Renovating or Building New in Brisbane?

Renovating or Building New in Brisbane?

Renovations, Tips and Advice, New Homes

indooroopilly home renovation yard renovating or building new

It is a question that I am often asked by clients – what will give me the best result, renovating or building new?

I design both new homes and renovations but given the choice, I believe renovations consistently produce a better result for my clients in terms of overall value and liveability.

Yet so many people that I speak with feel like renovating will somehow give them a lesser result, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The challenge with building a new home in Brisbane

Today it’s almost impossible to find a block in the city, or even the inner suburbs, where you can demolish an existing home and build a brand new one. And even if you could find a block to build a new home on, chances are if it’s close to the city the block won’t be flat – meaning an ‘off the shelf’ home design isn’t going to be suitable. You will need to have your home designed by an architect to get the best result. But if there is already a home on the block, why not take a look at its potential first?

Why I prefer renovating to building new

There are many reasons why I lean towards renovating, here are my top five reasons:

  1. More cost effective – Ok this isn’t always the case, but if the existing home is in good condition, it’s often cheaper to renovate than it is to build from scratch, particularly if you have to demolish an existing structure first.
  2. Bigger and better – If the bulk of the existing home is suitable and simply needs to be renovated with possibly an addition or extension, your budget can suddenly go from an average sized new home into a stunning, much larger renovated home that will be the envy of all who see it.
  3. Character and soul – Many existing homes, particularly those closer into the city, have character and charm that many new homes don’t. And whilst I can create a new home design for you that will have ample character and soul, renovating means much of this character is already built in.
  4. Greater flexibility – Renovating gives you more flexibility in terms of where you can live. Because you are not demolishing and building new, you can live as close to, or as far away from the city as you want.
  5. No need for compromise – In my vast experience you will get a better result from renovating in most cases without missing out on the good things in life. Your newly renovated home will be just as modern and well appointed as a new home, often with more space and more character. In fact, it is often those that build new homes that find they need to compromise.

It’s your decision

But before you make that decision ask yourself which option is going to give you the better lifestyle outcome? And which will give you a greater return on your investment should you decide to sell in the future?

Obviously the answers to these questions vary depending on your circumstances, but in my experience, renovating gives a much better outcome in nine out of ten cases. If you’re thinking about building new, or renovating an existing home, call me today on (07) 3899 9450 and let me help you explore all the options.

Dion Seminara Architect


We are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.

Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.