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        Granny Flat vs Studio: Understanding the Difference and Making the Right Choice

        From a fully self-contained apartment for an elderly family member to a teenage retreat or even a way to add extra rental income, the uses for Granny Flats are endless. However, depending on your requirements, constructing a studio on your property might be a better way to go.

        This comparison looks at the differences between Granny Flats and studios, the regulations surrounding each type of dwelling, and the circumstances in which you can have both!

        Key Features of Granny Flats

        Granny Flats don’t just have to be a one-bedroom unit with a kitchenette. Nowadays, Granny Flat designs have evolved, and they are truly secondary dwellings with all the amenities a person or family requires. They can have fully-equipped kitchens, three or four bedrooms, laundry, a carport or even a deck. They can be designed to suit any block or budget. See our award-winning Granny Flat projects here.

        Understanding Studios

        Modern design backyard work pod

        Studios offer a great amount of versatility and value to your home. From home offices to pool rooms, studios are the ideal way to get the extra indoor space you need outside the main home. Because they are compact, they can be a lower-cost option than a Granny Flat as they are intended to be ‘non-inhabitable’. This just means they are spaces that are not intended to be occupied frequently or for extended periods of time.

        Granny Flat vs. Studio: What’s the Main Difference?

        The biggest difference between a Granny Flat and a studio is that a Granny Flat is designed to be a permanent secondary dwelling, while studios should be treated as an extra room of your primary home.

        A Granny Flat can have a maximum living space of 60 m² while a studio is limited to 36 m².

        Generally speaking, as a studio is a non-inhabitable dwelling, it can not be rented out. However, some councils may allow you to rent out your studio to someone who works from home, as long as they are not running a business, or to overnight guests in the same way you might rent out a room in your home. The regulations will vary depending on your local council, so it’s best to seek permission before you do so.

        Advantages and Disadvantages of a Granny Flat


        1. Can have full amenities, including a bedroom, living space, kitchen, laundry and car accommodation.
        2. Can be rented out for extra income or to house family members.
        3. Increases the value of the primary dwelling and makes it appealing to potential investors as well as owner-occupiers.


        1. You need to adhere to council regulations concerning size, setbacks and renting.
        2. Must be on the same title as the primary residence, so landlords should carefully consider if a Granny Flat is the best investment for their rental property.
        3. You may be required to pay capital gains tax if you sell in the future.

        Advantages and Disadvantages of a Studio


        1. Can be used as a home office, gym, arts and crafts space, pool room or playroom.
        2. Can contain a bathroom and spare bedroom for occasional use.
        3. You can build one alongside a Granny Flat as long as it’s separate.


        1. Limited to 36 m² in size.
        2. You are not permitted to have a full kitchen or laundry.
        3. A non-inhabitable space, so it’s not suitable for family members to live in permanently.

        Granny Flat vs. Studio: Factors That Will Help You Decide

        When deciding between a studio or Granny Flat, take into consideration what you need now and what you might require in the future.

        • Consider your long-term goals. While you might only require a studio, is this what potential buyers in your area are looking for or is a Granny Flat a better investment in the long term?
        • Will an art studio increase your property value to the same extent as a 4-bedroom Granny Flat? Do your research before you build, or you might find when it comes time to sell your property that some buyers are put off if they don’t understand how they might use the space.
        • Plan for flexibility. If your needs change in the future, will a studio or Granny Flat still be as functional as you need it to be?
        • Consider the proximity to your home and available backyard space if you plan to rent your Granny Flat out in the future.

        Can’t Choose Between a Studio or a Granny Flat?

        You can build both a studio and a Granny Flat and have three separate dwellings on one block. Provided the Granny Flat and studio are not attached, you don’t have to choose between an apartment for grandma and grandpa and a pool room for entertaining friends and family — you can have both! You can build a separate home for your young adult children and have a work-from-home space. Or build a Granny Flat to rent out and construct a studio for hobbies or for that home gym you’ve always wanted.

        You can find out more about studios and outbuildings here and see how well they work together on some of our other projects.

        Granny Flat Solutions Will Help Make Your House a Home

        Granny Flat Solutions Team

        We here at Granny Flat Solutions have more than 40 years of experience as Granny Flat builders, so we know a thing or two about high-quality construction and Granny Flat designs that are not only functional but also stylish. With a focus on design flexibility, we can help you incorporate your personal style and preferences into your studio or Granny Flat.

        From planning and design through to construction, Granny Flat Solutions is with you every step of the way. Take a look at our Granny Flat designs or speak to us about building a custom Granny Flat or studio that meets your specific requirements. Pick a floor plan you love or design your own.

        Once you’ve made the decision to build a Granny Flat or studio, you’ll never look back. Whether you’re looking to improve your family’s lifestyle, create extra room to live or play or make extra income from the empty space in your backyard, call Granny Flat Solutions on 1300 160 320 to get started today.

        Build with the Best & Experience the Difference for yourself!

        Ready to start your building journey? Chat to our team of experts today and get a FREE personalised quote

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