Purchasing an older home can have a certain appeal to it. Perhaps the residence is charming or rustic, and you can see real potential for it to be great again. When making this kind of purchase, it’s not uncommon to feel torn over whether to demolish it and start from the beginning, or to make the effort to fix up the existing house.
Consider these four things:
- What’s more cost-effective: demolition or renovation?
If the existing house is not structurally sound, re-building will likely be cheaper and easier than restoring the home to its former glory.
In some cases, repairing major structural damage, sourcing the right materials or modernizing an older house can be very complicated and labour-intensive. Brace yourself for the possibility that you’ll uncover more expensive problems as you go along.
If you have a soft spot for the existing house, and if most of the work is simply cosmetic, then a huge overhaul can be rewarding. The key is to understand what’s involved and to plan accordingly.
- Is the house ‘protected’ by a heritage listing or overlay?
Regardless of the change you’re hoping to make, it’s a good idea to find out what the rules are first. This will save you headaches down the road.
For example, when it comes to a “protected home,” you’ll be walking a fine line. Houses that appear on your state or territory’s heritage register are likely to be protected by law. Any planned changes will need to pass examination.
Let’s not forget about ‘heritage overlays.’ Overlays are areas defined by local councils in which particular rules apply about the kinds of changes you can make to existing buildings.