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Remodel or Custom Home? A Look at the Pros and Cons

March 27, 2019

It’s the nature of being human — after periods of consistency, we always seem to crave change, whether it’s for a new pair of shoes, a different job, or even a new home. No matter how much you love your home, it’s easy to be tantalized by HGTV fantasies of perfect living spaces and suddenly feel the urge to build your own tiny house or move to a remote cabin in the woods.

But there are certain times when remodels or new construction homes are necessary — for example, when your growing family doesn’t have enough room, when you don’t have enough space to accommodate your new home business, or when you’re welcoming extended family like aging parents as permanent residents.

But changing up your home in such a drastic way — whether it’s a full remodel or a custom built new home — can be a challenging, lengthy, and expensive process, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you make a final decision. If you’re struggling with which path to take to your new dream home, don’t worry, because we’ve done the work for you. Here is what you need to consider to determine whether you should remodel or build from scratch.


The geographical element is one of the most important factors in your decision. If you love the city or neighborhood you’re living in, or if it’s close to loved ones or important schools and jobs that keep you happy, the decision is usually an easy one. If these are the things that will keep you grounded in your home for years to come, consider a remodel to make the desired changes to your home, even if it takes a little compromise.

Housing Market

If your decision to remodel or build from scratch is based on whether or not it’s a good time to sell, then you’ll want to do some research. The housing market is ever changing, so it’s nearly impossible to predict what it’ll look like in the years ahead. But if you’ve made a firm decision to sell an existing home and build your custom dream home relatively soon, it’s important to know where you stand in the current and upcoming market.

Experts predict a relatively stable 2019 national housing market, with home sales slightly dipping and home prices slowly increasing. The best places to do research on your specific market are the National Association of Realtors,, and Redfin websites.

City Zoning Laws

It used to be just your parents and their strict curfews that kept you from doing what you wanted. Nowadays, you have to check with your local government about which types of renovations you’re allowed to make. If you’re planning on making any type of expansion, whether to the roof or as an add-on wing or room, you might even be interfering with local zoning laws.

If you’re enthusiastic enough for your potential renovation that the loads of paperwork, a property survey, and blueprint drawings just for the permit alone are worth it, it might be worth your effort to remodel. Otherwise, you’re better off choosing a new custom build.


Of course, cost is always a chief determining factor in any sort of home upgrade. But while it may seem obvious that major remodels cost less than creating new construction homes, that’s not always the case. According to a recent HomeAdvisor report, the high-end cost of remodeling multiple rooms can be a hefty $149,000! The national average is about $43,000 according to that same survey, which illustrates an important point — there is so much variation between two of the same project.

That’s why it’s so important to get multiple quotes from the custom home builders, contractors, engineers, and architects you’re considering, before you make any permanent changes. If your remodel points toward the high end and you’re not in love with your current location, for example, consider moving to a new area that will make you more happy in the long run. In that case, spending a bit more on a custom build will be more than worth the added cost in the long run.

Pros and Cons at a Glance

For a quick recap, here’s what we recommend when you’re trying to decide between remodeling your current home and building a new one. Remodeling is best for you if:

  • You’re happy with your current neighborhood or home area.
  • Your desired remodeling changes don’t interfere with zoning requirements.
  • Property values are increasing in your area.

Building a new home from the ground up is best for you if:

  • Your ideal neighborhood is available for building and within your price range.
  • You’re planning a large-scale remodel that is pointing toward the high end of average remodeling costs.
  • City zoning laws prohibit the remodeling changes you’d like to make.

Starting from scratch on building the home of your dreams? It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. At Paradisa Homes, we’re new home builders and remodelers who want to help bring your vision to life. Contact us to get started on your dream home today!