Adding a Second Storey to a House: Everything you Need to Know

Adding a Second Storey to a House: Everything you Need to Know

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Have you been thinking about adding a second story to your house? It could be the perfect way to maximise your living space and add significant value to your property.

Ripping off your entire roof to create more space with a new storey addition may seem like a huge project, but really it might be the most cost-effective and simplest approach to achieving the house of your dreams.

Second storey additions are becoming increasingly popular home extension projects around Brisbane. A second storey house extension offers you the chance to improve your current property without having to move out of the area you love so much.

If you’ve been considering adding a second storey to your home, we’ve gathered all of the information and tips you might need to know before you start calling contractors and commencing work.

Storey Addition to an Existing House

If you want to add a second storey to your home, there are a few different options that you can choose:

  • Start from scratch: this process will include tearing off your roof and building a new storey addition on the ground floor of your existing home. This would be the case for a knockdown and rebuild project.
  • Keep your roof and build the walls: if you want to cut down on the cost of your home extension, you might want to consider keeping your current roof and placing it back on top of your new second floor at the end of the project.
  • Expand on an existing ground floor home extension: If you already have ground floor space that doesn’t have an added storey addition on top, you can extend an upper level across.

Second storey extensions are best for families who want to expand their square footage, without compromising on outdoor space. It’s a type of home renovation that works best for smaller lot homes that have a square metre size of less than 600m2.

Whether you want to create the ultimate master bedroom to unwind in after a busy day at work or want to create more space for a growing family, a second storey extension is a great option in many circumstances.

Causing minimal disruption to your daily life, most renovations can take as little as 5 months to complete. It is a big investment but is normally a cheaper alternative than moving to a brand new house. Other types of extension projects would be to raise and build under your home, but this offers higher risks of causing damage to your house.

If you’re working with a custom home specialist, like Watara Homes, you’ll normally have to pay for your extension on a price per m2 rate. As a guide, most of our second storey home extension projects cost somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000 per m2.

Everything you Need to Know Before Adding a Second Storey Extension

Before you take on a project as a second storey addition, there are a few different things you should consider.

Here are some of our best expert tips that will help you kick off your project successfully:

Check the building regulations

In some areas, you may have to consider whether your project will require council approval. Some ground floor extension projects may need it, but normally a second-floor addition shouldn’t raise any safety concerns.

Your project partner should be able to help you with checking the building regulations for your entire project, but it’s also a good idea to do some research for yourself beforehand.

Will you need to organise temporary accommodation?

Organising temporary accommodation while your second-floor extension project is underway will add a cost to your budget, but in most cases, this is the only option.

How will you deal with unexpected costs?

Like any large scale storey addition project, you may encounter some unexpected costs along the way.

We recommend that all of our clients add a 20% buffer to their budgets before building work gets underway. This way you don’t have to go digging into your savings as soon as things go over budget, or your project takes longer than you anticipated it to.

Pay attention to the interior and exterior of your home

You may have to consider the costs of upgrading the exterior of your home as well as building the interiors.

Updating your home with new windows, doors, cladding, and paint will make your new second storey blend right in with the rest of your home and will finish off your extension project in style.

If you can’t find the same paints and materials as you used on the rest of your house, it could be a good time to give your entire property a fresh lick of paint and a fun modern upgrade.

Work with an architect to design your plans early on

It can be hard to visualise your floor plans when you have no second floor to look at, but coming up with your designs early on will make the whole project run faster and smoother.

You should work with a designer/architect to create your plans, which will avoid any delays in building work. It also means that you and your builder can start ordering in all of your materials prior to work commencing so that your project can run smoothly.

Different materials can have long lead times, so you can’t always get away with making your purchases last minute — neither of us would want the project to be delayed.

The Construction Process of Adding a Second Storey Extension

The construction process of adding a second storey addition to your home is relatively straightforward and simple, especially when you employ the help of a specialist home builder.

At Watara Homes, we adopt the same process with all of our projects. With our help, we can help you create show-stopping storey additions that the family will love for decades.

Here’s what your home renovation process¬†could look like:

Project planning

When you first start your project, you might want to get started with building right away, but it’s important to go through the planning process first.

During this time, we’ll work hard to understand your project in its entirety, provide budget expectations and help you design your dream home.


We sit down to talk with all of our clients in detail before we begin the design process. This gives us a chance to discuss your project and understand your expectations.

Detailed Building Proposal

Now it’s time for you to receive a detailed proposal that will outline every stage of your upcoming project.

It normally takes around four weeks to put this proposal together, but it’s important to make sure everything is accounted for so we can get started with construction as early as possible.


Building work is when things start to get interesting for you. We’ll ask you to move all of your belongings downstairs, or organise temporary accommodation so we work most effectively.

We’ll have the project completed as quickly as possible so you can move back in and enjoy your brand-new home.

Working with Watara Homes on your second storey extension

If you need help with your second storey extension, get in touch with us today.