Renovate or rebuild: What’s the best option for you?

November 26, 2021

The pros and cons of a knockdown rebuild project

Feel like a change of scenery? If you’ve been living in the same Sydney location for a while and find yourself less and less enamoured with your existing home design, you might be thinking about moving to a new suburb or location.

The problem is that moving in Sydney can be a major hassle. You have to move all of your belongings across a fast-paced city and deal with moving costs, removalists, packing and unpacking, maneuvering furniture and so much more.

Of course, all of that depends on whether you make it past the auction phase and the challenging housing market.

With this in mind, a renovation might be an easier and more affordable solution to a fresh start in Sydney. You won’t have to tackle the moving process and you’ll get that “change of scenery” you’ve been looking for -- it’s a win-win situation. To help you choose between moving or renovating, here are four reasons why a renovation project is a better idea in Sydney.


Here are some more advantages of a knockdown rebuild project:

  • You can save time and money. Planning a renovation takes a lot of time and research, especially if you are renovating an old building. A knockdown rebuild is quick and simple, depending on who you decide to build with.
  • You will build a home that’s safe and built to standards. If your home is very old, it may be structurally unsound. For example, it might have lead paint and plumbing, asbestos, faulty wiring, mould and mildew, pests and more. Renovating in these conditions can be dangerous, whereas a knockdown rebuild takes care of these problems in one swift swoop. Your new design will adhere to building codes and standards in the local area.

Of course, no building project is 100% perfect. There are disadvantages to a knockdown rebuild project, too:

  • Most home builders do not include demolition costs in their final numbers. It is important to note that most big brand builders do not include demolition costs in their knockdown rebuild prices for legal reasons. You will need to organise and pay for the demolition of the house yourself.
  • You will need temporary accommodation and storage. Your home will not be livable during the knockdown rebuild process. Before the demolition, you will need to remove all of your belongings and put them into storage. You will need to factor storage into the project’s budget. Likewise, if you don’t have friends or family to stay with during the process, you will need to factor in accommodation costs.
  • You might run into problems with council approvals. Before you can even consider a knockdown rebuild project, you will need to get council approval first. If the land or building is subject to design and heritage considerations, you might not get council approval for the project. We recommend checking local zoning laws before considering a knockdown rebuild.

The pros and cons of a renovation

If your home is still strong and sturdy but you’re not sold on the design, you might consider renovating rather than rebuilding. Renovating is a great way to add value to your home and give you fresh surroundings — without having to move too much furniture around or even vacate the building.

Need more space? A home extension project can maximise the amount of space you have for entertaining, storage or even your growing family, all without losing the home where you’ve made so many precious memories. Add a second storey, extend your home further backwards, add a garage or even an alfresco area for outdoor entertaining — the extension options are endless!

Alternatively, modernise your interior design — knock down unnecessary walls for an open-plan living space, expand the kitchen and add a stylish bulkhead with recessed lighting, and redesign your bathrooms and ensuites for a touch of luxury.


There are so many advantages to a renovation project:

  • Personalisation. A renovation or extension project allows you to make changes to the design based on your own personal style and preferences. Add feature walls, opt for cost-effective rainwater showers, set up a home cinema for weekend movie nights — the choice is yours.
  • Cheaper than buying a new house. Moving into a new house can be a costly exercise. You have to account for the cost of the house, real estate fees to sell your own home, removalist costs, packing materials and so much more. If you love your location, why put in so much time and money? A renovation is cheaper most of the time!

However, a renovation or extension project can have its downfalls too:

  • Risk of blowing the budget. As you renovate, there’s a chance you will find more and more things that need fixing, replacing or redesigning. There’s also the risk of damaging the house, which will incur further costs. With this in mind, it’s important to stick to a specific budget and choose a home renovation specialist you can trust — like Cubitt’s!
  • Overcapitalising. This is one of the common mistakes when renovating. Making changes to the interior or exterior of your home can increase the property value if it’s done right. Imagine spending $50,000 on a new kitchen, only to add $20,000 of value to your home. You need to make sure the job is done right, or you risk overcapitalising and losing out.

To renovate or rebuild? That is the question! 

Still tossing up between a renovation or new build? In the end, the choice is yours and depends on how much time you have up your sleeve, how much money you’re willing to spend and how attached you are to the existing structure.

If you’re looking for a faster, more cost-effective solution to a home refresh, we recommend a renovation or extension project with Cubitt’s! Reinventing homes is the foundation upon which Cubitt’s was built — our team has completed more than 300 home extensions and renovations across Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and beyond.

From day one, you will be given a dedicated site supervisor who will listen to your ideas, keep you informed and make sure the job gets done right.

Our goal is to make the renovation process simple and stress-free. Contact the team from Cubitt’s for more advice around whether to renovate or rebuild, or book your renovation project now!

Talk to us about your Home Extension today

Interested in finding out how to make a positive investment from a Cubitt's Home Extension? Get in touch for a no-obligation site inspection today.

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About Harry Kim

Harry has worked on building sites since the young age of 16, both on commercial and multi high rise buildings, before moving into residential construction management with Cubitt’s. Harry leads a team of 10 site supervisors, 30 employee trades and a large, fluctuating group of longstanding subcontractors.