What To Consider When Adding a Second Storey?
Extending your home upwards can add more space to your home and improve the value of your home. To navigate the challenge of renovating to add another storey, we have simplified the process here for you. In this article, we discuss the key things you must consider when adding a second storey to your home. If you need professional help, speak to our experienced builders about your home extension project.
Can I add a second storey to my house?
Points to consider when planning to add an extra storey on your home include.
Does it comply with the regulations? Before you begin drafting the plans for your extension project, you need to check the zoning rules and permits in your area.
Is the design structurally sound? Your building foundation must be able to withstand the extra weight of another level. Older buildings might not be designed to be able to handle the added weight, however, some might. In any case, you might need to get the foundation tested. Depending on the foundation, you may be able to get it reinforced alternatively you may need to swap to a ground-floor extension.
Draft a floor plan - Look at how your new floor will mesh with the existing floor. You will have to account for extra space for features such as the stairwell. Consider the following when you are thinking of adding another storey:
- Height of the ceiling on the second floor
- Depth of the stairs
- Thermal performance and sustainability
- Insulation, heating and cooling requirements for the extra space
- Termite barrier installation
Insurance - When your home is under construction, your existing home insurance won’t cover the existing property. We recommend you check your policy and extend the coverage if needed so if there's any damage during the building process, you are covered.
Budget - There can be many unexpected costs that you should account for like additional plumbing, roofing, and electrical work, construction delays and raw material shortage. Set aside some money for a contingency fund for a smooth process.
Alternate living arrangements - The extension will make your home a mess for some time and will probably be unlivable. So consider your living arrangements while the construction is going on - Would you prefer to stay at your home during the construction or would you live elsewhere?
Is it cheaper to extend outwards or add a second storey?
According to Hi Pages, a second storey can cost between $1850 to $3300 per square metre depending on the construction materials, inclusions and reinforcement of the current foundation.
You might also have to factor in other expenses like council fees, engineer reports. The decision depends on your budget and your needs, for example, if you need more space but have a small block, adding another storey can help. The logical decision here would be to extend upwards.
Benefits of opting for a second storey extension
Adds value to your home - According to realestate.com.au, adding a second storey can increase the value of your home by 30-60%. If you decide to sell your home in the future, you might end up making a profit.
Retain garden space - If you do not want to damage your garden, a second storey addition is a good option.
What permits are needed for a second storey extension?
Generally, you will just need a building development approval or building permit before beginning construction.
If you are working with a local builder, they know exactly what permits to apply for and the requirements of the local council. They can simplify the process and get all the necessary permits.
Expert advice on planning a second storey extension
Find a trusted builder - Speak to different builders and get written quotes as well as check their credentials, portfolio and references. Also check their schedule, when they can start your project and what would be the expected finish date for your project.
Work out a clear budget - Set aside a budget for your project and engage an expert who fits your criteria. Remember cheap isn't always the best - so when you hire a builder, make sure they are licensed, insured and have completed projects on time.
Construction - Your project is good to go! Your builders can now draft your plans, get the necessary permits and begin the construction process.