Different Types of House Extensions

House extensions come in all shapes and sizes. The Refresh Renovations team in Waikato are experts in home extension design and are here to help you explore the best options for your property.

House extension outdoors

What is a house extension? 

As time passes and needs change, your home should be able to keep up. A thoughtful house extension design is a solution to grow your home in a stylish and meaningful way without needing to start from scratch with a brand new house. 

The major types of home extension plans include:

Rear house extension

The most common type of home extension is one that is built into the backyard. This might be to add outdoor living space or to extend the indoor area of your home.

Single-storey extension

This versatile extension usually exists at the side or rear of the home in underused garden space. A single-storey extension is frequently used as a kitchen extension on older homes. 

Two-storey extension

Undergo a bigger expansion when you choose a double-storey extension. The addition of two floors creates far more space. These could include a kitchen, one or two bedrooms, and an extra bathroom all in one extension!

Side extension

Turn an underused side alley of your home into extra space for your kitchen, living room, or bedroom. These smaller-scale extensions can make a big difference.

Sunroom extension

Let more light in with the addition of a sunroom. Like a conservatory, a sunroom is flooded with natural light from large windows. But, unlike a conservatory, sunrooms share a roof with the rest of your house, so they’re climate-controlled. 

Two-storey extension

Modern house extension trends in New Zealand

If you’re seeking inspiration for your house extension, it’s always worth exploring some of the more popular modern home extension designs that other homeowners have undertaken around New Zealand.

Outdoor living extensions

It’s no secret that Kiwis love a good BBQ. Make the most of your backyard with a rear extension to include an outdoor kitchen, complete with a prep area, barbecue, dining area, and even a fire pit. Large sliding doors and louvre roofing make these alfresco spaces enjoyable no matter the weather. 

Alternatively, opt for a front extension with a sunroom or patio. Your Renovation Consultant can provide more front house extension ideas, as these can require a bit more planning than rear extensions.

Heritage meets modern

Character homes and villas are iconic in New Zealand, and while these abodes are revered for their classic charm, they can be short on space. One and two-storey contemporary extensions are a coveted trend in New Zealand. The mix of a historic, traditional style house with an ultra-modern extension offers a beautiful contrasting aesthetic.

What to consider before building your house extension in Waikato


Before establishing the size and scope of your desired house extension, it’s crucial to have a budget in mind. This will determine the amount of work done on your home, the design elements you pick, and the materials you use. Other factors that can affect your budget are the state of your home’s exterior and foundation and council consent.

Size and layout

Think about the current size and layout of your home and property, as well as the size you’d like your extension to be. Bear in mind that some specific types of house extensions might be better suited to your property than others.


With so many house extension ideas to choose from, landing on one specific style can be a challenge. Consider the design of your home right now and let that steer you towards the aesthetic for your home extension. Perhaps you’d like to blend the traditional with the contemporary, or keep the style consistent throughout your home? Those types of ideas can be discussed at a free consultation with your local Waikato Renovation Consultant.

Hiring a specialist

The house extension process can be a daunting one. It can be a worthwhile investment to have an expert on your side to guide you through the design and construction of your project. For more information on the benefits of hiring a specialist, refer to Refresh’s thorough guide to extending a home.

Interior of sunroom extension

The Refresh process for your house extension

When you choose to work with a home extension specialist like Refresh Waikato, you’ll be met with a bespoke design-and-build process that takes a lot of the hassle and stress of a renovation off your plate.

From your very first consultation to the final phase of construction, your dedicated Renovation Consultant is your single point of contact and source of advice and support along the way. Our Renovation Consultants in Waikato are professionals when it comes to home extensions and offer their expertise through thoughtful planning and project management. Read about the particular home extension services that Refresh Renovations provides our Waikato homeowners.

Refresh Renovations is well-established in New Zealand, meaning there is access to a vast network of loyal contractors and suppliers to work on your house extension. Refresh is the go-to for your home renovations in Hamilton. You’ll stay informed on the latest developments of your project via an intuitive online portal. Once your house extension is complete, your Renovation Consultant will handle the paperwork to ensure your extension is code-compliant.

The final step of the process? Enjoy your fabulous new home extension!

How much do house extensions cost in Waikato?Your house extension cost may depend on several key factors, including the size of your extension, your home’s exterior and foundation, and layout of your existing home.

Read more about specific costs of recent house extension projects, which range from $75,000 to $300,000*. Your local Renovation Consultant will be able to provide you with a more accurate price range for your specific house extension.

*Costs are shown as an indicative guide of what previous projects have cost. The price of renovating a home rises each year as material and labour costs increase. For an estimate/quote on your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations® Consultant to find out more about our planning, design and build process.

house extension consultant in waikato

Will a house extension add value to my home?

The short answer - absolutely! Any kind of home extension should reflect your lifestyle changes over the years. When you choose to make more space in your home, you’re adding value to your daily life as well as your Waikato property.

Some benefits of a house extension include…

  • Increased home value: Add value to your property with a stylish and intentional home renovation. Specifically, a house extension adds more space to your living area which in turn increases the value of your home. 
  • Extra space: Accommodate your ever-changing lifestyle with more space. Whether you’re creating a more spacious kitchen, extra bedrooms, or outdoor living space, an extension can be a worthwhile investment for added space.
  • A cost effective solution: When your needs change and it’s time to expand, a home extension can be a more cost-effective solution to buying a new home.
  • Customisation: With so many types of extensions to choose from, the sky's the limit. Your Renovation Consultant can work with you to find a home extension that is curated to both your aesthetic and your property.

Challenges in house extensions

Home extensions come with their set of challenges. Council approval is usually one, and working with your home’s current layout is another. When you choose to work with home extension specialists at Refresh, you can rest easy knowing that you have an expert working with you to address these challenges and find the best solutions for your property and your budget.

Exterior of a house extension

Home extensions vs renovations in Waikato

Renovations involve updating your home’s existing spaces, while house extensions are additions to your property. Both serve a purpose of increasing functionality and enhancing the style of your home.

Your Renovation Consultant can help you determine the best solution for your needs.


Do I need a house extension?

If you are needing more space in the form of extra bedrooms, bathrooms, outdoor living areas, or more room in your kitchen, then a house extension could be for you. Speak to a Renovation Consultant about your needs to find the best solution for your home and lifestyle.

Which house extensions cost the most?

Cost depends on the size and scope of the extension. For instance, a larger, two-storey extension will cost more than a simple, single-storey rear or side extension. Any kind of extension that could require extensive groundwork will cost more.

Do I need to get Waikato District Council approval to build a house extension?

Your Renovation Consultant is responsible for acquiring any council approval or documentation to make sure that your house extension complies with local building codes.

Small house extension

Ready to extend your home?

Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today to build your house extension with a professional renovation specialist in Waikato! 

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