When it comes to a home, there appears to be two types of people - the renovator and the new home builder.

The renovator loves the idea of breathing new life into an existing structure, changing the interior style of it and creating new stories and memories for the old walls to tell for years to come! The new home builder loves 'brand new'. They love the idea of creating something from scratch to their exact requirements and they love that nobody has lived within those walls before.

Despite this, if you're buying an older house, it's not uncommon to be a bit torn between whether to demolish it and start from scratch or whether to try and fix the existing house up. To try and help you decide, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

1. Is demolition an option in your area?

Do your research. In some areas, council planning laws prohibit houses of a certain age, or specific historical importance, from being demolished or significantly changed so it may well be that demolishing your existing home and building something brand new, is not even an option for you.

2. How large or small are your renovation requirements?

It's worth considering this as if you're wanting to seriously expand your home by making big changes, especially structural ones (so much so that very little of the existing home is retained), then it would be wise to question whether a renovation is a viable and economically worthwhile investment of your money.

3. Will renovating cost you more than a demolition and rebuild?

It depends. If you’ve had the building inspected and you know most of the work is only cosmetic, renovating might be the most budget-friendly way to go. If however, the existing house is in a bad structural state, there's a good chance that completely demolishing and building anew will be a lot cheaper and easier than trying to revive it. In some cases, repairing major structural problems or modernising and old house in terms of energy efficiency and overall quality can be very expensive and labour intensive. If you are set on a renovation (which might we add can be a very challenging and rewarding experience!), just be sure that you understand up front what's involved and plan carefully.

4. Have the boundary regulations changed?

In some instances, you can't demolish a house and build anew in the exact same position. The regulations that determine how far from the boundary of a property you can build may have have changed since the original house went up many years ago. While it might have originally been okay to build a house right up close to any given boundary of the property, if the regulations have changed, that might no longer be possible. If you find this is the case, you may be able to compromise and still use the existing footprint of the building by retaining the facade, certain walls or elements of the subfloor from the existing structure so that it's technically a major renovation rather than a complete rebuild.

5. Have you done the real estate value check?

This might not even be of concern or interest to you at the start of your project however, as your home is generally your biggest asset, it would be worth considering.

  • What types of homes sell well in your area?
  • Is your existing home already close in value to the top amount payable in the suburb?
  • Or is your existing home one of the smallest in your suburb, with buyers scrambling to buy bigger, renovated homes?
  • Is your area one where brand new homes are actually what people want to buy?

Talk to local agents about what your home will be worth now, versus what it would be worth once renovated versus what a brand new home of that size would sell for. Now, what’s the difference between that figure, and what your existing home is worth now? Because that will give you a hint in how to set your budget so you don’t overcapitalise regardless of which option you choose.

If, after considering all scenarios, demolition is the way forward for you, why not give us a call on 1800 344 448 or drop us an email at info@digitcontracting.com.au

As a specialist demolition contractor, DIG IT has the expertise and knowledge to assist you with your project and see your vision become reality!