Old House, New HouseAt what point does it become too hard to renovate/extend your old house and the decision made to rebuild a new one instead?

This thought is going around and around in my head at the moment with our impending extension on hold after getting quotes and freaking out about the price.

I know of several others who are also going through the exact same thing so I thought I’d share some ideas about what to consider before making your final choice…

It’s a fact that renovations cost more per m2 than a new build, depending greatly on the specifications it can be up to as much as $1000 difference per m2!  Obviously this is because of the additional work required to demolish part of the existing house, tying in the new roof structure to the old, rewiring electrical and replacing the old plumbing for a start.

In the end basically everything in the old house is new again but I think it somehow feels like better value to build new.   It really is hard to imagine your old crusty house being all sparkly new again when the vanity is falling to bits and the mosaic laundry  floor tiles have turned a feral shade of black!

There are several points however that need factoring into your costings to knockdown/rebuild:

  1. Cost of demolition and site clearing – this can range greatly depending on the size and type of existing dwelling, any asbestos etc, but generally $15 – 20k in metro areas should be allowed for.
  2. Cost of moving furniture, the kids, pets etc AGAIN and setting up a rental property for most likely 12 months if you’re not lucky enough to have family who will let you all bunk in with them for free.
  3. Paying for the rental on top of the mortgage for your now empty block of land PLUS the builders progress payments for the new house.

I looked into the costings for a new home but that opened up a whole new world of possibilities.  We would build a two storey house then, to be able to keep a bigger backyard, therefore not the exact same plan we’re using for the extension.

Although the thought of this excites me no end, not having constraints and design boundaries is probably bad for me because I can see already that costs for a new build will definately be more expensive.

There’s no specific reason for us to keep the existing house though – we don’t have a beautiful bungalow to enhance for instance, it’s just a double brick 60’s stone front.   Almost every internal wall will change, the facade will be completely remodelled, new roof, new flooring etc.

At the risk of everyone thinking we’re mad, I’m still leaning towards an extension.

We don’t have family to move in with so we’d have to pay to rent again.  As we’ve only just moved in here after moving 3 times in 3 years, the thought of moving again makes me shudder (although so does the thought of living with 3 kids through a big renovation).

We’d bought this house with the intention of extending and we’ve come this far, so we think we’ll soldier on with the extension.

That’s the case this week anyway 🙂


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