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The Step by Step Guide to Your Second-Storey Addition

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A second-storey addition. Vertical extension. Upward renovation. Whatever you choose to call it, adding another level to your property is an ideal way to add space and value to your property. But how do you know if it’s even possible for your home and what considerations do you need to make before renovating?
 
You can read more about our process in detail, but here are the steps involved with undertaking your second-storey addition. 
 
 
1 - Determine if a second-storey addition is structurally feasible.
 
Knowing the load-bearing capacity of your current home will determine the size and materials available to you for the second-storey addition. At our initial meeting, ARG will make an assessment of feasibility then provide advice and guidance to help you achieve your dream. We give you a transparent experience so that you will understand the work required.
 
By doing the proper amount of due diligence with structural Engineers, Designers & Architects, Australian Renovation Group can ensure the most accurate estimate, with no nasty surprises.
 
2 - Designs for your second-storey addition 
 
At the design & prestart stage, our award-winning Designers will look at how to best utilise your views and available light, as well as how high your second level ceilings can be. If there’s a possibility that the second-storey addition will interfere with neighbours’ privacy, our Designers will consider how to mitigate this, for example with window shades, screening or opaque glass. Second-storey additions often capture more sun, so our Designers will look at incorporating cross-ventilation to help cool the house on those Perth summer afternoons. We also recommend insulation for the roof, walls and windows.
 
It’s not all about the upstairs though - you’ll need to consider alterations downstairs to allow access your second-storey addition. A new stairwell may require a small room’s worth of space to install, but you don’t need to lose functionality to gain space. Depending on its design, the new staircase could become a hidden laundry or provide some much-needed storage space.
 
This could be an opportunity to develop another area of the property while works are in progress. It might be an ideal time to consider improving your energy efficiency, adding a carport, or other works internally - especially if you’re planning to vacate the property while construction is taking place.
 
3 - Approval for your second-storey addition
 
Because your second-storey addition changes the fundamental structure of the home, council approval is mandatory before proceeding. It’s worth noting that alterations to services like plumbing, drainage, gas and power usually also require approval and inspection by the relevant authority prior to construction. All of these approvals are managed for you by ARG. We will work with your local Council to achieve Development Approval, taking into account any specific planning policies unique to them. We have extensive knowledge of the Residential Design Codes and years of experience dealing with planning issues and overcoming obstacles.
 
Adding a second level also adds weight to a property, meaning an Engineer’s assessment will be required prior to construction of your second-storey addition. While there are many considerations, the main factors engineers will consider are the structural integrity of foundations and roofing. 
 
ARG engages Engineers to make these assessments after Development Approval is received, to make this process as easy as possible for you.
 
Some other considerations for your second-storey addition:
 
Update your insurance protection. While all care is taken, many policies do not cover damage to an original structure when an addition is under construction. While our works policy covers all new work, it does not cover the existing property.
 
Think about accommodation. A typical second-storey addition can take anywhere from 16 to 20 weeks to complete. In many cases, owners choose to vacate for the majority of the renovation. While some stay, it’s worth remembering that utilities will be cut off at key stages. 
 
 
Thinking about starting the process? Contact us today and find out what wonders a second storey addition can do for your house.
 
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