Knockdown Rebuild Process Explained

What is the knockdown rebuild process? Then, we’ve got you covered with this informative guide.

Have you always dreamed of a better home but don’t want to move from the neighbourhood?

You can always find a new one in the area, but we know that is one hell of a job. So, how about a knockdown rebuild? After all, there’s a reason why this form of homebuilding has become popular recently.

However, we know that homeowners need a fair idea about it. And that’s why we’ve curated this guide with everything you need to know.

So, without further ado, let’s begin!

What Is Knockdown Rebuild?

As the name suggests, Knockdown Rebuild (KDRB) is the process of ‘knocking down’ or demolishing an old house to build a new one in its place. Also referred to as Knockdown New Build or KDR, it’s swiftly taking over the homebuilding sector in Australia.

The apparent advantage includes not moving from your neighbourhood to a new house. But that’s not the only reason why more people opt for K.D.R.B.

On that note, let’s take a look at some of the other key benefits associated with it:

Completely Customised Homes

For one, homeowners can make their homes exactly how they want without running from auction to auction. Moreover, once you have the specifics listed down, there’s every chance you may even exceed your expectations!

Unlike renovating or extending, homeowners aren’t restricted to the limitations of the current home’s existing floor plans and design. From an open-plan layout to modern finishes, the possibilities are practically endless in KDRB.

Moreover, you can opt for more energy-efficient systems that comply with the Energy Star rating system. Likewise, there’s complete control over the minute details like the colour scheme, fixtures, and fittings.

Stay In Your Preferred Location

Staying in your favourite area is more than just the comfort of the familiar neighbourhood in terms of convenient commutation and having emergency services nearby.

When people stay in a particular location for a long time, they develop an in-depth knowledge of other important aspects, such as drainage and flooding.

Hence, choosing the best and most effective way to counter those problems becomes easier. Furthermore, having places of daily commute saves you the trouble of changing your lifestyle even in a new house.

No Surprises

Undoubtedly, renovating or extending your current home can bring about nasty surprises. Despite spending a ton of money and planning, you don’t know what you’re dealing with until the construction begins.

The most commonly uncovered problems may include asbestos, shoddy foundations, damaged plumbing, faulty electricals, etc. Depending on the severity of the situation, homeowners may end up paying thousands of dollars extra.

Since KDRB essentially gives you the chance to start from scratch, there are few chances you might run into something like this. You can quickly mitigate the concerns with old housing structures as new houses should adhere to building codes, regulations, and standards.

Beyond that, many KDRB services may offer a Lifetime Structural Guarantee for greater peace of mind and confidence among homeowners.

Keeping The Costs Down

Discussing costs can only complete the list, no matter how many advantages we bring. Compared to renovation prices and the cost of buying a newly established home, knocking down your house to build one can be an affordable alternative.

If you already own the land, KDRB can become cheaper than relocation since it’s often the price of the land that makes buying a new house so expensive. Plus, stamp duty fees add significantly to the overall cost. That’s why “fixer-uppers” are priced at millions of dollars in the inner-city suburbs.

If you live in an old house or have purchased a rundown property, you’ll spend much time and money researching the renovation process. Finding similar materials won’t be easy or cheap.

As mentioned, “hidden situations” during renovation can make sticking to a fixed budget challenging. But when you build a home from scratch, the costs are upfront from the start of the process, with no hidden fees.

Convenience Of The Builder

Many builders will tell you that rebuilding is more convenient than remodelling or renovation.

The Master Builders Association of Victoria states that builders better understand the construction without making educated guesses about the quality of the existing work.

Moreover, it may be possible to wrap up the project beforehand, depending on the design’s scope.

The Knockdown Rebuild Process: What To Do?

Sure, a knockdown rebuild is a big project, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s difficult, especially if you follow the proper steps. Here’s a basic overview of the entire process so you can build the home of your dreams with minimal stress.

Check The Regulations

Like any other construction project, the first step in undertaking KDRB is to check the regulations with the local authorities. Homeowners must thoroughly investigate all the legalities of demolishing and rebuilding, including council regulations and planning restrictions, which may affect the process.

Many homeowners prefer to get a current section 149 from their local council for the unversed; section 149 (or planning certificate) contains the planning information about the land, like zoning, levelling, or any constraints that may apply. The purpose of obtaining one is to ensure that the process runs smoothly without any undue hiccups.

Local councils have laws relating to asset protection and various planning laws, mainly if the concerned building is subject to planning approval—furthermore, factors like planning overlays, heritage overlays, allotment size, etc.

You may need to secure building approval for the intended work, generally issued by a municipal council building surveyor or a private building surveyor.

Lastly, you may also need to factor in traffic management plans for the duration of the build, and your local council will be of great help here.

Your builder will also tell you if the construction requires a Complying Development Certificate or Development Approval. While the former is about predictable, minor environmental impacts, the latter is for more complex buildings and the set guidelines and structure details that must be strictly adhered to.

Enter The Designing Phase

Once you’re done with the legal formalities, it’s time to take on the most exciting aspect of the job- designing the house. Builders will provide hundreds of options, or you can browse through the plethora of floor plans, photos, videos, and virtual 3D tours available online.

Most KDBR services have physical display centres where New Home Advisors will assist you with the plan’s details. Resolve all your questions and ask for the feasible customisation for your desired plan. This is also where you can expect an initial budget and timeline quotation.

Getting The Details Right

So that homeowners don’t have to endure the stress of completing all legal formalities, builders take it upon themselves to formulate and get the proposal approved. However, we’d strongly recommend reviewing the rules to ensure nothing is overlooked.

Surveys And Testing

The next step in the process is physical examinations of the site. Professionals will test the site assessment and draw possible limitations, such as the slope of the land, drainage, access to services, etc.

Preliminary Contract And Signing

The company will organise the preliminary contract when you are satisfied with the assessment results and are happy to proceed. At this point, you’ll find a detailed overview of the house’s planned costs, including the upgrades and changes that have been decided upon and the land cost.

Adding The Finishing Touches

After signing the preliminary contract, and depending on the size of the building company, homeowners use specialist design and selection studios to add the finishing touches. With the proper assistance from professional design consultants, you can select the colours and finishes and customise them as required.

Electrical consultants meet with homeowners to discuss the lighting options, electrical layout, etc. If you plan to employ solar power for certain sections of the house, now is the time to discuss it.

Final Contract Signing And Building Permit


Complete with all the costs and clauses, this final contract signing provides the “green light” to the job, alongside applying for and obtaining the building permit.


An important thing to note is that only some rebuilding services offer to do the demolishing part. They may connect you with the right people for the job. While at it, look for a demolishing company that will complete the job to the tee, from obtaining permits to clearing the mess.

An asset protection permit from the local council is another crucial consideration. It will cover the damages caused to the footpaths or driveway crossovers. While the total demolition cost will vary according to the structure, the price range is usually between $10,000 and $15,000.

Keeping Track Of The Project

Once the construction begins, you must keep track of the process, stage by stage. Your site manager will keep you updated about each stage, namely:

  • Base: pouring the slab
  • Frame: receding the frame
  • Lock-up: finishing the roof and walls
  • Fixing: completing the interior and exterior details
  • Completion: the handover of the new home

Are There Any Challenges?

To answer it in one word, we’d say yes. Knockdown Rebuild is not free from its share of disadvantages. But then again, what is? While we don’t mean to scare you away from the idea, here are some points you should consider.

Problems Concerning Approval

Aside from design and heritage considerations, building a different home in a particular neighbourhood can prevent KDRB approval. For instance, if you plan to build a duplex in an area dominated by single-story buildings, you may need help getting the project approved.

Delays And Chaos

Bad weather and personal tragedies in the workforce are just some of the unforeseen reasons that may delay the timeline. Since you’d want to live on the site during the rebuild, living in cramped spaces will invariably result in discomfort. Arranging for temporary accommodations is another pain in the neck, as you also have to store the furniture safely.

Getting The Right People On Board

Without thorough background checks, you’ll likely end up with the wrong people and spending all your budget for nothing. So, don’t rush with the first builder you come across. Make sure the prices and services are reasonable enough.

Final Words on Knockdown Rebuilds

That brings us to the end of today’s guide. Hopefully, we’ve solved all your queries related to the knockdown rebuild. As a final piece of advice, we can only stress the importance of putting in a significant amount of thought before you decide to continue.

Is this the right time to rebuild? Will renovation be more cost-effective for me? Is my preferred builder credible enough? These questions should be answered immediately for a smooth journey to your new home.

Here is a list of questions you should ask any builder before hiring them.

On that note, allow us to take our leave. We wish you to get the best of everything to build the home of your dreams.

Till we meet again, take care!

What is the knockdown rebuild process? Then, we’ve got you covered with this informative guide.

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