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How to Determine If You Should Demolish or Renovate Your Old Home

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Demolishing an old home allows you to build a new home from the ground up or the frame out, and in some cases this can be the best choice versus remodeling or renovating. If you assume that demolition is an extreme step and that renovating is the better option, you might note when demolition can actually be the better choice overall. Note a few tips to help you decide and then discuss these with a contractor.

1. Consider the condition of the home's frame

What is the condition of the home's frame itself? If the frame of the home is made with wood that's been warped, chipped or otherwise damaged for any reason, removing the home's frame by a complete demolition can be the better choice after all. You then have the opportunity to erect a new frame and may find that steel works better in a very humid environment as it won't absorb moisture. It makes for a poor host to insects if your area is prone to termites or other pests.

2. Note the various types of demolition available

While demolition allows you to remove your home's frame, a complete demolition isn't always necessary. Very often you can have your home partially demolished or just have the interior demolished. Consider this possibility if it would be difficult to renovate with the walls you have in place; if there is old wallpaper, you may spend hours trying to peel it off and then wind up damaging the drywall underneath. To change the footprint of the home, you may want the walls and floors ripped up so you can move around plumbing pipes or add new ones more easily. A partial demolition of the interior would remove just the walls and, if needed, the floorboards inside your home. You can then rebuild around the home's frame, if it's in good condition.

3. Consider long-term costs and efficiency

To make your older home more energy efficient and even to bring it up to certain building codes, you might be constantly upgrading and renovating over the years as you replace the roof, windows, insulation, electrical wiring, plumbing, and the like. Demolishing your home now and rebuilding from the ground up or even from the existing frame can mean adding in all new features that are energy efficient and that won't need repairs for years to come. You can get all those new items installed at once and then not need to worry about repairs or upgrades for years if not decades.