A good home addition design can add so much value to your house and it doesn't have to cost a bomb to achieve the desired result.

A clever modern design starts with an understanding of how people live in their homes. Our extension designers and builders are now using modern technology to build additions that are attractive, highly functional and feel good to live in.

Some features of an ideal modern design that will add value to your home are:

  • Efficient use of space. Even small homes can reflect some of the spacious characteristics of a larger home. Using high or raked ceilings can add to the sense of space and also allow for larger windows to visually extend your home.
  • Open layouts. One of the more popular design trends is the open plan concept. Depending on the size of the home, an open plan may replace or complement formal living and dining rooms.

  • Natural light. Advances in the technology of windows and doors, including double glazing and energy-efficient glass and window frames, make today's renovated homes light and bright, without losing heat in winter or overheating in summer.

  • Kitchens that work. With today's open layouts, the quality and the finishing details of a new kitchen are done with careful attention to matching or complementing the surrounding spaces. Focuses are on well-appointed, organised workspaces, attractive, separate eating areas, and great natural and built-in lighting.

  • Flexible space. Home addition plans can be designed to accommodate changing household needs over time. A den can become an extra bedroom or a nursery. General use rooms can be converted to a home office, family entertainment area or a home theatre.

  • Built-in convenience. Alterations can provide direct access from the garage to the home and utility areas with good storage space, walk-in robes and additional features such as extra-large pantries, lots of shelving and a built-in area for waste and recycling bins. Additions can be designed with plenty of built-in storage to eliminate clutter. 

  • Ambience. Extended and renovated homes can have the modern benefits of shiny surfaces, clean lines, warm natural materials, pleasing curves and attractive accents – making them a great place to live.

By utilising these features, you can make an older home extremely appealing, and increase its value at the same time.

Modern Kitchen

Get ahead by sorting your finances

Rates may continue to rise throughout 2010, so with mortgage rates as low as they are (historically speaking), now is a good time to take stock of your financial situation.

So if you are thinking about extending your property make doubly sure you can afford the repayments.

Rather than concentrating on finding the best available interest rate in the current market and aiming for the maximum loan you can secure, it may be better to consider how your position might change once the variable rate increases several per cent. This mindset will help you weather any changes throughout the medium term.

This is the most important concept to grasp – maintaining a comfortable position. There will always be high-flying risk takers who love high-risk finance but for the majority, the best thing to do is make sure you will be in a comfortable position based on your income and expenses.

A great first step would be to look at spending habits, and see if there is room for tightening the budget. You don't have to wait until you are stretched before you follow a strict budget. If you get into the habit, you might find you are far better off in the long run and will be able to handle more situations as a result.

A big question for most people is whether to go for a fixed or variable rate. Depending on your situation, there are arguments for both. If you don't want any surprises and want to be able to allocate an amount in your budgeting each month, then perhaps a fixed rate will suit you. If however you would like to take a chance with the fluctuating economy, then a variable rate might suit you.

At the end of the day however, the key is to visit a good broker and have your position assessed. A broker can tell you if you are eligible for a better rate either with your current lender or another Institution. It's beneficial to get rates from multiple lenders. The same principle no matter what you are buying - shop around and get the best deal!