Home Extention and Renovation - Melbourne

Hi All,

We are looking to completely renovate and extend our 50 years old single story home to a double story in Mount Waverley ( VIC) and was wondering if anyone who has done this recently can provide recommendations of decent builders who are reliable.

I have never built before so its starting from scratch for me.. Ideally i am looking for someone who can assist with us end to end which includes designs, permits and then build but also open to split the process if required.


  • i too am in Mount Waverley, and when we did a renovation a couple of years ago, we were told that for quite a lot of the houses in the area, the foundation of the house isn't strong enough for an upstairs due to the soil. So it was either knockdown and rebuild, or, extend only (we did a single storey extension/renovation)

    • Probably if it is on stumps and brick veneer.

      Redo the roof with colourbond plus light weight upper and need heavy steel beams ($$$).

      Only an architect would know once they get into it.

      Suggest OP to find a local (eastern suburbs architect) that's done a lot of local extensions (ask them to show you the drawings and locations so you can drive past).

      I was talking to a friend they live in a unit and only option was UP. Problem is going up is big 2/3 of the price of building new (not that I am advocating building new).

      • We had the same issues too. Some parts of Mount Waverley there is covenant in place. So, you cannot use light weight or hebel walls for external walls. We went the knock down route. It works out cheaper and the house value is generally higher for new builds.

        • Covenants in Mt Waverley. I used to live a street off High St Rd and Blackburn Rd. Most houses are not much to look at.

    • Plus one on checking the foundations. The foundations may need to be reinforced to take the load.

  • 50 years old single story home to a double story

    Easier and similar price just to knock it down and start again.

    Are you on a big block? A new single storey build that uses the land more efficiently would be a nicer place to live in and maintain (plus a warranty)

  • I've been through an upper story extension on my place, although wouldn't recommend the builder. They conduct soil and structure tests to see if it can handle the load. It wasn't an option for me but I would really encourage you to consider a knock down rebuild as the cost isn't too far off from an extension and you end up with a new house. Many of the upper story extensions can look awful unless well designed.

  • depends if your 50yr old single story home is one of those quality 50yr old builds

    double brick, full quality hardwood joists & roof framing, terracotta tiles, quality brick work, etc etc

    if its a weather board shit heap, then ye as per the other posters comments.

    I live in an unrenovated 1960's build house and the quality is exceptional, full double brick, hardwood framing and cypress floors. Would be a travesty to knock it down.

  • We went up . Was a good investment once we sold :) This was in Langwarrin…

    Ended up getting a recommended local builder to do it for around 90k roughly 12+ odd yrs ago…. Not brick, but like a weatherboard kinda stuff (not brick, not colourbond) and tiled roof.
    They had done 2 houses in our street, and both people were happy with the result.

    Would I do it again… now the kids have left home, no i wouldn't. If the kids were here still - possibly..

    Its still a lot of coin and wouldnt be 90k to do it now either, but did add quite a bit to the house when we sold.

    Get The Extension Factory to come and quote and tell you what you can do - they dont hold back on giving you the good/bad news, but make sure your well dressed. Thats what we did before deciding on a local builder, that and over 100k difference.

    • I know it's only 1 person but heard an absolute horror story from them. Messed up the roof, leaked through the house and destroyed a tonne of stuff. They blatantly refused to help or fix it and this customer was a lawyer as well.

  • Neighbour near me did a double up, pretty sure it's on stump too but second level had to be weatherboard to hold the weight, concrete tile roof as original. And given the soil around my place I'm sure it's on clay soil too

    • Clay is bad news, particularly for a solid brick house. You can’t let it dry out or water pool near the house.

      Our first home had a “no quarry’ caveat on the land. That is serious clay.

      • Mount Waverley is particularly reactive clay. I was told that most house will have cracks and it is nothing to worry about.

        • We were more Carnegie and it can be a, definite, problem. It depends on the cracks and if they’ve got into the foundations.

        • Yep.. can confirm. Our soil is clay and it sucks.

      • well, I think all around Melbourne is clay to be honest, only the bit going out to Mornington has a bit of better character unless you go really close to the coast then it turn to sandy.

  • +2

    Having investigated this in detail myself a few years ago, including speaking to others who had done it and getting quotes, I concluded it was easier and cheaper to demolish and build a new house.
    A year later I don't regret it at all.

    • Absolutely agree.

  • (VIC)

    If I were you, I would use the funds to leave the state

    • Harsh, but funny.

      • Should clarify: no offence to OP

        • Should clarify - I'm in VIC so it's still funny as…..

    • If only people would. I would love to buy another house cheaply. Unfortunately our housing prices are, still, going through the roof.

Login or Join to leave a comment