Home extensions are carried out to create more functional space in the home. When it comes to choosing how a particular home extension project will be carried out, structural engineers can provide homeowners with a choice from three major building approaches — to build outwards, to build upwards, or to raise and build under. Here's a more detailed breakdown on each of the three home extension approaches.
This is the traditional approach for making house extensions. It is usually ideal for homes that have ample space around the main house and for homes in neighbourhoods where low-rise buildings are desired. Building outwards may not involve making significant structural changes to an existing house, but it may require extensive construction work, such as the building of foundations for the extra space being created. Such is the case when you extend your porch area so that you can create extra space for your outdoor dining area.
With the continued increase in the price of land, especially in urban areas, homeowners are constantly looking for ways to make the most out of their residential land. Building upwards is an attractive option for residential property owners who need to create more functional space in their homes but who don't have lots of undeveloped space in their outdoor environment. For this group of homeowners, building one or more storeys on top of their existing structure is a viable option.
Building upwards is, however, not possible in all situations — for example, in neighbourhoods with restrictions on the height of buildings, or when a building is not strong enough to support the weight of an extra storey built above it.
Raise and build under
Where building outwards is not possible because there isn't enough yard space or when building upwards is not a feasible option because the existing house can't support the weight of an extra storey, homeowners can be advised to opt for the "raise and build under" approach. This approach involves raising the existing structure and creating functional space beneath it. In essence, the old house becomes the top storey. Home owners that want to double up their functional space will find this approach to be a perfect choice.
Any home owner intending to perform a house extension project should seek a structural engineer's help before embarking on the job. These construction engineering professionals will provide a structural design that matches client-specific requirements.