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Essential Questions To Ask A Granny Flat Builder

Essential Questions To Ask A Granny Flat Builder

In the face of a volatile economy with high interest and mortgage rates, the Australian government is encouraging the construction of granny flats as smarter housing options. Indeed, granny flats have become a more cost-effective approach to housing while doubling as a viable investment for those with the resources.

If you’re considering building a granny flat, keep reading for essential questions to ask a granny flat builder.

Are you licensed and insured?

Building a granny flat is a considerable investment. As such, you want to choose a licensed builder. You can use the NSW Fair Trading website’s license check tool. The online tool will provide the following:

  • License holder’s name
  • License number
  • Categories or types
  • Status

When you work with a licensed contractor, you’re protecting yourself and your investment, so it’s best to get that assurance immediately.

How long has the company been in business?

This can give you a good gauge of their experience. Moreover, you can follow it up with the question, ‘How many granny flats have you built?’

There’s a different approach to building granny flats than houses and other projects, and clarifying the builder’s expertise from the get-go ensures you’re working with a seasoned professional.

What kind of warranties do you offer?

If the builder doesn’t give you a five-year warranty, at the very least, find another one. Additionally, top contractors will be fully insured. These warranties and insurances can include the following:

  • Builders’ all-risk insurance: This covers the granny flat and the house during construction.
  • Homeowners’ warranty: This is the structural warranty. Most builders offer this for five to six years.

Working with a fully-insured builder protects your investment and gives you peace of mind.

Do you comply with the Granny Flat Regulations?

While NSW residents don’t need council approval to build a granny flat, the property should meet the minimum requirements. These include the following:

  • The property must be at least 450 square meters (sqm)
  • The property must have residential zoning
  • The granny flat must be a maximum of 60 sqm

An experienced granny flat builder NSW can tell you if you meet the requirements and advise you on what steps to take otherwise.

Do you allow your clients to modify the design?

The top granny flat builders have a selection of excellent designs. However, it’s inevitable to have special requests to accommodate your unique lifestyle needs. As such, discussing your needs and vision with the builder will allow them to recommend floor plans that suit your property and lifestyle.

What are the inclusions?

The standard inclusions will vary even among the top granny flat builders. However, it’s best to look for one that offers the following:

  • Electrical and plumbing
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom and laundry
  • Internal and external fittings

Some builders will offer cheap quotes, but the inclusions are minimised. This may not be ideal, as finding another contractor to create the above-mentioned areas could cost you more. So, whether the granny flat is for personal use or an investment, it should have all the amenities you’d expect from a home.

Can you show samples of your previous work?

Established contractors won’t hesitate to show you samples of their previous work, as it’s a standing testimonial to their quality of work. Larger companies will even have showrooms you can visit, allowing you to walk in the space and visualise how you can make it your own.

If they can’t show you samples, it’s best to move on from that builder.

How long does the building process take?

While most 60-sqm granny flats take around 12-16 weeks to build, asking this question gives you an idea of how confident your builder is. Seasoned contractors can take one look at your property, floor plan and inclusion requests and have a general idea of the timeline.

Will you take care of the site excavation?

A granny flats builder usually takes care of preparing the site for construction and clearing debris and other obstacles. However, if the site has structures that need to be demolished, this will entail extra costs.

How long does it take to get a Granny Flat Approved?

On average, the approval process can take 10-14 days. Established builders usually take care of this for clients, so all you have to do is wait. And with the Australian government encouraging more granny flat construction, there are programs to help facilitate approval.

Final Words

It’s critical to have a good relationship with your granny flat builder. Not only will you be in constant communication for months, but you’re also entrusting the quality of your investment to them. As such, it’s best to clarify everything before you start the process, ensuring all bases are covered and concerns addressed. This will allow you to enjoy the building process as you witness your vision come to fruition.

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