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Knockdown Rebuild: Your Commonly Asked Questions Answered

Updated: Jun 18

When vacant land becomes scarce, particularly in premium suburbs around Brisbane, many homeowners weigh up their options and consider their next move when it comes to their family home. To move or to renovate… Those are the two main options up for consideration, but for some homeowners moving suburbs is out of the question and renovations may not provide optimal outcomes. 

So, what’s another option? Have you considered a knockdown rebuild? It might just be the ideal solution.

Want to know more? We dive into all the commonly asked questions about knockdown rebuilds and provide answers that can help you decide if this is the way to go for your next home.

Knockdown Rebuild: Your commonly asked questions answered

What is a knockdown rebuild?

A knockdown rebuild is exactly what it sounds like. Knocking down an existing house and rebuilding a new one in its place. It’s a popular choice for homeowners who own property in a suburb or community they love and want to stay in the same area, but the house is not suitable for their needs and there are no other land options available. 

Knocking down the existing home and then rebuilding a new home from the ground up, can be appealing, especially if the existing home requires extensive renovations to make it what you want, or you want to completely reimagine and redesign a new home. 

A knockdown rebuild can also be a great option for homeowners who want to think outside the square a little and not only build a new home but also consider incorporating additional housing options or investment opportunities. Building two or more homes in one, for example, such as a duplex or a dual living is a good reason to knock down an existing house and rebuild on the same site.

How much does a knockdown rebuild cost?

The cost of a knockdown rebuild is around the same price as building a new home but with the additional costs of removing the old home. It can be fairly easy to calculate the costs of your new build, but when it comes to pricing up the demolition and site prep costs, it can be a little tricker to accurately price. There can be a few more unknowns and incidental costs that you won’t know until it comes time to complete the project. 

Along with the costs of a new home build, you will have to factor in some or all of the following additional costs associated with a knockdown rebuild: 

  1. Demolition costs - This can vary from basic knockdown charges to more detailed costs if you need to remove contaminated materials or remove trees to accommodate a larger home for example.

  2. Site preparation costs - Services such as electricity, gas and plumbing will need to be disconnected and reconnected. Moving services onsite will also incur extra costs if they need to be moved.

  3. Site access - The location and access to your property could mean extra costs if your property is a battle axe block or on a busy road that requires traffic management.

  4. Planning and approval costs - Depending on what you rebuild on the site, you may be up for additional planning and approval costs. 

An experienced builder who has experience in the knock down and rebuild process, and has good local area knowledge will be able to provide more information and advice specifically for your site and particular circumstances. A good builder who has experience in the knockdown rebuild process can also help minimise any costs associated with knocking down your existing home and rebuilding in its place.

 How long will a knockdown rebuild take?

Just like the costs, the time frames for a knockdown rebuild are generally the same as building a new house with the additional time needed for demolition and to prep the site.

Depending on your particular scenario, the approval process for your new home could also take a little longer. Particularly if you are requesting relaxations on the site or the new structure is significantly different to the old one. For example, you may be replacing a single-storey with a double-storey or a dual dwelling. 

Another thing to consider when thinking about time frames with your knockdown rebuild is the repurposing of the materials in the existing home. If you want to retain and reuse material from the existing home or you want to resell or reuse material elsewhere, then this can take a little extra time. 

If the existing home contains Asbestos or other contaminated material (which can be common in older homes), this may also slow down the process as it needs to be removed and disposed of by licensed experts.

Knockdown rebuild Brisbane

What things should I consider with a knockdown rebuild?

One of the most important things to consider when embarking on a knockdown rebuild project is your builder. The builder you choose to undertake your project is pivotal to its success. 

As mentioned previously, finding a builder who is experienced in knockdown rebuilds and has local area knowledge is going to be far better than choosing a builder who has no experience in demolition, no local area knowledge or only knows how to build new homes in new land estates. 

A custom home builder is where you ideally should start looking and if you take the time to get to know them and get an understanding of the projects they have worked on, you will have much more confidence in the project and will enjoy the process a lot more. 

Community amenities and access are some things you also need to consider. Particularly the impact on your immediate neighbours throughout the process. As a knockdown rebuild generally happens in a well-established neighbourhood, it can have greater impacts than a standard new build. 

How will increased cars, material deliveries and noise affect your neighbours during construction? It’s important to keep communication open with anyone who could be impacted so they are well aware of what is happening and when so the disruption is minimised. 

It’s worthwhile to give extra attention to the design of your new home on a knockdown rebuild project. You may want to consider a design that works with the existing location of all services onsite to reduce costs. Or you may want to reorientate the new home and consider your window placement carefully to take better advantage of natural sunlight and cross ventilation.

Existing landscaping may also need to be factored in, especially if you have structural retaining walls, inground pools or established trees that you want to retain. All these not only have to fit within the design of the new home, they also need to be protected during the construction process to ensure they are not damaged.

Why should I choose a knockdown rebuild over a new build or buying another house?

There are many reasons why a knockdown rebuild would be preferable over a new build in another location or buying a new house elsewhere. Most of these reasons come down to the location of the land. 

You may have found the perfect location but there is an existing home on the site. You may have lived in your home for years but your family dynamic or circumstances have changed and your existing home is no longer suitable. Your family may have strong ties to the area… Your children go to the local school, you work locally, you live in a premium spot you can’t find elsewhere or you simply love the area and you don’t want to leave. There are many reasons why rebuilding in an existing location can be a better option than relocating elsewhere. 

Sometimes, it may also be more cost-effective to knockdown and rebuild than it would be to buy land elsewhere and build. If the land value in the area where you live is high, the long-term value of the property can increase significantly by knocking down an existing home and building a more desirable home for future buyers if you ever decide to sell. 

Relocating to another area can also come with a lot of unknowns that could impact your lifestyle. Neighbourhood dynamics, future developments and the unknowns of buying an existing home elsewhere can all be avoided by rebuilding where you already live.

Everything you need to know about knockdown rebuilds

Why should I choose a knockdown rebuild over renovations?

In some circumstances, it could make sense to renovate a home. If the main structure is sound, or the layout of the home is workable, then renovations may be the better way to go. The option to reuse existing structures and materials in a home and renovate around that also has the potential to reduce costs. 

But, if the renovation is extensive and requires a significant redesign, it can often work out more expensive in the long run. You may be better off to demolish the lot and start from scratch. 

Starting from scratch also allows for more freedom when it comes to the style and inclusions in your new home. You have the opportunity to incorporate more sustainability and energy-efficient features into the home. You can redesign the entire floor plan, and you can choose a brand new style rather than working with the style of the existing home. 

A rebuild can also remove any issues that existed in the existing home… Poor insulation, less than ideal orientation and outdated wiring, for example.

Is a knockdown rebuild an option for your next home?

There is a lot to consider when it comes to a knockdown rebuild, and while it won’t be an option for some, for others it might be the ideal solution. 

The best way to work out if it’s the right solution for you and your family is to speak to an experienced knockdown rebuild specialist. 

Line and Form Constructions can work with you to determine the best outcome for your next home build and help you decide if a knockdown rebuild is in your future. Get in touch today and let’s talk through the details.

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