All You Need To Know And More About Granny Flats

September 22, 2017

If you have the space available in your backyard, then you could consider building a granny flat that an aging parent can use for living in or to rent out to earn a rental income. These flats come in a large number of sizes and configurations, including custom-built, flat-pack, transportable, and pre-fabricated. While these flats are becoming increasingly popular, the rules and regulations that need compliance vary from state to state and even different councils may have their own rules. Some useful tips:

Who Is Eligible To Build Granny Flats?

Generally, if you have space, you are eligible to build a granny flat, but you will need to examine in detail the rules and regulation of the council, because each council may have guidelines that are specific and different from others. You will usually be required to file a development application with your council. Check whether your council charges any fee because some council’s fees can make the flat prohibitively expensive. Quite a few states have their own rules about the minimum lot size, the maximum size of the flat, who can reside, and to whom it can be rented, so be sure to check out thoroughly the rules of your local council. The Building Code of Australia is applicable on all granny flats.

Are Granny Flats Commercially Lucrative?

According to realtors, rental income can be really very lucrative in the top cities. While the cost of building a custom-built granny flat with a couple of bedrooms would be around $1,30,000, the rental per week can be as much as $720 in a city like Sydney. Many pre-fabricated and transportable granny houses can be substantially cheaper, but if your property is a premium one, then there’s no reason for you to skimp. Depending on the rules of your state and council, you could even put the flat on Airbnb and enjoy rental income from holidaymakers.

How To Finalize The Flat Design And Budget?

Both the design, as well as the amount required for construction, has a significant bearing on the ROI of your granny flat. The best way of getting a fix on the design is to search online for something that you really like. Alternatively, you can work with an architect for a design that is completely custom-built. Then get in touch with a supplier of custom-built flats who will be able to give you a working estimate of the cost. If you do not want to go to all through that trouble, you should look at suppliers of pre-fabricated flats that you will love for their simple utilitarian design and low cost.


Once you have settled on the design and budget, you need to investigate and plan out the service connections like storm-water drains and sewers, as well as easements. You will want to ensure that your plans do not conflict with the underground layout of the existing property. Many people tend to underestimate the importance of the connections, but it is good to keep in mind that this can vitally affect the layout of the granny flat you are trying to build.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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