We are often told by clients they are trying to decide whether to KDR or renovate, and would you believe when we tell them to ‘KDR no question’, they don’t always believe us?!
One of our current clients has done both and we asked her to share her insight. Follow her build journey @the.mama.daze
And it’s a big one indeed… Having done both a major renovation and now a complete knockdown rebuild, we have genuinely experienced and I’m often asked to share our learnings.
When we bought our first house, it was with the vision to one day ‘renovate and extend’ (complete with a white picket fence!). I think we grew up assuming that to build would be ‘too expensive’ and that the best way to get ahead was to renovate including DIY where you can, and real estate always emphasises the ‘potential’ to renovate. We went both out (ground floor extension) AND up (first floor addition) so it was pretty extensive!
The issue though is that you have to work with the original footprint and this means either limitations or significant cost to modify and use what you have. THEN there are the things that end up costing way more than expected… like when our ‘simple bathroom renovation’ uncovered rotted wall frames that didn’t even connect with the floor… or asbestos!
So while we did end up with a lovely home, it still lacked certain features and missed more than we could achieve with a renovation… so within months of it being finished… we sold!
The concept of knockdown rebuild appealed to us as we could work essentially from a blank sheet of paper and apply all of our learnings from renovating. From living through renovations and with a growing family, we built a good understanding of what worked for OUR family. How we use a space and how we like to live as well as how to avoid wasted floor space and dysfunctional areas.
Having met with builders ranging from project homes to custom builders and architects, we found the perfect mix in Icon Homes. We’re now building our complete dream home – including everything we loved from our previous renovation and everything we still didn’t have! – for LESS per square metre. We’ll have a higher quality finish and it’ll all be done before we move in.
We chose Icon Homes for a number of reasons including their flexibility to create custom designs at no extra cost to suit your lifestyle needs and block of land (but that’s a separate blog topic in itself!).
But people always love to share horror stories though don’t they (it’s a bit like childbirth!)… and we were told that we needed to budget a HUGE amount for hidden upgrade costs and for when things go wrong. THIS was one of things that resonated with us most with Icon Homes: ‘our standard is their upgrade’. They know what their clients want with key features like 40mm Caesarstone benches, extended height ceilings, ducted air conditioning & quality finishes, so it’s all there in the Onyx package. There’s no lure of a base price which is lightyears away from the stunning display home you’ve just walked through, to leave you feeling naive and overwhelmed.
This meant that our initial site estimate quote was almost identical to our full Tender (the formal building quote for your contract) even with engineering requirements and our changes that we asked for upfront (it is a custom build, after all!). As a fixed price build, we also avoided all of the risk of the unknown with renovations and things that you can’t see behind walls or underneath floors (or walls that don’t join with the floor!).
But beyond the glossy pictures and over-flowing #inspo collections (we’ve all got them!), it’s also about our investment. And in return, we’ll have an entirely brand new house: rather than only new finishes within old walls and on old foundations and plumbing. A house is about more than just a home, it still needs to be an asset and a financial investment for your family.
So follow our build journey and ask me your questions, are you team #renovate or team #build?