Renovation market boom

In recent research by the Master Builders Association, there could be a NSW home renovation boom. Despite the economic challenges Australians are facing, conditions are now more favourable for homeowners to invest in the renovation projects they have been dreaming about. A large proportion of this housing stock is 30 or more years old and ripe for renovation. And as rising interest rates continue will home buyers be more likely to invest into these older properties?

There is no question that the interest rate hikes have impacted the new home-building sector. As of March 2023, in NSW there are only 2599 new home Building Approvals, down 32.4% from January 2022. (Master Builders Australia, Building and Construction NSW, March 2023). Together with everyday cost of living constraints home buyers are thinking twice about the cost of building a new house.

The question is, do rising interest rates affect the Home Renovations market? The answer is clear in the fact that as of March 2023 in NSW $326.6 million is being spent on Home Renovations, which is up +9.6% from January 2022. (Master Builders Australia, Building and Construction NSW, March 2023). With the renovation market growing, now is the perfect time to rethink your business strategy.


Looking at the NSW home renovation boom

In Sydney, we take a deeper look into where the homeowners are spending the most on renovations. The current total greater Sydney value of approvals for major home renovations is $2,257,671,700 (ABS Total value of building approvals for residential alterations, additions and conversions: July 2022 to April 2023). In no particular order, these are just some of the suburbs:


SuburbTotal value of approvals for major home renovations ($)
North Mosman – North$20,758,500
Avalon – Palm Beach$35,756,400
Manly – Fairlight$28,730,900
Gordon – Killara$18,582,200
East Rose Bay – Vaucluse – Watsons Bay$43,318,500
Coogee – Clovelly$24,232,800
Bondi Junction – Waverly$13,898,100
Randwick – North$18,869,500
South Redfern$29,149,300
Surry Hills$14,302,000
South Hurstville – Blakehurst$7,454,000
Cronulla – Kurnell – Bundeena$15,426,900
Inner West
Haberfield – Summer Hill$17,939,400
Petersham – Stanmore$24,523,100
Five Dock – Abbotsford$12,218,700
North West
Dural – Kenthurst – Wisemans Ferry$15,755,100
Kurrajong Heights – Ebenezer$7,877,300
Pennant Hills – Cheltenham$9,191,000
Baulkham Hills – East$7,705,200
Guildford West – Merrylands West$25,354,300
Springwood – Winmalee$7,266,600
Blaxland – Warrimoo – Lapstone$6,752,700
South West
Camden – Ellis Lane$8,110,500
Bradbury – Wedderburn$12,007,800
Picton – Tahmoor – Buxton$8,132,400
Bonnyrigg Heights – Bonnyrigg$4,722,600
Central Coast
Erina – Green Point$7,868,200
Umina – Booker Bay – Patonga$8,676,200
Avoca Beach – Copacabana $7,879,100
Terrigal – North Avoca$11,183,100
ABS Total value of building approvals for residential alterations, additions and conversions: July 2022 to April 2023.

These figures only include values for renovations where the work is substantial enough to necessitate building approval from the relevant local government which means the total market has an even larger potential for business growth and opportunity.

In 2023 more favourable weather predictions are expected with the La-Nina rain pattern well and truly behind us. This means fewer interruptions for renovations. The availability of most building materials is also reported to recover in 2023. Although there are indications that some upmarket products in tapware, hinges, door furniture and tiles could still be an issue with ordering timeframes. We recommend checking with suppliers of materials for availability and cost before committing to kitchen and bathroom designs.

For more information about renovations, including extensions and additions, contact us online or call Wal Robbins on 02 8607 7197.

Home renovation

Home renovations have become increasingly popular in Sydney as homeowners seek to enhance their living spaces to better suit their evolving needs and preferences. However, before embarking on a renovation journey, it is crucial to understand the average cost, advantages, potential changes, considerations, and expectations associated with such projects. In this blog post, we will delve into these topics and shed light on why Wal Robbins is the go-to expert for home renovations in Sydney.


Average Cost of Home Renovations in Sydney

Determining the average cost of a home renovation in Sydney can be challenging due to various factors such as the size of the project, scope of work, materials used, and labour costs. However, as a rough estimate, a moderate home renovation in Sydney can range from $20,000 to $100,000 or more. It is important to note that more extensive renovations may require additional time and incur higher labour costs.


Advantages of Home Renovation over Moving House

  1. Cost-effectiveness: Renovating your existing home is often more cost-effective than buying a new house, as it eliminates expenses such as real estate commissions, stamp duty, and moving costs.
  2. Emotional attachment: Many homeowners have sentimental value attached to their current homes. Renovating allows them to preserve the memories and history associated with their property.
  3. Customisation: Renovations offer the opportunity to customise your living space according to your specific needs, lifestyle and preferences. You can design the perfect layout, add additional rooms, or create functional spaces that accommodate a growing or changing family.


Changes During Home Renovation to Improve Circumstances or Add Value

  1. Space utilisation: Home renovations can help optimise space utilisation by adding storage solutions, creating open-plan layouts, or converting underutilised areas into functional spaces such as home offices, playrooms, or guest rooms.
  2. Energy efficiency: Upgrading windows, insulation, and appliances during a renovation can enhance energy efficiency, resulting in long-term cost savings and a reduced environmental footprint.
  3. Modernisation: Renovating outdated features or incorporating smart home technology can significantly improve the comfort, convenience, and overall value of your home.


Important Considerations Before Starting a Home Renovation

  1. Budgeting: Determine your budget and allocate funds for both expected and unexpected expenses.
  2. Permits and regulations: Understand the necessary permits and regulations required for your renovation project to ensure compliance with local building codes.
  3. Hiring professionals: Engage reputable and experienced contractors, architects, and designers who can guide you through the renovation process and deliver high-quality results.
  4. Realistic timeline: Have a clear understanding of the time required for the renovation and plan accordingly, considering potential delays or unforeseen circumstances.


What to Expect During a Home Renovation

  1. Initial planning and design phase: Collaborate with professionals to develop a detailed renovation plan and finalise design elements.
  2. Demolition and construction: This phase involves removing existing structures and carrying out the necessary construction work, including plumbing, electrical and carpentry.
  3. Material selection: Choose materials, finishes and fixtures that align with your design vision and budget.
  4. Project management: Expect regular communication with the renovation team, periodic inspections and progress updates to ensure the project stays on track.
  5. Completion and final touches: Once the construction work is finished, the space is prepared for final touches, such as painting, flooring and installations.


When it comes to home renovations in Sydney, Wal Robbins stands out as a reputable and trusted expert. With years of experience and a team of skilled professionals, Wal Robbins is dedicated to delivering exceptional results that exceed client expectations. Whether you’re considering a renovation or other type of construction, contact them today


Ground floor extensions

As our families grow and evolve, our homes must adapt to accommodate their changing needs. Ground floor extensions offer an array of benefits for family homes, providing versatile spaces that can truly transform the way we live. Here we explore the positives of ground floor extensions, comparing them to first-floor additions, and examine how they can enhance the flow and functionality of your home. Whether you’re considering adding an extra bedroom, bathroom, or even completely revamping your living space, ground floor extensions offer an appealing solution for growing families.


Enhanced Accessibility and Convenience

One of the primary advantages of ground floor extensions is their accessibility. By expanding horizontally instead of vertically, you can avoid the need for stairs, making your home more accessible for all family members, including ageing parents or individuals with mobility challenges. This convenience ensures that everyone can move freely throughout the house, fostering a sense of inclusivity and togetherness.


Seamlessly Blend with Existing Spaces

Ground floor extensions allow for a harmonious integration of new and existing areas of your home. By extending the ground floor, you can create a natural flow that seamlessly connects the extended space with the rest of your house. This integration ensures that your extension feels like a cohesive part of your home rather than an addition tacked on.


Catering to Changing Family Dynamics

A ground floor extension provides the perfect opportunity to cater to changing family dynamics. For families with teenagers or young adults living at home longer, an additional bedroom or bathroom on the ground floor can help alleviate the strain on shared spaces. This newfound privacy can foster a sense of independence and reduce conflicts arising from limited personal space.


Welcoming Ageing Parents

As our parents grow older, many families face the decision of how best to support them while maintaining their independence. A ground floor extension can accommodate ageing parents, allowing them to have their own living space while still being connected to the rest of the family. With appropriate modifications, such as widened doorways or accessible bathrooms, you can create a safe and comfortable environment for older family members.


Transformational Possibilities

Beyond accommodating immediate needs, ground floor extensions offer exciting opportunities for larger-scale renovations. Imagine extending the back of your home and creating an open-plan living area that integrates a modern kitchen. Such a transformation can completely change the way you utilise the space, creating a central hub for family gatherings and entertaining guests.


Pros and Cons of Ground Floor Extensions vs. First Floor Additions

While ground floor extensions have numerous advantages, it’s important to consider the pros and cons when compared to first floor additions. Ground floor extensions typically require less structural work and are often more cost-effective, as they eliminate the need for extensive foundation adjustments or reinforcements. Additionally, ground floor extensions have the advantage of providing direct access to outdoor spaces, enhancing the connection between your home and garden.

Ground floor extensions are a fantastic solution for family homes seeking to adapt to changing needs and embrace a warm, inclusive atmosphere. From adding an extra bedroom or bathroom to accommodate growing children or ageing parents, to completely reimagining your living space, ground floor extensions offer practicality and versatility. Their seamless integration with existing areas and enhanced accessibility make them an appealing choice for families looking to enhance the flow of their homes.

For all your ground floor extension needs, Wal Robbins is the expert you can trust. With years of experience and a passion for creating spaces that perfectly suit your family, Wal Robbins can help you transform your house into a welcoming and functional home.


Home alteration

Have you ever walked into a room in your house and thought, “This just isn’t working anymore”? As the world around us evolves, so do our personal, familial, and lifestyle needs. This is where a home alteration can come into play. Unlike renovations, which often entail substantial structural changes or complete overhauls of an area, home alterations involve subtle modifications to maximise functionality and comfort.

Home alterations and renovations are both valuable strategies for home improvement, but they serve distinct purposes. While renovations are typically more extensive and often include replacing or repairing existing structures, home alterations tend to be less invasive, focusing more on changing the use or functionality of spaces. They are adaptable to your evolving needs, without requiring a complete transformation of your home.

The beauty of home alterations is their focus on customisation to suit your changing lifestyle. Families grow, children mature, and sometimes parents or adult children return to the nest. Each stage of life brings a unique set of requirements. With home alterations, your house can flex and adapt, becoming a multi-generational home that’s welcoming and efficient for everyone.

Continual alterations are also a strategic financial decision. Frequently, they’re more cost-effective than moving to a new house and have the potential to increase property value. Besides, they allow you to maintain cherished community ties, as you can stay in your beloved neighbourhood while adapting your home to meet your needs. 

Home alterations allow you to take a proactive approach to changes in your family structure and lifestyle. For example, the transformation of a seldom-used guest room into a vibrant home office can provide an optimal working environment as more people embrace remote work. Alternatively, an alteration could involve turning an adult child’s former room into a cozy suite for ageing parents. In this way, home alterations help sustain a dynamic, harmonious living environment.

Home alterations represent a potent tool for homeowners to stay in tune with their changing needs. They add value, not just in terms of property worth, but also in creating a living space that nurtures family bonds and adjusts to evolving lifestyle demands. While renovations are necessary at times, never underestimate the power of smart, strategic home alterations – a guiding principle that has defined the success of experts like Wal Robbins.

As the march of time brings changes to our family and lifestyle, let’s not leave our homes behind. Instead, embrace the adaptability and resourcefulness that home alterations offer, to ensure our living spaces are as dynamic and versatile as our lives.

Navigating the word of home alterations may seem daunting, but expertise is available to make your vision a reality. Wal Robbins is a prime example of a trusted specialist in this field. With a deep understanding of the importance of home adaptations, they bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and creativity to each project.

First floor addition

Let’s dive into a topic that hits close to home for many of us – rising costs of living, teenagers and young adults staying with us longer, and the possibility of ageing parents moving in. A  first floor addition to a family gone can be a game-changer in this instance.

First and foremost, space. With the soaring property prices in Sydney, upsizing to a larger home can be a daunting task. However, a first floor addition allows you to expand your living space without sacrificing your beloved neighbourhood or breaking the bank. Imagine the luxury of adding an extra bedroom, a study, or even a cozy retreat for your teenagers – giving them the privacy they crave while still being under your roof.

In fact, in this day and age, it’s becoming more common for young adults to live with their parents longer, whether it’s due to financial constraints or simply a desire to stay close to home. By adding a first floor, you provide them with their own dedicated space. This arrangement fosters independence, allowing them to maintain their own lives while keeping a strong family bond.

But it’s not just the younger generation who benefit from a first floor addition. As our parents age, it’s only natural to consider the possibility of them moving in with us. By having an extra floor, you can create a comfortable living space for them, complete with a bedroom, bathroom, and perhaps even a small kitchenette. This arrangement not only ensures their well-being but also allows you to provide the care and support they need while maintaining their independence.

Privacy is another crucial aspect to consider – we all learnt that first-hand under Covid lockdowns. With a first floor addition, you can easily separate living areas, giving each member of your family their own private space. No more sharing bathrooms or fighting for a quiet corner to relax and unwind after a long day. The added privacy creates a harmonious living environment, reducing the potential for conflicts and promoting a happier, healthier family dynamic.

Investing in a first floor addition is not only about improving your family’s lifestyle – it’s a smart financial move too. As the demand for spacious family homes increases, the addition of an extra floor adds significant value to your property. In the Sydney property market, where every square metre counts, this can give you a competitive edge when the time comes to sell. Think of it as an investment that pays off both in the short term and in the long run.

When it comes to first floor additions in Sydney, there’s no one better suited to handle the job than Wal Robbins. With our exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, and commitment to customer satisfaction, we have earned a reputation as the best in the business. Click here to explore our portfolio and get inspired for your own home transformation.

Types of construction

In the quest to enhance the quality and value of our homes, the construction world presents a plethora of options. Today, we will journey through four popular construction types: first floor additions, ground floor extensions, alterations and renovations. 


First Floor Additions

First floor additions involve adding an entirely new level to an existing single-storey home. This provides significant added living space and can effectively double your usable floor area. A well-executed first floor addition can boost your property’s market value substantially. However, such projects come with a few challenges. They often require considerable time and financial investment, making them the priciest option among the four. Residents may also have to temporarily relocate during construction due to the substantial structural changes involved. 


Ground Floor Extensions

Ground floor extensions expand the footprint of your home horizontally, often creating an open-plan living area or extra rooms. This option generally increases property value as it provides additional living space without altering the fundamental structure. Ground floor extensions typically cost between $1,500 to $2,500 per square meter. While these projects may cause some disruption to your daily routine, residents can usually stay in their homes during construction, making this a more feasible option for families. 



Alterations involve changing the internal layout of your home without adding to the floor space. They can significantly improve the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your home. Alterations may involve creating an open plan living area, removing or adding walls, or moving rooms. Costs vary greatly depending on the scale, but minor alterations can start from as low as $20,000. As with ground floor extensions, residents can typically stay in their homes during construction. Although alterations may not directly increase the floor space, a well-designed alteration can enhance the home’s usability, making it more attractive to potential buyers.



Renovations involve upgrading the existing structure and fixtures of a home. This can range from simple cosmetic changes like repainting and reflooring, to more complex projects such as upgrading the kitchen or bathroom. Renovations, if well-executed, can dramatically improve the look and feel of your home and consequently, increase its market value. Costs can vary widely, from as low as $10,000 for minor cosmetic changes to upwards of $100,000 for extensive remodels. The disruption level is also variable, depending on the scope of the renovation. 

In all these projects, choosing the right construction team is paramount. That’s where Wal Robbins steps in. With years of expertise in delivering high-quality first floor additions, ground floor extensions, alterations, and renovations, Wal Robbins ensures your home improvement project is executed with precision and to your complete satisfaction. So why wait? Add value to your property today. Contact Wal Robbins and experience the expert touch in home construction.

Serving all Sydney

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CASTLECRAG additions

As families grow or lifestyles change, the need for additional living space becomes increasingly important. One of the most popular and cost-effective ways to expand your home is by investing in a first-floor addition. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of first-floor additions, what to consider when planning, and how a professional builder can help make your dream space a reality.

Benefits of First Floor Additions:

  1. Increased Living Space: First and foremost, a first-floor addition provides much-needed extra living space, which can be utilized for a variety of purposes, such as a new bedroom, office, or entertainment area.
  2. Enhanced Home Value: A well-designed and executed first-floor addition can significantly increase the value of your home, making it a smart investment for the future.
  3. Cost-Effective Solution: Compared to moving to a larger home or constructing a new building, first-floor additions are generally more affordable and less disruptive to your daily life.
  4. Customization: A first-floor addition allows you to tailor the new space to your specific needs and preferences, ensuring it seamlessly integrates with the rest of your home.

Planning Your First Floor Addition:

Before embarking on a first-floor addition project, consider the following factors:

  1. Zoning and Building Regulations: Check with your local council to ensure your planned addition complies with local zoning and building regulations. This may include height restrictions, setback requirements, or other constraints that could impact your project.
  2. Structural Integrity: Have a professional builder or structural engineer assess your home’s existing structure to determine whether it can support the additional weight of a first-floor addition.
  3. Design and Aesthetics: Work with an architect or designer to create a plan that integrates the addition with the existing style and layout of your home. Consider factors such as rooflines, window placement, and exterior finishes to ensure a cohesive design.
  4. Budget: Establish a realistic budget for your project, taking into account the cost of materials, labor, permits, and other associated expenses.
  5. Timeline: Discuss your project timeline with your builder, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the estimated duration of construction and any potential disruptions to your daily life.

Choosing the Right Builder:

Selecting the right builder is crucial for the success of your first-floor addition project. Consider the following when choosing a builder:

  1. Experience: Look for a builder with a proven track record of successfully completing first-floor additions. This will give you confidence that they have the necessary skills and expertise to handle your project.
  2. Communication: Choose a builder who communicates effectively and is responsive to your needs. This will help ensure a smooth construction process and minimize any potential issues.
  3. Licensing and Insurance: Verify that your builder is licensed and insured to protect yourself in the event of any problems or disputes during the construction process.
  4. Portfolio and References: Review the builder’s portfolio and ask for references from previous clients. This will give you a better understanding of the quality of their work and their ability to meet deadlines and budgets.

A first-floor addition can be an excellent way to expand your living space and enhance the value of your home. By carefully considering your needs, working with a professional builder, and planning your project thoroughly, you can create a beautiful and functional addition that meets your family’s needs for years to come.

The current construction climate 1
HomeBuilder grant

From today until 31 December 2020, HomeBuilder grant will provide all eligible owner-occupiers with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. Construction must be contracted to commence within three months of the contract date.

HomeBuilder is a response to industry downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic, and looks to assist the residential construction market by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations this year.

The time-limited, tax-free grant program is available for building contracts until 31 December 2020.

To access HomeBuilder, owner-occupiers must meet the following eligibility criteria: 

  • You are a natural person (not a company or trust), aged 18 years or older and an Australian citizen.
  • You meet one of the following two income caps: $125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on your 2018-19 tax return or later; or $200,000 per annum for a couple based on both 2018-19 tax returns or later
  • You enter into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 to either: build a new home as a principal place of residence, where the property value (house and land) does not exceed $750,000; or substantially renovate your existing home as a principal place of residence, where the renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000, and where the value of your existing property (house and land) does not exceed $1.5 million.
  • Construction must commence within three months of the contract date.

Owner-builders and those seeking to build a new home which will be used as an investment property, or renovate an existing home which is an investment property, will not be eligible for HomeBuilder. 

You don’t need to be a first home buyer to access the grant, however HomeBuilder is not available for investment properties. Your State or Territory revenue office will require certain documents to process your application, and these can be found on their relevant sites. 

Download the full HomeBuilder fact sheet, or contact us – we’d love to help with your next build or home renovation.