First, let’s look at your current situation and whether renovating is right for you. If you live in, or are buying an older house, it’s not uncommon to be torn between whether to renovate the existing house, or whether to demolish it and start again.
Many of our clients opt to take the middle road and retain some parts of the original house and completely rebuild others.
There are a few factors you’ll need to take into account when you’re deciding:
COST – WHAT’S MORE EXPENSIVE – DEMOLITION OR RENOVATION?
If the existing house is in a bad way structurally, there’s a pretty good chance that completely demolishing and building afresh will be more affordable and easier than trying to revive it.
However, if you’re in love with your existing house and can see it’s true potential, then a renovation can be a really rewarding way to go (financially and emotionally) – and is a great way to cut down your environmental footprint too (there’s a lot of embodied energy in the existing home). Just be sure that you understand what’s involved. That’s where we come in to help plan carefully and avoid any renovation pitfalls.
IS THE HOUSE ‘PROTECTED’ BY A HERITAGE LISTING OR OVERLAY?
If so, you’ll have to tread carefully. Houses that appear on your state or territory’s heritage register are likely to be protected by law, and any planned changes will need to pass stringent examination to ensure that they don’t interfere in any significant way with the character of the house.
Another thing to be aware of is ‘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 – and what you can and can’t build. Local councils define heritage overlays to help preserve the charm and character of a given area.
If you’re planning any changes at all (even something as simple as repainting a metal roof or putting in a new front gate) it’s a good idea to find out first what the rules are. Construct Melbourne are always available to assist.
CHOOSING WHAT TO DEMOLISH AND WHAT TO KEEP
Provided that a house is structurally sound, the biggest improvements you’ll make when modernising an existing home will come from rebuilding things that are dated and impractical.
Opening-up or extending living spaces is always a great place to start. Knocking out walls to create a large open-plan living area incorporating previously separated kitchen, dining and living areas is one of the most rewarding improvements you can make. Our Master Builder will meet you on site to assist in the design process.
Substituting existing windows with larger double glazed windows or low-e replacements will allow & more daylight in and help to improve insulation and energy efficiency. Incorporating large feature windows or skylights will also brighten and lift living areas.
Modernising your bathrooms and kitchen are pretty much essential – and things like new floor coverings, stone benchtops and a fresh new colour palette will all go a long way to rejuvenating your home.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
One of the big advantages of renovating rather than demolishing and building from scratch is that you can do it in stages if necessary – and still have a roof over your head. Finding somewhere to live if you demolish your home and rebuild can significantly add to your cost and stress levels throughout the duration of your build.
If you’re excited after reading above and want to see the potential in your existing home, make an appointment with our experienced Master Builder to meet you onsite today.