This is always a very difficult question to directly answer because there are so many variables to take into account. Most inner-city suburbs have “heritage overlays” which prohibit the demolition of houses and spell out what you can and cannot do when renovating an existing house. All properties with a heritage overlay will require a “Town Planning Permit” before any renovation works can be carried out.
Deciding whether to “renovate” or “demolish and re-build” is a very personal decision and will depend on numerous individual factors.
I always advise my clients to make up a short list of the five main “pros and cons” for a new house and a renovation. Below is a short list of positives and negatives that will help you to clarify which option is best for you.
Preservation of old houses
Compromises on design, layout & spaces
Retain lovely period features
Town planning process and advertising
|Can be done for a smaller budget||Much harder to achieve 6-star energy rating|
|Shorter building timeline||Shorter term ownership “life span”|
|Popular decision with your neighbours||May involve some lifestyle compromises|
|Sometimes possible to live in the house whilst it’s being renovated||Not possible to live in , require alternative living arrangements|
|Preference for the location over size||May not resolve all family needs|
|High “feel good” factor|
|Start with a “clean slate”||Longer building timeline|
|Longer term ownership solution||Need a larger budget|
|Fewer compromises in design layout & size||More significant changes to the “streetscape|
|Able to achieve a more sustainable “thermally efficient " home||Short-term environmental impact from demolition and waste|
|Able to make a more significant design statement|
Ultimately, the main determining factor will be your budget, but here are a few additional questions to help you make a decision:
- Do you really like the existing building?
- Does the existing house fit in with the existing streetscape?
- Are there any council overlays or restrictions on the property?
- Does the existing house have any “heritage significance?
- Have you done a renovation before?
- How long do you plan to live in this house?
- Will there be any significant compromises if you renovate?
- What will be the “end value” of the property?
- Does it make economic sense?
- Does it feel right?