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Thread: 2nd storey extension on slab house?

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    Default 2nd storey extension on slab house?

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm interested to know if it's still possible to build a second storey on a brick veneer house that's built on a slab?

    Cheers,
    Leroy
    Last edited by LeroyPatrol; 30-09-11 at 10:03 AM.
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    1: would check with council if 2 story is allowed

    2: engineers report on slab thickness and strength

    3: engineers report on depth - size - strength of external foundations

    4: engineers report on load bearing walls

    5: architects design to the reports

    6: lots and lots on money
    Last edited by fandtm666; 30-09-11 at 10:16 AM.

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    Generally in Vic a single story dwelling footings (not the slab) allow a second story, as well as stud spacings of 450mm (preferred hard wood frame), possibly the second story may have to be of light weight structure eg cement sheet / render
    But as Diavalo says get an Engineer to do a structural report and then you can sue him if it goes wrong because that what Engineers are for in the building trade
    Last edited by allover; 30-09-11 at 10:45 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by allover View Post
    Generally in Vic a single story dwelling footings (not the slab) allow a second story, as well as stud spacings of 450mm (preferred hard wood frame), possibly the second story may have to be of light weight structure eg cement sheet / render
    But as Diavalo says get an Engineer to do a structural report and then you can sue him if it goes wrong because that what Engineers are for in the building trade
    So when you say footings I'm guessing you mean as a component of the slab?
    ie there is extra depth on the perimeter of the slab due to brickwork or if there is a load bearing wall in the middle of the house?

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    reason for engineers report


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    Thanks for that explanation. Do builders often over engineer the footings?

    It all sounds very expensive but the main reason for the question is the house is a moderate size on a large 1200m2 block and I was thinking if down the track we wanted a little more space then what are my options. Because of the layout of the house, going up seems more logical because of where the load bearing walls are and there's a good location for stairs, and a bedroom wall could be removed to make way for a larger meals family area and this is the area I was looking at how could it be made larger.

    It might be cheaper to buy and sell down the track!

    Cheers,
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyPatrol View Post
    Thanks for that explanation. Do builders often over engineer the footings?

    It all sounds very expensive but the main reason for the question is the house is a moderate size on a large 1200m2 block and I was thinking if down the track we wanted a little more space then what are my options. Because of the layout of the house, going up seems more logical because of where the load bearing walls are and there's a good location for stairs, and a bedroom wall could be removed to make way for a larger meals family area and this is the area I was looking at how could it be made larger.

    It might be cheaper to buy and sell down the track!

    Cheers,
    Leroy
    although the house is probably in good order which is why you are considering it you might find knock down and rebuild to be a better solution and not a lot different in cost and a lot less compromises to be made

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    What you are referring to is a raft slab, in that raft slab is interconnecting footings, a grid of footings, you have to locate the grids, usually located under load bearing walls.Do you have access to the structural drawings which will show the raft, if not and it is example a Henley Home you can obtain the drawings from the builder. Another source may be your local council who may Filch the original drawings
    Just suggestions
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    I asked a neighbor about footings or a single slab for a shed he had built and he said a slab of a certain thickness was actually stonger than individual footings as it spread the load over the whole floor area.
    Where for footings/piers you may need a cubic metre each, a slab of maybe 9 inch's thick achieves the same support.
    This shed was a double door wide and half a car again deep so it is good size.
    Obviously depending on the slab size, more cement is used for the whole slab than piering/footings but when you think about it, there would be almost no chance of odd spot settllements.
    Today very many renovate by going up as it is claimed to be cheaper to renovate than relocate.
    Rebuilding is a different story. Remember that to pull down completely and rebuild means you aint got a house to live in during that time.
    In NSW there are companies who specialise in this so I would presume they do all the paperwork required for Council approval.
    I'm sure even in Victoria, there would be companies doing the same construction and can give you an idea of what can and cant be done..
    Last edited by gordon_s1942; 30-09-11 at 04:19 PM.
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    yes gordon i have seen heaps of slabs with no footings for sheds , but you will never find a house built that way it will have footings.

    The footings would have been designed on the house structure and weight distribution.

    IE: brick veneer - double brick - cladded etc

    Also it would have taken into account the ground type as well.

    IE: clay - filled - rock - sand etc
    Last edited by fandtm666; 30-09-11 at 01:19 PM.

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    there is Ground Penetrating Radar technology around which is used by builders to determine slab thickness , reo location , etc before anything is cut or added.

    slabs are designed to flex and float a little so a second storey should be possible provided proper design work is adhered to .

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    Is there a reason why you insist on using concrete as a second floor?
    Apart from the extra weight factor, it is a lot more expensive.
    Like diavolo mentioned you'll have to get an engineer to check it all out for you as you'll probably find your walls will need to be strengthened to be able to carry the extra load.
    Another thing to keep in mind and what's stopping a lot of people doing this very same thing is that some councils apply a height limit.
    Here in Brisbane it is currently 8.5 meters, which means the ridge (highest part of your roof) is not allowed to be higher than 8.5 meters above the top of the kerb. The Brisbane City Council has currently got a relaxation in place regarding this for flood affected properties.

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    The current house is built on a slab (not VB ). It's not a requirement for the second floor to be built on a slab. I'm really just interested in if it's technically possible as I'm looking at an older house and thought as the family grew this maybe an option and something extra to consider when making an offer for the house.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyPatrol View Post
    The current house is built on a slab (not VB ). It's not a requirement for the second floor to be built on a slab. I'm really just interested in if it's technically possible as I'm looking at an older house and thought as the family grew this maybe an option and something extra to consider when making an offer for the house.

    Leroy
    Do as the others have suggested - get council approval and an engineer to give you a report.
    With the size of your block have you considered extending be a lot cheaper in the long run.
    Retired builder (toyboy)

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    Thanks for all the advice and information fellas. We ended up making an offer and it was accepted. The view of the hills and valleys around us are lovely and all only 10 mins from Wodonga!

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    Talk to a chippy with a general builders licence. Slabs are designed more around soil type - reactivity- movement- stress than weight. A simple roof extention with clading should be no probs as the load will be spread mainly to the exterior walls. The extra weight would be stuff all different than putting a pool table a piano and my missus in your family room
    If the weight was an issue which I doubt, you could if you have a tile roof change it to tin. Had an old mate who used to do a lot of roof conversions and cant remember him ever talking about issues with slab strength?

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    Quote Originally Posted by homebrew041 View Post
    Talk to a chippy with a general builders licence. Slabs are designed more around soil type - reactivity- movement- stress than weight. A simple roof extention with clading should be no probs as the load will be spread mainly to the exterior walls. The extra weight would be stuff all different than putting a pool table a piano and my missus in your family room
    If the weight was an issue which I doubt, you could if you have a tile roof change it to tin. Had an old mate who used to do a lot of roof conversions and cant remember him ever talking about issues with slab strength?
    It's a tiled roof so a bit of weight saving there!! I was surprised to see the trusses were nice looking hardwood and not pine when having a look in the roof today.

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    If you're changing from roof tiles to metal roofing check with your local building laws what the requirements are in regards to tie down.
    Here in SE QLD if you have a tiled roof the weight of the tiles (clipped to the battens) itself are considered enough whereas with metal roof sheeting you'd need a cyclone rod every 2.4 meters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by weirdo View Post
    If you're changing from roof tiles to metal roofing check with your local building laws what the requirements are in regards to tie down.
    Here in SE QLD if you have a tiled roof the weight of the tiles (clipped to the battens) itself are considered enough whereas with metal roof sheeting you'd need a cyclone rod every 2.4 meters.
    If I ever went down this path I'm sure colorbond roofing wouldn't be an issue because the house is in a bushfire zone and it's easier for embers to blow up the tile gaps!

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    hi LeroyPatrol

    In Canberra there was a firm called Cape cod that did what you are looking at. All the 2nd story where fibro and looked out of place.

    If it was me a knock down and rebuild would be the go. I can send you a happy snap of some houses i see on the way to work if you like.


    I hope you get a good result with nissan regarding your Patrol.

    SS Dave

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