Knock Down Rebuild – KDR – How it works
What are the steps in the knockdown rebuild process?
The steps in the KDR process vary depending on the scale of demolition involved and whether you have chosen to go with a knock down rebuild expert or head down the bespoke design path.
Builders who specialise in knockdown and rebuild projects can guide you through the entire process from site inspection to demolition and construction, and generally have robust processes and dedicated quality assurance programs. They also have access to accredited demolition teams and a comprehensive understanding of local council permit and infrastructure requirements.
Knockdown Rebuild Step-By-Step Guide
Phase One – Knock Down Rebuild Investigation and Research
Step 1 Finding your knockdown rebuild property
If you have decided to stay on your existing block, then some of the hard work is already done, but make sure you have somewhere to stay during the demolition and construction process!
Maybe you are on the search for the perfect new location for the right price, there are a few things you might consider;
- Block size, orientation and site conditions,
- Planning regulations, such as bushfire and flooding conditions,
- Neighbouring properties for overlooking and accessibility issues,
- Council controls, such as covenants, easements and design overlays
It is a good idea to have already conducted some preliminary home construction cost research so that you have a realistic budget in mind for the full project.
Step 2 Choosing your builder
Choosing the right builder for your knockdown rebuild project is more than just choosing a design you favour. Many builders won’t allow modifications to their standard plans, which is often required to suit KDR projects. A knockdown rebuild specialist builder may already have a suite of home designs that are suited to this type of building program with pre-designed and costed options to suit your family’s needs. In addition, these designs may already consider the conditions of your block and relevant planning regulations and council requirements. This is a critical step in this process, setting the foundations for a successful KDR project.
Step 3 Site Inspection
Most builders will also request an initial deposit to secure pricing and to cover any property assessment costs. They will accompany you on a thorough assessment of your knockdown rebuild property to review its suitability, based on;
- Traffic management requirements
- Location of trees and vegetation
- Block slope, size, frontage and depth
- Existing driveway location
- Natural light and sun orientation
- Easements and setbacks
- Existing services locations
- Neighbouring properties
To understand the site characteristics your builder will organise a site survey, soil test and order property information from www.land.vic.gov.au.
Step 4 New Home Design
Your chosen builder will request a Contract of Sale of Land and copy of your Land Title (or proof of ownership). In addition, they may require funding details for the construction, which can be obtained from your lending institution.
Based on the results from your site inspection and tests you can finalise design options and house siting with your builder. Some builders have established display homes, meaning you can touch and feel the end product which can help with the design decisions. They can also provide you with colour swatches and samples to help you to make your dream home your own.
Step 5 Tender
Once you have selected your home and finishings, most builders will prepare a tender document, which is based on your soil test, site survey, preliminary engineering requirements and design customisation. In order to progress to the formal contract, you may be required to pay a further deposit
Step 6 Contract
The contract stage for your Knockdown rebuild project marks the start of your dream home coming to reality. It is important to make sure your builder uses an HIA Plain English Contract to ensure you are covered for the risks and responsibilities of home building and comply with specific laws and regulations.
As part of your HIA Contract you will receive detail drawings and six-star energy assessment reports, and may be required to pay a further deposit to your builder.
Step 7 Town Planning and Wild Fire Management Overlays
The Wildfire Management Overlay is a planning control that has been implemented to reduce the risk of wildfire and the threat to public safety and property. If your knockdown rebuild project has an overlay imposed, your builder will provide advice on how this impacts your new home and what permits are required.
Additionally, your site may require a Town Planning permit, which your builder will advise. It is a good idea to investigate the use of a Town Planning Specialist to assist with the application process and take the stress off you.
Phase Two – House Demolition phase
Step 8 Demolition Contractor and Permits
You will need to engage the services of a Demolition Contractor, separate to your builder to organise the demolition and removal of all structures on your site in preparation for your new home construction.
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.
Your Demolition Contractor will need to provide you with an approved Demolition Permit and Asbestos Clearance Certificate.
Step 9 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 details on how to report the current condition of the public assets with photographs if required. Read more on Asset Protection Permits in 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT KNOCK DOWN REBUILD COSTS
Step 10 Service disconnection and removal
In most cases, your nominated 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. Services to be disconnected include,
- Water – removal of mains waters, storm water and sewer drain lines,
- Gas – removal of all gas lines and meter,
- Telephone – removal of cabling,
- Pay TV – removal of cabling,
- Electricity – removal of all incoming supply lines.
Step 11 Demolition and waste removal
Once all the services have been removed from your site, your Demolition Contractor will proceed with the demolition of all structures and remove all debris, waste and materials from your home site. Important to note, this includes;
- Removal of all structures from the site above and below the ground, including front pathways and access areas,
- Removal of excess soil and garden matters,
You will be required to remove any trees (including stumps and root systems) within 10m of your new home siting. In some cases you may require an arborists report and tree removal permit before undertaking this component of the process.
You should take care to protect your water meter during the demolition process. Consider marking the location with stakes and protecting with a para-webbing fence. Take care to enable that the meter can be accessed at all times, check with your Demolition Contractor for further advice.
Temporary fencing is required during the entire demolition period, and may be included in your demolition project quote, to protect both your neighbouring properties from damage and to contain any waste material.
It is important to maintain the condition of your home site after the demolition is complete to ensure it remains clear and ready for construction to commence. Unfortunately, in some instances empty suburban blocks are susceptible to rubbish dumping, so it makes sense to keep an eye on this to ensure your new home project is not delayed.
Phase Three – Knockdown rebuild home construction
Step 12 Site Start
After demolition works, your builder may perform an additional site survey, soil test and re-establishment survey in order to finalise the slab design for your new home. You may be required to provide final unconditional loan approval details to your builder before your site works can commence.
Your builder will prepare your block with an excavator to create a level building platform – construction is about to start!
Step 13 Base stage
Your home footprint is laid out on your site and the initial works are completed for underground power and drains. Your builder will organise for a licensed Building Surveyor to inspect your concrete slab during this stage to ensure it meets industry standards. The pouring of your new home’s concrete slab marks the start of the construction journey, you are on your way to achieving your new home dreams.
Once your slab has been poured your builder may require a progress payment which is a percentage of your house price as stipulated in your HIA Contract.
Step 14 Framing stage
During the framing stage of your home construction, wall frames and roof trusses are delivered to site and erected in place. Your builder should organise another Building Surveyor inspection to check the framing quality on completion. As a milestone in the construction process, your builder may require a further progress payment as per your HIA Contract document.
Step 15 Lock up stage
Once the lock up stage is complete, your home really starts to take shape. Brickwork is complete, along with roof tiles, external doors and windows. A further progress payment may be required by your builder at this stage, in accordance with your signed HIA contract.
Step 16 Fixing stage
During the fixing stage, the focus is on the internal finishes, with plastering to walls and celings and installation of skirting boards and architraves. Internal doors and all cabinetry are put in place and the Building Surveyor performs another site inspection to confirm quality of work. Your HIA Contract contains details on any progress payments due at the completion of this phase.
Step 17 Completion stage
As the finishing touches are made to your home with paintwork, tiling, electrical and plumbing fit off, benchtops, door furniture (handles), and showerscreens and mirrors, it is time to start making arrangements for your upcoming moving day. Once all of the completion stage work has been installed, a Building Surveyor will inspect for the last time and issue a Certificate of Occupancy, which the owner may need to provide to their lending institution.
Step 18 Settlement
Upon payment of your final progress installment, your builder will hand over the keys to your brand new knockdown rebuild home, and you can finally look forward to the perfect house, in the perfect street – time to enjoy!
Step 19 Warranty Program
A comprehensive Warranty Program is a critical component of a quality builder’s value offering, for utmost peace of mind and confidence in your new home. Your builder should perform a warranty inspection after you have moved in, to ensure your expectations have been met in regards to quality and workmanship.
Step 20 Move in
It’s time to move in and get to know (or re-acquaint yourself) with your new neighbourhood. The time and effort you poured into your research of the ideal knockdown rebuild site and the most suited builder and demolition contractor, has definitely paid off as you enjoy life in your new dream home.