Should You Build a New Custom Home or Remodel An Existing One?

A new home built by Westrock Contractors in Central Texas

When your family grows but your house doesn’t, it can raise concerns about the suitability of your living space. While building a new home is one solution, there are alternative options to consider as well. Renovating your existing home may be a more cost-effective choice and offer improved functionality along with increased square footage. This is especially true when considering factors such as increased noise levels and reduced privacy that come with a growing household. While building a new home is one solution to address these issues, there are alternative options worth exploring too.

When considering whether to remodel or build a new home, the cost of construction is the most important factor. According to Forbes Home the national average in 2023 for building a brand-new house cost around $329,000, excluding land acquisition costs. In Central Texas, the cost would be slightly higher for an average sized home with 2000 square feet. Furthermore, if you don’t already own land, that will come as an additional expense determined by location. When building a home, it is important to consider variables such as local labor costs and materials prices since both will vary depending on where you live. As these factors are often determined by zip code, this can cause fluctuations in what builders charge for construction. The time frame from designing your new home until moving day ranges anywhere between six months to over one year depending on several factors such as type and size of house being constructed along with labor and material demands and how you choose to customize your home with your selections. When you are ready to get your project started, our Westrock project managers can help you with a line item list to break down all the costs associated with a remodel or new custom home build. 

Is it cheaper to renovate your house, buy a used home or build a custom home?  It’s almost always less expensive to renovate an existing house than to buy used or build a new one. It’s easiest to break the numbers down by square foot, keeping in mind that costs are highly variable based on location and market shifts. On average, home renovation costs around $100 plus per square foot to complete, and moving costs are minimal. Buying a used house comes in at around $120 per square foot, and building a new one is about $150 per square foot on average. Of course, all pricing per square foot is determined by homeowners individual selections. 

What’s the most expensive part of renovating a house? Materials and labor are the driving factors behind the cost of renovating a house. Each one takes up almost half of the entire home construction budget. The most expensive room to remodel is the kitchen. Kitchen renovations include all the elements of remodeling including plumbing & electrical, HVAC, cabinetry, millwork, tile, countertops, flooring, appliances and sometimes an interior designer.  Bathrooms, although pricey, are in a distant second place to kitchens.

Are there benefits to a new custom home build compared to a total renovation? The most significant benefit of building a new house is that, if your budget allows, you can create the perfect home for you and your family. Although the upfront costs are greater than remodeling or buying a used home, long-term costs can be substantially lower in a new home. Lower maintenance costs, energy efficiency and a lack of needing future renovations often mean the overall prices are comparable to the other options in the long run.

Here are a few questions that may help you get closer to deciding to remodel or to build: 

  • Do I have equity in my current home to consider? 
  • What’s the state of the current real-estate market? 
  • What are the financing costs of both options? 
  • Is moving an option? 
  • Do I have time to wait for a new house to be built? 
  • Is short-term or long-term money savings more critical to my family? 
  • Is my family going to grow larger?

Whichever option you and your family decide, Westrock Contractors is here for you! The Westrock team can help you break down all the costs associated with remodeling or a new custom home build and how to budget for any type of home construction so you can decide the best route for you and your family. 

Austin Moore, Project Manager Westrock Contractors 512-755-7599

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Burnet, TX 78611


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