ACM Design Architecture & Interiors / Articles  / Historic Renovations  / Should I Build New or Renovate An Existing Home?

Should I Build New or Renovate An Existing Home?

Homeowners often ask whether they should build a new home or renovate their existing home when their living circumstances change. From growing families to health issues to aging in place, there are many situations that can affect the how a homeowner needs to utilize their home. By identifying your current needs and comparing them with how your needs might evolve over time, you can determine the best answer for your particular situation.

Both building new and renovating offer benefits, but careful consideration of many factors is required to inform the best direction for you. If you are considering a renovation, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the extent of renovation and/or addition required to meet my changing needs? How long will this renovation meet those needs?
  • What is the current condition of my existing home? Will the existing HVAC and electrical systems suffice for the renovation and/or addition or do I need to upgrade?
  • Will I have to find another place to live during the construction phase?
  • What kind of ROI (return on investment) should I expect if we renovate? In other words, will the cost of the renovations added to the value of my existing home still fall within the average cost of homes in my neighborhood?

Depending upon the answers to those questions, you might pursue a renovation project or you may consider building a new home that’s design is tailored to meet your needs, current and future.

Building a new home allows a homeowner to fully customize every square foot of their home, planning for any anticipated changes from an empty nest to a mother-in-law suite to features that support aging in place. For those who are interested in green building, constructing a new home grants the opportunity to build sustainably even to the extent of a net-zero home that’s operations nearly pay for themselves and place little impact on the environment. Additionally, advanced building processes have nearly eliminated an abundance of waste that occurs when new homes are constructed.

On the other hand, renovating a an existing home offers many benefits, especially if you are pleased with your current neighborhood and location. Renovating allows you to stay in the location you love while giving your home the face lift you need or want to continue living comfortably in the home. Generally, a renovation project is a more affordable option than building new if the changes are not too extensive, as well as offering a shorter construction period. By definition, a renovation project is sustainable or “green” because it generally makes use of existing foundation and materials from your home. By incorporating green products where new materials are required, the idea of sustainable building is extended even further. Keep in mind that a renovation project offers a great opportunity to assess the condition of existing plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems that may be outdated and in need of repair or replacement.

While building new and renovating each have their own benefits, it is important to remember that the right decision for you can only be determined by examining your lifestyle and future needs before making a decision. At ACM Design we are committed to helping homeowners decide on a path that will create the home that meets their specific needs. For information on how we can help you, call us at 828-684-9884 or email us at

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