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Choosing Between a Custom Build and a Home Renovation in Vancouver

Home Renovation


You are stuck in a rut – you love your home, but it’s simply no longer working for you. Is it time to pack up and sell, or is there a way to make your current home work better? Depending on what it is about your current living situation that’s driving you mad, there could be a variety of solutions – you could move, you could renovate, or you could start over from the ground up. Each of these options will come with its unique challenges and costs. Sometimes, the choice is easy if you are on a small lot and are in desperate need of more space, a home renovation probably isn’t going to help you much. Other times, the decision isn’t so straightforward maybe you are attached to the home, the location, or love the character. In these cases, a renovation project may be exactly what you need.

Why People Love a Good Home Renovation in Vancouver:

If you have lived in BC for more than a minute, you know how precious a good lot is. That’s why a home renovation makes so much sense for many people living in Vancouver. If you are in love with your current neighborhood, but not your existing home, a home renovation could be the solution. Think this may be the route you want to take? Here are a few thoughts to consider.

Let’s get the bad out of the way first. Home renovations are messy, are frequently full of surprises, and can be limited in scope. You may begin a home renovation with a romantic notion that you can continue to live in your home while work is going on; however, two weeks without a kitchen and contractors parading through your home, and you may be seriously regretting that decision. Renovations are messy, and young kids and tools are not an ideal combination. If you are planning a large-scale project – a new floor plan, kitchen, bathrooms – you should also plan to be out of your home for at least a few months.

Surprise! An inspector came by, and you need to update all your electrical. Home renovations are full of surprises, especially in older homes, because you never know what you’ll find once the walls start coming down. An experienced contractor will discuss these types of possibilities and help you prepare for them.

Now for the good. Home renovations have a shorter timeline than a new custom build. You can retain the character you love while improving aspects of the home that are not working for you. And in some markets, a renovation may be a very wise investment, should you ever want to sell.

While the process of renovating a home is messy, most renovation projects can be completed in a much shorter timeline than would be required to build a new one, even if you are taking a home down to the foundation. You’ll also get many of the perks of a custom build – choosing your materials, colour schemes, and to a certain degree, your layout – while preserving the unique characteristics that make the home special.

A home renovation can also be a particularly smart choice for your existing home in areas where real estate prices are increasing quickly enough that the value added to your home will be greater than the renovation cost.  

Why Custom Built Homes Are Becoming Increasingly Popular

Sometimes an existing home simply cannot be modified enough to accommodate all the changes that you require. There are a variety of situations where a large scale home renovation may not be possible; it could be a permit issue, a structural issue, or a cost feasibility issue – in some cases, a new build is actually easier and more affordable than trying to transform a frog into a prince.

Certain districts, neighborhoods, and lots will have different rules on what types of structures are allowed. This could be due to lot size, permit issue, or a “good neighbor” policy. A custom build can give you more flexibility in getting what you want in the location you want it.  

As mentioned previously, older homes are full of surprises.  You may find out that your home isn’t structurally sound, and unfortunately, structural issues, in addition to being unsafe, are very expensive to repair. In most cases like this, it would be more cost-effective to tear down the structure and start again. In other scenarios, the scope of work may outweigh the cost-savings from working with an existing frame. A good custom home builder can help you develop a plan that works within your budget while getting you precisely what you want.  

You may have heard that custom home builds are stressful. However, when compared to a large-scale home renovation in Vancouver, there is actually much less to worry about. There is no need to live through a significant remodel or find temporary accommodation; you stay where you are and move when your new home is ready. And there are also far fewer chances of major surprises occurring with a custom build. Since everything going into the house is new, there won’t be anything hiding behind the walls or under the floors.

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