the existing supports can cope with it.

The property’s existing infrastructure should also be checked to see whether it can support the changes. Plumbing and heating systems may need to be updated or altered.

Architectural plans need to be checked to ensure they are suitable for the home’s size. If extensions are required, this will significantly increase the cost and complexity of the renovation job.

Zoning and permits should also be explored before starting a home renovation project. Employing a home renovation company with a project manager will help when it comes to cutting through red tape.

Understanding the Costs Involved: Renovating vs. Building a New Home

The cost of home renovations vs building a new home will depend on a number of factors. This includes:

  • The volume of work being carried out
  • The contractor you use
  • Building material quality
  • Location
  • The complexity of the project

Other factors will include the overall cost of both projects. These can include getting the relevant permits and your accommodation if you have to move out while work commences.

Generally speaking, you should expect to pay more for a completely new home. On average, you could expect to pay between $300 and $475 per square foot to build a new home in North Vancouver.

Canadian home renovations typically average between $150 and $250 per square foot.

These prices will fluctuate based on the cost of labour and materials. Speaking with a trustworthy contractor to get a quote will help you get a better idea.

Should You Renovate Your Home or Build a New One? Here's What You Need to Consider 4

Identifying Your Needs and Wants: Renovating vs. Building a New Home

Your preferences will affect whether home renovations or building a new home is more suitable. Speaking with renovation companies that have an in-house team that deals with design will help you plan your dream home more easily.

This is because they will already have a working relationship with the contractors. Homeowners will benefit from having an interior design and construction viewpoint on the work they want to be carried out. A project manager will also make it as stress-free a renovation as possible.

Timeframe Considerations: Renovating vs. Building a New Home

The timeframe for home renovations will differ depending on the scale of a project. On average, kitchen renovations might take between 3 and 6 months. You could expect larger projects involving multiple rooms to take much longer.

New homes will typically take between 12 and 18 months to complete. Work on the new home will only begin after the relevant permits have been approved so this can take longer if you have to wait for this.

Sustainability and Energy Efficiency: Renovating vs. Building a New Home

Building a new home gives people the opportunity to design an energy-efficient property. This can help to reduce energy costs and allow them to reduce carbon emissions.

Renovating an older property doesn’t give you as much freedom of design as a new build. The fact that you are repurposing an existing structure boosts its sustainability levels.

Other elements of a home renovation project can help you improve the efficiency of older properties. Installing insulation and replacing windows can be a great help.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations: Renovating vs. Building a New Home

It is essential that all home renovations or new builds follow regulations. They must receive any necessary documentation before work commences.

Some of the most important considerations include:

  • Building codes: All new construction and renovations must comply with local building codes. They set out minimum standards for safety, structural integrity, and energy efficiency.
  • Permits: Depending on the scope of the work, building permits may be required from local authorities. These permits ensure that the work is being done safely and according to code.
  • Zoning regulations: Zoning regulations dictate how the land can be used, what types of buildings can be constructed, and where they can be located. It is important to ensure that your plans comply with these regulations before beginning any construction work.
  • Environmental regulations: Building and renovation projects must comply with federal and provincial regulations regarding environmental protection, waste disposal, and air and water quality.
  • Accessibility standards: All new construction and renovations must comply with accessibility standards. These ensure that buildings are accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Insurance: Homeowners should ensure that their insurance coverage is adequate to protect their property during the construction process and in case of any accidents or damage.
  • Contracts: Homeowners should have a written contract with their contractor that outlines the scope of the work, the timeline, the budget, and any other important details. The contract should also specify how disputes will be resolved.

This is why it is important to work with a reputable, licensed contractor. They will be able to advise you of the laws and regulations around home renovations.

Should You Renovate Your Home or Build a New One? Here's What You Need to Consider 5


How do I make the final decision whether to undertake a renovation job or build a new house?

It will all come down to the condition of your current home (how extensive will the renovations be?) as well as your budget. You also need to consider whether you are particularly attached to your home and your neighbourhood, as you may not find an empty plot in the same area.

Can building a new home be more sustainable than renovating an existing one?

When you build a new home, you can incorporate energy-efficient smart technology. However, a new build needs to source and transport new materials, and can impact the local ecosystem if you are clearing vegetation. Therefore, generally speaking, building a new home is not more sustainable than renovating, however your new home can be more sustainable in the long run if you build an eco-friendly house.


Home renovations can be a great way to increase a home’s resale value and improve curb appeal. If your existing property has a solid foundation and you are fond of the location, renovations can be the perfect way to enjoy your dream house.

Goldcon Construction home renovations are carried out to the highest standard. You will have peace of mind from your initial consultation through to the completion of the project.

We are a company that offers an extremely professional service and guarantees exceptional quality is essential.

We can help with design, project management and construction. Our service is fully accredited by the Canadian Home Builders Association and a number of other professional bodies.

Contact us today to find out how we can help make your dreams come true with our exceptional home renovation and custom home services.

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