While knocking down an existing property sounds complicated and expensive, you may be surprised to learn that often the cost of starting fresh and building a brand new home is comparable, or even less expensive, than undertaking extensive renovations.

1.    Be very clear about what is staying and what is going.
Demolishing a home does not mean you have to completely clear the block. You may have a pool that needs to stay, a favourite tree, a shed or other outbuilding you want to retain. By making this clear from the start you ensure no unfortunate event occurs during the demolition, but can also ensure when sourcing contractors your quotes are comparable and have a well-defined scope of works.

2.    Know who is handling permits and disconnection of services
Before any activity takes place on your block you want to be very clear with your contractor about who is responsible for permit fees and organising for the disconnection of services. This includes the disconnection and removal of the power and gas meter, the disconnection of the telephone service and terminating the water service at the existing meter. Being clear about these from the outset makes for a smoother process down the track.

3.    Understand other possible fees and charges
If your contractor is applying for a demolition permit from your local council it is wise to ensure all other potential fees or charges have been accounted for. A reputable builder will help you understand what is required, but for your own peace of mind, it is good to know that there may be fees for things like verge tree protection, the removal of boundary fences and Council footpath and verge bonds to consider.

4.    Timing is everything!
Once you have a clear understanding of the costs, the final consideration is the timing. You want to ensure that you have your council approval for your new home before demolition commences. This will minimise the time between moving out, demolishing the house and commencing construction of your new home. It is important to partner with a builder who can help coordinate this for you and ensure any time delays are kept to a minimum.