EMILY BLACK

The Courier-Mail’s Se­nior Real Es­tate Re­porter

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Wel­come to this month’s themed edi­tion – Ren­o­vate Ver­sus Knock Down and Re­build!

It’s a hot topic, and there are a plethora of sup­port­ers for either side. Hope­fully this edi­tion will help those de­cid­ing to make the right choice.

Archi­cen­tre Aus­tralia is a stead­fast sup­porter of ren­o­vat­ing ex­ist­ing homes.

Di­rec­tor Peter Ge­orgiev said when mak­ing a fresh start, op­tions in­cluded ren­o­vat­ing “the devil you know ”, re­de­vel­op­ing on the site and mov­ing to a new es­tate at the ur­ban fringes.

“An ex­ist­ing build­ing needs to be pretty poor to re­ally jus­tify push­ing it over,” he said.

“There is usu­ally a fair bit of em­bed­ded en­ergy in its ex­is­tence – and of­ten far bet­ter ma­te­ri­als and fea­tures than a new build­ing will of­fer.

“The idea is to re­tain the good bits and en­hance them with 21st cen­tury good­ies, such as in­su­la­tion and im­proved seal­ing for bet­ter ther­mal per­for­mance, in­clud­ing fresh and ex­panded elec­tri­cal ser­vices.

“Then ap­ply solid site plan­ning to new sec­tions of the build­ing to en­hance pas­sive and ac­tive so­lar de­sign.”

He said the build­ing’s im­age could then fol­low a nat­u­ral or­der of how orig­i­nal and new come to­gether.

“Then en­gage with your ar­chi­tect and a cost plan­ner and belt out a build­able so­lu­tion,” Mr Ge­orgiev said.

He said if there was noth­ing re­deem­ing in the ex­ist­ing struc­ture – poor sit­ing, ma­jor struc­tural dis­tress, too many mis­takes made by pre­vi­ous home own­ers – then de­mol­ish it and move on.

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