build or remodel northern va

Should You Build or Remodel in Northern VA? Evaluating Your Options

It’s an age-old question: should you build a new custom home or remodel the one you already have? It may come as a surprise that you can often get a new home for the price of a used one, and that remodeling, on a cost-per-square-foot basis, is usually more expensive than new construction. Deciding whether you should build or remodel your Northern VA home should not be based, then, on construction costs alone. There are a host of other factors to consider.

Needs Change

The choice between remodeling or building new is not a clear-cut one. Every family’s situation is different. Over time, your home may no longer work for your family’s lifestyle or needs. You may require more or less space, and the floorplans and appliances may be outdated. Families evolve, expanding through the birth of children, or shrinking as those children grow up and move into homes of their own. Maybe you just want a change of pace, or you want to incorporate future needs. Whatever the reason, at some point you may look around and ask yourself, should we remodel or build the home we really need and want?

Evaluate Motivations

At Foley Development, we’ve learned that a good first course of action is to evaluate your reasons for making a change. Once you understand what is driving your decision, you are in a better position to decide whether a remodel or new construction is in your future. Do you:

  • Think your home is old and just needs too much work?
  • Think you’d like to live in a more desirable neighborhood?
  • Think a smaller or larger yard will better suit your present needs?
  • Want to go from a two-story house to one-level living, or vice versa?
  • Want to be nearer to (or further from) family?

Questions like these are a great jumping of point, as they help reveal you have more choices than you thought.

Discover What’s Possible

Now’s the time for information gathering. Besides the wealth of written material available online, it’s a good idea to seek out the professional opinion of a design-build firm or contractor. They are your perfect source for finding out what you can or cannot change about your current home, as well as the logistics of building a new home. Talk to a local realtor, too, about what your home is currently worth and what impact a remodel might have.

Weigh the Costs

There are two types of costs associated with building and remodeling: obvious and hidden ones. Obvious costs are things like materials, fixtures, and labor. Our design-build process walks you through all the steps involved in both building a new custom home or remodeling your existing home.  Hidden costs are often overlooked, but are very real just the same. For remodeling, they include:

  • Change orders
  • The cost of structural changes or repair of unseen problems
  • Interior design, furniture, and furnishings
  • The costs associated with temporary housing, dining out, or ordering take-out

These hidden costs may seem insignificant when considered on their own, but they can quickly add up.

It’s also important to consider your return on investment, which depends on several factors. The value of homes in your neighborhood, the current housing market, and the inherent quality of the project itself should all be taken into account. A great source for this information is Remodeling Magazine’s online cost vs. value report. Since there’s simply no way to put a dollar figure on the long-term value you’ll receive from a new home or a remodel, think about how each option will benefit your family the most.  

Make a Decision

The choice between a custom build or home remodel is a major decision that is based on factors specific to your family’s needs. Intangibles like how attached you are to your current home, neighborhood, and local amenities should all be considered. Financial options need to be explored and it’s a good idea to get cost estimates for both a remodel and new construction.

There’s no right or wrong answer that applies to every homeowner. By evaluating the above factors, though, you can confidently make a decision that is best for your family’s needs. Our design-build process begins with a consultation that can help you make the remodeling vs. custom build decision an easier one. No matter what you decide, we believe the design-build approach is the smart choice, and we’d love to meet you and discuss your new home options.