How to add extra space for less

With Sydney property prices hitting stratospheric heights, moving house to get the extra space you need has become a less palatable option. Not only has the gap between smaller and larger houses grown (a recent report put the gap between average 3- and 4-bedroom house prices in Sydney at over $250,000), but you’ll now pay over $37,000 in stamp duty on the current Sydney median house price of $930,000.

Add to that the estate agent’s commission on the house you’re selling, the costs of moving and all the rest and it adds up to around $70,000 to move to a larger house.

Thankfully there’s a better option. A second-storey addition lets you add that extra room without having to move – and often without having to move out while the work is done.

Cost effective home additions

If your budget is tight, there are ways of keeping costs down – many of which we covered in our earlier post on Renovating on a budget. But by far the best way to keep costs down is by following one of the basic rules of economics: benefit from economies of scale.

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The Frosta stool made by Ikea is well designed, strong and durable – and costs $15. A similar stool, designed and built in small volume by a small company is $270. This simple rule applies to home improvements for the same reasons – by designing, purchasing and building at volume, huge savings can be made, enabling you to get a quality product for less.

Custom design vs pre-designed additions costs

Getting a one-off custom design and build typically involves these costs over and above what you would pay for a pre-designed addition:

  • Conceptual design and professional drafting of building plans for the addition
  • Revisions required based on your feedback
  • Estimation of material quantities and labour costs
  • Higher materials costs due to purchasing of smaller volumes and use of non-standard sizings
  • Higher labour costs due to one-off nature of build

 Pre-designed additions – our ‘Classic Design’ series

Over the 35 years we’ve been in business we’ve designed and built literally hundreds of home additions across Sydney. In that time we’ve learnt a lot about what our customers want for their homes and families – and we’ve used that knowledge to create a range of pre-designed second storey additions that meet those needs.

While these ‘Classic Series’ designs use standardised plans and construction, all finishes, fixtures and fittings can be completely customised to suit your own tastes, giving you the best of both worlds at an affordable price.

Below are four of our most popular designs:


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Two extra bedrooms and a bathroom – the perfect option for moving the kids upstairs 


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Three bedrooms, a sitting room and a bathroom – for growing families 


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Two bedrooms, a bathroom and a large living area – plenty of room to move 


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Three bedrooms including a huge master bedroom with walk-in robe, bathroom and a large living space. 

We hope this article has given you some food for thought – if you’d like to know more about our Classic Design series and what would work best with your house and individual needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us on (02) 8765 1555.

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