Are you planning to upgrade your home? When it comes to updating their living area, many homeowners are in a dilemma on whether or not to opt for a remodeling project or start a new construction project. It’s natural that you too may be contemplating this age-old question. Well, there is no one size fits all answer to the dilemma. At times, remodeling is a smarter idea, while sometimes a completely custom new home is the best track. It all depends on the needs, budget, timeframe, and affordability of the homeowner.

So let’s explore further to see when remodeling would be a better option and when a new custom construction home would be the best idea for you.

How long will you be staying in the home?

According to experienced builder Robert Ace Jr. of, this is often the first question to ask yourself. Do you have plans to sell your home in the near future? Or do you want to pass the house on as a cherished legacy to your children and possibly grandchildren?

If you have plans to stay for a bit and then sell in the short term, there really isn’t much point undertaking a new construction build if you’re not going to live there for more than 7-8 years. Remodeling is almost always a more economical and judicious solution here. It enables you to enjoy an upgraded home for the time being, and also fetches you a higher price if you do the renovations right and plan on selling later.

On the other hand, if you want to stay in your home for a lifetime and grow your family, it’s natural that you should get a house that duly reflects your tastes and suits your daily lifestyle. In that case, new construction would most likely be the best choice to achieve your home desires and carry on your legacy.

How much of an upgrade do you need?

This is an important question to ask if you’re considering remodeling or adding on. Do you only need a few upgrades like a couple of rooms or a spa in your master bathroom? Do you want to change your flooring? Would you like a brighter more open space with larger windows? In these situations remodeling can often meet all the needs and desires for less money. For even more space, you can even get another story added onto your current house.

On the other end of the spectrum, when you really need extensive upgrades, it’s often better to go for a new construction home. Simple remodels won’t work when you want comprehensive upgrades or face problems like the following.

  • Lots of additional space is needed along with extensive, expensive remodeling of the existing house. This can really run up the budget.
    • You want more a large increase in roof area for solar panels, and don’t have the extra land for a separate solar array.
    • You’d like Geothermal HVAC, but live on a small lot right in town and don’t have the ability to drill because you’re on a public water system.
    • Ceilings in your current home are too low, particularly in an existing 2 story house.
    • You want to incorporate an elaborate green or living roof.

How much time can you afford?

According to Robert Ace, both remodeling and new construction can create disruptions in your daily life for a certain period of time. So the question becomes, how long will you be able to tolerate these disruptions? A remodeling project can take anywhere 1 week on the short end to 12 weeks or more on the longer end. This depends on the nature of the job and if unseen issues arise once demolition starts. On the other hand, new construction typically takes no less than 5-6 months in the Lehigh Valley and Poconos areas of Pennsylvania where RKA Construction works. A fully custom home can take even longer, so remember to take the timeframe into account before deciding on your upgrade path.

What is your home budget?

Before you do anything, you really need to ask yourself, how much money are we prepared to shell out? It’s a very important question, and learning more about the process always helps to know what a realistic budget estimate for your goals will be. A remodeling project typically costs less compared to a new home construction, but you do need to be aware that unforeseen problems can arise in remodeling.

Sometimes things like extensive rewiring or reworking of plumbing are needed but only realized after some demolition is done revealing unforeseen problems. Your contractor might also find mold infestation inside walls being removed. Issues like these can drastically deplete set-aside finances and increase needed funds quickly. Though more rare, extensive remodeling jobs can amount to almost the same cost as building a new home at times. If you know that is likely to be the case, it’s often smarter to take the plunge and go for new construction. In so doing you’ll avoid costly overruns, potentially difficult delays, and other unknowns while getting exactly what you want from a clean sheet design.

It’s not everyday that you opt for a home remodeling project or start construction of a new dream home. It’s an important decision. We hope the information shared here helps you to be better informed. It’s always better to be wise and consider your needs, affordability, and tolerance for potential problems prior to making the big decision that’s ultimately right for your family’s living space.


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