Do I renovate or knock down and rebuild?

If you’ve outgrown your house, it no longer suits your needs, or it’s in dire need of major repair, to renovate your existing home or knock it down and rebuild the perfect home in it’s place is a common housing conundrum. The HIA 100 Report which measures the building activity of the 100 largest home builders in Australia, 10 percent of the total number of new homes built by these companies in 2013-2014 were knockdown-rebuilds. Knock down and rebuild has become an increasingly popular solution, and it’s little wonder why the HIA predicts that more and more homeowners will choose to go down the knock down and rebuild path this year. There are many advantages and considerations when deciding to renovate or rebuild. Knocking down your existing home and rebuilding can sometimes be more cost effective than a major renovation, considering the design restrictions when working with the existing house, and the design is usually less energy efficient than a new build while a renovation to some extent is still an older home.

When comparing the cost of a home renovation to a knock down rebuild, you should compare size for size, and find out the real cost. Renovation contracts are commonly prepared with allowances for items such as kitchens, benchtops, tiling etc. which can sometimes blow out, and often don’t include the cost of modifications to the existing structure and items such as heating and cooling, painting and floor coverings. Existing house structural components are concealed before a renovation begins and can lead to additional cost to replace and to re-engineer the existing structure, and there is little choice than to update these components resulting in cost increases to the owner.

When knocking down the existing house and rebuilding an opportunity is available to design from scratch to take advantage of the site opportunities, the orientation, your personal needs and your lifestyle, and is often the best solution long term. A new home building contracts is typically fixed price unless there is something underground that is unforeseen or where the builder must dig deeper footings to obtain the right foundation. Choosing to rebuild sometimes leads to a larger size house which should be considered in the budget along with demolition of the existing house, landscaping and site costs (costs of excavations, deeper foundations and site specific requirements) and site costs are often pushed aside by many builders until the contract is executed or the house is under construction resulting in a cost to the owner that they haven’t budgeted for. A well though-out design with passive design and a high energy rating provides far greater comfort and reduced energy bills, combined this with a quality construction will increase the value of your property greater than that of a renovation and have a greater lifespan.

Contact Verdé by entering your details contact us or call us on (03) 9836 2000 to arrange an obligation-free design consultation meeting with specialist Verdé consultant.