Granny flats are one of the leading ways that many families are allowing their elderly family members to age in place. This means they can have nursing care, be near family, and still keep their privacy and lifestyle as an alternative to assisted living or nursing home care. Granny flats are generally built to suit, although some are ready for delivery and set-up on your property. Before you order your granny flat, there are a few things you should know that may be overlooked.
Depending on where you are located, you may be facing some zoning limitations to building the granny flat. First, most areas to limit the number of additional buildings that can be placed on a certain amount of land space. This means, if you already have a free standing garage, work shed, or similar building you may not be able to actually build the granny flat as well. This doesn't mean you can't move forward, it simply means you may need to use the pre-existing building and remodel it, or you may need to find out if there are any permits you can get if the granny flat is a temporary option that can be removed as some can be.
Subdividing Your Property Should be Considered
The whole point of a granny flat is to serve as a second dwelling for your family member. One of the questions many zoning and permit offices may ask is if you will be subdividing the granny flat and land from your home and land. You would want to subdivide for things like separate utility bills, mailing address, and other similar needs. This is something you should consider strongly as it may change the zoning and permits you will be obtaining to get the granny flat either built or placed on site.
Detached or Attached Granny Flat
There is a misconception that the granny flat you choose must be a detached building. This isn't necessarily true. There is an increasing number of contractors who are offering granny flat options that are attached to the existing home. For example, they may remodel a garage to give it it's own entryway as well a small kitchen area and bathroom area. This may be the ideal way to get around zoning that prohibits a second or third building on your property as well.
By keeping these considerations in mind, you will be better prepared for placing the order or buying your granny flat. You will also be able to start the research process and answer questions about the purchase and permit questions that may arise with the contractor.