5 Tips for Planning Your Second Storey Addition in Perth


A perfect solution for local residents who love their home’s location, but are restricted by their block and land size is a second storey addition in the Perth suburbs. The extra space is often needed for growing families, guests, storage, or even changes to your lifestyle requirements.

Whilst a second storey can address the need for more space in your home property, there are plenty of considerations to bear in mind when planning.

This article highlights 5 valuable tips on how to approach the process with eyes wide open, ensuring an efficient and cost-effective upgrade.

1. Start at the Bottom

Make your house’s foundations and subfloor structure are first on your priority list, and your builder’s.

Adding a new storey is going to change the applied pressure that your foundations will have to support. This increase could be drastic but depends on the scale of your planned renovation.

One potential risk is an occurrence known as subsidence which is the sudden or gradual downward settling of the ground’s surface with little or no horizontal movement. This occurrence can even occur in small renovation projects like a kitchen upgrade, with accelerated subsidence potentially resulting in property damage within just four years.

Adding new rooms onto your existing structure, whether a ground-level extension or a heavier second storey addition, could make that happen even faster.

Taking the time to assess your subfloor’s tolerance before embarking on your second storey project, will allow you and your builder to be clear on your property’s suitability. With this it can be determined whether existing foundations would need to be reinforced before proceeding – and in this case, prevention is definitely better than the cure.

2. Be Prepared for Site Disruption

A second storey addition does not have to be a lengthy process, provided your builder has efficient systems in place, but it will inevitably mean that there will be substantial changes to your roof.

How your builder approaches the extension will determine how your day-to-day living within the house will be affected and whether it will require forced relocation. There are other determinants in the process, such as the size of the second storey extension (single room vs multi-room with water and heating), but ultimately you will need to be prepared for site disruption.

A builder that prepares your storey off-site and installs it on the premise is clearly advantageous to one that builds on-site from start to finish. This is not only for the disruption to household function but also the length of time the disruption is felt.

Find out more about the advantages of this technique in our article Modular Extensions – A Growing Perth Trend.

3. Account for Changes on the First Storey

A second storey addition can increase the living space and value of a property, but it is important to understand what effect it will have on the spaces that you may already be accustomed to on the original first floor.

Common examples include planning for the location of upstairs utilities as well as the staircase that connects the old and the new. The latter requires attention as it has the potential to impact how you currently move around the house and the layout of the second storey addition.

Choosing the right builder will allow you the opportunity to plan and optimize your original floor to be able to integrate your new upstairs space.

4. Do Your Research before Undertaking a Second Storey Addition in Perth

Adding a second storey to an existing property does not guarantee an expected increase in value. To understand why, it is advised that two important aspects are considered: the area and the builder.

Do the research and check the appearance, recent renovations, and values of the homes within the suburb or region. From here, you will see if there is in fact an appetite for larger and higher value homes in the area. Additionally, when choosing your second storey exterior, understand what will appeal to buyers or those who will ultimately value your property.

The most important piece of research that you will do for a second storey addition is choosing a builder. Unfortunately, there are illegal builders operating who do not carry out fully compliant, safe, and legal work. Ensure you are selecting a builder with a professional reputation and who know the WA building code front to back.

We’ve put together a guide to help you make the best informed decision, in our blog Top Tips For Choosing The Perfect Perth Renovations Company

5. Plan for All Costs Associated with a Second Storey Addition in Perth

There are always cost implications with any home improvement project, however second storey additions are one of the most cost-effective home renovations you can do. There are a variety of factors which determine the overall cost of a second storey addition in Perth, including;

  • The degree of project difficulty, such as access to the property.
  • The types and styles of rooms that are being added to the property.
  • The quality of the materials, fixtures, and fittings being used in the project.
  • Proximity to existing utilities and air conditioning systems.

Generally, a second storey addition will cost between $2,250 and $3,300 per square metre, varying between builder and region. Understanding the implications of disruption to your living should be accounted for, as should builder fees and local tax.

In Need Of A Quote?

Working with the right builder to facilitate detailed planning, can largely overcome any uncertainty.

If you are serious about finding the best possible builder for your second storey addition in Perth, rely on the team at Nexus Home Improvements to deliver a superior outcome.

With opportunities to view existing projects and an obligation-free consultation, contact us today.

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