澳洲Australia property Attic/roof space conversions | Sydney

在澳大利亚 Hi all, I currently have a PPOR and 10K cash in the bank which I plan to use as a deposit for a IP early next year. Is it possible for me to place this into my PPOR loan and then redraw the 10K when Im ready for the IP and then claim the int Hi Guys, Ive found a property that has mentioned two payments coming up of $1400 to apparently top up the admin fund and 2 have just been paid. Im looking at a financial statement (basically a balance sheet) for the strata and its all a bit

Seeing as this is another renovation type to lifting the roof I will create a new thread for future searches.

Has anyone done this?

I think there is a company called roof space converters (on the atticladders site) that does this kind of work, but not sure if they are in Brisbane?  

Hello dynamite,

I have done attic conversions on a number of properties. The most successful was a fixed stairwell in a wide corridor to a high (30 degree) pitched roof with a gable end. From memory the entire cost was about $5k and added over $100k to the valuation at the time (mid 1980's).

A window was added to the gable end which gave spectacular views; the roof was a cut roof making flooring and lining easier; the fixed stairs were to the BCA. All in all made the house way above average and added more than 2 squares of floor space.

I have installed many attic ladders; one of the better ones is an aluminium American unit 'Amboss' I think the name is, although I like the 'Easiway' (English) which I use too. I haven't used the 'Attic ladder' companies aluminium one but their timber ones loosen and go floppy with use (OK for owner occupiers who can adjust them but tenants don't bother).

I have found it better to try for a fixed stairwell than a retractable ladder if possible as it adds pychologically to floor space (even if the space is classified as 'non habitable') and this is important for valuers and tenants.

Lifting the roof is far more complex a job and although I have done this too, I don't bother anymore with one exception. If I am going into the roof cavity with stairs I will often create a 'dormer' for extra space. The flat dormer roof gives better useable floor area than the pitched and is a heap cheaper/easier to build. I will use a pitched dormer if it aesthetically necessary to enhance value ie. visble form the street.

Anyway all the best, MC  

Michael, I think I have found a winner, this is exactly what I am wanting to do. If I can avoid lifting the roof, thats my goal, I would like to extend from the top of the roof lne forward with a gable (I thought Dormer and gable alterations are the same thing?).

What is a cut roof?

I definately want fixed stairs as I want the space above accessible.

I only want a living area, not a whole new story, the only reason I would do it is for the view. So the cheaper the alteration the better.

The only problem is the roof does not appear to sloper heavily, although this might not be true as I am suggesting this from a ground level perspective.

What would you recommend, and do you have any resources?  


Cut roof = cut and pitched on site roof, not trusses which means some of the internal walls are load bearing (easier to floor due to shorter spans).

A dormer is an area of roof (usually the slab side) altered to create head room and windows in the roof cavity, protruding from the main roof line (which may end in a gable). The easiest way is to "hinge" the roof up at the ridge line creating a reduced pitch and more head height towards the eaves.

You will need a minimum of whatever height produces a 2.1m min height at the lowest point of the gable. The variables are; ridge to ceiling joist height, and width of roof space desired. You can have less than 2.1m heights but they aren't very useful except visually.

The important words to remember are "non habitable" according to the BCA this = class 10a which includes; rumpus rooms, sunrooms, screen rooms, decks and pergolas, garages, laundries, etc. ie. not bedrooms, kitchens or living rooms.

Clear as mud??

regards, MC  

Perhaps not as bad as mud Michael, perhaps clear as a chocolate milkshake.

Habitable will add more value? (I would think so) Can I have habitable in a roof line even if its over 2.4 etc (whatever the legal height is)?

The house is a 1968 build, so not sure if its trussed or not.

I think the shape is like two triangles at each end on a 30 degree slope which join at their peaks to a ridge which joins them, and then on the sides it has two slopes. Does that make sense? Hip roof?

So I think Im after a flat roofed dromer extended from a hip roof.

So is this renovation a lot cheaper than adding a whole new story? Any ideas on cost?

I really appreciate your help, its good to be able to bounce ideas.  


I currently have plans out to council to do this type of renovation on my PPOR in Sydney. Its a terrace house and the biggest problem is that if the new space is deemed to be habitable it then increases you floor to site rations (FCR). My council tries to keep this at 1:1 so my application may be knocked back. Anyway, it depends where you are I guess!  

I have had a look at a photo of the roof, it doesnt look very high in the center (below 6 ft). (this was from about 20 feet below the eves, could it be deceptive?).

Are there any ways around this?

How hard can it possibly be to get a better view!  

Have got the town planning docs.

The way I read it is, if I convert (label) the downstairs as just car parking I can theoretically build another level. However it does say the main aim of the zone is to encourage no more than 2 storey in height. Which is different to another zone which says 2 storey hieght only.

Now its about finding a cost effective way of doing this.

Michael not sure if you got my last post.

Not sure how I can get around the problem if my roof is to low, hip roofs are self supporting? and I suppose I cant stuff around with that. will converting it to tin help?  


I would extend the ridge up to desired height and make a window of the new vertical section which drops back to the roof.

regards, MC  

Would you think this to be a major expense Michael? ($100k+)  


It's just a dormer that goes up from the ridge in line with the existing roof instead of down, nothing fancy here. It can look really good on the right type of house or damned ugly if not.

$100k for the total project? The roof/window/external cladding bit should cost from 10 -30k depending on size and materials. The stairs floorings and lining from 15 - 60k or more depending on many variables. If it only adds 10 - 20m2 of semi usuable floor space is it worth it?

In short there are too many variables for anyone not familiar with the property to give estimates - and they (and I) shouldn't! "I want to raise the roof to take advantage of the view, how much will it cost" type of question = $25 to $250k type of answer (not much use).

May I politely suggest that the more specific the question the more satisfactory the answer. Give sizes, dimensions, materials (existing and proposed), type of construction (existing and proposed) and anticipated before and after values (asking price and guestimate will do). If these basic questions remain unanswered, nobody can (or should) help.

Furthermore $100k to some is a major expense, to others it is loose change (seriously). But of more relevance if $100k spent adds $200k to the value is it a major expense or a sensible expenditure? Particularly if the increase in value (equity) is accessed and used for further profitable endeavours.

regards, MC  

Apologies Michael, fair enough, I will do my best.

"Give sizes, dimensions, materials (existing and proposed)"
The house is brick and tile. I am pretty sure it is footing on concrete slab. Currently the house is high set, about 7 foot clearance below. I would say the upstairs current space would be approximately 80sqm (not sure if that helps with the roof),

"type of construction (existing and proposed)"

brick veneer and tile, I will render and paint (not fan of cracked oxided cement)

and anticipated before and after values (asking price and guestimate will do).
$250k asking, I am thinking around $400k after the new space and render. However this is dependant on the Brissy market and how people feel about views. Views dont seem to be getting the full premium here in some areas. Having grown up elsewhere and seen how that changes with supply and demand, it might have to be a case of holding on for a while. Which is fine as this property is mostly PPOR.

"Furthermore $100k to some is a major expense, to others it is loose change (seriously)."

$100k is a figure I dont have right now, but hope to fund in the future. So $100k would be my maximum expenditure. Some of these variables are hard to answer as the project is hypothetical until its a reality (purchased).

The main concept for me now is to get a figure in my head of the kind of requirements, costs and benefits of these projects, not just for a house Im looking at buying now, but as a style of reno for future investments.

Hope thats of some use.  

Hi dynamite,

No need for apologises, just a bit more detail will do.

OK so 80 sq m of living in a BV high set in Brissy with about 2.1m clearance below and a tiled hip roof with approx 1.8 m to ridge from ceiling joists; is that about it?

If the ridge runs parrallel to the view I would extend said ridge up say another 2.1 to 2.4 m at the same pitch (my guess is that it is 20 - 25 degrees. Drop new high point back on to roof and place a window(s) in the new vertical face. I would use a structural engineer to indicate (and certify) where to brace/reinforce and by how much and to pick up load bearing points for floor joists (having decided where the stairs will go). This done I would get a sparky to put in the wiring for light and power, line the new room and paint/carpet/polish etc.

Assuming that the ridge faces the right way and is long enough I will have created a room 3 to 4 x 2.4m which will be a study/office with a great view. My costs in material would have been approx, $10k with about another $10k in labour assuming I was labouring for the trades (being gofer and cleaner) and project managing (I haven't allowed for planning and building approvals) the process. A builder would probably charge about $50k to do it all.

I would not use an architect but come up with the rough sketch and concept and take it to a draftperson to flesh out the details. Then I'd take it to council for their imprimature.

This $20 - $50k room should add at least double my input in increased value of the property or I wouldn't bother.

Sorry about all the first person stuff but the above is then seen as a hypothetical (which it is) and I am not then seen as giving advice (which I am not).

regards, MC  

Thats pretty much spot on Michael, unreal. Give the man a piece of string and he builds a castle out of it.

Well I figure if an Architect takes 10-15% of $50k, thats about $7k extra.

If I dont need an architect then thats an expense I dont need to pay. In what situations would you call upon their expertise?

I dont take anything in this forum as advice which I should base my absolute decisions upon (I check it all out first with hired help who has insurance).

I dont know much about your projects Michael, but going on your knowledge they must be impressive. Have you any in the photo gallery?

Cheers for everything.  


Architects are only of value to me if they can add value to my project. Having designed and built literally thousands of additions/conversions/homes/developments I now only use an architect if the project needs the name eg "architecturally inspired by ...............". So this means that it is an upmarket development in a classy (or up and coming) area.

On the run of the mill projects I find that by the time I have completed my due diligence I know the capabilities of the land/property better than anyone else. Hence a few concept sketches and off to a drafty who knows the finer detail of the local regulations and a satisfactory result is usually achieved within 2 to 4 drafts. Draftspeople have less ego and agendas than an architect trying to 'make their mark' so the projects are usually more practical (easy/cheaper) to build, and their fees are 80 to 90% less too. BTW Frank Loyd Wright was a great architect but the majority of his buildings leaked and do to this day.

Unfortunately I don't have many photos of my projects as I am usually too busy 'doing it' to record the events for posterity. The other issue is my internet connection sucks (7200!!!) and I haven't had the satelite connection put on yet (June 2003). I'll post a few when the connection improves.

regards, MC  

Thanks for that Michael

The Architect I spoke to said that drafties dont have the design skill of architects, and that what they do is technical drawing. I was taken back by that, I suppose there is some truth in it, but surely thats a generalisation?

I would love to see your work (and any other senior developers). Without sounding greasy, its bloody hard for those to get into res development without having some inspiration, and perhaps some mentors.

Any tips on learning residential development? or is it like most things, learn as you go.  


What would you expect an Architect to say - "oh you can just use a draftsman, you don't need to use me'....

I think you should source an opinion from a more neutral source than an architect as to the merits of draftsmen.

That said, I have an uncle who is a draftsman & half of his working career has been spent fixing the errors of architects (particularly young ones who have never built a structure).



Michael (and whomever else is interested).

I have found out the roof is 22.5 degrees (monieer concrete tile and it is definately a hip). Not a lot of room I suppose at the ridge, but it looks like it must be at least 6ft)

I have also found a good local architect and he has good design skills. Also I have been put on to a builder whom is also engineer qualified, a good combination I guess?  

Hi dynamite,

Keep us posted on progress please.


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