A granny flat (technically known in planning jargon as Dependent Accommodation) is a great way of adding additional living space to your property. Of course, it doesn’t mean that a granny flat has to be used exclusively for the housing of an elderly relative — far from it! There are a multitude of different uses that it can be put to increase your living space and enhance your family’s lifestyle.
The key difference between a granny flat and other types of home extension is that a granny flat exists as a separate structure (although it nevertheless needs to be connected in some way to the main dwelling). Usually located in the back garden, granny flats are generally self-contained and will often include a kitchenette and bathroom. Obviously the precise design will depend on your specific needs, but a small bedroom and lounge/dining room can produce a compact yet comfortable living space. Therefore, rather than being a home extension in the conventional sense, a granny flat is a linked extension that is nevertheless a separate functional space detached from the rest of the house, with its own entrance and facilities.
As the name suggests, granny flats are very often used for housing older family members who want to retain some independence, but are perhaps of an age or disposition where they need regular assistance and someone close at hand. They are a great way of providing light touch care so that some sense of independence can be retained, but with the added reassurance of having other family members always near by.
With our experience and expertise, we can ensure that any granny flat design takes into account the specific needs that elderly people may have in terms of easy accessibility and functionality, and we can include ramps and other mobility features as required.
Adding a granny flat extension can also make sense economically. For an older relative downsizing, for instance, it is a considerably cheaper alternative to buying or renting a unit, or going into a form of care facility, where the costs can be very high and are ongoing. There is also the added advantage that adding a granny flat adds overall value to your property.
A further benefit is that, unlike some other home extension projects, a granny flat can be constructed with minimal disruption to the rest of your home and so you can continue living largely as normal during the construction period.
Despite the name, there are of course a multitude of purposes and uses for a granny flat beyond housing an older member of the family. For teenagers or older children, it provides an ideal way of giving them some independence while still being able to keep an eye on them. This also frees up extra living space in the main house for other purposes.
Likewise if you have children at university or in further education — they get the space they need to study in peace without being burdened by excessive rental or mortgage costs when they are just getting started on the road towards work and professional life. Similarly, a granny flat extension can also provide a useful stop-gap for older children saving to get on to the property ladder, while still enabling them to live a relatively independent lifestyle.
A granny flat can also be an ideal solution if you regularly have friends or family visiting from interstate or overseas. They have the ability to come and go as they need to without affecting the family’s regular routines, while you are still able to make the most of their visit by having them close by.
And of course, the concept of a space that is semi-detached from the house can also be translated into a range of other uses as well — home office, home theatre, studio, gym or exercise room, freeing up living space in your home for other purposes, such as an extra bedroom or a renovated and expanded living/dining area.
There are some rules and regulations in place regarding adding a granny flat extension in Adelaide and these can, in some cases, vary from council to council. However, as we are highly experienced home extension builders, we understand the requirements and are used to working within the guidelines of different councils within the Adelaide metropolitan area. In most cases, however, the restrictions aren’t too onerous and permission is usually given, and we are happy to take on all aspects of a development application on your behalf.
If your property meets the following conditions, you should get approval to add a granny flat extension in Adelaide. Your block will need to be at least 600m2, while the floor area of the extension cannot exceed 60m2 (or 70% of the total area of your existing home). There also needs to be at least 100m2 of outdoor space available that is accessible to both dwellings. In addition, there needs to be on-site car parking available. In terms of design, your granny flat extension needs to be constructed from materials and in colours that are in keeping with the main dwelling, and it needs to be attached in some way to your home (through a pergola, verandah or something similar).
You also need to take into account where access to services are located on your property, like stormwater drains, easements and sewers, as this will have an impact on location, design and construction.
At Builders At Your Service, we offer consultation, design and construction services, and so can help you throughout the process of building a granny flat extension to your Adelaide home. We can engage with local councils on your behalf, and then design a home extension that meets all guidelines and regulations, as well as fulfilling your needs in terms of space and lifestyle expectations. Call Gavan on (08) 8281 6010 or get in touch via email and we can help you to make a start.