07 Apr Renovation vs Rebuild – Which is the better option?
It’s an age-old question for many families; should we knock down our home and rebuild or renovate? There are many things to consider when you arrive at these crossroads, and it’s not always down to budget or a growing/shrinking family. We explore the different elements you will need to consider when pondering home renovation vs rebuild.
Are you living in the ideal area?
Depending on the type of renovations or rebuild you wish to complete, does the land you’re living on give you the options you require. If you’re looking at expanding living areas along with adding additional carports or garages, does the land allow for these extensions whilst still meeting all your local council regulatory requirements?
If the answer is yes, it may be an option for you to renovate or knock down and rebuild. If, however, the answer is no, this may be the time to move instead of renovating or rebuilding.
Can your home be demolished?
Before you even walk through the doorway of contemplating demolition, it’s essential to find out if your home can be demolished. Many local councils and state governments have laws and regulations surrounding the demolition of homes – particularly if they’re heritage listed, have a pre-1911 overlay or a commercial character building.
If you live in Brisbane City Council, here are some handy links to if check your property can be demolished.
In Brisbane City Council, Planning approval is not required if the project meets all of the following requirements outlined in the Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan):
- not on a site listed on the Heritage Register
- not on a site in the Pre-1911 building overlay
- on a site in the Traditional building character overlay where the entire building was constructed after 1946. Council aerial photos taken in 1946 may help identify buildings constructed in or before 1946.
- not a commercial character building
- not ‘rooming accommodation‘ (often known as a ‘registered boarding house’)
- not on a site where demolition is accessible under a neighbourhood plan.
How much renovation is required to reach your ideal home?
People renovate their homes for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they simply want a new kitchen or an updated, more modern bathroom. Other people want to gut their whole home, add/remove rooms, and significantly change the layout of their home.
If you’re contemplating demolishing your home it’s likely the renovations you’re thinking of are considerable. If you’re making substantial changes to your home, in particular structural changes, it’s worth considering the cost of these when it comes to renovations vs demolition.
If you want to keep large portions of your home the same but simply add/remove rooms, create new spaces and update things like kitchens and bathrooms, renovation is a viable option to consider.
Character vs Function
If you’re researching questions like ‘should I renovate or rebuild’ or ‘is it cheaper to rebuild or renovate’, you’re likely always going to find that renovations are more expensive… and you’d be right.
But this question comes down to the type of home you want to live in. Yes, you may be able to easily knock down your existing property and build a new home for $200-300K; however, these will be run of the mill, cookie-cutter homes that won’t have their own style and character.
If you’re looking to add to your home because you love that it’s had a history, past owners, a story to tell, or there’s a particular feature or features you wish to keep, renovating is a great way to continue that story moving forward.
Many homeowners tend to look at their home in two ways, functionality or character. If your home is simply a place to sleep, eat and use as a base for outside activities, it’s likely you won’t care too much about what happens to it.
If however, you’ve purchased a home with quirks and character and you want to add your own flair to this, renovating is a great way to make sure your home stays true to its original build, but with your own little bit of pizzazz added to it.
Minor issues or major headaches?
The next aspect of building vs renovating is doing some due diligence on your existing home. This can take many forms but will ultimately come down to two separate areas. Personal likes and dislikes vs technical building considerations. Here are some examples.
Personal Due Diligence
You want to ask yourself the following questions and answer honestly before ploughing thousands or even tens or hundreds of thousands into a renovation or rebuild.
- Do you love the existing character of your home
- Do you love the locations (and the neighbours)
- Are you happy with where your home sits on the street
- Are you happy with the existing layout of your home
- Are your living areas oriented in the best way (typically living areas tend to face northern light)
Technical Due Diligence
These are items that will primarily be conducted by a professional
- What is access like to the home
- Where are the services, and how are they orientated (water, power, etc.)
- What is the condition of pipes and services into the property
- What is the structure of the building like
- What repairs might need to happen to be able to renovate
Depending on the matrix to the answers to these questions, you should be able to come to a conclusion about renovating vs demolition. If, for example your home is oriented in the right way, there are no structural issues, and you love the character of your home, a renovation might be a great option. If there are many structural issues and existing problems, this may lean you more towards demolition and rebuild.
Hopefully, this article has given you some questions to ponder when you’re asking yourself, ‘is it better to renovate or rebuild’ and if you want to talk with renovation experts, please feel free to call us on 0481 536 900 today.