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Building an extension for my mother-in-law

I love my mother-in-law but I never planned on living with her permanently. I have been enjoying her living with us now that we have kids but I feel like we all need some extra space so I am getting a granny flat built at the back of our block. This should allow us to have some extra space to make sure everyone has the privacy that they need whilst we can still be a family. This block has some tip on the process of building a granny flat including how to choose a contractor and how to get the council approval for the build.


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Building an extension for my mother-in-law

What to Discuss With Your Contractor About a Home Extension

by Chloe Cooper

If you need more room in your house but don't want to sell it and leave, a home extension is a good solution. This can mean a space added to one side of the home, or a second story added to a ranch-style home. When you are ready to move forward with such an expansion, note a few factors to discuss with your contractor so you know you make the right choice.

1. Consider foundation costs

If you're trying to decide between a second store and an addition, be sure you've considered the foundation costs. An addition will need its own foundation and this can add quite a bit of expense to the project, but your home's foundation may also need underpinning to support a second story. This refers to a number of methods of adding strength to a current foundation and this can also be expensive, although it's often not as costly as a new foundation altogether. Underpinning can involve a layer of concrete added around the new foundation or actual pins inserted into the foundation for strength, and these methods can be more affordable than any other. Be sure you discuss these options with your contractor so you know what to expect by way of foundation costs when making your decision.

2. Consider the neighbourhood

If all the homes in your neighbourhood are ranch style and you decide to build a large second story, this might make your home stand out but not in a good way. If neighbouring homes are very close, this can cut off the view from a neighbour's yard and they may not appreciate it, causing tension between you and them. Be sure you consider how your home will fit in the neighbourhood before you make any decisions on its overall style and additions.

3. Be careful of massing

Massing refers to adding a boxy second story to a home; this can be a good choice if this is the style of homes in the neighbourhood, but take a few minutes to inspect other homes around you, and you might notice that second stories are often more pointed and sloped, to give homes a less boxy and oversized look. This sloping design can affect the interior rooms and their dimensions, so you need to consider the reduction in space if you choose this look for the second story. If this won't provide the added space you need, an addition with a larger footprint might be the preferred option.