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Extensions to a house

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#1 Just_Keep_Swimming

Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:33 AM

Hi ladies,

DH and I are planning on moving from the suburbs to a farm.

We have a property that we are interested in. The only problem is It is half the size of our current house and because of this DH is having second thoughts.

We were thinking that perhaps we could extend the back of the house to make the lounge room bigger, add on two extra rooms and build a deck that wraps around the house. We are thinking that this may throw us out of our budget.

Has anyone done extensions on their house?
What was the approximate cost?
Were there any hidden costs or nasty surprises?
Did you have to move out while the extensions were being done?

Thanks heaps ladies.  I know I need to get a builder to determine actual costs but having an understanding of other people's experiences are always helpful :-)

#2 purple_daisy

Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:39 AM

I will PM you

#3 qak

Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:47 AM

I think you need to see a builder rather than ask.  The costs are so dependent on the actual builder, materials required, site slope, soil conditions, access, services, etc etc etc.

As an example - my sister added one room, garage & patio, enlarged & renovated her kitchen, & added a toilet to the laundry.  Quotes ranged from $160-300K (double brick).  Her unpleasant surprise was that the roof had to be replaced.

The a friend is adding two bedrooms upstairs & a bathroom and she told me she was quoted $80K for brick veneer.  The reno has not happened, but I was confused at just how different the prices were. I was skeptical of this price.

Archicentre has costs on a sq metre basis which can give you an idea.  And yes, there are always unexpected cost overruns!

#4 *LucyE*

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:56 AM

Has anyone done extensions on their house?

What was the approximate cost?
The rough guide I've heard is $1000 per square metre, our architect suggested with our finishes, probably $2.5k/m2 and to double it if going up a level.

Were there any hidden costs or nasty surprises?
Always.  We built in a 20% contingency and blew through that easily. There's more to the cost of a reno than just the building.  There are council fees, engineering fees, certifier fees etc etc.  We also changed things as we went so that always makes it more expensive.  Best to spend more time on the plan and then make no alterations.

As for the nasty surprises, make sure you find a builder who is on the same page as you.  Best to talk to their recent clients and have a look at their previous work.  We had differences of opinion on acceptable levels of workmanship with our builder which caused some problems.  I have discovered that I don't speak 'builder', and we found having designer/architect inbetween helped.  The builder was less likely to bullsh*t another professional who was experienced and could call them on it.  

The other nasty surprise we've had a few years down the track, is discovering that our house wasn't worth renovating due to bigger structural problems.  We should have knocked down and rebuilt rather than trying to renovate.  When we get around to doing that, it means that all of the money spent on our reno was wasted.

Did you have to move out while the extensions were being done?
No, but I wish we did.  The constant disruption and mess drove me crazy.  My then 2 yr old never got to have day time naps due to the noise and constant activity.  There was no safe yard for them to play in and I had to be vigilant about keeping them out of danger.  It was extremely stressful for me and not something I want to live through again.  Our house was completely renovated so we didn't have a single room that was untouched.  If it was just a wing and the rest of the house was left alone, it probably wouldn't be so bad.

#5 VeritasVinum

Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

As PP said get builder/architect to quote.

I have dreams of extending my house, but fear the costs (most friends in similar houses have had to pay $600k plus). My folks though (in Sydney not Meld) have been quoted $160k to go up 2nd level with two beds, rumpus and bathroom.

#6 Bluenomi

Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:36 AM

A friend recently got quotes for a fairly large extention. It turned out the extention she wanted would cost about the same as a knock down, rebuild! She went the rebuild so she got a totally new house and no nasty surprises when they started knocking down walls and discovered issues. Could that be an option?

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