Build new or improve?


Build new or improve – only you can decide – but remember to consider all aspects before making a decision.

Why you should build new?

There are lots of reasons why you would decide to build a new home, rather than buy an established home:

  • Build to suit you. When you build new, you can design your home specifically to meet your requirements, and suit your family and lifestyle.
  • Energy efficiency. New homes must meet a 6-star energy efficiency rating, which may reduce your energy consumption and lower your costs of heating and cooling.
  • Pay less stamp duty. There can be stamp duty savings when you build new rather than buy an establishedhome. Check out the ACT Revenue Office stamp duty calculator to compare the difference.
  • Less maintenance. New homes require less ongoing maintenance than older, established homes.
  • Statutory warranties. You have the peace of mind that your home is covered by a home warranty insurancescheme or fidelity fund, covering structural defects for six years, and two years for non-structural defects.

If your preference is to move and build a new home make sure that the suburb you choose has the amenities and conveniences that you want and need. You also need to consider that newer suburbs generally have
smaller lot sizes than more established suburbs.


Once you make your decision, you are ready to move to the next step in the building process – finding land.

Why improve?

Here are some good reasons why you might choose to extend or renovate your existing home:

  • Save money on selling and moving costs. If you decide to stay in your home and renovate, you will savemoney on conveyancing/legal fees, real estate agent’s commission and advertising/marketing fees, andremovalist fees.
  • Improve value of your home. Extending or renovating your house will add more value and improve yourlifestyle.
  • Location. Renovating is great if you like the suburb and local community you live in.
  • Be Green. Renovating an existing house can be a sustainable alternative to building a new home. The majority of the existing home can be retained and improved, a number of materials can be recycled, your garden will be retained, and there will be overall savings compared with building a new home.
  • No need to find a block of land. Choosing to renovate means you won’t have to hunt for land and it will save you money on the cost of buying new land.
  • Statutory warranties. You have the peace of mind that your home is covered by a home warranty insurance scheme or fidelity fund, covering structural defects for six years, and two years for non-structural defects.

If you decide to renovate your home, always engage a qualified building designer, design and building company, or architect. A good designer will work with you to ensure your project is functional and blends in with your
existing property. If you choose an architect, don’t forget to engage your builder early in the design process. It is imperative that the views of the client, designer and builder all come together to avoid problems down the track.