Knocking Down to Rebuild – Benefits and Considerations

Knocking Down to Rebuild – Benefits and Considerations

Do you feel like you’ve outgrown your home? Or maybe it’s gotten shabby and no longer suits your needs? While renovating, buying a new home or building elsewhere are three possible solutions there’s a fourth option that many people are now turning to: knocking down your house and building a new one in its place.

Given the many advantages of tearing down your home and starting afresh, it’s not hard to see why this is an increasingly popular solution. If you’re curious to see if it’s the right option for you, have a look at some of the benefits and concerns listed below for a fuller picture.

1. It can be a smarter move financially

One of the main draws of opting to tear down your existing home and rebuild is that it can be more cost-effective than renovating.

Experts state that it is not uncommon for extension and renovation projects to be 50 per cent more expensive to build than new homes on a square meter basis, partly because renovations often require a lot of time-consuming demolition and alteration work before the new work can even begin.

Also, some costs associated with renovating and extending a home are difficult to determine during the design stage. Some examples are when new subfloor, underpinning or plaster rectification are required. Allowances for such costs need to be built into the contract. It can be tricky to determine the exact level of allowances to be made.

This obviously won’t factor into your financials if you choose to knock your house down and rebuild, since your existing home will be totally demolished, allowing you to start afresh.

2. There are fewer surprises

While everyone loves a good surprise, you’re not likely to encounter many of them when renovating your home. Unforeseen problems like leaky pipes, damaged wiring or undetected asbestos can put a dampener on what was initially an exciting home makeover project.

Knockdown-rebuilds, on the other hand, don’t have as much uncertainty around them in terms of cost and budget blowouts like extensions and renovations do.

3. You can stay in the same neighborhood…

While demolishing and rebuilding your home has plenty of financial benefits, this building approach has a positive impact on your lifestyle, too. KDRs are a great option for families who love where they live and are loath to leave but are in desperate need of a new home that fits their lifestyle better.

4. …Or buy a house to raze and rebuild where you love

A shortage of land in and around metropolitan areas has been a driving force behind the popularity of knockdown-rebuilds. However, properties in well-established areas can be pricey, no matter how dilapidated they are, so it’s worth weighing up the cost versus the lifestyle benefits to make sure the price of the purchase, demolition and rebuild is worth it.

5. You start with a clean slate

Another advantage of a knockdown-rebuild is the creative freedom you can enjoy, not being shackled by needing to work around existing structures. While you still need to consider the general site layout, it is refreshing to have a clean slate to explore new ideas and challenge the previous layout. Building a new home gives you more options in terms of the style and size of the home, sustainability and the use of technology and modern building practices.”

6. Improved site access for a quicker build

KDRs also enable your builder to have unlimited access to the construction site, which will increase productivity on-site and could reduce your overall build cost and, ultimately, build timing. Efficient programming means you can move in faster, reducing the cost of other out-of-pocket expenses such as rent and storage costs.

7. You can go green(er)

Starting from scratch means that you can optimize the orientation and layout of your home and the placement of windows, to allow for maximum sun exposure in winter; shade and coolness in summer; and cross ventilation.

Knockdown-rebuilds give you the opportunity to construct your new home from the ground up, using sustainable materials and incorporating the latest smart, eco-friendly fixtures, features and gadgets too, which will improve your home’s carbon footprint and reduce your household energy spending.

Some Things to Consider

Sold on the idea of a knockdown-rebuild? Here’s some extra advice to take on board before you take the plunge.

  1. Get Advice Early – speaking to experts early can save you money in the long run. For example, working with professional home builders like Elite New Homes can guide you through the process; help answer the difficult questions; deal with the local council, builders and tradesmen, etc. Finding the right designer is key, and it’s a task that should not be rushed. Make sure they can demonstrate experience in meeting similar budgets and briefs to yours and ensure that you understand the fees and services delivered.
  2. Size up the existing structure – Check the existing foundations and the state of the existing building. For instance, if there are a lot of cracks in the walls, you may need to have some engineering work done to the foundations before you begin building.
  3. Have a buffer in your budget – while unforeseen conditions are less likely on KDRs, it’s always worth being prepared if something crops up along the way.
  4. Decide where you are going to live during the renovation – unless you are ok with living on a construction site, it’s likely that you will need to rent a property for the duration of the rebuild. This will add to your project cost and needs to be accounted for in your budget.

Have you embarked on a knockdown-rebuild project? Do you have any advice to share for people who are considering this building approach? Tell us in the comments below.


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