Extending your home basically means two things: you can choose to extend outwards or you can go upwards. For home owners with small lots, adding a second storey is a much more attractive idea, as it lets you maximise space, put up all the bedrooms on a single level and, of course, capture a much better view of the neighbourhood.
There are, however, several things that you need to know before adding a second storey to your house.
The cost of adding a second storey
Many home owners believe that adding a second storey can be really costly. That, however, is actually a myth. As a matter of fact, extending your house outwards can sometimes be costlier, if only for the cost of the foundation alone. However, make no mistake: adding a second storey is still a major renovation project, and therefore entails major expense.
According to renovators, adding a second storey to your home could cost somewhere between $1,850 and $3,300 per square metre on average. As with any construction project, its total cost will depend on its scope and scale, the quality of materials used and labour costs, among other things.
Adding a second storey can be disruptive
If you’re having ground floor additions done, it is very likely that the builders you hire can go about their work without disturbing you that much. The extent of the disturbance would be limited to the sound of tools hitting the materials and the dust and mess such a major renovation project can produce.
That would clearly not be the case if you’re adding a second storey to your home. An additional floor means your entire roof will have to be removed or replaced, and there is nothing more disruptive to home life than not having a roof above your head for the duration of the renovation process.
More often than not, home owners who add a second level have to look for temporary accommodation, at least until the upstairs addition is completed to the point of being waterproof.
Height restrictions in the neighbourhood
Before you dive into any major home renovation project, we suggest that you do some research on local building codes first. That’s because some local codes may have restrictions on the height of ridgelines for houses in your neighbourhood.
It is absolutely essential that you do this, or you will be asked to redo your second storey if it is later found out that those local restrictions were breached. That would be a major waste of time, effort, and money, and you certainly wouldn’t want that to happen to you.
Choose your builder wisely
I recommend that you choose a builder that specialises in or is very experienced in adding second storeys to homes. If you can visually inspect some of their previous work or talk to previous clients, the better. As a rule of thumb, good builders who specialise in second storey additions ought to be able to get to a waterproof stage of completion in two to three weeks.
If you live in the northern Sydney area and are considering adding a floor to your existing home, feel free to get in touch with me. I would be happy to assist you.