Building vs. Renovating — which is better?

Posted on: 4 January 2017

If you're struggling to decide whether you should renovate an existing older property or simply build an entirely new one, here is a brief guide which should help you to understand the pros and cons of each of these approaches.


There are a lot of advantages to buying a 'fixer-upper'. Because they are in need of significant renovation work, houses of this kind usually come with a lower-than-average price tag. Additionally, older properties often have character features that newer, mass-produced houses tend to lack—things such as rustic wooden beams, ornate crown moulding and beautiful antique fireplaces, for example.

However, in many cases, the cons of buying a fixer-upper outweigh the pros. Whilst your initial outlay may be less than that associated with buying a new house, you could easily end up spending a small fortune on renovation work. Due to the wear and tear that happens with the passage of time, old houses often have significant structural issues, some of which may not become apparent until after the sale has gone through.

The discovery of a cracked foundation or asbestos in the attic insulation during what was supposed to be a straightforward, low-cost renovation project could result in serious financial issues if you don't have extra funds available to pay for extensive, unexpected structural repairs. 


Despite the higher initial price, building a property is generally a wiser financial decision than purchasing a run-down older home. Whilst new builds tend to be more expensive than fixer-uppers, in most cases, the savings one makes from not having to carry out renovation work more than compensate for the additional upfront expense.

The long-term maintenance costs are also likely to be much lower, because everything in the house is brand new and therefore less likely to break down or wear out. Moreover, in the unlikely event that a structural problem occurs, the cost of the necessary repair work should be covered by the warranty.

Additionally, if you choose to invest in a well-insulated new build, your energy bills will most likely be far lower than those you would incur if you purchased a dilapidated, older property, as the latter are often poorly insulated, with single-glazed windows and unsealed door frames that create drafts.

Despite the long-term cost savings, many people still find themselves hesitant to buy a new build, largely because they are worried that the finished house may lack character. However, whilst it's true that properties constructed by new home builders will, of course, not have historical features, it's important to note that these type of homes serve as wonderful blank canvases onto which their new owners can easily put their own personal stamps.


Home Improvement: A Plumber, An Electrician And A Builder

Hello! Ever since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of living in a palace, like a Disney Princess. While I never met my Prince Charming, I didn't give up on my dream. I worked two jobs while I was attending college and when I graduated, I saved every cent I could. By the time I was 25, I still hadn't found someone to settle down with, I decided to buy a house of my own. The house was in a suburb of Syndey. It was a nice spot, but the house itself needed a lot of work. I called in contractors to fix the plumbing, repair the wiring and to construct an extension. It took a while, but I can finally say I have my own little palace. I started this blog to inspire others who dream of living in their perfect home.