The time has come where you have outgrown the family home, you just need an extra bedroom here, another bathroom there, and a kids’ play room would be good too. The fact is, renovating is an expensive exercise and there can be a degree of uncertainty around final project costs and completion dates – a lot of variables to consider. Another perspective to take is a complete demolition of your existing home (or maybe one you have just acquired) and the rebuild of a brand new home. The benefits of locked in prices, contract completion dates and no compromise on design and features is pretty enticing!
But where do you start to look for the right builder? The time you invest into researching your builder choice has a big impact on your project success. You will probably only do this once and will be working closely with your chosen builder for around 6 months, so it is important your choice is made after a check list of due diligence.
1. Go with a specialist
Knockdown rebuild projects are very different to a standard new home built on a vacant block. For starters, the demolition process is a whole extra stage that is added, also, there are neighbours to manage, existing infrastructure to protect and specific council regulations to abide by. There are a lot of variables to manage, so it pays to go with a builder that specialises in knockdown rebuild projects. You might notice some projects in progress in your area that will give you a list to start with. It is worth considering a volume builder, as many of them have specialist KDR teams, so you benefit from an expert team as well as accessing more efficient pricing due to the strength of their supplier partnerships.
2. Check out their other projects
A knockdown rebuild specialist will have lots of past projects for you to check out, this is a big investment so why not check out their other customers? Ask your builder to let you know other completed and in-progress KDR projects that you can drive past and have a look.
3. Fixed Price HIA Contract
Choosing a builder that works with fixed price HIA Building Contracts gives you peace of mind that as your construction progresses you will not have to source further funding, there are no surprises, no unexpected costs. In addition, your completion date is also agreed (with the exception of weather delays), which again provides confidence in your moving plans.
A knockdown specialist builder will have a defined communication process that will include regular status updates, liaison with neighbouring properties and scheduled site visits. Some volume builders even provide online tracking programs to keep you up-to-date and let you know what to expect each step of the way.
5. Quality Assurance
A reputable knockdown rebuild builder should have a strict quality assurance process that will involve mandatory site audits by external quality inspectors combined with an internal audit process and customer site visits. It is a good idea to ask your shortlist of builders what their quality assurance process involves and details of the internal and external inspection process.
6. Warranty Program
Understanding your builder’s warranty program should be an essential item on your research checklist, of course it is no use looking at this once the home has been completed! A detailed warranty process demonstrates that your builder values your satisfaction even after they hand over the keys. A full warranty inspection conducted a short period after you move in, will give you the opportunity to discuss any elements of your new home and schedule any required maintenance.
If you are about to embark on a knockdown rebuild project it is important to find your builder and sign an HIA Building contract BEFORE you make any start on the demolition. This ensures your project keeps on track and confirms that a builder has agreed that your block is suitable for a new home to be re-built.