The Urban Upheaval: A Guide to Knock-Down Rebuild Projects

April 16, 2020

Nearly every homeowner, at some point, has considered replenishing an old property with a brand new home. Here are some great tips to help you rebuild.

Before you begin

Investing in the right builders for your home is important. When you are choosing from Sydney home builders, make sure you choose a reputable builder. Engaging a non-reputable builder won’t end well! It can be very daunting embarking on such a large project. Having expert builders is going to be crucial to the success of your build.

Why not just renovate?

Advantages of performing a build over a renovation include budgets that may be easier to manage, getting rid of unwanted design elements that may not work, and having greater overall control of the build. 

Another benefit is that the builder will have a fresh start on the house, and won’t have to guess about the previous work done on your home and it’s structure. There can also be hidden costs associated with renovating that may not be initially considered and included during the budgeting. 

Families are realising that even simple renovations can come with high price tags. Renovations, in many cases, can be more costly than a rebuild.

What you’ll need before you start

Prior to meeting your builder, you’ll want to ensure you have as much information about the property as you can. You'll have to ensure the building registration requirements are up to date. Additionally, researching the likely resale value of the house combined with the property can help to give you a vital heads up for the future. Make sure your builder talks you through the whole process and helps you to understand the relevant approvals and permits you will need before you begin. 

Before building, your builder will need a soil report, site survey and other requirements from the council. Remember, once you sign the tender there are no other structural changes allowed (unless you are willing to pay the price for additions after tender).

Legislation needed

Appropriate legislation regarding the property will need to be reviewed too. The local council will explain relevant laws. Certain permits, such as planning approval are needed in many cases. Planning restrictions can limit what you can do to your property, so be sure to design the property to the building approval requirements. 

Slopes, adjoining properties, and space for solar panels should all be taken into consideration prior to building. Strong communication is important from planning to building, and a clear contract will help everyone understand what is to be built. The building must be in compliance with the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1955. 

Before you demolish

A correctly planned and managed destruction of a pre-existing home or structure will make things easier for everyone involved. Destruction of the pre-existing house if done right is generally a relatively fast process. A permit is needed, as well as ensuring all the service such as telephone, gas and electricity are all disconnected.

Additionally, you'll want an asset protection permit from the council. This will protect you from damage against footpaths, dirt and runoff in drains or other associated costs.

A note on asbestos

Nearly every house built before the 1990s contains some level of asbestos, particularly in the form of coated insulation. Thankfully, we no longer make houses containing this harmful substance, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t in your home. You’ll want to ensure asbestos is correctly removed under thorough supervision following regulations. Doing so will keep you and your neighbours safe, and protect you from a hefty fine.

How long will it take?

It may take up to 8 to 12 months for a complete demolition and rebuild. Keep in mind that planning approvals of the building can greatly extend this time. However, one of the benefits of a new home is that with a credible builder you will receive a structural warranty, and new appliances, generally at a similar if not cheaper price. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on creating the home of your dreams!

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