Building a second storey – is it worth it?

If you’re looking for more space in your home lifestyle, you may be tossing up between renovating, buying new or investing in a whole new build. Before you make this choice, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of adding a second storey on to your existing home.  

There are plenty of great reasons you may want build another storey. You may live in a fantastic area and have a beautiful backyard that you don’t want to encroach on. Your family may be growing too big for the home or your parents may need to move in on the ground level as they grow older. Be it for convenience or simply better views, more breeze and more space, increasing the height of your home may be the answer to your sizing problem.

For example, say you’re wanting to update your family lifestyle. You could build a parents retreat upstairs and allow the kids freedom to run amuck below. It could be the perfect solution –  40 square metres of peace and quiet hidden away from the business of the downstairs living areas.

While it may sound ideal, adding a second level may not be the answer if you’re building on a budget.

The cost lies in that to add another storey to your home the lower level will have to undergo a total makeover as well. Structural safety is the key concern of any architect or builder when creating a second storey, and ensuring this can be an expensive process. The renovation design could include anything from rebuilding the structural wall framing and adding essential support posts, to redirecting the plumbing and electrical wiring throughout your home. A stairwell will also be needed to connect the levels, and new flooring may be a consequential cost from the new adjoining walls.

After consulting an architect you may find your initial renovation area estimate of say 40sqm has now doubled in size to over 90sqm. If you decide to go ahead with construction, it is important to understand building a second storey is a time-consuming process. The builders need to apply extra care and attention, and your overall costs could be up 15% from a single story renovation.

However despite the extra cost, sometimes building a second storey is an extremely justifiable expense. This is where consulting an architect about your renovation can be extremely beneficial. As experts in Brisbane’s residential designs, it is our job to help you find the perfect renovation solution for your specific needs.

We take in to consideration your existing home condition, property site and location to help you decide if adding another level is a worthy investment. Such reasons could include:

• If you have incredible city views, then you will add lasting value.

• If you have a small property and can’t lose any more yard, adding a second floor could bring in more light to the ground floor and open up the street level.

• If your lower level needs to be renovated anyway, then the extra 15% is offset by the improvement to the ground floor and therefore adds value to your property.

• If your ground conditions are not ideal – for example, if you’re located in a flood-zone – then the only way is up!

Designing your home renovation is a responsibility we take on with the utmost care and attention here at PlaceMate Architects. We can help you decide if building a second storey is the solution to your ideal home lifestyle, or it could be an entirely different proposal you had not even considered. There is no site too challenging or difficult for us to tackle, so get in contact with PlaceMate Architects if you’re looking to find your forever home!