7 best custom house renovations and extensions

Beautiful home renovation and extension ideas to inspire your next project.

A house renovation, extension or home improvement project is exciting and often a once in a lifetime experience for many people.

Before embarking on an extension or renovation project of your own, it’s important to explore other examples of the best custom house renovations and extensions in Melbourne and discuss the many considerations you may have with your builder. From the initial creative ideas, research and design concepts to discussions around the various building and construction techniques recommended for your property, a quality home builder will guide you through each step of the process. They will also assist you with recommendations best suited to your home, including the benefits of renovating vs extending your existing residence. 

Beautiful home renovation ideas

The benefits of a renovation or extension

There are many benefits when you choose to renovate or extend your existing home, rather than moving house or building a custom new home. Here are a few of the key benefits our homeowners love:

improve energy efficiency

Improve energy efficiency

Living a more sustainable lifestyle and incorporating energy efficiency into a home is becoming increasingly important to Australians. With a home extension and renovation project, you can add elements into the design that will help with reducing the amount of heating and cooling required. This includes considering the direction of natural light and positioning windows and skylights to capitalise on sunlight at different times of the day, along with using quality insulation materials that keep the home cooler in summer and warmer in winter.  

customise your home

Customise your home  

When opting to renovate or extend, you have the flexibility to customise your home according to your specific needs and wants. You can create new living spaces that are personalised to your tastes, creating a unique home that nobody else has. It is also possible to completely customise the styling of the house, resulting in a home that is perfectly customised to you and your family.

add value to your home

Add value to your property

House renovations and extensions can add significant value to your home. Many people that invest in older homes and later choose to renovate or extend find that this work adds significant value to their home, particularly in Melbourne’s inner suburbs where larger homes with multiple bedrooms are harder to come by at an affordable price. Purchasing a three-bedroom home and adding additional bedrooms is a great way to secure a property in an area that you love, particularly if property prices in that area are typically unaffordable for larger existing homes.    

renovation and extension differences

What is the difference between a renovation and an extension?

A renovation is typically when the layout or cosmetics of a home are improved. For example, changing existing room layouts or removing existing walls to create a more open plan living. It could consist of replacing or repairing existing fixtures, fittings and floor coverings such as floorboards and cupboards, or painting and repairing any items that may need fixing such as ceilings, doors and walls. This can range from the full renovation of a run-down older home, to simply upgrading a kitchen or bathroom.

A home extension is when the overall floor space in an established home is increased or extended. In many cases, additional living spaces or extra bedrooms and bathrooms are added. In other situations, a home office may be needed, or a second floor may be required for a parents retreat, new master bedroom and ensuite. Whatever the requirement, a home extension or renovation is only limited by the imagination and the amount of budget allocated to the project.

Here are 7 of the best custom house renovations and extensions in Melbourne to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Extension and renovation project, Malvern 

This 1930’s residence is situated in a part of Malvern that was originally occupied by mansions on grand Estates, leaving a lasting impact on the quality of houses built in the area. Large two-storey dwellings are typical, mostly dating from the 1930’s and 1940’s, many of them designed by noted architects.

This residence in Malvern had never been renovated before and therefore retained many original features including timber beams and joinery, bathroom tiles and fittings and the original leadlight windows.

Malvern home renovation extension the brief

The brief

The homeowners were looking for a builder who was capable of renovating a 1930’s mansion while still retaining the original attributes and character.

They had two main aims for their home. The first was that it needed to work as a comfortable home where the family could be together whilst going about daily activities, despite the homes’ size. Secondly, they wanted to create a place where family and friends could be welcomed and entertained all year round.

The clients were heavily involved in every aspect of the design process. They were looking for daring design choices that were unique to them, whilst also honouring the history and charm of the original residence.

Read more: Building in a heritage overlay 

Malvern home renovation extension the result

The result

The works completed by the team at Spacemaker took this abode from its original size of 274 sqm to an enormous 566 sqm upon completion. The project was complex due to both its scale and its many unique features. Many of the design elements that make the home special required creative solutions to make them flow seamlessly with the original character of the home.

All three levels were altered and extended under Spacemaker’s works. Most of the existing ground floor was retained, with only a small section of demolition at the rear. Around 130sqm was then added, creating a generous, light-filled kitchen/living/meals area with butler’s pantry and cool room, and a media room. The original dining room is now used as the master bedroom. The old kitchen was converted into a walk-in robe and a new ensuite was added.

Malvern home renovation extension outdoor spaces

Creating new outdoor spaces

Ground floor works also included construction of a large, paved, north-facing alfresco zone, accessed from the living room via two three-metre-wide sliding doors. 

This outdoor zone is suitable for all weather, with an electronic movable louvre roof system to keep out the rain, and three sliding laser-cut geometric screens that can be moved as required to suit weather conditions. 

The customised outdoor kitchen includes a wood-fired pizza oven, BBQ, sink and commercial drinks fridge. In addition, a conveniently located change room services the pool area.

Malvern home renovation extension personal touches

Personal touches

On the first floor, the original sunroom was demolished and a large custom bedroom was added. This floor functions largely as the “kids zone” with the original bathroom completely stripped out and re-fitted and a study replacing one of the original bedrooms. A centrally located lift was installed to provide easy access to all three levels of the home. On the Lower Ground level, the garage was expanded and a gymnasium, wine cellar, large workshop and storage area were built, along with a laundry equipped with a chute that delivers laundry from the upper floors.

The beautiful Moroccan-style encaustic tiles that feature throughout the house reflect the owner’s heritage. They were handmade and painstakingly laid out in position before being formally laid so that their placement was exactly as the owners had designed.

Malvern home renovation extension awards

Award winning home

Following the extensive renovation and extension of this magnificent residence in Malvern, the home went on to win gold at the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and Master Builders Association (MBA) awards. It secured the national title at the HIA awards in the category of best 2014 Renovation/Addition Project Over $1m, along with winning Best Renovation/Addition Over $1m at the MBA awards.

View the complete image gallery for this extension and renovation project in Malvern, Melbourne, in our project portfolio. 

Request a call back to discuss your next project

caulfield south project feature

2. Renovation and first-floor extension project, Caulfield South

caulfield south renovation first-floor extension brief

The brief

The aim for this home located in Caulfield South was to flood the residence with natural light and importantly, to create a connection with the landscape. With a young family, the backyard was precious, so the design needed to preserve this space. 

The design was to have a classic yet contemporary feel, maintaining the charm of the existing 100-year-old home while balancing this with the modernist elements of the new build.

The owners felt an obligation to create a sustainable house to minimise their footprint. Materials were to be from sustainable sources wherever possible while maintaining energy efficiency and demonstrating a natural palette.

A parents’ retreat with an outdoor element and a private workspace were top priorities, along with a new kitchen, dining and living area that would create a communal hub and connect the entertaining areas with the rear yard.

Read more: Bathroom trends 2022 in Australia

caulfield south renovation first-floor extension result

The result

To meet the needs of the homeowners’, a strong focus on sustainability was at the heart of the design. Spacemaker Home Extensions worked meticulously with the owners to ensure that design choices were selected to minimise the family’s environmental impact longer-term, selecting materials, fixtures and fittings that were designed with energy efficiency and a reduced overall carbon footprint in mind.  

The communal hub created by the introduction of a new dining and living area is one of the home’s defining features, providing a space for entertainment and modern open plan living. The extensive use of timber, accentuated by large, glazed windows, invites the outdoors in.

This home met the needs of the homeowners with the addition of the upstairs zone and the generous open deck on the upper level that looks out over the beautifully landscaped backyard, creating a harmonious environment for the young family to thrive in.

Before the project, the original size of this home was 189 sqm. Upon completion of the project, the new home boasts 262 sqm of floor space for the entire family to enjoy, now and well into the future.


This stunning resort-style parents’ retreat in Caulfield South was an entrant into the 2020 Housing Industry Association awards in the category of 2020 HIA Renovation/Addition Project $600,001 – $800,000 and the 2020 MBA awards in the category of 2020 Master Builders Best Renovation/Addition $500,000 – $750,000.

See more of this magnificent renovation and first-floor extension in Caulfield South by visiting our project gallery. 

hawthorn project feature

3. Extension and renovation project, Hawthorn

This Victorian home in Hawthorn is truly one of a kind. The house was originally designed by well-known architect Philip Kennedy and the foundation stone was laid in 1896. The house was modernised extensively in 1948, then returned to its original state by new owners in 1978.

hawthorn extension renovation project brief

The brief

In addition to honouring the original look and feel of the residence, the homeowners were looking for sophistication and modern functionality tailored to raising children into their early adult years. Spacemaker’s design solution was to include a self-contained wing upstairs for the children, with a custom living area as well as a separate bedroom, ensuite bathroom and walk-in robe for each child.

hawthorn extension renovation project result

The result

The ground floor addition comprises a renovated kitchen, a family living area opening onto an alfresco dining space and a family meals area with views over the tennis court and in-ground pool. A library takes advantage of the northerly aspect and a streamlined, functional laundry and downstairs powder room complete the project.

hawthorn extension renovation project details

It’s all in the detail

To provide a high-quality result, great care and consideration was given to matching details and sourcing materials that would ensure the addition would blend with the stunning Victorian architecture of this extraordinary, historic home.

Existing mouldings, coved eave details and gable vents were meticulously replicated, the brick sub-floor vents were sourced from a reproduction supplier and existing bricks removed during demolition were incorporated to help tie in the new features with the original part of the house.

hawthorn extension renovation project charm

Sophistication and charm

Slate from the existing roof was re-used on visible facades and the upper storey tray deck section of the roof was constructed with a flashing system designed to give the appearance from the ground of an entire slate-roof construction. The existing features of the dark Hawthorn bricks and render were incorporated in the new balanced design.

Before the project commenced, this home was 530 sqm. Now with 660 sqm of floor space, this home offers sophistication and charm that the children can enjoy well into their adult years. 

hawthorn extension renovation project awards


In addition to satisfying the homeowners’ needs, this home was a runner up in the Housing Industry Association awards, in the category of HIA 2012 Renovation/Addition Project $700,001 – $1 Million.

More photographs of this extension and renovation in Hawthorn are available in the project gallery.

Request a call back to discuss your next project

kew project feature

4. Renovation and first-floor extension project, Kew

This home in Kew, Melbourne, was renovated with ground floor alterations and a second storey extension to the circa 100-year-old weatherboard exterior. The design and construction combined the home’s historical character with modern contemporary architecture.

Kew renovation first-floor extension result

The final result

With style and functionality at the forefront of the project, the construction of a laminated Tasmanian Oak staircase, a powder room and laundry with a storage area was added on the ground floor. The kitchen was modified to allow for the installation of a bulkhead air conditioner and the living room windows were upgraded to ensure consistency with the new works. Two generously sized bedrooms, a bright leisure area and a large bathroom were constructed upstairs, along with a children’s zone designed to suit the family through to teenage years.

The first-floor street frontage was designed and constructed to faithfully complement the home’s original architecture, using similar or re-claimed and existing materials removed during demolition to minimise wastage, where possible.

In contrast, the rear facade has been constructed in a modern, contemporary style with vertical stringy-bark timber external lining and large areas of seamless glass that allow the pool and deck area to function as an extension of the living areas.

Kew renovation first-floor extension value

Incredible value for money

The house combines the best of traditional elements at the front and up-to-the-minute contemporary style at the back. The large, bright kitchen, dining and living area connects visually with the outside pool, decking and backyard through stunning, large format glazing, providing the perfect backdrop for entertaining. At the same time, there is room for family members to have their own space and privacy.

This family has achieved incredible value for money with this renovation and first-floor extension. They have gained a spacious 4-bedroom house which is a valuable commodity, particularly in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. The floor space in this home was increased by 75 sqm, taking the home from 142 sqm before the renovation and extension to 217 sqm upon completion.


This beautiful home was an entrant into the Master Builders Association (MBA) awards and the 2020 Housing Industry Association (HIA) awards, in the categories of 2020 Master Builders Best Renovation/Addition $300,000 – $500,000 and 2020 HIA Renovation/Addition Project 400,001 – $600,000.

Browse through our project gallery to see more photographs of this first-floor extension and renovation in Kew

East Malvern project feature

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5. Demolition, extension and restoration project, East Malvern 

Prior to this project commencing in Malvern East, this home was a typical single-fronted semi-detached Edwardian solid brick period home, with two bedrooms and a living room.

east malvern extension restoration brief

The homeowners’ brief

The homeowners required demolition of the rear of the house, add laundry facilities and a contemporary kitchen/living area to the rear of the dwelling and provide a main bathroom and ensuite to the main bedroom.

For the best custom kitchen and living area possible, the client brief was to provide very clean, contemporary lines while still retaining the Edwardian look to the home.

A stunning result

A new master bedroom with a stylish full ensuite takes the place of the original living room. The spacious new bathroom is situated close to the bedrooms with a skylight providing abundant natural light. The new European style laundry is streamlined and hidden behind double doors off the hallway.

east malvern extension restoration outdoors

Inviting the outdoors in

The new customised living area is now the highlight of the home. The high ceilings, square set cornice and modern kitchen bring a minimalist, contemporary feeling in contrast to the front part of the house where traditional fireplaces, ceiling roses and doors have been retained and restored.

The kitchen has been designed to overlook the living area and garden beyond. Large, double-glazed bi-fold doors open to the timber deck, maximizing the benefits of the room’s north-facing aspect and providing additional living space. Highlight windows have been incorporated on the west side of the dwelling to provide afternoon light without affecting the dwelling’s energy efficiency.

east malvern extension restoration old and new

Merging old and new

The house’s existing rooms were restored at the same time as the addition was carried out, so original conditions such as ceiling heights, architraves, skirtings, cornices and ceiling roses were matched as part of the refurbishment work.

As a result, the front part of the home remains largely in keeping with the original period style. Blackbutt flooring was used through the hallway to the kitchen and living areas to provide a cohesive element between the old and new parts of the home.

The original size of this home was 100 sqm. Following the demolition, extension and restoration, the new residence boasts 150 sqm of floor space


Upon completion of the project, this home was an entrant into the HIA and MBA awards, in the following categories: 2010 HIA Renovation/Addition Project Up to $300,000 and 2010 Master Builders Best Renovation/Addition $150,000 – $300,000.

More information about this extension and renovation project in East Malvern is available in the project gallery.

glen iris project feature

6. Extension and renovation project, Glen Iris 

Originally built in the 1920’s, this house in Glen Iris has undergone various alterations and extensions over the years. Despite the ad-hoc nature of past additions and alterations, the house maintains many of its original features, including leadlight windows, high ceilings, ornate cornices and mouldings.

glen iris extension and renovation brief

The brief

The addition of a first floor with a parent’s retreat, study and custom living area as well as a bedroom, ensuite and walk-in robe were top priority for the homeowners. This would also free up room downstairs, creating extra space for the children.

A clearly visible front door to avoid the situation where visitors enter the house directly via the kitchen was also a high priority, along with updating the tired, outdated kitchen and bathroom. With a swimming pool at the rear of the property, improved visibility of the pool and backyard from the kitchen was a vital consideration.

Lastly, the elevation of the land and its position overlooking Gardiner’s Creek meant that the first floor needed to be designed to take advantage of the view towards the city skyline and the New Year’s Eve fireworks.

glen iris extension and renovation result

The result

Spacemaker’s works involved altering and extending the ground floor to create a new entry and a

spacious customised living/dining/kitchen area served by a large walk-in pantry. The custom living area merges with the covered alfresco via large bi-fold doors which open across its entire width, including the servery. This family-friendly alfresco zone incorporates ceiling mounted electric heating, a ceiling-mounted TV and skylights.

Ground floor works also included a laundry, bathroom, powder room and two bedrooms. Blackbutt timber flooring was installed throughout the ground floor living areas. On the first floor, a master bedroom with ensuite and walk-in robe was added, along with a study and living area.

glen iris extension and renovation space

Increasing floor space

Externally, the first floor was designed to give the house a conservative look, with the two gables at the front creating an interesting design rather than the appearance of a plain box on top of the house. The entire house was re-roofed with new terracotta tiles.

The original size of this family home in Glen Iris was 209 sqm. Upon completion of the renovation and extension, the residence now boasts 315 sqm of space for the entire family to enjoy. 

Increased property value

This home had been under-capitalised for its land, location and views, despite its many attractive features. Spacemaker’s project has increased the house’s value above what was spent, with the added benefit of enhancing this young family’s lifestyle for many years to come.


This home was runner up in the 2014 HIA awards in the category of Renovation/Addition Project $500,001 – $700,000. See more photographs of this home renovation in Glen Iris in our project gallery.

Request a call back to discuss your next project

clifton hill project feature

7. Major demolition, renovation and extension in Clifton Hill

Before the major demolition, renovation and extension of this property in Clifton Hill, this home was a small timber cottage built close to 1900. It had undergone several ad-hoc alterations over the years, none of which worked particularly well. The current owners had lived in the home for around 15 years and during this time, the family grew substantially with the addition of three young boys. With only two bedrooms and one bathroom, the property was in major need of a substantial update and a family-friendly extension.

clifton hill renovation extension transformation

A beautiful transformation

Working closely with the homeowners, the design team at Spacemaker worked diligently to create a home for this family with intelligent use of space on a reasonably small block of land.

The dwelling was transformed from a run-down two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage, to a modern two storey, four-bedroom, three-bathroom home with tasteful finishes, quality fixtures, many energy-saving features and a simple design that flows and works for modern family living.

clifton hill renovation extension new design

The stunning new design

The design has made it possible to fit a very substantial family home onto a very small block. The lightness and openness of the house and the flow to the outside area create a feeling of spaciousness, even for the family of 5.

Spacemaker’s works involved demolishing most of the house, retaining only the front facade, front bedroom, entry hallway and part of the second bedroom. Ground floor alterations involved extending the original second bedroom to form a spacious master bedroom with ensuite and built-in robes, allowing the original front bedroom to be used as a much-needed study. A new bathroom/powder room and second bedroom were created, along with a new section of the hallway that leads to the bright, spacious living, dining and custom kitchen area.

clifton hill renovation extension family zones

New family zones introduced

A butler’s pantry and laundry are located conveniently adjacent to the kitchen, with direct external access. 4.5m wide commercial grade bi-fold doors with a retractable flyscreen open the rear of the home to the alfresco area beyond. The staircase leads up to the children’s zone which consists of two bedrooms, a large rumpus, a toilet and a bathroom.

The introduction of family zones while still allowing for a natural flow of light and openness was a key feature of this double-storey home extension in Clifton Hill.

The original size of this home was 117 sqm before engaging Spacemaker. Upon completion of the project, the home was extended to 170 sqm of floor space.

clifton hill renovation extension award entrant

Award entrant

This home in Clifton Hill was an entrant into the 2013 MBA awards in the category of 2013 Master Builders Best Renovation/Extension.

The complete gallery of images for this demolition, extension and renovation project in Clifton Hill is available in the project gallery.

Inspiration for your custom home renovation and extension

Many of the products featured in our kitchen and bathroom renovations and extensions are sourced through Reece. The Reece Project Inspiration Gallery is a fantastic place to source creative ideas for your next project. A selection of the Spacemaker Home Extensions projects completed with Reece are also available in the inspiration gallery, including detailed product information relating to the accessories, fixtures and fittings used in our renovations and extensions.

Choose an award-winning home builder

A custom house extension and renovation is an exhilarating process for many families and the options are truly infinite. When choosing a custom home builder, reputation and experience in designing and constructing custom homes are essential.

At Spacemaker Home Extensions, we have been in business since 1969. We are multi-award-winning custom home builders specialised in custom house extensions and renovations in Melbourne

If you want to work with one of Melbourne’s top award-winning home builders for your project, speak with one of our design experts and find out if we are the right fit for you and your home. 

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