havana007

Dual-living proposed extension – what do you think of this plan?

havana007
2 years ago
last modified: last year

I want to extend my two bed post war house into a three bed, two bath, two living zone house that could function with a self contained unit (highlighted yellow) to help pay down the mortgage for the initially. Currently I have a proposed L-shape lounge/dining and adjoining deck but this does not allow enough noise privacy between residences IMO. If I place the deck to the side of the dining room with a flyover cool dec roof and louvre windows on the dining room and privacy screens on the new living room...I am unsure what to do with the pink area previously the proposed deck. I could keep the roof over it and pave underneath or remove the roof and do plantings. Having the roof remain gives options into the future without requiring further planning permission - just depends on costs. Images attached of 1. Existing 2. Proposed-current 3. Proposed -alternative. The site is slightly sloping down toward the carport and grassed driveway. Any suggestions/feedback greatly appreciated.






Comments (94)

  • oklouise
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    i'm wondering about local regulations for dual occupancy and fire walls and an extra external "fire escape" door for flat 2 (slider to the front garden from the main bedroom? but my suggestions are much less complicated and start with the whole house and work backward to the flats with separate back and front yards, side entry (plus optional external laundry door) and matching gable roof to add ceiling height in the old rear extension


    extra details like the decks and butlers pantry can be added but need to know maximum floor area/budget you're considering, distance from the original house to the drip line of the big tree, distance to the rear and driveway boundarys and is there an existing carport and do you need/want any extra undercover carspaces

    havana007 thanked oklouise
    Top Answer
  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you all again for your comments and feedback and helping me question decisions and find improved solutions! To explain the self contained it will in essence be a sharehouse situation shared utility costs water electricity gardener internet etc but with separate living spaces. I know many friends who want their own space but can't afford it so stuck sharehousing and would jump at this sort of setup. I could stage the reno in two parts, master addition then the rear extension but given interest rates are low and I have a solid fulltime job for loan application it somewhat makes sense to do it all at once. $150k mortgage @ interest rate 5% would average $200 interest only per week @ 75% occupancy. I would probably rent main space for $295/wk + bills so have some buffer for rate rises etc. At least if they have own space, they only need be a reliable tenant vs personality click etc and I am looking for long term tenant ideally. The looming affordable housing issues for mature age women who are struggling financially after divorce or working part time as single mums suggest demand is there.

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  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Open to modern extension yes...have seen some amazing ones & have tinkered with walkway between to gain extra height for extension but couldn't make it work as yet and would be giving western sun an opportunity to hit the exposed wall/glass ...will revisit though

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Side access for flat is only 2m and not really inviting other than walkway & plantings

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Some pics of existing house when work in progress as follows including small deck under rear porch

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    original kitchen

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    original dining room

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    mid strip out view to kitchen/dining

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    gyprock up...kitchen island now where pile of stuff is....bench seat in dining nook where green plastic chair is...photo taken from living room corner

  • siriuskey
    2 years ago

    I see that 2m of "walkway" as adding to the inside living space by using large sliding doors to open up the wall to that space and particularly if it could be at the same level, even decking if needed to do that.

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    small deck and new side privacy fence

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Bathroom before... no toilet

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    new bathroom.... now includes walk in shower freestanding tub and back yo wall toliet (prior to painting of trims etc and view to smaller bedroom)

  • siriuskey
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I would be using the side space with similar ideas, also making the flat feel and look bigger, I now your space is narrower but could certainly be used

  • siriuskey
    2 years ago

    Privacy screens

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks again sirius love all those ideas. I would have to check rules re any permanent structures within the side boundary limit but landscaped garden beds and bench seats could definitely work...I think decking has to have 400mm crawl space?

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Street appeal facade...leaning either coastal byron bay lux beach vibe with retro breeze blocks or quintessential qlder with gable carport and master extension and fencing per inspo pics below

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

  • siriuskey
    2 years ago

    I think you could work towards something like this with your existing cottage

    https://atlanticbyronbay.com.au/


  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Yes, love it!

  • Creativelychallenged
    2 years ago

    Hi Charliebrown007, Your situation sounds SO similar to mine and the thoughts that I have for my house. When I did some initial queries, I was told that it would probably be more economical for me to raise my house using the current roof structure and then build the granny flat on the lower level.

    I have a feeling that wrt to carports/garages at the front of the house (in BNE), it is based on what your neighbours have done on either side (not necessarily what has happened on the rest of the street).

    I am also in Brisbane. If you don't mind answering, where are you in Brisbane. I also have a postwar house. I also have looked at and loved Shaun Lockyer designs.

    What was the name of the architect that you have been using so far?

    What did you mean by the area being up and coming and not wanting to overcapitalise. Wouldn't the fact that it is up and coming mean that you can spend more on it, as compared to in a suburb that is not up and coming? or are you saying that if you ever sold it, it may be sold just for land value and not the place itself.

    The neighbours around me that are renovating, are ripping down the house and starting from scratch as I think in the long run it is cheaper that way, but when one doesn't quite have enough money to do that, one is stuck with doing smaller renovations.

    I will be very interested in seeing what you end up doing as I have all of the same questions for my house. I haven't had all the asbestos removed from the ceilings, but thought that I should wait until I decide on what renovations will be done, so that it is not future rework. I really need to get an architect in now to give advice on what I could do to the place. I have stalled on a bathroom reno and part of the reason is that in the back of my mind, I keep thinking that if ever put on a deck or extension, the bathroom will be in the wrong place.



  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Hi creativelychallenged! Feedback from builders and real estate agents is due to slope of my block I would not gain much extra footprint vs extension option and there would be drainage issues and limited views /aspect. Under the house is a small workshop area which could be converted to a laundry but I hate going outside in winter myself to do a load of washing lol!


    Up & coming is that house values in my suburb are roughly 30% lower than surrounding suburbs but have jumped 50% since I purchased a few years ago (inner north brisbane). The area is transitioning from baby boomers to young couples with significant upgrades to roads, transport, community amenities streetscaping and shopping centres. I paid just over $300k for house snd spent 10% of purchase value to date. I would hesitate to spend more than $150k on property as would push resale price to probably $600k. I plan to stay but also need to know I can sell should my circumstances change.

    To remove all asbestos inside house and reclad with skirts & architraves cost roughly $5k & i felt easier to do all at once

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Land value is $275k so basically got the house for $25k +$30 renos =$50k to date which is pretty cheap for house. I also find from observations people with upstairs living/decks don't use their gardens as much as single level homes

  • Creativelychallenged
    2 years ago

    I am also Inner North Brisbane. Yours sounds like a good investment. And yes, I agree re not using the garden as much with a highset home. Mine is already a highset but not legal height, so that may also be a reason that I was given the advice re raising vs extension. (I have pictures on other posts of mine). Do you know of a good builder in the area. Those prices for both removal and reclad sound very cheap.

  • Creativelychallenged
    2 years ago

    Your reasoning sounds very sound. I haven't spoken to a real estate agent yet, regarding what would be over capitalising.


  • Creativelychallenged
    2 years ago

    Just remember that most land values have gone up a bit in last few years, so wouldn't value of house be what you paid for property when bought minus land value back then (you may be already using that value).


  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Hi cc, yes yours looks perfect for raising! I would definitely chat with some real estate agents and/or go to open for inspections of renovated houses in your area to understand your resale market. One property sold down the road from me for $595k last month. Great reno next to a school but not suitable for a family as only one central small internal living space with many doors openings. Agent sold to professional couple-pics of exterior below

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Privacy....this is some of the battening concepts I had in mind to create sightlines privacy between tenant but still opening to north east to provide breezes...can be closed at night in winter to reduce heat loss from glass

  • siriuskey
    2 years ago


  • Creativelychallenged
    2 years ago

    Charliebrown007, I was just thinking about what I said re your land value...my logic was out...yes, of course, you are right using today's land value, because that is what tells you the investment in your property. I had a quizz last night at some places and I think that if you are anywhere in the Mitchelton??, Banyo, Kedron, Geebung, Nundah, Wavell Heights, type areas, then yes, they are definitely great investments because the character homes are still in these areas, you have a uni or shops near them or r close to city and the surrounding properties are a lot more expensive. I think if you can make your house a character home and it look genuine, you will get a bigger audience for the resale - just my opinion - not that I am an expert. It is hard doing renos on your own, but you seem to know what you are doing. I was hit with the analytical science/maths stick, not the creative one and so if I can't copy a look, then I struggle.

  • siriuskey
    2 years ago


  • Creativelychallenged
    2 years ago

    Timber shutters or satin louvres would also provide privacy and breeze when wanted (like i said, not good on design - just ideas). I wonder even if a vertical shutter idea would provide the privacy but not be as "big" as the ones in your picture. I went to a Civic Steel home at Taigum and he had a bedroom off an open garage and used black solid metal louvres for privacy and breeze. It suited the look of that house but possibly wouldn't for the style you are looking for.

    Yes that house up the road looks gorgeous.....I am coming to the conclusion that in order for the Brisbane houses to look great...IMO their either need to have a gable at the front somewhere (there is a grey place on Kent Rd, Woolloowin that started as a very plain chamferboard and they renovated it into a Hamptons style by starting with adding a gable to front...it is grey with white trim.....).......or you have to have a very obvious modern extension in an architectural style, showing a quirky modern extension to an old style house and linking via a common colour (or something else smaller that the two have in common)...just from what I have seen.....

    I love the character homes and I think that an investment into a reno is worthwhile.....my natural tendency , though, is towards the danish, almost scandinavian, simple (not audacious) modern mid century (similar to architectural homes).........and therefore, and my house is very similar to that in that it doesnt have a lot of character to it, and just has masonite walls, simple casement windows, thin mixed hardwood floors..............I too am conscious of over-capitalising on my house as it doesnt tend to be a style that people will value the money spent on renos. My house is one of very few post wars in my area. Most of the others are large old Queenslanders or reproduction Old Queenslanders......For example, someone up the street from me , bought a house like mine (but with a verandah) and nicely landscaped and a bit nicer inside for $749K.... and then tore it down and is building a Hamptons style home there with a pool. This is more the trend in my area, rather than a reno on a post war......


  • Creativelychallenged
    2 years ago

    Charliebrown007, I would still sus out what oklouise said about firewalls for dual occupancy..who know, you may wish to move out one day and rent both areas separately......

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Thanks again everyone for your feedback and comments, I am digesting everything and querying my choices and applying what I can. Here is a redraft. I am proposing to do a longer but narrower extension to the rear with wide overhang to the north. (Note: no wall between lounge/dining in extension - just my cut and paste of lounge orientation). I will forgo the decks at this stage and come up with some creative solutions at ground level for outdoor entertaining. I can add a deck later with flyover roof and placement will depend if I am still "sharing" house or taking it back as a single residence. This will permit most of the new section to be N/NE facing with some protection from NW. I would also have good roof orientation should I add solar panels in the future. For the "second kitchen" in the new extension I will do a floating timber top island bench on industrial castors that can be removed/relocated and stand alone cooker etc. This is so it can easily be removed and a 4th bedroom can be added in its place as highlighted blue. This would allow the bedroom to be south facing with a courtyard garden view to side and possibly access some of the NE breezes depending on internal door placement etc. I can add double carport at front in a few years....thoughts? I am keeping the front extension atm as my gut tells me to create a gable front if keeping the street facade traditional.

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you cc for the reminder re firewalls. I think the cost to wire the house separately for electricity would not be warranted. If I were to rent it out in its entirety it might be to two friends/siblings who want there own space etc but with the cost savings of shared utilities. With the bedrooms at opposite sides of lounge and two bathrooms I think it would have appeal.

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    cc...there is always the option to buy one of these...Kedron postwar for sale delivered and restumped $80K - save you repainting!http://www.drakehomes.com.au/wpbdm-directory/2112bays-renovated-post-war/

  • Creativelychallenged
    2 years ago

    That house is very similar to mine except it looks to have a new roof and the bathroom is renovated. :o) It would be interesting to see if they put the roof back on it when they move it, because when the house was getting moved down the road, I asked the guy what he would pay me for mine and he said nothing, due to it costing them $10-15K in having to put a new roof back - as the tile roofs take a lot longer to do than the iron. That place would be good value for someone that didn't already have a place.

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    This property in an adjacent street just came on the market for sale...I think I will be watching this one closely....single level L-shape extension/ granny flat but poorly designed IMO. The privacy issue dilemma is the same as mine when using the main deck.

  • oklouise
    2 years ago

    more comfortable floorplan

    havana007 thanked oklouise
  • oklouise
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    the main concern i have with your last design is that the existing kitchen is in the wrong place to have indoor outdoor connection and prevents better use of the internal spaces... a simple L shape design that allows for two x two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas including a rumpus room with small kitchen and wm with a dividing fence for backyard privacy...the house works as one house or two separate flats by simple closing a single door and the extra small kitchen could be absorbed into the main laundry as a pantry...the plan doesn't meet proper standards for legal dual occupancy but should be ok for an extended family or friends sharing one house....your extension at the front gives very little return for cost and a simple gable entry porch and verandahs adds more street appeal and screens the western front for far less expense...

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Hi oklouise, thank you again so much for your suggestions to help me reflect on my choices! The great thing about this whole process is that it has really helped me clarify my must haves/dealbreakers and nice to haves. Key elements that I don't want to forego are:

    1) a "master suite" with large WIR + private ensuite+ direct private garden access/views. The current northern bedrooms are elevated and do not allow these elements and better suited to small kids as no external doors and can be eyeballed from the kitchen.

    2)The kitchen must be the heart of the home and connected to all living spaces so the host never feels disconnected from guests & can watch kids from almost any living space.I attended a party last weekend which had the kitchen blocking the living room from the outdoor space and the host commented they regretted it after renovating.

    3)The dining room must be an end destination vs a corridor so it does not become a dumping grounds for bags, mail & everything else as the nearest flat surface to the entry point.

    4) All new bedrooms must also be min 3 -3.2M wide on the narrowest side for me to justify them.

    5) I reviewed all my lookbooks and tear sheets pulled to date and its a clear pattern that I want my 'adult' living and dining/entertaining spaces connected to the rear garden preferably wrapping l-shape round a deck or courtyard garden. In a sense 'broken' vs open plan but still visible through glass etc.

    6) I would not be prepared sacrifice the prime N/NE aspect with utility rooms.

    7) I don't wish to place a verandah at the front as it will never be used except extra maintenance and can create shading in summer via other methods.

    8) capacity to rent out room with private living quarters. There are many splitter blocks in my area and I don't need it to operate as legal dual occupancy.

    9) single level living -no second story bedrooms etc.

    10) separation of main bedrooms when renting out section of house


    Phew....I think thats most of the checklist criteria I have been working to. Still think tanking the street appeal/front facade style but its probably leaning toward lux byron bay beach cottage meets modern coastal with some retro elements to hint at the history of this 1950s house!


  • oklouise
    2 years ago

    it's good to have goals clarified ...if this mean that the new rooms will be for yourself and the original home for the tenants and not the reverse then my suggestions are unsuitable and i hope you achieve your ideal

    havana007 thanked oklouise
  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you again oklouise for all your fabulous suggestions & feedback!

  • Creativelychallenged
    2 years ago

    Charliebrown007 how are you going with your housing plans? I could learn a lot from you as you seem to know all the right things to do.

  • havana007
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Hi creativelychallenged! My design is currently in the incubation phase...I tend to set it aside if I have any hesitations and put it back on the table with fresh eyes as its a big financial commitment and the reno is also a draining process. Will update this post once I have locked in a design but it would not be before this time next year I am in reno/construction phase - how is your reno progressing? :)

  • Creativelychallenged
    2 years ago

    Similarly, it has stalled, but I am thinking that I need to speak to a professional (whether it be architect/builder or someone else - I am not sure), who I will be able to give my wishlist (which is a bit similar to yours), and they scribble ideas of how my house could be renovated to achieve the wishlist, as well as an indicative cost for it. I have a bathroom reno that needs to be done ASAP and the house needs painting, but because a longer term reno may affect the bathroom (eg. walls cracking if house is raised or bathroom put in different position in house to maximise views/aspect), then I feel I should get an idea of the long term view before proceeding with bathroom reno. I won't be in a position financially though, until another year, to be able to afford the big reno, but it would be good to at least have the plan...). I love the work of Shaun Lockyer Architects, but I am assuming they are expensive. I am wanting to achieve a lot but my budget is only $300K....

    Who was the "forward thinking" Architect that you got to give you advice on what to do and would you recommend them to others? I know Skyring Architects offer an advisory service for an hourly rate, but I am not sure if others do the same thing.