Skip to content
  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

    Trying to Decide Whether to Rebuild or Renovate?


    There are various things to think about when deciding whether to renovate an existing home or choose a knockdown rebuild. It requires careful consideration of various factors such as budget, preferences, and individual needs. While renovating an existing home can be a great way to update and modernize living spaces, a knockdown rebuild offers the opportunity to create a truly customized home. Both options have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, making the decision a difficult one to make. However, with the help of a professional designer or architect, homeowners can evaluate their options and make an informed decision that best suits their specific situation.

    We explore the pros and cons of both renovating and rebuilding and provide guidance on how to make the best decision for your home and your family.


    The Advantages and Limitations of Renovating


    • Renovating an existing home can be a cost-effective solution as it allows homeowners to retain the existing foundation and potentially reuse some of the existing materials

    • It can be an emotional experience, as it allows homeowners to preserve the foundations of the home that holds many memories and sentimental value, while also adapting it to the changing needs of the family as it grows

    • When considering a renovation, it's important to understand that the scope of the project may be limited by the age and condition of the home. Achieving a completely new look and feel may also prove challenging

    • It's essential to have a realistic budget and plan in place as the renovation process can be unpredictable and may reveal unexpected structural issues or limitations

    Reinventing Your Living Space with a Knock Down Rebuild


    A knockdown rebuild project offers several advantages over a renovation. One major advantage is the ability to completely customize the design and layout of the new home.

    • Homeowners can start from scratch and create a home that is tailored to their specific needs and preferences. This can include incorporating the latest design trends, such as open floor plans and energy-efficient features, which may not be possible with a renovation

    • A new home can be built with the latest technologies and materials, which can result in lower energy bills and a more sustainable living environment

    • A new home can be designed to take advantage of natural light and ventilation, which can reduce the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning

    • A knockdown rebuild gives the opportunity to maximize the use of space, which can be a problem with older homes, and allows the homeowners to have the functionality and living space they desire

    • Additionally, a knockdown rebuild can also increase the resale value of a property. A new home in a desirable area can be more attractive to potential buyers and can command a higher price in the real estate market

    Knockdown Rebuild Produces Stunning New Home in Plush Seaside Suburb of Freshwater


    This outstanding custom contemporary Hamptons façade with neutral colour tones of cool greys, crisp whites and white timber windows featuring colonial bars suits this much-loved Sydney coastal neighbourhood so well. Natural light was a key design consideration in this family home to keep within a relaxed, coastal feel with plenty of space to entertain, inside and out. The home was designed around the existing pool featuring an outstanding floor-to-ceiling window overlooking this entertainer's delight. Luxury features were important to our clients, Jason and Idette.


    Hamptons - Freshwater, Sydney NSW

    The Emotional Journey of a Knockdown Rebuild


    A knockdown rebuild project can be an emotional journey for homeowners. The process of tearing down an existing home, which may hold many memories and sentimental value, can be difficult and emotional for homeowners. The thought of losing a place that holds many memories, where family and friends have gathered and where life has happened can be overwhelming.

    Additionally, the process of rebuilding a new home can also be emotional, as homeowners are making decisions that will shape their living space for years to come. The excitement of creating a new home that is tailored to their specific needs and preferences can be met with anxiety and uncertainty. The homeowners may have to let go of certain aspects of their existing home, and it can be hard to visualize and adjust to the new space. The process of rebuilding a new home can be an emotional roller coaster, with homeowners experiencing a range of emotions from excitement to uncertainty, to nostalgia, to contentment when their new home is completed.

    A knockdown rebuild can be a smart investment when both emotionally and financially the timing is right. The benefits of designing a home tailored to your current and future needs are numerous. Whether you want to stay in your favourite neighbourhood or redevelop an old house somewhere else, a knockdown rebuild will give you the ability to create a home that is unique to you. Additionally, it may be more cost-effective than renovating.


    A Hamptons-Inspired Home on Sydney’s North Shore


    For Sydney homeowners Robyn and husband Jonathon, it took more than five years before finding the perfect builder and locking in a home design they were both happy with. Needing to accommodate Robyn's large family, which includes young children, the house's design blends the indoors with the outdoors.






    10 Reasons to Knockdown and Rebuild


    1. Create your very own personalised home to suit not only your land but your family and lifestyle. When renovating you are limited to the foundations of what already exists, often ending up with significant compromises.

    2. Stay within budget and know all costs upfront before you commence construction, when renovating unforeseen issues often arise with areas such as plumbing, electrical and foundation works once you start demolishing existing structures.

    3. Create new memories. “We wanted a fresh start and new memories. It’s not the same when you renovate and inherit a world of problems! Budget blowouts are common with an old home like ours. Rebuilding seemed the way to go”. Vini and Sheena

    4. Improve the resale value and street appeal with a brand-new home fetching a higher sales return than an existing newly renovated home.

    5. Build a more energy efficient home saving you money on bills and future proof your home for your evolving lifestyle.

    6. Existing structures will limit your design to increase ceiling heights and change the location of your kitchen and/or bathroom, making you feel deflated that you are restricted in achieving the look you desire and then must settle

    7. Be smart with your investment. The average cost per m2 when renovating is upwards of $3500m2 vs. a knockdown rebuild which can be from $2500m2 depending on your site and finishes. A smaller renovation can often be a great solution and far more cost effective than a knockdown rebuild if you are wanting to add a deck and remodel your kitchen. When families are running out of space though and need to extend out, up or both this is where we commonly see renovation quotes which are very comparable to knockdown rebuild!

    8. Design a future proof home with considerations of how you will live in your home now and in 10, 15 and 20 years to come

    9. It's time “It wasn’t an easy decision as we lived in our home for 6 years and had made wonderful memories, but the structures were literally falling down around us!” Heidi (Allambie Heights, Sydney) 

    10. Build your forever home 

    A Sophisticated and Elegant French Provincial Home 


    A stunning, dark French Provincial, sophisticated and elegant home in the Hills District of Sydney features clean lines and strong accents. External mouldings, windowsills, keystones and architraves with high internal ceilings, Parquetry flooring and wrought iron balustrades, add the Provincial feel for a truly spectacular custom home.

    Our clients worked with our design team on an extremely challenging, sloping block to tailor their home to their family’s needs and converted the first-floor sitting room to another bedroom, which created a stunning void section to look down from the first floor to the entry, complemented by a statement chandelier. Their custom designed dining and sitting area looks out onto a stunning 3-level step-down alfresco and pool area.

    Our client's love for all things new and luxury items mixed with their family's beloved treasures made for a simply stunning interior design theme that carries right throughout the entire home.


    H0357 Hills District, Sydney

    10 Reasons to Rebuild With an Expert


    1. Customisation & Flexibility - Designing and building your dream home is highly rewarding and brings a lifetime of satisfaction. We provide a holistic architectural design approach where you can customise our plans, or work with our architects and designers to create a custom design. Flip the design, move the stairs or change the facade! Discover some of our custom builds.

    2. Alignment From the Beginning. The significant advantage of our in-house expertise resides in the way our architects, designers, town planners and builders thoroughly explore and assess compliance requirements from the beginning. It’s a process that leaves no stone unturned and provides a clear framework from which we can confidently identify inspiring opportunities, explore possibilities and maximise the site's potential. We put you first and do the background work to ensure you are getting a realistic price before you sign a contract. This ensures you know exactly how much your build is going to cost. Discover more about costs when building a custom home.

    3. Designer Inclusions. Our Interior Designers and Colour Consultants have handpicked a stunning collection of luxury inclusions from world-leading brands so you can create your personal spaces with elegance, refinement and finesse. Discover Hall & Hart's Inclusions.

    4. Personalised Interior Design Process. Our highly experienced and qualified Interior Designers will work with you to develop a design brief and understand your home design aspirations. They will guide you through the decision-making process and curate a personalised look based on your thoughts and ideas from their knowledge and industry experience and remove the decision fatigue that is associated with the selection process. Your selection appointments are held at our internal Design Studio.

    1. Expert Knockdown Rebuild Design & Construct Team. We’ve got your whole team in-house. sales and design, town planner, architectural designers, drafting, colour consultants, interior designer (with a dedicated selections centre) electrical, estimating, pricing, purchasing and construction supervisors. Meet our Directors.

    2. Pre-Lodgement From Council. We can lodge your plans earlier in the process if we feel there may be issues with getting your plans approved. This will save us precious time as we move through pre-construction.

    3. Technology & Experience. We have in-depth knowledge of all Sydney-based councils and their requirements and the NSW CDC requirements. This allows Hall & Hart to confirm which process will provide you with the best outcome for your new home. We have years of experience with:

    -      Planning and building on challenging blocks

    -      Dealing with issues such as sewer zone of influence, arborist requirements, tree protection, swimming pool planning and integration into the design, site access, demolition, bushfire requirements, flood-affected areas, height limitations, overshadowing and much more

    -             Our industry-leading technology allows us to modify and create plans with you to optimise the outcome of your dream home based on authority requirements

          8.     No Contract Until After Final Approvals and Selections. You don’t sign until after you’ve received council approvals, final material selections, your homeowners’ warranty and construction certificate. This means you have clarity on the exact costs to build your new Hall & Hart home before committing to signing a contract. Discover our process.

        9.      Expert Advice. Independent reviews of your proposed plans to our 3rd party specialist ensure that all regulations are met, and all potential costs are provided upfront, including a hydraulic engineer check prior to receiving your tender. This will provide you with clarity up front to allow you to budget effectively.

        10.     Low Supervisor to Construction Ratio. Quality over quantity. We build a maximum of 100 homes per year with our supervisors working on a limited number of projects at any one time. We limit the projects we undertake ensuring uncompromised quality whilst allowing our specialists to deliver on their craft. Our construction team focus on delivering one-to-one, regular communication to deliver a truly personalised custom build journey. We meet quality with craftsmanship and individualised experience with guidance to support our clients and deliver on what we promise.

    Knockdown Rebuild Delivers Excellence in Luxury


    An executive-style 42sqm home located in the leafy Upper North Shore of Sydney. As you walk through the double entry door you are greeted with a 5.2m high atrium and decorative timber wall panelling and Dado rail, which continues throughout the ground floor living area. The home was designed to suit the extensive rear-sloping block. The design encapsulates stylish step-downs throughout the ground floor increasing the living, kitchen and dining area ceilings to 3.4m high.

    Having small children, storage and space was important consideration in this design. Our clients worked with our design team to increase all bedroom sizes and add additional linen cupboards which included filling an unused aircon void and tiles the under-stair void to create a neat storage room.


    0110 Pymble, Sydney

    Design Considerations for Your Knockdown Rebuild Project


    What size home can I build on my land?

    The size home permitted will vary greatly depending on the approval avenue and land size. There are 2 different approval avenues available to us CDC and DA. Our expert sales and design team alongside our compliance team will walk you through your options to get the best outcome for you.

    1. The first is CDC, an objective state-wide framework that is often faster and less restrictive than the council. Due to the objective nature of CDC, it is very rigid. There are factors that may mean you do not wish to use this avenue or in some cases such as the site being affected by flood, heritage (even in proximity), medium to high-level bushfire or in close proximity to trees in excess of 8m tall we are unable to gain approval through CDC

    2. The 2nd option is approval through your local council and relevant planning controls (DA), councils will traditionally take longer to work through the approval process and may impose additional requirements for the project. However certain projects will gain a superior outcome through a DA approval or indeed will need to gain approval through council due to site or location constraints. We have a large amount of experience guiding projects down this avenue in some of Sydney's "more challenging" councils.

    Can I bring my house forward?

    This often depends on your neighbouring properties. CDC and most councils use a variation of the "prevailing building line" to determine a front setback. This is often the average distance to the main building line (front of the home) to the boundary of the neighbouring properties on each side of the subject home. Our sales and design team have access to technology to help determine this in your initial assessment phase.

    My land slopes to the rear, can I build a 2-storey home?

    This is not something to worry about and can sometimes be a blessing in disguise, when your property slopes to the rear we can introduce a few steps throughout your hallway leading down to increased ceiling heights in the rooms towards the rear of your home. This will provide you with a luxurious and spacious feel to the main living quarters of your new home. You can find out more about building on sloping blocks here.

    Stunning Hamptons Residence Designed to Steep Sloping Block


    A classic, Hamptons facade featuring gable vents, decorative architraves, mouldings, cladding, and custom designed balcony, complemented by soft grey hues and crisp white tones. This outstanding Sydney residence was designed specifically to suit the steep sloping block which created stunning 4m high ceilings to the family and living areas. The step-downs continue throughout the open plan ground floor living area and onto the alfresco, opening out onto a very impressive, elegant entertaining area.



    H0350 Hills District, Sydney

    Knockdown Rebuild Cost Considerations


    What is the average cost/sqm?

    Cost will be dependent on your site conditions, materials used in your build and internal fixtures and fittings. Generally, on a standard-level block, the average cost/sqm can start from $3,500.

    What are site costs and how much will mine cost?

    Site costs include but are not limited to:

    • creating a level platform to build your slab on making your house structurally sound

    • importing or exporting soil to provide you with a level platform

    • running new services such as sewer connections, stormwater connections and potential on-site detention for stormwater (OSD), services and connections for gas, and water, providing you with your own private power pole, running the new electrical connection underground to your house,

    • rainwater tanks to meet hydraulic requirements

    • construction site fencing

    • scaffolding for a 2-storey home

    Each house and site is individually assessed based on its requirements. Our Sales and design team will be able to provide you with a fairly accurate guide to your requirements before ordering specific reports.

    Do you include site costs in your sales estimate and building contract?

    Yes, rock is generally the only site cost which remains an allowance when the building contract is finalised.

    Can you manage the demolition for us?

    Demolition is organised and managed by the owner. You will need to engage the services of a licensed and insured Demolition Contractor as once demolition is complete; we will require a Clearance Certificate. Alternatively, we can put you in contact with our preferred demolition company which can explain the full process to you.

    How much does demolition cost?

    The average cost to demolish your property can start from $30,000 and generally takes approximately 7 days (weather permitting.) However, it is strongly recommended that you work with your preferred company to book demolition early, especially when considering a pool.

    Demolition costs vary with the size of the house and costs include:

    • access to site

    • hazardous/asbestos removal (if required) Non-professional practice is often an attempt to save substantial tip fees by burying asbestos and other dangerous materials under the site. Your building site would then become a hazardous area and could cost you thousands to clear it up.

    • rubbish removal. Tip and recycling fees

    • established fencing between you and your neighbours. You will need to review whether it needs to be removed, which could become a shared cost

    • council or independent certifier costs to approve the demolition which range from $800 - $1,500

    When do I sign the building contract?

    At Hall and Hart, we want to ensure we are giving you the true cost of building your dream home which is why you will sign your building contract:

    • AFTER you have signed off on your internal and external selections

    • AFTER your plans have been approved by the authority (Council or CDC) and

    • AFTER we issue your Home Owners Warranty and Construction Certificate. It is then we require a 5% Contract Signing Fee

    We give you every opportunity to design the home you want before you are required to sign your contract, ensuring there are no hidden costs along the way.

    Making the Right Choice for You: The Importance of Personal Considerations


    The decision to renovate or rebuild your home is a significant one, as it will have a lasting impact on your daily life and the value of your property. Careful consideration of the current condition of your home, your desired outcome, and your budget is crucial in making the right choice for you. With a well-thought-out plan and a team of professionals who align with your vision, you can turn your dream home into a reality. But, keep in mind that it's an emotional journey, it's important to take your time to research, evaluate your options and make a decision that you trust and feel confident about.


    A Charming Provincial High-End Luxury Home  in East Lindfield, Sydney


    Inspired by the Chelsea and Cambridge designs, this high-end luxury home has been neatly gated and secured from the street in Sydney's Upper North Shore. A thoughtfully planned architectural design where an abundance of light shines right from when you enter this superb residence through to the covered alfresco overlooking the pool. 



    H0279 East Lindfield, Sydney

    Start Your Personliased Journey

    Embark on a unique holistic design process where compliance, architecture, interior design, and construction are all interlaced under the one roof creating a seamless and less stressful custom build journey.