Handy House Extension & Renovation Tips

Extending your home is a great way to gain extra living space to grow, boost the resale value of your home and give an old or outdated design a modern facelift, without the hassle and associated costs of moving.


There are many ways to extend your current home. To name a few, you can reconfigure an existing space, build new rooms, add a second-storey and establish an outdoor entertainment area. Regardless, your idea has to be viable and compliant with council guidelines (whether you need council approval depends on the scope).


Here are a few handy tips to help make the process a little easier for you;


1. Choose a Building Company with relevant skills and expertise:

While there’s no shortage of builders to choose from, which one you entrust to extend your home will make or break the experience. There are a number of factors to consider so that you choose a builder that fits your needs.


A quality builder should meet the following criteria:

• Have relevant experience in building extensions similar to yours


• Hold a current builders license relevant to their trade or expertise


• Be covered with the necessary insurance including Public Liability and Builders Warranty Insurance (this protects you if the project is unfinished or the final product is defective)


• Have a strong track record of successful projects complete with testimonials.


• Have a clear understanding of relevant council laws and Building Code of Australia


• Adhere to relevant Work Health and Safety guidelines and procedures


Along with the above criteria, your builder should also be friendly, easy to understand, and responsive to your messages and phone calls. So if your builder is both highly skilled and you get along with them, the journey will be smooth sailing.

2. Allowances or Inclusions:

It is very important to decide on the inclusions you require and their costs. Many house extensions begin as a “quick job” that is quoted for example $50,000 only to end up costing $80,000. This happens very often and if budget is tight and a real concern, then it is highly recommended that you understand the inclusions offered to you.


When seeking builder’s quotes, take time assessing the inclusions, exclusions and variable rate. For example, if the tiles you like for your bathroom are $40 per square metre and the builder’s quote is estimated at $20 per square metre, the $20 difference per square is then added on to the final price listed on the quote, along with the profitable “variable” rate that is added on.


This can be easily solved by visiting showrooms, warehouses and suppliers to understand the price range your selected items lie in as well as preparing a detailed inclusions list with your builder or general contractor.


3. Extra Work:

A renovation is a great time to update existing features of the existing home such as old flooring, old wall finishes, lights, kitchens/bathrooms, cabinetry and the rest. Not including this in your plans or requirements to your builder can become a shocking surprise when you mention it later on. This is due to the fact that timing is crucial on site and supplies/stock must be prepared when necessary as there are many factors builders work on such as booking in of trades, meetings on other sites etc. If you are planning to update any of the existing elements of your home, add it to your plans. Don’t forget the cost to demolish/remove these elements.


As you can see, house extensions can be a challenging process but they can also be very rewarding. All you have to do is create good building plans and work with experienced, dedicated professionals, giving you the best results in the long run.

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