Knockdown rebuild


Considering a knockdown rebuild? Get started with this guide.

What is a knockdown rebuild?

Knockdown rebuild is the industry term for when a homeowner decides to demolish an existing house and build another in its place. 

Known as KDR for short, a knockdown rebuild process is different to renovation, even one with extensive changes, as the land is completely cleared of structures before the new build starts. 

There are two main situations that prompt a knockdown rebuild:
a.    Existing home owner: You might be a home-owner in a location you love but the home has either passed its use-by-date or your needs have changed so much that a new home is the answer. Perhaps your family is growing or you’re keen to add a second dwelling. Maybe you’re ready to upsize and realise your wish-list, like a butler’s pantry or a theatre room. You might be keen to ensure your home is as energy-efficient and inclusive of sustainability features as possible. 

Or, your home has significantly deteriorated from when it was first built, to the extent that renovations will need to be extensive or not able to meet your needs and desires. A knockdown rebuild allows you to stay put and upgrade to your ideal home.
b.    New home owner:  You’re looking for a home in an area that you love but you’re seemingly faced with a choice between the two. Do you buy a great home in an area that’s far from where you work and play? Or do you buy into your favourite region via a house that is less than ideal? 

The answer is simple once you’re in the know: a knockdown rebuild allows you to buy the land where you want to live and replace the existing house with your newly designed and built dream home.

What are the benefits of doing a knockdown rebuild?

We are so passionate about the benefits of undertaking a knockdown rebuild that we’ve dedicated an entire article to the topic! 

When you’re ready, head over to our Why you should knockdown and rebuild your house article, which contains seven great reasons to consider a knockdown rebuild on the land of your choice.

How much does a knockdown rebuild cost?

As this is a big topic worthy of serious consideration, we’ve pulled together all the financial considerations associated with a knockdown rebuild into one article, so add How much does it cost to knock down and rebuild a house in 2023 to your reading list.

How long does a knockdown rebuild take?

This simple question requires a more complex answer, as there are many factors within undertaking a knockdown rebuild that affect timelines.
The section immediately below will run you through the typical process. The eight stages listed can be summed up into three phases of the process:
Phase One - Consultation: this step typically takes 3-6 months
Phase Two - Pre-Construction (including demolition): this step usually takes 3-6 months
Phase Three - Construction: this final step in the process typically lasts 9-12 months.

It’s important to understand that these times are indicative only. The truth is that timelines will be different for every individual project, based on considerations like the council/government area you build in, the nature of your land, ease of access to your site, ease of obtaining finance, where you’re located, and whether you’re building via CDC (Complying Development Certificate) or DA (Development Application).

What is the knockdown rebuild process?

At Rawson, our 7-step Knockdown Rebuild process ensures your project flows smoothly: 
  1. No obligation, FREE consultation: to look at your design inspiration as well as your budget, the basics of your land and your preferred knockdown rebuild package.
  2. Finalise your home design & floorplan: factoring in the specifics of your land, budget and council/government requirements, in this personalised consultation you can consider which of our three build methods are most suitable: Select (for pre-designed façades and styles), Adapt (modifications to existing designs) and Tailored (full customisation) – learn more about our Building Process
  3. Tender preparation & acceptance: once you’ve chosen your exterior selections, we’ll draw up detailed plans including your design and façade of your home. We’ll help you work through the necessary paperwork and supply you with your contract. From here, the next step is to sign the contract and pay the deposit.
  4. Design Studio consultation: Meet with one of our Colour Consultants to decide on your selections, interior design features, and finishes you want throughout your home to put your personal stamp on the final design
  5. Council approvals: while you’re planning for your future home, our chosen expert demolition company will be ensuring your land is ready for building.
  6. Build: this is where the hard work for our expert builders starts and you’ll be updated on progress regularly by your Site Manager.
  7. Handover of keys: what an exciting day that will be!
For more detail of these stages, please read our article titled Everything you need to know about knockdown rebuild, or download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Knockdown Rebuilds.


Knockdown rebuild builder research checklist

We’ve created a checklist of questions and considerations you should keep in mind when approaching builders to tender for your knockdown and rebuild project. 
Points range from the basic (but easily overlooked) questions of whether the builder is registered and how experienced they are at knockdown rebuilds, all the way through to specifics like how long the home’s warranty is for and what might happen with any changes of mind after the contract has been signed.
To access the whole checklist, download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Knockdown Rebuilds.

Are knockdown rebuilds increasing in popularity?

The Australian Property Journal reported in late 2022 that knockdown rebuilds are on the rise in response to a lack of available land and resulting land price rises (up nearly 20 percent in a year).
They point to Australian Bureau of Statistics data that suggests knockdown rebuilds, along with small redevelopments, now account for around 25 percent of the building market in NSW.

So, if you’re considering a knockdown rebuild project, you are in great company and far from alone!

Knockdown rebuild designs

Rawson Homes offer a wide range of architecturally designed homes to choose from. With so many designs to choose from it might seem overwhelming, yet you’ll be able to filter your choices easily with simple decisions like whether you want a single or double-storey home and the minimum number of bedrooms you need.
Some designs are specific to types of land, like ones for narrow or sloping blocks. The aim, after all, is to maximise the value of your block of land.
Actually, the sky’s the limit with your knockdown rebuild package design options, as those standard designs can be modified to suit you. And Rawson’s Tailored build option gives you the opportunity to fully customise your dream home (just like Glenn and Penton did – watch their journey here). 
Rawson’s Selection Centre Design Studios, located in Sydney and the ACT (or viewable virtually) are the perfect place to immerse yourself in the home design experience.
Keen to find out more? Download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Knockdown Rebuilds - including a handy knockdown rebuild checklist - today! 


What is a knockdown and rebuild?

It’s exactly what’s written on the tin! Where the existing house on a block of land is demolished in order to build a new one from scratch.

Is knockdown rebuild worth it?

If your local government/council’s planning laws allow you to knockdown and rebuild your home, there are many advantages to this path rather than undertaking extensive renovations. Ultimately, you get to live in a house of your choosing, in the location you love.

What is the cost of an average knockdown?

We get why you’re keen to hear an average cost but the reality is that no two knockdown build projects are the same and factors like the size of the home being demolished, your dream home design and the complexity of the site mean costs can vary widely. You can read more about the costs of a knockdown rebuild here.

Why choose a knockdown rebuild?

Choosing to knockdown and rebuild can seem like a huge undertaking but, when you choose an experienced builder, you are guided through every step. Knockdown rebuilds allows you to future-proof your home, avoid never-ending renovations and keep your address, neighbours and local amenities, all while maximising everything your land has to offer. You can learn about why you should consider a knockdown rebuild here.

What’s the knockdown rebuild process?

Once you’ve confirmed a knockdown rebuild is possible in your local area, you then start by designing your dream home, then letting the demolition and build take place. The best builders will take care of each stage and keep you updated along the way.

How long does a knockdown rebuild take?

This question is a little like ‘how long is a piece of string’ but we can give a guide of between 1-2 years for a typical knockdown rebuild process all the way from an initial appointment to handing over of the keys. Timelines will be different for every individual project, based on considerations like the local government/council you build in, the nature of your land, ease of access to your site, ease of obtaining finance, where you’re located, and whether you’re building via CDC or DA (Complying Development Certificate or Development Application). To accurately predict the timeline for your project, it’s best to discuss with an expert

Can I change the design of a knockdown rebuild?

The best bit of choosing to knockdown and rebuild is being able to select a house design that works perfectly for your family and for your land – while adhering to the regulations of course! Many builders, including Rawson Homes, offer the choice of pre-designed floorplans and façades or the ability to adapt these to suit you and your lifestyle.

Can I knockdown my house and rebuild?

Assuming that your local regulations allow, your site is suitable, and you can afford the cost of both the demolition and new build, the happy answer to this question is YES! Talk to us today to discuss your project in more detail.