It’s not an uncommon situation: Catherine and Jacques loved their home but realised they were running out of space.
Catherine had recently given birth to their third child, a baby girl, and she recognised the signs that their 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom North Shore home already wasn’t coping with their family’s needs.
Looking to the future, she knew that as their children grew and needed more room, she and Jacques would need to begin the process of exploring their options.
Time to Sell?
Was it simply time to sell up and buy a bigger home?
This option seemed to promise the least disruption, but as they began to think about it, spending weekends traipsing around open homes with 3 kids in tow wasn’t actually that easy. And what if they couldn’t sell before they bought or vice versa?
They also discussed how they really loved their home, had great neighbours and thought their area was unbeatable.
Thirdly, the transaction costs of moving home were pretty hefty once you factored in things like stamp duty – such expenses would go some way towards covering the costs of an addition.
That’s when the idea of a home renovation took root and they started to explore alternative solutions like the addition of a second storey.
However, neither had any experience of building work and imagined it would be expensive, too disruptive to the family whilst it was happening, and were a little wary of the council development application process.
Jacques and Catherine decided that asking a builder, designer or architect to give them a quote and some basic design ideas would be a quick, simple and sensible first step.
They did their research and created a list of needs and wants, then summarised them into a plan that, in their mind, would turn their current house into their ‘dream’ home.
The ‘challenge’ they agreed on was:
- Can you create our dream home with a parent’s retreat of a large bedroom with ensuite bathroom, walk in robe, living area and study.
- Take advantage of our home’s position so we can see Middle Harbour.
- On the ground floor, extend our existing deck, and give us access to the deck via doors that let us see our kids playing in the garden.
- Create a larger ‘open plan’ style living area.
- Can you do all this within our budget!
We caught up with Catherine and Jacques to find out how things proceeded once they had started down the renovation path.
At first, things didn’t go exactly as they had imagined.
“The first hurdle was getting some basic design ideas,” Catherine explains, “We found that the builders and designers we initially approached wanted a large outlay from the start which we just couldn’t justify.”
“Then we approached Addbuild and things changed. They provided us with a great initial service that included a free design concept and proposal so we knew what we would be getting up front.”
“We also liked the idea of ‘concept to completion’ where Addbuild dealt with everything from start to finish,” Jacques notes. “This was a huge time saver for us and took a lot of stress out of the building work.”
“Addbuild were very transparent with the council process and helpful in explaining the protocols and steps which we would have otherwise found very complex and confusing as building newbies,” Catherine continues.
“Nothing was too difficult in our initial layout discussions and we were able to work with Addbuild to achieve the design we wanted within budget.”
Addbuild has a system that covers all legislative compliance, uses the Department of Fair Trading Contract and covers all aspects of the project.
“We signed the contract with Addbuild for all these reasons, and because we felt their proposal provided exceptional value for money,” concludes Jacques.
Life In A Building Site
During the building work itself, Addbuild organised the work in a way that enabled the family to remain living at home.
Catherine and Jacques were surprised and delighted by how Addbuild were able to minimise the disruption to their lives:
“It was amazing that we were able to live in our house throughout the renovations. This was a huge cost saving,” observes Catherine.
“The extension was built upstairs while we remained downstairs with minimal disruption.”
“It was only when we renovated our main living area on the ground level that the builders came indoors,” Jacques notes.
“Even then the Addbuild team was careful to install zip lock plastic sheeting to make sure the space stayed as dust proof as possible.”
“Everyone was always courteous and considerate which is helpful with three young kids around.”
Catherine also was happy with how they could work with Addbuild to accommodate any new ideas:
“There was nothing added to the final build that we didn’t add or agree to ourselves. Right from the start our Addbuild consultant was very conscious of helping us stick to our budget and achieve our objectives,” she explains.
“The team was always available to discuss any concerns or questions we had.”
Catherine and Jacques are delighted with their new home, but were careful not to sugarcoat the reality of the building work.
“We were lucky we found the right builder for us, but no matter how smooth the build, you can’t get away from the fact that adding a floor is a time consuming project, but that’s what you should expect for anything worth doing,” comments Jacques.
Catherine points out that, although they have no intention to sell, they have looked at how the project has affected their home’s valuation:
“An addition can be a great way to add value to your home and make a profit on the right investment.”
‘Verdict’ on Addbuild
We are delighted that Catherine and Jacques remain happy with Addbuild’s contribution to the project, to the extent that they have already referred more than one friend.
“We have recommended Addbuild to several friends given our own experience was positive and the outcome is something we now enjoy every day.”
Maybe the greatest compliment is that they these ‘newby’ renovators have even considered another project!
“It has occurred to us that this is something we could do again,” Catherine notes, “but we love our ‘new’ home and our neighbourhood, so we think we will enjoy the benefits from our last efforts for a while yet.”
Twist to the Tale
As we finished writing this article, we received a phone call from Catherine saying she had most definitely caught the renovation bug!
Catherine and Jacques feel they have added enough value to their home from this second floor addition to enable them to sell and use the profit to buy into another project.
If – like Catherine and Jacques – you’re anticipating that your family’s needs are changing and you’re thinking of adding another room or another floor to your home and want to discuss your plans in detail, feel free to contact us by calling (02) 8765 1555 or by using our online form.