Should You Knockdown And Rebuild or Renovate? 6 Questions to Help You Decide


At some point, a homeowner can get to the point where their home isn’t serving their lifestyle even though they love the location. If this applies to you, you might be trying to decide between a renovation or a complete knockdown rebuild. There’s no right answer for everyone. The right choice for you may depend on various factors.

Here, we explain what a knockdown rebuild is and the major questions to ask yourself when you’re working out whether it’s more suitable for you than a renovation.

What’s a knockdown rebuild project?

A knockdown rebuild project involves demolishing your house and building a new one. Knockdown rebuilds include demolition, site preparation, and building. The whole project is typically managed by the same experts all the way through. They’ll also give you guidance and support along the way.

A knockdown rebuild lets you take full advantage of your block and unlock its potential. For example, you can build more than one house and sell the one(s) you’re not going to live in. You’ll make use of underutilised space and release the locked-up equity.

By starting from scratch, you have the freedom to create a home that matches your lifestyle. You can include all the features, spaces, and technology that you want.

The 6 questions to ask yourself when deciding to renovate or rebuild your home

You need to weigh up different factors when deciding between renovation or a knockdown and rebuild. These six questions will help you decide.

1. Cost: Is it cheaper to renovate or rebuild based on the condition of my home?

Knockdown rebuilds can be more cost-effective than renovation. Which one ends up more economical depends on the following:

  • How extensive is your renovation? How many changes and updates are involved?
  • Does your renovation include structural changes? If yes, then it’s likely you’ll be better off with a rebuild.
  • Check for termite infestations, rotting timber, structural issues, or unsafe electrical wiring. These can be costly to repair. Rebuilding may be the better option if your property is in bad shape.
  • New homes tend to be more energy efficient and cheaper to maintain. They come with lengthy structural warranties. All of these can save you money in the long term. 
  • With a knockdown rebuild, you won’t have to pay stamp duty as you already own the land. 
  • You can choose to keep outdoor elements like your garden, landscaping, and pool as they are. This can also help you save money.

Also, keep in mind how much functionality you’re getting for your investment dollars. With a knockdown rebuild, you’ll be able to customise everything. Furthermore, home builders give you a lot of turnkey design options to choose from. You can add your favourite features without starting from scratch. In contrast, renovating might see you compromising on customisation while still spending a large amount of money.

2. Is it logistically possible/easy to build a house at my current block? Check out council regulations for your street and suburb

Not all land blocks are made equal. A knockdown rebuild is usually cheaper on a flat block than on a sloping block.

Also, you’ll need to consider council regulations and local planning laws. Rules on boundary setbacks and protected trees can affect your rebuild project. Some houses or trees can be protected by heritage or environmental overlays, so you can’t remove them to make space for a rebuild, for example. 

It’s a good idea to check out your local council regulations for your street and suburb to be sure. A reputable builder can help you with a site assessment to verify your home can be safely demolished.

3. What is the age of my current house?

Consider the age of your existing home. Older homes can have unique heritage features. These help your home stand out and make it more valuable. In this case, the right renovations can increase the value of your property, making it a more lucrative investment than rebuilding. Additionally, living in a home with character and history can bring joy and appreciation. However, if your older home lacks heritage features and has structural problems, a knockdown rebuild project may be the more suitable option.

4. Do I want structural changes and much change to the floorplan?

Major structural changes to the floorplan will require a bigger outlay when it comes to renovation. Issues with the foundations or design could restrict the modifications you can make. With a knockdown rebuild, you’ll deal with fewer unknowns and uncertainties along the way. Therefore, if you want to make these kinds of changes, it is advisable to choose a knockdown rebuild over renovations.

5. Consider the market value to avoid overcapitalising

Overcapitalisaion happens when your rebuild or renovation ends up exceeding the market value added to your property. Knockdown rebuilds tend to be more suitable if vacant blocks are scarce in your area. It also tends to be a better idea if you’re close to the city, beach, or bay since these suburbs tend to be more in demand. If you’re in a less sought-after suburb, a smaller, more affordable renovation may be a wiser choice than a rebuild.

6. How long will the process take?

Consider how long the process will take. With a major renovation, you might be living with builders in your house for months or even longer. You may need to be a hands-on manager for your renovation project. Renovating could mean you’re responsible for overseeing design, finding contractors, budget management, and directing the whole project to keep things on track.

A knockdown rebuild might take a year to 18 months. However, after you’ve signed off on the design and contract, your chosen builder takes care of the rest. Rebuilds tend to be structured processes, possibly with less uncertainty than renovating. Also, you might be able to continue living in your house until the design stage is complete and your home is ready to be demolished. Given this, you might not be away from your property for as long as you might expect.


A knockdown rebuild can seem involved, but it can be cost-effective and more suitable for you than renovation. However, it’s important to consider the council rules and regulations that apply to your block. If your home is an older property with valuable heritage features, a renovation might be the right way to go. On the other hand, if you’re after structural changes, a complete rebuild could be the far better option. Lastly, keep in mind the duration of the process and the amount of personal time and attention you will be investing.

All of these factors can impact project costs, so consider them as you decide on the most efficient way based on your situation. Whether you’re thinking about renovation or knockdown rebuild, you can benefit from getting professional assistance before making a decision. If you’d like expert guidance on a potential knockdown rebuild, feel free to contact the friendly team at Plunkett Homes with your queries.

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