Knock Down rebuilds popular in Melbourne East

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mr and Mrs B were looking for a new home. Their current home was tired and needed work, their children had left home, and they wanted something to reflect their change of lifestyle.

However, they couldn’t find anything that suited them. They wanted fewer bedrooms, and larger living areas, so they could entertain more and indulge in home-based hobbies. They wanted a modern kitchen and bathrooms, and an established garden with mature trees.

A house and land package didn’t appeal as they liked both their neighbourhood and the location of their suburb of Bayswater.

After house hunting with no success, they decided to knock down their existing house and rebuild on the same site. They got exactly what they wanted - a modern, new house on the same land, with the minimum of fuss as every step was taken care of by their building company.

At the same time, their neighbour across the road decided to undertake major renovations. Many months after Mr and Mrs B had moved in their new home, his renovation work was finally finished.

The neighbour came across and told the couple he regretted not doing a knock down rebuild like them. He estimated he spent more than two-thirds the cost of a rebuild, and in the end, he still had an old house and he didn’t get exactly what he wanted.

Houses in many of the outer Melbourne suburbs are ageing and maintenance is becoming a nightmare. Yet the value of land in suburbs in the Eastern corridor from Doncaster to Mulgrave is soaring. Home owners are struggling to maintain the value of their biggest asset while spending more and more on upkeep.

A major renovation may be seen as the answer, but it is far from ideal. There is no way a builder can give an accurate quote as there are too many unseen factors. From dodgy foundations to deteriorating wiring, insect damage to asbestos, there are numerous issues facing the home owner considering renovation.

Even if the work goes smoothly, the house still has “old bones”. It can be repiled, replumbed, rewired, reroofed and the windows replaced, but the house may not be situated well for sun or views.

And major repairs such as these invariably end up costing far more than a new house would. Making the addition or renovation look seamless is a challenging task for a builder, not matter how much experience he has. It’s always difficult to match new windows, or cladding with old. Most homeowners have to compromise their new design for one that accommodates the existing house layout.

Trying to live in the house while it is being renovated is an exercise in patience - for both you and your builder.


A knock down rebuild is the answer. Berstan Homes have a team of experts who specialise in knock down rebuild projects throughout Melbourne.

You get a brand new house, designed to fit your land, orientated for views, sun and privacy and environmentally friendly for sustainable living. Better insulation, with double-glazed windows and more efficient heating saves on power costs and reduces noise.

You get to stay in the same street, with neighbours you have built up a friendship with over the years. Your children can keep attending the same school, your shopping centre is familiar and you don’t have to find a new doctor or dentist.

By rebuilding on the same site, rather than moving, you save a substantial amount of money on real estate and lawyer fees, stamp duty and capital gains tax.

If you want a brand new home with no compromise and up to 25 years warranty on materials, a knock down rebuild is the answer. Berstan Homes has up to 70 plans to choose from, or you can have your own design custom-made.

Berstan Homes is a family-run business which was founded more than 30 years ago. Brothers Mark and Paul Bryson pride themselves on their personal service. They have a team of specialist designers, engineers, surveyors and construction crews that can build any style of home in greater Melbourne.

This year, don’t renovate, knock down and rebuild, with Berstan Homes.