One of the most often-asked questions of prospective clients to Greg Kemp Contractor LLC is, “What are the benefits of tearing down the old house and building new versus remodeling and adding on to the existing structure?” The answer varies with each home and owner.

Many of Hawaii’s homes were built during the ’50s and ’60s’ state-hood boom. Developers built small, affordable one-story single-walled homes using some of the most basic layouts and finishes. Carports were usually for one car, cabinets were built-in and jalousie windows installed.

Depending on location and upkeep, some are in relatively good condition while others are falling apart. Determining if your home is sound and in good shape is the first place to start. Remodeling or adding on can easily be ruled out if the home is in bad shape.

Pros and Cons


Having a place to live during remodeling is usually the reason given for not building new, but if staying in a rental during construction can be calculated into the total cost/value of the finished home, things can be put in perspective. Additionally, insurance companies don’t offer earthquake insurance for many older homes, even if a new home has been added on to the existing structure.

Some properties have “grandfathered” dwellings like additional “cottages” or homes built within the current setback of the property lines. If they are torn down, the new work must comply with current building codes and setbacks. Greg Kemp Contractor recommends one way around this is to “repair” the existing non-conforming structure while keeping the “footprint” and existing setbacks intact.

Designing a new home can be done more cost-effectively than a major remodel/addition and the scope of work and specifications can have more clarity since you eliminate the “unforeseen conditions.” This can help rein in some of the costs and provide more value.

Greg Kemp Contractor provides advice and alternatives to your home building needs based on your budget, desired changes and the existing condition of the home. Call today for a free initial consultation/estimate. For more information, visit our website

CONTACT: 342-2691



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