Location, location, location. You’ve heard it before, but the phrase takes on extra significance when you’ve found an existing home in the exact spot you want to live. It’s hard to turn down something like that. But what if the architectural style and/or layout of the home just don’t fit your lifestyle? It might be time for a gut renovation.

We’ve talked about rightsizing, spec homes, and on-your-lot builds, but what does it mean when a homeowner decides to do a gut renovation?

What is a Gut Renovation?

Gutting a house means essentially demoing all but the structure in order to rebuild the home. Depending on the scope of the desired changes, a builder may even need to alter structural elements of the home too. An increasingly common trend in today’s market, gut renovations can make a lot of sense for owners of out-of-date properties that are located inside desirable, well-established communities.

Working with ground-up construction crews who can bring these homes up to current market standards may be preferable to dealing with some of the downsides of buying in 2022. In addition to losing a potentially great location, these downsides can include spending more money for less home and paying high property tax bills (Mansion Global).

What’s the Cost to Gut a House to the Studs?

The cost of gutting a house (demoing) before any renovations tends to range from $2-7 per square foot, or typically under $10,000 for a 1,400 square-foot home (HomeAdvisor). As you might imagine, costs associated with the actual renovation part of a gut renovation depends on a lot of variables. From the redesign to the cost of materials and structural changes to a home, it’s impossible to present any sort of reliable average cost for a full ground-up renovation.

That said, we’ve established that there may be some significant benefits to going this route instead of buying in today’s market. So, if this scenario makes sense in your situation, what kinds of things might you focus on with your builder when gutting a house?

7 Areas to Focus on When Gutting a House

We recently gutted a home that was built in 1996 on a luxurious golf course inside a country club community. The location is absolutely ideal; the lot is everything an owner could ever want. But the clients needed to redesign the actual home sitting on that gorgeous piece of land. We worked with them to gut the old house and build a modern beauty in its place — a home that fits their lifestyle and needs much better.

Here’s what we did.

Exterior Elevations

It was clear that this project would require major structural changes to accommodate the redesign vision — many gut renovations do. With that in mind, we set out to transform the exterior in a way that would carry forth and reflect the modern farmhouse layout the client envisioned for their new interior.

Interior Design

The clients worked with our interior design team to develop the final vision for this softer, more contemporary interior. Note the curvature of the staircase, the access to natural light, and the house-wide dark wood flooring that helps tie the interior together.

Mechanical Systems

We’re almost a quarter of the way through the twenty-first century (crazy, right?). As technology progresses at breakneck speed, scalable home automation systems and other mechanical systems are a hot commodity. Adding top-of-the-line tech to your home can make life much easier, more efficient, and pretty darn fun too!

Structural Additions

Gut renovations are a great time to think about any additions you might want for your home. It’s never going to be easier to add on than when you’ve already got the house stripped down to the studs. Amongst their interior and exterior renovation needs, the clients on this particular project requested a sleek, new master wing (pictured above).

Floor Plans

Adjusting the floor plan is pretty typical when gutting a home. It’s important to take architectural style, foot traffic, and the individual needs of a family into consideration when laying out a custom home. A gut renovation lets builders bring that same level of planning into a remodeling project.

In this case, we relocated the kitchen, dining room, and great room areas to better highlight the views created by several new window placements.


A kitchen with an island.

Many older homes are lacking in adequate window coverage. For instance, this home is situated on a lovely golf course in Ohio, so it stands to reason that it should provide views of the picturesque landscape. Originally, however, the views did leave something to be desired. Thoughtfully and strategically placing new windows around the home was a simple way to open up the space a bit, bring in some natural light, and create some much-needed visibility.

A family room with tons of windows.

Outdoor Living

Outdoor living areas are certainly en vogue these days. As we touched on in the 3 Keys To Indoor Outdoor Living Spaces, it’s ideal to conceive of these areas in the initial home design phase as opposed to randomly adding them on down the road. Planning them out in the initial build allows builders to integrate and connect the spaces so that they truly feel like part of the home — connecting styles and accommodating for the flow of foot traffic throughout the home.

Does Your Home Need a Gut Renovation?

Together, we will draft up a plan and build a vision for your dream home. Corinthian Fine Homes has been a leader in Central Ohio custom home renovation for over 25 years. Contact a Sales & Design specialist today to discuss your options.

An in-home study built during a gut renovation.