Renovate, rebuild or buy?

April 25, 2016

No matter how much we love our home, most of us will reach a point in our lives when we start thinking we might need some more room. This might be when we choose to start a family, or it might be when the kids are becoming teenagers and need their own space. Whatever the reasons, you will need to make a big decision: Do you renovate the existing house, do you knock it down and rebuild a new one, or do you sell and move to another place altogether?

It’s a tough decision to make, made even tougher by the fact that you will need to invest a lot of time and money no matter which way you go. It is a good idea to look into skip bin hire and do a full declutter of the house even before you decide what you want to do. You’ll save yourself a bit of time and hassle later if your house is already cleared of mess.

To help you get to the important decision, we look at the pros and cons of each option:


Renovations are hard work and they can be stressful, but they also come with a great feeling of satisfaction at the end.

PRO: You get to choose exactly what you want with a renovation, and have complete involvement in every step. From the plans through to the tiles chosen, you are in control of each part of the process. And you don’t have to start from scratch with a renovation; the existing structure will stay the same even if you are completely changing the inside or building up, which will save you excavation and landscaping costs. Another pro with renovations is that you might be able to do them in stages, meaning you don’t need all of the money up front. This also means you should be able to stay in the house while renovating, saving you money on renting elsewhere.

CONS: You will most likely go over budget and will also come across unexpected problems. When you are coming up with a budget make sure you include a buffer so that the unforeseen extras aren’t a huge strain on your finances. Even so, a renovation will most likely be the cheaper option unless you are intending to change the entire house. If you are changing too much it can start to get really expensive as you get custom made plans created and have to start again with all flooring, roofing, kitchens and bathrooms. Also, renovations can be very stressful and time consuming.


Moving house is high up on the list of life’s most stressful experiences. However, starting fresh in a brand new house can be thrilling and might be just what you need.

PROS: If you don’t like the suburb or the street you live in, then moving is for you. No amount of renovations or rebuilding will change the way you view these important things. Sometimes a fresh change of location is as important as a new house, and this is the only way you’ll get that.

Moving house can be a much faster process than renovating or rebuilding. Once you have sold your home and found a new one, it is roughly a three month wait until you are in. Then it’s just a matter of unpacking your boxes and settling in!

CONS: Moving house is expensive. When you are planning a budget for the new home, remember that you can’t spend that entire amount on the new house alone. You will need to account for stamp duty, moving costs, real estate agent fees and any costs associated with getting your current home for sale – such as skip bin hire, a cleaner and the cost of fixing broken things. There is also the added pressure of needing to sell your home for a certain amount, as well as the timing of selling while also buying. It can be a bit of a juggle to line things up so that you can move straight into the new home without having to move somewhere else first.


And then there is rebuilding – an option to consider if you really love your location but your house needs more than just a fix-up.

PROS: You will end up with a beautiful, brand new home that no one else has ever lived in. And unlike renovations, you will also be able to see the finished product before you spend a cent, if you have chosen a house from a display home village.

If your renovation plans are too extensive and are close to being an entirely new house anyway, then building will actually become a cheaper option. Sometimes it makes more sense to demolish a house and start again.

CONS: The cost will only be cheaper if you choose a basic package for your house. As with renovating you will likely go over budget, especially if you want a lot of changes. But if you stick to the original house plan then it shouldn’t blow out by too much.

Rebuilding can also be a lengthy process, from the time you decide on a house all the way through until you move in can take a year. You will also need to rent another place to live while your home is being built, so this is an added cost that you need to factor in.