Should I Renovate or Rebuild a New Custom Home?


What to consider when you buy a new home or decide to make-over an existing one, and how to plan your decision making well

When you’ve found a neglected property, it’s important to compare the pros and cons of renovating or rebuilding. Each comes with its own set of complications as well as perks, so you need to plan ahead to get the most out of your project.

It might seem counter-productive to take a good house and demolish it to build a new one in its place. Many might also imagine that renovating would be the cheaper option. In some circumstances this is true, and a lot of people choose to take the home renovation route to create the ideal living space for them.

However, in many areas of the Hunter Valley and Newcastle, demolishing and rebuilding the property works out to be the most cost-effective solution. Considering the broader infrastructure and housing plans developed by the Australian governments Department of Planning can help you choose a home that reflects and is in sync with the greater plan for the region. Designing or renovating a home that fits into future region planning helps guarantee relevance, suitability, compliance and ultimately increased housing value. Consulting these types of information sources is helpful, because they have already conducted so much research into the most appropriate types of homes for the area you’re planning to build or renovate in – use the free knowledge!

Occasionally, a property comes on the market that is rundown and would require more than a fresh coat of paint to get it up to standard. Knocking the property down is often the best way to secure your perfect location and allow your dream property to rise from its ashes.

The professionals at Arnold Property are here to share their expertise to help you decide which route is best for you to create your designer home. Let’s take a look at the factors that you should consider when choosing to renovate an existing home or rebuild a custom home in the Hunter Valley or Newcastle.

Project duration

Rebuilding or adding extensions can be time-consuming and stressful so if you are looking to move into your new home as quickly as possible, renovating could be the right solution for you.

Refurbishing your home requires less exterior work and as a result, there are fewer regulations to comply with—speeding up your project timeline significantly.

On the other hand, houses don’t last forever. Many of the homes now available on the market in the Hunter Valley and Newcastle were built during the Australian property boom in the late 1980s when property was designed and constructed to suit the lifestyle of a different generation – one where technology and energy efficiency weren’t considered top priorities in the home.



Budget is always important when you’re making a choice between a renovation and a rebuild. While building your dream home isn’t always a profit-making exercise, making sure the numbers add up should play a role in determining if an occupied plot is worthy of your time to redevelop it.

If you’re considering some basic modifications, then it’s unlikely to make  financial sense to knock your house down. Updating an old kitchen, fixing up the garage or other smaller projects can still increase the value of your home without breaking the bank.

However, if your new home requires a lot of refurbishment then a rebuild may offer you some substantial savings. Just remember – once you tear your house down, there’s no turning back. Make sure you have your budget carefully allocated with additional money for unexpected costs, use budgeting tools to help you get started.

Design flexibility

Design flexibility

Renovating a property into a much-loved home can be a rewarding experience. But unlike rebuilding from scratch, renovation projects do not start with a blank canvas and consequently offer more challenges.

In contrast, a new home can be designed to reflect your individual needs and design preferences, along with the advantages of modern methods of construction and improved environmental and acoustic performance.

Arnold Property can give great advice to help you to optimise the flexibility of your home, whether that’s through adding additional lighting, increased energy efficiency or designing a custom-built home for a musician, chef or nature-enthusiast.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors

Many of our clients have a difficult decision to make when calculating whether it is more eco-friendly to renovate an existing property or to knock it down and build a greener home from scratch.

Demolishing an older property and rebuilding a new one may offer time, cost and design advantages. But at what cost to the environment?

Research has shown that less energy is used to renovate a property than to demolish and rebuild, depending on the extent of the proposed work.

However, even if you refurbish an existing property and bring it up to modern standards with improved energy efficiency, the truth is, it’s still likely to use more energy and cost you more in the long run.

New homes built with high-performance building systems are much more energy efficient with built-in sustainable energy technologies and energy-generating equipment to help offset the running costs.

Increased property value

Increased property value

While a new room adds to the functionality of your home and increases the overall value of your property, a rebuild enables you to completely redesign your house into a unique, well-planned and energy-efficient home.

A modern home that is built for the future and is located in an established community makes it more desirable to potential buyers and therefore more valuable if you decide to put it on the market in the future.

When planning renovations or considering a home rebuild, it’s wise to think about the kinds of features and functions the house might need to have installed to still be perceived as having relevant features in a future housing market – this will sure up even more home value. For example, if you’re rebuilding your home it would be smart to think about ways that home functions could be automated and controlled on a one-touch panel, with remote options – things such as heating, cooling, garage doors, internet connectivity, music, television, phone systems, blinds and lighting. This makes it tech-friendly, more energy efficient, and appealing to all types of buyers – in particular families, the elderly, or those with disabilities.

Looking to renovate or rebuild in the Hunter Valley or Newcastle?

When it comes to renovating or rebuilding, there are no right or wrong concepts and the choice is subjective in relation to the state of the pre-existing property and personal preference of the homeowner. However, the task of modifying or rebuilding an asset like a house is by no means a small endeavour, and comes with significant risk if it’s approached without respect and consideration. Owners should always get professional advice and guidance from trusted authorities like their architects, tradespeople, financiers and real estate professionals when making final choices.

If you’re considering buying a renovation project in the Hunter Valley or Newcastle, and are deliberating on whether a renovation or rebuild is best, the team at Arnold Property would love the opportunity to help you plan your custom-built property.

Contact us today on (02) 4969 2600 or through our online contact form and a member of our team will be in touch with you soon.

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