Knockdown Rebuild vs. Renovation - Weighing the Pros and Cons for Homeowners

Knockdown rebuilds and renovations have pros and cons for homeowners. Rebuilding allows full customisation but is more expensive and disruptive. Renovations are more affordable and less disruptive, but you work within existing structural limitations. Key

Knockdown Rebuild vs. Renovation

Many homeowners dream of the perfect custom home. But should you demolish and rebuild or renovate your existing home? Both options have pros and cons.

Knockdown rebuilds allow you to fully customise and modernise but cost much more and cause major disruption. Renovations are more cost-effective and less disruptive, but you work within your current layout and structure constraints.

So, how do you decide between a complete rebuild versus renovating? This post examines the key factors like budget, layout changes, and resale value. We’ll weigh the big tradeoffs to help you determine whether to knock down and rebuild new or renovate your existing home.

What is a Knockdown Rebuild?

A knockdown rebuild starts with demolishing your current home down to the foundation. A new custom home is then designed and built on the same existing property footprint and foundation.

This allows you to customise the layout, materials, finishes and more completely. A knockdown rebuild enables the opportunity to maximise the use of space, which can be a problem with older homes. It allows homeowners to have the functionality and modern living space they desire. The result is a new, modern dream home in place of your existing house.

Knock Rebuild

Pros of a Knockdown Rebuild

  • Complete customisation - Design the perfect layout and energy-efficient features
  • Latest trends - Open floor plan, smart home tech, sustainability
  • Ideal for outdated homes - Tear down and replace inefficient homes
  • Increase home market value - Knock down rebuilds yield higher property values

Cons of a Knockdown Rebuild

  • High cost - 2-3X more than renovating an existing home
  • Major disruption - Must move out during 6-12 month build
  • Permitting - More complex approvals than renovations
  • Risk - Potential for delays and cost overruns

Steps Involved in a Knockdown Rebuild

  • Initial planning - Assess goals, budget, scope
  • Design - Create customised floorplans and finishes
  • Permitting - Secure demolition and construction approvals
  • Knockdown - Demolish the old home safely and dispose of debris
  • Prepare and excavate - Clear the lot and prepare for the new foundation
  • Construction - Build a new custom home from the ground up
  • Finishes - Install features, fixtures and finishes
  • Inspections - Ensure proper electrical, plumbing and structural
  • Move-in - Have a final inspection and move into your dream home!

What is Renovation?

A home renovation process involves remodelling and upgrading your old house without demolishing it. Renovations can range from small projects like kitchen and bathroom updates to whole home overhauls. The goal is to improve functionality, aesthetics, comfort, and value. Your existing layout and structure are worked with and enhanced.

Renovation . Knockdown Rebuild

Pros of Renovation

Cons of Renovation

  • Limited customisation - Work within existing footprint and layout
  • Unforeseen issues - Problems with electrical plumbing may arise
  • Piecemeal approach - Upgrades may seem disjointed over time
  • Permitting - Still requires approvals by the local council but is typically simpler

Steps Involved in Renovation

  • Planning - Define goals, budget, and scope of renovation
  • Design - Create plans to update layouts, finishes, systems
  • Permitting - Secure required approvals for remodelling work
  • Structural work - Reinforce foundation frames as needed
  • System upgrades - Improve electrical, plumbing, HVAC
  • Surface updates - New floors, walls, counters, fixtures
  • Finishing - Paint, trim carpentry, landscaping
  • Inspections - Verify the safety of all systems
  • Enjoy your refreshed home!

Comparing Knock down Rebuild and Renovation

When evaluating a complete rebuild versus renovating your existing home, here are some of the major points of comparison:

Cost Comparison

  • Knocking down and rebuilding typically cost 2-3X more than renovations. The demolition and full custom construction are far more expensive.
  • Exact site costs vary based on location, size, materials and other factors.

Renovated Home

Time Comparison

  • Knockdown rebuilds generally take around 6-12 months from start to finish. Renovations can often be completed in weeks or several months based on scope.
  • Rebuilds require you to move out entirely during construction. Renovations can be phased room-by-room to limit displacement.

Impact on Property Value

  • Overall, knockdown rebuilds yield a greater return on investment in terms of increased property value versus renovations. Although this may be ideal for some people, for others, the thought of knocking down the house and allowing a company to take hold of the building journey may seem like a much more viable option.
  • However, the higher initial investment for rebuilding may take more work to recoup fully.

Making the Decision

Determining whether to knockdown and rebuild or renovate depends heavily on your goals, budget, and tolerance for disruption. For ageing, outdated homes, a knockdown rebuild allows you to truly customise and modernise and realise a significant property value increase despite higher costs and other hidden costs.


If budgets are tight or the existing structure and layout work well, a strategic renovation maximises improvements while controlling costs and minimising impact. Carefully weigh whether existing constraints can be enhanced through renovation or if the benefits of full customisation merit the expense of rebuilding from the ground up.

Get quotes for both options and consider which approach best balances your needs. While the decision is situation-specific, being armed with facts helps inform what ultimately works best for your home and lifestyle.

Redefining Your Space, Your Way

Deciding between completely rebuilding your home or renovating your existing structure requires careful consideration of all factors. Both knockdown rebuilds and renovations have their pros and cons in terms of budget, customisation, and lifestyle. As you weigh these tradeoffs, be sure to get professional input to understand each option’s full scope and costs.

Here at Buildrite, we have expertise with major home rebuilds and renovations of all sizes. Our team can provide quotes and advice to help you determine whether to knock down and start a brand-new home or remodel your current framework. Reach out today to learn more about how we can bring your ideal home vision to life!

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