Coming to the realisation that you simply need more liveable space is easy, the idea of moving, finding a new home that ticks all the boxes and isn’t out of your price range is the hard part. This is especially true if you love your home or the area you live in.
With land sizes decreasing, a great solution for many people is to add a second storey addition (aka first floor addition) to their home. You gain liveable space without losing yard and you get to stay in your (now new and improved!) home.
However there are lots of things to take into consideration when you’re thinking about this option. Today we’re going to look at just a few of them. At Keystone, part of our process is to have a consultation with you to discuss these things and more in detail so you can be sure that this kind of addition is the perfect choice for your unique needs.
#1 WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE FROM THE STREET?
With any kind of home addition you need to consider how the extension will marry in with the existing home, but this is even more crucial when you’re building up and the addition will be seen clearly from the street. Consider if you want to change the overall look of your home with rendering, additional porticos and verandahs. Do you want the finishings like window frames to match the existing house, or change them all? You’ve basically got 2 options here. 1) Make the extension tie in with the existing house as much as possible or 2) use the opportunity to change the look of the whole house.
#2 CAN YOUR EXISTING STRUCTURE HANDLE IT?
What materials were used to construct your home? Obviously a second storey is going to weigh significantly more than your existing roof so you’ll need to be sure that the foundations can handle it. We’ll bring in an engineer to look at both how the existing structure will hold up and what additional reinforcements may be necessary. This is really important with older homes that might not necessarily meet modern building codes.
#3 WHERE ARE THE STAIRS GOING TO GO?
Have you thought about where the staircase up to the second storey is going to go? Bear in mind that it is going to take away some downstairs floor space so there are a few things to think about. Do you want it to be a feature, or more hidden away? Where can you place it so it doesn’t interrupt the existing flow of traffic through the home? You’ll need to find a place that balances ease of getting upstairs with looks and downstairs functionality.
#4 WHAT ABOUT YOUR ELECTRICAL AND WATER SYSTEMS?
Your hot water and electrical set up might be perfect for your needs right now, but could it cope with an additional bathroom, bedrooms or living areas? There are only so many lines you can have coming off your fuse box so if you’ll need new power points and lights, you’ll need to make sure that your current box has the capacity otherwise an upgrade might be in order. If you’re installing a new bathroom upstairs then you’ll need to make sure that your hot water system is big enough and placed appropriately to ensure the hot water can get to the new room in a timely manner.
#5 HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THE ROOF?
Obviously a big part of adding a second story involves removing your existing roof. This gives you the perfect opportunity to think about what you’d like to use on the new addition. You need to take a step back and decide on the overall look of your home. Would a colourbond roof work with the new look? Or would traditional tiles be more aesthetically pleasing? Then consider the colour. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to roofs, but your choice has a huge impact on the look and feel of your home, so be sure to think it through thoroughly.
We hope this article has gotten you thinking about some of the important considerations when it comes to adding a second storey addition (aka first floor addition).
If you have questions or would like to discuss anything you’ve read today, get in touch with us. We’re more than happy to help..