Second storey additions are a space-suitable way to add more room and possibly add value to your home. However, a costly mistake is something you will definitely want to avoid.

If you have decided you need more living space but don’t want to leave your existing home, second storey additions could be the answer.

Extending homes upwards is becoming a popular home improvement. Second storey additions don’t take up extra ground space, and gardens can be kept in tact.

It can also be less expensive and stressful than moving to a new home.

However, there are stages to work through to make sure that building upwards is successful and safe. Seeking professional advice and planning well bring second storey additions to a successful outcome.

Second Storey Additions Need The Services Of An Architect

You really need to engage an architect if you are intending to add another storey to your home.

An Architect is a highly qualified professional who will develop detailed drawings of your new space. They have the expertise to create a design for a small or awkward space considering engineering, the house below and best use of the new space.

Discuss with your Architect specifics including;

  • how high can the ceilings be?
  • how will natural light enter the space?
  • where will the stairs go?
  • how much downstairs space will be lost due to stairs?
  • how large can the space be?
  • what exterior cladding can be used?
  • how will privacy be retained?

The answers to these questions and more will affect the final plans.

An Architect will also work with a structural engineer and surveyor to assess the existing structure and land for building a second storey.


For Second Storey Additions, Employ A Reputable Builder

This is not the sort of job that just any builder can do. It takes specialist renovation builders to have the knowledge required.

Seek quotes from two or three reputable builders and see examples of their work. Ask friends fro recommendations and be scrupulous with your questions. You are investing a good deal of money so you must be confident you are engaging the right builder.

I am an interior designer in Adelaide. In my interior design work, I engage Master Builders in whom I have great confidence. They are small and independent builders not big companies. In my personal experience, engaging an independent builder has been better than working with a big building company. They are more flexible, don’t generate mountains of paperwork, are more communicative and do excellent work.

All building work has to be done in a particular order and should be to the highest standards to pass building inspections. The time and effort in finding the right builder for you will be well worth it.


Does It Comply With Local Regulations?

A good builder will be able to help you with relevant permits and regulations to ensure everything is in order before they start.

At this stage, it is easier to go back to the Architect to change items that may not comply or if development approval is required.

Different states of Australia have different regulations with which you must comply. Between your builder and Architect, they should be able to sort out all the permits and permissions you require.

You also need to consider your neighbours. Second storey additions may affect their light and privacy so they will object to such plans.

Out of courtesy, if nothing else, you need to let them know what you are doing and try to find solutions to any issues they may have. Having your neighbours on your side could help when planning permits are being applied for.


Ready To Go!!!!!

Once all the approvals and plans are in place, your second storey can be started. Then you have to decide if you will stay in your home or move out while the work is being done. Sometimes, the existing ceilings are not affected, and then staying is not so bad.

You will have to understand that all your services will be disconnected from time to time though. It is this that makes many people move out until the work is complete.

You need to discuss with your builder the likely effects you and the family will suffer while the works are carried out, and then you can make this decision.

When the work has been completed, you will be happy that you made this choice and that you have the extra room you wanted.

If you have used professionals all the way through, it might not have been as daunting as the prospect first seemed when you conceived the idea.


Header Image: Photo by Stephan Bechert on Unsplash