Blank canvas or work with established?

Anthony MatteoThe West Australian
Gregory by Weststyle at Wembley.
Camera IconGregory by Weststyle at Wembley. Credit: Supplied.

To build new or renovate an existing home? That is the question.

While there are advantages and drawbacks to both options, Weststyle Managing Director Tony Ricciardello said the choice ultimately came down to individual circumstances and requirements.

Mr Ricciardello shared with New Homes his advice and the pros and cons of going down each path.


Popular for those who want to reduce waste and carbon emissions, Mr Ricciardello said renovating an established home came with the perks of staying in the same location.

“Working with an existing home, avoiding a full demolition and lower carbon emissions are some pros of renovating,” he said.

“If you have an emotional connection to your current home and you want to maintain the heritage and history of it, this can be done through renovations.

“Similarly, finding somewhere to build new can be difficult and may push you out of the area you want to live in, so renovating your current home can maintain your location and neighbourhood.”

On the other side of the coin, Mr Ricciardello said there were a lot of unknowns in a home renovation.

“Once you start peeling back some of the home, you can expose things that need more work and you can cause more damage,” he said.

“The unknown costs are higher with a renovation and there is more work involved in maintaining the original parts of the home.

“There may also be limitations with the layout and sizes of the rooms, for example, and you may not end up with your dream layout.”


Starting with a blank canvas, building a new home comes with a multitude of advantages, according to Mr Ricciardello.

“Building a new home is popular amongst those that want complete control over a customised layout and don’t want to compromise,” he said.

“You have full flexibility with the design of the home and can maintain continuity throughout.

“It is also easier to manage the costs, as it can all be clear from the beginning of the project.”

On the flip side, Mr Ricciardello said the new build process could take longer than a renovation and, for some homebuilders, this meant they would need to rent a home for a period of time, which could be costly and inconvenient.

“In certain renovations there is the opportunity to remain in your home while the works are being carried out,” he said.

For those tossing up between renovating their current abode or leaping into the new homebuilding journey, Mr Ricciardello offered some sage advice no matter which path you chose to take.

“If you are thinking of doing a large-scale renovation, be open to changing your plans to a new build instead of absorbing more costs than you budgeted for and compromising on the end result,” he said.

“Find a designer and builder you connect with – it is an extensive process and you need to make sure you are happy with the end result.

“Ask the builder lots of questions, read reviews and testimonials and ask to view their recent works.”

CONTACT Weststyle, 9345 1565,

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