• Background Image

    Blog Post

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

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 $20K 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 $7,500 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 can be prepared.

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/CC fees will be advised once plans are developed and a Council fee quote can be provided. The preparation of the lodgement for either CDC or DA/CC starts from $7,500. 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.

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

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

Best Houses Australia TV Segment

Best Houses Australia

Heritage Rebuild and Extension, Scarborough

Our heritage rebuild and extension in Scarborough was lucky enough to feature in a segment on Best Houses Australia and was also a finalist in the 2015 HIA-CSR NSW Housing Award in the extensions $200K – $600K category.

This home had a 150m2 extension consisting of 1 bed, 1 bath, 1 living, 1 courtyard and double garage with a storeroom plus a heritage renovation with 3 bed, 1 bath, 1 kitchen and 1 laundry. This build took us just 6 months to complete.

The interior featured polished concrete floors with the original floor boards used on the stairs. The clients’ vision was to achieve a modern open living space with views to the beach and plenty of space for their family to expand in. The project gallery for this home can be viewed here

Take a look at our segment below where Alistair, Denny and the owners talk you through their goals for the home and its features.

Business of the Year

32 Degrees Building are the 2016 Business of the Year Award and Local Business of the Year for Outstanding Service and Trade Award across Camden-Wollondilly

This year we received the prestigious Business of the Year Award and the Local Business Award for Outstanding Service and Trade Award across Camden Wollondilly. Following our recognition in the area we were approached by the Camden Advertiser for comment on receiving the award and to gain further insight into the company and our involvement in the community;

  1. Can you please tell me a little about 32 Degrees Building?

Located in Smeaton Grange, 32 Degrees Building Pty Ltd. is a local building company specialising in first floor/second storey additions, ground floor extensions and custom new homes.  Our main focus is to provide families with additional space in their home so that they don’t have to move from where they are already settled. We provide our clients with high-quality craftsmanship, a personalised service and guaranteed customer satisfaction.

Alistair, Denny and the team have been building in the area for over 10 years providing their services right across South West Sydney. The past year has seen the company grow from 11 team members to the present 31 (6 office, 25 onsite) and we are continuing to take on additional team members as the company expands.

  1. What makes your business unique?

We pride ourselves on the communication we have with our clients. It’s very important during the building process to communicate with our clients so that they are aware of what is happening and the processes involved. We ensure that our clients have an onsite and office point of contact to answer and respond to any questions they may have during each stage of the build. We also coordinate appointments with our product suppliers so that our client can visit their showrooms and speak to a dedicated representative to discuss and make their selections for their bathroom/kitchen etc…

We find that most of our clients still live in the house when we are building an addition or extension so we do as much as possible to minimise and reduce the noise, dust and disruption to their daily lives.

We employ a team of local tradesmen and apprentices in order to manage the quality of the work that we produce and to provide young members in the community the chance to gain themselves a trade. We continually work with our team to develop and enhance their skills in all facets of the residential building industry.

  1. How did it feel to win the business of the year award?

We were overwhelmed to be honoured with the award and we have received such a great response across our social media streams since it was announced. From our clients, suppliers and subcontractors past, present and future to other local businesses in the area the response has been very positive and we are extremely proud to have been selected to receive such a recognised award.

  1. Why do you think you were chosen as the winner?

Over the past year our team have really focused their energies on ensuring that we are providing our clients with first class customer service and quality craftsmanship.

This is something that we strongly emphasise and take great pride in.

We also work closely with MWLP and regularly take on work placement students to give them an opportunity to gain insight into the building industry and carpentry trade to assist them with their future career decision. We also provide sponsorship to Macarthur BMX Little Sprockets and Narellan Vale Public School and have where possible attended local events and provided support to the community.

We feel that it is a combination of these factors that this has contributed to and resulted in our recognition within the community.

  1. Is there anybody you would like to thank?

We are extremely thankful and appreciative to everyone who voted for us to win the award, to all of our clients, suppliers, subcontractors who worked with us/is going to work with us and for the continued support we are receiving in and around the area.

We would like to say a special thanks to Denny, our Project Manager for his time, commitment and focus over the past year to developing and training the team onsite. We would also like to thank our team onsite and in the office for their hard work, dedication and commitment to the business and their trade.

You can read the article in the Camden Advertiser here

Building in a bushfire prone area

We recently completed an extension and deck in Orangeville that was in a bushfire prone area and had to comply with BAL-FZ requirements. For those of you that are unfamiliar with being in a bushfire prone area, BAL-FZ means that the home has been classed as being located in direct flame zone and that there is an extreme risk to life and loss of the home should a bushfire occur.

Bushfire ratings are as follows;

  • BAL-Low (Very Low Risk)
  • BAL-12.5 (Low Risk)
  • BAL-19 (Moderate Risk)
  • BAL-29 (High Risk)
  • BAL-40 (Very High Risk)
  • BAL-FZ (Extreme Risk)

The BAL rating may determine the types of materials you are able to use or, additional materials that are required when building or extending your home (eg. bushfire shutters).

Bushfire Shutters at our BAL-FZ First Floor Addition in Lane Cove North (Click photo for full gallery)

Bushfire Shutters at our BAL-FZ First Floor Addition in Lane Cove North (Click photo for full gallery)

What measures should you take?

If your property backs onto bushland or even a Council nature strip you will have to obtain a BAL Risk Assessment Certificate from a qualified consultant to determine your Bushfire Attack Level. The report will outline the BAL rating on each elevation (yes, your BAL rating can be different on each side of your home) and advise you of the measures you need to take to maximise the safety of your family and your home and ensure you stay protected.

Building in a bushfire prone area: flamezone

The home in Orangeville was classed as BAL-FZ as it was in a location where it was deemed an extreme risk to bushfire so there were a few requirements that we had to ensure that we undertook when building this extension to comply with the RFS and Council requirements;

  • The deck was constructed with a cement based product with no gaps between the boards for embers to get into
  • The subfloor brickwork still has to have ventilation, and so a metal gauze with no more than a 2mm aperture was used to cover the weep holes and stop embers from getting in under the home.
  • The cladding we used was a minimum of 6mm thick with no gaps between the boards.
  • The windows were made with 6mm toughened glass and aluminium frames
  • Bushfire shutters were installed – you can have either manual or automatic
  • The roof and deck frames were made of steel
  • For the eaves we used firecheq plasterboard  and importantly we ensured that all gaps and holes were sealed to stop potential embers getting into

If you are in a bushfire prone area and thinking of building an extension or addition, speak to us, we are able to provide you with advice and guide you in the right direction.

Watch our video

Watch Alistair, the builder out at the deck extension in Orangeville talking about how we met the BAL-FZ requirements.