How much does a home extension cost in South Africa?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Private House - Holland Park , New Images Architects New Images Architects Patios
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We all dream of enjoying more space inside our homes; sometimes it’s a spare bedroom for overnight guests, and other times it’s an extra bathroom just to make that cleansing routine between you and your spouse (and your children) that much easier.

However, costs always come into play, and they can increase quite drastically when it comes to adding one more room to your house.

So, put that dream of an extension on hold for just a few minutes, and let’s check out what to expect when it comes to the cost of extending your house (even upwards) in South Africa. 

1. A single-storey extension

The average costs for a free-standing house is approximately R5 940 per square metre; however, it is quite possible to build a low-cost house for less than R5 000 per m², as well as pay well above R20 000 per m².

A variety of factors can influence that final price.

2. What about a double-storey build?

To get cost of building a double-storey house in South Africa, add roughly 50% extra to the building costs of a single-storey extension. But please note that when it comes to extending your house upwards, it’s crucial to get the professional opinion (and quotation) of an expert in the building field to be sure what amount you need to budget for.

3. Adding a bathroom or kitchen

Of course the final price will be enhanced should extras like plumbing and electrical wiring be added into the mix, which is why a bathroom extension will cost more than, say, a bedroom space of the same size. 

We recommend that you get those floor plans drawn up by an expert before you start stacking any bricks! And feel free to get more than one quotation from numerous professionals.

4. When it comes to furniture and fittings

This is where you can cut some corners in terms of costs, seeing as there are numerous ways to save, such as DIYing your furniture (pallet sofas, anyone?), recycling décor pieces or opting for wallpaper instead of the real deal (such as a stone-clad focal wall). 

Just ensure the final space is big enough to hold all your desired furniture and décor items!

5. Seek out those hidden costs

Hidden costs are likely to wreck a budget, which is why you need to keep the following in mind:  

• The soil type and property conditions of where your house/extension is. 

• The access that builders have to the building site. 

• The site being closed to piping, drainage or gas metres. 

• The removal of any existing structures for work to commence.

6. What’s your address?

Not only does your neighbourhood affect the final building price, but also the province in which you live. Residential construction (such as free-standing houses, townhouses and flats) is most expensive in KwaZulu-Natal, for example, while commercial construction (i.e. office space and shopping space) is most expensive in Gauteng.

7. What materials will you use?

Of course a wooden deck’s final price won’t necessarily cost as much as, say, a terrace covered in limestone flooring – it all depends on the materials and finishes you opt for. 

Speak to your building- and design team and ask them to recycle materials where possible.

8. Can you reduce the costs?

Yes, you can!  

• Get hold of a professional architect / builder / designer. 

• Collect a few quotations from various providers before settling on the final one.  

• Pick a builder who is approved by the National Home Builders Registration Council. 

• Ensure that a site inspection is carried out before any building or construction work begins. This could end up saving you lots of time and money. 

Building a home extension: the advantages

• It’s more affordable: Although this will depend on the size of your extension, the cost of building a double-storey house in South Africa is still cheaper than packing up, selling and moving. This is due to no additional selling costs like real estate fees, hiring a moving company, paying the transfer/legal fees of your new home, etc. 

• You get to stay in your beloved neighbourhood.

• You may not even have to move out during construction (especially if you’re extending upwards and there’s still adequate space on the lower levels. 

Building a home extension: the disadvantages

• Extending your house upwards may breach certain property- and legal limits (for instance, if your extension , which means you may not get the dream extension you want. 

• Adding an extension can be stressful. Fortunately, this issue can be rectified by opting for first-rate professionals for your extension project including Architects, Builders, etc.

Good luck!

Next up we have these 7 smart ideas to build a stylish double storey house

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