Everything you need to know about finding a home renovation builder
Home extensions and additions are a great way of gaining valuable space without having to move. Home extensions are generally when you add another room to the outside of your existing home, while additions are where you extend upwards, adding another storey to the house. Whether you choose to go up or out, there are many factors to consider. Some are outlined below.
Going Up vs Going Out
If you have limited space on your block, then going up with an addition is probably your best bet. If you add another level to your home, you will be able to keep your garden space, and can increase the level of natural light that your home receives. When adding upwards, consider the streetscape and place your rooms according to their views. Bedrooms and living areas should receive the best views.
However, extending your home up means that your roof will have to come off, and it is important that your builder will provide emergency services in case of bad weather and the like. It is also important to consider how much money you can spend on your extension as extending up is more expensive than extending out.
Choosing to extend outwards means that there will be significantly less disruption to your home, meaning that you can often live in it while the extensions are being built. However, you will lose garden space so it is important to locate the extension as cleverly as possible.
Before beginning any extension or addition, you will need council approvals and permits. Your builder can help you ascertain exactly what approvals you will need and help you negotiate the red tape.
Do not attempt to design your extension or addition yourself – you will need the services of an architect for extensions. They will be able to draw up blueprints for council and other professionals to work from. With any extension, especially an upward addition, you will need an engineer to assess the structural viability of your plans.
The first thing to think about when designing your extension is what your needs are. Your needs will ultimately determine the scope and scale of the project. Use an existing plan of your home with the names of the rooms removed to see where added space would be most advantageous. Disregarding the current usage of your home’s rooms means that you may find that one area would be more suitable as a lounge than as a dining area for example. However, moving plumbing and wiring is expensive so try not to move bathrooms etc if you will not see significant improvement. If you would like to install new plumbing, be sure to choose a good and reputable plumber.
Wherever possible, match the extension or addition to your current home by using materials that match the original. This will ensure that it does not stand out too much. Your roofline should also look matched if extending outward and not “tacked on”.
When budgeting for an extension or addition, remember to factor in some extra money for unforeseen costs that may arise, whether as a result of bad weather or something else. There will always be a hidden expense that you have not budgeted for! Asking for a time limit from your builder on how long the extension will take to complete will also help you set a manageable budget.
As well as budgeting for the extension itself, you may need to budget in extra money for when you are not able to live in your home and other associated expenses.
How Much Does a Home Renovation Cost?
Costing a home renovation is an involved task mainly due to the fact that so many variables are involved. If you are using a dedicated renovation builder expect to be quoted a flat fee which could be broken down into the labour of all the trades involved and materials. Depending on the project involved, renovations to an existing home could range anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands (and more!).
Bathroom additions would be at the early end of that range with single rooms and larger rooms escalating to upper level extensions - typically the most costly type of renovation. Expect to be quoted a per square metre sum in a quote - a figure that may well only be for a shell with no plastering or painting included. The type of material used will also play a major factor in the overall cost, with weatherboard the least expensive followed by brick veneer and solid brick. As always shop around and get at least 3 quotes - and don't forget about additional costs such as insurance and council charges.
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