If your family is bursting at the seams, you want to run a business from home, accommodate guests or just add more space, creating a home extension will make a big difference to a property. Extending your home usually costs a lot less than trading up to a more expensive property. Not only does it make your existing home more functional, but adding on will make your home more appealing. However adding or expanding a room can be a daunting exercise. It involves making some big decisions that require a lot of money and hiring a stream of contractors who must be carefully selected and managed. Your home or rental will be filled with dust, plaster, nails and many other construction materials. So if you are planning a home extension, make sure you select the best contractor for the least inconvenience together with the best outcome.
Adding a bedroom
Adding an extra bedroom will create more space and make a home more comfortable for an expanding family. The number of bedrooms is often the biggest factor motivating a move to a bigger and more costly home. As a general rule, the more bedrooms the better – this is what sells a house (although only if they are a reasonable size). Because bedrooms do not require the plumbing, tiling, or appliances other rooms do, they can be fairly inexpensive to add, while significantly increasing your home’s value. In newer homes, buyers typically expect the master bedroom to offer generous floor space, a walk-in wardrobe, and a dedicated ensuite bathroom featuring dual vanities plus a separate shower.
Adding a living area, gym or hobby room
Most homeowners today want a second living space, which allows them to entertain separately from children playing. So adding a living area, gym or hobby room is a great advantage. When making this home extension, it’s wise to use the opportunity to strengthen the house’s connection to the outdoors making your garden space an extension of your indoor living. If you don’t have the space to push out into the garden, then consider going up into the roof space or down into the basement or under house. While this is a great way to utilise underused space, it does require major structural and engineering work and there are many rules and regulations you must adhere to. Before undertaking this kind of work, make sure you obtain consents. This is clearly not a project for amateurs. Employ an experienced professional who can show you good examples of their previous work. You will achieve a design that functions well and adds to the appeal of your property.
Adding a kitchen
Renovating a kitchen can be time consuming and costly. But by using our fresh, innovative and imaginative approaches you can upgrade very cost-effectively. If you are planning to build a new kitchen in your family home list your whole family’s needs. Planning is paramount so involve as many experts as you can. To make the project proceed with ease we will ensure all materials are handy and tradespeople are confirmed before work begins. Design is also important. Make sure you maximise the amount of space available with the many clever space saving solutions we can show you. Remember good tradespeople are essential if you want a sophisticated product. Don’t forget small details like making sure there are adequate power points. Another thing, always try to think green and choose energy efficient materials and appliances – those with a higher number of energy stars.
Increasing size of existing rooms
It is usually cheaper to build extra space than it is to buy it in a new home so adding a home extension makes good economic sense. Make better use of your existing space by reorganising rooms and knocking down some internal walls to create a better flow. Removing a wall might seem like a simple task but if it is structural and load-bearing, it is more difficult and you will need consent before you start. Getting a building consent is the owner’s responsibility. Don’t ignore this step as it may be discovered at a later date, for example when you decide to sell. If you are considering building work that is close to or involves potentially load-bearing walls, it is important to get professional advice (eg from a professional engineer, registered architect, building consultant or registered building surveyor). We can organise this for you.
Converting a garage
Turning your garage into living space can be an affordable way to add on to your home. It lets you create a new media room, add a bedroom or expand the living room without having to build an addition. Because a garage already has a foundation, walls and a roof, using the existing structure typically costs around half of what you’d spend for an all-new addition. Some older character houses have attached or detached garages that beckon to be transformed into something more liveable to expand the functional space. A quality conversion may take 4-6 weeks and include:
Raising the floor height to allow for insulation over the concrete slab
Fully insulating walls and ceiling
Providing heating and cooling for the space
An electrical service upgrade to accommodate the larger load
Opening up the partition wall between your house and the garage to create an open floor plan
Replacing garage doors
Adding windows and doors
Another approach is to leave the garage parking intact and add new living space above it. It’s rare for a garage roof to be able to accommodate a full second level, so this project typically involves removing the existing roof, strengthening the garage’s structure and then building the new space over it. As with any such project, you’ll want to make sure that the converted garage has enough light and space. It will also need to comply with local regulations and building codes as well as be warm in winter and cool in summer. Insulation is important as is good ventilation. A garage conversion is not a job to tackle on the cheap. As always, consult with a qualified professional before undertaking such a project.
Adding-on minor dwelling or flat
Minor dwellings or ‘granny flats’ as they were once called, can add value in a number of ways. They can provide you with an independent living area for guests or relatives or even a rental income if you choose to put tenants into the property. They can also maximise the sale price when it comes time to put the property on the market. It’s important to do your homework because each council and region has different regulations. The first step to determining if a minor dwelling is a viable option for your property is to look at the space you have available. Many councils in New Zealand let you build a minor dwelling or secondary unit on the same title as an existing building, providing you meet their individual requirements. We can work with you to design and build a minor dwelling that will increase your living space and make your home more functional. If you don’t own the existing property, we can help with the due diligence required on the site to ensure it is suitable before construction begins. There is no guarantee the site can accommodate a minor dwelling. With our knowledge, experience and the relationships we have with councils, we can save you spending money needlessly and make sure this process is hassle-free. We can ensure you make the best use of your land when designing a minor dwelling. We will take care of all building and resource consents and liaise on your behalf with the council. We will take care of project management right through to Code of Compliance sign-off.
Any new building project or structural change to an existing building is likely to require both a building and a resource consent.
Consent approval processes ensure:
The buildings are safe and comply with the Building Act and Building Code
The land is used in a way that complies with the relevant district or regional plan
For new dwellings and commercial premises you may need to pay development contribution fees, which help councils pay for community and network infrastructure needed as a result of new development projects, such as roads, parks and wastewater pipes. You will need to apply for a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) during the design stage of a new building project (before completing plans and specifications). The PIM will include information on special land features on the property, which may reduce time and costs during the consent approval process
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