Have you reached a point where your home has stopped working for you? Perhaps an expanding family means you’ve run out of bedrooms, your kitchen is becoming a little too poky, or your bathroom is starting to degrade? You know it’s time for something new, but you love the community and neighbourhood, so don’t necessarily want to move. Now what?
The most common options are to renovate and add to your existing space, or knock down and rebuild, starting from scratch to create your dream home.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, but there are plenty of prompts you can ask yourself to help make your decision. As knockdown rebuild and duplex specialists, we’ve assisted numerous clients in this decision-making process, helping them bring their vision to life. Here are our top things to consider when choosing whether to renovate or knockdown-rebuild.
Is it even an option?
The very first thing to consider is whether a knockdown rebuild is even possible – council restrictions may limit what you can do to your existing home. It’s important to check if your property can be demolished, or if any elements need to be retained under heritage law. In Queensland, we have a heritage register – you can check to see if your home is listed here.
Can a renovation achieve the results you want?
What does your dream home look like? Are you looking for a change in orientation, or a complete shift in look and feel? If so, a renovation may not be appropriate for your needs – it may be too difficult to achieve within the confines of your existing property. If you are looking at a more straightforward update with no particular structural changes, a renovation may work out as the better option.
How old is your home?
One of the risks of renovation is knocking into a wall or the foundations and finding that a little more work is required than first thought. This can blow out your costs and, in some cases, push projected costs to be more expensive than knocking it down and starting again. Therefore, when considering whether to renovate or knockdown-rebuild, consider the integrity of your home – is it likely that electrics or plumbing could need replacing? Are your foundations prone to decay or are they still going strong?
If you are in an older home that hasn’t had any work done, it is likely that your renovation costs may need to include some structural changes, adding to the final bill. A knockdown-rebuild removes this risk and means you are guaranteed to have completely new facilities for years to come.
How do the costs compare?
On paper, a renovation may seem like the most cost-effective option, but on closer inspection, it can often have comparable, or even higher costs than a knockdown-rebuild. The real risk lies in the unpredictability – even the most seasoned and experienced of builders cannot predict what’s behind a wall or under a floor until they knock through it.
A renovation can also result in higher maintenance costs, as some elements will remain and require further work in the future. Of course, a knockdown-rebuild has its own specific set of costs – demolition and alternative living arrangements being two – but when stacked up against ongoing costs, can often work out as more cost-effective.
Are you taking advantage of your land?
Once upon a time, large blocks of land were almost standard, so houses were built without much consideration for the land around it. These days, with space at a premium, we are all constantly looking for ways to maximise available blocks. If your current home isn’t taking full advantage of your block, it may be worth considering a knockdown-rebuild so you can position your home exactly where you’d like it. This option also represents an opportunity to introduce an innovative duplex design, adding even more value and introducing an opportunity for passive income or multi-generational living down the line.
If you’re thinking about building your dream home on the Gold Coast, get in touch with our team – as the experts in knockdown-rebuilds and duplexes, we can help you get the most out of your new home and existing land.