4 reasons to gut and start over

Very few homeowners enjoy the luxury of having their very own custom-built home designed and built from scratch. What this means is that almost everyone, even those who adore their home, has that one room they’re dying to renovate – and it’s usually the bathroom or the kitchen.

Unfortunately, the only way to truly create your ideal space is to “start over.” But with the cost of a full makeover running possibly into the tens of thousands, how are you to decide whether you require a full gut and re-do or if a tweaking around the edges will suffice?

In this post we’ll look at 4 situations where it just makes sense to gut and start over from the beginning. If one of these scenarios pertains to you, it may be time to break out the sledge hammer!

1. You live in an older home

There are several reasons why older homes are ripe for top to bottom renovations. To begin with, if your house is several decades old it’s likely that every facet of your room is out of date, both in terms of style and technology. Older fixtures could even be on the verge of wearing out and failing.

While there’s no rule of thumb with regards to how old is “old,” a simple test is to ask a friend to look at the room you plan to renovate and ask them to guess in which year your home was built. If their estimate is on the mark, it’s probably time to gut and update.

Another point to consider in very old homes is incompatibility of antiquated piping/wiring with modern plumbing supplies. Instead of trying to retrofit an old system to accept new stuff, you’re better off to rip ‘er back to the studs and get your infrastructure up to code while you’re at it.

2. Damaged goods

If a large part of the impetus for your remodel is that you’ve got serious water damage and/or dry rot in your joists and floorboards, there’s a good chance you’d be better off removing all components of the room to accurately assess the damage rather than going for a patch job.

The problem with putting a Band-Aid on a serious wound is that problems are more likely to resurface down the road if the initial problem was not properly diagnosed and taken care of.

3. You’re in it for the long haul

Homeowners looking to sell within the next year or two are likely going to be better off financially by opting for a few stunning upgrades rather than starting over at the beginning – but those who plan on living at least five more years at their current home will have plenty of time to reap the benefits of a full renovation.

Think about it this way: For every year you plan on living in your home, this is one more year you will get to enjoy the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams. So if you have no plans for moving in the immediate future, go for gold.

4. Missing a few square feet

Some homes were simply designed with a poorly laid out floor plan. If your kitchen or bath just isn’t large enough to accommodate the changes you’d like to make, your best bet will be to “borrow” space from another room or to add on an extension.

By the time you’re knocking down and moving walls it really makes sense to gut the space entirely and start over from scratch.

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