Thinking About Planning an Extension to your House? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Planning an extension to your existing home can be an exciting prospect for homeowners. If there are elements of your home that you’ve outgrown or require improvement, building an extension is an excellent, cost-effective solution.

Rather than accepting the lack of space at home or begrudgingly packing up and moving to a new property, extensions allow you to transform your space to accommodate your current lifestyle and address the problems of your existing home.

At Linear Constructions, we understand how to increase the value and function of your home. Whether you need to create a bigger floor plan or construct entirely new rooms, we’ve outlined everything you need to know to plan your next extension from start to finish.

Continue reading to learn how to successfully plan an extension for your home.

How to start planning a house extension

With any home build project, it pays to start with the end goal in mind. What are you hoping to achieve (‘Dream outcome’) with your project? From this point a design brief can be developed which should take into account things like the members of the household, their lifestyle, hobbies, and whether they entertain from home, etc. Review what currently works well and what doesn’t in the house.

By analysing your home extension requirements early and in a structured manner,  this enables you to make an informed decision on the priorities of any home extension brief. Creating a list of ‘Must haves’ to ‘Nice to haves’ within the brief will further assist in the design development.

The more research you can put into honing your brief, the easier the next step of developing concept designs will become.

The final element to be addressed before you can develop concept designs is to establish your budget. This is equally as important, if not more so, than the other listed items above as a budget will determine the extent of any possible house extension.

Once the brief and budget is finalised, it will then be possible to constructively develop concepts.

Where to start with a house extension

With developing any plans for the home extension, the next stage would be to bring both the architect/house designer and your preferred builder to work collaboratively.

The nature of any extension will be governed by local council requirements for the property and the existing dwelling. Any proposed plan will need to conform with these requirements – or if it exceeds  the parameters, then there will need to be a relaxation for any areas exceeding the limits.

Before any concepts are developed the first action that should be taken is to provide a survey and contour detail. Typically, these will provide the location and levels of the existing property and dwelling by surveying at ground level, underground and above ground (services). It considers features including trees, footpaths and other key surroundings or structures within your land parcel. It can also include some detail on an adjoining property if required. The amount of detail provided depends on the scope provided by your architect and what your project entails.

Data retrieved from the survey detail will establish the dwellings location in relation to the property boundaries (setbacks), its height for items such as floor level, the roof ridge line (roof high point) and the natural ground level.

The survey detail, coupled with the requirements of the town plan, clients brief and budget, set the parameters of any design. It will determine the lengths, width and heights of any possible house extension.

From here, the architect will develop plans from concept to finalisation, ideally working collaboratively with the builder. The builder will tend to specialise in home builds to fixed price contracts – therefore, they can provide oversight that the design is developing in sync with the client’s budget. By bringing the builder in early, they can review the potential build process and identify risks early. Also, while the design develops, they can objectively review and possibly provide potential savings by offering cost effective alternatives or possible design changes.        

How much does a house extension cost?

As with any renovation project to an existing home, what it will cost will depend on a multiple factors. The costs will vary between house extensions as no two projects are exactly the same. The costs will be effected by items such as the scale of the extension, the extent of any alteration to the existing structure, and accessibility of the area being extended. Not to mention the level of finishes and specifications of the proposed extension.

The other significant variable is the type of rooms that are planned in the extension. For instance, a house extension that includes a kitchen will be significantly more expensive than a house extension to add a bedroom. Although the two rooms may be similar in area, there is a greater concentration of costs in the inclusion of a kitchen.

For these reasons it pays to be cautious when adopting any square metre rate on a possible extension, and only use the rate as a very rough guide.

The other costing that often gets overlooked is the costs associated with the possibility of the members of the household relocating during some or all of the build. This can be significant and should be factored within any budget.

By engaging the right builder early, this provides an opportunity to produce a construction program. Where possible, the program can best schedule works to a manner which is the least disruptive to the household members. This exercise may result in the reduction of time (if any) that is required for the household members to relocate.

At Linear Constructions, we are committed to perfecting every detail of your extension design until you feel completely satisfied with the final result. We specialise in a design & construct service that delivers a bespoke combination of function and luxury – creating beautiful spaces that will add value to your home for years to come.

Are you ready to plan your dream home extension project in Brisbane? Get in touch with our friendly team at Linear Design and Construct today.