The Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Granny Flat for Your Parent or Grandparent
True to the origin of its name, a granny flat is a great solution for housing your aging loved ones close to home. There are many other benefits and reasons why we see many of our clients build granny flats for their parents or grandparents. These often include:
Granny flats can be much more appealing than aged care options
Granny flats can be far cheaper than the cost of aged care, especially over many years of ongoing care.
Additionally, when someone is at the stage of needing to consider aged care, it is not always a welcome thought. Understandably, living in a granny flat is a much nicer idea for most parents and grandparents, while still giving them the extra layers of safety and care that living close to family can provide.
Unlike most aged care facilities, when you build a granny flat for a parent or grandparent, you are also building it with them specifically in mind. Any extra requests, special care needs or accessibility features can be custom added to the build to make it the ideal living space for them.
Granny flats for parents and grandparents can bring your family closer together
If you’ve lived with your parents away for a long time, having them move home is no small thing. All the time you’ve had to schedule for holidays and travel to see them suddenly isn’t needed anymore.
The beauty of a granny flat for your parents or grandparents is that it brings your family closer together while still creating a line of separation because they aren’t actually IN your home. We have seen this be a great solution for many families who want their loved ones close, but not quite in their own homes.
How do I make sure the granny flat I’m choosing is the right one for my parents?
When it comes to designing and building a granny flat for your parents or grandparents, there are some important things you need to consider.
Think about how much space they need, and how much space you have for a granny flat. Do they need more than one bedroom or a large living area? Or maybe an outdoor entertaining space is a must. What will make this feel like home for them, while still fitting in with the space you have available?
- Accessibility and function
Make a list of all the things your parent might need to make the space easy for them to access and use. Granny flats can be built to suit a long list of special needs. For example, we can design wider doors for wheelchairs with lower light switches and benches, and support rails in the bathroom.
It’s important to make sure you aren’t just thinking of what they need right now but consider what they might need in the coming years.
Part of successful multigenerational living is creating a space your parents will love. If they enjoy entertaining, this might look like a living area that opens onto a large outdoor entertaining space, using the backyard as extra space for company. If they love to cook, you can add extra cupboards and storage to the kitchen. If they have a hobby collecting things, making crafts or sewing, they might need an extra bedroom or built-in cupboards to house it.
If building your parents or grandparents a granny flat is a wider family project, you will need to talk to everyone about what your budget is to make sure your plans fit within it. While building a granny flat is far cheaper than most aged care solutions, it still comes with a price tag that can vary based on things like size and design.
- Draw up a granny flat interest agreement
A granny flat interest is a legal document that formally outlines the plans and agreements you have made going into a granny flat living arrangement with senior family members.
People don’t like to assume the worst, and things might be perfectly okay right now, but if circumstances change, it can leave your elderly loved ones that are using the granny flat in a vulnerable situation.
The agreement is also used by Centrelink for assessing aged pensions and determining if your parents or grandparents are homeowners or eligible for other payments like rent assistance.
- Choosing the right builder
In normal circumstances building a granny flat can be a large endeavour to embark on, but throw in the added element of liaising with older family members, and potentially the wider family if they are involved, and you are going to have your hands full. This means you need a builder that you can trust to make everything easy for you, who understands the type of project this is, and that has excellent communication and client support systems so you can focus on your family. You want a builder who knows the ins and outs of building for elderly family members, and particularly one with experience designing and building for accessibility and special needs.
If you are looking for the right builder to help you find the right granny flat for your parents or grandparents, we are here to help. With over 35 years of experience building award-winning granny flats, you can trust us to ensure you get the best solution for your family.
If you’d like to know more about how a granny flat can be the right option for your parents or grandparents, our team would love to hear from you.
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