Additions or alterations are often thought on as a compromise when moving or building a new home are not viable options. However, when done properly this solution can have many benefits not initially thought of.

Apart from the new works to be added, the level to which the existing home will be modified, improved or restored must be clear to ensure an economical outcome. Without a plan an owner can lose sight and become carried away with unnecessary work.

Retaining certain parts of the existing home may allow their use as a precedent for setbacks or height restriction under certain planning controls.

If the alterations involved are too complex, it may be more cost effective to demolish completely and start from scratch.

Plan the logistics of the work, including remaining in the home during some or all stages, material storage and your privacy and safety during the construction period.

Always have a contingency when working with existing buildings. A builder cannot cover all scenarios in his quote, he will make you aware of provisional amounts or work that is not included in a contract.

Make sure you are aware of the materials that your existing house is constructed from. There are strict requirements that must be met before you can remove materials such as asbestos or lead-based products. Ignoring the risks may add unexpected cost to the project.

One of the secrets to a successful addition is that when finished it should not look like an addition.

To ensure an addition fits the existing facade of your home, consider how the rooflines will tie in with your existing roof. Opting for a pitched roof with help your addition become whole with your existing home.