Are you outgrowing your home and find yourself thinking about removing a wall, adding a bedroom or updating your kitchen or bathroom? Your home should be the perfect match for your evolving lifestyle, and reflect your family.
Renovating, however, has its limitations. Firstly, you must work within structural constraints, which can tie your builder’s hands. Secondly, it can end up being much more expensive than forecast!
Re-building from the ground up, or a ‘Knockdown Rebuild’ as it is known in the construction industry, can in fact be much more cost effective than renovating.
Whether you are considering staying in your beloved neighbourhood or redeveloping an old house somewhere else, a knockdown rebuild will allow you to the freedom to create a you home.
This page will provide you with all the information you need on the knockdown rebuild process so that you can make an informed decision.
Why knock down and rebuild?
- Create your own perfect home, rather than buy someone else’s
- Eliminate the risk of exceeding your budget with unexpected costs that come with renovating
- Save money on land and moving costs
- Stay in the neighbourhood you know and love
- Remain close to family and friends
- Don’t unsettle your family by changing schools and daycare
- No stamp duty or real estate fees
- Remove the hassle of selling your home
- Build a more energy efficient home, saving you money on bills
- Improve your resale value and capital
Explore the Knockdown Rebuild Journey
Are you ready for a knockdown and rebuild?
A knockdown and rebuild is a large project and perhaps a project you will only do once. While it will most certainly be worth the effort in the end, it’s important to make adequate preparations beforehand. To help you build your dream home with maximum success and minimal stress, it’s best to prepare yourself by following these 8 steps:
What are the costs to knockdown and rebuild?
We understand when it comes time to knockdown and rebuild there are a lot of questions about how much it is going to cost. Our Sales and Design Consultants will work with you to find the best possible design for your block and lifestyle, however the final price will be heavily dependent on your site conditions and council requirements.
Choosing the Right Builder
Hall & Hart design consultants
will work with you to find the best possible design for your block and your lifestyle. Our goal is to create a home that is customised to suit your family and your budget. Once you are happy that we have captured your requirements, we will prepare and present your FREE tender estimate. There is no obligation to proceed any further if you are not completely satisfied.
21 questions to ask your builder
If you are considering a knockdown rebuild, you want to be completely comfortable with your choice of builder. Asking the right questions up front could potentially save you thousands of dollars and a lot of heartache later.
Creating affordable luxury
Part of creating your dream home involves selecting all the inclusions featured within. However, these often get overlooked or underestimated when the focus is on the property as a whole project. It’s important to select the right inclusions when designing your dream home to create the level of quality, style and sophistication that you desire, both inside and out.
Frequently asked questions
Our consultants will work with you to find the best possible design for your block and your lifestyle. Our goal is to create a home that is customised to suit your family and your budget. Once you are happy that we have captured your requirements, we will prepare and present your FREE tender quotation. There is no obligation to proceed any further if you are not completely satisfied.
Preparing to begin the process
- Mentally prepare
The best place to start is to check in with yourself and ensure that you’re ready personally. Some people have an emotional attachment to their old home, or can be intimidated by the scope or finances, even though they understand that a knockdown and rebuild is their perfect option. This is your opportunity to make a pros and cons list and decide how involved you wish to be in the whole process. Once you’re ready and fully committed, you will find the journey much easier.
- Prepare your family
If you live with a partner and family, then you need to ensure that they’re on board with the process too, as they will be directly affected. Take the time to sit down together and explain why you are considering a knockdown and rebuild, what’s involved and how the process will unfold. This will help them accept the disruption by understanding what you’re trying to achieve and how much better their home will be after the project is complete.
- Determine what you’re aiming for
Next is to solidify what you want to achieve with the knockdown and rebuild project. What are the ‘nice to haves’ and what are your non-negotiables? Are you flexible on how many rooms and bathrooms you want, or are you adamant that you want a pool and a paved outdoor area? While you don’t need to have anything that’s set in stone at this point, it’s important to do your research now and decide what your overall goals are with your project.
- Prepare your finances
Budgets are always important when it comes to construction. Depending on how extensive your knockdown and rebuild is, you need to check if you have the financial capability to fund your project. Consider checking with your accountant and bank to see how much you can borrow to finance your knock and rebuild, so you’re financially ready to go ahead and know what your budget is. Even if you’re not considering a loan, it’s still important to consider how you will allocate money to your project, and where your limitations lie.
- Consider time frames
Construction projects take time from start to completion, which means that you need to determine which span of months and years that will best fit in with your schedule. For example, you may want to plan the bulk of the construction while you and your family are away overseas or during school hours, to minimise the disruption.
- Investigate builder options
Do your research, as there are many building companies that you can speak to about your ideas and see what they can offer you. This is your opportunity to find out more about who they are, what they do and their previous experience, to find the best builder that matches your needs. See our next section, which explains the 18 questions you should ask your builder. At Hall and Hart, we specialise in knockdown and rebuild projects like yours, and would be happy to discuss your options.If you have any questions, contact us today.
- Investigate regulations and legalities
You need to investigate regulations and legalities relating to demolishing and rebuilding, including local council regulations or planning restrictions because they may influence what you can and can’t do. Your local council regulates laws in relation to asset protection and planning if the building is subject to planning approval. A planning approval can be required when planning overlays, size of allotment or heritage overlays are involved. Factors such as a heritage overlay are an important consideration early in the project as they can influence your final design plans significantly.
You will also need to get building approval for your intended project, which can be issued either by your municipal building surveyor or a private building surveyor. You may also need to consider traffic management plans for the duration of your build, if it will interrupt the roads around your site. Your local council can help you with this.
- Remember, it’s all worth it
Just remember, there’s nothing like the feeling of entering your brand-new home for the first time and feeling the sense of pride knowing that you designed it perfectly for your lifestyle and future. While a knockdown and rebuild may seem like a big project at first, you will get a lot of joy and satisfaction for many years to come, and all the planning and construction phase will be quickly be forgotten.
Costs to Knockdown and Rebuild
The best way to get a realistic assessment on how much your knockdown and rebuild will cost is, when the time is right, come and speak to our highly experienced Sales and Design Consultants who will provide you with a FREE no obligation estimate. Using advanced technology, they will site your preferred design on your block of land and give you the true estimate to build your dream home. You will often find that our final tender price is within 3% of what we originally quoted you in your free estimate. Here are some common questions we get often get asked.
- What is the approximate cost/sqm for a knockdown rebuild?
Cost will be dependent on your site conditions, materials used in your build and internal fixtures and fittings. Generally, on a standard level block the average cost/sqm can range from $1,600 - $1,800.
- What are site costs?
Site costs include leveling out your land if it’s a sloping block, changing the location of services and connections for gas, water, NBN, Foxtel, traffic management, zoning requirements and rock removal. Beware not all Tenders include your site costs – we highly recommend that you allow at least an additional 30% for unknown site costs.
- Do you include site costs in your Tender?
Yes – if you wish to proceed after your FREE NO OBLIGATION ESTIMATE, we require a payment of $1,000. We will provide you with a detailed costing within 4 – 6 weeks. We include ALL costs, this is inclusions, upgrades, site costs PLUS a provisional allowance for rock removal and traffic control to ensure you don’t get any nasty surprise costs down the track.
- Do I need to organise the demolition of my existing property?
Yes. This is organised by the owner. You will need to engage the services of a licensed and insured Demolition Contractor as once demolition is complete, we will require a Clearance Certificate. Alternatively, we can put you in contact with a preferred demolition company that can explain the full process to you.
- How much does demolition cost?
Demolition costs vary with the size of the house, access to site, hazardous/asbestos removal, neighbouring structures, established trees and temporary fencing – all of which can contribute to additional demolition costs. If there is established fencing between you and your neighbours you will need to review whether it needs to be removed, which could become a shared cost. As a rough guide a standard demolition can cost you around $20,000
- Does your Tender price include tree removal?
No. If you have established trees on your property which need to be removed, you may need to apply for a permit from your local council. This needs to be done before we can access your site to being construction
- Are their additional costs if we are building our home in a flood or bushfire zone or on a heritage listed site?
Yes. This would be dependent on your council. If you proceed to request a Tender, we can provide what these costs are after we complete a thorough site inspection of your block and apply for the 149 Certificate???
- When do I sign the building contract?
At Hall & Hart Homes we want to ensure we are giving you the true cost of building your dream home which is why you will sign your contract AFTER you have signed off on your internal and external selections, AFTER your plans have been approved by the authority (Council or CDC) and AFTER we issue your Home Owners Warranty and Construction Certificate. It is then we require a 5% Contract Signing Fee. We give you every opportunity to design the home you want before you are required to sign your contract, ensuring there are no hidden costs along the way. Once we commence Construction after the contract signing there are 6 progress payments to follow. You only pay after each construction stage is complete, you never have to pay upfront during this period.
- How long will it take before I can move into my new home?
We allow 6 – 9 months for Pre-Construction and 7 months to build your home. We would recommend you factor these timings into your budget for living away from your home.
- Do you provide landscaping and driveways?
No. Your landscaping and driveway is generally contracted separately by the owner.
21 questions to ask your builder
Building your home can be one of the biggest investments of your life, and deciding on the right builder is one of the most important steps in this journey.
There are many factors you need to consider around:
- open communication
- the flexibility to make your own choices and
- the worry of any hidden costs
If you are considering a knockdown rebuild, you want to be completely comfortable with your choice of builder. Asking the right questions up front could potentially save you thousands of dollars and a lot of
For more information and answers to some of your common builder questions, here are 21 questions to ask your builder before you accept your tender.
Creating affordable luxury
You may wish to have:
- Extended ceiling heights
- Silestone benchtops
- Premium floorings throughout
- Timber front doors
- Premium brand appliances
Often, these kinds of features are not included and may be charged as extras which can put pressure on your budget and misalign with your expectations.
Therefore, it’s important to select a builder that includes these premium features so that you can create affordable luxury in your knockdown and rebuild project.
Design your home and select your builder
First, speak to building companies about your project. Discuss with them if you are building on an existing block that you already own or you intend to buy a new block of land. We recommend that you speak to your builder before purchasing a new block of land, as they will help you select a design that will actually fit, plus work within your budget and lifestyle goals.
Be open about any plan changes you may have in mind and work with your builder about customising your home to your's and your families needs. Once you are satisfied they have presented you with the right specifications to meet your needs, they will put together a proposed scope of your knockdown rebuild project. This is called a Tender Estimate.
It’s up to you whether you are happy to proceed. It’s at this point that you should be asking your potential builder a series of questions to help you make the right choice. See our section, 21 questions to ask your builder.
Preparation of the Knockdown Rebuild Tender
Once you decide to progress with your chosen builder, they will begin preparing a full and detailed Tender, which should start with a thorough examination of your block, including a site inspection, a soil test, a contour survey, a pre-site assessment and a
Once this is completed, your builder will present your completed detailed Tender, which should include:
- A set of architectural drawings which include the site plan, floorplan and facade drawings
- A detailed list of inclusions
- The budget and costings
- Proposed timeframes
You can discuss the
This next step involves selecting the right demolition company to obtain demolition approvals and commence the work to correctly level the block. This is the responsibility of the owner. Be weary of demolition companies as often the cheapest quote isn't necessarily the best. It's important you engage a reputable company to ensure your block of land will be in the perfect condition to commence construction. If not, it can end up being a cost you hadn't accounted for and cause delays in getting to construction.
Whilst your builder completes all the documentation to lodge with the relevant council authority, you will work alongside their team to complete the external and internal features of your home. This will include facade and external colours, kitchen, tiling, carpets, bathrooms, accessories, staircase designs and electrical layout plus more.
It's important you are prepared for these meetings and do research on products, appliances etc that you would like to have in your home. We recommend before attending your appointment that you drive through housing estates, look through magazines and research online for inspiration. Some great online examples for inspiration are: www.houzz.com.au and www.pinterest.com.au/hallandharthomes
Once your selections are confirmed, they will be able to issue your building contract for you to sign once you are satisfied.
Now the exciting phase begins!
In this step:
- the final construction and engineering drawings are completed
- finance authority to commence construction is received
- materials are ordered
- construction commences
It’s very important to be in regular contact with your builder, so they can keep you informed of their progress throughout. You should also have regular site inspections at each critical point of the construction process.
Prior to completion, your builder will
It’s then that you get to walk through your brand new home with your builder to discuss everything from top to bottom, including any final touches that are required.
Once these are addressed, you are ready to move in and enjoy.
Be sure to ask your builder about their maintenance program after you have moved in.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does knockdown rebuild mean?
A knockdown rebuild project is where you have a block of land that already has a home situated on it, and you undertake the process of demolishing the current structure to rebuild a brand-new contemporary home.
- Do I need a knockdown rebuild specialist?
A builder who specialises in knockdown rebuild projects offers you a list of advantages when it comes to building your dream home. For example, they offer you a suite of home designs, inclusions and options which can help match your needs and budget.
Additionally, they have years of experience, expertise and current knowledge of all council regulations, that can allow you to feel confident in their ability to manage your knockdown rebuild project effectively.
- Who will demolish my house?
You require a licensed and insured Demolition Contractor to obtain the required permits, as well as coordinate the demolition of your property and removal of all structures, debris and refuse.
Generally, your builder will not be directly involved with the demolishing stages of your knockdown and rebuild,
howeverthey can put you in touch with the right company.
For more information about features and inclusions, here