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What is a Granny Flat?

A small wooden house surrounded by trees

A granny flat is basically an additional unit of housing constructed inside a family property. As it may also be a stand-alone home, it has its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom, and living space. Some granny flats are made by converting spaces such as garage, basement, or attic into a comfortable living space either for an elderly member of the family or for rental. This provides solutions to some family concerns on eventual life changes over time.

A typical granny flat ranges from 250 to 1200 square feet in dimension and can be custom-built, mobile, or flat-pack.

REASONS TO OPT FOR GRANNY FLATS

Granny flat projects have a lot of advantages to the family and to the community.

Help with the family finances

As mentioned, granny flats can serve several purposes. It can either be a living space for old family members or relatives, thus its name ‘granny flat.’ By providing them with their home in the family property, the family can save a great deal of money to construct a totally new house in a different property. Besides, some cities also have expensive housing costs which make granny flats a good option. Since granny flats are typically smaller in scale than regular houses, its construction expenses are also minimal.

On the other hand, granny flats may also serve as rental spaces or Air BnB properties that can provide additional income to the family.

Be with family members

For granny flats built for the sole purpose of providing a home to family members, another advantage is that the family gets to stay all in one neighborhood. This can give more time to spend with each other and easier to take care of aged family members who might need constant monitoring.

Extra storage

As an additional living space, granny flats can also offer extra storage space for the family. It can also transform a neglected space, such as an attic or a garage, into a beautiful space. Moreover, it can also get rid of some junk that is already unnecessary. With extra storage, this will create a more comfortable ambiance for the family.

Available space for visiting friends and relatives

Some families may consider granny flats as guest rooms for friends or relatives who might give them a visit on weekends or holidays. This can save the visiting friends and family the money they would have spent on Air BnB rentals or hotels, and this would also help create more bonding moments with the entire clan.

Minimal living

Some people prefer to live minimally, or some are attracted to small living spaces. A granny flat can either be this. Besides, the idea of transforming a small space into a cozy living space can even be art or therapeutical to some people.

Local Business Advantage

With additional people living in the community through these granny flats, local businesses can enjoy a denser population’s benefits. This would mean that there will be more people that can avail of their local products and services.

BUILDING PERMITS AND CONCERNS

So, if you are already planning to build your own customized granny flat in your property, here are some things you need first to do before actually starting the construction.

You need to bear in mind that a granny flat is an additional unit that needs utility, maintenance, and insurance expenses. It would help if you finalized all the possible costs. This includes the additional costs for electricity, water, ventilation, heating. You also need expenses for the maintenance of the space, including its cleaning and supplies. If you decided to build a granny flat to be rented or be an Air BnB property, you must also have shed extra expenses to have the unit insured so you can protect your property.

Building an additional unit, the property is usually allowed. However, there are local regulations on building properties in your community that you need to research just to be sure. These regulations include the homeowners’ association (HOA) or the area’s city zoning regulations.

In some cities, a lot of documents are needed to have a building permit. This includes the Development Application (DA) required by the local council.

Once a permit is granted, a house owner may now contact contractors to help with the construction. An advantage of having a contractor is that they can also help with the paperwork and other extra permits.

A granny flat is indeed a great way to keep the family members together or nearby. It can also be a worthy investment for the family, and for some, it is an amazing way to revive a neglected space by converting it into a family space of love and bond.

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