Modern Home Extensions on Heritage Homes

27 Dec 2021

Character, Period, or Heritage homes never lose their appeal. There is something quintessentially Australian about these gorgeous architectural styles, and these older character homes are highly sought after by those looking for a charming and historic residence. However, these homes tend to have a smaller and segregated floor plan, meaning space can be an issue if you have a growing family and the layout may be unsuitable for modern living.

Renovating or extending old houses is a popular option, but creating a cohesive and connected design can be challenging. This is why it is prudent to take the time to consult with an experienced character home specialist designer to ensure your modern home extension design matches and enhances your existing house in a seamless and complimentary manner.

Read on to learn more about how to add an extension to your Perth heritage home.

Heritage features vs. Heritage Listed

Just because your property is old or has lots of ‘character’ design elements doesn’t mean it is heritage listed.

If your home has ‘heritage features,’ it will typically display high ceilings, leadlight windows, ornate tiling, and face brick construction. A ‘heritage-listed home is listed on the heritage schedule of the local council, the state heritage register, or the National Heritage List. A property must possess historical or cultural significance to achieve heritage listing and there will often be strict rules and restrictions against the amount and type of modifications you can make to the property.

While real estate agents will generally advise potential buyers of heritage-listed status, it is unlikely that they will be able to fully advise on the restrictions to any modifications the buyer intends to make to the property. An experienced character and heritage home renovation company should be able to guide and advise on the likely restrictions and requirements that need to be considered throughout the project planning phase.

Find out if your home is heritage-listed.

Contact your local council and check the heritage listings on your state government’s environment website and national listings at It’s essential to do this as listing often sets strict limits on what owners can, cannot, and must do with the property. Typically, a listing means owners are required to keep the property in good condition, and even simple maintenance can become complex when they involve replacing materials on a like-for-like basis.

What kind of extension – matching or modern?

There is generally two approaches homeowners take when planning on extending an old house. They:

  1. Embrace the heritage style and undertake a sympathetic extension with replicated character accents and features; or
  2. Create a contrasting modern extension that skillfully blends new and old.

Adding an ultra-modern extension to a character home is an increasingly popular design choice these days. If executed correctly it can produce a stunning effect that showcases the best of both eras. You also get to celebrate the existing home’s character while enjoying all the conveniences and style of a modern living.

You can even go so far as to create a pronounced shift in the design where two styles meet. Consider keeping the street frontage of the heritage home, and add a two-storey, modern extension at the rear of the property. This approach ensures the street view remains in keeping with the heritage style while you get all the added space and modern-architectural features of a new age.

Home extension costs

As with most things, the cost of an extension depends on the scope and size of the project. If you’re considering extending or renovating your home, the first thing you’ll need to do is sit down and create a brief for your designer. Decide which elements are essential and which ones you’re happy to compromise on.

Keep in mind that independent designers and architects are not always across realistic building costs, so it always pays to speak to a full-service design and build company, who have up-to-date knowledge of costs and can create a design with a budget in mind. Talk to one of Addstyle’s experienced renovation design consultants, and they’ll help give you some pointers on how to get the most out of your budget and offer tips on how to make the whole process as stress-free as possible.

Types of house extension

There are many ways of extending your home; it depends on what your goal is. While adding an upper storey can be attractive, and often suits older homes on smaller plots, it is often more cost effective to extend on the ground if you can. Here are some of the most common home renovation or extension types:

  • Single-storey side or rear extensions
  • Second storey additions
  • Internal remodelling and updates
  • External home makeovers


Decide what your goal is (extra bedroom, adding a garage, adding an upstairs main suite), and then talk to an experienced, full-service design & build company to find the best option for your Perth home renovation.

Choose Addstyle Master Builders for your heritage home extension

Addstyle Master Builders is recognised as Perth’s heritage and character home specialist. Over the past 33 years, Addstyle has delivered hundreds of heritage home renovations and is Perth’s most awarded heritage home renovation builder.


Trust the Addstyle Master Builders team to create a bespoke, detailed, renovation or extension design that elevates your living standards and meets your budget.


Get in touch to discuss your heritage home extension in Perth and discover why we are Western Australia’s most awarded home renovation builder and designer.

Recent News

Why You Should Choose Your Builder Before Your Architect

Why You Should Choose Your Builder Before Your Architect

When embarking on a home renovation or extension project, the first step is often perceived to be hiring an architect or designer to draft your vision. While this approach might seem logical, it can lead to significant disappointments and financial setbacks.

read more
The Art of Luxury Home Renovations

The Art of Luxury Home Renovations

Luxury home renovations extend beyond mere aesthetic enhancements. They represent comprehensive overhauls of living spaces, integrating high-end materials and sophisticated designs that endure over time. In Perth’s expansive luxury home market, such renovations are about crafting tailored living experiences defined by comfort and elegance.

read more
3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Home Renovation Building Contracts

3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Home Renovation Building Contracts

When embarking on a home renovation or building project in Perth, understanding your rights under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 (HBCA) is essential. However, many homeowners are unaware of the rules that govern building contracts, leaving them vulnerable to potential pitfalls. Here are three crucial aspects you may not know about home building contracts, and unfortunately, many builders don’t either:

read more