Adding a first floor to your North Shore home is an excellent way to maximise your space, accommodate your family’s needs, and increase the value of your home.
You have the opportunity to design an entire new level in your home, which is really exciting, isn’t it?
Being on the North Shore, here are some things you need to know if you want to add a first floor to your home.
Does it make economic sense? Does it produce good capital value?
First-floor additions in Sydney generally produce the best quality accommodation in terms of views, sunlight and ventilation. A new level gives you a lot of freedom in planning your new spaces.
There are no solid walls, bathrooms or expensive plumbing and electrical items getting in the way as there are in an on-ground renovation!
Economy of Scale
Larger additions generally produce better value because larger areas result in better economy of scale. The smallest effective addition is about 75 square metres, the equivalent of about three bedrooms and a bathroom. This enables the designer to create an addition which looks like a genuine two- story home, not like a roof with a room or two sticking out of it!
Stamp Duty Savings
Another factor which improves the value of an addition is that you avoid the Stamp Duty you pay when moving home. Stamp duty on a $1 mil home is over $40 000. See http://stampduty.calculatorsaustralia.com.au/stamp-duty-nsw to find out what yours would be.
Save Your Garden
Many people buy a house because of an attractive rear garden for the kids. An upstairs addition generally preserves the back garden. Conversely, an on ground addition usually gobbles up much of your precious back garden space.
Should I consult an architect or a building designer?
What is your vision for a first floor addition? In converting your vision to reality you will need the services of a talented designer. Architects are designers who have studied building design at a university for 5 years.
All the designers at Add-Style Home Additions have architecture degrees and have developed their skills in designing home additions. We know how to produce the best result in an addition and to avoid the pitfalls from long experience in designing.
While we listen closely regarding your requirements and achieve them as far as possible we will let you know about impractical or unnecessarily expensive solutions at an early stage. If you want to know if your designer is in fact a registered architect go to: https://www.architects.nsw.gov.au/
Tim Hookins, one of the Directors of Addstyle, is our registered architect. Our designers work as a team assisting one another throughout the design and construct process.
What council requirements apply to first floor additions?
Is your home in a heritage conservation area? Are you situated on bushfire-prone land? Both are characteristics of most homes on the North Shore. You have to take into consideration the uniqueness of your home.
What will be the impact on your neighbours? Shadows cast by the added floor and the changed street appeal are important factors that councils consider.
Here are the main four requirements councils will consider:
- Will your addition comply with height limits and boundary setback limits?
- Does your property have storm-water runoff requirements?
- Is your home in a bush-fire prone area?
- Does your home have a heritage listing?
It pays dividends to have designers who have a good working knowledge of local council and state building codes.
A wrong or non-compliant application can waste weeks in Council. Past experience enables a good designer to produce a result close to, but still in compliance with council limits and codes. Local knowledge will result in your design and approval process being smoother and quicker, saving time and money.
Can I live in my home during the construction period?
Although it sounds unlikely a suitably designed upstairs addition can enable you to continue living in your home throughout the construction period of your first floor addition.
At design stage we might recommend avoiding demolition of a bathroom, the kitchen, or the laundry and we might suggest a location for the Stairs which will result in the loss of just a smaller bedroom. There are many seemingly unimportant design features which make living through an addition easier for our clients.
Our contractors and tradespeople are trained to minimise disruption and to behave in a civil and respectful way towards our clients. Actually our tradespeople are simply nice folk who naturally try to make the experience as positive as it can be.
A full service home design and build team might be the best investment you will make!
Our inclusive Design and Build procedures mean that we tie together all the loose ends of design, costing, getting approvals, managing consultants, agreeing contracts and finally construction. There is no blaming different people at different stages. It’s all under one roof, it takes the stress out of the process and makes it an enjoyable experience.
By specialising in what we do and focussing on what we are certain produces the best value, we remain competitive and happy to compete in all our projects. We work with your budget and come up with affordable but effective and attractive designs which will increase the value of your home.
Think about this: If you engage an architect and a builder separately you will have little or no certainty about how much the project will actually cost to build until after the design is complete and paid for and usually only after it is approved at Council.
Add-Style is a full-service design and build company. This enables us to furnish you with reliable costing information at early stages of the process avoiding costly surprises during the construction phase.
We believe in the importance of working with you to establish the design requirements that meet your needs, reflect your personal style and ethos and provide a valuable return on your investment.
All our designers trained at Architecture School.
We use one of the best architectural software programs- known as Archicad. This enables us to show you your design ideas brought to life in 3D.
We commenced designing additions back in 1985 and our main designers have over 10 years’ experience each in the field.
Full transparency (No surprises):
Once we have reached fixed price stage you won’t be left questioning additional costs for unexpected work. We work as a team and we do our best to see your job is done on time.
Because we are a “One-stop shop”, the Add-Style team has the advantage of being with you at every stage of the project. It’s not like we go just so far and then you are on your own for the next stage!
Add-Style gives you back the pleasure of planning and building a home addition or renovation project.