It is a big dilemma sometimes whether to renovate or demolish a building. Demolition is less expensive compared to renovation but it is not necessarily the best option.

After buying an old house, you may be undecided whether to fix it or demolish the whole structure and start afresh. There is also the option of partial demolition to take down certain sections of the house and rebuild them while retaining the other parts of the main house.

These factors outlined below will help you decide whether to renovate or demolish:

  • Cost

Is it cheaper to renovate or demolish?

If the structural integrity of the current house is poor, then demolishing and constructing a new building will be much cheaper compared to restoring the old structure.

There are situations where fixing major structural problems, finding the correct materials to upgrade an outdated house to be energy efficient and improve the general quality can be extremely costly, complex, time-consuming and require a large workforce. There is also the probability of exposing even much bigger structural problems along the way.

If the existing house design is one of a kind and you feel like not letting go then if the structural integrity is sound, you can work do a major renovation which in this case would much more cost effective and environmentally friendly. It is important that you carefully plan and understand all it takes and have a flexible budget.

For protected houses demolition is not an option since such houses are protected under law. Any modifications made on protected houses must be under the scrutiny of local authorities who maintain the heritage of the area.

What to demolish or retain

As long the structural integrity of the house is sound the major modifications you will make to upgrade the current house will involve fixing replacing the old and non-functional things in the home.

Bringing down walls to create extended living spaces is a great way to kick off. For instance, an open plan layout for a kitchen and dining area is a popular home remodeling design. Discuss with your contractor about the possibility of bringing down some walls without affecting the fundamental structure of the house. Other areas to consider for demolition include installing large windows to bring in more light and improve energy efficiency. Bathrooms and kitchens are key areas for renovation from floors to ceilings.

The huge advantage of renovating over demolition and building afresh is that it can be done in phases while you still have a place to live in. However choosing to stay during renovations may also increase the cost therefore sometimes you may be forced to seek an alternative accommodation during renovations.

Salvaging or recycling materials from a demolition or renovation is a great way of recovering some of the costs incurred in the process.

Before you decide to demolish or renovate make sure that you have an expert contractor inspect your house and verify that it is structurally sound.