In this edition:
- Festive Glamour: When the festive season throws you an occasion, you need to glam it up.
- Andrew McUtchen looks for fun in cricket with former Australian cricketer Damien Fleming.
- Take a look at our Christmas Gift Guide.
But there are many factors to be considered and every project is unique. You need to ascertain how solid the existing structure is and how extensive are your planned changes. If you have a good structure and the changes are minor, tearing down would probably not be worth the expense. However, if you intend to make big changes then there can be benefits in building from new.
In the past, the rule of thumb was that the land and building were of equal value. If an owner did not have substantial equity in the property, it was difficult to get bank approval to demolish and rebuild. However, now the value of the land far exceeds the value of the building, making the option of demolishing and rebuilding more attractive.
Will your local council allow the house to be demolished? Often in inner-city areas, particularly with terrace houses, the existing house will be considered part of a streetscape of historical value. In these cases, approval to demolish the entire house will probably not be granted. Except where the house itself is deemed to be of historical significance, it is usually acceptable to retain the front of the house and to demolish and rebuild the rear.
A major advantage of renovating or rebuilding is being able to improve the energy efficiency of a house. Escalating costs of water and energy in the future will turn well-designed sustainable homes into money savers for their owners.
In the near future, the mandatory disclosure of energy rating performance will be introduced for all houses for sale or lease. This will make well-designed sustainable homes even more valuable.
Typically, it is far more eco-friendly to renovate an existing house than it is to demolish and rebuild, especially with regard to waste generation. However, the devil is in the detail when it comes to establishing what is green. If you have decided on building new, then there can be substantial green benefits and ways to reduce the environmental impact.
The demolition can be done in a way where many of the materials can be salvaged and reused in the new house or sold on for reuse elsewhere, thereby reducing the waste generated.
The constraints of renovating and extending an existing house can make it difficult to achieve the house that you really want, and it may be the case that building from scratch allows you to achieve most or all of your desired outcomes. It would be worthwhile to at least investigate with your architect the feasibility of this option.