If your block has been subdivided already, you may only have limited options to expand the house outwards. Luckily, more and more councils are allowing homeowners to expand upwards to make the most of their block. Here are some tips to get the process started.
Talk to a residential architect
In order to get a multi-storey extension approved by the council, it's important to come up with a design that is sympathetic to the neighbourhood and that still allows your neighbours to have the necessary privacy. It can also be extra challenging to get access to a small site with close neighbours, so it is important to have a design that works with your specific block and restrictions. Residential architects are skilled at these sorts of bespoke jobs and can come up with designs and unique solutions for your particular block.
Consider lightweight building materials
Rather than using the same materials that have been used for the bottom floors, it can be a good idea to have a more lightweight construction. This can limit the extra strain on the foundations and lower stories of the house and prevent the need for costly suring up of structural supports. Residential architects can often come up with innovative options that include newer building materials or non-standard options. You can often clad these items in a way that makes them look like the lower stories and helps them to blend into the overall neighbourhood.
Speak to your neighbours early
Your neighbours are likely to be affected by the build process, so it's a good idea to keep them updated. They may be asked to give approval to the council, so it can be a good idea meet with them before you send your plans to council and work out ways to incorporate any of their issues with your design into a modified design that they might approve.
Often the build may inconvenience your neighbours, including taking up nearby street parking with tradespeople or causing more noise. If you involve your neighbours they may be more flexible and open to options such as using access through their yards for parts of the build.
If you are looking for a way to increase the space in your home, although you only have a narrow block and small house, it can be worth going up. If you are looking at adding a third storey to your home, you should chat to a residential architect to discuss your option.