Knockdown Rebuild Costs

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10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT KNOCK DOWN REBUILD COSTS

How much does it cost to demolish a house?

Buying or building a new home is a big decision for anyone to make. And, just like any large investment, when evaluating the knock down rebuild process , it is important to make the right decision for you, based on an understanding of all the upfront and ongoing costs involved. Quite often the home demolition costs involved in a knockdown rebuild project are overlooked as the big picture of the dream home becomes the focus.

While your builder and demolition specialist will be able to guide you through a detailed list, here are ten of the key knockdown rebuild costs you may encounter in your project.

1. Site Inspection

Whether you are planning on demolishing your current home and rebuilding, or have found a new property, you should have your Builder accompany you on a Site Inspection to review all aspects of your knockdown rebuild project such as:

  • Services and connections locations,
  • Overhead powerlines and permits requirements,
  • Location of trees,
  • Neighbouring properties,
  • Traffic management requirements,
  • General accessibility,
  • OH&S requirements,
  • Orientation and setback (front/side/rear) requirements of new home,
  • Initial site survey and soil test.

Outcomes of this site inspection can impact the type, size and orientation of your new home, determine additional permit requirements and provide an estimate on the site works costs involved.

2. Demolition Contractor

You will need to engage the services of a licensed and insured Demolition Contractor for the demolition of a dwelling. The Demolition Contractor will demolish any existing structures (above and below the ground) and remove completely from your home demolition site.

In addition to the demolition of a dwelling, to prepare for the new construction, your contractor should;

  • Remove any excess soil and debris,
  • Obtain (and provide you with) a Demolition Permit,
  • Obtain (and provide you with) an Asbestos Clearance Certificate.

Some characteristics of your home demolition may contribute to additional costs, which your Demolition Contractor will provide advice on, such as,

  • Hazardous waste removal,
  • Location of waste management,
  • Neighbouring structures,
  • Land overlay restrictions,
  • Established trees.

Your local paper, signage on other home sites in your area and your local council, are good places to start when looking for a Demolition Contractor. It is important that you take the time to obtain a few comparison quotes and to check in with previous customers to verify the quality of their services. Some Demolition Contractors will include options to salvage and recycle many of the removed materials from your home, which is not only great for the environment but can also reduce the cost of the project in some cases.

3. Asset Protection Permit

An Asset Protection Permit is required for all building work (including demolition projects) to cover any damage that may occur to public assets (roads, footpaths, kerbs and channels, nature strips etc.) as a result of your knockdown rebuild.

Asset Protection Permits are organised through your local council and include the following steps;

  • Asset Protection Permit Application Form from your council, which will include details on how to report the current condition of the public assets with photographs if required,
  • Obtain a copy of your Demolition Contractor’s Public Liability Insurance Certificate,
  • Submit to Council for approval.

It’s important that you make sure this permit remains current for the entire duration of your demolition project.

4. Temporary Fencing

Temporary fencing is required around the perimeter of your site during demolition, to protect neighbouring properties and structures and to ensure public safety. Your Demolition Contractor should include this service in their quote.

Any temporary fencing required during the construction of your new home will be provided by your chosen Builder.

5. Established Fencing

Your existing property (or property you have bought) will probably have established perimeter fencing in place. During your site inspection with your Builder, this fencing should be reviewed to assess whether it needs to be removed during the demolition process. In the case where fencing needs to be removed, you will need to liaise with your neighbours to discuss options and shared costs.

ALL front fencing will need to be removed during demolition to enable easy access to the site from equipment and waste removal.

6. Water Meter

During your asset inspection, prior to obtaining your Asset Protection Permit and commencing demolition works, it is important to record (photographically) the current condition of your water meter. In some cases, as part of your permit application, the local water authority may also conduct an inspection to assess the condition prior to demolition.

A licensed plumber will need to be engaged to disconnect the internal plumbing from the downstream side of the meter. Your nominated Demolition Contractor should provide details on staking and protecting your meter from damage during the demolition process, ensuring it remains accessible at all times.

In some instances, your water meter may need to be relocated to accommodate for your new home. Your builder will advise if this is necessary for your project.

7. Tree Removal

When knocking down and rebuilding a home, in some cases, there will be the need to remove existing trees and vegetation from your new home site. Trees may need to be removed to enable access for demolishing works or construction of your new home.

Your Builder and Demolition Contractor will advise of what components need removal. Depending on the size and location of the tree and whether a vegetation overlay is in place, you may need to apply for a permit from your local council.

8. Service Disconnection and Removal

Prior to undertaking a demolition of a house, all services to the property must be disconnected. This includes water, gas, telephone, pay TV, and electricity services. In addition, many service provisions need to be removed;

  • Sewer lines – removed back to the tie location and sealed with a sewer cap,
  • Storm water drains – removed back to the legal point of discharge (if on the property) or to the title boundary,
  • Mains water lines – removed back to tapping point and sealed with a cap,
  • Gas supply – all lines and meter removed, including underground systems and capped by service provider,
  • Electrical supply – incoming supply removed back to the pole or pit by service provider.

In most cases, your Demolition Contractor will co-ordinate the service removal process with the necessary authorities and providers. Confirmation of removal of each service is often required by your Builder prior to the start of new construction.

9. Site Survey and Soil Test

As part of the site inspection with your Builder, a preliminary site survey may be required. This survey enables your Builder to;

  • Establish and mark property boundaries, size and shape,
  • Measure the home site’s contours to understand degree of slope/even ground,
  • Record locations of existing trees and vegetation.

In addition, soil test samples may be taken in order to calculate site works, slab design and the need for fill importation/exportation. In most cases, the site survey and soil test will need to be conducted again once your house demolition has been completed.

10. Maintenance

Once your house demolition has been completed, it is important to maintain your block to ensure it is clear of debris and ready for construction to commence. Unfortunately, often rubbish and garden refuse is dumped on vacant blocks, which will need to monitored in order to not delay your rebuild project.


Check out our Knockdown Rebuild Calculator here.

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