Let's talk about Home Addition Design

Home additions & renovations can make sense to undertake for certain homes.

For other homes, they make no sense at all. It all comes down to cost and value.

You see, home additions cost around 2.5 times the cost of building a new home, when calculated on a square metre basis. In some cases, this additional cost can make sense. For example, if you love your home or have limited funds and just need a little extra living space or additional bedroom, you may consider the higher cost worthwhile. 

However, if you're planning on extending the living areas, relocating the kitchen & adding a bathroom, this is when costs escalate to the extent that you may well be overcapitalising. In such cases, it often makes sense to demolish the home and build anew. 

| Honest Advice

 

Prior to committing to home additions & renovations, the first thing you need is honest advice from people experienced in the field. But not sales people from building companies engaged in home additions. Why? Because they don't actually care about you. 

These companies, like any, have a singular goal - sales. Without sales, they'll not survive. Therefore, do you think the sales people from such companies would say something like "I understand what you'd like to achieve, but I don't recommend you do it." No, of course not. They're more inclined to talk about how much money you have to spend. Note I said "Spend", not "Invest". I'll back this up.

During a conversation, a client said one of his friends spent around $600k on home renovations & additions. This home was is Maragaroo. There's a very good chance this 60 year-old friend will not see a return on his investment during his lifetime. I believe the builder had a responsibility of due care to advise against this madness. Did they? No.  

Not all renovations & additions are actually an investment, many are merely a cost. And often, people don't actually realise a return for their money. 

| When it Can Make Sense

 

There are instances when home renovations & additions do actually make sense. 

Large, Exclusive Homes ($1.5m plus valuation). Such as the home pictured at the top of this page.

If a home is large and in a good location, renovations & additions often make sense. For example, if the cost of replacing the home is $2.0m, then investing $500k to undertake improvements may be considered wise.

 

Due to the location, home values may increase faster than other areas and if there's a long-term plan to own the home, the risk is minimised. Land increases in value, while buildings usually decrease in value. However, with more exclusive homes, the house often doesn't lose as much value as regular homes.

Regular Homes ($350k - $800k valuation)

Most of us live in regular homes. Therefore, it can be said that home renovations & additions don't actually make any sense for most. But there are exceptions.

Adding a bedroom can make sense, providing its a simple job. That is that adding the bedroom is simple in respect it of merely extending the rear section of the walls & roof line.

This simple project will cost in excess of $100k. 

The only other scenario where performing additions & renovations can make sense is when you have a long-term plan for the home. That is, you intend owning the home for 15 years plus. This is due to an increase in land value only, not the house value. Houses don't increase in value, they depreciate in value just like cars.

| When it Makes Zero Sense

 

The Marangaroo home, mentioned earlier, is a prime example of renovations & additions making zero sense. It makes zero sense when the cost of the project won't be returned within the time-frame that you'll own the home. 

Over the years, I've spoken with many people about their ideas for their home renovations & additions. And in all these years, I've only designed a handful. The rest I had to decline  out of genuine care for my prospective clients. Below are pictures of two projects which actually made sense.

 

Home Addition & Renovations, Hillary's - Circa 2006

This home was literally the worst home in a very good street. Neighbours often complained out the look of this home. Once completed, it was the envy of the street. The home was valued before & immediately after. The new valuation added far more value than the total cost of the project. 

 

Home Addition & Renovations, Floreat - Circa 2010

This home was also the worst home in a very good street. The additions added genuine value to the home and our clients' lifestyle. We designed the additions, pool & landscape - ensuring everything flows perfectly.

I also designed the additions featured at the top of this page. This Hillarys project involved the design of an alfresco area under the main roof, a separate teen retreat/pool house and I designed the pool, spa & landscape.

Winning the 2011 HIA award for the Best Outdoor Environment in Western Australia, you can rest assured your home addition design will be nothing short of stunning in every way.