knockdown rebuild costs - demolition

5 Knockdown Rebuild Costs you May Not Have Considered

Knockdown rebuilds are growing in popularity as more and more people realise they love where they live but not the home or building they are living in. Owning the land your home is on is a great start and provides you with the opportunity to build the home of your dreams.

In the most basic sense, a knockdown rebuild involves demolishing and clearing an existing home in order to build from the ground up on the same block of land.

Demolishing an existing home and rebuilding a new home is an alternative to renovations, extensions, new house and land builds, or complete moves. And as the price of housing is rapidly increasing Australia wide, it’s an option that many homeowners are now looking towards.

Once you have considered all options and have come to the conclusion that an entirely new build, in your current location, would be the best option for your family, you will need to think about all elements involved with the process. There are a few extra knockdown rebuild costs and options to consider and prepare for, but if you know this is the way you want to go, then there is nothing a little planning cannot overcome.

There are so many benefits of a knockdown rebuild starting with the clean slate you’ll have to build on once the previous home or building has been knocked down and removed. The ability to design, create, and build a home that is customised to your needs and preferences is the ultimate dream for many homeowners. Building from the ground up gives you control over the materials that are used, the design options that are available to you, and even the new technology and home modifications that can be used in your build. Building from scratch can also be more cost-effective than renovating a home, depending on individual circumstances. In some cases, renovation projects aren’t always ideal and can require compromises with the outcome due to existing building limitations.

When considering a knockdown rebuild, some of the questions that will need to be asked include:

  • Is it even possible to complete a knockdown rebuild in your area and on the land you own? Some properties can have restrictions on what can be done. If there is a character or heritage overlay on the property, for example, it may not be possible to remove or relocate the existing home.
  • Do we have the budget for a complete rebuild? In some cases it can be more cost-effective to build a new home from scratch than alter an existing home, however, there are additional costs which are outlined below. And it also means you will be up for the entire cost at once, instead of completing a staged renovation which can help you spread the cost out over time.


Once you have worked through all the logistics, it’s time to consider the costs. There are several unexpected or overlooked costs people forget about from the start so it’s smart to have these on your radar from the beginning.

knockdown rebuild costs - demolition

1. Cost of Demolition

Generally, the cost to completely demolish a house is going to be determined by the size and condition of the existing structure, but it is a cost you will have to factor in. It may be possible to have the existing house relocated or repurposed elsewhere which can save you, and even make you money. But this will depend on the condition and the general structure of the home. For example, if the house is a weatherboard home on raised foundations, removing the house as a whole is viable. If, on the other hand, it’s a brick veneer home on a slab foundation, it is not possible to remove it in one piece.

Even if you are able to sell or relocate the existing house, there may still be foundation demolition required. Homes that are built on difficult to access or sloping blocks, may also require additional care and safety measures which could impact your demolition costs.

knockdown rebuild - relocate plumbing

2. Cost of Changing Services

Another cost factor that needs to be considered when undertaking a knockdown rebuild is the cost of changing or moving the services to the site. This can include plumbing, drainage and electricity.

When completing a renovation or extension, you will have to alter the plumbing and electrical within the home but for a complete knockdown and rebuild, you may need to alter the plumbing and electrical outside the home as well. This could mean completely digging up the existing pipework and relocating it to suit the new home structure.

Of course, if you are keeping the new house in the same general location as the original home, the changes may not be required. But if you are moving the new build to a new location on the block or changing the orientation of the home, then you will likely have to factor in extra costs to relocate the services.

knockdown rebuild - site costs

3. Extra Site Costs

Depending on the condition of your current site and the new build that you want to place there, extra site costs can add up. Needing to remove trees, driveways, paths, stabilizing the landscape, or improving the drainage are all extra site costs that may need to be factored in. A good builder who is experienced in knockdown rebuilds can guide you through indicative costs you may be up for when assessing your particular block.

knockdown rebuild - relocation costs

4. Relocation Costs

If the home being demolished is your primary residence, you will need to consider the costs of temporarily relocating until the new home is built. For most people, this involves renting for a period of time. Relocation costs generally also need to be taken into account when undertaking a structural renovation so you may have already factored this cost into your budget.

knockdown rebuild costs - design

5. Additional Design Costs

The cost of building the actual home is often the highest and will constitute the bulk of expenses, but creating the design and plans for the new home is another cost you need to consider. For this process, there are several ways to go. You can choose to engage an Architect or Building Designer separately to design your home or you can opt for a builder who has an in-house design team to help create your dream home.

There are pros and cons to both these options, and whatever option you choose, having the designs and plans created for your home is a necessary expense that will need to be listed in the budget.

Knockdown Rebuild Costs. Being Informed is the First Step

If you own property in an ideal location but the home is simply not meeting your needs, a knockdown rebuild is definitely a viable option. And in some cases, it can even be cheaper than undergoing a renovation or extension. But the costs can quickly spiral out of control if you aren’t aware of the process and haven’t factored in the potential additional costs outlined above.

Knowing the right information and speaking to the right builder for the project is the first step to get you into your newly built home.

If you’re curious about undertaking a knockdown rebuild project or you want more information specific to your situation. Give the Walkom team a call and we can talk you through your options.

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