To Reno or not

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Posted by: from Calgary
3/24/2012 at 6:29:07 PM

Hi There,

We are in the process of possibly buying my husbands parents 1400 square foot bungalow in Calgary. It was built in 1960 and has never been updated. We were working on getting a home inspector to come in and if all goes well we would like to do a complete reno absolutely everything will need to be redone.

What are we looking at for cost? Do you usually have to rewire a house that old? Re do plumbing? Roof? Would it be cheaper to tear down and build something new? What is the average cost of building the same size bungalow?

Thanks for you advice,


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Date/Time3/24/2012 at 7:43:03 PM


It all depends on how long you plan to stay in there. 1960 construction should still have a strong wood skeleton- therefore entirely tearing it down might be not the feasible idea.

However, from my experience it is a best choice to take down everything else(drywall and plaster, electrical, plumbing, etc) and redo it. Might end up even cheaper than just rewiring or replumbing it.

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Date/Time3/24/2012 at 8:13:41 PM

Hi Marie

It all depends if you are looking to flip the home and just modernize it with new fixtures and fittings, plan to move in long term or rebuild a new property, either as a financial investment or a personal home?

It is always paramount that you get a home inspection done on a property prior to purchasing it, even if you think you know the property as there can always be hidden issue that may need to be addressed.

There are issues with older homes that may arise like Asbestos, Aluminum Wiring, Poor Insulation Etc

If you are thinking of a complete gut of the property then it is highly advisable, as Mic says to take the structure down to it's main skeleton, to see if you have any issue that need to be addressed and at this point call in a Journeyman Electrician and Plumber to fully inspect the existing wiring and plumbing. They will then advise you accordingly if they feel it needs to be completely re-wired or plumbed. Permits will be required for this work.

If you are changing room lay-outs etc (i.e creating an open plan living area) then if you have removed the drywall at this point it is always easier to proceed with this type of work as everything is visible. Although it will be necessary to call in a Structural Engineer and obtain permits for in depth work.

As for knocking the property down completely then there are many factors to consider. Budget, Location, Lot Size etc to name a few. It is becoming increasingly popular in Calgary to demolish existing properties and if the lot & budget allows re-construct Duplex's in place of the existing home. This maybe something you wish to consider too?

The bottom line is how far do you want to go with the project, you need to determine this and then a more accurate Estimate can be provided for the proposed work. I hope this has given you a brief insight at some possibilities and would be more than happy to help if you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Julian Evans

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Marie in Calgary
Date/Time3/25/2012 at 10:46:54 AM

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me, very helpful!

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