Gilbert + Burke Blog

Custom Home Construction and Remodelling Tips

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You loved your home when you bought it. But circumstances change and now you’re torn between starting over with a brand new home, renovating to achieve the upgrades on your wishlist, or maybe just redecorating. What’s worse is that you love the location, the view, and the neighbours, making your decision that much harder. Settle the debate once and for all with this easy quiz.

Should you rebuild, remodel your home, or rest easy?

Jot down the corresponding letter to each answer on a piece of paper and tally up each A, B, and C at the end of the quiz.

Do you or your family members live in the home year-round?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.
  3. Most of the year.

Do you plan to keep the home long-term?

  1. Yes. We plan to retire here.
  2. No. We plan to eventually relocate or sell the home if the market conditions make sense.
  3. For now, but who knows what will happen.

Is your home more than 50 years old?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.
  3. Yes, but we’ve made major upgrades since then.

Are you on a tight budget?

  1. No. We’ve got over $100,000 for the project.
  2. Yes. We’re looking to spend around $30,000
  3. Not sure. We haven’t gotten to that step yet.

Does your current home give you enough space?

  1. No, we’d like to build an addition.
  2. Yes, but we’d like to make changes to the existing layout.
  3. Yes. Besides, our property doesn’t have room for an addition.

Do you have somewhere else to live if the home is uninhabitable during renovations or rebuild?

  1. Yes. We have family in the area to stay with.
  2. No. We would need to put some of our budget towards a hotel.
  3. Not sure. Haven’t thought that far ahead yet.

Can desired improvements be made within the existing structure?

  1. No. We need to take walls down, add another level, or a new addition.
  2. Yes. The changes we are looking for will not require major structural changes like taking walls down or adding another level.  
  3. Maybe. We need the help of a builder to help us determine this.

Does the home have “good bones”?

  1. No. We’ve had floods in the basement, there are cracks in the drywall/foundation, or we’ve recognized stains on the concrete from water seepage.
  2. Yes. Floors are level, no leaks in the house, and we have a newer roof.
  3. Not sure. We’ve had some issues but I don’t know how critical they are.

Are you on a well and septic system?

  1. No.
  2. Yes.
  3. I’m not sure.

Is your property flat?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.
  3. Some parts.

Is your home subject to community zoning restrictions?

  1. No, our municipality has no guidelines for the types of changes we’d like to make.
  2. Yes. We live in a subdivision
  3. Not sure. We haven’t looked into it or can’t find the answers.

Mostly A’s: Rebuild

Out with the old, in with the new. Starting fresh is your best bet if you answered mostly As. This will allow you to achieve the customizations you’re looking for and get your dream home. If you’ve got problems with the foundation, you can rebuild with confidence that your home is structurally sound. Get the space you need and maximize your living space.

Your next step: Download the Ultimate Guide to Planning, Designing, and Building Your Custom Home

Mostly B’s: Remodel

If you answered mostly B’s, we recommend taking advantage of your home’s solid foundation and making some interior upgrades. You can most definitely still achieve your dream home by remodelling. In fact, Canadians are spending more on renovations than new builds. There are plenty of benefits to remodelling including typically lower costs, the ability to live in the home during the project, and usually avoiding obtaining permits.

Your next step: Download the Free Ultimate Home Renovation Guide

Mostly C's: Rest Easy

If your notepad shows several C’s, rest easy. It doesn’t sound like the issues with your home are too pressing, so sit tight for now. Rather than jumping into a major renovation or rebuild, do some interior non-structural upgrades to see if your feelings about the house change. Redecorate, get new furniture, buy new artwork, or paint the walls. If you’re still feeling unsatisfied with your home, then revisit this quiz.

Want a second opinion? Sit down with a contractor to talk about your options.

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