MOVING ON UP

A house extension is a terrific way to improve your existing home and add more square meterage. While many house renovations involve adding more space at ground level, it might be time to think bigger…could adding a second storey to your home be an option? Read on to find out.

WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT HOUSE LIKE?

Your current house’s configuration and structure will be the guiding factor when investigating a second storey addition. If you’re in an older timber house on stumps, you’ll probably have to raise the home and build in underneath. If you’re in a single-storey brick home, adding a second storey right on top is probably the way to go. Remember, your new level doesn’t have to mirror the size of your existing home – for instance, you could add on a small two-level parents retreat at the back of the house.

WHAT CONDITION IS YOUR HOUSE IN?

If your foundation isn’t stable, it might be struggling to hold up your existing house, let alone an additional storey! Consult an engineer to find out – your Hille’s home renovations builder can help coordinate this.

WHAT RED TAPE IS THERE?

Most local councils will require some sort of building approval before you can start building. You’ll likely need finalised house designs to submit with your application, so check in with your Hille’s designer on what the process for this is.

WHAT’S YOUR LAND LIKE?

For people on a sloping block, adding a second storey may still be possible but it will come with some caveats. Your land may require some excavation work to level out the site, as well as some retaining walls to hold the earth back.

WHAT’S YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD LIKE?

If you’re in an older area with lots of heritage-protected homes, there may be design codes you have to follow to ensure your house renovation fits in with the existing character of the street. Also think about what view you’ll have on the new second storey: consider window and door placement and if you can, position them so they take advantage of light, privacy, and any killer views (i.e. try to avoid a bedroom window that looks directly into your neighbour’s toilet!).

WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCE LIKE?

As in, what are you prepared to deal with while your house renovation is taking place? Check with your builder to see if you’ll need to move out during the renovation. You may also have to put some furniture in storage, particularly if the house is being raised.

If you’re still not sure whether adding a second storey to your home is a good option for you, chat to the team at Hille’s. With experience in all sorts of house renovations under our belt – including house extensions, raising, and renovating! – we’ll be able to guide you on what’s best for your lifestyle.