Frequently Asked Questions – Home Additions & Extensions
Please click each question for your answer.
Q: My house is old. Shouldn’t I just knock it down and rebuild?
A: One of the main considerations with a knockdown and rebuild is that if the home is built in an older area, the new home may be subject to more restrictive council regulations, e.g. increased setbacks, reduced floor space and landscaping ratios, etc., which lessen the footprint of your home. Other considerations to take into account include the inconvenience and cost of moving house (twice), the cost of demolition, connecting/disconnecting utilities and renting a property (approximately 12 months).
In summary, while knockdown rebuild can at times be a worthwhile alternative to renovating, there can be major compliance challenges and costs involved which you will need to consider.
Q: Our current home is brick veneer, can we still add another floor that is not brick?
A: Yes, you can. Cape Cod has built many additions on existing brick veneer homes that don’t have brick veneer additions. One of the big factors to consider when thinking about extending with brick veneer is whether the colour of the new bricks matches the existing? If you can’t get a good ‘brick match’, then it may be an idea to consider some other options.
Whether you want the addition to blend into the existing or want a totally new look, Cape Cod can make it happen!
Q: Do we need an architect?
A: The design team at Cape Cod has many years of experience in meeting your needs and budget to bring your dream home to life. They understand your local council requirements and not only help you design your perfect home but also understand the costs associated with building your addition. They can offer you the best of both worlds, a design that suits your budget and complements your lifestyle.
Q: Do you charge to do the initial design concepts?
A: Yes, our designers charge a small fee for our concept designs depending on the extent and complexity of your requirements. This will vary between $1,000 to $2,500.
The designer will measure your existing home taking a brief of your requirements to design something to meet your needs and budget. Once the design is finalised, an estimator will visit your site to verify measurements, obtain the necessary information to price your project accurately, and complete the documentation to enable the designer to provide you with our fixed price proposal.
Q: We want to add a second storey, where should we place the stairs?
A: Your Designer will work in consultation with you to then recommend the best place for your new staircase. While you will need to sacrifice some space in your floor plan for the location of the stairs, our Designers often create designs that give the illusion of more space. They will also provide you with practical considerations such as using the area under the stairs for storage, study nooks, laundry cupboards and many other great ideas.
Q: Will the new addition blend well with the original home?
A: Cape Cod has designed and built thousands of additions and work carefully to integrate the new extension with your existing home.
By using matching materials and finishes, our additions can blend so well to the existing home that you would not know they were an addition at all. Alternatively, the use of other complementary finishes can transform your home completely. It all depends on whether you want to match your current house design or change it up for a new look.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: There are many factors that influence the cost of your home addition – size, materials used both internally and externally, the level of finishes selected, the extent of additions and modifications to your existing floorplan to accommodate the first floor and/or ground floor extension. Council compliance costs can heavily influence the final price and can be anything between 8 to 10% of the overall cost. Our fixed proposal covers all the costs we know will be required at the time of your proposal. This includes council fees, inspections, certificates and more; even Council bonds & damage deposits as required. Cape Cod’s fixed price quotation allows you to stay in control of your budget and gives you complete peace of mind.
Our House Extension Cost Page provides full details.
Q: How long will it take to obtain Council Approval?
A: The time it takes to obtain Council Development Application (DA) approval can vary greatly from council to council depending on their workloads and the complexity of your project. Under normal conditions, it can take anywhere from 6-16 weeks.
Q: Who will manage my project during the build?
A: You will have a dedicated Supervisor as your ‘go to’ person throughout the entire construction process, supported by our Construction Manager along with our office staff who are always there to provide specific support or information any time you need.
Q: Will we be able to stay in our home during the construction?
A: Most of our clients are able to carry on their family life during the construction and it is generally only necessary to move out if major internal ground floor renovation work or structural changes are required. This is especially the case if your kitchen and bathrooms are being altered and it becomes unsafe for you to live in your home while the work is being carried out. The safety of you and your family is of the utmost importance to us.