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First House Reno Decision

Ann Powell
January 11, 2019


We recently purchased a home and are about 18 months to 4 1/2 years from moving in and want to make it out forever home. We are military and are not currently stationed close enough to live in the house. We thought about renting it out but with all of the disaster stories out there, we don't know if it's worth the hassle. The previous owners smoked so we got advice on how to mitigate that issue. Our current discussion is really about cost effectiveness of creating the space we went to live in forever. Our dream home is an a-frame style house (which the current house is not) with a gym space. Right now the current floorplan is missing a needed bedroom and enough enclosed space for a gym.

Our kids are about 4 and 8 years out from leaving the nest. We anticipate them sticking around for maybe a break year and college if they go to a school close to home. Obviously our housing needs would be different once they are gone. We are working with an architect that can make any of our decisions possible...but it's deciding which route to go that is stumping us.

Our options are:

1) Keep the current structure with some minor changes and clean it to remove the smoke smell, close in the patio for a gym space and build an a-frame bedroom connecting to the existing structure.

2) Gut the entire structure keeping the current foundation and mold it into something usable.

3) Tear down the current house and just build a new house. We could use either a stock floor plan or kit home.

Does anyone have experience with any of the options? Would you go the same route or do something different? Any ideas on the cost of the different options?

Thanks for any input.

Comments (3)

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    This is a tough thing to comment on without photos. But I'd say this sounds like something you'd want to have an architect weigh in on, particularly the pros/cons of remodeling vs. a new build with this particular home. Since the cost of construction varies widely by geography, that will be another thing to factor in.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    The architect is the one to help you make those decisions when they are ready to be made.

  • Susie .
    Agree you need an architect. Tearing down would be crazy unless there is a serious structural issue that can’t be repaired. Even framing is expensive to replace. The A frame addition sounds outlandish to me — I would definitely hire an architect if you want to go that route, so they could make it look like it’s intentional and works well with the existing structure.

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