To buy, to build, or to knock down and rebuild. At the most basic level, these are your options when looking to secure a new property.
The last, the knockdown rebuild, is perhaps the least common. But in many situations, and in many ways, this could be the very best option.
Why knock down an existing home and rebuild? What considerations should be made to help you decide whether this is the right option for you? And how exactly do you do it?
Let’s take a look.
Why knockdown and rebuild?
There are several reasons why knockdown rebuilds represent the best option in certain situations:
- Location: If you already own the property, you get to stay in the same position, but a better house. If you’re looking for a property, you can buy the worst house on the best street.
- Value: You’ll need to be patient while the knockdown rebuild takes place, but you’ll be rewarded by saving massive amounts when compared to buying new in the same area.
- Personalisation: Get the home you’ve always dreamt of by designing it from the ground up.
- Subdivision: If you own or buy a large block, there may be an opportunity to knock down, subdivide, and then rebuild, with the money from land sales funding the construction of your dream home!
The perks of knockdown rebuilds are tempting, but...
Is a knockdown rebuild the right choice for you?
There are many considerations that you need to make before deciding to knock down and rebuild:
- Cost: Do you have the money not just to knock down and rebuild, but to pay for rental during the process?
- Time: Are you prepared to wait for the often long demolition and construction process to play out?
- Feasibility: Is your local council happy to approve your plans?
Benefits understood and considerations made, you should now be able to say whether a knockdown rebuild is right for you confidently. If the answer is yes, it’s time to move onto the next and most exciting stage.
The process of a knockdown rebuild
Purchasing a property, demolishing the current house, and rebuilding another is an understandably complex process. So let’s walk through how it generally plays out to prepare you for what’s to come.
Stage one: research and preparation
- Find a property: Where will you knock down and rebuild? If you don’t already own a property, search for the worst house on the best street.
- Find a builder: After securing a property, you’ll need to secure a builder, as they will be in charge of directing the entire process. Volume or custom, independent, or franchise - the choice is entirely yours.
- Inspect the site: If you are thinking of purchasing as a site specifically for this purpose, many consultants will be willing to inspect the site to gain an understanding of its characteristics. These will govern your rebuild options, and highlight any challenges that you may face.
- Design your new home: The fun part - in consultation with the builder, you’ll make plans for your new abode.
- Sign the contract: This sets your plans in stone, marking the first true step toward your dream home becoming a reality.
Stage two: demolition
- Secure permits: Planning permits, bushfire management permits, demolition permits, asset protection permits; there is a lot of paperwork at this stage, but all of it must be done. Your builder will guide you through this process.
- Disconnect/remove services: All water, gas, telephone/internet, and electrical connections must be removed from the site in consultation with the appropriate service providers and authorities.
- Demolition and removal: The demolition contractor goes to work, knocking down the old structure and removing debris and waste. You’ll end up with an utterly empty lot.
Stage three: construction
- Assess the site: Conducting final site surveys and soil tests to ensure all is well before construction proceeds.
- Foundation and framing: Underground power and drains are installed, the concrete slab is laid, and the frame is erected.
- Lock up and fixing: Your house begins to look like a house. Brick, roof, and exterior work is completed before the focus turns to the internal finishes.
- Complete and settle: The house is completed! Final payment made, your builder will hand over the keys, and you’ll furnish, decorate, and finally move in!
Knockdown rebuilds are a little more detailed than a regular build as there are more considerations to navigate within established areas.
For those who understand the perks and pitfalls of the process, these projects tend to be a great way of staying in your existing area, while upgrading your lifestyle to a new home.
The great thing in most builders will be able to effortlessly guide you through the process and hold your hand along the way.