Many people have begun to consider the
knockdown-rebuild process as being more viable than a standard home
renovation. This can be for many reasons, including the following:
- Their growing family can no longer
be accommodated in their existing home.
- Their current home is already
old, decrepit, and badly in need of major repair work.
- They want more space or wish to
- They want to change the
structural design of their house, e.g. a duplex to replace a single home
The rising cost of renovation jobs has made
knockdown rebuilds particularly attractive, especially if, in the final home
plans for the new build, very little of the original structure would be
So if you think you can realise your vision
for a new dream home with a knockdown rebuild project, we’d say go for it.
However, before you rush into calculating site costs, contract signing, soil
testing and conducting site surveys, there are other details and information
about knockdown-rebuild projects that you need to know. We’ve covered the most
important items in detail below.
Knockdown-rebuild process – preliminary details
Having your brand new home built on the same
block of land as the old one is certainly convenient and financially advantageous.
But before you start looking for a building partner, make sure your
sort out the following items first:
- Land title documents, block size,
property orientation and site conditions
- Planning regulations, including
conditions pertaining to heritage designation, flooding and bushfire
- Possible accessibility and
privacy issues with neighbouring properties
- Council requirements and local
planning/zoning laws, including covenants, easements and design
- Home construction cost research
as your basis for setting a realistic budget
When you’ve checked through all of the
aforementioned items and your plan is green-lit, you can move on to the other
steps in your new home building project.
Identify a home design that you want
Before selecting a builder for your project,
make sure you have a particular home design in mind. If there’s no exact image,
sketch or drawing of the house you want, find one that looks close to it to be
used for inspiration. Make sure you are clear about what materials you want and
the dimensions you have in mind as you may need to talk about these when you
interview prospective builders and ask for estimates.
Choose a reliable builder specialising in knockdown-rebuilds
It’s important to partner up with a specialist
in knockdown rebuilds as they can better advise you on what costs you
need to prepare for. These include the demolition, design and building
approvals, aside from the actual site work. You can also depend on them to give
you professional advice on whether the design you want is workable.
Alternatively, they can provide you a suite of home designs you can choose
from, which will be specifically drawn-up for knockdown-rebuild
In case what you have in mind is a duplex or
dual property project to replace your current residence, you need to discuss
this with your prospects. Usually, it’s best to go for the exact builder type
you need so that all of your requirements are met.
Once you identify the builder you
want, you should ask questions and clarify your
responsibilities as well as theirs. This is the stage when
you’ll be required to make a deposit and provide copies of all
property-related documents such as the land title and land contract. The first
deposit typically covers the site start allocation, security for the
base price and any special offers from the builder.
Schedule a property assessment and site inspection
Your chosen builder will be able
to establish the suitability of your project by assessing the frontage,
size, property accessibility, drainage and power supply, traffic management
requirements, location of trees and vegetation, block slope, and other details.
They will also take care of soil testing, site surveys and fulfilling council
At this stage of the project, you will
be tasked to make colour selections which will be covered in the
new home tender from your builder. Other items included in the tender are
site-related costs, preliminary site plan, façade selections and
Contract signing – preliminary and final
Depending on the builder you choose, there
may be a preliminary contract signing which includes details of your home plans
and costings. This document takes into consideration the latest upgrades and
modifications discussed with the consultant, plus site costs.
The contract (or final contract) signing
proper happens when all home plans are finalised and you have
approved all the corresponding costs. Before signing the contract, read the
fine print and clarify everything that is unclear so that contract can
still be modified until you and your builder are on the same page.
Your builder will then proceed
to apply for a building permit. This is the time when you’ll need to
engage the services of a demolition contractor that may or may not be a
company recommended by your builder. There are also builders who provide
this service in-house.
Commencement of demolition work
You need to vet your prospective demolition
partner, and the chosen demolition partner will file a separate
application for demolition to the council. Once approved, they can then
provide you with the demolition permit and asbestos clearance certificate.
To reduce the cost of your project, you
should check with your demolition contractor if they have options for
salvaging and recycling usable materials from your old home.
After the demolition work is done, a
final test and survey are conducted, so there may be a few modifications
in the construction plan and adjustments in site costs.
Knockdown-rebuild work proper
Finally, it’s time to start
building your brand new home from scratch. Your construction or site
manager will handle this part of the job. Of course, you can always
coordinate and check on the work progress with them until project completion.
So, if you’ve resolved that a
knockdown-rebuild is exactly what your house needs, use this as a guide in
navigating this lengthy process. In fact, it may take around 12 months or more
to get everything done! Hopefully, everything will go smoothly, and the
time for you to move in to your dream home will arrive without delay.