Before you get excited about that second storey for your home, there are a few very important facts you need to know about building up your existing house.


  • The best way is to pay a building inspector to do an independent building inspection
  • This can be for your own home or a home that you plan to buy
  • A qualified builder might also give you some good advice on extension possibilities and problem areas they normally come across
  • A structural engineer can give you more expert advice if you expect that your project will have difficult or unusual building specs
  • A drafter and interior designer can give you advise on what Council will allow on your plot regarding extension regulations for your plot or neighbourhood. They will normally advise if you need an engineer for your project and can put you in contact with builders, engineers or building inspectors.


  • You can expand without loosing existing garden space.
  • It gives you an opportunity to change the style of your home by replacing the roof or view in a major way


  • More expensive than just a normal extension
  • Extra building costs for extra support on existing home
  • Additional cost for structural engineer to be involved in the project
  • If you need to replace or take off part of the existing roof, you might have to move out for a few weeks. This might cost you some money, or you can be brave and stay with family for a while.


  • Your existing house must have the foundations to support a second storey
  • The existing walls must be able to be strengthened to support the new weight
  • The height of the new roof will be determined by council regulations and might influence the style of your extension (your drafter and interior designer will advise)
  • The slope of the new roof is also determined by council
  • Your new storey might influence the view of your neighbours and they might need to give permission for your new storey
  • A structural engineer will be appointed by your drafter to do the engineer drawings for council. These need to be handed in to Council with the drafter’s plans. This will be an added cost to your project.

Just think for the moment what the additional weight of a second storey is… I can hardly carry 5 tiles on my own! A second storey will have new walls, ceiling, new heavy roof tiles, new floor boards or even bathroom fittings. You want to be sure your bath does not end up in your downstairs living room after a few weeks!

Rather be safe than sorry, and get all the facts before you start stripping your home and removing walls.

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Happy renovating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

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