Remodeling VS. New Home
To Remodel or Build a New Home??? This is the question that I have been asked the most in the past four weeks. Numerous phone calls have been coming in for us to look at current homes to see if it is wise to add square footage to the home- whether a second story addition or an addition to the first floor- OR if the owner should buy a lot and build a home at a better price.
This is a great sign for the home building industry and where it is going to go this year and years to come. This type of phone call was not happening last year or the year before.
So, in this post, I want to break out the pro & cons of building a new home vs. remodeling or adding on to an existing home built around 1960 or so.
Remodeling: When remodeling or adding to your existing home, you have many things to consider. Do I keep the existing layout? Move exterior walls? Change the existing ceiling height? Update the kitchen and bathrooms? Or do I keep everything as is and add a second story? These are all great questions and things you will need to consider when remodeling.
A great thing about remodeling is that you get to keep the home that you already love, and adjust it to meet your changing needs! More PROs…you already like the location, you have built memories in the home, and you know your neighbors. Sometimes you can’t create this same atmosphere in another location, which is why remodeling is so great.
The main challenge with remodeling is that you do have to work with your existing layout. This is why getting connected with the right architect and builder is so important. Experienced professionals can help you overcome this challenge. It may take some creative thinking, but being flexible with designs and layout will make the process much easier.
Also, it is important to look at what you will have invested in your home (purchase price + the remodel/addition price) to make sure you are not putting too much into your home, compared to what other homes are selling for in your area.
By remodeling and updating your home, you can achieve a more functional space to suit your new needs, while at the same time, making your home feel like new.
New Home: Let’s start with some PROs…When you are building a new home you have a blank canvas and are able to create whatever you want! There are endless options for your floor plan and layout; you are able to get brand new everything…plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.
A new home will also be much more energy efficient due to having brand new everything (i.e. plumbing, electrical, hvac, windows). In addition, the new home will not require as much maintenance as keeping up with an older home built in the 1950’s.
Things to consider when building a new home are… am I able to find a lot that is in the right location? and is it the right price? Again, it’s important to consider the whole investment (buying the lot + building new home). You want to be sure that you are not priced higher than all of the other homes in the neighborhood. When building a new home, you are usually able to build the home cheaper than it costs for you to buy a new home already completed (The dollars per square foot are less to build than the dollars per square foot to buy). From a construction standpoint, it is simpler for a builder to build a new home than to remodel an existing home.
Pricing gets tricky when just speaking in generalities. Many times a remodel is less expensive, BUT at a certain point, building a new home can be less expensive—this is usually when you are completely gutting a home and taking it down to the stud walls in the remodel.
Above are just some thoughts and questions that can get you started in the right direction when considering if you should remodel or build new. Each client I meet with has a different scenario, whether it’s the budget, neighborhood, or growing family. I would be happy to meet with you to see what the best option is for you. Nix Group has completed many remodels and new builds thought the 16 years of home construction, and we are always looking to add more to the list.
Recently I was asked why I like my job so much. I started counting the reasons and quickly came up with about a hundred. There are all the various trades and suppliers plus architects, clients, inspectors, designers, decorators and neighbors. I’m not sure if they popped into my brain ranked according to priority or randomly but my workers started the list.
We have about 75 workers and suppliers. Without listing all I’ll just say the construction phase starts with the electrician disconnecting power to the client’s home. The project is completed by the final cleanup crew. There are numerous trades between start and completion.
Each of our workers specializes in one trade. Our sheetrocker is not our painter. Our framing crew is not our trim crew. Liking my job is driven by the skill the workers display and by who the workers are. Some of the workers have been with us for 15 years. We trade life stories with each other. We’ve been invited to their Christmas parties, weddings and funerals. At one funeral we were invited to sit with the family. That’s one of the highest honors I’ve experienced.
Back to the question, why do I like my job? . Every project is different. Every day is different and filled with surprises. I’m surrounded by people I trust and whose skills I value. And this just covered the workers.
This guy, who worked for Apple and helped develop the iPod, has now left Apple and is working for another company designing thermostats. His goal in creating a thermostat was to have a “jewel” on the wall, instead of this ugly box. I think he has done a great job, if you can’t tell.
The thermostat he developed has so many great features. It all starts with the cool sleek look- check out the pic above. It has a round shape and is incredibly streamlined compared to your ordinary thermostat. The way you adjust the thermostat is by touching the outer ring, kind of like an iPod. Every time you make an adjustment the thermostat will glow a cool red when heating and a cool blue when cooling. After an adjustment is made, the thermostat will tell you how long it will take to heat or cool your home to the desired temperature.
This thermostat is also very energy efficient, which was one of the designer’s goals. Every time you make an adjustment to the thermostat, it remembers it, and begins to create a schedule to heat and cool your home by YOUR habits. So you don’t have to waste anytime trying to figure out how to program your thermostat the “old” way- this thing does it for you. How Awesome is that! It records your heating and cooling habits over about one week, and starts adjusting the temperature to where you like it when you get out of bed, when you get home from work, when no one is home, etc.
Another great feature about the thermostat is that you can control everything from the Internet. Say you’re on you way home from a week long skiing vacation and you want your home warm when you get there. All you have to do is use you cell phone WiFi connection and BOOM! you have your house nice and warm when you walk in the door.
I want to check this thing out and may just have to install it in my own home. Let me know if you want one, and we’ll put it in!
Parkford is a special project for me as it was the first project I ran completely on my own. During this project, I was able to learn what it was like to live through a remodel. This was an invaluable experience because I can now relate to the stresses and discomforts that our clients face when we remodel their home.
When my wife and I purchased the home, we knew that it needed to have the kitchen remodeled- we couldn’t even fit a cookie sheet into the oven because it was so small! This Project was mainly a kitchen remodel, but we added hardwood floors in the dining room, removed a wall between the dining and living room, and updated our entryway. We painted all three of these spaces as well. One thing… I will never forget making coffee and breakfast in our spare bedroom, and washing dishes in the bathtub for 3 months. All said and done, I would do it again in a heartbeat. We love the new kitchen and have begun cooking and entertaining in that great space!
Here are some pictures of what the space looked like before and after the remodel. Don’t you just love the bubblegum pink counter-tops? I hear they are making a comeback. Enjoy!
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Kitchen and Now Includes our Bathroom Remodel!!
When we first bought this lot we knew it’d be a wonderful location for a growing family. The yard was huge by Dallas standards and there were several mature oaks in the front yard and crape myrtles in the back. As we began working with the architect on the design, saving the trees was a priority.
The house was originally built as a spec home with 5 bedrooms and 4 ½ baths. The floor plan was wonderful and inviting. And, as luck would have it, we had the opportunity to move into this house and really enjoyed so much about it.
The first floor has a perfect layout for entertaining. There weren’t any walls between the kitchen, breakfast area, and den. So, when we entertained for a sit-down dinner for leaders of our church, we just moved the furniture around and were able to accommodate seating for 36 at 6 round tables. We also had the pleasure of hosting an engagement party for 50 and had many holiday dinners with extended family.
And while those rooms could accommodate so many, it was possible to position the furniture so that each was a comfortable room when it was just us. There is also a cozy library and a second bedroom on the first floor. We often commented on the layout and how it would make a nice home for later in our life, perhaps on the side of a mountain somewhere.
One benefit to moving into the spec house is that we were able to get a different perspective. As if we were the clients after our builder finished the house. We didn’t encounter any big surprises, but did realize that after we think our work is done, we’ll be back in the house to make adjustments to fit the homeowners needs. One example is that the master closet started out with a large area for long hanging items and we had the carpenter come in and cut that space in half because we would rather have more space for the shorter items. Simple enough to adjust but makes it more of a custom home.
All in all, the experience was wonderful.
We’d love to help you make your space something that you’ve dreamed about and that fits your needs.
Call or write- we’d love to hear from you.
This custom home was built for a client from the ground up. We helped the client find and purchase the lot and handled the construction process from demolition of the old home to moving our client into their new home.
This custom home was built for an investor of ours and it shows nothing but elegance. The many details that went into this home could easily be overlooked at first glance, but upon further inspection, the true luxuries are revealed. This project was a great mesh of the owner, architect, and Nix Group, where each person’s ideas and expertise could shine. Good morale sure makes the project run smoothly!
This home is built in a Tutor style. We added a long eve and arched window that gives it the one-of-a-kind look. The arched window, seen in the picture above, is especially interesting because it not only adds character to the exterior of the house, but it also causes the interior hallway leading to the master bedroom to have an arched or “barreled” ceiling. The barreled ceiling is painted with a deep rich color that has a very nice shimmer to it. I’m upset with myself because I never took a picture of this!
If the little details didn’t get you to love this place, then the master suite will surely do that. The suite has vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, a great walk-in shower, a jetted tub, and an awesome vanity area. What else could you ask for! In the master bathroom, the glass tile, mirrors, faucets, and lighting fixtures come together seamlessly. I think the combination of these things causes this home to rank among my favorites that we have built.
Please check out the pictures below. Let me know what you think.
…Oh… also, check out our contact page if you want us to build YOU a home like this.