Starbucks with Sarah – Redesign or Rebuild?

Join Sarah Logue, RE/MAX Escarpment Team Logue Realty with Kristen Ervin, Sales Representative and Trisha Ross, Designer as they discuss the options of building a home from the ground up versus redesigning an existing home. Team Logue has the partnerships to put you on the right course . . .whether it’s picking a paint colour or deciding on a geo-thermal heating & cooling system, we can help!

(Video Transcription)

Hi Sarah Logue here on behalf of Team Logue and Remax Escarpment. I’m joined by Kristen Ervin from Team Logue and Trisha Ross a local designer and executive with HummingbirdHill Construction.

Ladies thank you for today. We’re here to talk about build and design versus construction and re-design. Trisha has done both for us many times and Kristen is in a position where she’s constantly dealing with buyers looking for premium lots or opportunities to build their custom designed house. Would you say that’s an issue that’s hitting you daily?


People have questions, wants, needs, we’re getting it from all angles. It truly is.

Ok so, in neighbourhoods like this, some of our older neighbourhoods in Burlington, we’re finding that people are constantly looking for the tear down opportunities or the complete rebuild opportunities, correct? So Kristen, what’s the question you’re getting asked regularly from our buyers?

Well really they’re coming and saying “I already own this beautiful property but maybe the house isn’t working for me anymore” or perhaps their looking to get into a neighbourhood and do something. They’re in the dilemma, “am I going to do a complete rebuild? Buy a lot? Start from scratch. Or can I work with the bones that are there, maybe even in my own house and make that work for me and what I’m really looking for.”

There’s a lot we can talk about there and of course doing renovations, that scales from something really small, like a quick aesthetic update to a major overhaul and I think people sometimes think that one is a much more affordable option than the other. We can kind of break that down some what.

So today as a starting point we would advise our clients to budget at a minimum $400/sq ft. to build a home from scratch so if we were building a 2500 sq ft home we’d be talking about a million dollars to build. Plus your lot.

If we disect that further, 60% of that cost is hard construction and 40% is really about those finishes which can vary, that really brings you to a $400,000 interior finish.

When you say hard construction what are you talking about? So we need to pour a foundation, we need to frame that house, we need to insulate that house, we need to put a roof on that house, we need mechanical. There’s so much that will happen inside of a custom build versus starting with a home already. So if we look at renovation, at that $400/sq ft. a major renovation with a qualified team is roughly the same.

Ok, major renovation we’re talking pretty full scale, right, like someone comes in and says I want to re-work some walls, I’m looking at unifying flooring and updating kitchens, it gets them basically a new home from the outside walls, in.

Correct. So more than just aesthetic but actually improving the function and flow of the interior by modifying that floor planning. So you could do an addition in that group as well.


Fabulous, so there is the options and it’s great to know that there’s someone whether its a designer or an agent we work in pairing all the time to give our clients the best answers so that if you’re looking at a lot is it worth rebuilding? Or tearing down and starting with something new like this?

Or potentially taking the roof off and going up. Those are all options that we have now.

Well, we’re very happy to have your expertise on camera and your expertise for our clients. We truly appreciate it. If there is any questions on your next step, whether redesign or rebuild, please check us out at