| Which is Cheaper? To Renovate or Rebuild? |

By Arch. Kiko Fernandez | August 25, 2022

You have a property, probably an old family house, or a new purchase, and you are deciding whether to renovate it or just demolish the old structure and build a new one. The questions is; which option is more valuable? Saan ka mas makakatipid at alin ba ang mas sulit?


What makes it complicated?

What complicates renovations projects are the existing site conditions which includes the structural state, the layout, and what can still be reused, retained, replaced and removed. Termite and water damage may be hidden from plain site, utilities might be too old and need replacement, the structure may also not be compliant with the building code. There are a lot of factors to consider and no two projects are the same.

What makes ground up construction difficult is of course the intricacy and complexity of the architect’s design and the lot condition (if the buildable land is sloping or has soft soil). Generally, most professionals in the field will say it is easier to build from scratch.


The misconception

What about in terms of budget? Which is more budget friendly? I’ve heard a lot of people say it will be cheaper to build a new structure than renovate an existing one. The thinking is, rather than work around the existing problems of the structure, demolishing it and building a new one will be the more economical choice since the project will now be more predictable, and flexible in terms of design.


The verdict

While it is true that the project is more predictable when the structure will be built from the ground up, it is more probable that the project will be more expensive if the structure is built from scratch, here’s why:

If you renovate the existing structure, you get to use a lot of the existing elements, most importantly the shell of the structure (floor, columns, beams, walls, roof). If the “bones” of the structure are in good condition, it can be utilized for the project. If you decide to demolish the existing structure and build a new one, you will have to spend on the demolition which requires a different permit, a lot of hauling, and of course careful planning. Add that to the standard costs of building a new structure, and you are now more expensive compared to a standard project with an empty lot, and almost always more expensive than a renovation project.

Renovation = you get to use existing elements

New Construction = demolition costs + new construction cost


My advice

Always explore the renovation direction first especially if the intended use of the structure will remain the same. For example, if an old house will still be used as a primary residence, then it would make sense to renovate. But if an old house will be used as a mixed-used commercial building, a new building will be the more sensible choice. It is still best to consult your architect because as we have stated earlier, no two projects are the same.

Archadius Construction Corporation specializes in residential construction and remodeling as well as condominium and commercial fit-outs. For your construction needs, you may reach us through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/archadiusconstruction. You may also email us at contact@archadiusconstruction.com or call/text us at 0916-321-6094 / 0969-277-4634.