Knock Down Rebuild Vs Renovation

When you’re looking to update your home, choosing to renovate or rebuild is a big decision. Weigh up the benefits and decide if a rebuild is the best choice for you. 

One of the biggest questions we get asked is whether it’s better to renovate or rebuild a new home. It’s a big commitment, and certainly a decision with a lot of factors to consider. 

You’ll be investing a lot of money either way, so choosing the right option for you is key in getting as much satisfaction out of your home as possible. Of course, it’s also important to make a decision that’ll make sense financially in the long term. 

It’s never a simple answer, so we’ve put together a resource to help you refine your decision a little further. If you’re still on the fence, of course we’re here to help answer your questions on a case by case basis. 

Is it better to build or renovate a house? 

The first question you’ll want to ask yourself is what you’re looking to get out of updating your home. Maybe you’re looking to add an extension to get more space, or perhaps your house is a little on the older side and starting to feel a little dated. 

Depending on the size and layout of your property, the size of your house, and the overall condition, you’ll need to weigh up a number of factors. 

When you’re wanting to change the internal layout, rip down walls and replace them or update things like a kitchen or bathroom, you’re making quite a big commitment. It’ll often expose unseen issues like old wiring, problems with plumbing or rot that slow the process down and add more cost to the project. 

If you’ve got an older home, especially if it’s not heritage listed, sometimes you’ll end up playing catch up trying to maintain and update it when you’re doing it piece by piece. 

If it’s an extension you’re looking at, you’ll want to think about location before you start. If you’re already in a street you love, updating your home to make it exactly how you want it makes sense. 

Adding on new space outside or building up from a single storey into a two storey property can add a huge amount of value both personally and financially. However, this also requires more financial commitment up front too. 

It’s also worth noting that when you’re operating on a comparatively small part of your home or adding more space, you’ll need to submit for local council approval yourself which adds time and money to your overall project time. These are all important factors in choosing whether to renovate or rebuild. 


What to consider when knocking down and rebuilding: 

Knocking down and rebuilding gives you the opportunity to make something from scratch, exactly to your specifications. You’ll be able to look at a whole range of knockdown rebuild house plans to find one that you like and that will fit your property well. Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll be able to then refine each little design inclusion, right down to the fixtures. There are plenty of benefits of rebuilding over renovating depending on your needs: 

  • Start from scratch
    You might love your address, but have a lot of issues with the house itself. Sometimes it’s because it’s old or maybe it’s just not fit for purpose anymore. Whether that’s because you’d like another bedroom or a study space, or to downsize to something smaller and more manageable, knocking down and rebuilding gives you that control. You can change the layout entirely and get things to the size, number of bedrooms and floor layout you want - even if that means adding a whole new storey.

  • Cost is fixed
    When you renovate, often small issues can come up throughout the process. Whether that’s some previously undiscovered rot, damaged pipes and plumbing or electrical issues, it adds cost and slows things down. You’ll also be sourcing builders, electricians and plumbers yourself which can get expensive.

    When you’re working with a knock down rebuild specialist, we’re in touch with the leading industry professionals which means better access to teams that’ll be more affordable too. We can calculate the total cost, factoring in everything from council approval and demolition, right through to the finishing touches before you move in, it can all be planned before it’s even begun.

  • Update everything at once
    When you’re renovating, you might choose one of the bigger rooms like the kitchen or bathroom as they’re often the ones that look dated the most quickly. When you update your home piece by piece, it takes longer, costs more in the long run and you’re having to work around different parts of your home being out of action.

    When you opt for a knockdown rebuild, everything operates more quickly, the outside of your home matches the inside and you’ll be updating everything at once which results in a more coherent finish and feel throughout.

  • Return on investment
    When you update your home with a knock down rebuild, you’ll be saving more money than if you did a gradual rebuild over time. Not only does that save you cash in the short term, when you eventually come to sell your home - whether that’s in 5 years or 15 - you’ll have a better return on your investment.

    You’ll also be able to update the way your home works with the modern standards that make it more energy efficient. This makes it more affordable to heat up and cool down as well as giving you more efficient access to electricity with things like solar panels being installed upon completion. 


Is knockdown rebuild an option for your home? 

If you’re seriously considering a knock down rebuild, there are a few key areas that will help point you to a more definitive answer. If you say yes to most of these, it’s likely a good option for you: 

  • You love where you live now.
    When you’ve lived in a certain suburb or street for a long time, you often feel very settled and have an attachment to the area. If that sounds like you, you may be better off staying where you are and updating your home to something you’ll love instead. Right street, wrong home is a real thing and it’s a problem we’re here to help resolve.

  • You want to create a forever home.
    Moving around is stressful and oftentimes, you reach a new life stage and realise you’re ready to create something that’ll stand the test of time. Whether that’s because you’ve just started a family, have an empty nest and want to downsize or just want to build up to give you and your family more breathing space at home, rebuilding is a great option for you.

  • Your home is on the older side.
    Without a doubt, older homes can hold a lot of character. However, if you’re falling out of love with yours because it’s starting to cost too much in maintenance because of wear and tear, rebuilding could be perfect for you. It’ll give you a fresh start and solve all the large and small problems in one.

  • You’re looking to update your home for your current circumstances.
    Moving is expensive and stressful. In fact, 6 out of 10 people say that moving house is the most stressful thing they’ve ever done. You have to consider the costs of agency fees, stamp duty and paying removalists. Trying to find the perfect home that ticks all the boxes for you can take a lot of time and energy too. Instead, you might be better off creating a home you love where you already live. 


Rebuild or extend - the pros and cons:

The thing to bear in mind when you’re rebuilding or extending is that your main limit is the size and layout of your property. A whole host of factors come into play including the soil type of your property, whether and where you’ve got plumbing lines in place right down to whether you’ve got any old tree stumps in the ground all influence access. 

The difference between extending and rebuilding typically comes down to what you’re looking to achieve. If you have a modern home already, you might be able to update it with an extension fairly easily and it’ll still have a cohesive finish. The problem may come up when you’re looking at property boundaries and council permission.

If your home is already laid out close to your boundary and you can’t build up, rebuilding may still be a better option for you. You’ll be able to adjust your home to maximise the space you live on and factor in the extension you wanted. 


What’s more expensive, knock down rebuild or renovation? 

The overall knock down and rebuild cost for your home will vary depending on your unique circumstances. Where you’re located, how accessible your property is, and whether you’re on a flat or sloped section will all influence it. You’ll also find variable costs depending on the type of home you choose to rebuild and whether or not you want to add things like a pool and landscaping services. However, thanks to having access to teams of the best builders, electricians, plumbers and landscapers, you’ll be covered from start to finish and have a set cost before you start. We can give you a more definite answer with a consultation with one of our expert builders. 

When it comes to renovation, the costs can be quite high for less return. Looking at two of the bigger rooms people often work on - the kitchen and bathroom - you can drop some serious money just on updating these alone. Depending on whether you’re going for a minor cosmetic update through to a full renovation, bathrooms can cost anywhere between $5,000 through to $25,000. Kitchens are even more expensive, typically ranging between $10,000 for a small update and $42,000 for a full refurb. 


Choosing the right knock down builder: 

When you’re looking to do a full knock down rebuild, it’s best to go with a team that’s seen and done it all before. You want to be confident they’ll be there to guide you through the full process – from initial financial and council approval, through the demolition, and all the way to the finishing touches of your home. 

Knowing you’ve got a builder who can take care of all the small details is key. That is what takes away the stress and pressure from you while you wait for your dream home to be complete! 

At Wisdom Homes, we’ve got industry connections that mean we can get the best from every trade at a more affordable price which we can then pass onto you. No matter what kind of home is your dream, we’re confident that we can deliver just that. 

Whether it’s a single-story home with a granny flat, or a two-story, four bedroom family home with a pool, we can work together to create it just the way you want. You can explore our range of knockdown rebuild home designs in person or online to get some inspiration. Once you’re ready to get started, book in for a consultation and bring your ideas to the table. 

Your new home journey starts here.