If you’re one of many homeowners who love your location but not the house you live in, you’ll likely be faced with the ‘should I renovate or knockdown and rebuild?’ dilemma.
So what should you do? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and the decision will come down to a combination of basic economics and an assessment of your property’s potential.
Read on to find out how you can determine which option best suits your situation.
When a knockdown rebuild makes the most sense
The Housing Industry Association states that about 33% of all new detached homes are now knockdown rebuilds. That’s because demolishing your existing home and building a new home may be cheaper and more efficient than renovating or building from scratch on a new block.
While it might sound more cost effective to renovate and extend your existing home, this isn’t always the case. In fact, the cost to renovate an existing home is generally significantly more expensive per m2 than building new. The main reason for this is because of the inefficiencies in partially demolishing and improving an existing dwelling.
Benefits of a knockdown rebuild
Undertaking a knockdown and rebuild project means you’ll get to live in a brand new, energy efficient home that suits your lifestyle, budget and unique taste. Maintenance and running costs will be lower because everything will be new, and the home will be more thermally efficient due to the strict energy requirements for new homes.
You’ll also have less risk of budget blowouts as there is less potential for nasty surprises that can be uncovered once you start partially demolishing an existing home – for example termite, rot or mould damage, structural issues or unsafe wiring.
When a renovation is the better option
If you love the character of your existing home and you’re prepared to work with the risks, challenges and quirks of an older home, a renovation and extension may be a good option for you.
In some cases, your home may be in reasonable condition and have significant intrinsic value, so knocking it down and rebuilding a new home in its place could cause you to overcapitalise.
A renovation may also be the best option for you if your budget is tight and you’re only looking to undertake a cosmetic renovation with no structural work or extensions. If your home is heritage listed, a renovation may be your only option as there will be restrictions that dictate what you can and can’t do with your home.