The backyard is becoming the safest, most affordable place to spend time with the kids, friends and neighbours. The active spaces you create have many functions, and these must be considered to get the most out of the final layout. Some prefer having a swimming pool, a backyard bar or a gourmet food garden. But have you ever thought of building a granny flat in your backyard?
Granny flats are fast becoming popular across Canada, Australia, British Columbia and the United States. They fall into two main types; attached and detached. Attached granny flats are extensions to an existing home or rooms that are converted to be used as granny flats. These are better suited to larger homes with unused rooms. Our main focus is detached granny flats. These self-contained units, usually with one or two bedrooms, are placed external to your existing home. They are commonly set up in the backyard of your property.
So how big does your backyard need to be to fit a granny flat? If a swimming pool can fit in your backyard, a granny flat can probably fit too. Many people assume accessory living spaces require expansive spaces and complex infrastructure but there are different modules of granny flats to fit your space and needs. Not all are as complicated as they look.
Granny flats range from 25sqm units to large 80sqm three bedrooms, two-storey options. Professional architects and designers team up with builders to deliver a cost-effective and quality finish build. The first step in figuring out the best unit for your backyard is calling in an architect and designer to the prospective site. Many companies that construct granny flats have their in-house architects and designers.
On many occasions, once you have decided on the size and design of your granny flat the unit is pre-made and assembled at your backyard. These units are moveable and are designed specifically to be temporary. You can pack and leave with them as you move houses.
Your backyard may not be level, and you may want to keep all the contours. When a site is on a slope, the design may have built-in steel stumps so that the natural ground level is not disturbed. By having the house raised it gives natural ventilation, extra storage space, access to plumbing and services, and removes any risk from termites. Additional landscaping may be done around the unit just to make it blend in seamlessly and add an extra touch to the aesthetic.
Granny flats range from single bedroom units to three bedroom units. They come with a bathroom and a kitchen. All associated fixtures are designed specifically to your requirements, budget and lifestyle needs. Many builders can deliver spacious, stunning designs with high ranking ceilings and hardwood timber finishing. The options are endless.
Now you must be wondering, what happens to the plumbing and the electrical installations? Granny flats can either have their own electrical inlet or may share one with the main house. Depending on your requirements, an independent meter may be installed for the unit. Most young adult members of the family who might occupy the unit prefer sharing electricity with the main house. On the other hand, if the unit is for your grandparents, they may opt for a separate meter to foster their need for independence. All that is required to calculate their electricity bill is just their percentage use from the total electricity usage.
Electricity usage can be monitored easily, and consequently, power can be saved. Power saving installations can be used in granny flats ranging from halogen incandescent to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Air conditioning and daytime light can be exclusively natural depending on the design used.
When it comes to plumbing installations, the possibilities are endless. It all depends on the size of your unit and specifically your bathroom and kitchen. There are granny flats that have bathtubs and rain showerheads while some can only fit small wall-mounted showerheads. Kitchen plumbing fixtures can range from large, double bowl; stainless steel kitchen sinks with two faucets to simple small single bowl sinks. For this miniature living spaces the simpler the design, the better the outcome.
Perhaps you don’t want a granny flat to house your grandparents or your adult child. Granny houses can be used as rental units to generate extra income if residential regulations allow it. They can also be extra living spaces in your property to serve as offices, studios, or guest quarters.
To choose the best option for you, consult different companies. From a simple Google search, you can get in touch with many companies in your area that build these granny flats. There are renowned companies that do superb builds at pocket-friendly prices. Pick up a brochure or check out websites to have conclusive information.
It will also be prudent to find out the laws governing granny flats and house extensions in your area. Construction of granny flats has both legal and tax implications depending on where your residence is and the purpose of your build. Consult the municipality before you proceed with building a unit.
Whether you have a small patio or an extensive backyard, there is a granny flat suitable for you.