Renovate or Rebuild?

When purchasing a new home, it is quite uncommon for the buyer to be completely happy with the home as they purchased it. This leads to the common question – renovate or rebuild? We strongly suggest contacting a draftsman to assist and answer the questions for you.

1. Reflect On Your Lifestyle

a) Renovate – What are your requirements? Does your home need to accommodate many or few? Do you need to have separate bathrooms, study rooms, music rooms, theatre rooms etc?

Write down a list of your major requirements and compare them to what the current dwelling offers.

It may be as simple as renovating and extending to add on another bedroom. Choosing to renovate, you may still be able to live in the same dwelling without having to spend extra seeking a temporary home elsewhere.

b) Rebuild – On the other hand, you may have purchased a dwelling with an unworkable floor plan due to the location/price/etc. If this is the case, a knock down and rebuild is a great option.

Many people extend again and again looking to better their home on a budget, but spend more in the long run.

If you are not willing to deal with the hassle of a renovation, a new home can be built to ‘turn key’ which means all you need to do is turn the key and it’s ready to enjoy.

2. Budget – Consider Ongoing Costs

Budget calculations should not only be current but forward thinking. This being said, ongoing maintenance of a home is far more costly when a poorly designed home is renovated.

Building standards and regulations have improved over time. In a newer home, energy efficiency is greater, materials are more sustainable and durable, repair costs will be minimal (hopefully!).

An older home is more likely to require constant repairs and updates. In the long run, this means you will spend more. 

A true quote can only be delivered once your plans are prepared. A draft design is enough for a builder to give a rough quote but to have a real number, you will need plans.

Don’t forget about rent costs, when you are doing a new build you will need to move out! Most renovations, owners are able to occupy the dwelling throughout most of the renovation.

3. What Should I Renovate?

Speaking from an architectural perspective, the impractical portions of a home are the first to be renovated.

To begin, you could knock down non-structural walls to create open plan living and dining areas.

Structural walls are often removed in typical situations which can be costly but worth it, depending on the layout improvement.

Don’t forget to turn small windows into large low-e windows to improve insulation, energy efficiency and allow light in!

4. Council Regulations

You may have a dwelling which does not meet current council regulations. There are restrictions from local councils including boundary setbacks, floor space ratios, building heights, permissible uses and many more.

When rebuilding, you must adhere to current council codes and regulations. It is a good idea to contact your local council and find out if you are happy with the constraints, or alternatively, contact us and we can help out.