Question: How do I know which is better – remodelling the home we live in now or just buying a new home?

Whether to buy a “new” house or remodel the house they have now is a question on the minds of many homeowners today. Looking to your own life could bring some answers.

First, consider your neighborhood.

Think honestly about your relationship with your neighbours, and how you feel about your location and the surrounding area. Consider how strong your connection is to the community and your emotional ties to your home.

If you now have children, are you satisfied with the schools and the recreational facilities available for children in their age group?

Is the neighborhood as attractive as it was when you moved there, or have home values generally declined?

If your children are grown, you may want a smaller place, but be sure the kids won’t be moving back with you. On the other hand, the prospect of kids moving back might be a good reason to get a smaller place.

When you are nearing your senior years, it could be time to get a single-story home with safety features.

Financial matters have to be considered. Sometimes it’s easier financially to buy a home that suits you now. The cost of remodeling often turns out to be more, or much more, than you wanted to spend.

Being able to realistically plan a budget is critical when trying to decide whether to make your current home work or to look for another one. Making an accurate budget is essential if you do choose to renovate.

A lot of homeowners are unsure of what they really want. Assume they have $50,000 and the contractor says he can do it for that. But their vision for the renovation changes – they want different materials, or an altered layout. Or it doesn’t come out as they imagined — and that’s where the budget gets thrown out.

Another thing to consider is the hassle factor in remodeling. Are you willing to have your life interrupted for weeks or months? Are you a person who understands construction and can check on craftsmen to be sure they are doing as you have directed?

Many people don’t fully realize the serious, long-term commitment that renovations require.  Not only in time, but also in energy. They need to wrap their head around the process — time being the primary consideration.

A kitchen remodel requiring new countertops, cabinets, appliances and floors can stretch on from three to six months. If ductwork, plumbing and electrical wiring have to be addressed, the job could take longer. A bathroom remodel can last between two and three months, while a room addition can require one to two months.

You have to be prepared to be very patient. It’s extremely inconvenient to live in something that’s being renovated.

If you have questions about home inspections or home maintenance, ask the Inspector! E-mail your questions to Inspection Works!