Renovation Ideas: To Build Up Or Out?

Space is an increasingly prized commodity in the Australian housing market. As our families and lifestyles expand, so does our need for extra room. Eventually, most homeowners are faced with this dilemma when thinking of renovation ideas: to build up or out? Ultimately, the answer is circumstantial. Any decision will be dictated by the affordances of your block-size and budget. However, it is also crucial to consider the priorities of your family. How will they function within your chosen extension? Are you seeking a self-contained floorplan or a strategic division of space to promote privacy? If the decision has left you torn, this guide should help you weigh up the benefits and pitfalls of both lateral and vertical home extensions.

Image: WBHomes

Consider costs
When opting for a second storey, your home is not the only thing going up. This kind of project is costly. Why the extra expense? Your original construct was not designed to accommodate for additional levels. Given this, extensive structural assessment and works are required to increase your home’s load-capacity. Extending out will save you the significant cost of roof removal, scaffolding and reinforcement. There is, of course, the consideration of block-price. Lateral extensions require more land. This substantial upfront expense can often balance the scales between the costs of building up and out.

Space and Taste
When considering renovation ideas, the addition of a storey will maximize the block’s potential. Unless you are working with a particularly roomy piece of land, extending will compromise outdoor space. This could disrupt your chance of a luxe al-fresco area or a sprawling back-yard. Additionally, you run the risk of the property feeling cramped. Outward extensions do, however, provide greater opportunity for indoor-outdoor living. These additions can be seamlessly incorporated into the garden space; optimizing warmer weather and gifting a strong sense of cohesion to your property. Street appeal and resale value is another crucial decider in the renovation ideas debate of ‘out’ or ‘up’. What impression would you like your home to make? From the kerb, an elegant vertical structure is more impactful than a sprawling and partitioned single-storey design.

renovation ideasImage: Pinterest Architecture And Design

A second-storey addition will require the complete removal of your roof. Given this, building ‘up’ is only a viable option if your family is in a position to relocate while the renovations are undertaken. This is another expense to factor into your budget. Of course, an extension ranks much higher in the convenience category. In most cases, the process of ‘tacking on’ a few rooms will not disrupt your central living space.

Spectacular scenery makes a compelling case for a second storey addition. If your property has the potential for stunning views, it is a shame to expand without capitalizing on them. Particularly in built-up areas, a sense of elevation will change the character of your whole home. A breathtaking vantage is infinitely more pleasant than waking up to a neighbour’s roofline or back-fence. The resale value of a good outlook will justify the additional costs of a second storey.

Are you looking to embark upon a home renovation project? Our team can help you decide which kind of project is right for you. Book a call or get in touch on 1800 184 284 today for free, expert advice.

Nikki Sitch

Nikki is completing a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English and Creative Writing. When not studying, she is rearranging her share-house according to the latest interior trends.


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

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