Should You Build A House Or Buy One And Renovate It?

Marvin Simmons

There are two basic ways to get the house you've always dreamed of. You can build a new one, or you can purchase one and renovate it. Which approach is the right way for you, though? You can decide by breaking the issues into these five pieces.

Must-Haves and Compromises

Generally, the more must-have items you require for a house, the more likely you'll favor new home construction as your plan. Home renovation presupposes a certain degree of compromise even if you're working with the best contractors. You probably won't radically alter the house's footprint, for example, to achieve significantly more square footage. If you're not finding houses on the market with the feature or size you desire, building new is likely to be the solution.


Presuming you find a house that has good bones, renovation should be the cheaper option. Due diligence is critical, though. The perfect fixer-upper can become expensive if you start getting into the foundation, roof, or structure. Conversely, a house that just needs a facelift can be a money-saver. That's especially true if it's in good enough shape that you can perform renovations as time and finances permit.


It can feel like all the best locations are taken. That can pose some challenges to individuals who want to do new home construction. If you're looking for a spot in the city with access to a particular school for your kids, for example, you may want to find a place to remodel.

A new build may also require paying for utility connections and even doing some civil engineering to prepare the site. It's nice to start from scratch, but some projects really do start from nothing so pay close attention to what the site does or doesn't have.


A major advantage of building new is you will know everything that went into the house. Depending on how old a structure is, you may need to perform inspections to check for everything from lead to asbestos. A new house typically has some form of warranty, too. Once more, it takes a lot of due diligence to confidently go the home renovation route.


You may look at an existing house and love its current style. In that case, you're probably ready to be a renovator. Recreating the style of a house is tough to do during a new build, and it's often easier to buy a house and fix it up if you find its aesthetics highly desirable.

For more information regarding home renovation or construction, contact a contractor.