Renovation Options: First-Floor Additions Versus Second-Story Construction

Back in the 1950s, the typical residential property in Australia was approximately 105 square metres, but this figure has skyrocketed over the past six decades or so. Industry researchers have ascertained that the average Australian home is now almost 140% larger, with 240 square metres as the median figure throughout the nation.

However, due to the fact that our country’s homeownership rate is just starting to ascend from its all-time low of 65% in 2016, this upturn with regard to property sizes can be credited to the increasing prevalence of renovations that enhance the functional area within a given home.

As such, you shouldn’t be surprised to find out that Australian householders spend more than $8 billion on refurbishments and revamps, an unprecedented spending rate according to the most recent ABS reports.

To help you make a sound decision for your next domestic venture, this piece will review the best house renovations in Sydney by comparing first-floor additions with second-story enhancements.

Building on the First Floor

 In most cases, the team of builders will excavate the ground in the target area, implement a reinforced foundation, and then erect the walls before merging your home with the new space. But let’s take a second to highlight the pros and cons of this kind of endeavour:

  • Pros: First-floor extensions generally involve minimum interference with the existing area in your home, mainly because you aren’t relying on the current framework to support a weighty second-story room. In some situations, with smaller builds in particular, the contractors will not even have to install a slab. A first-floor bump-out will enable you to recover somewhere between 60-70% of your initial investment
  • Cons: You will obviously lose some lawn space with a ground-level addition, but the biggest impediment generally comes in the form of zoning complications and other municipal issues. The best-rated construction teams should be able to help you navigate these rules and regulations based on the nature of your property.

Enhancing Your Second Story

Unless your home can already support the added weight of overhead construction, the builders will likely have to augment your foundation and reinforce the adjoining walls. Shown below are the boons and drawbacks of a second-floor project:

  • Pros: You can preserve the natural appearance of your yard, and customary zoning restrictions probably won’t present a hitch in the process. Second-story improvements also boost the perceived size of the building far more than a first-floor development, which is why they feature a slightly higher ROI; the national average is roughly 72%.
  • Cons: There are stipulations governing permissible structure heights, so you’ll have to address this potential snag with your contractors. Furthermore, building upwards will require you to include a stairwell, plumbing, ductwork, and electrical provisions, all of which are much harder to weave into a second-floor addition.

If you’re ready to isolate the most suitable option for your home and your pocketbook, be sure to visit the landing page of your local builders to arrange a free consultation.


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Peter Bailey