Restoring Or Renovating Old v Building New?

I’m often asked the question, “What are the main differences between restoring or renovating an old house and building a new replica”?

For a start neither are a cheap option although you can understand why some older houses up for removal appear to be a great option when the initial purchase price is considered. However, the main difference is, with a new build is you know what your costs are before you start. But when restoring or renovating an old house most often you don’t know your costs until it’s finished – this can be problematic. Of course in some instances the finish never comes and that’s generally because there were just too many hidden or unknown problems that don’t expose themselves until the building work has commenced.

This is the main reasons why most developers have covenants that prevent old houses being relocated into subdivisions – the reinstatement and restorations costs are so too high coupled with history that’s taught us that many just don’t get finished. The end result would mean angry neighbours because their investment has been devalued.

Even I just love the look of a beautifully restored old house and if this is what was consistently achieved than no one would mind. The other on-going things to consider are; old does have more character (generally) but new is almost maintenance-free in comparison, energy efficient (I remember being told by one enquirer who lived in an old homestead on a Hawkes Bay farm that sometimes the internal temperature was -1).

Of course I’m bias. This is because I’ve personally been involved in building projects for both options and I’ve lived in both options and love my new/old one. That is why I chose this career path – design and build new to look and feel old.

If you have any questions or comments please ask them using the Enquiry section of the website or phone on 06-370-2058.

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