One of the most exciting things about owning a property is seeing its value increase over time. Do house extensions add value to your home? Whether you are looking to up your property value before selling or just wishing to improve your home, a house extension can be a worthy investment.
Alongside this, house extensions will improve your everyday home life. Whether you struggle with enough space for all of your belongings or the kids constantly bicker about having to share a room, a house extension could provide the solution that you’ve been looking for.
How To Start Planning A House Extension?
Firstly, you need to answer the question: can I put an extension on my house? Some properties and lands will not always allow for an extension – depending on what specific renovations you want to make to the property. However, the planning rules have seen a relaxation in the last few years – meaning that homeowners have more flexibility in making improvements to their home.
Next, you’ll need to consider the changes you want to make. Would these changes appeal to the average buyer’s taste? It’s always wise to match your extension to the existing architectural style of the building – meaning that both the renovations and existing property will connect seamlessly together.
Once you’ve confirmed that you can extend and have some rough ideas about how you want your new extension to look, you’ll need to get in touch with a professional home extension designer – such as Framemaster. Here, we have the skillset to ensure your extension will meet all legal planning laws, as well as helping you get the most out of your budget.
How Long Do House Extensions Take?
Typically, for a relatively simple extension, the construction time should take around 3-4 months. However, this is largely dependent on the type of work you are having done – as this average is based on a three-metre, single rear extension. If you have a larger or double height rear extension built, this may take around six months to complete.
Different Types Of Extensions
Many different types of extensions suit different properties. Your needs will determine which option is best for you.
Ground floor extensions
A perfect option if you are looking to create more space in your home. With a ground floor extension, you will be extending your home’s footprint, so you will need to have the necessary space on your land to do so.
Ideal for creating larger entertaining areas, adding in an alfresco dining area, or increasing the kitchen or laundry room size.
Single storey additions
Maybe you don’t want to take up any more of your outdoor space, so you’re more interested in extending upwards rather than outwards. If this is the case, you’re looking at a single storey addition
Single storey additions can give you enough space to add in an extra bedroom, a dedicated study or more bathrooms. Perfect for a growing family or if you find yourself needing office space to work from home.
Attic conversions help you make the most of the space that you already have. Did you know that up to 30% of the total floor area of many houses is the unused space beneath the roof? Turn this redundant space into a new living area, a home office, storage area or even an extra bedroom.
The Benefits of a House Extension
A house extension from Select will add value to your home straight away. That’s because, with their modern designs, you’ll be able to make your living space more thermally efficient. Your extension will feature advanced double glazing and durable materials like brickwork, which improve your space’s insulation and help you use energy less, cutting the cost of your bills.
Additionally, you won’t need to worry about draughts and damp spots developing. Your extension will be fully weatherproof, with air and water-tight windows, doors and roofing. As a result, the build will last for decades, and a well-maintained house extension will add more value to your home when you decide to move on!
Not only that, but you won’t have to settle for a space that doesn’t suit you. With Select, you can fully customise your house extension! As a result, you’ll get a space fit for any purpose. You could create a new lounge, kitchen-diner, home office or reading room with ease – the possibilities will be at your fingertips to add value to your home.
How Much Does A House Extension Add Value?
When you invest in a house extension, you’ll add value to your home from day one. However, you can benefit from its value for decades to come or when you’ve moved into a new property. Extensions are something that many property buyers look for to give them a brilliant new home. Because of this, you can expect higher, more frequent offers for your home should you decide to move!
Your house extension could add as much as 15% more value to your property. As a result, you could move into a better home if you choose to relocate. Not only that but maintaining your extension well could have an even bigger impact. That way, a buyer will be investing in the care you’ve put into your property as well.
Also, buyers may look for unique features inside your extension. Because of this, it pays to create a fully bespoke design. You can invest in a range of options for your space, and they’re fully customisable to suit you. You could pick unique sliding doors, a skylight or exposed timber and brickwork and customise them with unique colours and finishes.
Specific Costs To Take Into Account
We’ve listed the most common cost factors below:
At the start of the process, an architect or draftsman will be engaged to draw up plans for your renovation. Costs for a set of plans vary considerably. A draftsman may produce plans quickly from $2000 – $8000. An architect may produce plans from $15,000 and upwards, depending on the complexity of your project.
It is ideal if the plans are as detailed as possible in order to enable the builder to price up the build accurately. When plans are not detailed enough, this usually causes budget overruns.
Council plans and approvals
Council approval or a building permit may be required depending on your job. Typically your concept plans would be submitted to the council, which charge a fee for this submission. This ranges from $1,500-$4,000 for an average home extension; however, we advise checking with your local council for their fees as this varies between areas.
It’s also important to keep in mind that if your home has special requirements such as a heritage listing, there may be other costs involved.
Surveyor or engineer
You may require a surveyor or engineer’s professional advice depending on your project.
Reinforcement of existing home
A single-storey addition or large attic conversion will sit on top of the existing home so that the lower level may need a certain level of reinforcement or structural changes. A ground floor extension may also require some structural changes to the joining walls of the existing home.
The number and size of windows you require will impact the cost. Skylights are a great option for single storey additions and attic conversions. If you want double glazing, this will be at an added cost as well.
Roofing and tiling
The new roof will require tiling.
Does your renovation include a bathroom or kitchen? Plumbing will be an added cost instead of an extension that is just a living room or bedroom.
Do you need to extend the gas lines to have gas heating in your home’s new area? Do you require air conditioning? Ducted air-conditioning and reverse cycle are some costs to consider and will depend on your extension size.
Interior fixtures and fittings
The cost of carpet, floorboards and tiles vary greatly depending on your preference. Do you want plantation shutters, curtains or roller blinds on your windows? Other fittings include door handles, light fittings and paint, as well as sinks, baths, toilets and showers.
Home Extensions That Will Increase Your Property Value
Having a fully self-contained separate dwelling on your property can satisfy your family’s need for extra space. A Granny flat can also create additional income via long-term tenants or temporary dwellers through websites like Air BnB.
A Granny flat can vary in costs to create, but an additional bedroom and bathroom to the property can add approximately $100,000.
A Second Floor
The ultimate in home extensions, a second level adds significant value to your property. This is the most extensive of home alterations and will require some flexibility from homeowners to get the job completed. There will be a period of time where there is no roof on your property, and alternative living will be needed.
It is one of the most rewarding of all extensions, with approximately a 30-60% increase in your property’s overall value. The appeal of second-story homes in the Melbourne market comes with additional bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces and the potential of breathtaking views. If self-contained, it could serve as an additional point of income, with a similar purpose to a ‘Granny flat’.
A Home Office
As more and more Melbourne residents are working from home either full time or several days a week, investing in creating an office space is a smart idea.
A good home office typically has a separate entrance from the living space, an Internet connection and data cabling. An expertly completed and functional home office can add up to $100,000 of value to your property.
A forgotten extension for homes, and one that’s a bit more unique, is the loft conversion. Depending on your household’s structure and design, a loft extension can make an extra bedroom, second living room or entertainment space possible.
A low-cost extension, this option still offers considerable return, with the potential to increase your property’s value by 22%.
A Deck or Terrace
A great house extension idea is to blend the indoors with the outdoors.
An extensive and functional outdoor entertainment space is an attractive feature for properties in today’s Melbourne market. As a result, extending your entertaining space outdoors is a smart investment for your property. When covered, fully or partially, a deck can become an all-weather space for dining, entertaining or just relaxing.
With an upfront cost of approximately $10,000-$25,000, depending on the extent of the job, it can show a return of up to $100,000 of additional value to your property.
Questions To Ask Yourself If You’re Planning An Extension
What is the first step?
No matter how big or small, every extension project requires a custom design solution. It is an opportunity to improve a house’s liveability and a chance to add value to the property. Therefore, it is critical that you get professional help at the design stage of the project to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your given budget. This should be your first step.
The options in most cases are to engage a draftsperson, a building designer or an architect, and generally speaking, the fees associated will increase in that order. However, rather than focus on the exact profession of who you might engage, be familiar with the type of work they do. Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. When interviewing your shortlist of preferred designers, ensure they can demonstrate experience working with a brief and a budget similar to yours.
Who am I building it for?
This is an important and often overlooked question. Too many people get into an extension project without enough clarity about what they are trying to achieve.
You need to think carefully about who you are building it for and the project’s purpose. For example, are your children still young and likely to be at home for a long time, or are they grown up and more likely to be leaving home soon? Do you want them to leave home, or do you want them to stay on for a while? Maybe the kids have already left, and you are approaching retirement, in which case you should ask yourself if you need any extra space at all.
Your design brief should address these very personal and unique aspects of your life, rather than being a list of random thoughts and ideas you have seen over the years. Clarifying these questions and their answers will help you create a detailed brief, which is also more likely to avoid overspending on unnecessary spaces and items.
Do we have enough space to extend?
To answer this question, you’ll need to think about what it is you actually need. One extra bedroom may not take up a lot of room, but a new family room and the kitchen are bigger extensions that may impact the amount of space you have leftover for a backyard, for example.
You can start to visualise how much space you might need by using rope or other markers to map out how big the new spaces will take up on your property. Use the size of your existing rooms as a guide to how big each room should be. Then stand back and assess what you have left and if you are happy with the open space that remains.
Maybe we need to go up?
If you don’t have enough space to extend at ground level, you may need to consider going up and adding a second storey. Adding another level is great for retaining backyards and open space. However, extending up is rarely the most cost-effective option as there is a lot of work in removing the roof structure, replacing it with a new floor structure and supporting the new upper-floor walls.
Another important consideration is what it will look like. Investing in a second storey addition has the potential to enhance the look of your home and give it more appeal in the streetscape. Still, to avoid the look of it being ‘tacked on, you should consider the benefits of engaging a good architect or building designer to balance the practical solutions you require with the aesthetic considerations.
How do we make it cost-effective?
One of the dearest elements of an extension is demolition work and the knock-on costs that tend to follow. Keep in mind that there will also need to be a lot of rectification work done involving several tradespeople for each demolished wall.
A major potential cost of demolishing walls is the likelihood that structural modifications will be required if the wall being removed is load-bearing. But regardless of whether the wall is load-bearing or not, repairs will still be required at the base of the wall where it connected with the floor and at the top of the wall where it connected with the ceiling. In each case, there are several tradespeople involved, including carpenters, plasterboard experts, and painters.
Plus, depending on the rooms affected, electricians, plumbers, ceramic tilers or timber floor installers may also be required. Think very carefully during the planning stage about designing your extension with as few existing walls removed as possible.
It’s completely up to you whether you decide to extend your home or not. However, extending your property can provide many benefits – such as allowing you the right amount of space in the right location and expanding the opportunities to create a lighter, more spacious household. Of course, the financial element should be considered – but if you have the means to afford a home renovation, then it’s believed that house extensions can be extremely worthwhile.