Is It Worth Tearing Down a House to Rebuild?

Is It Worth Tearing Down a House to Rebuild?

Have you outgrown your home? Or has it perhaps gotten shabby and no longer suits your needs? While renovating your existing digs, selling up and buying a new home or building elsewhere are three possible solutions to these common housing conundrums, there’s a fourth option that’s also worth considering: knocking down your house and building a new one in its place.

Given the many advantages of tearing down your home and starting afresh, it’s not hard to see why this is an increasingly popular solution. If you’re not clued in on the benefits of this building approach, read on and then weigh up whether it’s the right option for you.

It can be a smarter move financially

One of the main appeals of opting to tear down your existing home and rebuild is that it can be more cost-effective than renovating. Some costs associated with renovating and extending a home are difficult to determine during the design stage. Some examples are when new subfloor, underpinning or plaster rectification are required. As a result, allowances for such costs are built into the contract you will have with your renovating company.

This obviously won’t factor into your financials if you choose to knock your house down and rebuild, since your existing home will be completely demolished, allowing you to start afresh.

There are less surprises

Many people love surprises, but not so much when they’re renovating their home. Unforeseen problems like leaky pipes, dodgy wiring and undetected asbestos can turn what should be an exciting home makeover project into a lengthy, stressful and costly nightmare. Which is another reason why KDRs can be a more attractive and cost-effective option.

You can stay in the same neighborhood…

While demolishing and rebuilding your home has plenty of financial benefits, this building approach has a positive impact on your lifestyle, too. KDRs are a great option for families who love where they live and are loath to leave but are in desperate need of a new home that better suits their needs.

Rather than upping sticks and buying or building elsewhere, opting for a knockdown-rebuild means you can construct the home of your dreams but stay in the area you’ve grown to adore.

Or buy a house to raze and rebuild where you love

A shortage of land in and around metropolitan areas has been a driving force behind the popularity of knockdown-rebuilds. This is especially true for those who have their heart set on building their dream home in their favorite inner-city, rather than relocating to where vacant land is more readily available.

Properties in well-established areas can be pricey, no matter how dilapidated they are. Before you splash out some serious cash on such a property, weigh up the cost versus the lifestyle benefits to make sure the price of the purchase, demolition and rebuild is worth it.

It’s also worth getting advice from a local real estate agent. They will be able to point you toward potential properties, plus they can tell you more about what the property’s value might be if you were to rebuild, versus simply renovating.

You start with a clean slate

While renovating requires you to work around existing structures, knockdown-rebuilds offer a lot more design freedom. While you will still have site conditions to challenge the design, you have a clean slate to explore new ideas and challenge the previous layout. Building a new home gives you more options in terms of the style and size of the home, sustainability and the use of technology and modern building practices.

You can go green(er)

Another benefit of undertaking a KDR is that you can up your home’s sustainability game in ways that would not be possible if you were to renovate. For example, starting from scratch means that you can optimize the orientation and layout of your home and the placement of windows, to allow for maximum sun exposure in winter; shade and coolness in summer; and cross ventilation.

These three key passive design strategies harness renewable energy resources such as the sun and wind to heat, cool, ventilate and illuminate your home naturally. This in turn allows you to improve your home’s carbon footprint and reduce your household energy spending.

Knockdown-rebuilds give you the opportunity to construct your new home from the ground up, using sustainable materials and incorporating the latest smart, eco-friendly fixtures, features and gadgets too.

Sold on the idea of a knockdown-rebuild? Have you ever embarked on a knockdown-rebuild project? Do you have any advice to share for people who are considering this building approach? Tell us in the comments below.


Ways to Renovate Your Garage into a Livable Space on a Budget

Modern homes have gone a long way in terms of style and function rolled into one amazing place of abode. Thus, the usual and conventional home ideas observed in the past are long passe and irrelevant in contemporary times. Just as in the cases of home garages, it is no longer confined to the traditional car storage and parking area. As an integral part of the house, it is considered an asset that may boost the market value of the property depending on the creativity and resourcefulness of the home owner in upgrading his garage. Now more than ever is the perfect time to think of ways to transform your idle and space consuming home car garage into a more livable and functional space.

So what exactly are the best options to consider when remodeling this area and converting it into a multi-functional and productive space of your house? There are actually vital components to consider that most home owners need to give utmost importance. First and foremost is the financial allocation you can afford to spend in this home project. Be sure that you have sufficient budget in order to start and finish your renovation or else it may give you more losses than profit.

It is quite normal to have a garage that is full of stuff, from lawn care tools to boxes from when you moved in, the list is inexhaustible. The best solution to this problem is to have all the junk removed by either the municipal services or give away for donations. It is always easy to donate things that can be of other people’s use. Have your friends or family to help you clean up!

With all the junks removed, it is now time for preparing the upgrades you plan on making. This step requires smalls tasks that you can knock out in a few hours. It will include replacing the old drain caps or floor covers plates with something that is going to last for long. You can also update the garage door seals by replacing them with more functioning and fit for the look you want for the garage. Removing floor fixtures is one of the best thing makeover that you can give to a garage. You can either have the help of a handyman or do it yourself.

One of the hardest decision that you will have to make while renovating your garage is whether you want to keep the flooring as it is or change it. Whether you want to take on applying garage floor coatings yourself or hire a professional to do so. There are advantages to both and each have a wide range of options. Plenty of big box store retailers offer DIY epoxy garage floor kits, and there are numerous online tutorials to back them up. Professional garage floor coatings offer unparalleled quality and, of course, make the work easier on you.

You have to consider is the budget. You will not be able to push through with the conversion if you do not have the means to do that. If you want generate some cash before you start your project, you can do so. Scavenge through your stuff and prepare them for a garage sale. This is definitely a good way to start over. Besides, you need to empty your garage before you start your project, right?

Keep in mind that your budget has to be realistic. You can use some things you have at home; however, you should consider the structures to build. This means you will need a plan. It will be best to hire a professional to do this. Although there are several do it yourself guides in the net today, you want to be certain that everything is well taken care of.

Your plan should be clear. What type of room do you want it to be? Do you want it to be your home office or a play area for your kids? Do you want it to be an extra bedroom or a living room? Your decision, will greatly affect how the plan will go.

Once you have your plan ready, empty the garage. Check for the repairs that need to be dealt with first. Hire an electrician to check the electrical lines. If it is going to be your office, you need to have sockets installed as well as proper lighting. You have to check the condition of the room as well. Do you need to install an AC because of its temperature? Remember, you will welcome future clients there if it will become your office.

After taking care of the basic things, carry out your plan. If you are going to do it yourself, you will need a lot of help. So make sure that you ask your family and friends to help you in the project. This is also why it is important to have a detailed plan. This way, you will know exactly what work to assign. Before assigning tasks though, you have to make sure that all the materials you need are purchased. This includes the paint, paintbrushes, blue tapes, nails and the like. Having all your materials ready will ensure that you finish the task on time.

Monitor the progress. Prepare a time table to be able to do this. You have to be visible during the entire project so that if there are questions and problems, you will be able to deal with them right away. It can be tough, but it is definitely rewarding after you finish.


Part 2 of the Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Renovation: Sprucing Up the Windows

Now that you’ve improved your kitchen, you may be looking at the end product and still not feel totally satisfied with it. This could probably be because your old windows do not match your new décor. And what’s the point of renovating your kitchen if your windows do not match the new style and architecture of your kitchen? Since it is one of the most used rooms in your house, you want to choose windows that not only look great but that also enhance the room by adding more natural light to it.

But there are a lot of things to take into consideration when looking for kitchen windows. These may include location, ventilation and amount of light. While it’s okay to have more than one style of window for your home, there is such a thing as having too many different styles. If you don’t take into account the overall design of your house when choosing windows for your kitchen, you may end up with an exterior design that looks disjointed.

Read on to find out more about window options that are available to you!

The 4 Best Styles for Kitchen Windows

There are generally 5 window types that go well with almost any kitchen. These include:

  1. Garden windows
  2. Sliding windows
  3. Casement windows
  4. Double-hung windows

Window type 1: Garden Windows

What are the garden windows?

Garden windows are windows that extend past the façade of your home and that look like a glass box. The sides of the glass ‘box’ connect at the rigid and straight front of the window.

Pros of having garden windows installed:

  1. Since it sticks out, it creates space for additional storage.
  2. As every side is made of glass, it can be used to grow herbs all year round.
  3. Its dimension gives the impression that the kitchen is bigger than it really is.
  4. It brings in the perfect amount of light in the kitchen.

Cons of having garden windows installed:

  1. Most windows need thick vinyl or wood frame to be really energy efficient. Garden windows do not come with these thick frames, meaning that cold and hot air is more likely to escape through the windows or pass into the kitchen.

Window type 2: Sliding Windows

What are sliding windows?

Sliding windows are made up of side-by-side windows that open on a sliding track. Mechanically simple, it can also be designed to have both windows or just one window slide horizontally.

Pros of having sliding windows installed:

  1. Sliding windows do not take up much space.
  2. They are easy to open.
  3. Sliding windows tend to be cheaper due to their simple designs.
  4. Since you get to crack the window open just a little bit or open it all the way, this type of window gives you better control over air circulation.
  5. They are very durable.

Cons of having sliding windows installed:

  1. The tracks are not that easy to clean.
  2. The design is not necessarily modern.

Window type 3: Double Hung Windows

What are double-hung windows?

Double-hung windows are quite possibly the most popular type of window. It is very similar to sliding windows, except that in that the two large sashes slide up and down within vertical tracks instead of horizontally.

Pros of having double hung windows installed:

  1. You have the freedom of opening them as wide as you want.
  2. You have a wider selection of styles and sizes when compared to sliding windows.
  3. The springs or weights used in the design make the windows easier to open and close.
  4. The vertical tracks do not accumulate dirt easily.

Cons of having double hung windows installed:

  1. Their design makes them dangerous for little children.
  2. This type of window needs maintenance to ensure that the springs or sash cords do not wear out.

Window type 4: Casement Windows

What are casement windows?

Casement windows are very popular windows that open outwards. They open outwards horizontally via cranks mounted on hinges. These hinges are located on one side of the window and are found both at the top and bottom of the windows. Essentially, when you open the window, it will open like a door with one side of the window staying stationary.

Pros of having casement windows installed:

  1. They probably offer the best over control airflow than any other type of windows.
  2. Since its seal is pretty tight, it is very energy efficient –  it can easily keep out drafts.
  3. Their design allows a lot of light in.

Cons of having casement windows installed:

  1. Casement windows are vulnerable to strong winds.
  2. Because of its cranking mechanism, it has greater chances of breaking when compared to the other window types mentioned in this list.

Part 1 of the Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Renovation: Can I Remodel My Kitchen on a Budget?

Sprucing up a kitchen generally costs a lot. In fact, a kitchen renovation can cost significantly more than the renovation of a small bathroom, the living room and bedrooms. But if you plan properly, make wise decisions and stay hands-on, you can give your kitchen the remodelling it desperately needs without draining all your savings.

The good news is that we are here to help you look at all the options available to you. You do not have to follow every tip in this post- you can pick and choose to follow only a few of those and compromise on others. Regardless, these tips will help you cut costs when it comes to the renovation.

Ask yourself these following questions:

Question 1: Is the budget I prepared foolproof?

And by this, we mean have you accounted for “hidden” costs?

Hidden costs can quickly add up and cause you to go above budget or lead to you having to compromise on other things– things that would give your kitchen just the look you want – down the road.  These hidden costs include the cost of labour, materials, delivery as well as taxes.

Question 2: Is this a need or a want?

You may already have an idea of what you want to do for your kitchen. But before going shopping for furniture or thinking about hiring a contractor install that new flooring you really want, evaluate what your idea really is: Is it a want or a need? If it’s a want, will it cost a lot? Can it cause us to go over budget? Or can we afford it?

Not only will this line of questioning force you to stay realistic, it will also discourage you from buying unnecessary items.

Question 3: Can this be a Do It Yourself type of project?

Going the DIY route means you will be able to save on labour costs. Sure, you won’t be able to DIY the project, but there are a few parts that you can complete on your own! For those that are relatively easy, consider doing them yourself. These include changing outlets and lights, painting the walls and hanging drywall.

Question 4: Can I skimp on materials?

No. Absolutely not. You want to aim for quality. Even if the materials come at a cheaper price, the chances of it being faulty are way higher. Instead of saving you money, it will inevitably lead to you spending more.

Good quality materials are relatively expensive. The best solution when you are on a budget is to buy the best quality you can afford. Do not systematically choose the cheaper alternative.

Question 5: Cabinets – replace or refresh?

It’s true that new kitchen cabinets can cost way more than just painting over your old ones. Although a classic method, your existing cabinets may not be as modern or as efficient as newer ones.

If anything, unlike flooring, the benefits of getting new cabinets are two-fold: it not only completely changes the look of your kitchen, but it can also create better storage spaces and organization solutions for you.

Question 6: What about appliances? Refurbish or replace?

If replacing appliances means moving plumbing, gas, or electrical, it would be a better idea to refurbish. Replacing them will cost too much and will not really be worth all the troubles you will have to go through.

Question 7: Will a New Layout Make My Kitchen More Modern?

A new layout can definitely change the whole look of your kitchen. BUT, and that’s a huge but, changing the layout of the kitchen is the surest way of driving up your costs.

Bear in mind that there’s a lot you can change in your kitchen to modernize it. A change in layout is not compulsory.

Question 8: What kind of flooring should I get?

First thing first: Do you need new flooring? Also, remember that kitchens are high-traffic areas that need easy-to-clean, stain-resistant flooring. And these do not come cheap.

If your floors already look good, you may not have to replace them at all. In fact, the less you replace, the less you will have to spend.

Question 9: What kind of countertops do I need?

You don’t need to get that concrete or stone countertops. Really. Yes, we know, they look cool. But a stone countertop will be just as effective as a modest ceramic tile one. And you won’t have to break your budget!

What you may want to splurge on though is the size of the countertop. The more you can fit in your kitchen, the better. You do want enough space for food preparation and your sink.

Question 10: Am I using lighting smartly?

You don’t have to go overboard when designing your new kitchen. Simply hanging a well-designed pendant can change the look in your kitchen. You can also add accent lighting that can be plugged into wall outlets. This can be attached to the underside of your cabinets to update their looks.

Getting LED bulbs is also a good way to save on money in the long term –  these energy-saving bulbs will cause your utility bills to decrease.


Door Trim Ideas You Need to Try

Door trimming is an intricate and detailed process involving accurate designing. Some ideas for door trimming includes:

Clean Colonial

As one of the most traditional designs, this type of trimming dates back to the Colonial American era. This style of designing ensures a smooth door which is broad and flat with little decoration, and is mitered at the corners. The bottoms of the side casings can be finished with plinth blocks.

Craftsman

This type of door is unique with its strong lines, low embellishment, and natural wood. A wider casing at the top is usually used rather than along the sides.

Classic

This is the most common and easy door trim design. This classic door has a rosette, fluted casing, and plinth blocks. Although this increases the class of your home, this door trim is, however, overbearing and inappropriate in houses with a cleaner, more modern style. This type of door has 2 rosette blocks at the top, 2 plinth blocks at the bottom, and 3 fluted casings on the side. This is also one of the most costly doors to make.

Door trimming adds originality and increases your home’s aesthetics. Although it can be a great DIY project, a professional should be consulted or hired for a perfect finish. The latter will also provide his knowledge and experience to ensure your door is looking good.


Tips for a Stress-Free Bedroom Renovation

While planning a bedroom remodel project, we all want that the job is done well and in a stress-free manner. I have listed some tips below which helped me when I was doing my renovation.

1.Organize

Like any other makeover, the first rule is to clear the air by sorting out your mess. A great portion of the makeover is to get rid of all the unnecessary stuff in order to create space for useful stuff. Even though you love reading, do youreally need many books by the side of your bed? I guess the answer isclearly “No”. Why don’t you invest in a bookshelf or donate thebooks which you are not going to read again?

Since yourcloset is in your room itself, why don’t you seize the opportunityand get rid of all the clothes which you feeling bad to throw away?Give away all your clothes which you will not wear anymore.

2.Paint your walls out

Painting a bedroom is cheap and fast.Always choose a color which matches your personality. Try hard tofind that perfect color which will bring out the exact ambiance whichyou have been planning for your new bedroom. Cozy, warm, dark,electric – trust me, there are thousands of colors you can choosefrom. If you don’t like the first color, you can always paint overit.

3. Hang Art

Are you an artistic person?Well renovating your bedroom gives you tremendous opportunities tobring out the artist within you. The bedroom is the perfect place todisplay artworks which are dear to you. Whether it is your kid’sdrawing, painting or a sculpture, make the most of the wall spacewhich you have freed. If you prefer a clean space, you can opt tohang only one or two pieces of art. Else, you can fill your wallswith whatever you want.

4. Choose appropriate lighting

When you walk into a room, you can identify howwell designed the room is by the choice of lighting used. If yourroom uses a lot of electricity, you can consider buying a dimmer,that ways you can regulate your lightning to avoid straining of youreyes. You can as well invest into some table lamps, which you can usewhen you need only a specific place to light up. You need to look forlamps which will match your furniture as well.


Basement Renovations – Using the Dormant Living Space

When starting home expansion and renovation projects, one of the spaces we always forget is the basement. Instead of breaking down walls or constructing new buildings why not invest in renovating the basement you already have? Basements are living spaces waiting to be used as kitchens, playrooms, or even an extra bedroom you could rent off as an apartment.

A basement renovation can be a daunting task to undertake whether you carry it out yourself or with the help of a professional. With a number of regulations to consider, it is helpful to know what you’re getting into before you start.

Dry it out

Eliminating all the moisture from your basement will help make the space more comfortable and protect your furniture and fixtures. If your basement is filled with significant moisture, and by this, we mean an actual pool of water, you’ll need to consult with a professional. But for less invasive moisture there are a number of easy DIY tasks you can carry out to cure water problems, such as: sealing cracks with special caulking, moving drains away from your walls, and even a good coat of water-lock paint can significantly reduce moisture.

Install an egress

Many homeowners like to side-step this task, but a well-placed egress can both save your life and improve the look of your room. The International Building Code requires that spaces have a means of egress that is fully accessible in case of an emergency. A good option for basements is to install a window that will be easily accessible and bring in some light. This will help your basement look less like a dungeon, as well as bring in some fresh air which could help with reducing moisture.

Plumbing

Whether you convert your basement into a laundry room, kitchen, or bedroom with its own ensuite bathroom, the plumbing connections of your basement need to be tested and properly installed to ensure the basement stays dry and, yes, yet again, free of any moisture.

Creating the space

Once you’ve decided exactly what you’d like to do with your room, sit down and plan how many rooms you will need, and whether or not you need walls. Framing the walls is an important process that will mark off your new living spaces and provide you with skeletons to hold electrical wires and outlets. When these are finalized, drywall installation can start taking into account all your appliances.

 

Only one question left: how are you going to decorate it?


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