Families grow, and lifestyle changes can leave a once spacious home feeling cramped and cluttered. As real estate prices rise, many Australian homeowners are finding home extensions a more cost-effective alternative to purchasing a new home altogether. Investing in the property you already own by building home extensions not only provides more livable space, but can also increase your resale value dramatically. Modernising your home while making extra room for new members of the family can create a more pleasant environment during the years in which you live in your home, and can also help you turn a tidy profit when the time to sell does eventually arrive. Still, there are some factors every homeowner should consider before beginning the building process.
Understanding the Difference Between Home Extensions and Renovations
From the perspective of both the law and building professionals, there is a difference between renovations and home extensions. Any improvement which adds additional floor space to an existing residential structure is considered a home extension, while renovations are improvements which may alter the structure, but don’t increase floor area.
You may be able to act as an owner builder, if you have the requisite knowledge, for some aspects of both renovations and home extensions. Any work which requires the attention of a specialist, like electrical, plumbing and gas fitting, cannot be performed by an unlicensed owner builder. If you’re considering a home extension, you will be required to engage the services of professional specialists for these tasks.
Preparing for Home Extension Construction
Before you begin the process of adding an extension to your home, you will need to obtain the requisite approval and licenses from your local council. Failure to do so will lead to complications when you choose to sell your home, as most buyers will not be willing to take on the potential risks related to unregulated building extensions.
Working with a professional building inspector before work begins is also wise, especially if you suspect the presence of asbestos. A building inspector can help you learn about regulations regarding insulation, smoke alarms and other crucial factors. With the assistance of an inspector, you’ll also be able to determine if any significant trees on the property will be affected.
When executed properly, a home extension provides you with the valuable opportunity to make changes to your home which not only afford more space, but also address issues with which you are unhappy. A well-managed home extension is a great way to significantly increase your personal satisfaction with your home while investing in the property for a greater return at the time of resale. By choosing the right professionals and adhering to the appropriate regulations, you can ensure the investment is a strong one which will provide a suitable return after providing your family with many more years of happiness in your home.
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