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Knockdown and build vs. major reno

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Posted by: from Guelph
9/5/2016 at 8:49:14 PM

Hello, I'll try to keep this short.

I've considered several different options of figuring out the "forever home."

While I'm still trying to figure out the knockdown and build vs. major reno option, I was wondering what people would suggest is the best method for doing this, given that my knowledge is limited outside of interest reading.

If I'm eyeing a home in my neighbourhood that I want to gut and redo, how to I get good advice when purchasing, if at that point I won't have a contractor selected, and the reno could be months to a couple years off? I would want input if the home I'm thinking of buying would lend itself to my ideal reno without loads and loads of added costs that could be avoided by picking a more appropriate house.

I wouldn't want a realtor making these suggestions, but what do people suggest? Hiring an architect for help throughout the whole thing? Or asking a home builder that I would seriously consider to accompany a visit if I'm close to pulling the trigger?

Are there more obvious ideas I'm missing, given that I don't have any close friends or family in the business?

Thanks for your help!

REPLIES (5)
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Date/Time9/6/2016 at 1:16:34 PM

Consulting a general contractor who is able to give you the proper advice would be very helpful for you during this process.

All the best!

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Date/Time9/7/2016 at 6:40:50 AM

Hi There,

It really depends on your budget. You have to factor in extra costs i.e if building new you will need to lease a house for the time it is being built or a major renovation.

Kind Regards,

Scott Lawson

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Pete from PnG Builders in Chestermere
Date/Time9/9/2016 at 10:54:00 AM

Both options are great.

buying old: and doing a major reno will place you in a mature neighborhood, mature trees, schools and other amenities already in place, no construction noise (in the beginning anyway). but your life will be turned upside down while renovations are happening.

- planning, demolition, dust, scheduling, arranging for contractor access, sometimes they are not able to show...etc.

Look for placement of stairs (whole house is designed around stairs)do they have enough room around them to make the changes you wish to make. Ask where the load bearing wall and posts are(these usually can't be moved or changed). other then that pretty much the whole interior layout can be changed (depending on budget of course). If you have a basement and plan on developing, check locations of mechanicals (furnace, Hotwater etc) because you will have to work around them to develop. Height of the lowest point.

Building new:

you have full control over how the house will be built and you get to simply move in once done you have warranty etc. sometimes you can find empty lots in mature neighbourhood but most of the time it's a new development. expect lots of construction noise during the day, schools and other commercial development will come but later.

Forever is a long time look for a Small reputable builder who flexible and innovative. Make sure they take the time to educate you on your choices from foundation pour to finishing

I hope that helped...good luck!

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El in Guelph
Date/Time9/11/2016 at 9:50:33 PM

Pete,

Thanks kindly for taking the time to read my post and the thoughtful reply. Really appreciate it. Along with stair, I figured a kitchen would be expensive to move?

Saw a great 3200 sq ft place around the corned except the stairs and kitchen were smack dab in the middle of the floor plan.

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Pete from PnG Builders in Chestermere
Date/Time9/27/2016 at 11:27:15 AM

Kitchen: moving the kitchen will cost the biggest cost being the cabinetry, this can vary quite a bit. you will be moving two rooms at that point you to and from locations. plumbing pipes, electrical wires can be move from the basement is unfinished or from above if flooring is being removed as well...without knowing your plans and seeing the site it's hard to give numbers.

Stairs: visualize the space without walls or rooms and you'll get the idea of the potential. I would shoot for about 25% change to keep it economical but sky's the limit and there will be a point where you might as well tare it down and build new.

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