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Is It Cheaper to Remodel or Tear Down and Rebuild in Denver?

Denver home renovations can often be cheaper than rebuilding, unless the home is structurally unsound.

By: Jamie Eden | May 2019

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Remodeling a homePhoto by csp_RPPhoto

Home renovations are a popular sight in the thriving city of Denver. However, an equally popular option is to tear down and rebuild. Whether you are interested in updating your family room, making energy-efficient improvements, or want to tear it all down, you should first consider the financial implications of your actions.

With this in mind, determining if it is cheaper to remodel or tear down and rebuild is made easier when you consider your specific Denver location, your financial situation and the unique characteristics of your home.

Remodeling vs. Home Renovations vs. Rebuilding

The following questions can help you decide if remodeling, tearing down or renovating your Denver home is cheaper.

1. Can you keep your older home's character as you complete home renovations?

There are many older homes in Denver that have a great deal of character. These homes typically feature higher quality wood, crown molding, marble window sills, and solid-core doors.

In other words, many of the older homes have amazing finishing touches that can't be replicated in today’s market. If the finishes can be replicated, then it usually comes with a hefty cost, which is why many Denver homeowners choose to renovate their older houses.

2. Are you trying to complete a home remodeling project in one of Denver’s restrictive zones?

Restrictive zones can cause major delays in a rebuild or home remodeling project. Before you can decide if it is cheaper to remodel or rebuild, you must first determine if your house is in one of Denver’s restrictive zones.

For example, if your home is in one of the historical districts, then your construction options might be limited. Alternatively, you might discover that your property lot has size restrictions that make tearing down and rebuilding an impractical choice.

3. Is your home structurally unsound?

No matter where you live, a home that is sitting on a crumbling foundation will typically need to be torn down. If the home isn’t structurally sound, then you must first correct the foundation before you can begin home renovations.

For many homeowners, it is cheaper to tear down the house and start from scratch than it is to fix a crumbling foundation and structural soundness issues before beginning their home renovations.

4. Can you make energy-efficient improvements?

If you are feeling guilty about tearing down your home, then you might decide to make energy-efficient improvements. For example, you could maintain your older home’s character by keeping the marble window sills when you replace the actual windows with an energy-efficient solution.

Alternatively, you could choose to use recycled materials, breathe new life into your existing woodwork by refinishing it, and opt for Energy Star-rated appliances.

Finally, you should breathe a sigh of relief knowing that a home renovation is typically more environmentally friendly than a tear down and rebuild. By making energy-efficient improvements, you can also save money in the long run with lower heating, electric, and cooling bills.

The Bottom Line: It All Comes Down To What You Want

Ultimately the choice to remodel or tear down and rebuild your Denver home will depend on your unique goals.

Whether you are interested in making your home green with energy-efficient improvements, want to keep its old characteristics, or are interested in maximizing your living space with a fresh start, a trusted architect and contractor can help you estimate costs to help you determine the most beneficial option.

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