Designed for Life

A Complete Guide to Knock Down and Rebuild Your House


Love where you live but not what you live in? A knock down rebuild could be for you. A knock down rebuild, otherwise known as KDR, is the process of demolishing your old, tired home and clearing your block of land for a new home build.

As the years go on and the old Australian home gets older, the more a KDR has become increasingly popular. Many people have realized the multitudes of benefits that come from a KDR rather than renovating or buying an established home. Whether you are expecting a new addition to your family, or accommodating a change in your lifestyle, the option to knock down and rebuild may be something you want to consider.

To make tackling these things a little easier, we have outlined some key benefits and also some steps to get your started on your KDR journey.

Why knock down your home?

Location, location, location!

How often do you hear real estate agents leading with “location, location, location”? This is because it is one of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing your new home. So if you love your community and are sad when thinking about leaving your favorite café down the road that sells the best coffee, then why leave?

No hidden nasties

Renovating an old home can uncover some hidden nasties that you never knew existed. Issues like asbestos, rotting wood and old, dangerous wiring can remain hidden until you start pulling walls down. To fix these issues can cause big costs and time delays when renovating that you just won’t have when you KDR.

KDR can be a more affordable

As most would be aware, a lot of the cost when buying an established home can be attributed to the land. Land is expensive, and don’t forget the stamp duty! When you choose KDR you are removing these costs, giving you more money to on making your new home stand out.

After the consideration of why you are looking to upgrade, you will most likely look at your option such as renovation, KDR, or buying elsewhere and consider the benefits. During this process you will establish how big the renovation could be. These changes may become reasonably extensive, mostly because you’re limited by having to work around the existing structure which in turn can become very expensive. It is also harder to stick to a budget, remember those hidden nasties we just read about?

Brand new homes are also easier to maintain, everything is new! Your new home will also be more energy-efficient due to the energy star rating system. Long term this will assist in reducing costs your living costs.

No compromising on what you want!

There is a lot more wriggle room for home design when you knock down and rebuild, as you’re not trying to fit in and around an existing layout or trying to find an establish home that is “the one”. A knock down rebuild decreases the need for you to compromise creatively and means more options become available to you as you get to start from scratch. You can enjoy that open-plan layout or grand master suite with a walk-in-wardrobe that you have been dreaming about.

Before-Duplex-Design-2 After-Duplex-Design-2

Your KDR process

1) Plan

The first port of call in your knock down rebuild journey is to consider what you are looking for in your new home (other than the excitement of it being new!). Do you want to upgrade to a double storey? Are you looking to maximize the benefits by building a duplex? Next consider the ideal list of elements that you’d like your new home to have. Bring to mind the things that you feel your current home is missing, as well as things you might want to recreate in your new home.

During your planning stage it is best to consult your builder. They will be able to provide guidance and recommendation on your local council rules and regulations and also consider the layout of your land. This will play a big part in what type of home you are going to build. Also, the builder will resolve any queries on your list, as well as advise how best to achieve your goals while considering other items like your budget.

Tip: Speak with your neighbours early on. They may have concerns around noise, obstructions to their property or increased traffic on their street. Giving them reassurance that you and the builder will be respectful of them and their home will assist getting them onside early on. A cranky neighbour can cause delays in construction approval and building and may result in additional costs.

2) Detailed Site Assessment

A good builder will conduct an assessment of your block of land. They will be surveying things like accessibility, the presence of potential obstacles such as trees or overhead power lines, traffic management requirements, the physical conditions of the block and much more. They may even choose to obtain a soil test and survey to complete a full detailed assessment. At Vogue, we complete our due diligence upfront to ensure we can provide an accurate plan and budget for our customers. We provide a full site report plus soil tests, surveys and more.

The outcome of your site assessment could mean that some of your initial plans will need to be adjusted, so your builder will work closely with you to ensure that you are fully across the options available to you.

3) Designing and Tendering

Now is the time to start nutting out the final details of the design for your new home. Spend the time discussing your ideas with your builder, so that they can help refine your plan to exactly what you need. Be patient at this stage and understand that some of your initial ideas and plans may not come to fruition due to the results of the site assessment or council/statutory requirements.

You will also be provided with a tender with a list of inclusion and costs for your new home. Go through this document carefully and ensure it reflects what you want and need. Make changes where required before signing. Openly discuss any of your concerns or questions with your New Home Consultant, this will help moving into the next stages a lot easier.

4) Disconnect your services and plan your demolition

As the time for your home’s demolition comes closer, get in contact with your various providers in order to abolish or disconnect your services. The notice period for changes to these services can be quite lengthy, so contact providers as soon as possible to align on a date for them to be ceased.

In the case of gas and electricity, these services will need to be abolished (rather than merely disconnected) so that demolition works can proceed.

Water and sewerage will need to be removed up to the main supply and then capped ready for new connections by the builder.

5) Demolition & Construction Approvals

You will be required to get an approval for demolition. Once you have received approval you need to enlist a qualified, good quality demolisher, in not doing so can result in very costly fines and ramifications. Be wary of choosing the cheapest quote, there are some “cowboy” demolishers who do not have the required qualifications and experience. Speak to your builder to get guidance on the best way to approach this this part of the process.

While you are waiting on demolition approval, your builder will be sourcing the required documents for the approval of your new home. You will also be busy selecting your colours for your new home.

Depending on the process of your new home builder, you will also sign your final contracts and tender at this stage. Vogue Homes will have you sign off on your final tender, contract, and colour selections at this stage, ready to start building.

6) Demolition & Construction

The KDR process really takes life when your demolition begins. Keep communication open and active with your builder at this stage so they are aware of your timeline. This way they can start on site after you have you have provided clearance. Your home will quickly begin to take shape and there is nothing for you do but sit back and watch your new home build up.
You can view our full process here.

It’s time for you to enjoy your new home in the community you love.

If you have questions about, or are after some advice on your new Knock Down and Rebuild plans – we’re here to help! Give us a call on 02 9607 9554 for a chat.