Answers to Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Granny Flats

Granny flats are like small cottages that are built on a home's property, usually the backyard. These are meant to accommodate an elderly parent but of course they can also be used for teenagers returning home from school, for visitors, and the like. If you're thinking about a granny flat on your homestead, note a few commonly asked questions about these structures so you can then discuss the option with a builder.

1. Are granny flats attached or detached? 

Typically a granny flat can be constructed either way; this would depend on your own preferences, the footprint of your lot and if the flat must be attached to fit in your lot, and so on. Your builder can note the best choice for you so you have easy access to the flat and so that it doesn't make your property or home seem crowded.

2. Can granny flats be personalized?

Granny flats will need to be built to standard building codes when it comes to electrical, plumbing, and the like, but if you're concerned about additional features for these flats, that will be up to you and your builder. You might need a wheelchair ramp rather than steps, as an example. Your flat might include extra smoke alarms if your elderly parent smokes, or you might prefer a larger kitchen than what comes with most standard designs. As long as the flat adheres to local building codes, the rest of the construction is usually up to you and your builder.

3. Can granny flats be built on battle-axed blocks?

Battle-axed blocks are those that are two blocks of land behind each other, with just a narrow lane giving access to the street. There may be limitations as to building a granny flat on such a block, depending on its overall size and the size of the lane. Don't assume you can't have a granny flat on your battle-axed block but ask your builder as he or she can tell you if your block meets the criteria for a granny flat.

4. What other costs might be incurred when building a granny flat?

If you're working with a granny flat builder, you want to think about any added costs you might incur beyond what they charge you. This might include clearing your lot of trees and such, putting in a retaining wall, removing the sprinklers on your lawn, and the like. Have a builder visit your lot to note any of these needed changes and be sure you're ready to face those expenses in addition to the building expenses of the granny flat itself.