Rebuild or Renovate — 6 Questions To Ask Yourself

Rebuild or Renovate —  6 Questions To Ask Yourself

For any design project planning and research is the key, not just for the style but also the function of the space. If you’re reading this, chances are that you are already on your way to the research to help you reach a decision. In my design world ‘one-size does not fit all’. There’s no quick way of finding the best fit for your situation other than long drawn research.

However, the basic difference between deciding whether to renovate or rebuild is merely an overall scan of the two scenarios. If the house just looks dated, has a fair layout then reno is the way to go. But if 80% of the home is dysfunctional, and there is a bunch of small rooms clustered together and to top it all there are structural issues then rebuilding is the answer.

In Toronto’s market, as the house prices have risen beyond normal, more and more people are renovating and rebuilding. Huge double storey houses are emerging on the streets that had bungalows.

Rebuild or Renovate, Questions To Ask Yourself #1 . Do you have the funds to demo and build?

Demolishing and rebuilding is a bigger decision than buying a home, so do your due diligence and know what you can spend. Whether you have enough in your savings to pay for it or not, meeting a financial advisor doesn’t hurt to get clarity on how best to use your resources.

Rebuild or Renovate, Questions To Ask Yourself #2 . Does your home have solid bones and structurally sound?

If the house has a solid structure and the exterior does not look dated, it may be a good idea to gut completely and upgrade the interior. It is amazing how much we can do just by redesigning within the four walls.

Rebuild or Renovate, Questions To Ask Yourself #3 . Are you building new to sell or live?

You need to be clear on why you are considering to rebuild resale or living. Resale is a short-term and living in it is a long-term goal. If renovating for living for the next 10 -15 years then you can invest more. if it is for resale the market has to be watched closely and numbers crunched to make financial sense.

Rebuild or Renovate, Questions To Ask Yourself #4 . Have you considered putting an addition?

If your issue is the lack of space in any area of the house then that could be addressed by putting an addition. Additions are a less costly project. However, do keep in mind that when adding to the space you do have to modify the existing space. Home additions can be extensions in the back or putting a floor on top. Regardless its a substantially less than a demo and build.

Rebuild or Renovate, Questions To Ask Yourself #5 . Do you have a place to stay for 8-10 months without disrupting your family?

Construction projects are driven by both the homeowner, the design team which includes the contractor. Sometimes coordinating the decisions take longer to materialize, so it’s better to be prepared for any extra time needed. It is a good idea to ask family or friends who have a basement that you can use for the duration of the project. If that is not an option then get a furnished rental.

Rebuild or Renovate, Questions To Ask Yourself #6 . Are you clear on what you want in your home?

It’s a good idea to know what you want, although it’s not easy to sift through all the options to see what you really want the sooner you do it the better it is. The finishes account for a major part of the budget and can easily go out of hand. Set your must-haves as a starting point to get a realistic picture.

If you’re too busy to get started on your research and compiling ideas, get a professional to help speed up the process and iron things out, to reach a decision. Once you’ve decided what direction you’ll take, I urge you to do more research in that area. If all this seems overwhelming or if you have more questions please email me at and I’ll be more than happy ot answer your questions.


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