Perhaps you own a property with an existing building on it. Starting with a clean slate and a fresh plan can be liberating and open up more opportunities. Older structures can have their charm, and a good foundation can save time and money . CDC can help you understanding the benefits and costs.

Purchasing an older home can have a certain appeal to it. Perhaps the residence is charming or rustic, and you can see real potential for it to be great again. When making this kind of purchase, it’s not uncommon to feel torn over whether to demolish it and start from the beginning, or to make the effort to fix up the existing house.

Consider these four things:

  1.       What’s more cost-effective: demolition or renovation?

If the existing house is not structurally sound, re-building will likely be cheaper and easier than restoring the home to its former glory.

In some cases, repairing major structural damage, sourcing the right materials or modernizing an older house can be very complicated and labour-intensive. Brace yourself for the possibility that you’ll uncover more expensive problems as you go along.

If you have a soft spot for the existing house, and if most of the work is simply cosmetic, then a huge overhaul can be rewarding. The key is to understand what’s involved and to plan accordingly.

  1.       Is the house ‘protected’ by a heritage listing or overlay?

Regardless of the change you’re hoping to make, it’s a good idea to find out what the rules are first. This will save you headaches down the road.

For example, when it comes to a “protected home,” you’ll be walking a fine line. Houses that appear on your state or territory’s heritage register are likely to be protected by law. Any planned changes will need to pass examination.

Let’s not forget about ‘heritage overlays.’ Overlays are areas defined by local councils in which particular rules apply about the kinds of changes you can make to existing buildings.

  1.       Have the boundary regulations changed?

CDC can help with determining the current regulations. In certain situations, you can’t knock a house down and rebuild in the exact same position. The regulations that determine how far from the boundary of a property you can build may have changed since the original house went up. We can check with the local council, and with your architect to see what’s possible.

  1.       Choosing what to demolish

If a house is structurally sound, the biggest improvements to your existing home will come from modernizing it. For example, opening up or extending living spaces is a great place to begin – – you can see our section on additions and extensions. Again, you can talk with the builders at CDC to discuss what’s possible.

Updating your bathrooms and kitchen – rooms that are the biggest selling points — are essential. Simple things such as installing new flooring, modernizing window coverings or adding a fresh coat of paint, can make a home appear fresh and new, with little expense involved.

Keep in mind…

One of the big advantages of renovating, over demolition, is that it can often be done in stages. Being able to live in your home while renovations are taking place is a huge bonus and causes less stress, although many of our clients find that life is far more organized when they choose a separate location to live for the duration of the renovation. This can speed up the reno as well since the workers do not have to prepare the area for habitation after every shift, or work longer hours.