Lately Roge and I have been house hunting for a brick "suburban home". Not because we don't love our current house but it's only two bedroom and although we could make do, I guess I've been thinking that having a little more space (especially if another child comes along) would be handy.
So I've been on realestate.com.au for weeks, hassling poor real estate agents to take us through house after house. Each looks great in the photos but each is disappointing in reality. The last straw was last week when we saw yet another disappointing house which needed a full renovation and yet was already in the top of our ideal price bracket. At wits end, we decided to find a way to extend our existing house and create the space we need without moving.
An obvious thought you may think but alas, not as easy as it sounds. You see, we've made the house really really nice as is, and I guess I don't want to spend money undoing the good work (and money) we've already done.
Other factors to consider are that our house is not North facing and therefore doesn't get the best amount of sun through the day (brrr, can be cold). It's also weatherboard and needs painting every 7-10 years. The pros outweigh these issues though. It's in a location that we love, it's already the way we like it and we've only recently put a new double garage on the side of it. Plus, by not moving we've saved in sale and purchase costs.
So in a nutshell, it's lacking is a bit of afternoon sun and a third bedroom. Our builder mate tells us, we can put a few new windows on the North facing side of the building (tick to getting more sun) and if we want a new bedroom, he can either build one in the roof HOWEVER for the same price as doing just that one room, he could do us a third bedroom AND ensuite for the same price if we keep the extension on one level by extending into the back yard.
Keen to put some ideas to paper, I've been starting some sketches:
So much to consider and today I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by it. The first plan I've done seems to be the option that will flow the best and will be the cheaper option however, I'm still undecided. I like looking out my back doors into my yard and this design will not allow me to do that any more.
My friend Liv has also weighed in:
Hmmm, I don't mind the second design, that might work?
Anyhoo, as you can see I've got plenty to think about. This is a big decision and one I want to get right if we're going to stay here indefinitely.
On the plus side, by doing the research before putting pen to paper, I've saved quite a bit of money. The cost of selling exiting house and buying a new one I estimate to cost about $25K and by getting the builder involved now, I've saved a few thousand on engineers fees (because we won't need one if we extend into the back yard) and lastly, my Grand-dad is going to do the building drawings for council for us, thus saving us another $3500 (which I had priced by a professional drafter).
Exciting times ahead as you can see but when isn't it at our place!