House extensions, renovations, and home improvements are all considerations that most Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne homeowners will have at one stage or another. Few people move straight into their dream home and live there without taste or circumstances changing for their whole life. With the inflationary cost of the Australian real estate market, and the relatively low cost of house extensions, many homeowners are discovering that investing in their current home is an option that makes sense.
Some of the typical reasons for contemplating altering the home include:
- Expanding family
- Lifestyle improvements
- Financial gain
- Modernising the home
- Grandparents moving in
This website is a guide for those considering home extensions so some of the financial, emotional, time effort and costs of house extensions can be fully understood.
Making a Decision
There are many factors related to the cost of house extensions. Many choose to extend because they are happy where they live; their locale is as much a part of their home as the house itself. Extending and renovating the home can release a new vitality in structure itself and in daily lifestyle. It also allows for fixing all the things that weren’t quite right and will add value to the property if done properly.
The first step is research. It is important to gather as much information as possible on different options within your financial means. Ask friends, drive around neighbourhoods that are pleasing or appropriate to your lifestyle, speak with builders, read magazines, browse the Internet.
Understanding the True Cost of your House Extensions
Whatever your choice, it will generally be one of your biggest financial decisions.
The cost of house extensions and renovations is usually less expensive than both knocking down and rebuilding and relocating. A typical house extension and renovation will range between $100,000 and $300,000. This is most often a fraction of what it would cost to knock down and rebuild. In comparison to relocation, extending is usually a less expensive option when you consider the savings in stamp duty, agent’s fees and the cost of buying a better/bigger home.
Visit our Extensions vs New Homes vs Relocation page for further information.
Choosing the Right People
Australia is a nation of do-it-yourself people who love to fix and improve everything through their own ingenuity and experience. When it comes to extending the home, it is best to employ professionals at every step. This is a large and lengthy project, so deciding on to do it on your own is rarely a wise decision.
The ideal choice is to select a design and build company , as they will be with the project every step of the way. Their reputation is based on both good design, good construction and good project management so quite often a design and build company offers greater support and accountability.
Selecting a separate architect, draftsman and builder may lead to complications later. Each has their own place in the project and so they have their own priorities – seldom is their care directed toward total satisfaction at the end. The cost of the house extension usually reflects the quality of workmanship and materials – cutting corners is not advised, ever. Once again, research is the key, know the reputation of the company and tradespeople being used and ensure they are experienced, realistic and recognised by either their clients or the industry for their skill.
The option does exist to be an owner builder and undertake the responsibility of the home renovation or extension, whether or not professional tradespeople are employed in addition. An owner builder is a homeowner who constructs or renovates a domestic building without seeking commercial gain and who is not directly associated with the building industry. This option can negate certain warranties and insurance details associated with building and builders and should only be undertaken by someone who is confident in their ambitions.
Careful planning and training should be undertaken before making the decision to deconstruct your biggest asset. Industry associations, such as the Master Builders Association, provide courses that will assist would-be owner builders to get started. In addition, particular attention should be paid to budgets. It is not unusual for inexperienced owner builders to underestimate the true costs of house extensions, which often results in unfinished homes and disputes with contractors.
Feeling Good About the Decision
Your home is your castle and is where you will spend much of your life. To extend and renovate the home is to make a decision to improve your lifestyle. Provided the proper research was done, an honest and experienced builder selected, and some patience is employed, the decision to extend and renovate the home will feel good for many years after.
Please use the Extension Calculator and browse the website for more advice on the cost of house extensions and renovations in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.