Love Your Location But Not Your Home?
You live in a great location, good school for your
children, your favourite shops and you are right around the corner from all
your friends and family. But your current home is just not meeting your
needs or aspirations anymore.
The thought of selling and buying a new home in a
completely different location is just not up for debate and carries its own set
of associated costs. What are your options?
You are faced with choosing between renovating your
current home or doing a knockdown / rebuild. You are not alone, this is an
increasingly common choice facing Melbourne homeowners. To help you figure out
which would be the best option for you, we have put together some of the factors
you need to consider.
Renovating is often seen as the cheaper and easier
option. It is, for smaller projects. If all you need to do is upgrade
the kitchen, remove a wall or two to create an open living area and replace
floor coverings then the total project cost will be a lot less than building
However, the reality is that renovating costs more
per square metre than building new. This means that for extensive renovations,
aimed at creating your dream vision of how you want to live, the cost equation might
not be so clear cut.
For a start, with extensive renovation projects a major
cost is demolition, repair and refurbishment. A renovation demolition takes
careful disassembly and manual demolition which takes longer and incurs a
greater cost. In addition, every wall, cupboard and door that is retained
requires repair and refurbishment to bring it up to a modern standard. Ask
yourself why would you want to use a large portion of your budget removing and
repairing items than custom building them?
Another cost factor to consider with renovation is
the reality of unforeseen costs and delays. Some renovation costs just can’t be
identified or anticipated before work begins. Footings that need reinforcement
or underpinned; rewiring or replumbing of the older parts of the house or
flooring that need to be completely replaced all add extra cost and time to the
Lastly and importantly, a renovation means you will
need to compromise the design of your home. The ideal design you have in your
mind must be changed and modified to fit in with the existing structure. Some
key feature that you may want and could achieve with a new build may just not
be possible with a renovation.
One of the obvious benefits of a knock down/rebuild
is being able to stay where you are, but in a beautiful new home with all the
modern design and features you would want. Your design does not need to
be compromised, all the layout and features that you dream about in a new home
can be achieved.
With a knockdown/rebuild demolition is relatively
quick and easy and occurs as one operation after which construction of your new
home can commence. Construction will proceed quicker because the builder
doesn’t have to work around the existing, sometimes complicated, frame and roof
of the existing house.
On the cost side, the total cost a new build may be
more than a renovation, but in the long term it will be better value. Not only
do you get a house with modern design features but the resale value will be
much higher. Your potential buyers do not have to worry about whether the
renovation was done properly or worry about the age and condition of the parts
of the house that weren’t worked on. They also won’t be put off by the design
compromises you made to fit your vision around the old house.
Finally, with a knock down/rebuild you will know
the costs of your project up front. Estimating the cost, a new build and
sticking to the budget is a lot easier than estimating a budget for a
renovation and then dealing with all the surprises and unforeseen costs.
Weigh Up the Costs
Land is becoming extremely scarce in popular
suburbs and knocking down and rebuilding your home, or doing a complete
renovation are becoming a standard project in home building.
So, which is for you? Ultimately the best way to
decide on whether to renovate or do a knockdown/rebuild is all determining what
you want to achieve, the associated short and long term costs of each option. At
first glance renovating may seem like the easier option, but when you take into
account design flexibility, cost, resale value and risk factors, doing a
knockdown/rebuild may be the better option.