Is it Worth Re-Building a House from Scratch?

August 27, 2021

When you move into a new house, there’s a good chance there will be things you want to change. Depending on the state of the property when you move in, you might be able to get away with a simple facelift, or you might need to take a more radical approach.

If there is a lot of structural work you want to do, you might be wondering if it will be more efficient to simply knock the house down and start from scratch, but it can be hard to know when such a drastic approach is necessary. Before you hire the top-down contractors to come and demolish your property, here are some things to consider to figure out if it’s worth it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Overall Costs

Aside from your initial goals for your house, money will be a highly influential factor. Knocking down your house and re-building it might seem like the more expensive option, but you may be surprised to find that it usually works out cheaper.

Whilst you’ll need to pay contractors to come and perform a professional demolition and take the debris away, it could still cost less. This is because when you’re renovating, you need to pay professionals to remove the original elements, and then to put them back in again.

With a demolition, everything gets removed and built from scratch, so you don’t need to pay for re-installation, nor do you need to pay for surprise problems with a contingency budget.

Building Regulations

Whether or not you’re able to build a new house will depend on the building regulations surrounding your property in its current form. If you live in a listed property, you won’t be able to knock it down and re-build it because it’s protected by law.

If you’re house isn’t listed, you’ll need to apply for planning permission for a new house. You’ll need your architect to draw up designs for you prior to this stage. It may be that your design gets through first time with no problems, or it could be that it needs some specific tweaks and amends.

Make sure you get permission before you allow the bulldozers in, though, otherwise you could be stuck. If you choose to renovate your existing house in the way of an extension, you will also need to apply for planning permission. You may be able to get away with re-jigging the internal layout of your original property without planning permission, but it’s worth checking.

Environmental Impact

Lots of older properties aren’t built to be eco-friendly, mainly because the climate wasn’t a concern until recently. What this means is that lots of older houses aren’t sustainable or efficient, and they probably won’t be built with the best technology that performs to the highest standard, either.

In some cases, it may be more environmentally friendly to re-build a brand new house, and it could save you a lot in the way of bills moving forwards. That being said, it can often be relatively cheap to swap out older features such as windows and doors with newer, eco-friendlier alternatives, so make sure you get quotes beforehand.

Current Condition

The final and most obvious thing you’ll need to consider is the current condition of your house. If it’s in a completely derelict state that has multiple structural failures and a lot of expensive problems, you’re likely best to knock it down and start again. On the other hand, if it’s in a workable condition – albeit not to your taste – it could be better to work with what you have.


Have you recently made the decision to re-build or renovate a property you’ve just purchased? If so, what influenced your decision in the end?


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