Friday, January 4, 2013

Could I have renovated?

People often ask me why I didn't renovate the original house rather than going through the stress that has been the subdivision and rebuild.

It's true, I took the long and hard route and had I simply restored the original house back to what it was, I probably would have been back in 18 months ago. It all came down to simple economics and opportunity.

Firstly, the house sat in the middle of a 1012m2 block with a 20 metre frontage in an area that wasn't in a Demolition Control Precinct (DCP). In Brisbane you can subdivide a minimum 809m2 block to create 2 x 405m2 small lots. My block (technically) would easily be large enough to subdivide. It was the perfect opportunity to split the block and build back on one side only, so I could sell the other block later down the track.

Secondly, the cost per square metre of renovating, particularly an older style home like mine was, is much more expensive than the cost per metre of building new. The structure of the original home was quite badly damaged, particularly the back deck, which had sunk significantly into the ground and needed to be demolished and rebuilt. The rest of the home had sunk in places and needed to be levelled with packers under bearers. The cost of rebuilding the home back to what it was before the flood, was almost the same as building a brand new home. Restoring the original house did not include the cost of raising it to be flood proof and for resale value, for which I was quoted about $28K. The cost of rebuilding didn't take into account town planning fees or demolition.

So in the end it made much more sense to spend the same amount of money to create 2 blocks of land and a floodproof home rather than a low set, flood prone home on a single block.


You might find this interesting. Recently we sold my Grandmother's post war home that had been her home for decades. It is similar to my home, I guess just higher. The person who bought it has done an AMAZING job completely transforming it.


This is the house before it was sold. Structurally it was still very good but it needed a good clean out.

This is it after. I was stunned!!  It was so unrecognisable, I almost drove straight past it.

It's projects like these that make me wonder whether I could have renovated the old house back to its pre flood condition. I probably could have, but then I say "nah", it's all good.


  1. I'm sure if you had renovated you'd be thinking 'maybe I should have built?'.. it will all be worth it once you're in. Kirty xx

    1. Yes:-) A lady once said to me "sometimes there's no right or wrong answer, you make a decision and you make it the right one." I've never forgotten that and I think that's one of those situations. I don't think about the renovating option very often, but when I do I just say to myself I made a decision and from here on in, it's the right one ;-) xx

    2. I am not a fan of what they've done to it - stripped the character and made it look like a utility block.

      Probably due to $$.
      So yes, I think you made the right choice :)