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What Exactly Is A Granny Flat?

A granny flat is a sign of the times – an older population who are healthy and independent enough to live on their terms. It’s a concept that respects boundaries and maximises economic advantage while making more significant family interaction possible with the accommodation of elders.

In a sense, it’s like a duplex – with the second unit or apartment adjacent to the main house, suitable for one to two people. It’s also been called an in-law apartment, guest house, or accessory dwelling unit (ADU). Its size would be closer to a tiny home than a traditional one.

Why Have A Granny Flat?

There are two great reasons for having granny flats. First, a granny flat keeps ageing family members nearby where you can keep an eye on them. The stress of worrying about how they are faring alone and how they are treated if they’re staying in a senior home is diminished.

Having them in a self-contained unit allows them to exercise their independence. No one loves being old – and the idea that they are right next door to loved ones but still able to take care of themselves gives seniors a sense of pride and affirmation.

In Australia, granny flat agreements ensure one or both parents are accommodated in an offspring’s home. Sometimes, parents build a granny home on a child’s property.

With your parents close by, you are sure to sleep better. In some way, it’s an amusing reversal of roles from when you were a teen. Best of all, by keeping your elderly loved ones nearby, you save thousands in residential care costs.

The second reason having a granny flat is a sound idea is that it can increase property value significantly without investing heavily in a separate lot. Keeping two homes doubles the overhead – having two homes in one lot cuts maintenance costs while keeping each unit autonomous.

Renting out vacant granny homes for extra income is practical – with rising rental costs, this makes it an excellent investment. Tenants won’t bother you like roommates can because they live in a separate, private space. Here’s a source to calculate the potential return-on-investment (ROI) if you were to have the unit leased out.

CoreLogic, a reputable company based in California that provides business intelligence, estimates that granny homes can add rental value up to 27% and increase property value by as much as 30%.

What Exactly Is A Granny Flat?

What Is In A Granny Flat?

In Australia, granny flats are self-contained units 38 to 60 square meters in size and usually no taller than 3.8 meters. Construction follows regulations established by the local council.

Granny flats can be a studio or a multi-room apartment. They are built with easy access for the occupants in mind. Having doors that fit a wheelchair and installing safety bars in the bathroom are sound ideas.

The kitchen is big enough for seniors and usually includes an island or breakfast bar serving as a dining area. Bigger units may have ensuite rooms and a separate laundry room.

Building Granny Flats

Well-planned granny flats are equipped with many extras that don’t make them seem like a poor cousin to the central unit. Despite their name, these units sport a sleek, modern, minimalist look. It’s a far cry from attic and basement rooms of the past that were plain, lacking style and functionality.

The basics of a granny home include a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. Convenient and safe, granny homes have electrical, water, phone, and gas connections. Essential details include air-conditioning, TV antennas, smoke alarms, heating, and safety locks.

Granny flats are like tiny homes – with their building plans, permits, and inclusions. Building one doesn’t have to be a painful, stressful project. The modern planning and construction of granny flats make it easy to have customisable apartments that pass building standards fast.

A granny flat is not necessarily a newly constructed unit. It can be something that had already existed in your backyard or basement – that was renovated to meet the specs and requirements of a granny home. Once built, it can be altered at costs that won’t break the bank to accommodate your growing space needs.

Granny flats provide extra storage space and can double as office space for those who often work from home. It’s functional and sparks joy for its occupants regardless of age.


Having elderly members living in a granny flat relieves you of the stress of having strangers care for them in a residential or nursing home. But granny flats aren’t just for the elderly. These self-contained units can also serve as rental homes or home offices. Overall, a granny home is an investment that increases any home’s property value.

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