Are you considering building a granny flat alongside your new home? With house prices skyrocketing and multigenerational living becoming more popular, granny flats are a versatile and valuable addition to many new homes. So what are the ins and outs of creating granny flat floor plans that are the perfect fit for your needs? Read on to find out!
What is a Granny Flat?
A granny flat is a secondary dwelling that serves as a second inhabitable structure on an existing property. Inhabitable means the dwelling includes bathroom facilities and a kitchen. Basically, someone can live in this as though it were a small house independent of your home, even though it is part of the same property. They can be attached or detached from the main home and can vary in design.
Despite the name, granny flats aren’t just an option for elder relatives and can be versatile in their uses, including:
- Older family members who want to remain independent but close to family.
- Teenagers or grown children
- A guest room for visitors
- Rent out to tenants
Living situations with a granny flat can vary from the main homeowner and tenant having little to do with each other, or both spending lots of time together. Whatever you prefer, it’s best to make it clear in the beginning and come to an understanding. For example, if you don’t want your tenant to enter your house and use your facilities, make this crystal clear from the get-go. We’d recommend you make it clear that you have to give notice before entering the granny flat to show you’re reasonable.
Changes to Granny Flat Regulations
Last year, the Queensland Government made changes that ease the restrictions on who can rent. The inspiration for these changes can be attributed to rising living costs, the lingering economic and social impacts of the pandemic.
Anyway, these changes open up who you can rent to and reduce the hoops you need to jump through to do this. The main difference is an easing of restrictions that allows you to rent your space to any tenant.
What are the benefits of a granny flat?
There are a range of benefits to having a granny flat on your property. Whether you looking to create a living space for a loved one or just want somewhere to rent to tenants, here are some of the pros to building a second dwelling.
Create a Multigenerational Living Space
Though multigenerational living has been the norm in certain European and Asian countries for centuries, in Australia it’s always been more niche. However, over the last few decades, more people are turning to this option for both financial and social reasons.
Perhaps your parents have retired and want to sell the old family home and move somewhere more manageable. A granny flat provides them with this chance while also allowing them to spend their golden years with their grandchildren.
Provides an opportunity for extra income
One of the most popular reasons for building a granny flat is the opportunity to rent the space to tenants. The extra income can help you pay off your mortgage or just give you some extra spending money. When it comes to renting, do some research into your local rental market. Knowing who is looking to rent will help you create the perfect design to attract tenants.
Increases the value of your property
For the above reasons, a granny flat can add a significant amount of value to your home. It can also help give your home an edge in the real estate market. What will help increase the value of your granny flat includes things like:
- Making sure it aesthetically matches the rest of the home.
- You’re in a high-demand rental area (near transport, facilities, education facilities, etc).
What is the average size of a granny flat floor plan?
A secondary dwelling can be a maximum house area of 80 square metres, with most granny flats falling somewhere between 60-80 sqm. Anything that exceeds 80 square metres will require a development application. The chances of this being successful will depend on what you’re requesting and the reasoning behind it.
How much does it cost to build a granny flat?
The average granny flat in Queensland is around $120,000. However, keep in mind this number can vary wildly depending on various factors including:
- Size of your granny flat
- Builder you choose.
- Building materials
- Where you’re building
- How many bedrooms your granny’s flat has
- The features you choose to include to have in your granny flat floor plans
Is a granny flat suitable for my property?
A granny flat can be an incredible addition to a home that provides extra living space for family members or tenants. Your property will need to have the space to comfortably accommodate a granny flat, so talk to a builder about the logistics of this.
Our top tips for helping you choose a granny flat floor plan
Consider why you’re building a granny flat in the first place
It might sound basic, but knowing why you’re building a granny flat will provide the foundation for you to choose the right design for you. For example, a granny flat you’ll build for your Mum will be different than one you’d design to rent out for tenants. In the first example, you can add specific features to suit your mother’s lifestyle and needs, while in the second example, you’d want something more universal and functional.
Take into account your budget
Though not as expensive as a house, a granny flat is still a big investment that could cause financial problems if you don’t plan accordingly. Understanding your budget and having a realistic idea of what you can afford is a huge step to making the rest of the building process a smoother experience.
Hire a builder who specialises in granny flats.
Like any profession, every builder will have their specialities. There are builders out there who specialise in granny flats which have a range of benefits for you the consumer. For one, they’ll have a wider range of granny flat designs and may even be able to customise something for you. Second, they’ll know the regulations and which approvals you need to acquire. Many will even help you with all the paperwork.
Check your local council regulations
Regardless of the building project, we can’t stress how important it is to double-check local council guidelines to ensure you comply. Finding out you’ve infringed during construction or after you’ve finished your build can lead to expensive fines and you being required to fix any offending parts of your building.