Anthony and Michelle were looking to renovate their home for the long term, not just for the next few years.
Their four-bedroom, two-bathroom, single-storey house wasn’t small to start with and had been extended by the previous owner, but they wanted to reconfigure it with three aims in mind.
The immediate need was more space and privacy for their four teenage children, as Anthony explains. “Our twin boys were sharing and our eldest son was in quite a small room and he’s 18 – we really wanted more space for the kids.”
“We also wanted to build something that they can come back to stay in if they have a family in the future and feel like they have their own area”, Anthony continues. “We also wanted a room downstairs that one of our parents could live in.”
“I grew up with my grandparents living at home,” Michelle recalls, “so it’s something that I experienced and we want to be able to offer if needed.”
Why Stay, Not Go?
The first question that comes to mind is: why not just buy a bigger home with all their needs included?
“Why didn’t we sell and move? Since Ant and I have been together, we’ve moved something like 14 times, we’ve moved country, everything,” Michelle notes. “Once we were here, we felt this was it.”
“Also, we looked into the cost of renovating versus moving and realised that stamp duty on a new home might be half the cost of a renovation,” Anthony adds. “Then the difference between what we could sell for and buy for would be the full cost of the renovation, on top of stamp duty.”
Adding to their confidence that renovating was the answer was the fact that some friends had just completed a similar project.
“That’s why we went with Addbuild. They had completed our friend’s home addition not long before with no problems,” Anthony remembers. “It was close to what we wanted, plus we were able to use the same team – project manager, carpenters and others – so we went in with a lot of confidence.”
The New Layout
Anthony and Michelle worked with Addbuild’s in-house designer to create the new floor plan, deciding to add space via a new second storey.
“It was pretty straightforward,” comments Anthony. “We’re not fussy,” Michelle continues, “so we were happy to go with their recommendations.”
The kids’ bedrooms would all be upstairs with their own bathroom. Downstairs would be reconfigured to include an office space, TV room and spare bedroom, with the master bedroom remaining downstairs with one of the bathrooms.
“When we’ve got people over now, If the kids don’t want to be involved, they go upstairs or use the media room, they have their own space,” Michelle explains. “The media room was deliberately placed away from the entertaining area, so we don’t disturb each other.”
Living Through Building Work
Aside from a new kitchen in a previous home, this was the family’s first major renovation. Was there any nervousness?
“We didn’t have to move out. We knew there wasn’t going to be a big impact on us as we only lost the use of one bathroom which we weren’t really using anyway,” says Anthony.
“I think the stress levels would have been a lot higher if we were renting,” Michelle adds. “The renovation happened during one of the wettest summers on record. There were some delays as a result, but we didn’t have to worry about the cost of extending a rental.”
It was a difficult period for builders, with staff and material shortages after COVID, the aforementioned weather and extra demand created by the Government’s HomeBuilder stimulus package. How did Addbuild handle everything?
“They were very straight-forward and told us how it is,” Michelle confirms. “With the rain, they said the tarps were all there (before the roof was completed), but the rain is going to come through. They didn’t tell us lies. We appreciated the fact that they were realistic.”
The weather-related delays came mainly at the back-end of the build, but they were lucky that ‘lock up” (making the build safe and largely protected from the elements) happened relatively quickly, achieved just before Christmas.
“Our project manager, John, said it would be touch and go, but to trust him,” Michelle recalls. “Arthur and his team of carpenters worked really hard. At that point, it rained mainly at night, but they didn’t always know that. There was one sunny day when they took their opportunity to get ahead and worked their behinds off.”
What about the disruption and dreaded building dust?
“It was filthy at times, but nothing we couldn’t handle,” Michelle laughs.
Enjoying The Result
The project was completed last year, so Anthony and Michelle have now had a good amount of time to assess whether the cost, time and stress of a building project was all worth it.
“We now miss the children,” Michelle jokes. “Really, that’s a nice problem to have. We wish we’d had this in place during COVID. At times Anthony and the kids were all doing their work or homework in the same room. It was mayhem. No such problem now.”
“Everything has worked out to plan and we’re now loving having our own space, and still being able to come together at family times. We love it.”
Finally, we asked, would Anthony and Michelle recommend Addbuild to friends looking to renovate?
“Absolutely” comes the joint reply.
“We felt well looked after. The project manager John was always keeping us informed,” Anthony notes. “They did the DA management and found ways of making life easier. For example, asking our neighbour if they could use their driveway when removing the roof which probably saved two days because they were able to put the debris immediately into their van.”
“We’d have no hesitation in recommending them to others.”
Looking to Renovate?
With more than 2,000 projects completed since 1980, Addbuild is Sydney’s leading home additions and extensions builder, offering a ‘concept-to-completion‘ service that includes experienced renovation design and the management of your Development Application.
We pride ourselves on helping Sydney homeowners turn the home they love into their forever dream home.
Call our office on (02) 8765 1555 or send us a message using our contact form if outside of office hours.
If you are still in the research phase, looking for ideas and advice, feel free to delve into our comprehensive suite of articles about all aspects of renovating or download our free “Consumer Guide to Home Improvement“.