The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter

So, you have become the owner of a country property. On the acquired site, as a rule, there are buildings of residential or economic purpose, remaining from the previous owners. Often their technical condition, appearance and location on the territory do not meet the requirements of the new owners. So I want more thriftily all-all redo that was hard and beautiful, according to your taste. Is it worth to hurry with the demolition of old buildings and what subtleties it is necessary to pay attention to the topic of this article.

From the rash choice may depend on unnecessary financial costs, effort and nerves and other inconveniences. Consider the possible consequences-positive and negative — both options: the demolition of old buildings, and their alteration.

Break – do not build

Although the process of dismantling also takes some time, but it is much easier to break than to build. When the old lost, return it, if suddenly the circumstances or the opinion of the structure have changed, it is no longer possible: the demolished house can only be replaced by a newly built.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
Pros and cons: redoing or rebuilding

Before deciding what to do with the old buildings in the country — to demolish or rebuild, and even more so to grab the tool, answer the question: why do you want to change — to break or rebuild — the old house or other construction on your site?

The first answer: I want to demolish, as the existing house just do not like

Perhaps you bought this site because of its excellent location, because of the picturesque surroundings, fertile soil, it is convenient to get to the city, live near your loved ones or you had a thousand reasons to choose this particular land.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
You don’t like this house.

But the house itself you never liked, because it is an architectural freak, dilapidated or just do not fit the style of the site you have already chosen. Then, most likely, it is necessary to demolish and rebuild the house of your dreams. Otherwise, the unsightly building will begin to spoil your life with its existence.

The second answer: do not like the construction, but there are economic reasons

So often economic issues prevent us from living … the reason for the desire to change the structure on your site may be that the old house and outbuildings you do not really like, the house is close to your family and it has an inconvenient layout. However, you objectively believe that you do not have enough money to build a new one.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
So often economic reasons keep us from living

A detailed analysis of this case and advice — to demolish or redo — read below.

The third answer: I want to update, as it is-the father’s house

You grew up in this house and do not want to break it, but it is dilapidated and requires major repairs. In this case, perhaps you should give up the idea of demolishing the old house: it is part of your family, your history, your memory. And memory is something that is worth the invested funds.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
Memory is worth the investment

And if you think a little bit about the fact that the old house is to save and redo to extend his life, it may well be that, in the case of a decision to demolish, later you will regret it.

The fourth answer: I want to update, as the house like

If you” fell in love ” in this house at first sight, although the purchase from you is not covered not very good technical condition of the structure, the output you have only one — to redo. After all, you are for this house made a purchase.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
You bought this land because you liked the house.

The fifth answer: I want to rebuild, but there are circumstances

For example, if your old house is gasified, then its dismantling and construction of a new one will require a new gas connection project, which can significantly increase construction costs.

Most of the above applies to subjective reasons. Now let’s try to look at things objectively. Each structure, no matter how strong and well built, has a resource of operation, as the building structure over time lose its bearing capacity. To answer the question, demolish or redo the country buildings, you will need to determine how much they have exhausted this resource.

You can not demolish, rebuild

If you for some reason decided to leave the old buildings of the site, possibly all repaired, rebuilt and remade for yourself, then you need to start with a detailed inspection and assessment of the situation. If possible, invite professionals who are professional and impartial will be able to assess the strength of the Foundation and walls, truss and floors.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
Invite a specialist who will help you assess the condition of your home

Year of construction, of course, is important in assessing the condition of the house and other outbuildings, but not always the ancient structure — more dilapidated. Here the quality of materials, construction technologies and skill of builders come to the fore.

The less capital is the building, the more it suffers from the inexorable time. Most likely, the various auxiliary buildings (assorted sheds and sheds, yard bathroom, summer kitchen) you will find in a more deplorable condition than the house itself.

What to look for

Determining, it is necessary to alter the buildings in the country or better to demolish them, first of all you need to pay attention not to how much the house is old-fashioned Wallpaper or worn linoleum, and the strength of structural elements. To get the most accurate information, you need to open the structure, removing the outer trim and cladding.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
To understand how serious the wear, you need to open the design

  • The Foundation is the basis of the structure. Its strength is important if you plan to simply repair the old building. And if you have conceived to build on another floor-and even more so. To decide whether the old Foundation for the construction of new additional structures is still strong enough, it is possible after its examination with the help of special devices used by specialists in construction expertise. But to understand whether it is necessary to talk about the presence of the Foundation in your home or in front of you only his remains, you can visually. If the Windows and doorways in the house are warped, the walls or the Foundation itself are cracked, it means that the base of the house has ceased to perform its functions.
  • Walls-from the point of view of the strength of the structure, the condition of the bearing walls is important. Internal non-bearing partitions can be completely removed. The strength and safety of the walls depends on the materials and technology. For example, in an old log house often require replacement of the lower crowns and parts of the walls around the window openings. The strength of the frame structure depends on the integrity of the frame.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
The integrity of the bearing walls is important

  • Rafter system. Its alteration is not the most important point in the cost of rebuilding the house. To block the roof and even completely replace its design is the easiest stage in the implementation of major repairs. But the whole, intact rafters will help to save.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
Rafter system

By determining wear and damage, you can decide what you do with the house. The builders there are several types of work.


Repair is a restoration of operational qualities of the house. During the repair coverage updated, partly replaced by communication, that is, restored and somewhat increases the user rather than design the resource structure.

When repairing the structural elements of the structure are not affected, only partial replacement of some units is possible. This is the most gentle (and in terms of Finance, too) way to remodel the house, relevant only if the structural elements of the structure are not affected by time and adverse operating conditions.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
Repair-coating renewal

Starting the repair, it is necessary to understand that the building with whole structural elements can have deteriorated performance: for example, the insulation of walls or floors has become unsatisfactory. Only superficial changes may be insufficient.


When carrying out major repairs, not only decorative coatings are subject to alteration. Replace or repair building structures, changing utilities.

At the same time, using modern materials and technologies, not only restored, but also improved the technical parameters of the building, as well as eliminates the moral (functional) obsolescence of the structure.


During the reconstruction, the parameters of buildings or structures are changed: the number of floors, the area and the architecture of the building increases.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
Construction of an extension to the old house

During the reconstruction, the old layout is changed, which has ceased to meet the modern requirements of comfort or the changed composition of the family. Construction of extensions, the device of the attic floor, changing the purpose of the premises-all these methods of reconstruction. Along with changes in architectural and planning solutions, and carry out the replacement of dilapidated structures, as in major repairs.


If the house has a valuable architectural or historical appearance, even if this value is not generally accepted, and takes place only in your perception (for example, it is your home), do not talk about the repair or reconstruction, and the restoration — that is, the restoration of the original appearance with the strengthening of the structure. Restoration is the most difficult and expensive option, because during the restoration work it is supposed to use authentic materials and technologies.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
Restoration-the most difficult and expensive option of restoration of the old house

What option of alteration of old country constructions you will not choose, make the action plan: in what sequence works will be carried out, what methods of restoration of the base or other designs you are going to use what materials will be required. Try to take into account all your requirements for the updated house, so as not to start the device of the next extension after the reconstruction of the old building.

To endure, you can’t rebuild

When the assessment of wear and damage, as well as the calculation of the estimated cost of the restoration and repair of old buildings do not inspire, then you have to dismantle the old buildings, waste disposal and construction of a new home that fully meets your needs and desires.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
The dismantling of the house

If you appreciate the old things or plan to design the interior of a new country house in retro style, perhaps in the old house there are items that will decorate your new home. Before calling a team of workers to demolish old buildings, conduct an audit. The old house can store design treasures: lamps, furniture, old doors or Windows, ancient items that will decorate the interior of the new house, preserving the atmosphere of the old one.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
Old things in the interior of the cottage

Why should you demolish the old house and build a new one

It is difficult to make a decision to demolish the buildings and replace them with new ones. The choice depends on many reasons, and an important issue that many stops — financial. It seems, why break the finished house, it is cheaper to repair and rebuild.

Indeed, in many cases it is. But when the process of destruction has gone too far, the savings will not work. They say that if the percentage of wear of structures does not exceed 50%, then repair and redo it makes sense. But if more than 50%, the economic benefit begins to strive to zero. Or it may happen that the cost of restoration and alteration will exceed the most luxurious estimate for new construction.

Even in the case of the undeniable importance of the old, in the restoration of objects of value in terms of art or history, if the loss of more than 70%, the decision on preservation and historical reconstruction. It is a reconstruction of the structures and appearance of the object of restoration, based on the historical description of the object, the preserved fragments, the conclusions of historians and archaeologists about the methods of construction and so on. That is, the remaining 30% of the whole is preserved (strengthened to stop further destruction), and the lost is replaced by a new model, repeating the old one as much as possible.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
If the resource of the house is exhausted, it is easier to demolish and build a new one

If your old house and outbuildings in the country are not burdened with memories or architectural value, and the wear of old structures is too great-most likely, it is necessary to rebuild and that’s why:

  • the cost of restoration and strengthening of worn structures can be compared and even exceed the cost of construction of new ones;
  • in the process of major repairs may occur previously unnoticed pitfalls or show up “skeletons in the closet.” Perhaps it turns out that one or the other design is not as strong as it seemed in the initial assessment of the state of the house. This will either increase the cost of repairs, or make it impossible to carry out it according to the planned plan, which, in the end, will raise the cost of restoration work;
  • the use of modern construction technologies to the old structure may not be possible. For example, the insulation of the old log with the use of polystyrene foam and construction of steam-wind-hydro-protective membranes, laminate flooring and new plastic Windows with double-glazed Windows can “kill” the old house finally: the wood under the cladding will begin to pret and collapse, in the renovated house will be damp;
  • the old house structures may not be suitable for redevelopment or superstructure of the floor. For example, in the frame of the wall it is impossible to remove a log partition is a part of the design.

The Old Buildings in the Country: to Demolish Or to Alter
Choose the right solution: demolish or rebuild the old buildings in the country

Make the right choice and enjoy a renovated old house or a new one built on the site of the old one.

Leave a Reply

Notify of