“Should we sell up and build new, or renovate or extend? How do we know what will work best?”

The Darling Downs is full of cute-as-a-button “character” homes. Real estate agents describe them as “Classic Toowoomba Gables”, “Workers Cottages” or “Post-War Chamfer on Brick”. They are often filled with extraordinary features like high ceilings, ornate plaster work, and beautiful timber floors. They also have their drawbacks; one bathroom, one (or no) car accommodation, draughty windows, and ZERO storage! 

There are options when your lifestyle no longer fits your home. As mentioned above you can:

1)      build;

2)      renovate; or

3)      extend.

How to choose what suits you best? There is no one-size-fits-all, no average cookie-cutter answer. There are several considerations to sort through when looking at this choice.


“We’re getting confused with the lingo! Are we renovating, or extending? Does it matter?”

Don’t get tripped up on the terms! A “renovation” usually refers to a revamp, rebuild, or restructure within the confines of the existing roofline, and an “extension” means creating a new space outside this existing roofline. Should we flip a coin?! Really, it depends on what internal space you have to work with. Neither is mutually exclusive, and neither is guaranteed to be a “cheaper” option.

Using the example of our existing Toowoomba Gable home, renovating an existing kitchen may end up costing more than a new kitchen in an extension, in order to retain some original features, or even just due to previous water damage, or position of services. On the other hand, enclosing an existing porch in a renovation may be cheaper than extending out the back with a bigger space.

There are no guarantees; what may be cheaper may not be more functional for your space! Yes, you could add a bathroom into your existing outside laundry – but heading outside to shower during an icy Toowoomba winter is not going to be a popular option!

After considering these factors, chat with your builder as to what options will be best for you.

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