Granny Flat vs Tiny House: What are the Differences?
With the tiny home movement taking social media by storm, how do you really know which is the better option for unique, comfortable and convenient, small size living: a tiny house or a granny flat?
Both offer an alternative way of living to the traditional accommodation options we have known for centuries. With inflation, flexible work-from-home opportunities, and the increased desire to travel, a large population of homeowners are now considering building a granny flat or tiny home.
After being locked down in a pandemic for 2 years, both tiny homes and granny flats appear to be the way of the future. Many people want a simple lifestyle that both options provide. But is building a granny flat or a tiny home the best for you and your family?
What’s the difference between a granny flat and a tiny home?
A granny flat is a smaller dwelling separate to the primary home that is located on the same property. Traditionally built for elderly family to live close by (but still with independence), they are now used for a range of multipurpose uses like work from home pods or as alternative rental avenues.
By adding a granny flat, you could be creating an additional bedroom, kitchen, office, living space, or even a potential investment property in your backyard. Depending on your circumstances, you might not even need to use the main house if you have a granny flat. It gives you the freedom to rent out your primary house (or the granny flat) to make an easy realestate investment or Airbnb holiday home. There are clearly several benefits when investing in a granny flat.
Granny flats are constantly evolving, and can come with unique, modern designs. Customers often seek out charming, stylish and unique designs, including innovative ideas for the bathroom, laundry, bedrooms and entertaining spaces for families and friends.
Granny flats are no longer just a spare, functional room to help out with space-saving, but with a stylish, modern design, they can offer an extension of your lifestyle and aesthetic appeal to your property.
A granny flat is a long-term investment, and offers a unique solution to one of the biggest issues in Australia currently: the rental crisis. Granny flats could be the solution to what this country needs, with additional rental spaces or places for family to stay.
In recent times, tiny houses have become an attractive option for people wanting to live a sustainable, off-grid life surrounded by nature. They provide a small, minimalist, cosy space that is eco-friendly.
‘Tiny home’ is a loose term for any kind of mobile dwelling that is limited to a ‘tiny’ size. For the most part, the homes are moveable, either because they’re a vehicle, or have the possibility to be moved by another vehicle. This plays a part in why the home needs to be ‘tiny’ – so it can be transported.
A tiny home may come as a small house with attached wheels, a home that can be towed by a trailer, and even a shipping container that can be moved by crane or ship.
The off-grid tiny home movement is constantly evolving, so there is no strict definition set in stone. However, the gist is, if you can move it and make it a home, then it qualifies as a tiny home.
What are the dimensions of a typical tiny home or granny flat?
Size-wise, granny flats can be built up to the size of 60m2 according to most Sydney council regulations.
Tiny homes are even smaller and are great for simple living in unique spaces. Anything under approximately 37m2 is considered a tiny home, and it is a great way to consume less and be environmentally and ethically conscious due to your limited space.
How much does it cost to build a granny flat vs a tiny home?
- Granny Flats on average cost around the $145k-200k mark depending on the materials, builder and style you’re looking for. On average, granny flat building takes about a quarter of the time and price of what a usual full-sized house build would.
- A tiny house has a starting cost of approximately $90k, also depending on your necessities and preferences. On average, they take about 8-12 weeks to build – a very quick turnaround for a new home.
Both of these affordable options are great ways to build a new small living space on a budget.
Pros and Cons of Granny Flats
Granny flats can be a great solution to create an additional investment or provide alternative accommodation. However, there are some things to consider before deciding whether this might be the right fit for you. Here’s what you need to know:
Pros of a granny flat
- A range of design options – you can make a granny flat as large or as small as you like, within the regulations of your local council. Your granny flat could include a studio, a bedroom for your older children to have more privacy, a home office away from all the chaos, and even a pool house or a living space to entertain guests. There are so many options!
- Extra Income – a granny flat gives you the option to rent it out to tenants, use it as an Airbnb, or as a holiday home.
- Comfort – you can add heating, cooling, electricity and any other necessities to a granny flat because it’s connected to the house. This is different to a tiny home which is sometimes remote and off-grid, and can be difficult to connect to these utilities.
- Value – granny flats are a great way to add long-term value to your property if you ever want to sell it or rent out the property.
Cons of a granny flat
- Costs – granny flats are permanent buildings and bigger than tiny homes, so they cost more to build.
- Time – granny flats take longer to build than a small tiny home.
Pros and Cons of Tiny Homes
A tiny home can be a great option if you want to live off-grid and travel. Is this the best option for you? Let’s discuss:
Pros of a tiny home
- Budget-friendly – tiny homes are affordable in comparison to a normal house or granny flat, with the option to pay outright and save on bills, living debt-free.
- Easily relocatable – a nice option to know that you will have a home with you no matter where you go, and you never need to stress about relocation.
- Multiple Tiny Homes allowed on rural property – where you can only build one granny flat per property, you can have multiple Tiny Homes on a rural property, generating multiple rental incomes, whilst housing the Tiny Homes in the one place.
Cons of a tiny home
- Their size – a cosy, tiny life isn’t for everyone. You will need to be efficient with your storage space and number of belongings and be prepared to live a minimalist lifestyle.
- Parking – the height and size of the house may need to be considered anytime you plan on moving to new locations.
How to make the choice between a tiny house or granny flat
Both tiny homes and granny flats provide affordable housing solutions. The choice really comes down to what your vision, purpose and style are.
Tiny homes provide a great alternative to caravans and slow traveling, living simply, and being eco-conscious. Granny flats can create long-term value for your property, give you storage solutions and additional living space.
For short-term living arrangements, the tiny home may be for you and your alternative way of living. For long-term, stable living arrangements, a granny flat is a great opportunity.
For all of your granny flat questions and comments, get in touch with our passionate team of granny flat builders today. We work all throughout Greater Sydney, NSW, and are the number one experts when it comes to all things granny flats.
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