23 Jan 2018

Raising or extending your Brisbane property – Which should you choose?

Renovations | Tips and Advice

When starting a renovation, we often encounter people that are thinking of either raising or extending their home but are unsure of where to begin. There are many factors you will need to consider when it comes to raising or extending your property, and utilising a design professional can ensure that you are getting the best advice on what would be the better option for your renovation.

So if you’re thinking of raising or extending your home here are some common factors you should consider before making a final decision.


Not all houses can be raised, and not all blocks can fit an extension. The first thing you need to consider is your land. A small block can have restrictions on the site cover, or lose too much valuable space with an extension. There can be council restrictions on your property that will also restrict whether you can raise or extend, e.g. character restrictions, height restrictions, etc., so make sure you are well versed in what the City Plan allows you to do.

The next thing you should consider is the house itself. Not all homes can be raised; they usually need to be on stumps with timber frames. You will also need to look at the existing structure of the house to ensure that it will be able to handle this change. Alternatively, if you have a home that is already lifted you can easily build underneath.

A professional will be able to provide you with advice and can give some ideas of working with any limitations. These professionals include Architects, Town Planners, Surveyors, Engineers, and Builders experienced in raising/extending homes.


When it comes to raising your home, you’re looking at a much higher cost compared to building an extension. This is due to any excavations, retaining walls, supports, and scaffolding needed during the raising of the home. If you are considering removing a house to your property, lifting and building underneath you should consider the costs associated. If you’ve chosen an old home that needs a lot of renovation work (e.g. a Queenslander) the costs could be far more than building an entirely new house in the style you like.

If you’re worried about overcapitalising on your renovations, or that your budget won’t allow for raising the home, consider the surrounding views. If there are views, then raising the house will increase the value of your property and will, in return, far outweigh the costs. Otherwise, if there is nothing special beyond your back fence, then extending your home could be the better option for your home and your budget.


The last factor you should consider when thinking of raising or extending your home is your lifestyle needs and wants. Raising or extending your home provides an opportunity to create open plan living spaces that flow smoothly between the indoors/outdoors with a connection to the elements. Lifting the house will also enable more light to enter the home and allow existing gardens to remain (reducing landscape costs).

Building an extension on to your existing home is less disruptive to your life as you can remain in the home, with some building dust and noise to accompany you. Raising your home, on the other hand, will mean having to move out of the house while the lift is occurring. This is due to the roof needing to be removed during the process. Therefore, it’s essential that you weigh all the pros and cons before making a decision, including how it will affect other members of the household.

Raising or Extending?

Once you have evaluated the costs against your budget, the size of the land, your existing house and any limitations, the potential disruptions to your life and your lifestyle needs, you should have an understanding of which option would be best for you moving forward. If you are still unable to come to a decision, our pre-design services can help direct you, and our architectural design process can ensure the following design will match your budget and lifestyle.

Contact dion seminara architecture today so you can get started on the journey towards the home of your dreams.

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Award-Winning Lifestyle Design Architects Brisbane <br> Est. 1993

Award-Winning Lifestyle Design Architects Brisbane
Est. 1993

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