You have a vision of what your dream home looks like. The question now is, ‘Do I start from scratch with a self-build or improve an existing property that has great potential?’
The fundamental basics of time, money and energy are the same whether you decide to self-build or renovate but there are a number of other aspects that are uniquely specific to whichever option you choose, each with their own sets of challenges and rewards.
Identifying and recognising these challenges and rewards can help you choose the best option. We’ve included 3 basic elements to look into when beginning the journey of creating your dream space. This way you can go into the project armed with information, knowledge and a list of questions to ask the professionals that will enable you to make an informed decision.
1. The Budget:
Your budget will dictate what you can afford, keep the project focussed, help you make decisions on materials and extras, and help you narrow down all those options associated with any build. A build project of any kind can blow any budget if not managed properly so, regardless of what option you go for, assess your finances, the source of the finances and have a contingency in place. This will all help protect against blowing the budget and potentially being left with a half-completed project.
2. Getting the space you want:
If you already have a property in the neighbourhood of your choice, it may be more cost-effective to renovate your current place than to purchase another, more suitable property in the same neighbourhood.
A good designer or architect can help you get the ideal floorplan for either a renovation or a self-build. If your family has outgrown your dream home, in your ideal location, it might just take the vision and imagination of an architect or designer to reconfigure the space without having to commit to a full new self-build.
Three points to consider around getting the space and a particular floorplan:
- Don’t rely on a common misperception that self-buildsare more expensive than renovations as this may not always be the case;
- If you’re looking for a very specific floorplan and layout, this may not be feasible in your current property;
- Consider the costs and do the finances – you don’t want to end up putting more money into your existing property with the renovations than you’ll be able to get back through a sale.
Sustainable homes are becoming more popular, offering homeowners social, economic and environmental advantages. They are built using specific low-impact, durable materials that are good for the environment and may save the consumer money on utility and maintenance costs.
Sustainable homes do, undoubtedly, offer many advantages but this doesn’t necessarily have to be achieved through a self-build project. It may be worth researching the feasibility of upgrading an existing property to improve its energy-rating and efficiency to match that of a newly-built sustainable property. Also, there is something inherently poetic about ‘recycling’ an existing property and creating an eco-friendly space.
Ultimately, the decision to renovate or self-build is a personal choice with no wrong or right answer. It comes down to doing the research to ensure that you can make informed and educated decisions to get what you want and need out of the home.