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Renovate vs. Knockdown Rebuild. What’s Right For You?

It’s one of the oldest questions in the construction book – should you renovate or knockdown rebuild? Countless clients have been faced with this dilemma as they look to transform their home without giving up their location or neighbourhood.

So should you start from scratch or salvage what you have with a renovation? Before making your decision, there are a few key factors to consider.

1. Feasibility 

There’s a very simple way to figure out if you should renovate or knockdown and rebuild – what you’re legally allowed to do!

If any part of your home is heritage-listed, demolition or knocking it down may not be possible, so a renovation would be your best option. If there is no heritage listing, your home may be subject to demolition restrictions or major design limitations. Checking with your local council and understanding any covenants on your title is a great place to start. You will need to adhere to all regulations on planning, permits and boundaries, so it’s essential to check what your council says before moving forward.

2. Structural integrity

When was your home originally built? How are the foundations?

If your home was built within the last 10-15 years, it’s highly likely that the structural foundations are still in good condition and won’t need replacing in the near future. If this is the case, you may be best opting for a renovation. However, if your original home has a longer history, or there is structural damage from damp, pests or erosion, it will be easier to start from scratch with a knockdown rebuild.


Similarly, if you want to change the entire orientation of your home, increase from a single storey to a double storey, or completely change the layout, it’s best to start over with a complete demolition.

3. Budget

The amount of money you have available to spend will be a major factor when deciding whether to renovate or knockdown rebuild. If you are limited in funds, and your scope is limited to adding or renovating a few rooms, you may want to consider a renovation.

However, if you’re ready to invest in your dream home, it may work out to be more affordable to knockdown rebuild, as you aren’t hindered by existing structures. This results in your money going further on new spaces, as you aren’t spending extra on matching the new with the old.

Regardless of the option you choose, taking the time to establish a detailed and comprehensive budget will benefit your dream home goals, so it’s worth doing early in the construction journey.

4. Current canvas

Envision your newly completed home, the style, the layout and the lifestyle. Consider whether you can achieve your dream without knocking your existing property down.

Before deciding between a renovation or knockdown rebuild, you will need to make sure your existing home can be reworked and would accommodate the changes you’re planning. If not, a knockdown rebuild will give you the flexibility to design and build a home to your exact specifications, introducing all the elements to make everyday living easier.

5. Future market value

To get the most out of your investment, you will need to consider the property market and the potential value of homes in your area to ensure you don’t over-capitalise – this happens when your renovation or knockdown rebuild costs more than the value it adds to your block in the current or near future. Therefore, you’ll need to consider the elements of a home that are sought after in your area and whether there’s room for growth over the next 5-10 years.

If you are considering building your dream home and are planning on keeping it for the long term, it is better to consider the quality of the build over the value of the build. The long-term market value of a quality home has proven to be a smart investment.

Still not sure whether to renovate or knockdown rebuild? Get in touch with the expert Cobalt Constructions team – we’re happy to walk you through your options and see what will work best for you.

Get in touch with our team and experience the Cobalt Constructions difference today.

Cobalt Constructions