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Remodel or Rebuild
  • Written by Oasis Studio
  • February 5th, 2016
  • About General

Remodel or Rebuild


When does a remodelling and renovation project become more viabile to rebuild? You may think that its always going to be easiest or cheapest to improve and build upon whats already there but sometimes the scales can tip in favour of starting afresh.

What is the quality of the existing building?

Does the building have merit in its current design, architectural details, a character property or possibly listed?

Where is the property located?

Is the building located in a conservation area or in a location where it may be more difficult to justify a change. Local land / property values will also dictate if a replacement property is a viable option.

What extent of remodelling is required?

A small amount of property refurbishment or remodelling would not necessarily justify a rebuild, a more grand plan of remodelling and additions is usually where the remodelling / rebuild question is considered.

What is the budget / project funding?

Where the entirety of projects funding is not initially available a remodelling can offer the option of a live-in or staged renovation. Both remodelling and rebuilding may have similar cost across the length of the project but rebuild will require more upfront funding and alternate accommdation.

How can rebuilding become more beneficial?

When there aren’t overriding factors to work with the existing building (historic character for example) a rebuild gives the opportunity to take a fresh look at the use of the plot and design a house which is most suited to your accommodation needs and preferred style.

Isn’t it wasteful to start again?

It’s likely that the existing property performs poorly from a building fabric heat loss perspective, whilst improvements can be made these can be quite ad-hoc to the detriment of the living space or building appearance and not perform as well as a newly constructed element. A new replacement property has the opportunity to be a high performance, low energy home. Over the lifespan of the house use this can be of benefit compared to reusing the existing building and provide lower ongoing bills.

There are two main areas and build stage which increase the viability of a replacement dwelling (besides other benefits of an actual new home designed to your requirements). Firstly VAT can be refunded on the building materials for a new self-build properties. This VAT refund isn’t available on remodelling and conversions (unless a change of use) so takes a big 20% chunk out of the comparable material costs.

A new build is in most cases (and once built to DPC level) a more easily quantifiable build from a cost perspective. Removing unknowns of existing fabric elements and potential problems with the existing buildings makes project time-scales and costs much more straight forward. The removal of a constraint of working with the existing fabric also applies to labour costs and professional fees.

Want to find out more?

At Oasis Studio our specialism in Residential Architecture. We benefit from a wealth of experience in projects including new build, remodelling and conversions which enables us to objectively look at the pros and cons of each route for the specific situation and requirements of your project, expanding and analysing your options. Get in Touch to discuss your project.

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