There’s many reasons a homeowner might want to add a second story extension to their Melbourne home – to allow for an expanding family, to increase the value of their home, to simply have more space or to take advantage of city views. Whatever the reason may be, a second storey addition comes with a whole array of benefits, but there are also many things you need to consider before getting underway. For over 30 years, Duncan Thompson Extensions have been the leaders in second story extensions in Melbourne. Here’s a few things you should consider if you want to build up.

Building Regulations

Before you can begin planning or construction work on your second storey extension, you need to check with your local zoning office or council if there are any height restrictions or requirements that might impact your plans. Usually, if your neighbours have double storey houses then you should be fine, but you need to check first. For period homes, you will need to check if it is heritage listed, if it is you will face limitations and restrictions on what you can alter or add to your home. Make sure that you check this off with your local planning authority as you may run into issues that could prevent you from demolishing, adding a second storey or altering certain fixtures or features on the front of your home.


You will need an engineer to check that your existing foundations will be able to handle the extra weight of an additional storey. Some single storey homes, especially older style homes, are not capable of holding up another level in their current state, in this case you may need to have it reinforced or consider a ground-floor extension instead.

The Design

When designing for a second storey, you need to look at the house as a whole and not just the new extension. Generally, the aim is to make the new addition blend seamlessly into the old house so it looks as though it has always been there so make sure the existing ground floor will work with the new floor. Understand that you may lose some downstairs space to accommodate the staircase. Also consider if you need to change the proportions of existing fittings like windows or doors. Consult with an architect or building company that specialises in double storey extensions to help you look at some of your design options before settling on the final plans.


Be prepared for a considerable timeframe on a double storey project. If everything runs smoothly then you should allow at least four to six months for completion, but be prepared for delays. Sometimes there are things that are out of the builders control that can take a sizeable amount of time. You should also be aware that the project will most certainly mean you’ll have to find an alternative place to live during the course of the project.

Adding A Second Storey Addition or Extension to A Period Home

If you are lucky to own a character-filled old home, when you’re planning on extending upwards it’s worth taking the time to get the balance right between old and new. In the era of period style homes, people used their houses very differently to how we use them today. This means that they lack the modern layout and many of the conveniences that we need these days such as open plan living, extra storage, ensuites, modern kitchens and indoor/outdoor living spaces. You can choose to retain the original home and build an extension that mimics the same style, or you can opt for contrast by leaving the original home and adding an ultra-modern second storey addition or rear extension. Ultimately it comes down to your unique taste and budget.

If you’re thinking of adding a second storey extension to your Melbourne home, make sure to take the time to research your renovation and seek the guidance of a specialist builder who has experience in Melbourne home extensions, especially if your home is a period style or heritage listed. Duncan Thompson Extensions have been helping families across Melbourne with quality double storey extensions that enhance and adapt their homes for modern living. If you’d like to discuss your design ideas, expectations and requirements for your extension, contact us today and let our friendly team help you discover the possibilities for your home renovation.