Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
You may find that the decision to extend your home upwards or outwards is not yours to make freely, either due to planning regulations and or lack of room on your property.
Generally the cost of building an upward home extension is more expensive that extending out. So if you are budgeting for further additions such as kitchen renovations or a home office and have plenty of room on your property, you may opt on the side of the less costly option.
Try to stay unemotional in this decision. For example, if your justification behind wanting to extend up instead of out is based on the fact that you don’t want to build over your precious DIY paving or fish pond, then the reasoning of a professional may provide more sensible unbiased advice on how to proceed.
Besides providing more living and storage space, an upper storey extension can help to bring more light into the property. It will also save you losing space with your existing garden.
Have you considered making the most of the front also, Why not increase your kerbside appeal you can extend out the front of your house to increase your streetscape presence and possibly add to the value of your home. But remember not to fall foul of your neighbours.
Extending outwards means that you can keep your original roof, which will save you a great deal of money. Although, you will have to match it with the current roof.
An additional storey that enhances the access to pleasant views, particularly water and country side views, can dramatically boost the value of your home.
Going up obviously means taking the roof off, which brings its own set of problems. Many people worry about the inconvenience of living in an unsealed house, particularly in wintry conditions. However, some builders promise all-weather 24 hour emergency work and a call out for the duration of the work.
Two-storey extensions mean adding extra weight onto the existing house. You may need to under pin the property, this can be extremely expensive to carry out and takes time also. Some older style slab homes or cheap package homes are not built to withstand an upward extension. It will destabilise the foundations and cause irreparable damage if not surveyed correctly by an engineer.
Contracting an engineer to establish the structural possibility of an extension is compulsory. You may be told that an upward extension is impossible and instead consider the option of a knockdown-rebuild.
There are of course ways however building contractors can work around structural limitations by carefully distributing weight to different areas of the home. Using a timber style frame and it becomes imperative at this stage that you are dealing with an experience extension builder and trusted engineer.
Does your home extension meet local planning regulations?
Your design professional will also help you ensure that your extension meets local planning regulations. Remember that many local council regulations state the allowed distance a structure can be from your property boundary and what percentage of land is permitted to be covered by a building; therefore some extensions require council approval prior to works. However some are exempt from planning.