Remodel Or Rebuild?

Dear Carl,

We have a house that has a sagging roof, uneven floors inside, small rooms, a leaky basement and paint peeling from the exterior siding (not vinyl).

We were wondering which would be wiser: remodel or rebuild considering the state of the house.


Hi Cheryl,

Tearing down a house, although they make it look easy on TV, is a complex expensive endeavor and a time consuming and often exhausting decision making process.

Is the house worth saving at any cost? Does it have character and/or charm, two things that cannot be “rebuilt”?

I watched this house in my neighborhood (see below)being torn down. It was a beautiful, older 2 story home with both charm and character but in need of a lot of TLC. It had smaller rooms , closets, and kitchen than many people desired at the time. I nearly cried. I am not a fan of tear downs unless absolutely necessary.

Your first step is to find out how much it would cost to bring your existing house up to a standard that would make it acceptable to you.

Have at least 3 General Contractors give you bids for repairing, replacing, adding on, or enlarging room sizes.

Then, using the cost to build calculator found on my “Getting Started” page on, and any home plan you find on the internet that you like, determine what it would cost to build a new house in your area. It is an easy tool to use and will give you a good “ballpark” estimate of building a new house. You don’t have to buy a home plan to use the tool.

The actual process of tearing down and what hoops you have to jump through is found on “House Tear Down - The Extreme Makeover – Video”.

There are NO shortcuts.

Any questions let me know, Carl Heldmann,