We all know the lyrics to that M People song: “Movin’ on up / nothing can stop me!” And when it comes to adding a second storey to a house, that’s definitely the right attitude.
The decision of having a one-storey vs two-storey house can be a tough one, but choosing to add a second storey can be a wise choice. You see, building a second floor to a house is a great solution for transforming and enhancing your lifestyle by adding space without moving out or altering your home’s footprint.
Apart from getting your dream home, the benefits are many. Your house will be worth more, you don’t need to dig up your garden and a second storey gives you many more options for adding rooms than if you were just contemplating a renovation.
But that doesn’t mean “Nothing can stop me!”, well not without some planning and patience. So here are 6 things to consider when contemplating how to build a second floor on an existing house:
1. Draft your plans
Just like your teacher used to tell you to draft your essay, you obviously need to draft your second storey extension plan. But trust us: plans for adding a second floor should be done by a great professional.
That will mean finding professional drafting services to draw up professional plans. That way, if you have grand plans in your head, you’ll very quickly discover what is achievable and what is not. And by focusing on what is achievable, you’ll discover best choices for your needs and budget.
2. Check the legality
You have dream plans, of course, but you need to make sure that dream fits in with what is allowed.
There are zoning considerations and all sorts of council rules and regulations and necessary building permits. Generally if there are double storey homes in your neighbourhood already then properly documented permit applications will be approved as well.
3. Check the structure
Before you push ahead with your vision and your plans about adding a second storey to a house, check with the actual house itself that it’s ok with what is going to happen! Especially extending old homes.
What we mean is that your house has to be structurally capable of taking on the load of a second storey addition. The foundations are the main focus here, so you don’t want to spend too much time and money on plans that simply can’t happen.
4. Will you stay or will you go?
With some renovations, you can probably get away with putting up with the hammers and the dust and keep on living.
However, adding a second storey requires removing a portion of the roof. There are safety issues and crucial services like power and water may go on and off. An experienced building designer will know whether you will be able to remain at home during extension works.
5. Check your insurance
Just because you have insurance doesn’t mean you’re covered while you’re ‘moving on up’.
If you look at your home and contents insurance, you will almost certainly find that it doesn’t cover damage when a major renovation is taking place. Builders will be insured, but only for those areas where construction is taking place. So it’s important to contact your insurer to discuss the extension works and discover if you need to take out extra cover.
6. Check your builders
What you’re planning is your dream two-storey home. So just like you wouldn’t entrust your toilet with a plumber that doesn’t know an S-Bend from a U-bend, you need a registered builder who really knows how to deliver.
Due diligence is the key. Collect and assess at least three builders quotes, checking references and asking about similar projects they have delivered on time and on budget in the recent past.
RFT Solutions are experts in designing Melbourne home extensions, and can take care of absolutely everything – including the design, obtaining all the permits, and choosing a builder.