Is building houses for the next generation a bad idea?

Representational image. Photo: dins k.s / Shutterstock

Giving a modern facelift to ancestral homes by the new generation is very common. People often demolish the redundant walls to make the interiors spacious or build attached bathrooms to make the house suit their modern lifestyle. It is impossible for the old houses to accommodate the changing needs of the time. The old-style kitchen becomes a liability while spacious bedrooms are mostly preferred. Besides, most of us want sit-outs, work areas and elaborate dining areas that could be used as family living areas too. It is a fact that most old houses are not in sync with the latest lifestyles and construction patterns.

Even if you share an emotional connection with the house that was built by your ancestors, it becomes difficult to maintain its authenticity as you are forced to make suitable changes. Some might try to give the old house a new wash of colour but that isn’t going to solve the problem of space constraints.

While some people rent out the old house and build a new one, others are interested in renovating the old house and continue living in it. Building a new house would be the most reasonable idea if you have another plot. However, renovating the old house might be wiser in case that house and plot are all that you own.

There are advantages and disadvantages to completely demolishing the old house and building a new house as well as giving a modern look to the old house by adding a few latest features. If the walls are redundant, foundation isn’t sturdy, the concrete slabs are in a dangerously dilapidated condition or the walls do not allow any renovations, then it is better to demolish the whole structure and build a new house. However, if you could add new features just by knocking down a few walls, then there is no need to rebuild from scratch. The outer walls could be retained by rearranging the interiors to suit your needs. The old roof slab too could be reused. You could expand the spaces by adding one or more rooms.

Even though there would be a huge difference in the expenses when it comes to building a brand new house and renovating the old one, the latter would be profitable when the entire budget is considered.

Those who live in old ancestral homes should realise that they would have to completely knock down or partially demolish their houses at some point as their quality of life improves. So, it would be wiser not to build a house now, thinking that it would benefit future generations as the house represents the present and not the needs of the future. The ideas of the new generation about home and construction would be different from our concepts. There are other ways to shower our love on them instead of working hard for decades or making personal sacrifices to build a comfortable home for our children. 

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