Knock Down Rebuilds (KDR) are becoming an increasingly popular choice for growing families and offer a range of attractive benefits. From enabling you to stay in the neighbourhood you love, to enjoying increased living space and the latest fixtures, all at a cost effective price, a KDR offers a viable option for you to build your dream home.
However, this type of build differs from other more regular building projects and requires careful consideration in order to avoid potentially costly mistakes.
Here at Vogue Homes we’re KDR building specialists, who’ve been in the business for more than 38 years. Over our time in the industry we’ve built up valuable expertise and know how to maximise this type of specialised building project. We’ve composed this guide to help our clients approach any KDR project in a more knowledgeable position, and be able to avoid some of the common pitfalls present with this type of build.
Starting With the Design of Your House Not Your Block
When looking at a KDR, it’s easy to get caught up in the look and design of your home. Especially after visiting a beautiful display home, it’s very easy for your creative imagination to start to run wild. However before you look at home designs, it’s actually more important to assess the overall orientation and outlook of your block.
You should aim to optimise your home by first making the most of your block’s orientation. Carefully assess how natural elements (i.e. sun’s movements throughout the day) affects your block, which can then ultimately help you to optimise your home design. In this way, the right use of natural elements will help you regulate future energy consumption and temperature control.
You should also assess the different characteristics of your block such as any slopes that are present which can affect the viewing perspectives available. Factoring this in can dictate the ideal placement of your home, to get the best views from certain parts of your property.
Over Capitalising or Under Capitalising On Your Build
Achieving an effective KDR is a fine balance process where you don’t want to over capitalise or under capitalise on your build.
A home is over capitalised when the land value and total cost to build added together is in excess of the already newly established comparable properties in the same area. Under capitalisation on the other hand refers to when a home is significantly undervalued due to its size and quality not being comparable to other properties in the area.
The best way to avoid either of these scenarios is to work with a respectable builder who has extensive experience with KDRs. They are in the best position to help assess all aspects of your site, and then determine all building designs and specifications in order to deliver sustainable value in the long term.
Not Understanding Council Building Guidelines
Building regulations can vary from council to council, so before embarking on any KDR project, it’s vitally important to first check what regulations might specifically apply to your particular circumstances.
Since they affect the wider community, most councils have strict rules in relation to KDRs, some of the items covered by regulations include:
- Set-backs and height limit restrictions.
- Extra support requirements for flood prone areas.
- Compliance with bush fire prone area regulations.
- Carport and garage specifications.
In order to be fully informed, it’s best to undertake research with your council about what regulations apply to you. As an initial starting point, some good information can be obtained from the council website, you can then make an appointment to further discuss any concerns and meet with a council representative to talk about any specific matters.
Having this information available will help you fully understand zoning implications and any limitations that may apply, helping you to have a more hassle free building experience.
Insufficient Budget Planning
Just like any other construction project, setting an adequate budget plays a vital role in its overall success. KDRs having their own unique specifications and requirements will require additional funds to incorporate an accurate estimate of the overall cost of the build.
Examples of costs that need to factor into a KDR budget include:
- Relocation and rental costs during the KDR build process.
- Storage costs.
- Actual Knock down and removal costs (normally included in a builder’s quote).
- Costs for remedial work to then prepare the block for the build process (normally included in a builder’s quote).
In order for a budget to reflect the true cost of an overall KDR, all of these costs must be taken into consideration. It’s also recommended to have a contingency budget for any unforeseen circumstances that may occur during the build. Examples of these include; asbestos removal, provision of temporary power poles for traffic control, and coverage for items that do not form part of standard building contracts such as landscaping.
Having adequate coverage for these items in your overall budget, will help to ensure you have the necessary funds to meet any unforeseen events and meet the timing of any financial obligations.
Not All Building Products Are the Same
When it comes to construction not all types of building products are alike. In order to build a quality home it’s necessary to use high standard products that have been specifically designed and tested to stand up to the rigours of the tough Australian climate.
Unfortunately, some suppliers can take shortcuts and in order to provide lower quotes tend to use cheaper imported products. While these alternative products can be aesthetically pleasing they may not have the longevity of more premium products that are available in the market. In the long term this may result in higher repair costs and additional work required to be undertaken.
In order to cover your bases, when talking to builders and looking at quotes make sure you ask them about the types of products they use and what type of guarantees are given.
Not Finding the Right Builder for You
The relationship with a builder in a KDR is very different to that with a tradesperson that you might hire for a one-off job. A KDR requires the signing of a binding contract where the builder will then be responsible for building your home in accordance with the relevant standards and codes under their building licence.
It’s therefore vitally important that you select a builder that you can form a positive working relationship with, and is the right fit for you and your building project. Key items to asses include:
- Licence number.
- Will make sure they’re registered and help you identify any red flags or previous negative incidents on their record.
- Size of team and number of jobs they’re currently undertaking.
- This will help you determine if they have the adequate resources to handle your project, but also if they are likely to give your project the attention and focus it deserves.
- Remember big builders don’t always guarantee success, while they may have more resources at their disposal, you can often be placed in long waiting queues and be relegated in preference to bigger jobs.
- Visit any available display home.
- This will give you a good indication of the quality of work that they produce and whether it’s the right fit for your expectations.
- Error resolution process.
- Despite best-laid plans, differences of opinions can arise, the presence of a thorough transparent resolution process, is evidence that a builder is willing to engage and meet their customers’ needs.
Assessing a builder against the above factors will help to find a builder that you’ll be comfortable with, and is more than up to delivering a quality building project on time and according to specifications.
A KDR is a great way to stay in your local neighbourhood while being able to enjoy increased space, along with the most up to date fixtures and designs.
However before embarking on any building journey, it’s first important to do some research and have a clear plan of action.
Start by first examining the orientation of your block and how you can maximise the natural elements. You can then begin to assess any applicable council regulations that you will need to abide by, and start to formulate a comprehensive budget that factors in contingencies that can be applicable to KDRs.
Once you know the specifics about your block and your current situation, you can begin your search for a reputable builder. Remember to assess any prospective builder against a set of criteria that will determine whether they’re the right fit for you, enquire about the type of building products they use, and select a builder who you can form a positive working relationship with going forward. Choosing the right builder will help you achieve the right leverage for your KDR and ensure the chances of a smooth building experience.
If you’re looking for expert guidance and support for your next KDR project, look no further than us here at Vogue Homes. We’ll take the time and effort to guide you through the entire KDR process making sure all design and council specifications have been factored into, and the entire project is properly budgeted for.
For any of your KDR needs, why not contact us today.