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September 3, 2018

7 cost-effective ways to save on your second storey addition/extension

With financial institutions tightening their lending criteria, we have found that some of our clients are finding that although they would like the extra space in their home, their lending capacity has decreased.

A common question we continuously get asked is “What are the most cost-effective ways to achieve the additional space we require, while managing to stay within our budget?” Below are 7 of the most cost effective ways you can save on your build that we tend to suggest first ahead of looking to reduce the size of the structural aspect of the build.

  1. 1. Roofing – If you are looking to build a second storey addition/extension and your roof is currently tiled, why not consider reusing and recycling the existing roof tiles for your addition instead of installing all new roof tiles. Here you can reduce the cost of the supply of the roofing materials.
  2. 2. Cladding – Opt for the external cladding of your home to be a Weatherboard cladding. This choice will save you on material and labour costs compared to brickwork or a Hebel and Render which are costlier options. Check out the Weathertex cladding gallery
  3. 3. Ensuite – Is an ensuite a must have for the guest bedroom? How often do you have guests staying that will utilise this room? Could they just use the main bathroom? By eliminating this room, you can save significant costs on tiling, electrical, plumbing and fit out costs and the dreaded cleaning of an extra bathroom!
  4. 4. Kitchen – If you are considering an extension and you want to renovate your kitchen, you may need to consider what is the most important decision to make on your investment right now? Is it going to add value by increasing the footprint of the home and creating more living space? Can the kitchen wait until a later date when you are in a better financial position? Alternatively, if you are going to include the kitchen do you need the 40mm thick stone benchtop when you can save by choosing a 20mm? Do you need $1,000 tapware or are there more cost-effective alternatives?
  5. 5. Bathroom – The cost of tiles can have a significant impact on your build cost. There are a wide range of tiles at varying costs. Do you really need the $50/m2 white tile or will the $15/m2 tile work for you?
  6. 6. Internal doors – Solid doors or hollowcore doors? and do you really need to update all of them? Hollowcore doors are the cost-effective option here, you can always upgrade later if you want solid doors
  7. 7. Internal painting – Are you able to pick up a brush and complete this yourself? Saving on labour costs will reduce your overall build cost. Maybe have a bbq and invite the family over and ask friends to paint!

With making the decision to add to or extend on your home it is about balancing your needs and wants while staying within the budget you have available. Every family has a different approach to their wants and needs, and it is important to understand that if it is a challenge to stay within budget while getting what you want you may need to look at the alternative solutions offered to you and come to a compromise. We find that our clients that choose to increase the value of their home within a manageable budget are far happier and comfortable with the results and often build and work on other internal upgrades later.

Want advice and guidance on your future addition and the costs involved? Talk to us, the addition specialists – contact us today

May 10, 2018

As featured on Channel 9’s Open Homes Australia

Did you get the chance to see our feature on television earlier this year? We aired in a segment on Channel 9’s Open Homes Australia.

Watch Alistair (Director and Builder) alongside Denny (Project Manager) talk you through the transformation of our double storey addition in Cordeaux Heights that we have completed.

This standard brick veneer home has transformed into a now architecturally designed home and features the use of Colorbond cladding mixed with Rubiq Panels to create a modern and contemporary look on the exterior. Internally, we used Hebel cladding on some of the walls to increase the thermal property rating of this home working towards a greatly improved energy efficient home.


April 16, 2018

MWLP – Business of the month!

We are excited to announce that we are MWLP – Linking Youth’s APRIL ‘Business of the month’!

We are proud to support local youth in our area and as part of winning our director Alistair got to catch up with MWLP and we have our very own podcast on iTunes devoted to who we are and what we’re about. You can listen to Alistair have a chat to MWLP about work placement students here:

A little bit about us and our involvement with MWLP.….we have been involved with MWLP for the last 5 years acting as a host employer to students looking to complete work placement in the Construction industry. Each week we have 2-3 students come and join our team across our sites and these are students who show an interest in the construction industry and want to test out carpentry and construction before committing to a career in the field. By taking on these students it gives them a chance to decide if this is something they wish to pursue but it also gives us a chance to see how they go onsite, work placement for us has resulted in carpentry apprentices being offered.

Are you a work placement student looking to secure an apprenticeship? These are the key traits that we would watch out for:

  • Respectfulness & politeness
  • Presentation – your appearance, even onsite, is important
  • Time management & reliability
  • Listening to and following instructions
  • Motivation, enthusiasm and ease of communication with team members
February 25, 2018

The days of waiting for a quote are over? Aren’t they?

In today’s world the time of waiting is over. The lightning speed in which mobile technology has developed and is continuing to drive forward has put us well into the digital age. It has sped up the process of being able to find an answer to a question as we now have access to a wealth of information at the touch of our fingertips. We can purchase items online and from overseas, book holidays and catch up with loved ones who are far away…the list goes on and the possibilities in the ways of communication are endless!

So, with this fast moving technological society that we now live in, why are we still waiting for quotes? Why is it ok to wait 2, 3, 4+ weeks to obtain a quote from a builder? A quote doesn’t need to be posted anymore, it can be sent via email and accessed on your device. So why the long wait?

We receive many enquiries through varying communication channels each week with each one at a different stage of their thought process. Below, we have outlined two of the main types of enquiries that we commonly see coming through and explain how we are responsive in providing them with the information they seek;

The Impulsers – these are the typical enquiries that we see from people (usually over the weekend). They have suddenly had the lightbulb moment that they want to extend or renovate their home to gain the additional space they need for the family and or lifestyle. They love their street, love their location, why move, when you can extend? Right? We get it, these enquiries want a quick response, they’re not interested in a detailed building quote yet, they just want to understand how to go about it and how much it is likely to cost, as let’s face it, expectation vs reality in terms of cost is not always on point so this needs to be cleared up right away.

This is why for every initial enquiry made with us we will respond within 24 business hours and let you know if;
a) we believe what you are asking for is achievable at your property and;
b) an indication of price range;
c) an explanation of the process and what is involved.

Boom. Answer given, simple as that. AND In just 24 business hours. Easy. Simples. Like it? Love it.

Now you can move forward and talk to your lender and partner about the financial aspect to see if you can progress forward with your ideas ahead of booking your appointment with the builder for your detailed quotation.

We usually find at this stage that we sometimes hear back from you straight away to book in an appointment, or we may not hear from you for another 3, 6, 12 months while you consider your finances. Regardless, we will remain in contact with you and on hand to answer any further questions. It’s what we do.

The Majority – these are the enquiries that come through and have already sought a preapproval to see how much they can borrow, or know how much of their money they can allocate to a build. Some may even have plans prepared. Again, we treat these enquiries the same as the impulsers they will receive that quick indicative guide price, however, we find that from here they are already keen to get moving and make an appointment for a builders tender.

We sense your urgency here, we get it, you are excited and we love that! The possibility of making your dream a reality is the next chapter towards creating that future home with your family! We get moving and book your appointment for the builder to come and meet you. The appointment with the builder is imperative. Here, we will commit our time to understand you, your family’s needs, dedicating ourselves wholly to ensuring you understand the possibilities of what you can achieve with your home and discussing those ever important solutions with you, while managing your budget expectations.

So how long after your appointment will it be until you receive our detailed quote I hear you ask? We will deliver your detailed build cost estimate via email within 48-72 hours of an appointment! Yes, just like that! No waiting for 2, 3 or 4+ weeks. Just 72 hours!

Why so quick? Because you have invested in us for your consultation, we have invested and committed our time into you to ensure that you are provided with the answers you need as quickly as possible so that we can help get you going.

It’s all about moving forward, helping you get to that next step quicker, helping you understand what is required, helping you and your family get what you want.

So, when you think about it, we can deliver you a price guide within 24 hours and a quote within 72 hours. We can do all of this in less than a week. Within 4 weeks we could already have your plans lodged to Council! So why are you still waiting?
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts and feedback on any of our content as it helps us improve and deliver a better service to you, our future clients. Get social with us across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Direct message us, make an enquiry, we’re available and we’re responsive.


January 23, 2018

Why you should invest in a professional build cost estimate

What makes paying for a professional build cost estimate a good investment? By paying for a professional build cost estimate a builder is enabled to dedicate their time and care in which they can apply a holistic approach to an entire project (with or without plans) delivering a detailed build cost estimate. They are providing you with a valuable time based service that should leave you feeling educated, empowered and aware of the possible next step(s) forward with your investment. This is inclusive of the builder not only meeting with you at your home; but also spending time researching your needs, sourcing prices and products, liaising with relevant trades and suppliers, it can also include contacting the council, a draftsman, an engineer and any additional specialists (such as a bushfire consultant) before delivering you an accurate tailored solution which will enable you to make an informed decision on your investment.Through this process you are also being educated about the build and the valuable information you receive should be followed with a responsive service that will lead to an accurate proposal and tailored solution for your home – your investment, your family, your lifestyle, and your goals. By investing in a professional build cost estimate; You are investing in yourself.

When I say you are educating yourself, what does that mean? Throughout their career a builder will work across multiple projects and gain a valuable wealth of knowledge and experience often leading to specialising in specific build types.(eg. additions, extensions, project homes). It is always recommended to engage in a builder that specialises in the type of build you are interested in.

When engaging a builder through a professional build cost estimate, the builder is dedicating their time with you to impart their knowledge and educate you. They should be able to explain the building process and provide solutions based upon their extensive knowledge and experience within the building industry. They should be able to listen to your needs and then respond with information to help you understand what is a viable investment and what isn’t. A builder should be able to discuss specific building materials, their features, benefits and their associated costs and make recommendations based upon your project, Council requirements, budget constraints and your lifestyle. You should be provided with information and advice to help you understand how you can improve the aesthetics and streetscape of your home and also provide quality and cost effective solutions for the interior and exterior of your project that will add value. Alongside this, the builder should be able to explain the best practices to achieve energy efficiency, working towards the sustainability of your home – which is a major factor in today’s building. Read More

November 1, 2017

Planning a Second Storey Addition, 8 Things to Consider Beforehand

More often than not, when you moved into your home, you didn’t prepare for any future life changes to happen that require you to extend your house either outward or upward. But here you are and what do you do? There are advantages to either option.

If your property still has room for a ground floor extension, then you can build out and keep everything on a single level, however, if your property is smaller and you would like to keep the backyard space then you should consider building a second storey addition. Doing so also means the least disruption to the existing house below and you can practically live at home throughout the extension project.

Before you decide to build a second floor addition or ground floor extension, there are some things to consider.

Thermal performance

This must be taken into consideration when creating house plans for a new addition to your home and should be well-integrated into existing sections of your house. A building sustainability assessment is required to ensure an extension meets the minimum sustainability benchmarks.

Ensuring thermal performance can be a simple as fine-tuning the size and orientation of your window or a bit complex as adding skylights or light tubes.


All new constructions are required to be insulated to climate appropriate levels. This could mean existing insulation in the original building may have to be retrofitted to prevent leaks of any kind.

Heating and Cooling

It is possible that your existing HVAC system will become insufficient once the new addition is completed. Increased living space often means increased heating and cooling requirements. So you should take this into account when developing house plans and when estimating a budget. Don’t forget the amount of work and costs needed for the ductwork if you go for a ducted AC.


The roof on your second floor addition should blend well with the rest of the house. Unless, of course, if you prefer the extension to stand out. But if you want a unified look, it is important that the roofing matches the existing one, even in the choice of Colorbond tin or tiles.


Continuing with a unified look so that your addition or extension blends in you also need to consider your cladding options. Brickwork, weatherboard, hebel or  render. To match existing, to change the entire façade or to use a mix of different materials are all possible to make your addition look like it has always been a part of the home.


Should your second floor addition use the same type of flooring as the original building? The choice is really up to you. Different types would delineate the extension from the not, while similar types will ensure continuity and create the illusion of a bigger space.


Depending on the size of the second-floor extension, 1 to 3 more circuits may have to be added to the electric panel. Not to mention, electrical lines that have to be added and integrated with the rest of the house.

Termite proofing

Protecting a home addition from termites should be a priority right from the start. This means choosing termite-resistant materials, adding termite barriers, treating timber products if you use them, or creating house plans that allow easy inspection access.

With these taken into account, it’s time to decide on what type of extension you want to build and the kind of materials to use.

At this stage, it is highly recommended that you consult with professional builders and designers. Tap into their knowledge of the best material to use or the most suitable design for the climate in your location. They, more than anyone, else have intimate knowledge in everything and anything building-related.

To book a consultation with the professionals, contact us.

Article written by: MyChronicles.net

July 22, 2017

Building Up: The Advantages of Adding a Second Floor to Your Home

At 32 Degrees Building, we specialise in ground floor extensions, first floor additions, and custom built homes. Often, whenever someone is planning to make more room in their home, a common question that we get asked is why is it better to build upwards with a second storey instead of outwards with a ground floor extension? What makes a second storey addition a great idea? So we decided to list just some of the benefits of adding second storey to your home:


Gain more living space without moving out

This is perhaps the greatest advantage of building a second storey (as well as the best reason to do so), especially if you live in a location that you really love, somewhere that truly suits your lifestyle. By renovating your home and adding a second storey, you can acquire more living space without having to give up the perks and convenience of living in an area that has all the amenities, services, businesses, and opportunities that you need, want and enjoy.

With greater room, you and your growing family can live more comfortably. On top of that, additional space means that you can stay in the family home for the years to come, as there is enough space available for a multi-generational household.


Keep your outdoor space

Why sacrifice your yard to extend the size of your home, when you can build on top of the ground floor and retain your outdoor space? Adding a second storey is the smart way to go, especially if you need additional space in a house that is built on a small block. This allows you to have the space outdoors as an alfresco living area with a pool, a lovely garden, or an amazing playground for your children and pets.


Get beautiful views

If you live in a picturesque location, a second storey is a great way to take advantage of the amazing views that your area has to offer. For example, if you live near the ocean, you can simply open and look out of a window in your second storey to take in the breathtaking waters without having to leave your house. Or, why not build a balcony where you can relax and have a drink while looking at the pretty sights before you?


Make necessary changes and repairs to the ground floor

On the practical side, if your home needs both repairs and additional space, a second storey lets you hit two birds with one stone. Building a second floor means that your ground floor has to meet the requirements that can provide structural support to the second storey. While the changes are being made, you can grab this opportunity to make some suitable home design decisions and improve your home’s overall interior look and style. You can also use this chance to replace faulty or damaged parts of the house, such as windows and doors and consider upgrading or adding ducted air conditioning.


Add value to your home

Last, but not the least, building a quality second storey can raise the market value of your home, should the need to sell arise. This is great especially if your house is located where there is a high demand for residential properties with close proximity and easy access to good education, career opportunities, medical centres, transportation, and other necessary amenities and services.


Do you want to increase your living space with a second storey addition? We at 32 Degrees Building provide our building services across South West & Western Sydney, the Illawarra, the Southern Highlands, the Eastern Suburbs, and Sutherland Shire. We aim to help our clients achieve their dream family home, with a spacious living area that can meet the needs and demands of their lifestyles. To learn more, contact us.


Article written by: ibuildnew.com.au

April 14, 2017

What should you expect to pay before your build can start?

To fund an addition or extension on your home, you may find yourself applying for a Construction Loan with your lender. This is all well and good, however you may find that the lender will not formally approve and release funds until plans, Council approval and a Contract is in place outlining the progress stage payments of the build. So, to get to this point, how much should you expect to outlay? The short answer is that we find for most of our clients it’s around $13K to complete the preliminary stage.

Here at 32 Degrees Building we break it down into two manageable costs for our clients and below is an explanation of the preliminary process to help you as a client understand what happens before we can issue contracts and start your build:

Preliminary Phase 1: Design and development of your architectural plans

This is the start of your building journey with us. This starts from $6,000 to have a draftsperson come out and meet with you, talk you through your ideas, then design your initial concept plan. Usually a few tweaks may be required and then you can sign off your concept plan and the full architectural drawings can be created and a 3D visual walkthrough can be prepared. The 3D visual walkthrough can be and shown to you either at the office or via an app and we send you the file.

Once your plans are complete (sitemap, elevations, shadow diagrams, floor plans etc..) the documents required to support your plans and lodgement to Council application are prepared, these include your;

  • Statement of Environmental Effects – Details the potential environment impacts the proposed build will have.
  • Waste Management Plan – Applies to all homes across Australia and explains how waste generated onsite will be managed, maintained and disposed of.
  • BASIX – The Building Sustainability Index applies to all residential homes across NSW and is part of the Development Application process.

There may be additional supporting documents required (e.g. Bushfire Report, Flood Report, Acoustic Report etc…)


Preliminary Phase 2: Council Lodgement – Development Application & Construction Certificate OR Complying Development Consent

This next step is where we will lodge your plans to Council either as a Complying Development Consent OR as a Development Application and Construction Certificate

CDC or DA fees will be advised once plans are developed. The Construction Certificate estimate starts from $7,500 however is dependent on the build cost and so we will advise if this changes at this stage of lodgement. Here we obtain the additional relevant documentation needed in order for your build to be ready to start and this includes;

  • Engineering plans and if a first floor addition a first floor certification to confirm your existing home will support the addition
  • Sydney Water check – To confirm that your build will not impact any of Sydney Waters assets
  • Sewer Service Diagram – We obtain this for the plumber to see where the existing connections to the home are
  • Long Service Levy – Applies to all residential works over $20K
  • Home Warranty Insurance – Applies to all residential works over $20K
  • and any other supporting documents as required


How long does it this process take? Well, this all depends on the Council, the service providers and you as the client. We find that from planning to Council approval to issuing you with contracts can take around 3/4 months. Once your build cost and inclusions have been finalised and your HIA fixed price contract has been issued you can then provide these to your lender in order to finalise your finance approval.

If you haven’t built before or have no knowledge of the building and construction industry then preparing all of these documents can seem quite daunting. That’s why with us, you would have us as your main point of contact to do all of the hard work for you. We even liaise between yourself and the draftsperson to help you stay within your budget when developing your plans and address any of the questions you have about the build along the way.

To get started on your building journey with us, we ask you to complete our pre-quote enquiry form and tell us what you would like to build, from there one of our team members will be in touch with you.

November 10, 2016

Tesla Powerwall2 is on its way

I first heard of the TeslaPowerwall earlier this year and thought it was a great leap forward for sustainable energy. The way the Powerwall works is that it is able to safely store the excess electricity generated from your solar panels for later use without sending it back to the grid. This enables you to use solar energy as an available power source 24hours a day, 7 days a week. This aims to lower your electricity bills, increase the value of your home and reduce your carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels.

Last weekend Tesla announced the launch of the Powerwall2 and also Solar Rooftop Tiles. Elon Musk during the launch explained “The sun provides more than enough energy in just one hour to supply our planet’s energy needs for an entire year so why not capture the suns energy to power our homes and lead us to a better future of sustainable living.” The Solar Rooftop Tiles would be an alternative to the solar roof panels you see across many homes these days and would be able to harness the solar energy from the sun across your entire roof. 

With the amount of sun we are lucky enough to receive all year round in Australia, the Powerwall and Solar Rooftop Tiles can definitely be seen as a huge benefit to homeowners. I suspect that the installation of these will become the norm when altering/extending/building a home in the future. Just think of the money we could all save on our electricity bills while also reducing our environmental impact!

Powerwall2 installations are to begin across Australia in February 2017. You can visit their website here to find out the size of the Powerwall recommended for your needs, the estimated costs involved and to also pre-order your unit.

If you are looking to incorporate sustainability into your next build, talk to us and we can discuss this further with you.

#32degreesbuilding #tesla #powerwall2 #solarroof #sustainableenergy

October 6, 2016

2016 HIA-CSR NSW Housing Award Finalists

2016 HIA-CSR NSW Housing Award Finalists

HIA Professional Builder Award


Renovations & Additions $200K – $600K Award


We’ve done it again! This year, we have we been successfully nominated as a finalist in the HIA Professional Builders Award and alongside that we have also, for the second year in a row, been selected as a finalist in the HIA-CSR NSW Housing Awards in the extensions $200,001- $600,000 Category with our Camden first floor addition and extension

Alistair, Director and Licenced Builder on becoming finalist as a professional builder – “It’s an honour for all of us at 32 Degrees Building to be recognised as a professional builder based upon our values and commitment to our clients and the customer service we strive to deliver. This, combined with our continuous improvement strategies and our financial management processes have resulted in our achievements as a builder to date.”

Our first floor addition and ground floor extension is a beautiful 1950’s home situated within walking distance of the centre of Camden. Originally only 103m2 the addition and full renovation added over 258m2 to their home giving the owners plenty of additional living space, including 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, media room, alfresco and also a commercial kitchen to meet the needs of the owners growing hospitality business, Cupcakes in Camden.

“Alistair first said….” oh don’t worry a few months after you won’t even believe you’ve been through it!” You were right!….I still pinch myself that this beautiful new space is ours. We had never done anything like this before but I THANK YOU for making the whole process smooth, enjoyable and fun….I really learnt so much! Wishing 32 Degrees all the best for Sat night! with the HIA Awards. We are honoured to be a finalist and believe you guys are so deserving of a big Win so fingers crossed.”

Best Wishes, Nicci, Steve, Livi and Bailey!”


The winner is to be announced at the upcoming HIA-CSR NSW Housing Awards night on the 15th October and we will keep you updated via our website and social media pages!

About 32 Degrees Building