In Switzerland, vacant land to build on is in high demand, and many opt to purchase existing older buildings instead. However, all too often, these properties aren’t ready for use, and owners and architects must decide whether they should opt for renovation or demolition and a brand new build.

An old building can have a wonderful historic charm. These buildings often boast a central location and a long history. If you appreciate a building’s soul or associate it with memories, you may not even want to consider demolition. But when is it worth renovating an old building and at which point do you need to concede that it will cost more than a new build? We’ve put together a quick overview of the benefits and drawbacks of renovation and new builds for you.

Renovating old buildings and preserving their charm

A renovation lives and dies by the fabric of the building in question. If the walls are intact and the building doesn’t need to be gutted, renovation is usually quicker and cheaper.

Benefits of renovation:

  • Preserves the building’s charm and soul
  • Gardens, old trees and plants don’t need to be removed
  • Often cheaper and quicker than demolition and a new build (depending on the condition)
  • Gradual renovation allows you to stay living in the property

Drawbacks of renovation:

  • Requires a professional assessment before renovation
  • Full modernisation usually costs more than a new build
  • Energy efficiency after renovation not comparable with a new build
  • More prone to mould and humidity

Planning a new build and making your dream home a reality

Older buildings are often on large plots with lots of surrounding land. Once you’ve discovered this untapped potential, building a new detached house isn’t your only option. Building an apartment block is also an attractive option for investors and developers. It’s also possible to sell individual plots.

Either way, if you demolish an old building and replace it with a new build, you can plan your dream home to suit you. A new build also meets every energy standard from the outset and can be built to the latest specifications.

Benefits of a new build:

  • Modern and individual building style
  • Often more cost-efficient than renovating old buildings
  • Meets all the latest standards for energy efficiency, building technology and heating systems
  • If the utilisation rate is higher than necessary, addition of another storey or (partial) sale is a possibility

Drawbacks of a new build:

  • Costs cannot be spread over several years
  • Need to resolve the issue of financing with the bank
  • The range of decision-making options can also be overwhelming

Whether you’re leaning towards renovation or a new build, Engel & Völkers will support you every step of the way. Our one-stop-shop service will provide you with a thorough feasibility study to help you decide. Once you’ve made your decision, we can also support you with your project through to completion.

Find out about our services at your nearest Engel & Völkers shop and make an appointment for a consultation with no obligations. We’ll help you make your dream home a reality!