How to start planning a house extension? What should you be thinking about and considering? And what are the important steps? We have all those answers for you from our expert house extension specialists.
The housing market has exploded in South East Queensland, and all over Australia. In fact, we’ve seen property prices rise by 21.7% in the last year alone. While rising prices are great for homeowners in many ways, they can make it difficult for many growing families to move from their current home into a bigger space that better suits their needs.
For many homeowners in this position, a house extension is the answer. A house extension can give you and your family both the extra space you need and the features that you want in your home. It can also add value to your property when it comes time to sell.
But going from thinking about how to start planning a house extension and actually getting it done is the hard part. For most of us, we may only ever do one extension in our lives, and understanding how to start can be difficult. So, we’ve put together the most important steps to help you start planning for your extension and get you the home that you want and need.
Already ready to chat? Get a house extension quote from our experts today.
How to Start Planning a House Extension
Step 1: Pre-Planning
When you’re considering a home extension project the first step you need to take is to discuss your ideas with an architect and a town planner before you jump into any detailed planning. It’s important that you understand any building restrictions that might be on the existing house and land before moving too far down the path of planning a house extension.
For most homeowners, you’ll only be facing the typical building approvals, but for some, and for heritage properties, there may be other considerations. Understanding what these are before you start down the path to a house extension will put you in a much better position to get things done right.
Step 2: Understand Your Own Lifestyle and Needs
Before you take on any renovation, including a house extension, you need to first make a list of the outcomes you’re looking to achieve. And to do that you need to understand what you want out of your new home extension.
If you’re extending then more space is likely first on the list. But what else do you need in that space? More bedrooms? An office? A teenage or parent’s retreat? Or do you need a full reconfiguration of your home?
Answering these questions will help you understand what you need from your home extension and how to achieve them.
Step 3: Consider your budget.
Having a list of what you really want is a fantastic place to start. But now you need to take into account what items can reasonably fit within your budget. This is the time to think about your priorities, and the things you really can’t live without. Perhaps an extra bedroom and bathroom are on the top of the list, but perhaps the walk-in closets and butler’s pantry is further towards the bottom.
You won’t be able to get an accurate quote until you are clear about your priorities.
Step 4: Get a Design
Your next step is to get a detailed and professional house extension design. At Osnem Projects, we have building designers and architects that we work with, if you need some assistance.
Once you find the right building designer or architect, you will sit down and discuss your goals, your budget, what is feasible and the scale of work that will be needed. Your designer will visit your home and take measurements in order to accurately prepare the plans. He or she may also point out potential problems and opportunities that crop up during this planning stage.
You will also be able to discuss your style and fittings, and how to make them compatible with your existing home. And if there are any character home or heritage considerations, your designer can work with you on that aspect as well.
Your designer will then begin to prepare the detailed plans for every aspect of your extension. The plans will include detailed floor plans and elevations, as well as electrical and plumbing work and even structural calculations (where necessary) to ensure the work is done correctly and safely.
Step 5: Get Your Building Approvals
Once your plans are completed and approved by you, your next step is to get any required building approval from your local council. Building approvals ensure that your work complies with the applicable building codes and electrical and safety regulations. They make sure that your new building won’t interfere with the neighbours or have a negative impact on the neighbourhood. Your designer or architect can help with you get any approvals that you might need.
Once these boxes have been checked, the council will issue an approval for work to start. They will likely remain engaged in your project until completion and carry out inspections from time to time. Your builder or project manager can help manage that process.
Step 6: Choosing a Builder
Your next step is to choose your builder. An experienced builder, like Osnem Projects, will be QBCC licensed and registered with the appropriate trade association. They’ll be able to provide you with great references, and examples of previous work. And they’ll be able to offer you the complete service that you’re looking for.
When it comes to a house extension, it’s a great idea to find someone that has experience with this particular type of work, and even better, in the style of your home. Our Osnem Projects team have years of experience with home extensions (and planning home extensions!), and in all the fantastic styles of homes we have here in South East Queensland. And we’ll be able to liaise with your chosen suppliers, get the necessary contacts, provide you with a schedule of work and give you the easiest, most seamless home extension process possible. We make sure you know what’s going to happen and when, and, of course, what it will cost.
Final Tips for Your Home Extension
When it comes to thinking about how to start planning a house extension we have a few final tips:
- Maintain realistic expectations about what you can achieve. This relates to budget, of course, but also to how much disruption you and your family can handle.
- Understand whether you can live in your home while you’re extending.
- Consider how you might handle unexpected problems and situations if they arise.
- Keep a little bit of budget aside to cover anything that might crop up.
- Work with a builder you can trust!