A large proportion of New Zealand’s residential building stock could be classified as character homes, and as Kiwis, we have a particular penchant for retaining their original beauty – certainly in regards to villas and bungalows with their often intricate detailing and precise proportion.
Additions to these types of homes generally go one of two ways; another storey is added, or the house is extended to create more space on a single level.
It is in the first instance where resource consent issues more commonly come into play, as a result of heritage authorities’ regulations and planning controls around the retention of a building or precinct streetscape. “Both from an architectural and regulatory point of view, adding a storey to a heritage home is the most challenging,” architect Lloyd Macomber of Salmond Reed Architectssays. “When you’re looking to add a storey, it can be particularly difficult to achieve the right balance of a) exterior proportion, b) meet the clients’ brief for satisfactory amenity and ceiling heights and c) gain consent from the authorities.”
So, while these types of extensions do happen, it can be difficult obtaining resource consent and meet the client’s requirements by popping the top or adding a storey.
This is why, perhaps, the most common type of additions to character homes tend to be to the rear of the property. “From a regulatory point of view, extensions to the rear of the house allow you more design freedom and a greater breadth of options to achieve your client’s requirements,” Lloyd says.