Many of the families we meet are looking to expand the space in their home because the kids are soon to be teenagers and need their own space.
Often the children are still sharing a bedroom, and they are starting to spend more and more time in the home’s only bathroom… so everyone is taking longer to get ‘out the door’ in the morning.
And as school becomes more serious, the older child is the first to need the ability to close a door and study undisturbed by a noisy or nosy sibling with friends in tow.
Once the decision to ‘stay put’ is made – choosing to expand the home you love – the next decision is how to configure the renovations.
For many Sydney homeowners, there simply isn’t enough land to extend out on the ground floor, and there are other reasons why an addition – building another floor – becomes the chosen alternative.
So if you are ‘going up’, who gets the new top floor: the kids or the parents?
The Case for a Parents’ Retreat
Creating a Parents’ Retreat in your second storey addition is certainly a common choice. Mum and Dad are understandably keen to use the opportunity of renovations not only to create more space and independence for their children, but also to incorporate some of their own long-held wishes.
Therefore a Parents’ Retreat usually includes walk-in wardrobes and an ensuite bathroom as a given, but many homeowners also look to create additional space, or an additional room, as a second living space with TV and sofa.
Given the recent situation requiring many of us to work from home where possible, a home office is another increasingly popular choice. Keeping that study upstairs away from the potential noise from the kitchen and lounge room makes a lot of sense.
Adding a second storey might also offer scenic views depending on the topography of your area and location of your home. If that’s the case, it’s another good reason to reserve the top floor for parents who will undoubtedly appreciate that view more.
The Case for the Kids’ Escape
The Kids’ Escape is, perhaps surprisingly, the most popular choice of homeowners.
Creating a bedroom for each child with enough room for a desk for study and large wardrobes that keep the clothes monster at bay, is usually augmented with a living space or room for a separate TV and games console.
And of course there is a separate bathroom that means there are fewer fights in the morning – at least the parents can get ready for work in peace!
As homeowners continue to embrace an open plan kitchen, lounge and dining space, the Kids’ Escape also makes sense on a practical level.
When entertaining friends, it’s easier for the kids to disappear upstairs and for parents to continue to host without interruptions. Everybody wins!
The old kids’ bedroom downstairs can be kept as a guest bedroom or turned into a home office. If next to the master bedroom, it can be developed into an ensuite bathroom and / or walk-in robes. Other uses include creating accommodation for a grandparent or extra living space.
A Third Option
There is another possible configuration to consider: if there is enough space for a larger addition, you can devote all of upstairs for bedrooms and bathrooms, and all downstairs to living.
In more densely populated parts of the world, this is commonplace. Australia has generally evolved to bedrooms on both floors because most of our homes were built as single storey ‘bungalows’ to start with.
Of course, this option does defeat the purpose of giving parents and children their own spaces. However, this might not be such a bad choice if there are still younger children that need parents close to hand at night.
Expanding Your Choices
As many people are working out, adding space to your home – as opposed to selling and buying a bigger home – has a variety of advantages.
If you love where you live, your neighbours and neighbourhood, a home addition avoids the need to move and the hefty stamp duty. It also increases the value of your home.
For homeowners with a tight budget, working with a builder that offers standardised plans and designs can help you expand your home for less, often with the advantage of avoiding the lengthy Development Application process.
That’s because some standardised plans are designed to take advantage of the NSW ‘Complying Development‘ option. If your current house and land meets certain criteria you can obtain approval within a few weeks of submission.
At Addbuild Additions, we’ve created the ‘Classic Series‘ to do just that, and we can potentially start building your new home within a month or so of your decision to add space with us.
For more information or a quote please feel free to contact us on (02) 8765 1555 or send a message via our contact page.