Is it cheaper to renovate or rebuild?

If it’s time to upgrade your existing home, and you don’t want to move, there are two options. You can extensively renovate or rebuild your home. Which is the best option for you?

Whatever decision you make, the process is going to take time, money and energy. But the outcome will be a beautiful home that you love to live in.

How much does it cost to build or renovate a house?

They are two very different projects with different benefits. A renovation will be faster, or you can do it in stages to save money.

A cheap renovation costs about $1800m2, A mid-range reno is about $2500, and the full top-end renovation cost per square metre is anything upwards of $3,000. While this sounds a lot, remember that this is everything, with a complete fit-out from floor to ceiling. Appliances, whiteware, tiles, carpet and so much more. A typical basic bathroom refit will be around $20,000 and a moderate new kitchen refurbishment is around $30,000. They are the areas that soak up most of the budget.

A house build will cost around $4,000m2, but it depends a lot on the quality of the fitout. Once again, the sky is the limit in terms of costs. You’ll also need somewhere to live while your home is rebuilt- there will be extra rent costs for at least three to six months.

It is cheaper per m2 to renovate, but it’s not just about costs.

Why would you choose a rebuild rather than a renovation?

If you want to make substantial changes to your home, then a rebuild is the best option. This could include things like changing the layout of the home, making it larger or adding a bedroom, including a built-in garage or creating a self-contained unit within the house for extended family.

There could also be a good case for a rebuild if you have a leaky home that needs full recladding. If you do have a home whose weather-tightness has been compromised, sometimes the extent of the damage is unknown until full renovations start. In this case, a full rebuild means your new home is constructed to the highest standard of building, so you know it will be water-tight, warm, and dry for many years to come.

Is it cheaper to build up or out?

This may be a slightly cheaper compromise if you don’t have the money for a full rebuild but need an extension. Adding on a fourth bedroom to a three bedroom home will add value to your home. Done correctly, for every dollar you spend adding on that fourth bedroom, your home’s value increases two dollars.

But, adding up is far more expensive that building out. Adding a bedroom to a home may cost around $90,000. However, this depends on a range of variables including size. Adding a second story will cost a minimum of $200,000 up to $450,000. And in some instances, it’s not possible to build up without substantial work to reinforce the foundations and first floor.

Other things to think about

The build or renovate cost includes a builder. If you do decide to DIY renovations, it will be cheaper, but maybe not as cheap as you expect.

A qualified builder not only has access to materials that are more cost efficient, but they know what they are doing. What takes them an hour to get correctly the first time might take you hours and multiple attempts, with wasted materials. Because they have been in the industry a long time, builders also understand how to do things effectively. For instance, while you may plan a kitchen renovation that moves the sink, your builder knows that moving plumbing is expensive- and in the case of a toilet, moving it even 20 cm to the left means you have to apply for building consent.

Even if you do decide to DIY, you’ll need plumbers and electricians to get the job done legally. A builder knows when to have other trades on site to save time and money, whereas having a sparky turn up once the interior wall cladding is up may result in significant extra time to run wires.

Similarly, there are some changes to your home that will require building consent, such as adding a floor, adding a bedroom, or moving an interior supporting wall. A building consent will add time and money to your project. It’s worth avoiding this if you can.

There are other ways to save money in your project, speak to us at Sika Homes about changes you can make that will result in a lower cost.

Speaking to the pros will help you to make a decision about what is best for you. What you decide to do has to suit your lifestyle, budget and time frames. Take your time, go through the processes step by step before making a choice, and remember to always add 15%- 20% onto your budget and time frames, regardless of what project you’re doing.