When pondering whether to renovate or rebuild, the most common consideration – and one of the most important according to architect Julian Guthrie – is that of character. Does the existing building have character that you want to preserve?
“Character though, can be both a positive and negative component. Some older homes may have a certain type of character that is not desirable, while others like villas will encapsulate character that is worth retaining,” Julian says.
“This question doesn’t stop there, though. For example, an existing house might be in very good condition but have zero character appeal, therefore to renovate large changes would be required because you would want to remove the unappealing elements of the original building. On the other hand, you might have an old villa that’s beautiful but that is in terrible condition so you would need to look at the cost of renovating and whether it is even a viable option.”
Older homes often aren’t positioned on their sites as well as they could be, which can result in dark, awkward spaces – another important consideration when thinking about renovating or rebuilding. Could those awkward, dark rooms be improved with a renovation or is it not possible to open up those areas because of the orientation of the existing building?
“In some cases, this alone might tip the scales and direct people towards either one of the options. If it is the case that building a new home on the existing site is the only way to achieve the desired orientation, light, warmth, and views then it would make sense to rebuild,” Julian says.