Is it easier to renovate or knockdown and rebuild?

Do you think it better to renovate or knockdown and rebuild? it’s often just as cheap to knockdown and rebuild.

If you’ve outgrown your home but don’t want to move, you might be thinking it’s time for a renovation — but that’s not your only option.

If you’re after a bit of extra space, a brand-new kitchen and bathroom, or simply an update on your tired home, then you could be considering a renovation.

However, an extensive remodel may be more trouble than it’s worth. Plus, if there are any nasty surprises, it could end up costing a lot more than you initially planned.

An alternative option is knockdown and rebuild knocking down your house and rebuilding your dream home from scratch — and it could be much easier than you think.

Shifting desires

With Australians spending more time at home, it’s no wonder that upgrading living spaces is high on the agenda.

The pandemic has many of us pondering how to upgrade our homes, according to Anne Flaherty, economist.

“People are spending so much time at home with lockdowns, while also working from home, that they’re realising what’s really important to them,” Ms Flaherty says.

“More space is important, or people might want a home office. But, at the moment, there’s a shortage of supply relative to demand. The market is very competitive and upsizing is expensive.”If you love your area, but are craving a new home, then a knock down rebuild could be the answer.

Typically, in the past families dealing with this problem have looked to new estates in outer suburbs for more space to build their dream home. But with the current rush on land, there are shortages here too that could leave buyers waiting years to get their new home.

These factors are fuelling people to get creative and look at fixing their current property.

Knockdown and rebuild vs renovations

Renovating has always been a popular option. However, it can end up being a lot more costly and stressful than anticipated, according to MOJO Homes’ General Manager of Sales, Paul Hogan.

“It’s very hard to cost a renovation,” Mr Hogan says.

“For people looking to do one, there is a lot of uncertainty around what they’re going to discover once they start. You may have to cover off old foundations, old frames and older plumbing.

“From a cost proposition, it’s often just as cheap to knockdown and rebuild. It’s faster and it’s pretty much a fixed price. There’s also certainty on the end product, which you don’t have when renovating.”

Mr Hogan says if you’re planning a kitchen overhaul, want to add an ensuite, or change the structure, you’re likely reaching the “tipping point”.

“Bathrooms start at $15,000 to $20,000; by the time you look at going through the proposition of trying to add these to an old house, you’re getting into the prospect of whether you would be better off just knocking it down,” he says.

The upsides of rebuilding

If demolishing your current home and creating something contemporary sounds like an option for you, here are some of the critical advantages to sway your mind.

You can stay put

Loving your home is not just about your house. It’s about your community. Building the home of your dreams where you already live means you can stay right where you are.

You don’t have to meet new neighbours, find a new cafe or enrol the kids into a new school.

More bang for your buck

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Australian house costs about $320,000 to build.

In comparison, a major renovation can easily cost anywhere upwards of $250,000, plus any unexpected costs.

A knock down rebuild may end up being cheaper — and far less hassle.

When you start crunching the numbers, it’s easy to see why knockdown rebuilds are surging in popularity.

Mr Hogan adds that starting afresh will save you a lot of time and stress that comes with renovating.

You get your dream home

From a design point of view, knocking down your home means you can start creating precisely what you want.

“There’s a lot of compromise when renovating an existing house,” Mr Hogan warns.

“But when building new you can basically have the house tailored to exactly to the way you live.”

If you want a gourmet kitchen, a design that maximises the house’s orientation, a master bedroom with ensuite, or a multigenerational home with split living areas, you can have it.

It’s easier

Renovating is a huge job. You’ll need to plan the remodel around your existing home, organise and supervise trades and potentially live in your home for months while works are ongoing.

On the other hand, with a new build, you choose your ideal home design and all the features you want. Then your team takes over.

All you have to do is move in when it’s ready.


While you may want to stay put, in the future it will come time to sell. Having a home that is future proof is vital.

With a knockdown rebuild, you can make a home that is sustainable and energy-efficient. Not only will it make your home better for the environment, but it will also cost you less to run while you’re living there.

This will also add to your resale value down the track, guaranteeing you’ve got features like solar power, and that your plumbing and wiring are up-to-date.

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