Knockdown and Rebuilding House

Knockdown Rebuild: What are the steps?

If you are happy with the area you live in, but your house no longer suits your needs or requires a major upgrade, consider doing a knockdown rebuild instead. Sometimes the option of sub-dividing is considered at the same time, which we’ll deal with separately.

A rebuild is normally more cost-effective than a complicated and lengthy renovation to an older home unless you like the period design and want to keep it.

The process of a knockdown rebuild can be quite confronting if you haven’t dealt with councils and builders before. Here are a few helpful hints about what’s involved.

  1. Speak with your trusted Real Estate Agent about the resale value so that you don’t overcapitalise and discuss other possible options before going to great lengths obtaining council approvals and signing any building contracts.
  2. Together with your Agent do your research with your local council about the zoning and regulations about knocking down and rebuilding. It is also wise to engage a surveyor at this stage.
  3. Check your title documents about any easements, encumbrances and restrictions.
  4. Research building designs and select your preferred builder. Volume builders are usually the most affordable option, and they will walk you through the entire process. Some of these builders even specialise in knockdown rebuilds. Alternatively an architecturally designed house may be more to your liking and in that case, you will need to do research about specialist builders in the area.
  5. Once you decide to proceed with a builder, they should explain to you the whole process in detail, especially your responsibilities in obtaining permits and approvals throughout the demolition and construction period.
  6. Now it is getting serious, your first deposit with your builder gets things going with initial paperwork signed and colour selection following. The first deposit is usually to secure the base price, site start allocation and any promotional offers that may be available.

The builder will then conduct a thorough property assessment and site inspection to evaluate the suitability of your block for a knockdown rebuild project. The assessment will look at the block depth, frontage, slope, orientation, easements and setbacks, and drainage and power supply, etc. If the block is deemed unfavourable, a full deposit refund may be provided.

The builder will proceed with doing soil report, site survey and other council requirements. Meanwhile, you will be referred to the design consultants to make your colour selections.

  1. The builder will present you with the new home tender, which covers site related costs, preliminary site plan, selected variations, facade and colour selections. No further structural changes are allowed once you sign your tender (without incurring variation costs).
  2. Contract signing. The builder will prepare the HIA new home contract for you to review, which includes your tender, contract drawings, colour selection, preliminary soil test and survey. You will need to pass this on to your lender to prepare for your progress payments. Once you have signed the HIA contract, the builder will submit your building application.

(Adapted article by Zoe Langenberg, 05 May 2016)

For your free, no obligation appraisal contact Margarete by email or call her on 0409 678 700 

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