Knock 'em Down Then Build 'em Up!

Date Thursday, 29 October 2015 12:00 AM

Demolishing an existing home and rebuilding can seem like a daunting and expensive prospect but with the right builder it doesn’t have to be, according to Steve Condlisse from G.J. Gardner Homes. “A good builder will work with you and build the demolition into their Scope of Work, so the whole project is centrally managed,” Steve said. “It can go under the one set of approvals which cuts down on paperwork hassles.” 
While many people think renovating is the less expensive option, according to Steve, knock down rebuilds can often be done for the same price or cheaper. “Bringing an older building up to code can often be prohibitively expensive. So many materials and structures have to be replaced or altered, it becomes near-on impossible to finish the project cost-effectively. “With a rebuild you can construct a bigger, safer, greener home that maximises use of the space, and with our homes, we can customise an existing plan to suit the individual needs of your family as well as the characteristics of the block – for little extra cost and sometimes no extra cost at all.”
Steve’s Top 5 Tips for Knock Down Rebuilds:
1. Know your budget: Always speak to your builder first about the property you have your eye on before you head to the auction. A good builder will take the time to visit the block with you and can give you a ballpark figure on how much it will cost to knock down and rebuild. Then you’ll know your budget limit and (fingers-crossed) not get swept up in auction fever on the big day.
2. Understand zoning: Make sure your property is not subject to building restrictions by applying for a 149 Certificate with your local Council. This Certificate will tell you:
* If your property is Heritage-Listed, a ruling which protects it from demolition.
* The geotech zone of your property – whether the underlying soil make-up is suitable for the kind of building you have in mind.
* Other issues that may effect a new build, such as easement, bushfire and flood zoning, landslip, stormwater and covenants.
3. Be realistic: There could be a good reason why your property is such a great price and still on the market. Always get your builder to inspect the property and provide you with a report, or you might find yourself forking out significant unbudgeted dollars for things like earthworks and stormwater drainage.
4. Allow extra time: If you’re living in the home you’re planning to demolish, remember to factor in the extra time needed to:
* Find temporary accommodation and/or put furniture into storage.
* Demolish the existing building and sure up foundations/earthworks.
* Build your new home.
* Construct any extras such as swimming pools.
* Allow for down time around Christmas and Easter holidays and wet weather events.
5. Too close for comfort?: With Tip no. 4 in mind, Steve suggests you give serious thought to renting accommodation during the knock down and rebuild process. The process can be stressful on its own and staying with extended family or good friends can make six months feel like six years!
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