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Two-story home with green lawn and garage

The difference between remodeling and building a new house

Multifamily residential building under construction in an area that's facing a housing crisis.

We all deserve to live in our dream house, a space to ourselves to grow in and call home. If you’re reading this blog it means you’re on the horns of a dilemma: is it cheaper to remodel or build new? Let’s discuss this. 

The cost to build a new house

Pursuing any construction project relies on the fundamental question: how much will it cost? If a family is building a new house on a rectangular, the standard cost is about $300,000, land and other budgets unincluded. 

Nonetheless, the budget to build a high-end, customized smart house can scope up to several million dollars, depending on the design, taste, and location.

The number one expense to take into consideration when building a house is the location since it affects the cost of materials, purchased plots, labor, and delivery. If a family of four wants to buy a 2,000 square feet house in California, the cost will be around 400,000$.


The checklist for building a new house

Building a house isn’t just about going on the internet and typing “new build houses near me”; it’s a challenging journey that requires well-thought-out strategies and budgeting. Luckily Casa Utopia’s got you covered with our free checklist for building a new house:

Set an affordable budget

First and foremost, you need to set a budget within your financial abilities to determine the size of the house and how much land you can afford. Keep in mind that the cost to build a new house isn’t limited to these factors. To help you understand here’s a chart pie that represents the estimation of the costs you should include in your budget.

Buy your land

After setting the budget and the deadline, you need to find the right location and purchase a property. It is best to seek help from architects as they perform site visits to assess if the land is suitable for building. Various factors affect the choice of property like topography, the proximity of neighboring houses, surrounding home values, and land cost.

Design your home

Our team at Casa Utopia is here to guide you through this step by following your vision, needs, and amenities to make your dream house come to life. Create a list setting the priority of the home elements from most to least.

Gather your contractors

Hiring a general contractor gives a smooth start to your project as they will oversee and handle every phase of the construction with a team of subcontractors and specialized experts such as electricians, plumbers, cement teams, etc.


A Construction Worker Reading Construction Plans For A New Home On The Construction Site.


Set an organized timeline

When building a house, it’s better to establish a primary timeline to stay on track, keep up with the evolution of the construction, and be prepared for uncontrollable setbacks such as weather, inspections, and permits.

Take care of inspections and permits

Before starting construction, it’s mandatory to apply for permits and wait for the municipality’s approval. Moreover, before moving on to the next construction phases, you will need assessments and sign-offs from building inspectors to ensure that your house is structurally safe.

Think about the interior design

The perk of building your home is having total control over the interior design and décor. From choosing the flooring, lighting, and structure of the rooms to the material, furniture, and more, the sky’s the limit. 

Be careful to have a budget for decor, make a Pinterest board, and lay out your options so that you save up on secondary needs to spend on primary ones. You don’t want to move into a freshly built house and feel like you need a remodel.

How much to remodel a house

In general, major home remodels, also known as a “gut renovations” cost 100$ per square foot. The expenses highly depend on the size of the house and the nature of the repairs. The more work and repairs, the bigger the cost, as it varies from 10$ to 60$ per square foot and can reach more than 150$ per square foot when opting for high-end materials and sophisticated appliances. 


A Freshly Remodeled Kitchen With A Blue And White Countertop With A Modern Matte Black Sink.


Overview of remodeling fees

Say you’re looking for a 1970 ranch house remodel; hiring a contractor helps determine its price.

Low-end remodels usually range between 15,000$ and 40,000$ and include: 

– Cosmetic work like painting

– Landscaping

– Trim

– Moulding and flooring

– Stock cabinetry

– Low-cost appliances and countertops.


Mid-range remodels normally vary between 40,000$ and 75,000$ and include:

– Low-end options with above-average materials and appliances

– Full bathroom and kitchen remodel

– New light fixtures

– Exterior siding

– Hardwood flooring.


High-end remodels can scale from 75,000$ to 200,000$ or higher and include:

– Mid-range options with high-end materials and appliances

– Custom-made cabinetry with built-ins

– Bespoke closets

– Structural and foundation repair

– Layout changes

– HVAC and roof replacement

– Basement or attic conversion to living space

– Professional interior design


Remodeling a house is often more likely to be cheaper than building a new one. It all comes down to your budget, needs, and personal goals. Reach out to Casa Utopia and let us help you choose the solution that suits you best.

Executive Assistant
Gosia, Executive Assistant

Gosia who was born and raised in Poland and started her career in construction seven years ago after her arrival to the US where she became a property manager in a highly sought-after area of San Francisco.

Through her years of property management, she has amassed a deep knowledge of construction processes, standards, principles, property management and resident services.

Her work has given her continuous exposure and opportunities to work alongside general contractors, real estate agents and property managers.

She is an energetic professional who doesn’t mind wearing multiple hats. Experienced in handling a wide range of administrative duties and executive support, her presence at Casa Utopia is an asset as she ensures the team is meeting client expectations in a timely and orderly manner.

Head of Operations
Idan, Head of Operations

With over ten years of experience in the construction industry, Idan is an asset to any construction project.

His knowledge has helped several homeowners enjoy a successful, stress-free experience with remodeling and reconstruction projects in Silicon Valley.

Idan’s strength is in creating affordable and quality-oriented budgets and risk-free plans that minimizes delays, change orders and cost overruns.

Through his commitment to excellence and dedication to professionalism, Idan has continued to exceed industry standards by forming strong professional partnerships based on integrity, ingenuity, and reliability.

Our Founder
Elior, Founder

Elior Shushan began his journey in 2011, working as an independent general contractor for a plethora of projects with various sizes and budgets, providing them with assistance in making the job run as seamlessly as possible. His on-field knowledge and expertise allowed him to garner a hand-picked team, surrounding himself with grade-A talent.

With a specialty in the custom home and remodeling industry, Elior expanded his knowledge and experience by integrating architectural designs and layouts into his work. His experience working with various clients and expectations as an independent contractor allowed him to scale up his projects into more complex and intricate ventures.

Since Casa Utopia’s founding in 2020, Elior has worked tirelessly to expand on the company’s vision, hoping to deliver his expert services statewide.

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