Secrets to multi-generational homes
Many houses stand on large plots of land that can be challenging to manage. The addition of a small cottage or granny flat can have numerous benefits, as long as it’s planned correctly.
It can be used to house elderly relatives, or it can be rented out to generate extra income. Use it as an office, saving time and money on a commute.
What to consider before building a granny flat
Check with your local building commission, you may need permits and permission to build. Talk to the building commission or your local contractor or architect before you start planning. They will know the regulations involved in adding a new building to your property.
Have some wiggle room in your budget for unforeseen costs. Building projects are notorious for going over budget and over time, so be prepared by padding your budget.
Choose a reliable contractor. Speak to a number of different people who have undertaken similar building projects to find the right contractor.
Be wary of contractors who offer cheap labour, as they’ll most likely produce sub-par work. Seek recommendations and get quotes from a number of contractors before making your choice.
What are you going to use it for? If you’re planning to use it as a source of additional income, you should consider whether you want to leave it unfurnished, as this may attract renters who have their own furniture already.
If you want to use it as an office, you’ll have to furnish it accordingly as well.
Add safety and security features up front. If you have an alarm system in your house, it may be a simple task to expand it to the granny flat as well.
If the Grandma and Grandpa are living in the flat, add bathroom safety features during the construction phase for reduced costs and more durability.
The process of adding a granny flat
- Obtain permission from your local authorities to add onto your property. Usually, this is handled quickly and easily by your contractor.
- Get financing for the build, dependent on your budget, either by refinancing your current mortgage or by taking out a new, separate loan for the construction with your house as collateral.
- Hire the contractor and begin the project. Expect this to go over time and over budget. Consider hiring a design and build specialist to manage the entire project to save a lot of stress and worry.
Sign off on the build and enjoy your new addition.
Granny flats are a wonderful way to add value to your property or use as a second source of income.
They are a versatile addition that can have many functions over their lifespan, from a home office to an apartment for a loved one, to a rental property that is easy to manage.
While construction of the addition is slightly more complex than a house renovation, the rewards are well worth it if you do your planning and research beforehand to avoid any unexpected pitfalls during construction.