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Thorne Group


Could l do a staged build? Q&A with Jon McAlpine

Can't afford the dream house just yet or want to keep your options open in case your family expands in future years? Have young kids but thinking in future years you might need additional space for teenagers, so you can all keep your sanity? Increasingly, clients are wanting to explore the option of a staged build, to accommodate a bedroom or rumpus room wing in future years. We ask multi-awarding winning architectural designer Jon McAlpine some questions to see just how feasible this option is.

What are the implications for architectural plans and consent?

There are a couple of different options. Firstly, you could proceed with the additional wing included within the original/initial council consent drawings. Whilst you will have the benefit of having only one fee from council, there is a council requirement that the addition must be completed within a certain period of time. Having this time constraint may defeat the purpose of why you want to do a staged build in the first place.

The second option, and what l would recommend, is to undertake a preliminary design investigation for the additional wing (within the sketch and scheme stage) which would allow daylighting and other planning requirements to be met. It is then possible to proceed with working drawings and council consent only with what the client intends to build immediately. When the clients decide to proceed with the additional wing (at some point in the future), it is at this point that the additional council consent detail drawings would be completed. There would be an additional (generally smaller)consent fee when resubmitting.

What are the costing implications for the build?

Inevitably having a staged will add more to the overall cost of the build, for a few reasons. Firstly building costs generally go up over time and secondly you are having to get all trades back twice and finally, you will generally need to re-construct an area of the home where the addition is connecting.


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