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Love your suburb but not your home?

Love your suburb but not your home?

Knock Down & Re-Build may be an option for you and your family.

Look around older established suburbs of Melbourne, like Williamstown, Northcote, and Box Hill, you will notice the changing face of housing in these areas. With cost of renovations often exceeding that of a new home, many are logically choosing to knock down and rebuild.

Here is a general look at the home buying process when demolition is involved.

First you need to carefully consider what you need and want from your new home. These decisions will often depend on whether you plan to live in the home and for how long or will you use it for investment purposes, in which case renter requirements will be the priority. Consider bedroom and living space requirements along with the amount of space you need for outdoor entertaining, pool, play equipment etc.

Knowing what you have to work with is paramount. Obtain accurate plan measurements of your block and consider the sun orientation and aspects you want to take advantage of with the siting of a new home on your land. Councils have special requirements for home sitings in terms of setbacks from the street and side boundaries, so familiarize yourself with these requirements. You may wish to consider double storey homes for narrow allotments or heavily sloping blocks may require a split level design. As you research and discuss options with different companies these things will become clearer.

Find out from your lending institution your borrowing capacity and suitable loan types for this type of project. A demolition project can bring with it additional costs over and above those often incurred when building in a new estate. These result from such things as disturbed soil compaction from the demolition, tree roots and changes in soil moisture, re-establishment surveys, retaining walls, storm water retention, traffic control, double handling of materials for difficult access blocks, area surcharges along with the cost of the home demolition.

With so many options to consider finding the right home and builder can be confusing, however at this point consider your priorities and needs. Do you require an architect designed home and custom builder or will you explore display homes and if so will you find exactly what you need or require design modifications. You will find each company has different tolerances to modifying their designs. When reviewing designs consider your needs now and into the future. Also consider other homes in the street and your neighbour’s properties in relation to façade types. Start your search by visiting to explore home designs from a range of builders.

Your choice of builder will come down to a number of factors; however one obvious but fundamental component is their ability to build the home of your needs on your specific block within your budget. This might sound obvious but often preliminary investigation isn’t thorough and a builder is engaged, to find out months later that the builder is unable to assist. To avoid this, give the builder as much information about the site particulars during the initial discussions, i.e. photos etc to avoid time delays and costs.

Once you have chosen a reputable builder and specified your requirements, you will now move from a general quote to a formal home quotation, which will be based on a range of information the builder will order. Items include a certificate of title, plan of subdivision, area covenants, soil test and contour survey and others. Check the quotation carefully to ensure everything has been included and ask questions if unsure. If a site drawing is available review this to ensure you are happy with home setbacks etc.

You will need to consult with the builder and others in relation to when to demolish the home. You don’t want demolish the home prematurely, later to find that the new home cannot be built for what ever reason. Consider whether you will wait until you have the building permit approved before you have the home demolished. Generally at this point the builder will have another soil test ordered on the cleared area and finalise plans and requirements.

If the builder does not provide a demolition service look for an experienced demolition contractor. A reputable contractor should have public liability insurance and workers compensation cover and a demolition license. There are strict regulations regarding the demolition and disposal of building materials particularly if asbestos is involved. If the builder is not performing this service ask that they give guidance as to how the site should be left to avoid them having to fix mistakes or remove or shift soil.

If your home is going to require the approval of neighbours take the opportunity to talk to them about your plans up front and obtain their contact phone numbers. By discussing your plans you can allay any misconceptions they may have about the new development. The council may send your plans to them for comment so it can be worthwhile getting in first.

After checking your budget allocations with the quotations received you will be in a position to review building contracts. The builder will have quoted a price to build the home and finalised working drawings to go to council for Development Approval.

Get ready to choose the colors of your bricks, roof tiles, paint finishes and other items such as taps, vanities, shower screens, kitchen bench tops and more. This is quite an involved process so start getting ideas for the look and feel of your home early and also your requirements regarding the placement of power points and other electrical items. Good luck… has an excellent selection of new home design and custom builders who can answer all of your questions, and meet your building requirements.

Use this link to see our range of builders in Victoria.

Please note: This is a general look at the process and will vary from between projects. Careful consideration and professional consultation should be sought regarding the demolition process and timings of this work.

Featured Image is courtesy of Boutique Homes  Monaco 36

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