Saturday, March 28, 2009

Restore or Rebuild?

Now we have had three different contractors tell us that for the amount we are willing to pay to rehab our house, we could build a nice new-construction house of the similar size and with everything we want in our home.  Additionally, the last person to see it today noticed that the southeast corner of the house was settling and brought up concerns with it.  So we are trying to decide what to do.  

The pros of rebuilding are; we get a brand new house, we can adjust the floor plan to what we would like, we won't have to worry about fixing things or sudden problems.  
The cons are; it is a new house and would lack the charm of an old house, we have to find a place to live while we are rebuilding and we may have to jump through hoops getting the neighborhood and city to agree.  We would like to keep to an older arts and crafts style house if we were to rebuild. 

The pros to renovating; we get the house to look the way we want it too, we have very little to do and can add/change/fix things as they come along, we still have a cool old house in the city, it will still probably be cheaper overall.
The cons; dealing with settling, unexpected problems with the house, constantly having to fix something.



  1. we had a big list of 'to-do's' too. Not quite on the scale of your project, but big enough to be daunting.
    to me (of course) the important part of our project, THE most important part, was making sure we kept the 'old house' intact while fixing it up. Although there is the tiny part of me that would LOVE to have a shiny new place... knowing that everything is new and I wouldn't have to worry about things like the lifespan of the garage roof, or tuckpointing the brick etc...
    but in the end, that's what I like about having an old house.
    Good luck with it all... sorry the contractor thing didn't work out so well.

  2. Thanks Will! We did decide to go with fixing the house up. Besides the yard, the original woodwork in the living and dining room and the staircase were the other parts of the house that helped us decide to buy the place. so we want to keep it all intact. And now we found a contractor that actually likes doing up old houses and so far has been very reasonable (and came in much lower than we thought possible!).