7 reasons to knock your house down and start again

  • Vernacular Homes - 7 Reasons To Knock Down Your House

It might seem rather extreme to suggest knocking down a perfectly good home and rebuilding it, particularly if it appears structurally sound. After all, why not add an extension, convert the loft or redesign the internal layout?

In many cases, working with what you have is certainly the sensible option. However, if the project you have in mind is likely to be lengthy and costly, then here are 7 good reasons why demolition and rebuild is definitely something to consider.

1. What’s left of the original structure?

A large renovation project involving tasks such as knocking down parts of the building, replacing the roof, renewing windows or moving internal walls, for example, involves stripping away much of the original framework of the house. In addition, it is most likely that you will be stripping out and replacing all electrics, plumbing, heating as well as the kitchen and bathrooms.

In many cases, there could be less work and cost involved in a full demolition.

The question you might ask yourself is:  Is what is left of the original structure going to be of significantly higher value than the VAT?  See point 7 below for a cost-effective idea.

2. Alterations could affect the existing structure

Significant changes to your home could necessitate work and materials such as additional timbers and steels to ensure structural integrity that don’t actually add any obvious value to the building.

Depending on the type of work you’re doing, you might also need to add ventilation, fire safety aspects and damp proofing. If your existing house has old materials and difficult spaces to work with, installation of these support and safety measures could be complicated – meaning it could be more cost effective to simply start afresh.

3. Poor original build quality

It’s very common for refurbishments to uncover unforeseen issues, particularly in older houses. Leaky pipes, asbestos and inadequate foundations are just some of the nasty surprises that will need rectifying.

Similarly, older properties will be less energy efficient than newer builds; this is definitely an element that will need upgrading. Retro-fixing these types of issues can be costly.

4. Make the most of your plot

Have you ever wished your house was set back from the road a little more, or faced a different direction to make the most of the sunlight? Although a refurb can incorporate some changes to address these issues, such as adding extra windows, the fundamental position of the house will not change.

Starting from scratch means you can move the house to the very best spot on your plot, in accordance with planning permission. It could also potentially free up some land which could be sold to fund the new build, or used to build a larger home, annex or other useful building; garages, for example.

5. Insulation is better and cheaper in a modern home

New builds are far better at keeping homes warm, as they must be built with cavity walls to comply with insulation regulations. Some older properties are built with single-skin exterior walls and therefore have no cavities to fill. Although there are modern solutions to insulate these types of walls, they can be costly and less effective.

6. A new build could be worth more

This very much depends on the type of house you’re replacing. There will always be buyers who are willing to pay a premium for the charm and original features of a period property.

However, a new build will be built to modern regulations, making it more energy efficient and therefore cheaper to run, as well as being fitted out with the latest technology, fixtures and fittings; all of which are very attractive qualities to buyers and will be reflected in the price.

7. VAT is not charged on new builds

Another very good reason for opting for a demolition and rebuild is that new build homes are VAT zero-rated. This means that a £500k spend on a refurb will attract a VAT charge of £100k, a total cost of £600k. The same budget spent on a new build would not include a VAT charge meaning the extra £100k can be spent on the build itself, materials and furnishing your new home. You’d have £600k to spend.

We work with clients from design stage, through to planning and building, whether refurbishing or constructing a completely new dwelling. We’re experienced in all types and ages of properties and can help you decide the best option for your project, ensuring you create the beautiful home you’ve always dreamed of.


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