Before undertaking any kind of home improvement project, it’s important to decide upon its scale, and how intensive it’s going to be. In other words, is it time to demolish, or use a delicate touch?
The choice actually is a bit more nuanced than that, but overall it’s about deciding whether it’s time for wholesale changes, knocking down walls and starting from scratch, or whether some more minor or moderate updates can get the job done. There are plenty of factors to consider, and this article should help you set the matter straight.
First, it’s important to be clear on several terms so everyone’s on the same page.
What’s the difference, for example, between remodeling, renovating and restoring?
It’s actually quite simple. Remodeling is the broadest term, and while in may be used to reference any type of change to a home, it’s more accurately used to describe changing the space and affecting how it’s used. Meanwhile, renovating refers to making a space new, i.e., new appliances and flooring in a kitchen, without changing what the space is or how it’s put to use. Finally, restoring is returning a space to its original character or qualities.
Knowing that, what’s the best way to decide on how intensive or large scale a project should be?
1. The Budget
The first thing to consider is the budget that’s available for any project. If the goal is to improve the kitchen, and there’s $10k to work with, then knocking down the dining room wall to create one large space while installing all new appliances probably isn’t realistic. Creating a more open and airy space by tweaking design components, improving lighting and color schemes, and so forth, might be a better fit in that instance.
2. Time Frame
Larger scale remodeling projects generally take more time to complete. Not only do they take more time, but they generally also come with more inconveniences. If bedroom walls are being knocked down or the kitchen is out of commission, the family may need to stay elsewhere for a period of time, or deal with a lack of functionality for certain spaces.
The results will be grander and more spectacular, but that’s one of the tradeoffs. So, consider how much time a project is going to take, and what that time looks like for the family and the home along the way.
3. What’s the Purpose?
Perhaps most importantly, consider the ultimate purpose of the project. Is it all about prepping the home for sale and increasing value or making it more easily sellable? Or is it about something that you actually want to enjoy for the next 5 or 10 years, and beyond? Quick fixes and renovations, more along the delicate touch side, are often more appropriate for getting a house to the market, whereas perhaps it’s time to knock some walls down if it’s a project you’re going to love reaping the benefits of for the next decade.
Remodeling or renovating? Demolition or a delicate hand? Consider the budget, the time frame and the purpose of the project, and it should be easier to decide on the correct course of action.