Building a Second Storey: What You Need to Know

Space is getting more and more expensive, particularly in urban areas. In fact, according to the ABC, the price of a square metre of space in Melbourne can reach all the way up to $12,947. This is why maximising the space in your home is a good idea.

However, there is only so much living area you can gain by rearranging furnishings and breaking down walls. For many Australians, adding a second storey to their homes is the best choice. The extension adds space and value to the home, while generally costing less than moving.

If you think adding a second storey is the option for you, here are the five things to consider.

Permits and Regulations

Before constructing your new second floor, make sure the project doesn’t violate any council regulation. Give your local council a visit and find out if there are conflicts with what you plan to do. Having an estimate of the height of your projected building will also help you secure a permit from the authorities, if you do need it.

As a rule of thumb, if a neighbour has a second floor, you’ll likely have no issue with regulations — at least up to height of your neighbour’s building.

Building Foundations

Your home’s current foundations were most likely designed for single storey support only. To make sure a second storey can be supported, work with an engineer. You may need to reinforce the existing foundations to make it strong enough for the extension.


A second storey extension is a big deal, literally. It will alter the look and feel of your home inside and out. Consult an architect and discuss whether the new floor adheres to the design elements of the lower level, or if you’re going to need to redo things like paint and fittings. This is also the time to consider where the stairs will fit.

It is important to do this step before construction starts because some materials will depend on the final design of the project.

Cost and Savings

house in suburb

Since you’re essentially doubling the floor space of your home, it’s fair to expect that it will involve a sizeable investment, and a worthwhile one at that. It adds so much value to your home. The additional space is also generally cheaper compared to how much you’ll have to spend if you move.

There are also things you can do to cut down on expenses and maximise the value of the project. You can coordinate with suppliers directly to work out the best prices for the most cost-effective materials. Working with timber flooring wholesalers in Melbourne helps you save money you can use for other project expenses.

Project Timeline

Finally, you need to take into consideration the scale of the project and set a realistic timeline for its completion. Your schedule will vary greatly from other similar projects because of a number of differing factors. Also, make sure you have alternative arrangements for yourself and your family in case parts of the house become inaccessible because of the construction.

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