In Architecture, New Home, Remodel

Should I Remodel My Existing Home or Start from Scratch?



Upon interest in developing a home, most homeowners are unsure of how to proceed properly, especially when it comes to a remodel versus starting a new project from scratch. In each of these scenarios, there are countless variables that can influence decision making that will have an effect on project time and budget. This can be overwhelming, but it is important to remember that, with the right design professionals, the process can be well-managed and rewarding.


To begin, there are a Few Key Questions every homeowner should ask themselves:


  1.   What is the expected budget and is it reasonable for the project in mind?  
  2.   What is the expected time frame for the delivery of the project design and construction? 
  3.   What architectural style would be appropriate for the project? 


It is only after these questions have been answered that a design professional will be able to effectively provide a plan towards the most appropriate design strategy, in this case: remodeling an existing home or starting a new project from scratch. The following outline details some of the pros and cons of each strategy:




  • Working with something that a homeowner already has can be more cost effective depending on the expected scope of work
  • A remodel might allow a homeowner to maintain unique existing site or building conditions that may be grandfathered in place.
  • Depending on the scope, it may save considerably on the construction time.



  • Ultimate flexibility to design a homeowner’s dream.
  • In many cases, it can be faster than remodeling an existing home.
  • Presents an opportunity to fully incorporate modern building materials, techniques and technologies, including sustainable strategies that improve the overall quality of life within the home.


  • Flexibility may be restricted and a homeowner may be forced to work around existing site conditions that cannot be changed
  • May be required to bring the entire building up to code for structural or other specific considerations
  • Many times remodeling projects are like working with the unknown, which can lead to unexpected costs, among other challenges.


  • New home construction budgets can often be substantially more than a homeowner might expect.
  • The freedom to design from scratch often overwhelming and leaves homeowners uncertain about what decisions they should make.
  • The entitlement process with the various governmental agencies can sometimes be daunting.


A qualified design professional can help a homeowner sort through all of these variables and guide them toward the right decisions for their specific needs. This will help them save time, money and heartache.


Since 2005, Anders Lasater Architects has helped homeowners find solutions to their unique projects.  Whether you’re considering remodeling your home or thinking about starting from scratch, we’d love to be a part of your journey. Browse through some of our recent designs and discover a bit more about our work.

Image: Brianna Santellan

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