On Sydney’s North Shore, many older homes are exceptionally well built but relatively small compared to their land. This characteristic makes them ideal for enhancing and enlarging rather than replacing.
Therefore, extending your existing home can be a smart and economical way to create more space for the whole family.
New Designs Solve Old Home Problems
A home extension provides the ideal opportunity to rectify parts of an existing home that may not work as well as they should.
So in some ways the design process is similar to a renovation and raises the same considerations:
- Your family’s needs and your expectations
- The property’s location
- Long-term plans
- Your dreams
- And your finances
In most cases, it’s also important that the transition between new and existing flows smoothly to create a holistic feel for the home. You do not want to have them feeling like two separate elements.
Considerations for House Extensions
Whether your home requires an extension to the ground floor or a second-storey addition, in Sydney you’ll need to consider these issues:
- Budget – at the beginning of the project, discuss this matter in detail with your designer.
- Natural factors – eg. slope of the land, orientation and trees:
- Land that is gently sloping is suitable for a ground floor extension. However, steeply sloping land may suit a 2-storey extension.
- Orientation is important as well, eg. a south-facing rear extension may need to be single storey to allow plenty of light from skylights to penetrate deep into the house.
- The position of existing trees on your property, or an adjoining one, may well determine if a ground floor extension is indeed permissible.
- Council Regulations and Building Code Requirements – setbacks from side boundaries, having enough area for landscaping and not exceeding the maximum floor area of the home are major Council considerations when considering options for extending. If your property has large areas of paving, driveways, pool etc., a first-floor extension is often a wise option to pursue.
- Shadows – first-floor extensions must be designed to consider the shadows that the new structure will cast. Enough daylight to adjoining properties must be provided. There are strict guidelines on this matter.
- Privacy – if you are thinking of a first-floor deck as part of an extension, remember that Council will want to ensure that your neighbours feel their privacy is maintained. Similarly, your extension needs to be designed to maintain your privacy from homes around you.
- Insurance – check to see if you need to modify your own home insurances during an extension.
- Legislation — requires a licensed builder to provide the necessary insurances before he can start construction.
These are some of the items we will be going through with you.
Define Your Home Extension Budget Early
The above items are manageable with fantastic solutions. However, if they exceed your budget then the entire project may not get “off the ground”.
Budget is a major item to decide on before the project goes too far. We want to ensure that the design of your extension is within your budget. Otherwise, you may end up with your dream project only on paper!
Design and Council Approval
Having discussed and thoroughly considered these issues we’ll then present you with alternative designs for you to determine which is your preferred direction.
In addition, by considering all these issues before we begin designs, we’ll achieve successful approvals from both your Council and Private Certifiers in the most cost-effective manner.