Should I knockdown & rebuild or renovate?

When it’s time to upgrade the family home, there are an overwhelming number of options available to you. Do you buy established real estate? Bag a bargain on a great block of land? Be inspired by reality TV and start a large-scale renovation project?

Another potential solution to consider is a knock down & rebuild. Given the many advantages of removing the home and building anew, it’s no surprise that this is becoming an increasingly popular solution for many.

To help you determine whether this approach is the right one for you, read on to see a few of the benefits of the knock down & rebuild approach.

1. Costs

It really depends on the outcome you wish to achieve and how extensive of a project you are planning to undertake. Smaller projects like revamping a kitchen and bathroom wouldn’t necessarily warrant knocking the whole home over and starting again completely, but if you’re planning major renovations that require significant structural changes, it might be the more cost effective option in the end.

Renovations are notorious for taking longer than anticipated and you know what they say ‘time is money’. This is partly due to having to undertake a fair bit of demolition and rectification works on the current properties of the home before any of the new work can even begin, especially if it’s an older home that may no longer comply to the Building Code of Australia and these tasks must be done first in order to comply and continue.

Often there are some costs that are difficult to predict when renovating – you can’t always tell what’s going on behind walls, under floors or in roofs until work has begun and issues exposed. Whilst appearing cynical to the first time renovator, old hands will tell you there is a lot of wisdom in the adage, “Whatever costs you estimate to renovate, no matter how carefully you’ve budgeted – double them!” And even then, you might only be in the ballpark when all is uncovered.

2. Less Surprises

The possibility for unforeseen problems to occur when renovating is one that can cost you both time and money as it’s difficult to determine and account for what might happen in the early design stages, and are more likely to turn up half way through the endeavour. This can include undetected asbestos, leaking pipes, dodgy wiring, major termite damage and even issues with the foundations, to name a few.

A knock down & rebuild can certainly come with its own set of surprises, however you should feel more comfortable knowing that the potential for any situations to occur will not require your contingency budget to be so deep. Costs and budget blowouts are far less uncertain, and are more predictable, in a new build than what may occur during a renovation.

3. Clean Slate and Longevity

Starting from scratch and building a new home offers more freedom and a clean slate to explore different ideas and incorporate your design dreams. When renovating, flexibility can be limited and the designs you long for may need to be compromised or even sacrificed as they just won’t work around the existing structure of the home currently standing.

Further, building a brand new house comes with the stress free knowledge that your home is structurally warranted, built with more sustainable materials, environmentally friendly innovations and is designed to be more energy efficient; ensuring that a newly built home has less ongoing expenses and low level maintenance.

4. Stay or Go

If you have friends for neighbours and have grown accustomed to the travel time to your work and school drop off, a knock down & rebuild is a great option to have the house of your dreams in the street that you know and love.

On the other hand, if you’ve always dreamt of living closer to the hustle and bustle of the city but the shortage of vacant land available in the inner city suburbs is turning your dream to a nightmare, undertaking a knock down & rebuild might be something to look at rather than relocating to where vacant land is more readily available. Be warned however that the cost of homes in suburbs close to the city are often pricey and there may be council or heritage restrictions in place that have to be complied with, so always check with your local council and real estate agent first before purchasing.

5. Return on Investment

Making the decision to renovate or re-build completely may be difficult, or quite straight forward, depending on your circumstances. The main influencing factor in making this decision is return on investment (ROI). Do the homework required to ensure that you don’t over-capitalise by spending money that you won’t be able to recoup should the value of your renovated or newly built home not increase as it was expected to. Consider a knock down & rebuild for those larger blocks in the inner city Brisbane suburbs, (or even outer suburban areas with great potential for growth, like Ipswich or Logan), that have the potential to be sub-divided into two lots should you not require as large a home. This option can add value to the originally bought block of land by building duplexes or a house on each title, where you can live in one and rent/sell the other.

To discuss your options on a block with the potential for a knock down & rebuild or even subdivision, contact our experienced Building Consultants at any of our display homes, or call us on 07 3343 4244.

Read more about the potential costs of a knock down & rebuild here.