To Renovate or to Build a New Home?


To Renovate or to Build a New Home?

By Dayne Rogers, Builder Director, RESI Homes

It’s a common scenario. You’ve got the land with a bit of a fixer-upper of a house on it.

As an existing home owner, if you’re currently questioning whether to renovate or whether to knock down, start from scratch, and build a new house, there’s a few important considerations.


Before advancing too far with the dream of an existing property rebuild, it pays to do some searches on the local council development website to see what overlays are on the house or lot. Overlays such as character overlays or overland flood zones could either prevent a rebuild or add significant costs to a rebuild.


Upon initial investigation, renovating your existing house is believed by most to be a better choice financially. “We’ll just renovate the kitchen and extend a bathroom”. It isn’t until the work begins, that realisations come to light on the condition of the “bones of the house”. These often need more work than anticipated, increasing the cost of renovating.

Or, after you renovate the kitchen and it has that brand new sheen, that the old bathroom is no longer looking up to scratch which eventually continues into the bedrooms, lounge halls and next thing you know you have a fully renovated house that has been restricted to the existing room sizes and layout. And it’s worked out at the same cost, or higher, of a brand new home that has the blank canvas benefits of no restrictions on design or size.

From my personal experience of 15 years, I’ll generally lean towards a knock down and rebuild from scratch over renovating.

With a rebuild you are not confined to working within a pre-existing space. This allows you to create your dream home at a fixed price with no hidden surprises.


The first steps to building a house from a knock down is to have a budget figure in mind, alongside finance pre-approval which is always a big help. At Resi Homes we have a mortgage broker who can help with this important step. From there you finalise a house design and contract, obtaining all required permits including the demolition permit, then disconnect required services, engage the demolisher, and you’re away.

When using Resi Homes for your rebuild process you can be in your new home in an average of 14 weeks from demolition commencing. You would live in your house during the pre-build construction and are only required to vacate the week before demolition commences.


Once your home is handed over, you can sleep easy at night knowing you have a new entire home warranty that lasts seven years.

You can enjoy the capital growth from your brand new home. With home prices continuing to rise, now is the ideal time to move quickly and turn those dreams of a new home into a reality.

When it comes to selecting the right builder for a knockdown rebuild it can be a difficult choice because of the sheer number of builders out there. A few tips for helping in this decision is to do a QBCC licence search to check if your potential builder has had any blemishes on his licence. You can also see the amount of work that this builder does which will give you an idea of their experience and buying power.

Although housing awards can be sometimes controversial, they are still a good indicator of a quality builder. Having their achievements recognised throughout the industry ensures they are continually doing things to a high standard.

Conversations with previous clients of the builder can be very helpful and a walkthrough of current builds that the builder has is always good to see the cleanliness of the site and the quality of the structural works, before it is plastered and made to look attractive by the painters. Not all builders will be open to this but it is common practice here at Resi Homes.

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