Knockdown rebuilds are becoming a popular option for Queenslanders. The key benefits are it allows you to keep your current location while still updating your home, or it allows you to purchase a desirable location and replace the existing dwelling. A Queenslander house design is a distinct home type found throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of knocking down a Queenslander home, particularly some of the complications you could encounter during the process.

What is the legal and regulatory framework that protects Queenslanders?

One of the biggest influencing factors in determining whether or not your home is considered a heritage home or a character home. Any building constructed prior to 1947, that was the home to a significant historic figure or adds to the traditional building character overlay of an area may be considered a heritage building. Heritage buildings are usually protected as they provide historical significance to an area and the community wishes to preserve these links to the past. As you can guess, that means you’re usually not allowed to demolish a heritage-listed building. You can usually check a building’s heritage listing with your local council.

You’ll need to get a heritage exemption certificate to perform even minor renovations. The best way to do this is through an application with your local council.

Can you demolish a heritage-listed building

There are times when council approval will be given to perform demolition work on a heritage-listed building

  • A building is structurally unsound and cannot be made structurally sound in a reasonable.
  • There is a major safety issue that outweighs the value of maintaining the home.
  • A community decides the location can be commemorated in a different way, such as a plaque. This would only apply to less significant buildings and still isn’t likely.

There are consequences to knocking down a heritage building including heavy fines and even jail time in serious cases. Heritage homes are literally on a list, so your chances of getting away with knocking down one of these homes aren’t great.

What are some viable alternatives to a knockdown rebuild?


Renovation can be a great way to revamp an existing space while keeping the basic layout of your home.

Renovating seems less dramatic than a knockdown rebuild, but you may be surprised to hear it isn’t always the most affordable option. Renovating can often reveal major issues with an existing property such as rot, structural damage, asbestos and termites. The role of the dice nature or renovation can lead to costs ballooning out quickly, leaving many homeowners in a bind. With a knockdown rebuild, it’s usually easier to get an accurate quote.


  • Ideal for smaller projects (for example, re-doing your bathroom).
  • Allows you to keep the frame and character of your home.
  • Can increase the resale price of a home.
  • Often easier to DIY.


  • Renovation can be surprisingly time-consuming.
  • Costs can be harder to predict.
  • Won’t be able to create


Another option is simply buying another existing home and moving there. Though it may sound surprising, buying a pre-existing home isn’t always cheaper than building a new home from scratch.


  • Is often a quicker process. You don’t need to wait for the house to be built.
  • Can be more straight-forward than building from scratch.


  • You have less control over the final design of the home.
  • Construction allows you to create the exact home you want.
  • You’ll pay more stamp duty than if you build your own home.

Raise and rebuild

Raising a building involves literally lifting the entire structure and placing it on supports. From here you can build beneath your home. This can only be done on certain house designs, such as those already built on stumps. Talk to a raise and build specialist if you’re curious about whether this process is do-able with your current home.


  • Allows you to keep your current design while still expanding
  • Can turn a single-storey home into a multi-storey design.
  • Great for creating extra space.


  • Only achievable on certain house designs.
  • Limited design options.
  • Won’t help if you’re interested in moving location.

How much does a Knockdown rebuild cost?

The answer to this will vary greatly depending on a few factors including:

The house you’re demolishing: Different factors about your existing dwelling house including the material of the existing

Additional work required: If your home contains asbestos or other hazardous materials it can add an additional $5000-$20,000 to your costs. This is a requirement as you cannot legally knock down a house with hazardous material except in very specific circumstances.

The land you’re working with: Many aspects of your property will affect the overall price of your knockdown rebuild. For example, the slope of your land can make both building and demolition more challenging and therefore more expensive. Soil condition

The house design you choose: The design you’re planning to build will obviously have an impact on your final cost. Double-storey houses will cost more than a smaller, single-storey home.

Our advice to Queenslander homeowners looking to demolish their homes

  • Check the heritage status of your home with Brisbane City Council or your local council.
  • Talk to at least a few demolition companies and get a quote from each so you give yourself options.
  • Before undertaking any building project, organise a budget and be sure you understand what you can realistically afford.
  • Hire a building broker. We can help you avoid common mistakes, save money and get all the necessary paperwork and permits you’ll need for your knockdown rebuild.

Buildi is here to help with your building journey.

Building a new home is a big project and it can be overwhelming for both first-timers and property investors alike. Buildi is here to give power back to the client. With our guidance and expertise, we can help you navigate the construction world and help you save time, effort and money.

Book your free, impartial consultation with Buildi today!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration

Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration