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Can you demolish a semi-detached house?

by | May 7, 2024 | Knockdown rebuild

Knock-down rebuilds are becoming a popular approach for new home buyers. It allows you to buy into existing neighbourhoods and still get the ideal house design for their needs. What happens though, if you want to knock down a house that’s connecting to another home? Let’s take a look at what’s involving in demolishing and rebuilding a semi-detached house and whether it is possibly the best choice for you and your family.

What is a semi detached house?

First, let’s define exactly what we’re talking about when we say semi-detached houses. A semi-detached house is one-half of two dwellings connected by a common wall. By definition, semi-detached homes only come in pairs, as a similar scenario with three or more houses is technically a terrace. If you’re financial situation is a little tight, a semi-detached house is often a cheaper option than a regular home (obviously factors like location will play a role in what you can expect costs to be).

Though the term semi-detached house is usually referring to a single-storey structure, there are double-storey examples out there. These designs are becoming more popular throughout Australia, especially in densely populated areas in the city. Many property developers are investing in semi-detached houses as can get turn a profit when done well.

Is it possible to knock down a semi detached house?

Yes, it is. However as you can imagine, it presents certain challenges, such as not damaging the other half of the building. When hiring a demolition company, make sure they have experience in this area before hiring them. Due to the nature of the project, you may need to hire a structural engineer or building designer to help with both the demolition and the construction of the new house.

Is it legal to demolish a semi-detached house?

In most cases, yes, but you need to make sure you get all the appropriate approvals and paperwork. Providing you follow all guidelines and get the necessary approvals and permits, you should be able to knock down a semi-detached house.

If you don’t own the other half of the infrastructure, you’ll need to gain approval from the neighbour to proceed with the demolition work.

What permits and planning permission are needed to demolish a semi-detached house?

Demolishing a building is a big project and there are many requirements you need to meet for everything to be legal and above board.

Whether you’ll need planning permission or not depends on a number of factors including when your house was built, heritage listing status, property location, safety issues and any building covenants, just to name a few.

Odds are you’ll need most to the below:

  • Planning approval
  • Demolition permit
  • Local council approval
  • Meet Council requirements

Your contractor or builder should be able to help you with these requirements.

What communication and approvals are needed from neighbours?

One of the key challenges that comes with knocking down half a semi-detached building is the face it is connected to another residence, often sharing a wall or other infrastructure. If you don’t own both halves of the building, you’ll need to gain consent from your neighbour to proceed with the demolition.

You may need to negotiate a deal of some kind to get your neighbours to go along with this. A good solicitor will be needed to ensure everything is okay.

Weighing up between a knock down rebuild and renovation? Click here to find out which is the best investment for you!

Are there any legal consequences of unapproved demolition work?

Unapproved demolition is considered a crime and as crimes go, knocking down a building is a tough one to keep under wraps. Odds are, you will be caught and punished, most likely with a hefty fine or even jail time, depending on the extent of the offence.

There have been many instances of people knocking down buildings without the proper approval. This ranges from knocking down heritage-listed buildings without the right permission, to simply not getting the correct permits before proceeding. While some may have been deliberately flouting the law, most simply didn’t do all their due diligence and were caught out.

How can you obtain planning permission to go ahead with a demolition of a semi-detached house?

The exact steps you’ll need to take will vary depending on your specific project and the council you’re applying to. Each region and local council will have their own guidelines and quirks, plus rules often change, so whenever you start a new project, don’t make assumptions. Even if you’ve done it before, it’s always worth double-checking. If you’re building in Brisbane, using this online City Planning tool will help you find out whether your house will require planning permission.

Regardless of whether or not you need planning approval, you will need a decision notice from the local council approving your proposed house demolition.

Do you need planning permission for a demolition? Click here to find out!

Buildi is here to help you throughout your next knockdown rebuild!

Building a new home is one of the most exciting times you’ll go through. It can also be one of the most stressful. From finding the right builder, choosing the right design, staying on top of all the paperwork and ensuring you get everything agreed to in your contract, it soon becomes overwhelming. Luckily you don’t have to go through it alone.

Buildi is a building broker who is here to give power back to the consumer. We’ll pitch your project to our carefully chosen panel of builders and have them bidding for your business. Once you select the builder, we will be by your side to make sure everything runs smoothly. We’ll jump in when needed to ensure you get everything promised to you. Our services have save our clients time, effort and money. We’ve also helped them avoid some of the major mistakes homebuyers tend to make.

For a free, impartial consultation about your new build, get in touch with Buildi today!

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Building a Home

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Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration