Renovate or new?

Bettina Rosasco | OÖDARCHITECTS | +34 650 428 956 |

Buying a property, should one go for an existing property and renovate, build yourself a dreamhouse or by buy a new property from a promotor, on plans or newly built.

Depending on the needs of technology and comfort, one must have clear the priorities when choosing a property. In this article we will try to clarify the different options.

New construction or renovation

When one decides to buy a new property, a lot of people will encounter the dilemma if to buy an old property and renovate it, buy a plot and build your dream house or buy it from a promotor on plans.

If one decides to renovate an old house it might be interesting if it is sold at a good price because there will always arouse unforeseen costs with a renovation. If the house is more than 50 years old it is frequent that the existing structure and foundation needs to be reinforced, especially if one wants to extend another floor on top of the existing ground floor! In addition all the existing inside finishings needs to be demolished in order to renovate bathrooms, kitchen, flooring, plumbing and electricity.

The previous points have an easy solution with a skilled buil–der by your side, but unfortunately it is common that the most important problems are not solved which are humidity pro–blems and a proper ventilation. In a renovation the windows are normally replaced with more modern an airtight windows but if there is not installed a proper ventilation in the house, as for example Zehnder´s double flow ventilation as explained in the previous edition of Solkysten, then I can almost guarantee that there will be a problem with humidity/mold on the inside walls!

The reason is that the old windows were not airtight, but this guaranteed at least a constant ventilation. The combination of the lack of isolation inside the external walls at the old house with high air humidity (with no ventilation the occupants of the house and kitchen appliances delivers humidity to the rooms) results in condensed water damp on the walls, especially on the north faced walls as their surfaces are colder.

Condensed water damp leads to unwanted mold which is extremely unhealthy, mold is dangerous for our health and must be removed immediately by a competent person as this can lead to symptoms such as headache, throat pain, astma, coughing and infections in the respiratory tract which can worsen the symptoms as a COVID patient!

With this said, it is not all the old buildings that are badly built and with the right professionals by ones side, one can give an old building new life.

If the decision is to build a new house then you will have the guarantee of being able to have the latest technology and materials for a healthy house. A house built from the ground always have the guarantee of quality and sustainability due to a better isolation and technology that assures a reduced consumption of electricity for cooling and heating of the house. Apart from a more sustainable house one can achieve a much higher level of comfort, both thermal, light and acoustic comfort.

Comfort is for me just as important as the beautiful architectural building. The thermal comfort is the temperature of the house, the humidity in the air and the wind speed (air conditioning with an constant air blowing can be very uncomfortable). The optimal inside temperature is established at 22-23 celsius degrees and the average radiant heat must be of maximum 6 degrees. An example, the inside temperature is 23 degrees but the outer wall (not isolated) is 12 degrees, standing or sitting with your back to this wall will give you a cold back and one will hurry away as this is not comfortable. The relative humidity must be between 35-60 procent and the wind speed less than 0,5 mts/second.

Light comfort is important as well, because a correctly design of artificial lightning combined with a comfortable natural light (windows correctly designed) has an important mental influence on us humans.

Acoustic comfort is together with thermal comfort one of the most important parts of the constructive detail as an complete absence of noice or a disproportionate high level of noice can seriously affect us mentally and physically. Noice pollution can disturb our sleep, give us stress and by this reduce our performance and health. A proper isolation of the building is essential for our wellbeing and welfare.

10 routines that improves with an increased comfort:

-Being well-rested

-Better physical welfare

-More efficient at home and at work

-Improved productivity

-Better appetite

-Improved health

As the last option is the one to buy a property from a promotor, either on plan o a finished building. Here it is important to be sure to get the quality included in contract. Today the building regulations are regulated from EU so the quality is normally quite high. As the only inconvenience can be mentioned that one cannot choose completely the finishing materials, only the between 2-3 options that the promotor offer.

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