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House Extension Ideas

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House Extension Ideas

House extensions are a popular solution among homeowners who want to expand their living space and add value to their property. This article will explore some creative and practical ideas for extending your home. Additionally, we’ll offer guidance on navigating the planning process and managing your project from start to finish. By the end of this article, you’ll better understand the possibilities for extending your home and the steps involved in making it a reality.

What is a house extension?

A house extension is a construction project with the sole purpose of extending the home and increasing the living space within it. There are three core extension types: single-storey, double-storey and rear house extensions. These types describe the location of the extension.

Single-storey extensions

These extensions extend outwards from the home, taking advantage of the surrounding space to add or extend upon pre-existing features. Single-storey extensions can include sunrooms, mudrooms, home offices, open-plan kitchens and more. Single-storey extensions are a cost-efficient way to expand and help create wide-open spaces for larger families.

Double-storey extensions

A double-storey extension refers to an extension that adds an additional storey to the home. These extensions are a fantastic option for homeowners with limited property. A double-storey extension can also add street value through an appealing large outside facade. These extensions can include additions such as master suites, guest suites, open-plan living spaces and entertainment suites.

Rear house extensions

Rear house extensions fit under single and double-storey categories and refer to extensions done at the rear of the home. These extensions are often used to create outdoor living spaces and separate studio residences.

Split-level extensions

A Split-level extension is when the floor levels are staggered, usually requiring a small set of stairs. These extensions are ideal for sloping blocks where the extension is designed to work with the natural slant of the land.

Understanding the language around what kind of extension you’d like is important in the planning phase, as you’ll need to communicate your vision to your project manager.

Planning an extension

Once you’ve decided an extension is right for you, there are many additional factors to consider when planning an extension. Planning an extension includes:

Defining your goals

Figuring out your extension’s purpose and how it will meet the needs and expectations of your household is the key to a successful extension. You can do this by visualising how you will use the space and how large it will be. Having this information in mind when your project manager visits will help them explore the limitations of your space and discuss the work needed.

Choosing a builder

In addition to comparing the prices of each potential builder, you’ll also need to consider their portfolio of work and whether it matches your expectations and specific project. It can also be helpful to talk to friends and family for recommendations. If you need further information on choosing a builder, read through our article on the subject here.

Realistic budgeting

Budgeting includes not only setting aside money for the project but also considering the time costs and various setbacks that can occur during a construction project, such as permit delays, council fees and unforeseen work.

Understanding timeframes

Part of budgeting includes considering the timeframe of your extension and how this may impact you if the extension requires that you vacate your home.

Designing for success

Ensure the final project matches your vision by providing photos of styles you’d like to emulate. You can also design for passive heating and cooling through insulation and appropriately face windows.

Planning an extension is a complex process that requires careful consideration of your goals, budget, and timeframe. By following the steps above, you can create a home extension that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.

Typical house extensions for smaller houses

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average site area for a new home in Australian capital cities has dropped by 13 per cent over the last ten years. Many homeowners can feel short on ideas regarding small home extensions. However, the more limited the space, the more creative the solutions. There are plenty of options available, even with limited space. Popular small house extensions include:

If you can’t build out, build up!

If you’re struggling with limited space, building up with a double-storey extension may be the solution. Adding a second storey can create extra living space without needing a large property.

Cozy up in a bay window extension

Keep it simple with a bay window extension, which is a window that extends past the wall’s exterior. Bay windows can add extra floor space, natural light, and an attractive architectural feature. They can also be used as a shelf or even seating for a small breakfast nook or reading space.

Typical house extensions for larger houses

If you’ve got more space to play with on a large property, the good news is, the world is your oyster! There are heaps of options available for larger home extensions, but to give you a few ideas, some popular extensions include:

Street-facing face lift

Improve your home’s street appeal and create a functional work of art with a full street-facing extension. Using contrasting materials and building methods, your extension can stand out from the original home in a unique and tasteful way. These extensions are a great way to express your personality and make an impression amongst family, friends and prospective buyers.

Become the ideal host with a private guest space

If you enjoy entertaining and having family and friends over, this extension can be a great way to create a custom and private space for your guests. These extensions can include amenities such as an extra bathroom or kitchen to ensure your guest is comfortable during their stay.

Entertain and relax in an outdoor living space

Blend your home seamlessly into your backyard with a covered outdoor room and deck, perfect for entertaining on beautiful sunny days. You can combine these showstopping extensions with gorgeous landscaping features, outdoor kitchens and stunning floor-to-ceiling windows.

When it comes to house extensions, there are plenty of options available depending on your needs, preferences and space. Once you know what type of extension you’d like, it’s simply a matter of budgeting and reaching out to a builder.

Other popular house extension types

The best way to plan an extension is to research and explore the ideas available to you. Below are some other popular types of extensions not yet mentioned.

Mudroom extension

A mudroom is a room located at the entry point of the home that acts as a transitional space, typically including shelving and storage for bags, umbrellas and shoes. The term was coined in the 50s and referred to a room where people could remove muddy shoes and garments. This is a practical extension and is beneficial in a family home where children might track in dirt or debris from outside.

Study nook ideas

These cozy home office areas have soared in popularity with increased working-from-home arrangements. Study nooks can be small spaces in unused closets or alcoves; however, a home office extension can help you create the perfect space while not encroaching on other areas of the home.

How much does an extension cost?

The average extension cost can range from $2,000 per m2 to $5,000 per m2. This cost can vary greatly depending on many factors, such as the extension type, materials and size. Understanding these factors and how they impact the cost can help you make informed decisions about your project.

Extension type

Some extension types may cost more than others, such as double-storey extensions, which can add 50% to the cost of a single-storey extension.


Higher-demand materials such as timber flooring can cost up to $150 more per m2 when compared to vinyl flooring.

Project size

With extension costs being measured by square metres, the cost will rise for larger extensions. The project costs will also increase if you add a bathroom or kitchen to your extension, as you may require additional gas and piping.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll also want to add another 15% to your total build cost to cover any unforeseen fees. Unforeseen costs include demolishing hazardous materials, challenging terrain or other situational hazards.

Extending your home is a great way to add more living space, improve the value of your property, and meet your household’s needs. Regardless of the type of extension you choose, with careful planning and an experienced builder, you can create your dream home extension. Contact us today if you’d like to chat about your next home extension project.