How Much Does a First Floor Addition Cost in Sydney?

Curious about the cost of a first floor addition in Sydney? Discover comprehensive insights into pricing, factors influencing costs, and tips for budget management in our detailed guide.

Adding a first floor to your home in Sydney is a significant investment that can enhance your living space and increase your property’s value. Whether you’re expanding to accommodate a growing family or looking to add a luxurious touch to your home, understanding the costs involved is crucial. This guide will provide a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with a first floor addition in Sydney, the factors influencing these costs, and tips for managing your budget effectively.

Understanding the Basics of a First Floor Addition

What is a First Floor Addition?

A first floor addition involves adding a new level to an existing single-storey home. This construction project includes creating additional rooms, installing staircases, and ensuring structural integrity and compliance with building codes.

Benefits of a First Floor Addition

  • Increased Living Space: Gain additional bedrooms, bathrooms, or even a home office.
  • Enhanced Property Value: A well-executed addition can significantly boost your home’s market value.
  • Improved Aesthetics: Modern designs can transform your home’s appearance and functionality.

Factors Influencing the Cost of a First Floor Addition

  • Size and Complexity of the Project

The overall size of the addition and the complexity of the design are primary cost drivers. Larger spaces and intricate architectural details will naturally require more materials and labor, increasing the total cost.

  • Materials and Finishes

The choice of materials and finishes greatly affects the budget. Opting for high-end materials such as premium flooring, custom cabinetry, and luxury fixtures can significantly elevate costs compared to standard options.

  • Structural Modifications

Structural changes, including reinforcing the existing foundation and walls to support the new level, add to the overall expense. These modifications ensure the safety and stability of the addition.

  • Permits and Approvals

Navigating the local council’s regulations and obtaining the necessary permits can be time-consuming and costly. Fees for permits and approvals vary depending on the complexity and scope of the project.

  • Professional Fees

Hiring architects, structural engineers, and builders is essential for a successful project. Professional fees can constitute a substantial portion of the budget but are crucial for ensuring quality and compliance with regulations.

Average Cost of a First Floor Addition in Sydney

The cost of a first floor addition in Sydney can vary widely based on the factors mentioned above. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $260,000 and $500,000. This range covers basic to mid-range finishes and does not account for high-end customisations, which can push costs even higher.

Cost Breakdown

Design and Planning: $20,000 – $30,000
Permits and Approvals: $5,000 – $10,000
Construction: $150,000 – $350,000
Finishes and Fixtures: $20,000 – $60,000
Contingency: 10% of total budget

Ways to Manage and Reduce Costs

  • Detailed Planning

Thorough planning helps avoid unexpected expenses. Collaborate closely with your draftsperson and builder to create a detailed plan and realistic budget.

  • Choose Standard Materials

Opting for standard, yet high-quality materials can significantly reduce costs without compromising on aesthetics and functionality.

  • Hire Reputable Professionals

Experienced builders can offer valuable insights and cost-effective solutions, ensuring the project stays within budget during the planning stage.

  • Staged Construction

Consider completing the project in stages to spread the costs over time. (eg. complete the second storey first and renovate the ground floor later) This approach allows for better financial management and minimises disruption while maximising your investment on your home.

  • Regular Budget Reviews

Frequently review the budget and expenditure to stay on track. Address any deviations immediately to prevent cost overruns.


A first floor addition is a substantial investment that can greatly enhance your home’s functionality and value. By understanding the costs involved and planning meticulously, you can achieve a beautiful and practical addition within your budget.

For homeowners in Sydney, partnering with a reputable builder like 32 Degrees Building can make the process smoother and more efficient. With expertise in second storey additions, ground floor extensions, and large-scale renovations, they can provide the guidance and quality craftsmanship needed for a successful project.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a first floor addition take to complete? The duration of a first floor addition varies based on the project’s complexity and size. Typically, it can take between 4-6 months for planning and approvals and then 10-14 weeks build time.

Do I need council approval for a first floor addition in Sydney? Yes, council approval is required for most external structural modifications including first floor additions. This is to ensure the addition complies with local building codes and regulations.

Can I live in my home during the construction of a first floor addition? Depending on the extent of the construction, you might be able to stay in your home. However, for significant projects, it might be more convenient to arrange temporary accommodation. We require a 2 week vacate time at the beginning of the build while electrical and demolition safety work is completed.

How can I ensure the quality of the construction? Hiring experienced professionals, using quality materials are key to ensuring high-quality construction.

What should I consider when choosing a builder for a first floor addition? Consider the builder’s experience, reputation, past projects, and client reviews. It’s essential to select a builder who understands your vision and can deliver within your budget.

The Cheapest Way to Build a Second Storey: Smart Tips for Affordable Home Additions

Discover the cheapest way how to afford a home addition and build a second storey addition with expert advice from Smart Home Additions. Learn cost-effective methods and smart strategies for affordable home additions.

Expanding your home with a second storey can significantly enhance your living space without encroaching on your outdoor areas. However, such an undertaking can be quite costly. If you want to add more space without breaking the bank, exploring the cheapest ways to build a second storey is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss practical tips and strategies to help you achieve a budget-friendly home addition.

Understanding the Essentials of a Second Storey Addition

Building a second storey involves more than just adding another level to your house. It requires a detailed assessment of your current structure, planning for additional support, and ensuring the new storey integrates seamlessly with your existing home. These steps are essential to ensure safety, functionality, and aesthetics.

Strategic Planning and Design

Hire an Experienced Builder

Although hiring a builder that specialises in Second Storey Additions, their expertise can save you money in the long run. An experienced specialist builder can design a cost-effective plan that maximises space and minimises unnecessary costs.

Keep the Design Simple

Complex architectural designs can quickly escalate costs. Opt for a straightforward layout that aligns with your existing structure. Simple designs are not only cheaper to build but also easier to execute.

Selecting Cost-Effective Materials

Lightweight Construction Materials

Using lightweight materials like timber or steel frames can reduce the need for extensive foundation work, significantly cutting costs. These materials are not only affordable but also easier and quicker to install.

Maximising Space Efficiency

Align with Existing Systems

Placing new bathrooms or kitchens above existing ones can save on plumbing and electrical work. This strategy minimises the need for new plumbing lines and electrical circuits, cutting down on labour and material costs.

Utilise Natural Light

Incorporating large windows and skylights can reduce the need for artificial lighting, saving on both installation and long-term energy costs. Natural light can also make the new space feel larger and more inviting.

Managing Labour Costs

Choose a Reputable Builder

While it might be tempting to choose the cheapest builder, hiring a reputable company like Smart Home Additions ensures quality work and can prevent costly mistakes. Experienced builders work more efficiently, saving you time and money.

DIY Where Possible

If you have the necessary skills, consider handling some tasks yourself. Painting, landscaping, and minor interior finishes are areas where DIY can save you a significant amount of money.

Effective Financing Options

Consider a Construction Loan

A construction loan can provide the funds needed for your project with flexible repayment options. Consult with your bank or a financial advisor to find the best loan options for your financial situation.


What permits are needed for a second storey addition?

Building a second storey addition typically requires planning permits and building approvals. Check with your local council for specific requirements in your area.

How long does it take to build a second storey?

The timeframe can vary depending on the design complexity and builder availability. On average, it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months.

Can my house support a second storey?

A structural assessment by a professional is necessary to determine if your existing foundation and structure can support the additional weight of a second storey.

What are common challenges in building a second storey?

Challenges can include structural issues, unexpected costs, and disruptions to daily life. Proper planning and hiring experienced professionals can help mitigate these challenges.

Is it cheaper to build a second storey or extend outwards?

Building upwards is often more cost-effective than extending outwards, especially if land space is limited. However, the choice depends on your specific circumstances and budget.

How can I minimise disruptions during construction?

Careful planning and regular communication with your builder can help minimise disruptions. Temporary relocations or staying with family during peak construction times can also be beneficial.


Building a second storey is a major investment, but it doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. By following the strategies outlined in this guide, you can add valuable space to your home without overspending. From selecting cost-effective materials to engaging with experienced professionals like Smart Home Additions, you can achieve a beautiful and functional second storey addition that fits within your budget.


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.

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.