What to expect with a knockdown rebuild



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What to expect with a knockdown rebuild

Posted: 2 Oct, 2018
Auther: Craig Edwards
If you’ve outgrown your home but are keen to stay in your local area, a knockdown rebuild is an attractive option.

It’s a strategy that gives you the home you want, in the area you want. The only thing left to consider is what type of builder would suit you best.

Volume builder

Knowing your budget is key when building a new home. One of the more cost-effective options is to use a turnkey solution from a volume builder.

A volume builder – sometimes also called a project builder – offers a range of standardised home designs. They are large-scale operators, generally building hundreds or thousands of homes each year.

Volume builders tend to be much cheaper than a custom builder, as the design is already set and they can purchase materials for substantially less because of their scale. This standardised design also makes this option a time-effective one.

Be aware that while customers are generally able to have some input – usually around choosing their fittings and fixtures – using a standardised design means they cannot shape the floor plans according to their individual needs.

Architectural practices

Engaging the services of an architect provides buyers with a bespoke home, and also allows plenty of client input throughout the process.

Austin Maynard Architects has a reputation for designing highly original homes, and co-director Mark Austin says the most important thing when dealing with clients who want to rebuild is getting to know them.

“It’s like a first date,” he says. “We want to know how they live and where the ideas they have for a home come from. We want them to express ‘how’ they will live.”

When asked to write down everything they want from a new home, Austin says some clients will just write down the number of bedrooms. “Others will provide massive documents with Pinterest links that explain what tiles they like or what timber they don’t like,” he says. “For us it’s all about teasing out what’s important and that involves good communication.”

Austin says his firm will work with anyone, although there are certain jobs that are just too small. “Budget comes into the conversation very quickly,” he says. “We discuss it upfront so people are prepared. Homes cost a lot of money so we discuss square-metre rates from the outset.”

It’s important for clients to have a very realistic idea of the costs before the builders go in, he says. “While it’s in the design stage the costs are more abstract. It’s when you’re on site that the stresses arrive and that’s why you need to talk about costs before anything happens on site.”

And while the budget is important, Austin says the overall aim shouldn’t be forgotten. “It’s a balance between being realistic about the costs and keeping the excitement alive,” he says. “You want clients to walk into their house at the end of the day into something they love.”

Custom luxury builder

Custom luxury builders use architecturally designed plans that have been prepared specifically for the client. They aim to provide unique homes that also offer cost certainty, and can be a way of having the best of both worlds.

Comdain Homes is a custom luxury builder that works with clients who typically spend between $800,000 and $2.5 million. “But what they all want is a custom-built and bespoke luxury home,” says managing director John Coen. “Our role is to talk them through all the important considerations including the principles of good design, especially from an orientation point of view.”

Unlike a home from a volume builder, a custom luxury build allows people to have complete input into the style of the house they want from the start. “We work closely with the client to ensure they get the home they want,” Coen says. “Every site is unique and we customise the home to meet not only a client’s needs but also their budget.”

Generally, custom builders also allow clients on site at various stages of construction so they can check on the project, an additional service that helps them stay involved and feel part of the build process.

The services provided by custom luxury builders provide clients with a great deal of certainty.

“We spend a lot of time helping clients understand the opportunities and challenges of knockdown rebuilds with seminars and free home site appraisals,” Coen says. “At Comdain we provide the best of both worlds: quality construction knowledge, plus integrity of design.”