Staying in your home while the workers are constructing a second-storey around you seems like an impossible feat. Not only does it seem highly inconvenient, it also raises concerns regarding the safety and health of your family.
But the fact is, many families on our jobs have remained in their homes the entire duration of a second-storey construction, saving them thousands of dollars in the process.
Let’s find out if it’s possible (and liveable) to stay home while adding a second-storey to YOUR house.
Can your home handle a second storey?
This type of project is a possibility for many homes across Sydney’s northern beaches, but not all. Finding out if it is possible is not something that you can deduce from just looking at your home.
You are going to need an architect working with a Structural Engineer experienced in upstairs additions.
The major elements to be considered are …
Does Your Local Council Permit Second Storey Additions?
The local councils across Sydney’s North Shore including Northern Beaches Council, Willoughby Council, Ku-Ring-Gai Council, Hornsby Council and Ryde Council, generally allow second storey additions. However, there are parameters such as side boundary setbacks, height limits, parking requirements and a lot of other detailed requirements to be complied with.
How To Decide Whether To Stay At Home During Construction
Do you want to observe the building project yourself?
A potentially big advantage of being able to remain at home is that you can observe the building project yourself proceeding at close quarters. Wonderful and exhilarating if you are a hands-on type of person.
However, if you have done your homework and hired a reputable builder, the best policy is really to get out of their way and let them do their work. There is usually nothing worse for productivity in any profession than to have a micro-manager around. This obviously does come down to how much you can trust your designer/builder/contractor.
Which leads nicely into my next point.
Make sure you engage the right design & construct builder!
A reputable home building team listens to your concerns and acts accordingly — with your budget and needs in mind. Their team are carefully picked, so you can be fairly assured your family and belongings will stay safe.
You can usually tell how a home building team operates from their testimonials and by the relationship they have with previous clients. Another good thing to check is for how long they have been operating in your area.
Do you have space to move within your home?
Your addition must be designed with your living in the house during construction in mind. The stairs cannot be located in an area where the Bathroom or Laundry or Kitchen will require early demolition!
It is best to locate the stairs in a smaller bedroom or nook which is not used too much. Then you won’t miss it when the demolition takes place. A real skill of our designers is to create a new staircase which looks as though it was always meant to be there and makes the house flow better than it did before.
Do you have the right builder?
You want to seek out experts who specialise in second-storey additions without disrupting the homeowners on the ground floor.
Check their credentials, ask for other projects done in your local area and testimonials.
Preparing To Stay At Home While Adding a Second Storey
Commonly there are openings to be made downstairs when the demolition happens and when the stairs are constructed. We allow for these openings to be screened with temporary sheets during construction to keep the dust in the construction areas. This also keeps you and your kids safe from construction hazards.
Structural Provision for downstairs work to be done later
Our architects and engineers often combine closely to produce a structural design which will enable walls to be demolished later once the upstairs is complete and the family has moved upstairs. Then the walls downstairs can be demolished and alterations made downstairs which would have been impossible while the family were living in the original house. This can enable you to be more comfortable during the construction but often also fits better into the long term family budget.
At Add-Style we understand how much you save while staying at home during a second-storey addition.
Our team of experts are trained to avoid you having to rent or move out of your home. Around 90% of our clients are able to stay for the duration of the construction because our builders and tradespeople are trained to accommodate home owners and work around them. This is one of the prime advantages of being a company that provides design and construction under one roof.
If you live on Sydney’s Northern Beaches or somewhere on the North Shore, contact us now and find out how we can make adding a second storey a more pleasant and exhilarating experience for you and your family.