Renovate or knock-down rebuild - build your dream home

When you're in the market looking to buy a property, you may find yourself in the unfortunate situation where your dream home is out of your reach. It is easy to feel discouraged when every listing seems to be above your price range or that after countless hours of searching you still can’t find ‘the one’. But don’t lose hope if you can’t buy your dream home - you can always build it. Renovating or undertaking a knock-down rebuild can completely transform an imperfect house to your perfect home. However, knowing which means of transformation that’s right for you can be tricky, so here are few tips to help you decide if you should renovate or undertake a knock-down rebuild.

Consider your budget

Purchasing a house in a good location is often an expensive endeavour and many people are not lucky enough to have much left over to spend once they’ve purchased a property. If your building budget is small, then renovating may be the best option for you. When you renovate, you have the opportunity to save up and do rooms in stages. This means that you can save up smaller amounts and renovate when you have the money rather than paying a big sum in one go.

However, if you have a big building budget you have the great opportunity to use the advice and services from experienced professionals to bring your dream home to life. We highly recommend that you do your research before signing with a builder and/or architect. A clear understanding of their fees and services but most importantly their quality of work, may save you headaches and unwelcome surprises during the process.

Consider the condition of the house

If the house you’re looking at purchasing has good bones and you can clearly see its potential then a knock-down and rebuild may not be necessary. However, sometimes there are bigger issues than removing old wallpaper, changing the carpets or updating the kitchen cupboards. If there are several structural issues or if you find the floorplan unfunctional for your family situation, then it may be easier to knock it down and rebuild. By knocking it down, you can build a high-quality home that works in harmony with you and your family.

Also, it is worth considering where the property is positioned on the block. Depending on the overall size and shape of the block, an awkward positioning may make a future subdivision difficult. If you knock the existing property down, you not only get to build a fresh new home but you may also be able to subdivide your property. So even if the property is in good condition and only needs a light renovation, it may be an investment to knock it down.

Consider your skills

Do you feel comfortable with a toolbelt on your waist or are you all thumbs? If you have a way with tools and love to see your own creations come to life after some hard work, then you might enjoy renovating. It may even be a relatively easy process - thanks to the countless of ‘Step by Step’ guides and ‘How To’ videos available online. However, it’s important that you know your own limitations. We recommend that you leave the more serious tasks, like any electrical or plumbing work, to the professionals - as inexperience may lead to costly repairs or unintentional injuries.

If you find the thought of renovating stressful and want no part in the transformation process, then you may want to consider knocking your house down and rebuilding. While you could hire different trades to renovate areas in your home, a company that specialises in knock-down and rebuilds is generally a one stop shop. They can provide you architectural plans, help you with the design and finishing selection, project manage as well as build your home. If you want to pass on the responsibility of the project to someone else, then a knock-down and rebuild may be for you.

Consider your timeframe

Renovating your house and transforming it into your dream home can be a quick process. If you are time efficient, focused, have the right skills for the job and the money ready you may have your dream home within 6 months. However, life tends to get in the way of productivity. You may run out of money, find unexpected issues with the house or your family situation may change. It’s easy for a short renovation to be delayed and turn into long project. Also, you may find yourself saying things like ‘We won’t do the kitchen right now, we will wait until next year’ or ‘This is fine for now’. Be prepared that renovations generally take a lot longer than you think - which may be frustrating if you’re in a hurry to live in your dream home.

With a knock-down and rebuild, your builder will provide you with a clear time frame of the entire project. While there may issues that can cause delays along the way, like bad weather conditions or changes to the home design, it generally takes about 1.5 years for your home will be finished. So, if you like the idea of having a set completion date, that you can hold your builder accountable to, then a knock-down and rebuild may be the right choice for you.


For expert advice regarding your specific situation, contact your local real estate agent Discover Residential in Frankston, Seaford, Frankston South, Langwarrin, Frankston North, Baxter and Somerville for assistance.

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