Should I renovate or build new? – Nicon Built

You’ve outgrown your house… now what? One of the most popular questions we get from clients is should I renovate or build new? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t akways a straightforward one – it all depends on your needs.

As architects and builders of bespoke homes and heritage extensions in Melbourne, Nicon Built has a unique understanding of the benefits and challenges that come with renovating or building new, so here’s what to consider.


A renovation can transform your home, adding new living spaces and providing more space for you and your growing family. It offers an opportunity to retain the features you love about your current home, while introducing new elements that make it even better.

If elements of your home are heritage-listed, you cannot modify them – but this doesn’t mean that other areas of your home can’t get a facelift. A renovation can allow you to retain the character of your existing home while modernising other elements, such as introducing open-plan living or creating more space by extending at the rear of the property.

Finally, and often the deciding factor, renovating means you can stay within the community you love, staying close to amenities, neighbours, family and friends.

However, renovations also bring some significant challenges. Before starting construction, a renovation can feel a little like building blindfolded, as it’s impossible to uncover the structural conditions of the existing home until we start breaking down walls. If the foundation of the home isn’t as strong as first thought, or systems like the plumbing or electrics aren’t up to date, this could introduce additional costs and delay the project as a whole.

The framework of your existing home may also limit the scope of your renovation, leaving you to compromise on design elements.


Building new offers a blank canvas, with an opportunity to plan your dream home and minimise any compromises. You can choose a design and floor plan that suits your needs, customising every element and introducing all the features that will benefit your family immediately and into the future. At Nicon Built, we specialise in both design and construction, which means that our clients have the benefit of working with someone who deeply understand their needs and how to built it.

It also offers an opportunity to take advantage of the latest developments in construction and sustainability. You can prioritise energy-efficient design from the very initial stages with your orientation and continue this theme throughout the build with passive design elements, energy-efficient appliances and environmentally friendly building materials.

Maintenance costs in a new home are significantly lower as everything is new! New wiring, plumbing, electrics, roof and foundation will reduce the need for ongoing repairs. A new build is generally less susceptible to termites and is covered by a construction warranty for the first few years, giving you peace of mind.

In some cases, building new can be cheaper than renovating, as there is potential for renovation budgets to change due to older structures and any unknowns. This cost saving can also translate to a greater resale value down the line, as a newer home is often more appealing to potential buyers.

As you’re building new, this option does incur an alternative living cost, as you’ll need to find temporary rental accommodation for the length of the project and potentially pay for storage for your furniture. An experienced builder will be able to advise on exact timeframes but this will be an additional cost that you’ll need to factor into your budget.

— Still not sure whether to renovate or build new? Get in touch with the Nicon Built team today to discuss your options.

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