Why you should knockdown and rebuild your house
What is a knockdown rebuild?
A knockdown rebuild is a two-step process to creating a brand new home on a block of land where another house already stands.
First, the existing house is knocked down and removed. Then the site is prepared and a new home is built.
Known as a “KDR” in the building industry, knockdown rebuild is a particularly commonly used strategy in Sydney and other parts of NSW and the ACT where land is a precious commodity.
For all the essential info you need to get started in a simple and easy to understand way, you can download our FREE Ultimate Knockdown Rebuild Guide.
Reasons why you should knockdown rebuild
There are so many great reasons to consider a knockdown rebuild! We’ll outline eight reasons why knockdown rebuild can be a powerful real estate move.
1. Location, location, location
‘Location is everything’ is a real estate mantra that applies to knockdown rebuilds as much as it does to buying a new home.
You might already own a home in an ideal location but the house isn’t working for you. Maybe you’ve outgrown the house, it’s an older home that might cost as much to renovate as rebuild, or you simply want to start from scratch to build your dream home.
Or, you might know exactly where you want to move to but can’t find a house that suits. By considering a knockdown rebuild, you can focus firstly on securing the location and then on designing and building a home that meets all your needs.
Either way, a knockdown rebuild is your chance to love your home as much as your address.
2. Keep your address, neighbours, schools and shops
Not all change is good, especially if you’ve settled into an area and love your local life. It might be your local shops, cafés or medical services that you’d be sad to leave.
If you have kids, avoiding disruptive changes of school or childcare is a win. We know some people form such close and supportive relationships with neighbours that moving away would be a great wrench.
Sure, you could try to move house within the same locality but this is hard, especially in times of tight property markets.
Keeping hold of your neighbourhood and local amenities is a big positive of undertaking a knockdown rebuild rather than moving away.
3. Start from scratch
Renovation is a powerful way to update, remodel or refresh a home. Larger renovations can be a tricky endeavour, with major project management required and always the potential of unexpected surprises (whether that’s extra costs, or what lives under the floorboards!). There’s also a likelihood that you’ll need to move out for a period anyway as larger renovations can leave a home unliveable for a time.
Sometimes, it’s simply easier to start from scratch. A knockdown rebuild allows you to create your home from the ground up. You have the peace of mind of knowing everything is new and designed just the way you want.
4. Create and control
It’s tempting to focus exclusively on a house without also considering the surroundings. Choosing a knockdown rebuild means you can consider every aspect of your land. You’re in control as you create your dream home.
A knockdown rebuild can allow you to maximise the benefits of the land’s orientation to the sun’s path across the sky, the gradient of the land, the position of neighbouring houses, views from various windows, options for growing a gorgeous garden and creating a flow between inside and outside living, including al fresco dining and entertaining areas.
5. Avoid continual renovations
You might start by thinking you’ll be happy in your home if you just redo the kitchen. Oh, and the bathroom. Then, once those rooms are done, the living room might start looking a little shabby in comparison. And, perhaps the living room renovation might alert you to some structural problems that mean additional work is needed…
Before you know it, years have passed and you’re still not entirely happy with your home. Knockdown rebuild is an intensive process that creates your new dream house in one project.
6. The benefits of new
Times change and houses need to change with them. Imagine if there hadn’t been any knockdown rebuilds in Sydney or your city – there’d be a heck of a lot of fibro shacks and 70s brick wonderlands, even with substantial renovation between then and now.
Constructing a new home allows you to include all your desired sustainability measures that will minimise both your environmental footprint and ongoing bills. It also gives you the opportunity to get creative with and maximise the potential of your available land, such as adding a well-positioned granny flat for the kids or parents in your life.
You also have the peace of mind of a construction warranty (Rawson offers both a quality guarantee on construction and a six-year structural guarantee) that covers the whole build.
No-one has clear sight into the future but building a new home allows you to plan ahead, whether that’s for a room that morphs over time from a nursery to a study, a noise-protected area for when the kids hit their teens, to a floorplan that allows for multi-generational living.
You know you’ve got the right floorplan when you can imagine the flow of movement and places for privacy at different stages of your family’s future.
We’ve explored all the ins and outs of costs in another article, titled How much does it cost to knock down and rebuild a house, including that knockdown rebuilds can be more economical than extensive renovations.
And, there’s also the longer-term financial advantage of having the newest house on the block, an ideal selling point when looking at moving on or maximising rental income. Choosing a knockdown rebuild can be a smart investment. And, you’ll avoid both stamp duty and real estate fees you pay when you buy a new home!
Knockdown rebuild vs renovation
Renovation is a good option for you if you need to undertake a smaller project, then save up for the next one. It’s also a good option if you know you can happily live with most of the existing dwelling as it stands and only change selected rooms or elements. The best homes for renovations have good ‘bones’, with no chance of surprises like faulty wiring or ageing pipes.
Renovation can also be a good option if you live in an area where planning regulations limit construction of new buildings - think heritage overlays and local character guidelines.
A knockdown rebuild allows you to go all-in to start afresh with a completely different design that includes all your dream-home elements (whether that’s a butler’s pantry, just the right number of bathrooms, or a parent’s retreat).
It also saves you from those shocking and expensive discoveries like discovering the home’s foundations need repair or the plumbing pipes have deteriorated past the point of repair.
Asking ‘Can I knockdown my house and rebuild?’ is also a great idea if you prefer to be able to plan ahead with greater confidence. Because renovations often involve multiple steps that have to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, timelines can stretch out far longer than expected. Builders like Rawson though will be able to give you an idea of your expected build time at the tender stage so you know what to expect.
We like to think of this decision as ‘renovate or detonate’! Of course, there’s no actual explosives involved in a knockdown rebuild but if you’d like to read more on this decision, please see more detail in our Should you renovate or detonate article.
Is a knockdown rebuild worth it?
- Location: how much is where you live important to you?
- Newness: how keen are you to have a completely new home designed for you and your life?
- Certainty: will you feel more relaxed and in control knowing that costs are known from the outset and you’re less likely to encounter unpleasant surprises?
That’s unsurprising when you consider a knockdown rebuild gives you the rare and valuable opportunity to create a totally new home you’ve designed in a location you love.
Keen to know more about Rawson Homes' knockdown rebuild processes? Download our FREE Ultimate Knockdown Rebuild Guide today!
Why do people knockdown rebuild?
We’ve identified eight reasons people knockdown to rebuild, including keeping your life in your current locality, maximising the potential of your existing land, future-proofing your home and avoiding never-ending renovations.
Is it a good idea to knockdown and rebuild?
If your local council’s regulations allow knockdown rebuilds, you love where you live and you can afford the cost of a newly built home, knocking down and rebuilding is an ideal option for you.
Is a knockdown rebuild better than new build?
This all depends on where you want to live. If you already own a home and love your location, a knockdown rebuild gives you the best of both worlds. If you’re looking to buy in an area where none of the homes suit you, choosing to knockdown and then rebuild allows you to live where you want to in a house that you love.
What is a knockdown rebuild?
Put simply, a knockdown rebuild is building-speak for demolishing an existing house in order to build a brand new one on the same land.