The concept of granny flats is widely spread across Australia, so many people are interested in building a granny flat. But what is a granny flat? It’s a type of secondary dwelling built on someone’s land.
As its name suggests, this type of construction is usually intended for accommodating an elderly family member, such as a granny. It’s usually designed for two people.
Also, a granny flat falls into the category of accessory apartments. Some other terms refer to the same thing, such as mother-in-law unit, bonus unit, casita, and carriage unit. In Hawaii, it’s called the “ohana unit”. And “ohana” means extended family.
But despite what it’s called, this type of dwelling is not intended only for grannies, you can also use it to host younger family members or rent it out. However, some zoning laws or specific deed restrictions do not allow granny flats to be rented.
So, if you’re from Sydney, it’s essential to understand your custom granny flats in Sydney options and choose the best one to suit your needs, requirements, and budget.
Custom Granny Flats in Sydney Options and Legal Requirements
Before looking at your custom granny flats Sydney options, it’s important to know the fact that you don’t need council approval to build a granny flat in this part of Australia, according to The State Environmental Planning Policy, namely the one referring to “Affordable Rental Housing,” which was introduced back in 2009. Granny flats can represent actual homes, accessory apartments, or dwelling units.
According to Australian legislation, you can’t build a granny flat before you build a house. You should also know that the rules for building and using granny flats can differ from one region to another. For instance, for the New South Wales part, the maximum size of this type of dwelling should not exceed 60 square meters.
Another rule concerns the distance from the surrounding trees. Thus, if the trees are more than 6 m tall, they should be about 3 m from the granny flat.
Therefore, landscaping is an important part of the whole deal, and you should base your choice of granny flat design and size depending on the available space. Many granny flats are made to resemble full-sized units. That means they also include kitchens.
Other variants don’t have kitchens, only a few basic appliances such as a microwave and a mini-fridge. That means that there are fewer safety concerns than in the case of fully-equipped kitchens. Of course, how you decide to design and equip your granny flat depends on who will live in it.
How about Building a Granny Flat and Renting it Out?
As mentioned before, building a granny flat and renting it out can be a good option for many homeowners. It can be an excellent way to make some extra cash.
So, custom granny flats options can be great for people who need to pay off their mortgage or have retired. Depending on your granny flat’s location and overall appearance, you can generally earn a few hundred dollars every week.
But before renting it out, you should do some research into your local legislation and also consider that such legislation is likely to change from time to time.
So, checking it up frequently is a must. For example, in New South Wales, you need to obtain council approval, ensure that your building complies with specific building standards, and follow rental legislation in this region.
A good idea is to look for professional advice and thus make sure that you meet all the requirements for renting your granny flat.
What Are the Advantages of a Granny Flat?
Whether you rent it or not, building a granny flat has many advantages. For one thing, it can provide your elderly family member(s) with a sense of independence. Custom granny flats options usually have their private front doors. There can also be some hidden internal doors connecting the granny flat to the main house.
A granny flat can have excellent emotional and psychological benefits because it makes its inhabitants feel more independent and free. Thus, this type of flat can be a great way to strengthen family relationships.
Grandparents can spend more time with their grandchildren, while parents can save money they would have otherwise spent on childcare support.
So, although family members can help each other, they will still have separate private areas to live and spend time in.
It’s not just about increasing your family’s level of happiness and independence. A granny flat will surely increase your home’s resale value.
The fact that you have already obtained permission to build an extension to your house and rent it out will make your property more desirable to potential buyers in the future, whether your granny flat is directly connected to the main house or not.
Can a Granny Flat Be Detached?
Some people would like their granny flat to be detached from the main home, while others would prefer to keep the two structures connected. Deciding between these two options is one of the things you need to do before building a granny flat.
Like home extensions, attached granny flats have at least one wall shared with the main house. Opting for this variant can help you better use your available space.
And it can be a good choice for those who want to be closer to their loved ones. On the other hand, a freestanding granny flat can be more desirable for renting. They are also cheaper to build than their attached counterparts.
Can I Convert My Garage into a Granny Flat?
Those looking for affordable solutions may wonder if they can convert other house annexes, such as a garage, into a granny flat. Well, that can be feasible if your garage is less than 60 m in size. Also, you would probably need a permit for that conversion.
Many people choose this option because it can be very practical and help bring in extra income. It can also be rented to family members.