If you’re buying an older house, it’s not uncommon to be a bit uncertain between whether to renovate or demolish, or perhaps the third option of retaining some parts from the original house. There are a couple of factors you’ll need to take into account when you are deciding.
Cost: what’s more expensive – renovation or demolition?
If the existing house is not good structurally, there’s a pretty good chance that completely demolishing and building afresh will be a lot easier and cheaper than trying to revive it.
In some instances, repairing major damage, finding the right kinds of materials or modernising a house in terms of overall quality has the potential to be very expensive, labour intensive and – and complicated. You’ll need to be prepared for the prospect that you could uncover large problems as you go.
If you’re completely attached to the existing house or if you’re sure that the work it needs is cosmetic, then a restoration can be a really rewarding way to go – and is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint as well (there’s a lot of embodied energy in the existing home). Just be sure that you are certain what may be involved; plan carefully and make sure there’s plenty of room in your budget.
Choosing what to demolish and what to keep
If the house is structurally sound, the largest improvements you’ll make when trying to modernise an existing home will come from rebuilding things that are dated and impractical.
Opening up or advancing living spaces is always a good place to begin. Taking out walls to develop a large open-plan living area incorporating previously separated kitchen, dining and living areas is the most obvious improvement you can make. You’ll need to check with your builder to see what’s possible here – always cheaper and easier if you don’t need to touch load bearing elements.
Modernising your bathrooms and kitchen are pretty much essential – and things like new floor coverings, curtains and plastering or rendering over existing bricks will all go a long way to improving a home.
Replacing existing windows with larger double glazed allowing more daylight in, and also help to improve insulation and energy efficiency. If you are able to design a large feature window or light this will brighten and enhance living areas.
Also see our other projects:
Sunshine Coast House Demolition – On site at Mooloolaba
Brisbane South House Demolition – On site at Rochedale
Brisbane East Shop Demolition – On site at Manly West