There comes a time when a homeowner needs to decide whether to gut their home to make it better suited to their lifestyle or to throw in the towel and start fresh.
In this article, we will go over some of the most common FAQs (frequently asked questions) about gut renovations to help you better prepare for such a major decision.
What Is a Gut Renovation?
The term “gutting” refers to demolishing the interior of a structure but leaving the supporting framework as is. Concentrating on rebuilding the interior entails removing the walls down to the studs, redesigning the layout of the house, and creating a living space that fits the homeowner’s lifestyle.
A gut renovation includes replacing old plumbing and electrical to bring the inner workings of the home up to industry codes and standards. It’s an opportunity to add more rooms (or remove rooms) and install luxurious features.
How Much Does a Gut Renovation Cost?
Before renovations can begin, it is important to know how much a gut renovation costs. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Having a reputable contractor to remodel your home will save you time, effort, and money.
The cost of a gut renovation is strongly influenced by the size of the house and the scope of the renovation. Materials and labour are dependent on the extent of the work to be done. Replacing or relocating the plumbing, electrical, walls, windows, and possible stairways can all add to the overall costs.
Is Gutting a House Worth It?
That really depends on your goals. Having a home inspection done before your renovation plans are finalized can help you determine if the investment of such an endeavour is worth its weight in gold. You want to make sure you are making the right decision and not opening up a can of worms!
If the current layout and overall condition of the home do not meet the needs and lifestyle of the occupants, a gut renovation may be completely worth it. By envisioning the gut renovation before and after, with the help of a design team, all of the potential headaches and unexpected scenarios can be worth it if it means you get the home of your dreams.
Is It Better to Gut a House or Rebuild?
Another serious concern is whether it’s better to do a gut renovation or just demolish the entire structure and rebuild a new home. In many neighbourhoods, there are limitations on whether you can demolish an existing structure and whether you need to maintain the original architecture of the home. There are several other factors to take into consideration.
The cost of a complete rebuild is higher than a gut renovation as the structural framework is demolished and redone. You really need to consider the goal of the renovation because, on paper, it may appear to be easier to start from scratch. But a gut renovation can be done to increase the square footage of the living space by utilizing the available foundation and framework.
How Long Does a Full Gut Renovation Take?
The length of time it takes to complete a full gut renovation depends on the overall scope of the renovation project. Other aspects to consider include extreme weather and temperatures, design changes, permit delays, and unforeseen complications.
A gut renovation is customized to the specific needs and vision of the homeowner. For example, a basic overhaul requires up to three months for the architectural design phase and up to three weeks for the complex bidding phase. Local neighbourhood and city building applications and permits can also take over a month to obtain, with the construction phase itself lasting from three to nine months.
Do I Need a Permit to Gut a House?
Every major reconstruction project requires a form of legal paperwork to ensure regulations and policies are met, particularly in neighbourhoods with a Homeowners Association (HOA). It is important to check with the by-laws of the community before planning a gut renovation.
In addition to the HOA, the local town or city has guidelines and building codes to be followed by all construction projects, including DIY. A reputable renovation contractor will know how to apply for the proper demolition and construction permits.
Can I Gut My House Myself?
Speaking of DIY, the thought of performing a total gut renovation to save money may be enticing, but at what cost? Aside from the monetary factors of the permits, materials, and labour, there are skills and expertise that are required.
It takes precise trade skills in the electrical, plumbing, and construction fields to be able to complete a gut renovation of a house. In addition to the physical labour, consider the safety procedures, possible obstacles, garbage and debris removal, and the length of time it will take to perform all the necessary tasks.
Is It Better to Gut a House or Buy a New Home?
With all of the above-mentioned aspects, is a gut renovation of the present home better than buying a new house? The goal of a renovation is to enhance the living space by redesigning the current home. If you love your neighbourhood and could never imagine moving, it may be better to tweak your current home instead of searching for a brand-new one.
The pros and cons of a gut renovation versus buying a new home need to be compared before any decision is to be made. Relocating can have many benefits such as avoiding the mess of renovations, but it can be a more costly factor, not to mention that some house sales can take months to complete. Plus, there is no guarantee that you’ll even find your dream home if you sell your current home.
Contact Elite Construction and Renovations for Gut Renovations
The experts at Elite Construction and Renovations can transform your home into a dream come true with a proper gut renovation. We are a team of designers, engineers, architects, and labourer’s with the tools and knowledge to unlock your home’s potential.
We have been providing residential renovations for years with guaranteed workmanship across Toronto, East York, and Pickering. We provide exclusive service and products without compromising quality. Contact us today to learn more about our services!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jay McDonald, general contractor and owner of Elite Construction & Renovations, has over 20 years of construction experience. He has completed various Ontario Building Code and Business Management courses from George Brown College and has managed over $50 million-dollars-worth of construction in his career.