14 Inspiring House Extension Ideas for Homeowners

A guide to the best rear and front house extension ideas in Australia

Your home is your safe haven. It’s the place where you go to experience the ultimate level of comfort and peace. So it makes perfect sense to extend it to match your evolving needs and lifestyle. Maybe now is finally the right time to revisit your family’s requirements and invest in more space—perhaps a bigger home office, a more luxurious lounge room or an alfresco dining area to entertain more comfortably. Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve with your property, be inspired by our collection of the latest house extension ideas and tips, then use them to perfect your home in line with 2024 design trends.

Types of home extensions

Before taking a look at the latest home expansion ideas, you need to decide on the type of extension that will best suit your property and your lifestyle. Here are five different types of home extensions you can consider that will effectively customise and maximise the space available:

Rear extensions

Positioned at the back of your house, this extension type is often created by breaking down the rear wall and building out into the patio or garden area. A rear extension is one of the best options to expand your living space, whether you own a heritage home or a semi-detached house. 

Second-storey extensions

An extra floor on your existing structure gives extra living space where you can add bedrooms, a parent’s retreat, extra bathrooms, a gym, a children’s playroom or a study and office space–the options are endless! Second storey extensions are ideal for creating more space without expanding the ground floor size or using outdoor space.

Side turn extensions

Is there an alley or pathway along the side of your home that’s rarely used? Repurpose this unused space to form another room or add to your current living area to expand the size of the existing space.

Wrap-around extensions

Merging features from the rear and side extensions, a wrap-around expansion forms an ‘L’ shape that uses the area around two sides of a home to increase the existing space. The additional capacity can be used to create a bigger dining, kitchen or lounge area, amongst other options. 

Port Melbourne Spring street demolition, renovation and extensions - loft study area

Attic conversions

If you have an attic that is standing empty or idle, you can successfully turn it into a usable and practical living space for the whole family to benefit from and enjoy. Consider transforming it into an entertainment room, playroom or extra bedroom. 

An experienced home builder will help you select the best type of extension for your property by taking into consideration your specific goals and preferences. They’ll also be able to advise you about any planning permissions and council approvals needed for your project. 

The potential value of home expansions

Extending your home is beneficial in several ways. Apart from the extra space and customisation to your needs, the value of your property can increase, sometimes dramatically. A higher market value means an increased asking price if you decide to sell up or lease it out in the future.

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14 inspiring home extension design ideas and tips

Enhance the comfort and features of your home and align your property with your lifestyle needs–whether you want to increase natural light, include more functional spaces or a sanctuary you can retreat to at the end of a busy day. From a bright, projecting bay window and nifty study nook to stylish finishing touches for your home renovation, here are the latest home extensions ideas to consider for Australian homes this year:

A neutral-toned living room and outdoor area by Spacemaker highlights a commitment to reducing a home's carbon footprint.

#1. Construct a studio sanctuary

A separate entrance or granny flat is a surefire way to create more private space on your property. Why not build quarters to accommodate guests or set up a fully-kitted home office? This option makes a versatile and practical addition, especially now that more people are working from home post-pandemic.

#2. Extend the rear of your property

Does your property have a large or unused backyard? Expand your home to use this prime space by creating a bigger kitchen, laundry room or even an extra bathroom for guests. Whatever you need can be added in the privacy of your backyard.
Spacemaker Home Extensions outdoor area trends

#3. Improve light flow with glazed extensions

Glazed extensions are growing in popularity for Australian homes. Invite more light into your spaces by glazing the rear or side return of your home. They’re great at reflecting light off surfaces and allowing more natural light to enter, giving the appearance of a more spacious interior.
Wheelers Hill alfresco and outdoor area renovation

#4. Harmonise the indoors and outdoors

Connecting the outside to the inside is a popular concept that uses an open-plan design to expand your living spaces. An undercover alfresco dining area is one creative way to welcome the outdoors and garden into your home via the kitchen or living room.

#5. Expand the living room:

If you have unused space directly next to your living room, knock down the walls and connect them into one big, extended lounge area. Generally, utility rooms and cloakrooms are the best options to repurpose into extra living spaces.

#6. Cover the walkway connecting your home and garage

Make your home flow smoothly from one structure to the next by adding a covered walkway between your house and garage. Adding glass doors or windows as features will give it a more stylish appearance.
A bright, alluring living room renovation features large windows, sleek TV, and tastefully chosen furniture.

#7. Add a sunroom

Increase the size of your living space with a lean-to conservatory or sunroom. Mixing solid walls with a glazed roof will provide you with a better level of insulation than what you can typically expect from a traditional conservatory while still allowing sunlight to enter.

#8. Inject touches of oak

Incorporate oak into your home’s interior for a warm blend of the outdoors and indoors. Oak beams are traditional yet practical while oak floors are another great option, with a variety of home flooring ideas to choose from.

#9. Create a lightwell

Illuminate dimly lit areas in your home with a small glazed extension via the roof. A lightwell can transform the look of any room and take it from dark to bright, bringing in natural light, improving ventilation and creating an airy ambience.
A heritage overlay house in Hawthorn, Melbourne, reflects a blend of tradition and modernity.

#10. Add a bay window

A projecting bay window is a smart way to expand a room. Because this type of window extends outward from the main walls of your living space, it brings in more light and instantly increases the spaciousness of your room.

#11. Install a ceiling glass

Instead of just using traditional solid ceilings, consider a glass strip along one side. The effect is similar to a skylight in that it will make your room look longer and brighter.
A charming brick home surrounded by lush greenery showcases Spacemaker's dedication to quality building practices.

#12. Add a mudroom

Mudrooms are a practical addition to a house, especially for homes with historic styles. Usually built on the side or front of the home, they are equipped with ample storage space and a sink to take care of everything during wet and muddy weather. They can also help to remove clutter from other parts of the house.

#13. Set up a study nook

People who work from home and those with families can all benefit from a study nook set up in an unused space–the area under the staircase is an ideal spot for a clean, minimalist yet functional layout.

#14. Create a porch

Adding a porch is a fantastic space-making idea, especially if your front door opens directly into your living room. A porch will make your home feel bigger, especially if your hallway is small or narrow. 

These extension ideas are a simple overview of how you can expand the space on your property. By working closely alongside a reputable builder with years of experience in home extensions and renovations, you can explore the options best suited to your property and unique lifestyle needs. Do some research online and speak to friends and family to find a custom builder that will help you achieve your vision for building, extending and renovating the home of your dreams.

House extension ideas gallery

Spacemaker Home Extensions has had the privilege of working on numerous residential extensions and custom builds across Melbourne. Many of our clients’ homes have won national awards including Master Builders Victoria Awards (MBAV) and Housing Industry Association (HIA) Awards.

Browse our gallery of completed projects to discover more ideas and inspiration for your property.

Expand your space with Spacemaker, Melbourne’s custom home builders

Deciding which elements your home expansion project will require to help you achieve your family needs, lifestyle and property goals is exciting. To work alongside you to help make it happen, choose Spacemaker–our award-winning team with over 50 years of experience building, renovating and extending custom homes in Melbourne. Our service includes handling all the paperwork for approvals, permits and town planning processes. We take pride in seeing your dream home materialise while making the entire experience flow as smoothly as possible. Talk to a consultant today by contacting us on 03 8873 7800, or request a call back by completing our online enquiry form. 

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