Adding a granny flat, also known as a secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit, to your property can provide extra living space for elderly parents, adult children, long-term guests, or even rental income. However, as per experts like Granny Flat Solutions building one requires careful planning and consideration to create a comfortable, functional, and legally compliant dwelling. Here are six key things to keep in mind when you build a Granny Flat.

What is a Granny Flat?

Firstly, a granny flat is a self-contained residential structure built in the backyard or on the same grounds as an existing house. It contains basic living amenities like a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, and living area. Granny flats share the gardens and some facilities of the main house and can be attached or detached. 

Choose the Right Spot on Your Property 

When deciding on positioning, look at access, sunlight, views, distance to the main house, and privacy. An attached granny flat can be less costly than a detached one but may limit backyard access. Think about positioning windows and entries carefully for both the flat and main home.

Optimize the Floor Plan

As granny flats have limited space, it’s vital to optimize the layout. Plan functional areas like sleeping, cooking, bathing and storage cleverly. Multi-purpose furniture like sofa beds, fold-out tables and cabinet storage can maximise available room. Consider easy-access for mature residents as well.  

Research Local Council Rules

There are often special planning permissions, size limits, height allowances and land space rules for granny flats. Research these thoroughly so your build complies, avoiding costly reworking. Council approval can take from 6 weeks to 6 months too!  

Get Accurate Quotes Upfront 

A detailed, fixed-price quote from the start prevents budget blowouts. Get quotes from several builders as prices vary greatly. Ensure the quote includes all materials, labor, fittings, amenities, relevant permits and taxes. Check if water, power and sewage systems need upgrading to support the granny flat.

Make it Feel Like Home

Finally, add those personal touches to make it welcoming like stylish furnishing, comfortable bedding, private garden access, plus attention to good lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation. Consider clandestine assistive devices and technologies too. These small details create a warm, enjoyable living space.

Building or renovating to include a granny flat is rewarding but does require significant planning, time and money. By considering these six key factors, your project will go more smoothly, stay on-budget, and ultimately provide a practical, relaxing, and legally approved home for your loved ones.

Key Takeaways  

– Research council regulations thoroughly before building

– Choose a site with accessibility, sunlight and privacy 

– Maximize available space with a well-designed, multi-use layout

– Get precise quotes covering all projected costs upfront

– Allow ample time as approvals can take months   

– Add fixtures and furnishings that make it warm and welcoming

What are the key benefits of a granny flat?

Granny flats allow elderly family members to have independent living spaces while still being close by for support from relatives. They can also suit returning young adults, guests or lodgers. Plus, they may add property value by bringing in rental income.

What size should a granny flat be? 

The maximum size is often controlled by local councils, commonly up to 60 square metres. Focus on functionality over size, optimizing the layout and multi-functioning spaces to make even a modest flat workable. 

How much do granny flats cost to build?

Dependent on size, fittings and detached vs. attached, costs often range from $60k up to $150k. Quotes vary greatly so get several fixed-price quotes. Check for additional fees too.

Can a granny flat be rented out?

If suitable for habitation, yes. However restrictions on short stay rentals may exist. Some councils have occupancy conditions requiring a relative to live there. Check rules in your local area regarding renting out a granny flat. 

What are the best materials for granny flats?

Lightweight panels like weatherboard, fiber cement sheeting or insulated sandwich style panels speed construction, suit restricted budgets and keep cool in summer while insulating well during winter. Sturdy construction and eco-friendly materials provide durable comfort.