To build or restore?

Building has a whole lot of costs involved. So does restoration. Which is more cost-conscious? More environmentally sound? I’m not sure yet. There are pros and cons to both options.

For and against building: I would get exactly what I want, in a very workable floor plan. However, I would also have the headaches of zoning and planning, more fees and permits, and the risks of higher assessments based on the age of the house.

For and against restoring: The house is old. How long will it be a viable structure? (As long as it’s taken care of, it could be around for centuries. If not, it could be gone in a matter of just a few years.) But I could move in immediately, and interestingly enough the house might be more environmentally sound, not only because I would be “recycling” most materials in the home, but also because homes built before 1940 were built to stay somewhat cooler in the summer without air conditioning. Of course, in the winter, homes were colder. New insulation would help take care of that issue. Also, planning offices now often require larger square footages. However, pre-existing homes can be any size. If, for instance, I buy the home I’m considering, I could close off the attic (once used as a bedroom) and make the back deck back into a deck, reducing the house to approximately 550 square feet. The city would see that as “restoring the house to it’s original condition” and be just fine with it. But if I tried to build a new house of the same size, they’d argue.

Another interesting thing is that if I buy, anything I do inside the house is considered my business. Cities here won’t come and inspect plumbing and electrical changes. However, if I build, everything has to be up to code. If I want to add solar or a composting toilet, an older home might be the better choice.


What have you found in either buying or building?


About thrugracealone

I'm a country girl raised city. I prefer open windows to AC, love a good thunderstorm, and enjoy hearing the owls and seeing lightning bugs. A bit old-fashioned, maybe, I can recognize many trees by name, resent elms and weeds, wish for a large garden and canning skills, and hope someday to downsize and get a few acres in the country. I am blessed with a terrific church, a good job, a sturdy house, two cats and a yard full of strawberries and mulberries in the right season. Some of my other favorite things to do are spoiling nieces and nephews, reading, swimming, biking, long walks, and blogging, of course. One of my favorite stories is creation. My abbreviated version goes like this: 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth wasa formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters... And God moved... And God said... And it was very good. If God can speak to darkness, to an earth without form and void, and make something like this that we see everyday, and make it very good (and it was even better before the Fall!), He will surely make something wonderful out of the dark, void situations I sometimes find myself in. He has, and it's been very good. Two top posts: Can a Person Lose their Salvation? Baptism!

Posted on April 8, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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