To build new, or to renovate your home? That is the question.

It is something that many people ask themselves as they look around their home and wonder how they are going to solve storage problems, fit in an extending family, update to a more modern home, or address many other issues that arise after living in a house that may no longer be appropriate for their current requirements.

Selling your current home and buying a new house is of course one option, and if you are in the frame of mind to create a home that is functional and customised to your own needs then building will be on the cards.

But do you build new or renovate? Both have their advantages.

Pros for building new:

* Starting from scratch – you have a blank canvas to work with. You can generally create and design from the ground up with less parameters and constraints.

* Fresh start – the opportunity is there to obtain a location that will be better for your lifestyle. Need to be closer to work, schools or shops? Need to be further away from noisy neighbourhoods? Find your dream location (then try to find a house there).

Pros for renovations:

* You have a start point – the freedom of a blank canvas can sometimes be daunting. If you add to your current home, you are already half way there.

* You intimately understand the functionality and shortfalls of your current home and you have a clear idea on the requirements needed to make it better.

* You do not need to move – stay in the same neighbourhood, same schools, same environment. To be moving towns or suburbs is another consideration and possible upheaval in your life during this time. By renovating you take that issue out of the equation.

* Finance. In general, deciding to renovate removes a series of costs that are involved in selling your current home and building new. The admin fees associated with the buying and selling of a house is said to be approximately 10% each of the transactions. A renovation does not attract those fees and thus is often seen as a more economical choice.

The last thing to look at is the turnaround times for both situations.

Selling your house and building a new one has a number of factors that need to be coordinated. Firstly, you need to sell your house. This process could be quick, however if you are wanting to hold out for the best price possible you may be waiting some time for the sale. If that is the case, when do you start the plans for your new house? If you wait until after it is sold, then you will probably need to move into temporary accommodation after your house is sold, as you build your new home. Again, this could take some time and the entire process could easily stretch out over a year or two.

The process of renovating is generally considered to be a much shorter process than selling & building new as there are less ‘parts’ to coordinate. It is pretty much a step-by-step process that you can move through and plan each step in advance with a good idea of when the current step will be finishing.

In saying that however, if you speak to many people who have done renovations, they often will tell you that it took much longer than the builder’s original estimates. This is why it may be worth looking for a trusted builder with a build guarantee time such as the 14 Week Build. Although this does not include time involved in town planning approvals and council submissions, it does give a clear idea on how much time you will actually need to prepare for during the building process.