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To demolish or not to demolish, that is the question

Choosing to knock down an existing home to build a new one comes with both advantages and challenges, however making sure it is the right decision for you is the biggest step.

An alternative to demolishing a home is renovating it, with Summit Homes Senior Sales Manager David Hunt saying owners need to consider which is best suited to them.

“When you are looking at a demolition, you should get an opinion and information from experts on whether a renovation or demolition is best for you,” he said. “Best practice would be to engage with a builder who can advise you on both options.”

Mr Hunt said when deciding between the two, you should ask yourself what the bones of the home were like.

“Is the frame of the home quite far off from what you are looking to have in the end or can you work with what you have?,” he said. “If your end goal is a five-bedroom home with a study and a big kitchen, then starting with an older three-bedroom, 90sqm frame isn’t going to get you where you want to be.

“Demolishing and rebuilding can be a more cost-effective option than renovating, depending on what you are looking for.

“A two-storey extension can cost anywhere from $200,000-400,000, which only gives you one more storey, whereas a demolition can be around $20,000 and a rebuild can start from $240,000 for a whole new home.”

Dale Alcock Homes General Manager Tony Pritchett said renovating could mean extra stress and might see you blowing your initial budget as unforeseen structural issues arose.

“By choosing to demolish and rebuild, you are getting the home design you want with quality fixtures and finishings throughout,” he said, adding that you can also salvage items from the existing home such as cooktops, hot water units, air-conditioners, bathroom fixtures, lighting and more, saving you money in the rebuild.

If you have come to the decision that knocking down the existing home is the way to go, Mr Pritchett said there were some things to be aware of.

“Check if your block is flat or sloped, as this can impact both design and costs,” he said. “If you want to build multiple properties on the block, be sure to check out the residential design codes of the area, specifically for your block, to see how many properties you can potentially build.”

Mr Hunt said it was important to get a professional opinion on the services and infrastructure that fed to your lot.

“Older blocks can have issues that arise from older services or may need updates to service the new structures you’re looking at,” he said. “You can lose thousands of dollars on not understanding the structure of the facilities your block utilises and building something that doesn’t fit in with the existing network.”


Summit Homes, 9317 0141, www.summithomes.com.au

Dale Alcock Homes, 9242 9200, www.dalealcock.com.au

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