New Baby on the Way? Is Your Home Ready for the Change? Is the Right Answer to Remodel Your Home or Move to a New One?

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Once the initial excitement of your new arrival tapers off, you’re probably wondering, now what? Preparing for a new baby is easier these days, given the vast resources and tools available to parents-to-be, especially on the Internet. is a website that helps people evaluate and calculate the costs of each option.

Remodeling expert Dan Fritschen, author of the book Remodel Or Move: Make the Right Decision, has consulted with many parents-to-be to help them make the best decisions that will accommodate this major lifestyle change.

“Our remodel-or-move calculator is an excellent tool to help parents-to-be weigh their options,” Fritschen says. “The calculator estimates the costs of both remodeling and moving, so parents can make an informed decision.”

Some of the typical questions parents ask are:

-Do we remodel our existing home to accommodate our growing family, or do we move to a bigger house that will have enough room for years to come?

-Can we remodel or move in time for our new arrival?

-How much will it cost to remodel? To move?

Before making this big decision, Fritschen says, parents should evaluate several important factors.


For most people, this is usually the first concern when adding a new family member. Many double income households drop to a single income if one parent elects to stay home with the new baby.

There’s also the cost of day care to consider. If you have an hour-long commute, this adds up to more time and cost for your new baby at the day care center, and less time for you to spend together. This situation lends itself to a move to a home closer to your work, and benefits you remarkably by giving you more time with your child, and less time and money in day care and commuting costs.

Size of Your Current Home

Is your current home large enough to add a nursery that can later be easily converted to a child’s bedroom or a playroom? What about two nurseries? Couples just starting a family should also consider how many children are in their future.

“Thoughtful planning about the ultimate family size is an important factor in the remodel or move equation,” Fritschen says. “If the size of your home is cramping your style now, and the thought of a nursery or play room imposing upon the existing space isn’t appealing, then you should considering making a change.”


Do you like your neighbors? How are the schools in the area? Many parents buy homes in neighborhoods with the best schools and lots of kids around. If you love your neighborhood and plan to stay in your home for at least five years, then remodeling may be the better option for you.

If you aren’t satisfied with the neighborhood and feel that it is not the best place to raise your kids, then moving may be the right decision.    


Many newborns sleep in their parents’ rooms for at least the first few months. This temporary arrangement can give you time to start adjusting to the change. You may have preconceived notions about what your nursery should look like before bringing your baby home, but after the baby’s arrival, your experience will show the practical side of nursery management.

“The ‘hands on’ approach is probably the best way for new parents to decide how to update their homes to fit the needs of a growing family,” Fritschen comments. “Knowing in advance how to design the nursery or playroom based on your child’s unique needs is really a bonus. Those first few months of having the baby in your own room helps parents better plan a nursery.”


Can your home easily be made safe for babies and children? Does it require extensive remodeling to create a safe environment for your child? Stairs, exposed hot water pipes and heaters, low windows, and lead paint are just a few of the potential hazards in a home for a small child that should be considered as you make your remodel or move decision.

Carefully considering these important factors, as well as collecting cost estimates for both remodeling and moving from the online calculator at, real estate agents, and contractors can help you decide whether it is better for you and your family to remodel or to move.

Dan Fritschen’s book, Remodel or Move: Make the Right Decision, contains strategies and tactics designed to help homeowners work through the decision process. The book contains an ample combination of unbiased reference materials and no-nonsense advice, based on the author’s extensive remodeling experience and by his consultation with other real estate and construction industry experts.

Remodel of Move?

Make the Right Decision

By Dan Fritschen


Available in bookstores nationwide or online.

For more information visit This website is packed with helpful articles and also contains a unique decision-making tool. The Remodel or Move Calculator helps you take all the right factors into account so you can decide which pathway is best for you.

About is constructed to help homeowners make the difficult and expensive decision between remodeling and moving. It contains a set of tools and resources that enable homeowners to boil down a relatively complex problem into a simple set of numbers and ultimately a recommendation—whether you, in your particular situation, should remodel or move. The centerpiece of the site is the free Remodel or Move Calculator, which leads homeowners through the process by analyzing answers to such questions as:

  • How well does your existing house lend itself to remodeling?
  • How much will it cost to turn your house into a dream home?
  • How much more would you spend to move to a better home, or how much profit would you make if you're a downsizing empty-nester?
  • How long do you plan to live there?
  • Do you like or dislike the location, the neighborhood, and the school system?
  • How much of the remodeling investment will you be able to capture when you sell the house—will it or won't it be a profitable investment?

About Dan Fritschen

He is the author of Remodel or Move: Make the Right Decision (ABCD Publishing, 2004) and the founder of, a homeowner information and advocacy website. He has dedicated twenty years to working with high-tech corporations on decision analysis, while remodeling a number of homes as a sideline. His book has been praised in Better Homes & Gardens and the New York Post, as well as other national and local publications.

To interview Fritschen or request a review copy, please contact Taryn Parks at (888) 825-4169.


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Taryn Parks