What Is a Granny Flat and Why Should You Build One?

Whether you actually want your granny to move in or not, learn the definition of a granny flat and the benefits it can provide you.

Are you considering entering the buy-to-rent market or hiring lodgers to bring in some extra cash? Both these options are lucrative and are worth considering but have you ever thought about building a granny flat?

Don’t let the name put you off. A granny flat is not just used to house your elderly relatives it can be a valuable space for young couples or a place for short term holiday lets.

Here’s what is a granny flat and why you should consider building one in your home.

What is a Granny Flat?

Granny flats are flats that are separate properties within the grounds of your home. They are usually only one story and resemble a bungalow more than a flat.

They are called granny flats because they were once used by younger or middle age couples to house their grandma when they got older. This way you could keep an eye on grandma and you were a stone’s throw away from her if she needed medical assistance or help to maintain her home. At the same time, you both get to keep your privacy and personal space and could live separate lives if you wish. 

But in the modern era, a granny flat is not used by grannies it can also be used by younger couples who are just starting out and can even house short term holiday lets. Granny Flats are on the rise, according to a survey by the American Institute of Architects.

Have Lodgers, Retain Privacy

We’ve all been there. As a couple, you find the perfect two or three-bedroom house but circumstances change. Your dream job falls through or you split up. The bills come in every month and it’s a stretch.

One way of solving this issue is to hire lodgers but this can ruin your privacy. The last thing you want is lodgers in your kitchen, playing their music night late at night or worse creeping around and even stealing from you. 

A granny flat is one way you can keep your privacy while raking in the money to help you with your bills or mortgage payments while the spaces are completely separate. 

If your new lodger wants to live like a slob and stay up until the early hours, they can do just that and you don’t have to be a part of it so long as they clean up in time for a tenancy inspection.

Make Use of Your Extra Land

If you don’t live in a big city and have the luxury of owning a property with lots of open space then granny flats could be the perfect way of taking full advantage of your space.

The first step is to consult with all the relevant partners such as neighbors, any live-in tenants, and your partner. Tell them of your plans and warn them that there may be some disruption for a few months. Then find builders for your granny flat.

Be careful not to get ripped off by cowboy builders and ensure you get the proper permissions from your state first so that you are not breaking any planning laws.

Consider moving out of your house when the builders begin their work so that you are not disturbed or make it a condition of their work that they don’t work weekends or after 5pm when you will have returned from work. 

Be sure to consider your target clients before you plan and build it. Are you targeting short term holiday lets if you live by the beach or in a scenic part of town? Or are you more interested in renting out to long term tenants? If so are you looking for young singles, newly married couples or older people?

These kinds of questions will determine not just the interior decor of the granny flat. They will also determine whether the flat needs to be built to accommodate older people who are not as mobile as younger couples and whether the flat should be made child-friendly should a couple want to have their first child there. 

Once they are built you can advertise your granny flat or, as they are also known, granny pods for sale.

House Your Granny or Annoying Relatives

The other reason you might want to build granny flats is for their original purpose to house your grandma. Perhaps she is recently widowed and needs some company but, as much as you love your grandma, you’d find it difficult living with her. A granny flat is a perfect solution.

But it’s not just your granny that can be housed in a granny flat, it’s a place for your annoying relatives to crash out as well.

This way they don’t have to complain about how messy your house is or comment on your habits, a key source of tension during these visits. 

Even recent graduates are getting in on this with the rise of the so-called graddy annex as a place for them to live until they can afford their home. 

A Granny Flat Can Solve Multiple Issues

If you are considering building a granny flat then go for it. It may seem like a big investment but they can solve many problems. It’s not just a place for granny to live as the name suggests, it can also be a place you rent out to earn some extra cash without having the inconvenience of lodgers. If you live in a nice part of town or by the beach you could even rent it as a short term holiday let.

If you are interested in reading more about granny flats or granny pods for sale then be sure to check out the rest of our site.

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