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New Construction and Renovation Projects: 3 Questions You Should Answer Before You Begin

You can choose the right service for your next home project by understanding the differences between getting something newly constructed or getting a fresh renovation. Your choice will impact the cost and schedule, as well as the final structure.

Both new construction and renovation services have their benefits and drawbacks. The best option is one that can serve you best.

Therefore, it is vital to fully understand the benefits of these services, both short-term and long-term.

What Is the Difference Between a Renovation and New Constructions

Many contractors are offering different types of services. You might be wondering what it means exactly to renovate and how it could be better than getting a brand new building constructed. 

These are the basic definitions of new construction and renovation.

New Construction

It is simple to define new construction as it has a straightforward meaning: “the house is built from scratch.”

If you decide on this construction service, you and your builder should work closely together to determine the details of your new construction. 

It includes everything from the architectural style, location, and materials you will use.


Renovation is what you do if you want to make some alterations to an existing structure.

Home renovations have a broader scope, from remodeling to interior gutting. In other words, the changes you want are based on the space that is already there. 

Comparison Between Renovating and Newly Constructing

The three main factors that affect your decision are cost, duration, and design.

Cost of renovation vs. new construction is the most significant factor in a construction project. It always comes down to which will be the most cost-effective for you.

The duration depends on the scope of work, the condition of your house if you want to renovate it, and whether you have daily activities that could interrupt the construction work.

The house aesthetics and layout are important considerations because they can send a strong appeal to anyone who visits your home. They can also reflect the personality of those who live there. 

For example, luxurious finishes communicate comfort, while minimalism communicates luxury.

The Pros and Cons of Renovating


Renovations are more restricted when it comes to adding or changing your house’s layout and designs. Although it can be one of the disadvantages of renovating, it is a huge plus for old or historic homes. 

Old or historical homes have an inherent charm that is hard to match with modern constructions. Their appeal alone can make your space unique and attractive enough to impress people.


Depending on the extent of renovations, you can choose what part or design of your house you will keep. This helps lower the renovation costs as you can do parts or rooms one at a time.

​Renovating is generally less costly than building a new home. However, there are also cases when renovating can be more expensive. 

One example is the need to add more space to your old house to accommodate your changing lifestyle. You’ll find out more about this later.


Renovations are often faster than new constructions. Because the essential part of your house’s structure is already in place, it will be less work for your builders.

However, renovations may be longer if the house is old and if there are a lot of harmful building materials that your builders have to remove.

The Pros and Cons of a New Construction


Building a new home is the best way to control how your property will look and function. You can customize the design to meet your family’s specific needs. (See also: 11 Features Needed to Design a Luxury Home


New construction is more complicated. It requires more work hours and uses more materials. That’s why it’s usually the most expensive option.

The good part is you’ll get a clean slate in return. You have the freedom to incorporate new technology to make it into a smart home or design it in any way you want.


Due to the amount of work required, new construction can often take longer than a renovation.  To make an entire structure from scratch, you have to consider the materials, layout, utilities, and other factors. 

Table Illustrating the Differences Between Renovation and New Construction
New ConstructionRenovation
Pros:No need to worry about your family’s privacy as the builders work on your property more control over the architecture, technology, and layoutProsGenerally less expensive If done for old buildings, it can preserve the house’s character time of completion is usually quicker
ConsGenerally more expensive completion usually takes a long timeConsPossibly less privacy for the family members the cost can go higher, depending on the complexity of work (e.g., asbestos removal)Limited design

Is Building a New House Cheaper Than Renovating?

Renovating an existing building is generally more affordable upfront. But, what may seem like the cheapest option may not be the best when you consider long-term goals and other factors.

The following are some of the factors that can increase the cost of renovation.  

Age of Your Property

There are a lot of considerations when renovating an old property. Examples are the record of past renovations and upgrades and the materials used to build it. The historical value it has is also a factor to consider, primarily if it benefits the community. 

The Complexity of the Changes

Some renovations can be more extensive than others, requiring more than just a simple makeover. It is essential to determine the layout and amenities you need because they will affect the requirements of your project.


It is not a good idea to renovate if you are in an area that hasn’t experienced economic growth, as you may have a problem with your return on your investment.

Removal of Hazardous Materials

Due to the current laws, asbestos, lead-based paints, and cleaning materials can significantly impact the progress and cost of renovations. These chemicals can be found in the middle of renovations and cause delays and additional charges. 

Is It Better to Build New or Renovate?

You should consider many factors when deciding whether to renovate or start from scratch. The first thing that you should do is to discuss it with your family and builders. 

Initial discussions should include the budget and any issues that might arise. Discuss your family’s typical lifestyle to help decide about any room or amenity additions. 

Do not forget to discuss the timeframe of the project completion and the compromises all parties are willing to make.

These are not the only points to be discussed, but they can help you make a good decision. The following considerations can help you further:

Renovate if you:

  • Want to keep a home you have loved and filled memories with for many years
  • Only need to make minor changes in your home
  • Want to preserve the charm of your old home but still live a modern lifestyle
  • Want to add more rooms

Build a new if you:

  • Want everything in your property to look new
  • Want to design an eco-friendly home and use sustainable materials
  • Want to integrate new technology, such as making your house smart
  • Want more freedom in design  


You can determine which option is best for you based on your situation and resources and by knowing the differences between new construction and renovation.

It can be challenging to decide as it impacts your budget, schedule, and the project’s outcome. 
For this reason, a one-on-one conversation with a professional builder is the best way to make a final decision. Contact BCR today. We would love to speak with you about your project and

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