All You Need to Know About Granny Flats
Granny flats are the next big thing in the world of construction and housing. With rental prices rising, available houses being snapped up quickly, families and populations growing, residents are finding a solution in granny flats.
What is a granny flat?
Traditionally, a granny flat is a smaller, separate dwelling that shares the same space and zoning as the main property. Known otherwise as a cottage, farmers house or guesthouse, granny flats are more than just housing for elderly members of the community. With many Cities and Shires lifting the zoning regulations around residential properties, granny flats are popping up in the backyards of savvy homeowners everywhere to bring in extra income, family support, or lifestyle improvements. Size-wise, granny flats are generally between a tiny home (400 square foot) and a traditional home (1400 square foot) and can range anywhere from a studio or a small one-bedroom dwelling to a double-storey, 4-bedroom masterpiece. Unlike a tiny house, granny flats are stationary, permanent and can be as large as 700 square feet. Granny flats earned their name from the multigenerational families who housed their Grandparents or elderly family members to keep them close in their later years but have become multipurpose to suit all members of the family and even the public.
With the ability to alter, create and design your granny flat to suit the parameters of your space and the limitations of your budget, a granny flat is an excellent solution to many housing problems or concerns. Granny flats are a homeowner’s best friend with the ability to rent out the flat to bring in extra passive rental income or to add thousands to the value of the home. With the housing shortages across many cities within Australia, granny flats for rent are an excellent solution for savvy renters wanting to save, for people who don’t need much space, or for family members wanting to relocate. Granny flats can feature complete kitchens for the chefs of the family, or additions such as decking, garages or storage. With the ability to include complete privacy and autonomy with bathrooms, laundries and kitchens, renters are fully equipped to enjoy a simple and minimalistic life with their granny flat.
The main differences between a house and a granny flat
- The size requirements
Where a house may take up the entire block and be free to stand alone, a granny flat must fit within certain size and location parameters. The flat must not be built over an easement, must have a minimum of 450m2 with 12m frontages, a maximum size of 60m2, a maximum height of 8.5m2, 3m setback from the rear and 0.9m setback from the side boundaries. These measurements may seem overwhelming, but your granny flat construction crew are fluent in the rules and requirements of any granny flat development.
A granny flat can serve many purposes and fulfil many needs, it can be very simple to add or renovate your granny flat should your needs change. While staying true to size and location parameters, your granny flat is yours to design and alter and can be an incredibly cost-effective and hassle-free way to add storage, a guesthouse, or a home office.
Home construction can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and can be incredibly time-consuming. A granny flat will likely cost less than half of what it costs to build a house and even in the current construction climate, can be completed in around 16 weeks. Granny flat owners can make an income from the granny flat, making the construction money back quickly and improving cash flow.
Along with the functionality and added value benefits of your granny flat, a granny flat can add financial benefit to the life of a loved one through a Granny Flat Agreement, which is essentially an agreement between yourself and the granny flat resident that they will have guaranteed accommodation for life. The granny flat resident will exchange finances, assets, or property for the guaranteed use of the granny flat for the duration of their life. This is a Government supported scheme and is a brilliant way to bring security, dignity, and comfort to a struggling, elderly, or at-risk family member or friend. A Granny Flat Agreement can safeguard your relationship and keep important aspects such as payments and upkeep of the property protected and guaranteed.
There can be roadblocks to building a granny flat such as zoning laws, building restrictions or neighbourhood agreements. With the right granny flat construction and design crew behind you, your granny flat can be built quickly, without the hassle and on budget, while adding to the appeal and aesthetic of your home and street. Granny flats can be constructed to have their own electricity, gas, and internet connections, along with a private entrance, allowing complete separation from the main dwelling. The costs of building a granny flat depend largely on the size, shape, and layout of the flat, but can be anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000. Along with the huge benefits of diversity and a wide range of functions, a granny flat can be altered to suit your budget.
You may be considering a granny flat for your next renovation, extension, or build, and we’re here to help. Some of the highlights you can expect to experience with the clever design, extensive range, and skilled workmanship from our crew, include:
- Additional income from private rentals
- The option to open the granny flat as an Airbnb or short stay holiday home for greater income
- Lower build costs than a traditional family home
- Less council and land costs with little to no impact on rates
- Fast construction time, around 16 weeks from start to finish
- Unique, customised, and a high-quality design
- Safety and security
- Value-added to the main property for future sale
Four important but often overlooked aspects to consider when building a granny flat in your backyard
It’s great to build a granny flat considering the size parameters set by the council, but will it be practical for future guests or tenants? Consider how they will access the property, whether they can easily walk on a pathway or across the lawn to their property without intruding on your dwelling space.
Not all backyards have side access or enough space for parking. Considering whether your tenants or guests will park on the road or in a pre-determined car park will go a long way in providing an efficient and effective lifestyle.
Is the granny flat facing your house? Proper planning can improve privacy tenfold. Facing windows and doors away from the main house or creating entrances that won’t intrude on your own will improve the functionality and comfort of both properties and ensure the granny flat can be used to its highest capacity.
How do you use the backyard as it is? It may seem insignificant, but if the space where your granny flat will exist is currently occupied by a clothesline or a makeshift soccer pitch, ensure that you have a plan for where these things will go once it’s built. For the sake of your existing lifestyle, the future lifestyle of your tenants, or even for the value of your home, having space for a backyard will go a long way. If you’re planning to have tenants – consider if you can change the turf to fake grass or hedging for easy maintenance and remove the mango tree that causes mess and requires constant cleaning. Like any aspect of construction, your landscaping and the position of your granny flat requires proper and well thought out planning to achieve long term success.
Granny flats are an exciting and successful trend that is sweeping Sydney and beyond, offering creative and intuitive solutions for working from home, earning extra cash, or housing loved ones. We are the only multi-award-winning granny flat company Sydney wide. Our experienced and passionate team build over 200 granny flats per year. Whether you’re after a two-storey mini-mansion or a one-bedroom granny flat, we can help you to create the granny flat of your dreams, to match the style and aesthetic of your main house or to stand alone as a feature. With our free site assessment, we can determine what will work within your landscape and design your flat based on the parameters of your land.
To get started on the design and creation of your ideal granny flat, and to start experiencing the benefits as soon as possible, contact us through our website, and our friendly team will be in touch.
Build with the Best
Granny Flat Solutions is the ONLY multi-award winning granny flat company, with over 13 awards under our belt.