Is it Better to Renovate or Run Down an Old House?

If you have an old house, you may be torn between renovating and running it down to build a new one. Whether you have been living in the house for long enough, bought it, or inherited it, it is common to have questions about the best course of action to improve it. The following questions may help you determine whether you need to renovate or run it down.

How Long Do You Plan on Staying?

If you plan on staying in the house for a long time, consider tearing it down and rebuilding it. This option makes more financial sense than renovating. Exterior paint, for example, is said to last seven years. However, it is likely to last about five years, depending on the climate in your area. By rebuilding, you reset the clock on every part of your house and the structures are likely to last longer. If you intend to resell it later, you are likely to get a better price.

What is the Actual Condition of Your House?

Determine the true condition of your home before making a decision. Even though you can renovate any house, some of them are not worth the trouble. The following are a few conditions that merit a complete run-down:

  • The foundation is faulty and it requires a lot of work
  • The ceilings are lower than you prefer and there isn’t enough space to raise them
  • Your house footprint cannot contain the improvements you wish to make

What is Your Budget?

How much are you willing to spend? If you have a tight budget, a renovation is your best option. The team at suggests that you start by renovating one room and gradually moving to other parts of your home. With the run down option, it is all or nothing. After your demolition, you remain with a vacant lot and you must build a new home. If you do not have the budget for it, you may end up with a half-completed house. Exposed structures are likely to age fast.

Cheaper vs. Better

When trying to pick between the two options, decide whether you prefer to have a better or cheaper house. If you want a cheaper house, renovating is a good option. It is a lot cheaper than tearing down the whole house and rebuilding it. The cost of running down a house is about 20% higher than whole-house renovation. However, the architectural benefits of running down a house are huge. You get new systems, more efficient HVAC systems, and a better design.

If you are the owner of a house that needs some love and attention, you may be wondering whether to tear it down and start afresh or renovate it. While both of them are great ideas, you should make a decision based on your needs and the condition of your house. Important things to consider include how long you plan on living in the house, your budget limits, the condition of your home, and preference.

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