If you’d like to have extra space in your Cape Town home and boost the value of your property - and who wouldn’t - building an extension may be a great idea. 

Before you scratch that building itch and hire a contractor off the bat, there are a few things you need to know about home renovations. Let’s start with the basics.

Building an extension - how it works 

Extending your home can be simple or relatively complicated, depending on the type of renovations you plan to do. Whether you’re adding a single room, enclosing your veranda or adding an extra floor to your home, the process will look something like this:

  • Drafting of plans - because you’ll probably need permission from your body corporate or the municipality before you start building. 
  • Obtaining quotes from contractors 
  • Keeping your home liveable during the renovations - or securing alternative accommodation

What type of extension should you choose?

An extra room is one of the most popular types of extensions - but there are many others beside.

 You could enclose your veranda to create a sun room, build an 
outdoor kitchen and entertainment area near your pool, or even create a loft attic - something that’s not all that popular in SA but commonplace in Europe and America. 

Who should draw up your plans?

A small extension probably won’t change the style of your home or its overall structure that much, so it’s not necessary to engage the services of an architect. A draughtsperson should be able to draw up the plans you’ll need to submit to the municipality at a reasonable price. 

Choosing the right contractor

Unless you’re experienced in the building game and have a lot of spare time to supervise a building crew, you’ll probably want to leave the dirty work to a contractor. 

Once you have your plans drawn up, you can go ahead and approach contractors to quote on your extension. They’ll either quote you per square metre or for the whole project. 


It’s important to agree on a completion date with your contractor and make it clear that you’ll be paying on a project basis and not weekly or monthly. You should specify deadlines for each stage of the building and include a penalty clause for late completion in your contract.

Keeping your home liveable during renovations

If you plan on living in your home while the extension is being built, you’ll want to protect your furniture and valuables from dust, paint, and other forms of damage. It’s also important to understand that staying home during renovations isn’t going to be easy, but if you know what’s involved and are mentally prepared for all the dust, it’s doable.


·       Keep all doors and cupboards closed, always

·       Make use of plastic sheeting to close off open spaces 

·       Cover furniture and electronics with dust sheets

·       Keep valuables out of harm’s way is essential

·       If you have children, be aware of exposed areas, unstable structures and open electrical circuits 


You will need to have considerable patience, accept that a lie-in is a thing of the past and that you can’t entertain guests, so the builders will become your best friends! But the plus side of living on site is that you will be able to keep a watchful eye on the entire process.

Invest in the future value of your home 

An extension is one of the best things you can do to boost the value of your Cape Town home, and will serve you well should you decide to sell one day. If you’re keen to have your residential property valued, contact the
 Cape Realty team today. 

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