Renovate Or Remove – Ask Your Dentist

Whrr whrr whrrrr… Yep. The dreaded sound of a dentist’s drill! For a tooth that has developed a cavity, the dentist has two options – drill, fill, and try to give it a new life.

Or pull it out altogether. Well, I’m no dentist, but this equally applies to older houses – renovate or remove.


Why would you want to do either?

Reason #1: It looks old and tattered. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. Splendid. But I’m sure not everyone in your household agrees with this mantra.

Reason #2: You need more room. Ok sounds reasonable. But how much more and where to add on?

Well, this is where it gets somewhat tricky

Match the old with the new. Or the new with the old?

Well, depending on the age of your house, many trips may be necessary to find matching old fixtures and fittings to put into the new part of the house.

Or you could try to replace as much of the old as you can, to make it new. Aha! Let’s now look at my 1981 Mazda.

They say you never get your money back with cars, well, when I was a teenager, I tested this theory! I bought a 10-year-old Mazda.

She was old and tattered, cost about $1200

I fell in love with her, splashed out a new engine for her, no siree! Not just any engine. A full turbocharged tricked number, shimmering mag wheels, blaring sound system, custom repaint, and the list goes on.

Total cost… Well, let’s just say well into the many thousands (in case my wife is reading) Two years later, I got bored of it. Total sale price $2000. Total loss…Oh well. I could be excused for being a naive boy racer.

But, what’s your excuse?

So often, I see people trying to do a ‘small renovation’. And then it gets away on them. And the cost keeps climbing higher. And higher. And it never seems to stop!

To avoid massive budget blowouts, follow these simple rules

  1. Renovations are great – but if you are changing more than 50% of your existing house, don’t do it. You’re better off to start new. (unless you are creating a high value Character or Heritage project)
  2. Consider removing the old shack and rebuild new. It will cost more for sure but will be custom designed to your needs, not a haphazard addition of a room here and a bathroom there, totally messing up the internal flow.
  3. If you must do a renovation, get an accurate estimate of costs(from reputable companies) and stick to your budget.

Finally, let’s get to the extraction

Dentists don’t need long to make a tooth pulling decision, they do this every day. But you probably don’t. Don’t be a naive boy racer like I was. Don’t recreate a home that has been expensive enough to be a showhome…but in actual fact isn’t much value to anyone…other than yourself.



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