Building New vs Renovating

Should i renovate or Build new at my house. Here are a few helpful hints.

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “Should we keep our old house and renovate it or demolish it and build new?” So what is the answer and what is the most cost effective option?

Well, until you get a professional expert to inspect your home, run through your brief and understand your requirements and budget, this is too difficult to answer as every circumstance varies, but below is a guide that shows the pros and negatives for each option to consider when making that crucial decision!

If you have any queries or would like to discuss this further contact BAAStudio today at or T:0409 5777 05 



1. No restrictions on what you can build, apart from site overlays and council building codes. The style, materials, layout is up to you.

2. Your design can work around the site utilising all aspects of sustainable design, capturing breezes, airflow and the option to gain extra height on site by using flat skillions roofs.

3. Building sqm rates for a new build are normally cheaper than renovation sqm rates and therefore overall may be a cheaper option.

4. Minimal hidden variations or unknowns as every detail should be shown in the construction drawings.

5. Construction time frames to completion is normally quicker when you are building new.

6. The option to build off the plan meaning the house is pre-designed then placed on site saving time and costs.


1. The quality of the build could be inferior as builders use pine framing instead of hardwood. Many of today’s builders don’t have the knowledge and skill compared to builders in the 50,60s.

2. New foundations and structural type may have to change to suit new building codes.

3. The new build may have to be situated in a new location on the property due to the boundary setback and building codes which may mean certain restrictions required on your property.

4. Removal of the existing house, clearing the site and preparing the site for new structural footings may cost you a lot more money than you thought.

5. You may need to factor in the cost to rent/move elsewhere while you home is being constructed.

6. You may not be able to stage your project and therefore financing upfront may be an issue.



1. You know what you are dealing with onsite so you can either renovate to match the existing character of the house or build a new modern extension that may contrast the existing house.

2. You may already have a good solid structurally sound house with fantastic hardwood timbers or quality features that you can work with.

3. Potentially your house will be better built than a new home that is constructed with inferior materials and where corners have been cut to meet construction timeframes.

4. Your house may already have the street character and aesthetics which you may not be able to achieve by building new.

5. You may have already closer setbacks than what is needed due to the building code changing over time.

6. You may be able to stage the project so you can still live on the property during construction.


1. The cost of renovating can be very expensive as there can often be a lot of hidden costs and unknowns.

2. You will need between 5-10% contingency of your overall budget required when renovating due to all of the unknowns that may be discovered along the process.

3. You may need to select your builder more carefully. Does your builder know how to renovate old houses or has he just done low set brick veneer new houses? Take the time to look at the quality and style of homes that the builder has produced.

4. If the house is in a character overlay you may be controlled by council restrictions on what you can build.

5. The existing house may face the wrong orientation and not capture the views. The house plan may not be right for the site or location.

6. Does the existing house how termites or rot that you may not know about.

7. Does your existing house have street appeal? You may need to factor this into a renovation also if another part of the house is being modernised.