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How to Decide Whether to Remodle or Build

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

The debate is never ending when it comes to upgrading your home situation. Should you remodel the existing structure, or tear it down and build something new where your exact specifications can be applied first time out?

The movement on the home front overall can pretty much be predicted by changes in the economy. Things are a little slow at the moment but could be looking up soon. “There have been persistent declines across key housing indicators for four consecutive months,” says BuildFax CEO Holly Tachovsky. “However, we anticipate some economic relief as we head into 2019’s spring homebuying season. Mortgage rates have reached recent lows leading to increased potential for home sales, which is oftentimes followed by a surge in remodeling activity.”


If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll need to initially figure out what’s most important to you and the type of home you’re looking for. Ask yourself what you dislike about your existing home and why you’re considering a change.

A second consideration is where you are in life. Just starting your married life, and thinking about kids? Maybe you’re on the other side, where the last of the kids have left the nest for good and you’re looking to turn the bedrooms into home theatre spaces and workout areas. Quite often people are hoping to achieve a singular goal, like putting a hot tub on the patio or adding large bay windows to take advantage of a great view. Sit down and analyze what it is exactly you’re hoping to accomplish so you know exactly what you need in order to set up a realistic budget and timeframe. This will help in your decision to remodel or rebuild.


It’s fun, and honestly necessary, to daydream about what you could do with your house, depending on your needs. Inevitably at some point, however, reality sets in as to what those ruminations are really going to cost. Before you initiate the project, says PA-based SDL Custom Homes, re-read your mortgage thoroughly and carefully. Many mortgages include clauses that address whether or not you can tear down your home, freeing up land for a rebuild. Sometimes stipulations are placed on how soon the rebuilding process can begin. On occasion, lenders ask to be included in the planning process.

There is the chance that your mortgage may actually forbid the demolishing of your home. Banks see this as destroying the security the bank or lender has for your loan. Bulldozing your home can also negatively affect your equity in a significant way. Also, by building fresh, you’ll be paying for the construction and you’ll need to make up some of that lost value when the equity in the building is gone. If you do end up diving in, there are options for funding your re-build. Just as when buying a new home, FHA and traditional loans with 15-year, 30-year, fixed and variable rates are out there.

A few other reminders from Ygrene, a an energy efficiency-focused home improvement lender serving southwest Florida among other communities:

  • Rebuilds are bigger projects, requiring that many more contractors and headaches.

  • Remodels move faster: Permitting is typically easier to obtain since they require less exterior work. That and fewer inspections and regulations will speed up the project.

  • Rebuilds fix big, structural problems: A cracked or crumbling foundation can be taken care of once and for all. In a hurricane-prone area like Florida, a rebuild will bring a home up to code and by doing so bring peace of mind for when the next “big one” hits.

  • Remodels allow for keeping at least a portion of the original design: This is an important detail if you live in an historic, older home. For homeowners who feel attached to the history, charm, and character of the good ol’ days, a remodel often makes the most sense.

Whichever option you decide upon, you can count on J. Sweet Construction and over 20 years’ experience that we can offer toward all of your luxury home construction or remodel needs.

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