In this article, we’ll explain some of the differences between extensions, additions, and renovations. We will also provide some tips for finding the right home builder or major renovator for your particular job.
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🏘️ Home Addition versus Home Extension versus Home Renovation
Although these all sound very similar, they are actually quite different in reality.
First, a home addition involves adding another floor or story to your home. This is typically done by removing your roof, adding floors and walls where the roof used to be, and adding a roof on top of this new level. This is best for ranch-style houses that are all on one level.
A home extension is similar to an addition in that it also adds square footage and living space to your home, but instead of building up, you build out. House extensions add additional rooms to existing levels. More often than not, this means giving up some of your outdoor space or other property.
Finally, renovations, even large scale renovations, do not add square meterage to your home but involve major changes to existing living spaces. Common examples of major renovations include a complete remodel of a kitchen or removing a wall between a living room and dining room to make one large great room. A major renovation and a regular renovation are that major renovations require building permits, while minor or small scale outdoor or kitchen renovations do not always attract local council permits. (Need to know more on Gold Coast Council guideline, review their planning guidelines over here.)
As you can see, these are three distinct types of construction methods that can be done to homes.
💲 Value to My Home?
Great question! Of course, there is no simple answer. It depends on the condition of your current home, the real estate market in your neighbourhood, and the feasibility of each project.
Let’s look at an example to illustrate. Imagine a single-story 1950’s home with a huge backyard and a “hills hoist to boast”. It has many small rooms inside that are separated by non-load bearing walls, and it also has an ancient, small kitchen. In this example, the homeowner would probably get the most “bang for their buck” by knocking some walls down to open up their space and putting in a new kitchen, even though they could also feasibly add a second story or put in an extension.
On the other hand, in a home with lots of yard space and only two bedrooms and one bathroom, the most valuable thing to do would likely be to add a bedroom and bathroom as an extension.
Finally, for a small home on a small lot, the best option is probably to go up: add another story onto the home to be used as bedroom space or a multitude of other options.
There is something else that you need to consider besides just which type of project will add the most value, and that is whether the project you want is feasible with your current home structure and if it is legal, given town and neighbourhood zoning, building restrictions, and homeowners’ associations. That is where having an excellent builder comes in.
👷 Project House Builders versus Major House Renovators
We now understand the differences between extensions, additions, and renovations. But can you hire the same contractor or building company for all three? What is the difference between a Project home builder, extension builders, and major home renovators?
Typically, project builders work on new construction, meaning they are skilled at building homes from the ground up. Very often, this is the only kind of work that they will do, although some also work as extension builders for existing homes and are typically also capable of working on additions as well.
On the other hand, a renovations builder specialises in remodels of existing spaces.
Many contractors and building companies will handle all three types of home remodels: extensions, additions, and renovations. Therefore, finding the right one for your home depends greatly on finding someone who is fair and honest, who you can communicate with well, and who can obtain the necessary licenses.
🤔 How to Choose a Builder or Renovation Company?
Let’s compile a few important questions and items to consider when hiring a contractor for major renovations or a remodel to your home:
- Have they done this type of work before?
- Can they provide referrals from past clients who had similar jobs?
- Do they have insurance, and are they fully licensed and bonded according to the laws in your area?
- Will they make sure to have the necessary permits for your job?
- How many building permits have they obtained in the last one to two years?
- Do they use sub-contractors?
- What is their timeline to completion?
- How will they communicate with you through the process?
- Do they offer a warranty on their work?
- Who will supervise the project?
In general, gathering as much information upfront as possible and hiring someone who shares your vision can save you a lot of time and money in the end.
One of the best things about owning a home of your own is being able to put your own personal stamp on it in a way that’s not possible when you’re stuck renting. You may be interested in reading a further article on “Enrich the Next Chapter of Your Life’s Storey with a Bespoke Second Story Addition and House Renovation. A great article worth a 7-minute read 🙂
Risen, your local building construction company on the Gold Coast is only a click or call away, so please reach out to us today at 0404 REN OV8. Home additions are the perfect solution for homeowners with extra land (property square meterage) who would like to increase the living space in their homes but do not want to move, so please don’t delay and well chat soon!