Second Storey Additions – The Solution for Multigenerational Living

In today’s world, it’s becoming more common to see different generations living together in one house. Families do this for various reasons, like saving money, having help with babysitting, or benefiting from the wisdom of older family members. One popular way families are dealing with their growing needs is by adding another storey to their homes. This blog post will discuss how families are building these Second Storey Additions to make room for everyone and enjoy the perks that come with them.

Saving Money:

Adding a Second Storey Addition to your home might seem like a significant expense at first. But in the long run, it can actually save you money. Instead of moving to a bigger house, which can cost a lot, you can just build up. This way, you double your living space without spending a fortune. Plus, the cost of adding a floor can be split between family members, making it affordable for everyone.

Staying Put:

Moving to a new house is stressful and expensive. You have to leave behind your familiar neighbourhood and start over somewhere else. But with Second Storey Addition, you can stay where you are. You keep your community connections and memories, which is especially important for kids and older family members.

Built-In Help:

One great thing about living with different generations is that you always have someone to help with babysitting. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings can pitch in when parents need a break. With a Second Storey Addition, you can make a comfortable space for older family members to stay, giving everyone privacy and convenience.

Learning from Each Other:

Every generation has its own way of parenting. Living together lets families share these different styles and learn from each other. With separate living spaces on different floors, everyone can have their own space while still being close enough to support each other. This can make childcare and raising kids more well-rounded and enjoyable.

Add a Second Storey Addition to your home today:

Families are finding lots of benefits in adding a Second Storey Addition to their homes. It saves money, avoids the hassle of moving, provides built-in babysitting, and lets everyone learn from each other’s parenting styles. Choosing to build up instead of out creates a harmonious living space that encourages both togetherness and independence. If you’re interested in adding an extra floor to your home, it’s a good idea to talk to experts like Smart Home Additions. Embracing multigenerational living can bring happiness, financial stability, and a stronger sense of family unity.

What should you expect to pay before your building on your Second Storey Addition can start?

To finance an addition on your home, you may find yourself applying for a Construction Loan with your lender. This is all well and good; however, you may find that the lender will not formally approve and release funds until plans, Council approval, and a Contract is in place outlining the progress stage payments of the build. So, to get to this point, how much should you expect to outlay? The short answer is that, for most of our clients at Smart Home Additions, it’s around $20-$25K to complete the preliminary stage – this is for the preparation of all the documents required to start building.

Here at Smart Home Additions, we break it down into two manageable costs for our clients, and below is an explanation of the preliminary process to help you as a client understand what happens before we can issue contracts and start your build:

Preliminary Phase 1: Design and Development of Your Architectural Plans

This is the start of your building journey with us. Here we coordinate a survey and engage the draftsperson to come out and meet with you. The draftsperson will talk you through your ideas, then design your initial concept plan to align with the quotation you have received. Usually, a few tweaks may be required, and then you can sign off on your concept plan, and the full architectural drawings can be created, ready for us to lodge for planning approval.

Preliminary Phase 2: Council Lodgement – Development Application & Construction Certificate OR Complying Development Consent

Once your plans are finalised (sitemap, elevations, shadow diagrams, floor plans, etc.), the next step is where we will lodge your plans with the Council or to a Private Certifier either as a Complying Development Consent OR as a Development Application and Construction Certificate.

CDC or DA/CC fees will be advised once plans are developed, and a Council fee quote can be provided. Here we obtain the additional relevant documentation needed for your build to be ready to start, and this includes:

  • Statement of Environmental Effects – Details the potential environmental impacts the proposed build will have.
  • Waste Management Plan – Applies to all homes across Australia and explains how waste generated on-site will be managed, maintained, and disposed of.
  • BASIX – The Building Sustainability Index applies to all residential homes across NSW and confirms the glazing and energy rating minimum required to comply.
  • Engineering plans, and if a first-floor addition, a first-floor certification to confirm your existing home will support the addition.
  • Hydraulic plan and certification – This is to confirm your stormwater connections and how we will connect to the existing or if there are upgrades to the existing needed.
  • Sydney Water check – To confirm that your build will not impact any of Sydney Waters assets.
  • Sewer Service Diagram – We obtain this for the plumber to see where the existing connections to the home are.
  • Long Service Levy – Applies to all residential works over $250K.
  • There may be additional supporting documents required (e.g., Bushfire Report, Flood Report, Acoustic Report, etc.), and any other supporting documents as required.

How long does this process take? Well, this all depends on the Council, the service providers, and you as the client. We find that from planning to Council approval to issuing you with contracts can take around 3/4 months. Once your build cost and inclusions have been finalised, and your HIA fixed-price contract has been issued, you can then provide these to your lender to finalise your finance approval.

If you haven’t built before or have no knowledge of the building and construction industry, preparing all these documents can seem quite daunting. That’s why with Smart Home Additions, you would have us as your main point of contact to do all the hard work for you. We even liaise between yourself and the draftsperson to help you stay within your budget when developing your plans and address any questions you have about the build along the way.

7 Cost-Effective Ways to Save on Your Second Storey Addition

As interest rates have risen, many homeowners face challenges in expanding their living spaces due to reduced lending capacity. A common question arises: “How can we achieve additional space within budget?” Here are seven cost-effective strategies to consider for your second storey addition or extension.

  1. Strategic Planning: Maximise the value of your investment, if considering a second storey addition and a ground floor renovation, focus purely on expanding the size of your home first and the renovation at a later date. This could mean that you can increase value to your home, and you can potentialy renovate later with the additional equity created.
  2. Electrical: Consider the single batten light instead of the 4 downlights in a room, this can reduce wiring, save you electricity costs and build costs and scope of works.
  3. Weatherboard Cladding: Opt for Weatherboard cladding for your home’s exterior. This choice not only saves on material and labour costs but also provides an attractive aesthetic. Explore options like Weathertex cladding for a cost-effective and visually appealing solution.
  4. Ensuite Evaluation: Assess the necessity of an ensuite for the guest bedroom. If it’s rarely used, eliminating this space can result in significant savings on tiling, electrical, plumbing, and fit-out costs, as well as maintenance.
  5. Tile Choices for Bathrooms: Bathroom tiles can impact build costs significantly. Explore various tile options to find a balance between quality and affordability. Choosing a more budget-friendly tile can result in substantial savings without compromising aesthetics.
  6. Door Selection: Decide between solid doors and cost-effective hollowcore doors. Consider whether all doors need an immediate upgrade or if you can choose the more affordable option now, planning for future upgrades.
  7. DIY Internal Painting: If you have the time and skills, consider tackling the internal painting yourself. Hosting a painting day with friends and family can not only be a cost-saving measure but also a fun and collaborative experience.

When deciding on a home addition or extension, finding the balance between needs and budget is crucial. Every family has a unique approach to their requirements, and compromises may be necessary. Clients who focus on increasing home value within a manageable budget often express greater satisfaction and go on to address additional upgrades later. For personalised advice on your addition and associated costs, consult with us—the addition specialists. Contact us today for guidance on your future second storey addition project.

Why you should invest in a professional build cost estimate

Why is paying for a professional build cost estimate a wise investment? When you invest in a professional build cost estimate, you allow a builder to commit time and expertise to approach your project holistically, delivering a detailed cost estimate for the entire project, whether you have plans or not. This investment provides you with a valuable time-based service, leaving you educated, empowered, and aware of the potential next steps for your investment. Beyond the on-site meeting, the builder dedicates time to researching your needs, sourcing prices and products, liaising with trades and suppliers, and even engaging with authorities and specialists before presenting you with an accurately tailored solution. This process educates you about the build and ensures a responsive service leading to a precise proposal and tailored solution for your home – your investment, your family, your lifestyle, and your goals. Investing in a professional build cost estimate is an investment in yourself.

Educating Yourself for Informed Decisions

What does it mean to educate yourself in this context? Over their career, builders accumulate knowledge and experience across various projects, often specialising in specific build types such as additions or extensions. Engaging a builder with expertise in your specific project type is advisable. Through a professional build cost estimate, the builder dedicates time to sharing their knowledge and educating you about the building process, materials, energy efficiency, and sustainable practices. They listen to your needs, respond with information to guide your investment decisions, discuss building materials and their associated costs, and provide advice on enhancing the aesthetics and streetscape of your home. This ensures your project aligns with Council requirements, budget constraints, and lifestyle.

Expectations for Consultation and Responsive Service

During the consultation, which can last from 20 minutes to over an hour, depending on the project, the builder should provide a platform for questions and maintain an open point of contact for any queries that arise afterwards. Smart Home Additions emphasises that you shouldn’t expect a pressured sales session; instead, the consultation should leave you with a better understanding of what is achievable.

Understanding Responsive Service

Responsive service involves effective communication between you and the builder or building company. This encompasses the speed at which your enquiries are addressed and how they are handled. The builder’s responsiveness is measured by how quickly you receive answers, schedule a meeting, and obtain a written quote. Effective communication during the initial stages of your enquiry indicates the builder’s commitment to client-focused processes, ensuring you are looked after throughout the project.

Ensuring Accuracy in Your Quote

Accuracy in your quotation is vital, especially considering the significant investment in your family home. Smart Home Additions advises against relying on free consultations for accurate quotes. By investing in a professional build cost estimate, you can trust that the builder has dedicated the time and resources needed to tailor your quote accurately, providing the best-case solution. An accurate quote not only prevents the builder from underquoting the project but also allows for effective management of the true cost of the build.

Aftercare and Further Discussion

After the consultation, there should be an opportunity to discuss the quote further. This may involve addressing changes or additional questions that arise. Smart Home Additions emphasises the importance of after-quote service, ensuring the builder is available for follow-ups and willing to continue working on your quotation.

Understanding Free Initial Consultations

Why do some builders offer free initial consultations? Smart Home Additions suggests that builders offering free consultations may have fewer clients, be less busy, and provide only a general guide to your build. However, this approach can lead to rushed consultations, delayed quotes, and potential reluctance to explore alternative solutions. Charging a fee for valuable and tailored information ensures that reputable and experienced builders can dedicate sufficient time to delivering the best-case building solution.

In Conclusion, Invest Wisely

In conclusion, invest in a builder who specialises in your desired build type and consider paying for a consultation. This ensures accountability, timely meetings, accurate quotes, and a builder who values and invests time in you. The fee, when viewed in perspective, is a small percentage of the overall project cost, saving you headaches down the track. Use the consultation to tap into the builder’s wealth of knowledge and past experiences, empowering you to make informed decisions aligned with your family and long-term investment goals.

What you can do to prepare your home for a severe weather event?

In recent times, Australia has faced severe weather conditions, marked by high winds and heavy rainfall. These events, along with similar occurrences in recent years, can sometimes surpass the design benchmarks set by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) for homes constructed within the country.

During extreme weather conditions, rainwater can forcefully breach closed windows and be propelled onto roofs in ways homes aren’t designed for, leading to potential water ingress. While the resulting damage may often be minor, it can still cause significant stress for homeowners.

Preparing Your Home for Severe Weather

To safeguard your home against water ingress during severe weather events, incorporate the following checks into your ongoing home maintenance routine:

  1. Clear Gutters and Downpipes: Regularly ensure that gutters and downpipes are free of debris, leaves, and any obstructions.
  2. Roof Inspection: Check your roof routinely for signs of slipped roof tiles, cracks, and potential entry points for water ingress, especially after recent contractor visits (e.g., Foxtel or solar panel installation).
  3. Stormwater Drains: Examine stormwater drains for any blockages that may impede proper drainage.
  4. Window and Door Seals: Inspect window and door seals for signs of cracks or aging, as these can be potential entry points for water.
  5. Identify and Seal Entry Points: Look for other possible entry points and promptly seal them if necessary.

Dealing with Water Ingress During a Severe Weather Event

If you experience water ingress during a severe weather event, follow these steps:

  1. Emergency Assistance: In case of an emergency, contact the SES (State Emergency Service) for immediate assistance.
  2. Mitigate Incoming Water: Take necessary actions to stop or reduce the incoming water as much as possible.
  3. Contact Home Insurer: Reach out to your home insurer as the first step to understanding the options available to you.

Post-Severe Weather Event Actions

When severe weather events occur, homeowners typically contact their home builder for inspections or rectification of damage. However, if the issues arise due to the severe weather event, it is advisable to consider the following:

  1. Emergency Situations: For immediate assistance, contact the SES.
  2. Non-Emergency Situations: Take actions to mitigate water ingress and then contact your home insurer to explore available options.
  3. Claimable Under Insurance: Damages caused by severe weather events are likely claimable under your owner’s home insurance.
  4. Maintenance Responsibilities: If the issues are a result of the severe weather event, they may fall under your owner’s home insurance or be considered maintenance issues for you to address.

In conclusion, proactively addressing potential vulnerabilities and promptly seeking assistance or taking preventive measures during severe weather events can minimize the impact on your home and provide peace of mind for homeowners.