Should You Renovate or Detonate?
Renovate – or detonate? It's the big question for thousands of Australians who want to upgrade their homes and aren’t keen on selling up and shifting somewhere new.
Both approaches may have merit and working out the smartest way to go can be a tricky proposition.
So what are the things you should take into account before deciding whether you’re best off picking up the tools or packing your possessions and dialling a demolition crew?
Crunch the numbers
Start by doing some sums, advises builder Stephen Thompson, whose family company, Allworth Homes, has designed and built thousands of dwellings of all shapes and sizes for couples and families in the Sydney, Illawarra and Hunter Valley regions since 1978.
“Work out the sale price of your home as is, and the cost, including stamp duty and legals, of relocating to the sort of dwelling you aspire to, in the same area,” Thompson says.
“With that budget, could you renovate your current home to achieve those goals – and would a renovated house in your area fetch a resale price that would result in your getting your money back?
“Then compare that with what you’d spend to knock down and rebuild the home you want on the same site. Traditionally it costs a little more to do so, but a brand new home in an established area is attractive and may prove a good investment if you plan to stay long term.”
Has the rot set in?
The condition of your current home is likely to have a bearing on which way you jump.
Widespread timber rot and termite damage that’s gone unchecked can make renovating a costly affair, before you spend a cent on visible improvements such as new kitchens and bathrooms or updated windows frames, door furniture and light fittings.
Similarly, if a dated design or poor lay-out are likely to dictate a significant structural overhaul then the wrecking ball may prove your most cost effective option.
After renting their home in North Nowra on the New South Wales’ south coast for three years, Lloyd and Anna Sharpe decided to purchase the nineties’ style brick-veneer home and undertake renovations to the entire house- starting with the kitchen. Read their story here.
If your home boasts good bones beneath an old-fashioned exterior, a fresh façade can be a simple and cost-effective way to bring it up to date.
The Scyon Walls™ range of concrete based cladding can be used to give the traditional 70s and 80s ‘brick boxes’ common to hundreds of Australian suburbs a makeover.
Moisture resistant and requiring less frequent painting than timber weatherboards, Scyon cladding can be deployed to create a range of looks, from traditional to cutting edge.
Scyon Linea™ weatherboards are a popular choice for those seeking the look and feel of traditional timber weatherboards, while Scyon Matrix™ is a preferred option for renovators looking for an edgy industrial vibe.
A contemporary, panellised cladding system, Scyon Matrix is ideal for creating a variety of modern, expressed-joint looks, from horizontal and vertical stripes to geometric patterns.
Matt & Kim of Channel 9’s Matt and Kim to the Rescue chose gave this old brick-box a new lease on life by cladding over the brick facade with Scyon Stria™.
Expanding the living space with an entertainer’s deck is another option for homeowners who’d prefer to work with what they have than start over.
For those who don’t fancy the upkeep associated with a traditional timber deck, a HardieDeck™ can be a hardwearing and low maintenance alternative.
Resistant to splintering, warping and rotting, HardieDeck planks can be painted to complement any colour scheme. In most cases, they’re cheaper and quicker to lay than timber and, installed correctly, come with a 10-year guarantee.