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Knock down and rebuild advice

By lyche7 - 22 March 2015 18

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We are looking to knock down and rebuild in Hackett and is wondering if anyone had any experience building with Hotondo Homes and G.J. Gardner Homes.

There is very little discussion about them on RiotACT and would very much appreciate any input. Thank you.

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Knock down and rebuild advice
vintage123 5:49 pm 23 Mar 15

Rollersk8r said :

vintage123 said :

Hi there. Yes I have had direct experience with both Hotondo and C.J Gardner. Unfortunately all of my plans did not eventuate as it was going to be too expensive. The quotes were about twice the price of our budget. There is nothing really complicated about knock down rebuilding versus just building, apart from one extra task of demolition. Be careful not to over capitalise. Building in canberra is frightfully expensive, more often than not it is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper just to sell your current house and purchase a bigger and newer version of an existing house in your suburb. The best thing about buying existing is that you can actually see what you are buying and there are minimal surprises and minimal cost shocks.

Sorry to hijack the OP but you’ve touched on some questions we’re currently considering. We have probably overspent in renovating kitchen, laundry and bathroom in our poky 3 bedroom house – and now want to extend. The bank have offered to loan us a stupidly large amount of money.

I know at the end of day you just have to work things out for yourself – but how do you decide if you’re overcaptialisihng? Who can advise on this?

If your spending more than what it is worth in money value then it is overcapitalisation. However like others have pointed out, if you intend to live there for some time then you have that time for it to increase in value, in which case the eventual investment would not be a negative return. That said, it is important to consider opportunity costs and these are the opportunities to do other things with that money over the same duration. If you borrow the money for the work then the opportunity cost consists of the capital as well as the interest you are paying on the loan. I can go into further detail if you would like.

rubaiyat 4:50 pm 23 Mar 15

All the TV shows, except maybe Grand Designs, create the myth that we are all natural born architect/builders and somehow can get around the builders to turn a profit on renovating an existing building.

Truth is everyone else thinks the same and underestimates the cost and pain of doing the work, and will never pay you what it actually cost. Sell them the dream, not the usually disappointing end result.

If you can find a competent and honest builder in Canberra, assuming there is such a thing, I doubt you will be letting anyone else in on the secret, you’d be keeping them to yourself.

watto23 4:37 pm 23 Mar 15

Maya123 said :

watto23 said :

Rollersk8r said :

vintage123 said :

Hi there. Yes I have had direct experience with both Hotondo and C.J Gardner. Unfortunately all of my plans did not eventuate as it was going to be too expensive. The quotes were about twice the price of our budget. There is nothing really complicated about knock down rebuilding versus just building, apart from one extra task of demolition. Be careful not to over capitalise. Building in canberra is frightfully expensive, more often than not it is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper just to sell your current house and purchase a bigger and newer version of an existing house in your suburb. The best thing about buying existing is that you can actually see what you are buying and there are minimal surprises and minimal cost shocks.

Sorry to hijack the OP but you’ve touched on some questions we’re currently considering. We have probably overspent in renovating kitchen, laundry and bathroom in our poky 3 bedroom house – and now want to extend. The bank have offered to loan us a stupidly large amount of money.

I know at the end of day you just have to work things out for yourself – but how do you decide if you’re overcaptialisihng? Who can advise on this?

A simple rule for over capitalising is work out how much your home cost, how much you’ve spent on renovations and look at what a similar property is selling for in the suburb. No point buying a place for $400k, spending $50k on renovations and selling it for $450k or less. You can even add your own time into it, especially if you are doing it to make money.

This also depends on how long you plan to live in that house. It’s different for instance, if you plan on living there five years to twenty plus years.

Of course but if you renovate a kitchen and live there for 20 years then it will be due another renovation 🙂 but the general formula applies if you do the work and say sell within a 5 years while the renos are still new and modern.

Ezy 4:25 pm 23 Mar 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Ezy said :

Maya123 said :

but I now have lots of Canberra bricks, after I cleaned them, for paving. I suspect though they were recycled bricks when they went into the chimney, so now they are being recycled a third time. I picked up and wheelbarrowed the old bricks down the front stairs and out of the house

Nice work. We did a very similar thing with a knockdown of an old garage next door to us in Manuka which was built using Canberra reds. A quick conversation with the foreman and we were allowed to remove them before they got started the next day – otherwise they were going to throw them out.

A few phone calls and we had a team there at 4am removing them from the rubble. They were put to good use!

Throw them out… yeah right. They on sell them to landscape gardeners for use in paving in older suburbs.

They did require a lot of cleaning up though. It was probably in the too hard basket for them.

justin heywood 3:23 pm 23 Mar 15

rubaiyat said :

Second tip use a builder with “Honest” in his name or slogan. That’s always a guarantee of good work, on time and no dragging out of work whilst he does other projects first, at your expense.

I’d probably avoid the ones that say they are dishonest.

Good advice

Third tip: Don’t make any decisions based on anonymous blog contributions. In short, you’re on your own!

Seriously though, as any viewer of Grand Designs type shows can tell you, knock-down rebuilds are not for the faint-hearted nor for people without deep pockets. Even the local building companies who specialise in knock-down rebuilds don’t promote it as a cheap option.

In my opinion, unless the existing building is a worthless wreck, it only makes sense if you really want to live in a certain location.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 1:47 pm 23 Mar 15

Ezy said :

Maya123 said :

but I now have lots of Canberra bricks, after I cleaned them, for paving. I suspect though they were recycled bricks when they went into the chimney, so now they are being recycled a third time. I picked up and wheelbarrowed the old bricks down the front stairs and out of the house

Nice work. We did a very similar thing with a knockdown of an old garage next door to us in Manuka which was built using Canberra reds. A quick conversation with the foreman and we were allowed to remove them before they got started the next day – otherwise they were going to throw them out.

A few phone calls and we had a team there at 4am removing them from the rubble. They were put to good use!

Throw them out… yeah right. They on sell them to landscape gardeners for use in paving in older suburbs.

Ezy 12:50 pm 23 Mar 15

Maya123 said :

but I now have lots of Canberra bricks, after I cleaned them, for paving. I suspect though they were recycled bricks when they went into the chimney, so now they are being recycled a third time. I picked up and wheelbarrowed the old bricks down the front stairs and out of the house

Nice work. We did a very similar thing with a knockdown of an old garage next door to us in Manuka which was built using Canberra reds. A quick conversation with the foreman and we were allowed to remove them before they got started the next day – otherwise they were going to throw them out.

A few phone calls and we had a team there at 4am removing them from the rubble. They were put to good use!

rubaiyat 12:36 pm 23 Mar 15

Make sure that your builder has a “Gold Builders Licence”.

That way when you meet in court you’ll be up against a QC!

Second tip use a builder with “Honest” in his name or slogan. That’s always a guarantee of good work, on time and no dragging out of work whilst he does other projects first, at your expense.

I’d probably avoid the ones that say they are dishonest.

Maya123 12:34 pm 23 Mar 15

watto23 said :

Rollersk8r said :

vintage123 said :

Hi there. Yes I have had direct experience with both Hotondo and C.J Gardner. Unfortunately all of my plans did not eventuate as it was going to be too expensive. The quotes were about twice the price of our budget. There is nothing really complicated about knock down rebuilding versus just building, apart from one extra task of demolition. Be careful not to over capitalise. Building in canberra is frightfully expensive, more often than not it is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper just to sell your current house and purchase a bigger and newer version of an existing house in your suburb. The best thing about buying existing is that you can actually see what you are buying and there are minimal surprises and minimal cost shocks.

Sorry to hijack the OP but you’ve touched on some questions we’re currently considering. We have probably overspent in renovating kitchen, laundry and bathroom in our poky 3 bedroom house – and now want to extend. The bank have offered to loan us a stupidly large amount of money.

I know at the end of day you just have to work things out for yourself – but how do you decide if you’re overcaptialisihng? Who can advise on this?

A simple rule for over capitalising is work out how much your home cost, how much you’ve spent on renovations and look at what a similar property is selling for in the suburb. No point buying a place for $400k, spending $50k on renovations and selling it for $450k or less. You can even add your own time into it, especially if you are doing it to make money.

This also depends on how long you plan to live in that house. It’s different for instance, if you plan on living there five years to twenty plus years.

Maya123 12:17 pm 23 Mar 15

I did a knock-down rebuild. I advertised the old wooden house in the hope that someone would come and take it away and reduce knock-down expenses, and recycle it. I had over thirty inquires of interest, wanting to truck the house to many different places; country towns, farms. I was very fortunate in the person who got the house. Very efficient and professional. He was moving to a country town because of family and he organised the removal very efficiently, and then cleaned up the block as per the agreement. He had to organise council permission; get the asbestos cement removed (the country counsel insisted on this) in the bathroom, kitchen and eaves before removal (at his expense) etc. No money changed hands, but I saved several thousand dollars this way and the old house was recycled. I did help with the dismantling of the old brick chimney – sooty job – but I now have lots of Canberra bricks, after I cleaned them, for paving. I suspect though they were recycled bricks when they went into the chimney, so now they are being recycled a third time. I picked up and wheelbarrowed the old bricks down the front stairs and out of the house, as others did the worse job of breaking up the old chimney.
Some things I still had to pay to have removed; such as the over engineered old driveway and the asbestos cement garage. The removal people people told me in amazement how well the driveway had been built. A layer of concrete slabs from a monocrete house, then a (double?) layer of bricks, then a very thick layer of concrete.
The only reason I had a house built, was that I wanted a solar house and there are very few of these; especially as I wanted a very efficient one. Not large (it’s much smaller than most modern builds) but high quality. Otherwise, I would have bought an existing house and then perhaps given it a new kitchen and bathroom (if it needed this) and insulated it better all round. I could also have double glazed the windows. It is not worth knocking down a house to just build an ordinary modern house, if that’s all you want. You might as well just go buy a better existing house and move. It would save a lot of expense and save us from another McMansion.

watto23 12:14 pm 23 Mar 15

Rollersk8r said :

vintage123 said :

Hi there. Yes I have had direct experience with both Hotondo and C.J Gardner. Unfortunately all of my plans did not eventuate as it was going to be too expensive. The quotes were about twice the price of our budget. There is nothing really complicated about knock down rebuilding versus just building, apart from one extra task of demolition. Be careful not to over capitalise. Building in canberra is frightfully expensive, more often than not it is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper just to sell your current house and purchase a bigger and newer version of an existing house in your suburb. The best thing about buying existing is that you can actually see what you are buying and there are minimal surprises and minimal cost shocks.

Sorry to hijack the OP but you’ve touched on some questions we’re currently considering. We have probably overspent in renovating kitchen, laundry and bathroom in our poky 3 bedroom house – and now want to extend. The bank have offered to loan us a stupidly large amount of money.

I know at the end of day you just have to work things out for yourself – but how do you decide if you’re overcaptialisihng? Who can advise on this?

A simple rule for over capitalising is work out how much your home cost, how much you’ve spent on renovations and look at what a similar property is selling for in the suburb. No point buying a place for $400k, spending $50k on renovations and selling it for $450k or less. You can even add your own time into it, especially if you are doing it to make money.

Ezy 12:02 pm 23 Mar 15

I would have a chat to Nick at NJR Homes (http://njrhomes.com.au). Nick is a very honest owner of his business who will give advice that is specific to your situation, rather than talking to you like you have a bank account of a hollywood millionaire.

Nick also has a very keen eye on the real estate market and will advise if he thinks you may be over capitalising and offer alternatives.

Throw him a line!

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 11:20 am 23 Mar 15

vintage123 said :

Hi there. Yes I have had direct experience with both Hotondo and C.J Gardner. Unfortunately all of my plans did not eventuate as it was going to be too expensive. The quotes were about twice the price of our budget. There is nothing really complicated about knock down rebuilding versus just building, apart from one extra task of demolition. Be careful not to over capitalise. Building in canberra is frightfully expensive, more often than not it is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper just to sell your current house and purchase a bigger and newer version of an existing house in your suburb. The best thing about buying existing is that you can actually see what you are buying and there are minimal surprises and minimal cost shocks.

Having built, bought and renovated, I’d suggest that rebuilding in Canberra is usually fairly pointless. You’re better off finding a house something more like the size/location you want and then renovating it up to a better standard. Building costs a bomb in Canberra, and it’s very hard to get something that is good quality.

Rollersk8r 9:48 am 23 Mar 15

vintage123 said :

Hi there. Yes I have had direct experience with both Hotondo and C.J Gardner. Unfortunately all of my plans did not eventuate as it was going to be too expensive. The quotes were about twice the price of our budget. There is nothing really complicated about knock down rebuilding versus just building, apart from one extra task of demolition. Be careful not to over capitalise. Building in canberra is frightfully expensive, more often than not it is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper just to sell your current house and purchase a bigger and newer version of an existing house in your suburb. The best thing about buying existing is that you can actually see what you are buying and there are minimal surprises and minimal cost shocks.

Sorry to hijack the OP but you’ve touched on some questions we’re currently considering. We have probably overspent in renovating kitchen, laundry and bathroom in our poky 3 bedroom house – and now want to extend. The bank have offered to loan us a stupidly large amount of money.

I know at the end of day you just have to work things out for yourself – but how do you decide if you’re overcaptialisihng? Who can advise on this?

vintage123 8:59 pm 22 Mar 15

Hi there. Yes I have had direct experience with both Hotondo and C.J Gardner. Unfortunately all of my plans did not eventuate as it was going to be too expensive. The quotes were about twice the price of our budget. There is nothing really complicated about knock down rebuilding versus just building, apart from one extra task of demolition. Be careful not to over capitalise. Building in canberra is frightfully expensive, more often than not it is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper just to sell your current house and purchase a bigger and newer version of an existing house in your suburb. The best thing about buying existing is that you can actually see what you are buying and there are minimal surprises and minimal cost shocks.

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