Using a Contractor to Improve Your Home

Building a Granny Flat: Commonly Asked Questions

Increasing numbers of Australians are choosing to extend their homes so they can accommodate an elderly relative. Commonly known as granny flats, these extensions can also be used to house teenagers returning home from University for the summer break and overnight visitors to your home. Below are the answers to some common questions people have about building a granny flat.

Do granny flats need to be attached to the main property?

While the majority of granny flats take the form of extensions to an existing property, you also have the option of building a stand-alone, cottage-like structure on your land. However, this will depend on the amount of space you have available and your ability to gain planning permission from the local council. Unattached granny flats are typically more expensive to construct compared to an extension to an existing property.

Can I customise the granny flat?

While granny flats will need to meet local building codes in regards to the plumbing, electrical services and other utilities, you do have the option to also add custom fittings to the granny flat such as wheelchair access, wide corridors and doorways, special light fittings and handrails. You should discuss any customisations with your builder.

Is there anywhere I cannot build a granny flat?

The only location you will have trouble building a granny flat is on a battle-axed block. A battle-axed block is an area of land which is located behind another, with a narrow pathway which gives access to the street. Many local authorities have zoning laws which severely limit construction on battle-axed blocks. You should speak to your builder before you begin work for further advice on how to proceed.

Is there any additional cost I might incur during the construction of a granny flat?

When working with your building team to plan the construction of the granny flat, you should carefully consider any additional cost. This cost may include:

  • Clearing trees from the site
  • Building a retaining wall
  • Removing lawn sprinklers
  • Removal of contaminated soil

You should ask the builder to carry out a pre-work inspection so they can advise you of any additional cost which you may incur during the construction of the granny flat on your property. 

If you would like to find out more about the process of building a granny flat or constructing an extension on your property, you should contact a professional building company near you.