When Is It Practical to Renovate an Old House?

So, you want a new place to live in and you know you can either buy a new house or renovate your existing one. Both entail big costs, and so you want to thoroughly weigh your options so you don’t waste your money. If you’re still on the fence, perhaps these could help you make a good decision:

How long can your house still last?

Houses tend to last depending on how well-maintained it is, the shortest being 25 years and 200 years at most. In deciding whether you would renovate your old house or build a new one, you have to factor in how many it has been since you built your house or its condition when it was turned over to you by the previous owner. Some components like the toilet, electrical wiring, staircases, concrete block foundation, brick or drywall, and roofing tiles can do without regular maintenance for at least 50 years.

Don’t be so quick to conclude, though, that just because your house has merely been up for over two decades it still has a long life ahead. You have to remember that a house’s longevity depends on the workmanship of the contractors who built it. To help you arrive at a well-rounded decision, you can have a construction expert inspect your house’s structural wellness.

On the other hand, fixtures such as fiberglass baths, paintwork, window-type air conditioning units, humidifiers, and countertops would need maintaining work every so often as ten years. Still, there are factors like water damage that could promote premature damage to these fixtures. If most of the aforementioned components have been neglected for the past few years, doing a massive overhaul could be the most practical course of action.

Zero In on What You Want

Renovation is such a broad term if you think about it. The works could be as simple as repainting a part of the entire house or changing your bathroom and kitchen tiles, but these could also be more intensive such as replacing your vent’s entire ducting or re-purposing a room into something else. Once you figure these out, then you can assess whether all these works would be practical given your present circumstances.

What this means is whether it will render a part or the entirety of your house unlivable while the works are ongoing. If the project is done phase by phase, can you still perform your vital activities provided an area in your house is a work-in-process, or do you have to totally move to a different place until the works are done? Only then can you also determine if you have the financial means to apply these changes to your old house.

Can your wallet handle it?


Much like building a new house, you would also have to prepare a great sum of money to renovate your house. Especially if you want major upgrades on your house’s structure, bigger sewage pipes, and more efficient filters for your air purification system, for instance, you cannot penny-pinch on these aspects. Besides, taking down existing fixtures could rack up costs on top of installing new ones.

Before finally deciding whether to renovate or build a new home, it is always a best practice to conduct independent market research. Inquire cost estimates of repair works from different contractors and check prevailing prices of materials in different hardware stores. Then with the price information you have accumulated, come up with an estimate.

Make the Decision Worthwhile

You will have to partially sacrifice your comfort once you start renovating your house. While you’re at it, be as hands-on on the project as possible, so then you would not have regrets about the results later on and have a house that is as good as new. You will realize that, no matter how well-planned the project was, there will be contingencies along the way which will require your immediate decision.

For instance, putting up a wall could entirely block off natural light into a living space or a paint color turns out not flattering for your wall. Take advantage of how close you can supervise the project and ask your contractor to try on different modifications before deciding on the final one.

An old house isn’t necessarily inferior to a new one. You can unleash its hidden potential with the help of renovations. While renovation works could cost a lot, it is important that you’re sure of what you want not only in terms of face value but also so that the house serves all your needs.

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