Do you have an empty space in your backyard? Have you considered putting in a granny flat? A granny flat can be used as a home for a family member, a home office, play room or can even be rented out. Here are some ideas and tips to consider before you begin the design of a granny flat.

  1. Check the council regulations

You must always be informed of your local council’s planning policy. Some councils are very specific and have restrictions depending on the use of the new construction, the shape/size of the block, and the percentage of open space allowed (in accordance with the R-Codes). Double check with your local council to discuss the different options you might have.

  1. Ensure compliance with the Residential Design Codes

The R-Codes have specific requirements for building a granny flat (also called an ancillary dwelling). Given below are some examples but you can check in the R-codes for more details:

  • Granny flat to be associated with a single house and on the same lot,
  • The lot must not be less than 450m2 in area,
  • The maximum plot ratio area should be no more than 70m2, etc.
  1. Common space

The outdoor area is used as a common space between the users of the granny flat and yourself. If the granny flat is used as an extension of your personal space, then this is not much of a concern, but for a rental property, it may cause privacy issues. The factor of parking is another issue to think about if you are planning on renting out the granny flat. If the block allows it, you may then consider a carport as part of the granny flat design.

  1. Use of the granny flat

It is important to keep in mind that the use of the granny flat might change throughout the years. The design needs to allow flexibility. For example, if a mezzanine level is added to provide an extra room and space, disability access may be a concern for the next users of space.

  1. Save space

Because a granny flat is limited to 70m2 (please check in the latest version of the R-Codes), the design should aim to maximise space and increase storage in a smart way. Here are some examples our building designers picked for you:

  • Consider multipurpose furniture such as a window seat bench with storage under or a sofa with enough space underneath to fit storage containers.
  • Enclose the laundry facilities in a small space with a sliding door to look like a cupboard.
  • Consider an island bench with a breakfast bar instead of a dining table. You can also read Our design tips to maximise space.
  1. Think about the energy efficiency

Materials and design are to be considered to keep the granny flat cool in summer and warm in winter and thereby keeping the electricity bills low. For instance, you can also opt for Structural Insulated Panels. You can also provide appropriate sized eaves to protect the windows from excessive sun while allowing the sun indoors in winter. The use of timber framing over aluminium or other metals can also help in avoiding heat gain through the window frame.

If you would like to speak with a professional about energy efficiency options, ⇒ CLICK HERE ⇐ to contact our energy assessors and work out what is the best for you.

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