You love the house you are in, but over the years, your family has grown, your needs have changed and the same house you once loved does not seem to accommodate it all. Or perhaps you have managed to buy a new house in a dream location, but it does not suit your needs. Making the decision to extend should not be taken lightly, as extensions can be a long and costly journey. However, when done correctly, they not only add the much-needed space, but also add value, comfort, and enjoyment to your home for years to come. Let us go over some important factors to keep in mind if you decide to extend your living space.

Consider the reason why.

This might sound simple, but it is crucial to think about the reason why. Is it simply to create extra rooms or increase the size of the existing space for more comfort? Keep in mind whether the changes will be done for your own enjoyment or with the purpose of selling. Knowing the reason why will help steer you in the right direction when it comes to factors, such as design style, which in turn will direct your costs.

What is involved?

An extension means to increase the size of the existing property. This will always require new plans, council approvals and structural engineer designs before the work can commence. These are preliminary costs to the build. Furthermore, based on the size and/or area of the extension, the existing area will be partially or wholly affected, which sometimes requires relocation for a period of time. However, for any type of major work, it would be ideal to vacate the property for the sake of convenience for you as the owner and for the sub-contractors.

Which costs are involved?

Extensions and renovations are generally more costly than new builds. This is due to the fact that the old and new need to be joined whilst keeping the property structurally safe. Additionally, combining new structures with old structures sometimes requires the old structure to also comply with new regulations. Keeping this in mind, other costs involved, include:

  • Preliminary costs – new plans, engineering designs, soil tests, council approval and certifications.
  • Build costs (labour + materials).
  • Hire equipment (fence, utilities, etc.)
  • Insurance
  • Warranties

Other important factors.

Lastly, there are other important factors to keep in mind.

  • Be aware of your budget and align that with your desired outcome.
  • The costs of the preliminary expenses are not related to the scale of the work, therefore, some of the costs are fixed, regardless of the size of the extension.
  • Try to minimise changes during the construction phase, as these can bring long delays and high costs.
  • Ensure any new addition is consistent with the existing house.
  • Be diligent in choosing your builder and do not rush into signing a contract until you know exactly what you will get, paying attention to the inclusions and exclusions.
  • Expect delays, especially now with the labour and materials shortage

With all this mind, extending your living space is an exciting time and really can make all the difference. Your living space should be comfortable and enjoyable and increasing this can bring the ultimate pleasure to you and your loved ones. It can also add significant value, be it through extra rooms, larger floor space or a larger outdoor area.