Should I knock down and rebuild, or renovate and extend? This is a common question we get from a lot of homeowners who are weighing up their options with their homes. It’s naturally the next question homeowners ask themselves, after the big question, should I renovate and extend or relocate.
For homeowners who love where they live, love the location, community, then it’s easy to eliminate a relocation, but deciding on a major renovation or a knock down rebuild may need a little more thought.
To help, we’ve put together a list of all the important factors you should consider when deciding whether to knock down and rebuild or extensively renovate and extend your home.
Is a Knock Down Rebuild Even Possible?
Before you even get into the details of deciding whether to knock down and rebuild or renovate, you need to find out if a knock down and rebuild is even possible.
Depending on the house and the area you live in, local town planning laws may prevent you from demolishing or significantly changing the facade of your home. Homes that have character overlays applied or are historically listed homes are often prohibited from being demolished or significantly altered.
Before doing any more investigations, it is highly recommended that you check with your local council about the rules and requirements relating to your home.
How Much Work Is Required and What are the Costs?
Your budget and the costs involved in both a knock down rebuild and a major renovation is always going to be an important part of the decision making process. Depending on how extensive the renovation is going to be, it may be more cost-effective to demolish and remove the existing home and rebuild from scratch.
This, of course, will come down to how much of the existing home you plan on keeping, or altering. If you are working with the existing slab and foundations and are retaining a large part of the structure, then renovating may work out to be cheaper. But if you are removing or changing the home to the point where there is not much of the existing house left, then a knock down rebuild may very well be a more viable option.
Assessing the condition of the existing house should also be taken into account. Even though you may have plans to retain large parts of the existing structure, if it’s particularly old, or in poor condition then it may not be possible to reuse it.
Which Option Will Give You Exactly What you Want?
Following on from the previous question, it’s always a good idea to ask yourself if a major renovation is going to give you exactly what you want or are you making allowances for the existing home?
In some situations, the answer is going to be yes, where in others it will be a distinct no. Renovations and extensions can transform and enhance an existing home, especially if that home has beautiful character features that you want to retain or need to be retained. In these cases, the best thing you can do for the home is to renovate.
But in other situations, there may not be any qualities or features that you want to keep in the home. It may also be badly positioned on the block or the orientation is simply not right. In these scenarios, a knock down rebuild might be the only way forward.
If you are investing the same amount of money into a major renovation and extension that you would in building a new home, then you want to make sure you are going to end up with a home that you absolutely love.
Are you Potentially Overcapitalising?
Overcapitalising can be a potential issue with both knock down rebuilds and major renovations. If you have recently purchased your property then you may have already based your buying figures on renovating or rebuilding the home. But if you haven’t done your homework in regard to what your home is worth, then it might be worthwhile looking into it.
This is as easy as speaking to local real estate agents and getting an idea of what properties are selling for in your area. The agents will be able to give you an idea of what your home would sell for in its current condition and what it could potentially sell for if you decide to either knock it down and rebuild or extensively renovate it. This will help you budget how much money you should be putting into the home and what people are looking for in a home in your area.
Agents will also be able to give you ideas and other options you could consider. For example, it may be more lucrative for you to knock down a single home and build townhouses or a dual dwelling on the block instead.
If you want to create the home of your dreams that you will live in for a long time, then doing thorough research on the market is not as important as if you are planning on selling in the next few years. But this is definitely a step you should not overlook.
Knock Down Rebuild – The Pros and Cons
- You can design the layout exactly how you want without having to work around and existing structure
- You can choose all the fixtures and finishes without having to match with existing fixtures
- It can sometimes be quicker to demolish and rebuild
- It can be cheaper to rebuild rather than renovate (depending on the renovation requirements)
- It can be easier to incorporate energy-efficient features into a new build rather than a renovation
- You may not be able to knock down the existing home if there are council restrictions in place
- You lose the character and history of the existing home
- It could end up costing you more than a renovation
- You may overcapitalise
Renovate and Extend – The Pros and Cons
- You can retain the history of the home
- You can retain the character features and charm of an older home that are not found in newer homes
- It could potentially be cheaper to renovate and extend
- Council planning laws may restrict you in what you want to do with the home
- You may have to adapt your plans to allow for existing elements of the home
- It may take you longer to renovate and extend than it would to rebuild
Knock Down Rebuild vs Renovate and Extend. What is the Best Option for You?
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong answer when deciding to knock down and rebuild your home or undertake a major renovation and extension. What you decide to do with your home could be completely different to what someone else would decide. Because our values are all different and what we want in our home is different as well.
While you may love the idea of starting with a clean slate and building a gorgeous new custom home designed just for you, others may appreciate the character and history of the house and be willing to invest in a renovation in order to retain historical features and old-world characteristics of the home.
Regardless of your choice, getting advice very early on from real estate agents and specialised builders such as ourselves is critical to making sure you have all the facts. This is important so you can make an informed decision and achieve a successful outcome.
Book a consultation today and let’s talk through your options together.