(02) 4577 4912
Unit 1, No.103 Railway Road (North) MULGRAVE NSW 2756
Often old homes have been built using construction methods now deemed too expensive. There are many old homes built using full brick construction, hardwood or Oregon frames and rafters. Pitched roofs in lieu of trusses. Terra-cotta roof tiles. Hardwood strip floors. High ceilings with decorative ceiling linings or plaster cornices. Many of these older houses are structurally very stable and suit extending onto or renovating rather than just knocking down and re-building. In many areas of Sydney such as Pennant Hills, Turramurra, Castle Hill, Hornsby, Epping or Dural there are many well built homes that would be much more practical to extend as these areas are full of structurally well built homes that just require some modern upgrades.
Yes extending & renovating can sometimes be more expensive then re-building but in our opinion it often because of poor design. If you already have the bones of a good home it just makes sense to update add to the existing structure and update the finishes. If services need to be upgraded (e.g. stormwater, sewer, water or power) this can be completed at less cost than you might think.
Council is also more flexible with design requirements when compared to approving a new home. Often an extended new home approved by council would not be passed as the exact same project as a new home as new home construction has many more specific requirements.
In our opinion clever design is nearly always a better option than a knock-down re-build
SHOULD WE BUILD UP or OUT ?
Often our clients would like to extend their home but they are unsure whether it is more economical and practical to extend out with a couple of rooms or up with a second floor extension. Of course every job is different and we can give you the advice of what we recommend for your project but here are a few suggestions to help you on your way;
- Small 1 or 2 bedroom additions on a block with good access usually are cheaper and more practical to just add out and not up
- Second storey extensions are the best value for money addition you can do but you need to add at least 100m2 onto the existing structure. Our most requested 2nd storey extension consists of a new master bedroom, WIR, ensuite, 2 other bedrooms & a small sitting room. This type of extension is great value for money but you need to add only onto the existing structure so that no concrete and often brickwork is not required. They also need to be at least this big to get better "bang for you buck"
- Master bedroom parents retreats. We have built lots of these. Yes they are more expensive that a standard second storey extension but with raked ceilings, dormer windows, private study and a Juliette balcony thane look fantastic and can really add value to a home. Not to mention the quality of life the clients gets from being able to separate from those noisy teenagers !
Sometimes after we view the property the solution is obvious while other projects its not so easy. There are many factors to consider like sewer main locations, neighbours privacy, shadowing, structural supports, just to name a few. We can also arrange the design concept for both options and just lets the money decide. Best to contact our office so we can point you in the right direction
WHAT TYPE OF EXTENSION / RENOVATION CAN O'MARA DO ?
There is nothing we can't do, we can and do ALL types of extensions & additions, including ;
- Simple single storey extensions
- First floor additions
- Attic Conversions
- Heritage building renovations
- Bathroom, ensuite, powder room & laundry renovations
- Kitchen renovations (including Butler & outdoor kitchens, kitchenettes & pantries)
- New decks & pergola's
- Window & door replacement
- Existing house cement rendering
- Services upgrades (mains power, water, sewer, stormwater and gas)
- Detail joinery (robes, TV cabinetry, study, office, store)
- Large complete home extensions and renovations
- External works (driveways, landscaping, retaining walls, fencing, security gates)
WHAT ABOUT A GRANNY FLAT or DUPLEX ?
Some of our clients want to add a separate dwelling for extra income or maybe for a younger or older relative. This is often called a dual occupancy, a duplex or a granny flat. In principle they are all the same thing but there are slight differences.
A duplex is usually 2 separate dwellings attached by a common wall which shares main services such as sewer & stormwater mains. These are commonly "Strata" titled meaning each owner of each unit owns the inside of each unit and the "body corporate" owns the outside of the dwelling, juts like a block of units. A duplex can in some areas be "Torrens" titled meaning ALL services are separate and nothing is shared, just like any 2 houses in normal street but this is not as common as a Strata duplex. Thera can also be some other community titles and special easements but most duplex's have a common wall & share main services.
A dual occupancy is usually 2 separate dwellings with no common wall. They have their own private courtyard and separate entrance. They can most common on a corner block with 2 street frontages and "Torrens" title. They look just like 2 normal homes but smaller with smaller yards.
A granny flat is typically a small home around 60m2 in the backyard of an existing home. A granny flat is usually smaller than each unit of a duplex or dual occupancy and consists or 1 or 2 bedrooms only, a small combined bathroom / laundry with a open plan living / kitchen area. It can have a small deck or pergola also.
The above is just a generalisation to explain the possible differences and not a strict set rule.
The cost of each can vary greatly and not just because of the cost of construction o the dwelling. Typically a duplex is considered by council as a "multi-unit development" has a lot more requirements. Typically the developer (because that's how they will treat you) will be required to often complete the following on top of construction of the duplex;
- replace boundary fencing at your cost
- landscape the property
- construct a new driveway
- design special stormwater detention, including pits, kerbs & retaining walls
- pay additional section 94 fee's to council
- pay additional section 73 fees to Sydney water
- prepare Strata or Torrens titel sub-division plans and have them registered at the Office of Land Titles which will allow the separate sale of each unit of the duplex to different parties
A dual occupancy often does not incur such fee's pr special requirements, but it can. A good rule of thumb is if you want to sub-divide the property into 2 titles (whether Strata or Torrens) then you will be up for more costs. But if you just want to build an additional dwelling on the same block and only rent it out it is much less onerous.
A granny flat is the cheapest option but you can't usually sell it off. If its under 60m2 you can often get it approved as a "complying development" by a private certifier without council. This can be a much quicker (not really cheaper) option and you will not have as many construction and fee requirements.
Feel free to contact our office for more information
Upon request, we can customise our tender to make allowance for any special owner requirements or to suit site specific conditions, such as;
PLUMBING & DRAINAGE UPGRADE
CLEANING EXISTING ROOF SPACE (Below 2ndstorey extension)
GREEN BUILDING MATERIALS
MODERN STYLE FINISH
BUSHFIRE PROTECTION METHODS
TURN KEY INCLUSIONS
EXTERNAL WORKS INCLUSIONS
Please contact our office for more information about details of the above items
WHAT IF MY HOUSE IN A BUSHFIRE AREA ?
You can always extend and renovate your home in a bushfire area.
Sometimes the solution is easy and only requires a few minor inclusions (such as fire resistant hardwood & cladding, fire rated window glass and gutter-guard).
Higher BAL rated bushfire risk area's have more requirements, especially in the highest BAL rated FZ - flame zone area's. This includes special fire resistant material to be used as fascia, eaves and under all roofing, fire rated window shutters to all external openings and no external timbers can be used.
There are many items to consider such as sub-floor area protection, access for fire fighters, maintenance, water tank & pump locations.
Owners may also wish to consider using additional protection methods that are NOT required by council or the rural fire service such as hose reels, sprinklers or bunkers but they need special consideration.
The risk of bushfire should be considered at the initial design stage to reduce construction costs and have protection methods that are practical and easy for everyone to use
Contact our office for some free advice on how best to protect your home in a bushfire area when extending or renovating your home.