Most new homes are no better than the home they replaced!

Most new homes are no better than the home they replaced!

Renovations, Tips and Advice

It might seem like a rather controversial headline coming from renovation architects, but it’s true.

In fact, I have seen multiple new homes that are WORSE than the home that was knocked down to build them!

Now, you might think I’m just saying that because our firm primarily focuses on renovations.

You might think that I’m pushing the renovation angle rather than demolishing – but I’m not.

There are times where demolishing and building new makes sense. The point I’m making is that many new home designs are rubbish.

You’re getting a newer home – but you’re not necessarily getting better.

Renovate or detonate, that is the question Brisbane renovation architects can answer

Ormiston Home Renovation: The focus is to improve the appearance giving it a modern feel; ensure the home has access to natural airflow and maximises light gain. While also being fully responsive to our Queensland climate.

The answer is not always straightforward.

There are many factors to consider.

The first thing to look at, as always, is your lifestyle.

Any good design, be it renovation or demolish and build new, needs to cater for your lifestyle needs. If you’re unsure whether your home does cater for your needs, our Design Advice Service is crucial. But more on that in a moment.

Architects need to look at the existing home when evaluating your best course of action. Does it have good bones? What would it take to adapt it to suit your needs? Would a renovation be economically viable? What would the finished product look like?

As renovation architects we look at all these options first.

So many older buildings have huge untapped potential.

The right renovation architects can tap into that potential and provide you with a stunning outcome.

But we’re not a one trick pony. We love designing new homes as well.

If you love the location of your home, but the home itself cannot be adapted to suit your needs, then demolishing might be the best option.

I know a lot of builders, particularly those associated with building designers, are quick to suggest knocking down and building new.

In all honesty, this often has more to do with convenience for them, and a lack of true design skill, than what’s best for you – the client.

The lesson here is don’t just talk to builders first.

Builders come after you have a design for your home.

Some builders will argue that architects don’t have the skills to be practical, well I am a licensed builder as well so even if that was the truth, it’s not an issue if you talk to myself!

Hamilton Home Renovation: As requested by our clients, we fully preserved the beloved Queenslander aesthetic of the front of the property. This means that all the modern developments of our renovation were are only visible once you stepped inside.

Most new home designs suck

I’m not just talking about the off the plan, mass produced type homes either.

Building designers are responsible for many of the poor designs I see in today’s market.

What do I mean by poor design?

Well, many have poor climate design. These are homes that are hot in summer unless the air conditioner is running non-stop.

Simply sticking some insulation in the roof or adding solar panels doesn’t make a home climate friendly. Modern homes can be hot boxes that cost a small fortune to run.

The next biggest issue is the poorly thought-out floor plans that lack appropriate connections.

To the unsuspecting eye they look fine on paper, but they are a nightmare to live in.

Mass produced, ‘off the plan’ style homes are a good example of average to poor designs.

The people who designed them didn’t try to create them with any one person in mind, so the chances that one of these designs will come close to suiting your true needs is miniscule at best.

Why it’s important to speak with architects first

Any decision you make in relation to your home needs to be an informed decision. Getting the best possible advice from renovation architects is the key to getting a great outcome. If you’re trying to decide between demolishing your house or renovating it – you want to make sure you don’t make a decision you’ll regret later!

This is where we, as residential architects, come in.

We don’t care which option you choose, providing it’s the best option for YOU.

Now, just to be clear, we care a lot about you getting a great result.

The difference is that it doesn’t make any difference to us which way we take to helping you achieve a great outcome.

Whether you’ve decided to demolish your home and go with a brand-new design, or renovate your existing home.

Seventeen Mile Rocks Renovation & Extension: A new above ground pool area with an easy transition from the deck was included to create a great place to enjoy the summer and entertain family and friends.

Our Design Advice Service is the key to getting a great outcome

It is vital that the Design Advice Service is where you start for any new home or renovation design.

Here’s what you get as part of this service.

The first thing we will do is thoroughly explore your lifestyle needs.

We will discuss your budget to help you get an idea of whether the project is feasible.

You need to be honest and upfront when it comes to your budget.

There’s no point saying your budget is $500,000 on a 1,000,000 project – when your true budget is over a million dollars. All this achieves is that we will alter our suggestions to fit the fake budget you have given us – potentially downgrading your lifestyle outcomes.

As part of our Design Advice Service we discuss things like orientation, placement of rooms, room sizes, etc. Our renovation architects look at the connection between spaces, such as indoor/outdoor connection, and any possible external works or landscape design that might be required.

Our service covers everything from aesthetics, to functionality, to the ‘feel’ of your home.

Then, only after we have all of that information, we discuss potential solutions.

Just because a home is new, doesn’t mean that the design is any good. If you need to demolish and build a new home then you owe it to yourself to have it designed by the top Brisbane residential architects.

If, however, there is benefit in salvaging the existing structure then you’re definitely going to want to engage Brisbane’s leading renovation architects.

It’s Now the Time to Consider Renovation Architects

If you’re tossing up whether to knock down and build new, or renovate, contact us today and let us explain more about our Design Advice Service. Make sure the decision that you make is well researched and in your best interests, not those of the builder.

We look forward to speaking with you soon!

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.