Knockdown Rebuild Guide

You may love the area you’re living in but feel like you want a more modern or larger home. A renovation or extension is always an option but sometimes the amount of work required to give you exactly what you want can be extremely costly. This is where a knockdown rebuild comes in and may be the perfect solution for you. With the price of land rising, a knockdown rebuild is often the best solution.

This article is going to be a short guide on what you should know if you are considering a knockdown rebuild. Hopefully by the end of this article/guide you have a much better understanding of what goes on with a knockdown rebuild and helps you to take that next step with your build.

Finding a Builder for your Knockdown Rebuild

This is the stage where you would find a builder you want to work with on your rebuild. Then you would work with your builder to plan or design your new home. The builder should be able to consult the council to find out whether you can build your new home. It is at this stage you will find out whether you can actually knockdown and rebuild your home, the size you can build your new home and the position your new home will sit on your block. While the builder will provide guidance on what you can/can’t do on your block, read through your local council zoning rules and state government rules for guidance so you can be prepared. Some councils have strict restrictions that may affect the build of your new home. Your builder should help you work with the council to achieve a result that is mutually agreeable.

If you are in a bushfire zone, understand what this means for your design and costs.

Permits Required by You

There are usually two permits you will need to apply for via your council to get your rebuild moving.

  • Demolition Permit: This permit allows you to demolish the current dwelling.
  • Asset Protection Permit: This permit protects you from liability for any damages done to footpaths, gutters, naturestrips, driveway crossings and any other council owned assets during the demolition and building phase.

Your builder may be able to assist you in getting these permits or at least assist you in filling out any paperwork required to apply for the permits.

Most of the time your builder will obtain the building permit but before this happens, the council will usually contact any neighboring properties to see if they would object to the new build.

Finalise Plans & Contract with Builder

It is at this stage that you would finalise your plans and sign a contract with the builder. By this stage your builder probably has your house plans ready for you to make any changes, add extras and perhaps even choose your materials and colour schemes for the home. Some builders prefer to leave the colour selections stage until later in the process.

The plans your builder presents you with at this stage should be plans that will pass council approval and adhere to any of their guidelines for the new build.

Knockdown Stage

It is at this stage that the demolition of your old home will begin. You will be responsible for the disconnection of any utilities in the home and it’s at this point you should try to sell anything in the home that is possible to sell such as:

  • Doors and Door Furniture
  • Air Conditioning Units
  • Kitchen and Other Cabinetry
  • Appliances

This may also include any furniture and anything else you won’t be bringing to the new home. Keep in mind that during the demolition and build stage, you will no longer have the house to store things in so you will either have to pay for storage, ask friends/family to store your items for you or move them in to where you will be living during the build phase.

If you are renting during the demolition and building phase, make sure you account any of your rental expenses towards your budget for the build.

Most builders should be able to recommend a demolition company for you or some will even execute the demolition themselves. The demolition company should be responsible for the knockdown of the existing home as well as removing all debris from the site.

After the current home is knocked down and all debris has been removed, your builder will be able to conduct a new soil test in order to apply for final engineering of the new home and it’s foundations.

Here are some things to remember about the knockdown stage:

  • You will need the two permits as discussed above (Demolition Permit & Asset Protection Permit)
  • You may be responsible for paying service disconnection fees and removal
  • If you have an NBN connection, you must request abolishment of the connection prior to knockdown
  • When reconnecting the NBN (if applicable), if you are in an area with aerial cables, NBN will only reconnect them aerially for free. They will charge commercial rates to move it underground.
  • The home will need to have adequate safety fencing erected during the demolition phase. Usually the demolition company can organise this. If not, you must organise this yourself. Usually this fence will come down after the demolition and a different one will be erected by the builder for the rest of the build.
  • Ensure that your water meter is visible and protected. It will usually stay where it is unless it needs to be moved for the new build.
  • If you have overhead power, it must be converted to underground power. This can be done through your