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Knock Down Rebuilds in Canberra region

Ezzlaa 22 August 2011 25

Does anyone have local knowledge or first-hand experience of a knock down rebuild in Canberra?

I have done as much market research as I can but the industry being what it is in Canberra (i.e. good and bad folk), I would love to hear what people’s experiences and recommendations are/have been?

Quality is more important than cost, but not to the exclusion of value for money.

Any advice or hints would be great!


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25 Responses to Knock Down Rebuilds in Canberra region
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troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 3:40 pm 22 Aug 11

Blackett Homes amongst others offer a proven track record in the field. Just in the last few months another mob whose name escapes me have completed a very efficient one on the corner of Savige Street and Blamey Cres, Campbell; from what I can see there were no delays in the project.

whoodzzz whoodzzz 5:00 pm 22 Aug 11

are you looking to knock down an average property and replace it with something that stands out? Or is it more of a case of getting rid of a smaller house and building something new? Dual occupying?

Personally, I’d almost always try and renovate rather than build afresh as the approval process is less, the overall cost will (generally) be less and updating the current house is more emotionally easy for people.

Sir_Orangepeel Sir_Orangepeel 9:16 pm 22 Aug 11

please don’t tell me you plan to knock down a beautiful old home for one of those ugly concrete fantasies on every cover of the Canberra times property insert!

Innovation Innovation 10:29 pm 22 Aug 11

We knocked down (aka removed on the back of a truck) and rebuilt. There are pros and cons both ways. Our old house was too tired, would have taken a lot of work (if it was even possible) to get the proper solar aspect and add sufficient internal thermal mass. I suspect too that it is more cost effectve for builders to start from scratch than try to work around old features.

If you’re not sure of what the ultimate valuation would be either way it might be worth getting professional advice. An old house near us has been extended a least three times and has just had a pool installed. They would have spent a lot more money in total but I’m pretty sure our house would be worth a lot more based on sale prices in the area (ie those houses are still considered old non-heritage houses).

MissClearwater MissClearwater 2:53 am 23 Aug 11

Are you looking for designers, architects or builders?
I can recommend Ryall Design. Young pair of house designers interested in sustainability and have a proven track record. Also quite affordable and very capable.

bryansworld bryansworld 8:44 am 23 Aug 11

Please don’t add to the growing number of anonymous post-modern beige boxes in Canberra!

Drumroll Drumroll 8:47 am 23 Aug 11

There are a couple of builders in the Crace display village that have a proven track record of quality knock down and rebuild work.

CoffinRX2 CoffinRX2 10:25 am 23 Aug 11

+1 for Blackett Homes

poetix poetix 11:03 am 23 Aug 11

Sir_Orangepeel said :

please don’t tell me you plan to knock down a beautiful old home for one of those ugly concrete fantasies on every cover of the Canberra times property insert!

+1
Please don’t murder a nice old cottage, built back when people were content to live in a modest house. You don’t need to have five bedrooms for three people, and a disgusting portico which says ‘I have no taste whatsoever’. Loudly.

Why do people buy in the Inner North or Narrabundah just to turn it into Gungahlin?

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:49 am 23 Aug 11

poetix said :

Why do people buy in the Inner North or Narrabundah just to turn it into Gungahlin?

As Jeremy Clarkson once said, if you buy a Honda, you end up with a Honda. The full context probably won’t make sense if you haven’t seen the TG episode in question, but it was the first thing I thought of when I read your question, haha.

Aside from that, I do agree with you, which is why we are renovating/extending our 1950s house.

We’re part way through and I can safely say it would be much quicker to either knock down/rebuild or find somewhere else to live during the process. As it happens we don’t have a spare $500+ p/w to rent somewhere so have to accept the process will take longer.

If money isn’t an object for the OP and he/she doesn’t want the (potential) pain of enduring the architect process then Better Building is probably one of the more established builders for this type of work.

Their current display home is in Yarralumla. They’ve been around for a long time (they built a house for my outlaws in Nicholls back in the mid 90s), so you have as much peace of mind as you can probably hope for.

poetix poetix 4:25 pm 23 Aug 11

Holden Caulfield said :

poetix said :

Why do people buy in the Inner North or Narrabundah just to turn it into Gungahlin?

As Jeremy Clarkson once said, if you buy a Honda, you end up with a Honda. The full context probably won’t make sense if you haven’t seen the TG episode in question, but it was the first thing I thought of when I read your question, haha.

Aside from that, I do agree with you, which is why we are renovating/extending our 1950s house.

We’re part way through and I can safely say it would be much quicker to either knock down/rebuild or find somewhere else to live during the process. As it happens we don’t have a spare $500+ p/w to rent somewhere so have to accept the process will take longer.

If money isn’t an object for the OP and he/she doesn’t want the (potential) pain of enduring the architect process then Better Building is probably one of the more established builders for this type of work.

Their current display home is in Yarralumla. They’ve been around for a long time (they built a house for my outlaws in Nicholls back in the mid 90s), so you have as much peace of mind as you can probably hope for.

Honda…I dream of a Honda…The People’s Maserati, we call Hondas round here.

cat001 cat001 4:49 pm 24 Feb 12

I do not recommend Blackett homes just had house built from they very sloppy work bad customer service regret very much.

cranky cranky 6:49 pm 24 Feb 12

Did a bulldoze job (almost) on a late 60’s Jennings in South Woden about 8 years ago. Location is excellent. Jennings built crap. The labourer basically pushed the brick walls over. There was little cement. A good design, and a builder who (slowly but eventually) completed the task, has resulted in a flawed but much enjoyed home.

Major gripe was that variations were not documented, priced and agreed on. I did not need a Sherrif serving a summons for money the builder had independently decided we owed him!

As a result, there is no way I will mention his name. Still crossed off my Christmas card list!

But I get a buzz driving up the street 🙂

yellowsnow yellowsnow 9:46 pm 24 Feb 12

whoodzzz said :

Personally, I’d almost always try and renovate rather than build afresh as the approval process is less, the overall cost will (generally) be less and updating the current house is more emotionally easy for people.

Actually, i hear that for knockdown-rebuild single dwellings there’s hardly an approval process at all. You just pay off – oops sorry – I mean employ a private certifier to approve your plans and away you go. No need to go to ACTPLA, to consult with neighbours etc. The first they know about your plans is seven days before the bulldozers move in – they can contact the certifier to express their concerns but their chances of stopping or changing the build are zero (this is what senior ACT govt officials actually told a forum earlier this month).

This is the real reason hideous, ginormous McMansions are rapidly taking over established suburbs. And also the reason why the quality/design of houses in new suburbs is often so crap. Very few checks and balances involved, except when it comes to multiple dwelling developments (when a DA and ACTPLA involvement is actually required).

Builders and their certifier mates are probably laughing all the way to the bank.

saraphine saraphine 4:01 pm 22 Jun 13

thanks riotact…couldn’t agree more re “knock down rebuilds in canberra region” ! ugly, excessive mcmansions…and beige, beige, beige. and what’s with the ‘european laundry’ in these ‘renovations’? another pretention…ironically from a time in europe when couldn’t afford to have separate laundry..or toilet..so would put both in the kitchen..yuk.
give me a simple, functional, liveable ex govvy house that i can purchase without having to sign my life away, any day.
yes far too many, large ugly homes in canberra…and while the other half of population is homeless or below poverty line…shame canberra, shame.

AsparagusSyndrome AsparagusSyndrome 4:58 pm 22 Jun 13

yellowsnow said :

whoodzzz said :

…. Very few checks and balances involved, except when it comes to multiple dwelling developments (when a DA and ACTPLA involvement is actually required).

Builders and their certifier mates are probably laughing all the way to the bank.

You don’t get rich involving the banks. They lend it to each other. Any society sub-group knows that.

54-11 54-11 6:34 pm 22 Jun 13

yellowsnow said :

whoodzzz said :

Personally, I’d almost always try and renovate rather than build afresh as the approval process is less, the overall cost will (generally) be less and updating the current house is more emotionally easy for people.

Actually, i hear that for knockdown-rebuild single dwellings there’s hardly an approval process at all. You just pay off – oops sorry – I mean employ a private certifier to approve your plans and away you go. No need to go to ACTPLA, to consult with neighbours etc. The first they know about your plans is seven days before the bulldozers move in – they can contact the certifier to express their concerns but their chances of stopping or changing the build are zero (this is what senior ACT govt officials actually told a forum earlier this month).

Builders and their certifier mates are probably laughing all the way to the bank.

Dodgy Certifier Joseph Fekete (see http://www.acat.act.gov.au/judgment/view/5110/title/construction-occupations-registrar-fekete) is earning $100,000 per month, plus all the kickbacks inherent in a private certification scheme. Money for jam. He gets caught (again), and ACAT fines him $1,000. Some deterrence.

And agree with some of the comments above – for God’s sake don’t demolish a sound, older cottage and replace it with a beige abomination, like Andrew Kefford did.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 9:20 pm 22 Jun 13

saraphine said :

thanks riotact…couldn’t agree more re “knock down rebuilds in canberra region” ! ugly, excessive mcmansions…and beige, beige, beige. and what’s with the ‘european laundry’ in these ‘renovations’? another pretention…ironically from a time in europe when couldn’t afford to have separate laundry..or toilet..so would put both in the kitchen..yuk.
give me a simple, functional, liveable ex govvy house that i can purchase without having to sign my life away, any day.
yes far too many, large ugly homes in canberra…and while the other half of population is homeless or below poverty line…shame canberra, shame.

Haha, yeah, European laundry! I saw an extended renovated house for sale which had been turned into a nice spacious house on a nice old-fashioned big block of land, 5 bedrooms, multiple living areas, still a decent size garden left around it, looked real nice, except they’d put in a “European laundry”. Enlarging a house and adding extra bedrooms and downsizing the laundry? I don’t care what fancy name you give it, that was not an improvement!

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 9:59 am 23 Jun 13

Something that has puzzled me for a while this. I see people kicking down old houses, set in amongst many other old houses, and building some post-modern nightmare box, with primary coloured paint schemes, which are TOTALLY out of character for the area.

I can give you many photos of such monstrosities if you wish.

Is there no requirement, as there is in the UK, for buildings to blend into the setting and surrounds?

bundah bundah 12:17 pm 23 Jun 13

Ben_Dover said :

Something that has puzzled me for a while this. I see people kicking down old houses, set in amongst many other old houses, and building some post-modern nightmare box, with primary coloured paint schemes, which are TOTALLY out of character for the area.

I can give you many photos of such monstrosities if you wish.

Is there no requirement, as there is in the UK, for buildings to blend into the setting and surrounds?

That’s pretty much become the norm in Griffith,Red Hill and to a lesser extent Bundah,although it’s only a matter of time.The wealthy are well and truly cracking the whip!

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