We’ve all had that feeling. You start looking around your home and find it’s not quite as good as it could be. Maybe the kitchen is dated, or the garage is too small. You may want to spend more time outdoors on the grill or less time mowing the lawn. Somehow, as your life changed, your home did not keep up. And you’re wondering whether you should remodel or if it makes more sense to build a new home custom-designed to fit your needs.
You’re not alone. Most people find that their requirements for a home change dramatically as they go through life. Your first home and your last home are often quite different. Some people move a dozen times during their lifetime. Others stay in just one home their entire lives. But no matter how many houses you live in, you’ll find your needs, wants, tastes, and preferences change as you move from one phase of your life to the next.
No matter how much you have (or haven’t) moved in the past, your life is always changing. People get married and divorced. Workers have long commutes, or work from home, or retire. Some homeowners will have many children. Others may find they want more pets or a bigger garden. At some points in your life, you may find that you have an increased income and can afford a home upgrade, with a better kitchen, a pool, and an oversized garage.
Other people are keen to downsize. Whether they’re empty nesters, travel a lot, or want to simplify their life. Some will want a second home or a different kind of place to live during retirement. People also accumulate more things throughout their lives, which results in additional storage needs. Many homeowners long for more cabinet space, larger closets, or a place to store a boat and RV.
Should You Remodel?
Once you start seeing the problems with your home, you’ll want to find ways to fix them. Buying a new home is a big decision, so it’s no wonder that so many people choose renovation over a new build. Moving can be taxing, disruptive, and challenging. In fact,
said it was one of life’s most stressful events. It’s so stressful that 76% of Americans said they would prefer to upgrade their current home vs. buying a new home even if finances were not a factor.
When you use a good builder, quality renovations can solve many problems while still allowing you to stay in a home and neighborhood that you’ve grown to love. Here are some of the reasons more and more people decide to remodel.
Remodeling Allows You to Stay in a Home You Love
They don’t call it “Home Sweet Home” for nothing! Once you own a home, you can become very attached to that building. Many homeowners love their houses, warts and all, and can’t imagine moving to a new location. In fact, some people simply don’t want to move. That’s because humans form emotional bonds with their homes and neighborhoods. Maybe you have a home you’ve inherited, and your house contains generations of family memories. Some people have warm associations with the location of their home. Their property may be in a town they love, in a neighborhood they enjoy, or in a desirable school district.
Time also compounds the attachments you form. The longer you live in a dwelling, the more emotional attachments it holds for us. You may remember the people and events that made your life rich while you lived in a particular house. Some people can’t help but build memories in a home, and for many homeowners those memories are strong enough for them to stay put, even when parts of the house don’t work for them anymore.
If you love your dwelling but still want some parts to work better, a renovation project may be the answer.
Remodeling Solves Some Home Spacing Issues
No matter how big your home is, it never seems to have quite enough room to store all your stuff. Maybe that’s why one of a homeowner’s most common complaints is lack of space. Perhaps you don’t have enough closet space. Many people want an expanded bathroom with more cupboards, medicine cabinets, and a large vanity full of drawers. Other homeowners long for a third, fourth, or fifth bedroom. Others find their kitchen is cramped. Or they don’t have room to park cars, or boats, or RVs.
In some cases, you may wish for a whole new room. Many homeowners want to find a place to for a home office. The additions of home gyms, sunrooms, solariums, decks, patios, or lanais are all common here in Florida. In many cases, a remodeling project can reconfigure layouts in ways that allow for a new room or addition. Sometimes, by removing a wall or moving a doorway, building a new room without building onto your home becomes possible. In other cases, building an addition is the most sensible way to add rooms to your house.
Some think outside the box – literally! In Florida, homeowners have learned to expand the useable areas in their homes by adding outdoor living spaces that allow them to do many of the things they love in the comfort of their backyards. Our year-round warm weather makes it possible to do many things in our back yards in the South. That’s why so many of us in Cape Coral and the Fort Myers area install outdoor kitchens, outdoor living rooms, outdoor sinks and showers, and even sleeping porches and lanais.
Remodeling can get rid of Outdated or Broken Features
When you live in an older home, things break. They wear out. And that means that you’ll eventually have to deal with outdated or nonfunctional features. Wear and tear happens in every part of your dwelling: finishes wear off, appliances break, hinges loosen, electrical systems age, plumbing fails, and ceilings sag.
Sometimes it is possible to repair a host of small problems (and more significant issues) with a major remodel. With a quality kitchen remodel, you can replumb and rewire. You won’t have leaky faucets and wobbly cabinets when you remodel your kitchen with a reputable builder.
In the bathroom, the improvements continue. If you plan to do a big renovation in your bath, you can get rid of persistent mildew, insufficient circulation, loud ceiling fans, poor lighting, and cramped tubs or showers. Not only will a reno make your bathroom look great, but it can also repair underlying issues that make your bathroom work better for years to come.
One of the most common home complaints is that it looks outdated. Happily, one of the most satisfying results of a remodeling project is that everything looks fresh and updated. With a little planning, you can get rid of the bad design decisions of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s and replace them with a look that will look great in 2020, 2030, and beyond.
Remodeling Fits Your Changing Lifestyle
Our lives are always changing, even if our homes are not. Lately, many of us have started working at home part-time or full-time. But not everyone has a home office. An expert builder can transform an extra bedroom, unused dining room, or outdated den into a comfortable, efficient, and attractive workspace.
As our families grow and evolve, more Floridians want to add space for their growing families. Many homeowners want to add a wing to their house for an aging relative that is moving in. An experienced contractor can help you identify the best way to expand the spaces in your home, using the land you have, or reconfiguring your home’s layout.
Another way we change is in our interests and hobbies. More and more of us want to find places to indulge in pastimes. One of the most popular renovations is the addition of a media room, complete with a big-screen TV, blackout shades, and state-of-the-art surround sound. Expanded garages are also becoming more common to help Florida homeowners store boats or RVs. Whatever your interests are, a qualified builder can help. Whether you want to add a home gym, indoor lap pool, wine cellar, workshop, or art studio, a renovation may help you transform your house into the home of your dreams.
Remodeling Makes Aging in Place Easier
For many homeowners, abilities change through the years. Sometimes a homeowner or family member may find they need to navigate their home in a wheelchair. Other homeowners want to eliminate tripping hazards. Some people want homes that work with impaired hearing or reduced sight.
Universal design encompasses a wide range of home building approaches and techniques intended to create safe, accessible, and usable environments for the broadest spectrum of abilities possible. It’s especially important to consider universal design when building a home for retirement.
When you work with an experienced builder, you can eliminate all kinds of barriers in your home. Some may be as simple as removing difficult flooring, such as deep pile carpet. Changing the position of your light switches or installing remote controls for shades and windows can also help.
Some universal design changes may be more dramatic, including remodeling a kitchen for easy wheelchair access or revamping a bathroom to include a walk-in shower, handrails, and non-slip flooring.
Remodeling can Increase the Value of Your Home
Renovating often increases your home value. When you bolster your home’s market price, you will have money in your pocket when you eventually sell. Hikes in home value may also qualify you for more substantial home equity loans.
Not every renovation adds value to your home. And some upgrades will lose value after several years. However, renovations in some home areas almost always add some value to a house’s asking price. Here are some remodeling projects which may add significant value to your home.
- A kitchen renovation can fill your home with beautiful, new cabinet styles, cabinet lighting, additional storage, gorgeous countertops, and upscale appliances. Big center islands, hard-working task lighting, and lots of natural light are also popular with home buyers. A quality kitchen remodel can add value to your home for years to come.
- A remodeled bathroom is another popular feature in the housing market. Creating a clean, fresh bathroom with some luxury touches is sure to have lasting value for yourself and future homeowners. Whether you choose big soaking tubs, walk-in showers, or a combination of both, upgrades will give your bathroom a spa-like feeling. Choosing improved sinks, vanities, storage, toilets, and ventilation will also add lasting equity.
- A renovated garage is a homebuyers dream. That’s because extra garage space is always in demand. In addition to parking one, two, or more cars, a good garage should have plenty of headroom for tall pickups and big SUVs. In Florida, room for a boat is always appreciated. RV garages are more popular than ever, so outsized garages are needed to store them.
- This is Florida, and we all want to spend more time outside. That’s why homeowners in our state love remodeled homes with outdoor entertainment spaces and will pay more for a home with upscale lanais, screened porches, and verandas. Super-charged grilling and outdoor kitchen spaces are also in demand. But why stop there? Add outdoor sinks, fridges, big-screen TVs, a dining pavilion, and even outdoor dishwashers. When it comes to outdoor luxuries, the sky is literally the limit!
Should You Build a New Home?
Sometimes remodeling won’t solve your home’s problems. In these cases, selling your current house and building a new home can be an exciting solution. When you get started building a new home, you’re able to think about your housing needs and wishes and find the solution that fits the way you live. Whether you need a bigger or smaller home, a new build can meet your needs exactly.
Building a New Home, Instead of Remodeling, Allows You to Choose Your New Neighborhood
While some of us love our neighborhoods, others dream of living in a place with well-kept streets, buried power lines, and sewage systems that don’t back up. When you build a new home with Beattie Development, not only do you get a new house, but you also get a new neighborhood.
Moving into a new development offers a long list of benefits. Building a home in new neighborhoods means you’ll have access to an updated infrastructure that will include new water lines and new, buried electrical lines. Every part of your community looks great and works perfectly. With the state-of-the-art infrastructure in place, you’ll be more protected from power losses or sewage issues. Additionally, the homes around you will be also be new and well-maintained. The only thing better than a fresh, new home is a fresh, new neighborhood.
Everything Works in Your New Home
One of the most magical parts of moving into a new home is that everything works from day one. You won’t have to fix or replace anything in your home for years, even decades. You won’t have to deal with worn carpet, warped wood, or cabinets that don’t quite shut.
You also get to stop worrying about maintenance issues for years, maybe decades. You won’t worry about the roof or the drainage in the lawn. Your appliances are new. Your walls are freshly painted. Every door closes quietly, and every window works. Some people report that saying goodbye to constant home improvements is a life-changing decision, freeing up nights and weekends for socializing, hobbies, or travel.
A New Build is Made to Fit the Way You Live
No matter what your lifestyle demands, when you build a new home, you can accommodate all of your needs. When you start building a house from scratch, you can create home designs that give you the space to do uncommon or unusual activities. Make your garage as big or small as you need it to be. Maybe you want a billiards room. Or a sewing room. Or a place to play a baby grand piano. When you build a new home, it’s built around you.
You can put everything on one level for easy access or include dramatic staircases. If you like to cook, add two dishwashers. If you like to grill, have a space for an outdoor kitchen. Or maybe you want room for a side by side refrigerator/freezer. With a new build home, you add the features you want to make your new home fit your lifestyle.
Get as Much, or as Little, Space as You Need
Everyone has different needs, and a cookie-cutter home might not meet your requirements. Even if you live alone, you may prefer a large master bedroom, a walk-in closet, and an upscale ensuite bathroom. Or you may long for a special room for washing and grooming your dogs. Or you may wish for a high-tech home that you can set on automatic, and leave it for months at a time.
When you choose to build your own home, you decide what’s important and how big or small you want each room to be. You may want a huge kitchen and skip the formal dining room. Or maybe you want a media room instead of a third bedroom. Want an extra powder room? No problem! Whether you want cozy or palatial, you can build a new home that’s just your size.
Get Universal Design From the Ground Up
If you have someone in your home with limited physical abilities, universal design may help create a warm and welcoming environment. While existing homes can be remodeled to optimized universal design principles, a new build allows you to develop features that are sometimes difficult or expensive to add to the existing home. A level entrance, stairless, one-level living, easy to navigate flooring surfaces, and even the placement of wall outlets can make living easier for you and the ones you love.
It’s also easy to add universal design technology in a new home, like remote-control windows and locks, countertops that move up or down at the touch of a button, motion sensing light switches, motion-activated faucets, and automatic door openers.
A New Build Might be Less Stressful Than Renovations
When you plan a new home build, the construction happens while you are still in your existing residence. That means you don’t have to live in a construction zone or leave while the work is getting done. When you build a new home, you get a house that fits the needs of your lifestyle or growing family without the inconveniences.
When you are moving into a home built just for you, the work is done before you walk through the door, so you can start enjoying your home immediately.
How to Decide Between Renovations or Building a New Home
While there are many parts of your home, you can control or renovate, some elements simply can’t be changed. When you’re ready to evaluate renovations vs. a new home build, take a few minutes to jot down a list of things you like and don’t like about your home, your current neighborhood, your town, and the local laws and building restrictions.
Taking time to list your wants and needs will help you understand what you can and can’t do with renovations, and help you evaluate whether it’s time to build a new home. You can’t add to your lot. You can’t change your view or your neighbors. You can’t make your neighborhood more walkable or closer to the beach.
If you want to keep your RV parked outside your home, many neighborhoods and towns have restrictions. If you’re going to build a pool, you may have to surround it with fences or screens. Some areas don’t allow you to store boats in your yard or driveway. Other places have height restrictions on homes or limit your ability to add-on by requiring space between your home and the one next to you.
Don’t Forget About Cost. Is it Cheaper to Renovate or Move to a New Home?
For many Americans, the cost is a significant factor in home improvement decisions. Whether you can renovate or build a new home often depends on your current mortgage situation, as well as how much money you have in savings. Home remodeling requires immediate, out-of-pocket expenses, while a new build requires a down-payment and mortgage payments over several years.
Every person is different, and every home has unique considerations, so there isn’t a single answer to this question. However, renovations will require immediate payment. That means that you must have cash on hand or sufficient credit to pay the amount due. You may be able to finance renovations through a home equity loan or get a line of credit.
New builds are usually financed with a traditional mortgage, but down payments are typically required. So both options require financial planning and investments.
If you’re concerned about increasing your home’s value, it may be practical to work with an expert such as a realtor to determine what your home will be worth when the renovations are complete. Will your home value rise enough to cover the cost of renovations? In some cases, renovations add incremental value to your home. However, for homes in undesirable locations or with a host of structural problems, renovations may do little to add value to the home’s listing price.
Still not sure whether to remodel or build a new home? Here are some additional questions to ask.
- How Urgent are my Needs?
If you have an urgent need to fix or upgrade, renovations may be worth the extra costs. If your kitchen plumbing needs replacing, for example, this may be a good time to invest in additional upgrades and renovations.
For some, an urgent need doesn’t exist. There’s plenty of time to decide whether to renovate or build a new home. If you want more closet space, a nicer kitchen, or an upgraded master bath, you may have lots of time to consider options. While you are considering your choices, you can put extra money away for your remodel.
If you’ve been thinking of downsizing for retirement, you may also have time to make decisions. Retirement may be years away, so you have lots of time to think of ways to optimize your home or build a new house.
However, if your mother-in-law is moving in, you’re expecting another child, or someone in your family needs a more accessible home to be safe, everything becomes more urgent. If your home is nonfunctional or even dangerous, home improvements are needed immediately. As a rule of thumb, families with more pressing needs may have to compromise to get all they want. You may need to find temporary housing while work is done or while a home is being built. When you remove the luxury of time, prepare for a bit more effort and inconvenience to get everything done quickly.
- Is My Family Ready to Move?
There’s no way around it. Moving IS stressful. So take all your life activities into account before deciding to build a new home. If you’re starting a new job, have a busy time at work, are dealing with a sick relative, or just had a baby, you may not want to take on another big project. And remember that moving to a newly-built home may mean changing school districts, commute routes, and mortgage costs.
Building a new home may seem like the easy choice if your house isn’t meeting your needs, but even a new build comes with stress, costs, and moving expenses. So keep this in mind as you move forward.
- Am I Ready to Make Accommodations for the Renovation or New Build Process?
Yes, renovation or a new build could give you the home of your dreams, but any change in your living arrangements will be disruptive. It’s smart to mentally prepare yourself for the disruptions and be as flexible as possible. Remember that you will need to make special accommodations for kids and pets, including sending kids to a relative’s home, boarding your pets, or finding someone to care for them while you work with builders and contractors.
It may also be necessary to stay at a hotel, a short-term rental, or a relative’s home during renovations. While living out of a suitcase for weeks at a time can be nerve-wracking, the reward is a great home you can enjoy for decades. While the payoff is rewarding, home improvement or new home builds are a journey, so be prepared.
- Will My Renovations Comply with Zoning Requirements?
Nothing’s more discouraging than starting a project and then discovering that it doesn’t meet zoning requirements. If you engage a quality builder like Beattie, you will never find yourself in that situation. Using a quality builder who is licensed and has experience working in your area is a must. An expert contractor with a history of satisfied customers in your town will understand your city codes and steer you away from decisions that might violate those codes. A trusted builder will also get permits and ensure their work will pass all inspections.
Don’t settle for cheap, unlicensed contractors who ask you to get permits or skip inspections. You’re spending a lot of money on your home, so don’t skimp by using an unreliable or inexperienced builder.
Talk to Beattie About Your Home Renovation or Building Needs
Whether you decide to build a new home or remodel the house you have, we can help. Collectively, Beattie Development’s staff has more than 50 years of experience building and renovating homes in Cape Coral. We know how to give you the home of your dreams. We have deep experience in all types of custom home building and home remodeling, and can create a Florida home that is beautifully designed and highly functional.
Whether you choose to start from scratch or change the home you’re in, Beattie Development offers home contractors that can do both types of services. Contact us today to find out more!