Add a second storey and create the home you want, cheaper

You want to upsize, but the property market has moved out of reach? It’s cheaper, faster and easier to add a second storey than it is to sell and buy new. Here’s what the process looks like.

DC House Granny Flats

We’ve all watched house prices soar over the last two years, leaving some people asking, “Is it worth it to sell and buy? Or should I just renovate what I have?”. If your problem is needing more room, you might be thinking about an extension. But, have you ever thought about extending up?

Adding a second storey to your home is a more affordable way to upsize without the hassle and costs of buying, selling and moving. We meet a lot of people who can’t imagine their home could hold a second floor – but it’s very doable – and cost-effective – with the right people around you.

Who could use a second storey?

You might have multiple children sharing a room, a tiny office space crammed into the lounge room or you want somewhere to house guests. There are plenty of reasons you might want to add a second storey, and plenty of benefits too. Here are three major advantages:

  • More living space: if your family has gotten bigger and you want to add a large master bedroom space, or a home office, rumpus area or media room, a second storey can give you enormous amounts of additional living space and privacy.
  • Maximising property value: increasing the square metreage of your home with a second floor can significantly boost its market value and give you an excellent return on investment. Larger homes are more eye-catching in the listings and can tend to command a higher price in the property market.
  • Add more room without using up land space: for some, building up may be the only option on small land lots. For others, a second storey preserves back and front yard space for a pool, play areas, vegetable gardens, and patios. You might even want to add a granny flat

The quick guide to adding a second storey to your home

Adding a second storey isn’t something you can do on your own. You can’t buy a kit and assemble it yourself. It requires professional builders, architects, structural engineers and designers. You can either find each of these experts individually or contract a project manager or builder to run the entire operation. That’s Step 1.

  1. Assemble your team. Do your research on a builder or building company that specialises in adding second storeys. They will assess the feasibility of the project and check the strength of your foundation, the structural integrity of your home and local building regulations. They’ll also work with architects (or have their own) as well as designers and other contractors.
  2. Design your second storey. Collaborate with the architect and designers to plan the layout of the second floor. We have a team that will guide you through the entire process so your extra level complements your existing home and maximises the available space. Once the design is complete, it will be sent off for Development Approval from the local council.
  3. Reinforcement of the existing structure. Before construction of the second floor can start, the existing structure must be reinforced to support the extra load. That can include strengthening the foundation, the walls, and the frame for structural stability.
  4. Construction begins. Just like a new home build, the first step of construction is erecting the framework for the second storey. By the end of this stage, you’ll see the walls, floors and roof structures in place.
  5. Plumbing and electrical is fitted. Services are added once the framing is complete, including plumbing, electrical and other appliances such as ducted air conditioning or air conditioning units.
  6. Interior finishes are finalised. Once the build team have finished laying tiles and added the final touches, you can step in to paint walls and ceilings, add rugs and furniture, and make the new area an extension of your home.

Two important factors to consider about second storeys

Adding another level to your home isn’t as tricky as you might think. However, there are some things to think about before you dive in.

First, work out your budget and collaborate with your builder to design an extension that suits your home and your finances. Using a build team can help keep the project on time and on budget.

Second, if you have a young family or work from home, you may want to consider temporary accommodation during some of the more disruptive days of construction.

Adding a second storey: where to start

Your first step is finding a team to work with – and it’s very helpful if that team can oversee the entire project. It removes the burden from you, and keeps the project on track without unnecessary delays. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of an expert helping you make decisions that may be outside your comfort zone. If you’re interested in an assessment of your home, or just a chat to ask questions, you can contact our team at DC House and we’ll be glad to help. We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners in South East Queensland and beyond maximise their home’s value with extra space, renovations and granny flats – we’d love to help you, too.

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