We often have clients who come to us with the question,
“Should I renovate or knock down and rebuild?”
Every home has its own unique qualities and every client’s personal circumstances are different, so these are some of the key questions I would address. In this way clients can make an informed decision about which option may suit them best, before we delve deeper into designs and costings.
Weighing up the cost financially
From experience there is a difference between a simple makeover and a renovation involving major structural changes.
You often see on some TV shows renovations that just involve cosmetic works such as repainting, changing bathroom fixtures, replacing cabinetry, changing door handles and light fittings and replacing carpets.
These types of woks can dramatically improve a home for a minimal cost.
Then you have the type of renovation which involves some simple structural works like removing a wall or widening a window or door opening and minor layout changes, even adding extra rooms.
These can be more costly but still good value for money when you look at the total cost spent and what you have gained.
Then you have the hardest category – these generally involve major structural changes, such as building additional levels or completely stripping the home back and starting over. These types of renovations would be a serious contender to knock down and rebuild, especially if you can reuse the existing slab.
Some homes that are structurally sound, possibly built from block and suspended concrete slabs, can be an exception to this where they have a higher than average construction cost.
If you choose to knock down these are some of the benefits
- You avoid unforeseen costs that can become apparent when renovating, such as termite damage or decayed timbers that need replacing.
- You get a new home with a construction warranty.
- You get the layout and design that suits your family and lifestyle.
- You can design it with considerable energy efficiency improvements, which result in lower running expenses.
- You have reduced ongoing maintenance costs.
With that all said, you do come across homes which have so much character that renovating is the best option.
These homes are usually older more historic or period homes where materials may be difficult to source and building techniques have been lost, so it is very expensive or impossible to rebuild from scratch.
Other factors to consider include
- The location of the property – prime locations which are scarce like beachfront or inner-city have less risk of initially over capitalising.
- How long do you plan on staying there? This is important so you factor in specific design requirements for today and the future – for example, should I put a lift in, so I do not have to rely on stairs when older.
- Consider the access – if access is difficult, it will increase costs.
- Would the overall construction time be quicker if knocked down?
- Are you considering living in the property while works are being done? This can often slow the building process and make it less efficient, in most cases the cost-saving is minimal, but the inconvenience is considerable.
If you are considering which option may work best for you, give us a call and we will happily give you our opinion based on your requirements and circumstances. Then we can help put a plan together to give you the best options to move forward and help you achieve your dream home.