By definition, a granny flat is a segment of a house that serves as a self-contained accommodation for the elderly. Also known as an accessory dwelling unit (the official term), it is becoming more popular, stylish, and affordable than ever.
In general, this housing solution is an ideal option for an aging parent who wants to remain close to the family but maintain independence at the same time. However, this is just a fraction of what is possible, as granny flats have evolved far beyond some cramped boxes wrapped in floral wallpapers.
New way of living
Typically located in single-family homes, granny flats host one or two elderly people. They can be completely attached to or separated from the rest of the main household. We can put them in the tiny house category, which is undergoing a resurgence in popularity. Another trend that contributed to the upswing of granny flats is the proliferation of multigenerational living.
Although the name suggests they accommodate only grandparents, granny flats can also be home to nannies or young adults, or even utilized as workshops, hobby spaces, or home offices. And provided that zoning laws and deed restriction don’t prevent it, they can be used as rental units as well.
Some other obstacles to fulfilling your vision could come in the form of neighbourhood covenants, municipal statutes, and other regulations and laws.
A game plan
Naturally, constructing from scratch is way more expensive than improving an existing home. But it should be noted that adding a granny flat boosts the value of the property significantly. Besides, it is possible to generate a monthly income via a rental arrangement.
This brings us to the point that granny flat projects can pay off in more than one way. What is more, there are many tactics to conserve spending. To do this, you need to seek trusted local contractors, such as these Sydney-based home builders, who have successfully handled a variety of building projects. Granny flats are huge right now across Australia, so you should be able to find a builder wherever you are.
Furthermore, note that the rise of the modular and prefabricated construction industry has spurred innovative solutions that cut the time needed for completing projects, as well as the amount of resources that have to be put into them. Therefore, explore all the avenues and figure out the best approach. Does it make sense to go for a prefabricated, custom-build, transportable, or even a flat-pack?
Next, let us address the benefits. On the most fundamental level, granny flats add more living space. They make homes more liveable and provide an extra, self-contained space that can be used in many ways.
There are some additional advantages as well. Firstly, the security increases with more people living on the same property. Secondly, tenants may share some amenities as well as transportation and perform maintenance tasks together. Finally, it is much easier to monitor the health of aging parents when they are just around the corner. And owing to the secluded nature of the granny flat, privacy, peace, and quiet can still be preserved.
A small wonder
You would be surprised how much can be squeezed into a small space. A smart designer can work wonders for the utility of a granny flat. Some spaces are actually miniature versions of fully-fledged housing units with a bunch of amenities like complete kitchens. Other spaces feature only mini fridges and kitchenettes.
There is also a trend called granny pod, which is basically a high-tech version of a conventional granny flat. It contains cutting-edge monitoring capabilities that provide remote access. Other science fiction-worthy features include timed medicine dispensers and toilets that conduct urine analysis.
Most often, though, when moving into such a unit, one’s lifestyle must be adjusted and belongings cut down. But this is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you dig a minimalist lifestyle and manage to make the most of the de-cluttering process.
Ready to make it happen?
Granny flats are a form of multigenerational housing that is gaining traction around the world. They are multipurpose, versatile structures that allow their owners and tenants to obtain various benefits. So, whether you want to tap into rental income, keep your family members close or increase the value of your property, a granny flat is the way to go.
Just make sure you form a budget and have an open conversation with other tenants. Come up with a building plan, grasp rules that apply in your area, and find builders who will finish the project to your utmost satisfaction.