Investing in a new granny flat can be a great idea, but many planning and legal processes can get exhausting.

Whether you wish to accommodate more family members on your property or build additional living space for guests, building a granny flat can be quite rewarding. You can also house aging family members and keep tenants, thus adding value to your land. 

However, not everyone knows the procedure of building a granny flat from scratch. Today, we've decided to share six of the most important things to examine before building.

Six Things To Consider Before Building A Granny Flat

Outdoor Area Of Granny Flat With Table

1. Purpose Of Building The Granny Flat

Before you start measurements and design plans, get a clear idea about why you need a new granny flat in the first place. Maybe you need one for an older family member who needs to live close to you. Some might allow tenants who might be required to live there for a short period. 

Only after you finalise this step will you understand the house plan, design, and the amenities it should include. If approved as a proper accessory apartment, it will need to accommodate its own kitchen and bathroom

Instead, if you don't need these separate amenities, the building may get registered as a studio. However, if the council approves of a studio apartment, you cannot set up a kitchen or laundry in that building.

Plus, some states have direct requirements that the resident in the granny flat needs to be a close relative. If this is not the case in your state, you can keep tenants if the granny flat is self-sustained with a kitchen, bathroom, and laundry.

2. Enough Space

Even though it is a given, the most important thing to note is whether you have enough space on your property to construct new structures. Depending on your state, the local council will impose different rules regarding the minimum land requirement.

So, the very first step is measuring the land and comparing it with the guidelines available in your state. At the very least, you should have a land area of 450 square metres. Even if you are going to build a tiny granny flat that takes up to 60 square metres, you will still need 100 square metres of space. 

Usually, the extra area is required to make up for setbacks, and without the extra space, it will be difficult for you to start construction.

Inside Clean Modern Granny Flat

3. Cost Of Building

Some of you may have noticed flatpacks that claim to build granny flats at low prices. A few of these advertisements will market the building at a mere $25,000, but the practical cost is never this cheap. Realistically speaking, one can expect to spend about $100,000 (plus GST) for the most basic type of flat.

At this cost, you can get your design approved and construct an apartment with two bedrooms and one bathroom in one storey. Plan your finances wisely because other expenses can add up, and depending on how many upgrades you need, the budget will stretch accordingly. 

Added costs could come from upgrading electrical systems or the labour involved in the actual construction of the house.

4. Council Approval

As we mentioned earlier, most cases will need approval from the local council before building a new granny flat. All states have different regulations for residents wanting to change, renovate, or build on private property. So, checking eligibility is a must before proceeding with the plan. 

It's not difficult if you know what to do - visit the local council office and let them know about your plans. Essentially, you'll be submitting a "Development Application" (DA) which the council can go through and come to a verdict. 

Depending on whether your application is approved or rejected, discuss your options with them to carry out further action. On average, it shouldn't take more than ten days to get approved, but sometimes the matter can stretch for weeks on end.

5. Size Restrictions

Once you have had the chance to discuss plans for a new granny flat with the council, they should give you some guidelines for building. One of the more important aspects is the size restriction, and the rules will mention a minimum land size if the project is to proceed. Let's see a few land size requirements for different states in Australia- 

  • New South Wales - Minimum 450 square metres
  • Australian Capital Territory - Maximum floor area of 70 square metres ( healthcare exchange is required between the granny flat occupant and primary resident)
  • Western Australia - 70 square metres at the most
  • Queensland - 80 square metres maximum ( approval not required for family members living in a granny flat)
  • South Australia - 50 square metres maximum ( full kitchen and laundry area not allowed)
  • Victoria - Anything more than 300 square metres requires approval
  • Tasmania - 60 square metres at the most
  • Northern Territory - 50-80 square metres depending on the type of property

6. Granny Flat Design

Consider hiring an architect to lay out the design plan for your granny flat. You can state the type of structure required with the number of bedrooms and bathrooms so that the expert can design accordingly.

We suggest having a rough idea or sketch in mind before setting a meeting with the project manager. You can also convey the budget beforehand so that the architect or designers can proceed accordingly. 

Brick Granny Flat On Paddock

Are Your Ready To Construct Your Granny Flat?

Ultimately, if you are sure about getting a new granny flat, we'll say go for it. Your family can use the extra space to accommodate guests and extended family or as a lounge area for get-togethers. Security-wise, there will be more people residing on your property if you allow tenants in the granny flat, so that's another plus.

Just go through the requirements mentioned here, and you should be ready to become the proud owner of a new granny flat!

You can count on Final Touch for all your granny flat needs in Sydney. We have licensed Sydney builders with expertise in building granny flats and house renovations. So please, call us today and speak with one of our friendly team members today!

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