Things to Consider Before Building a Granny Flat

Granny flat, digs, in-law suite. Whatever you want to call it or whatever its purpose will be, there are a few things to keep in mind or to consider before jumping the gun and breaking ground. Consider these 5 things before getting started and inviting the in-laws to move in!

  1. Check your local building codes and get the proper approvals first. Whenever you want to make any additions to your property, you will likely have to get plans approved first, and there may be some features you are and are not allowed to add on. In order to make it legal, there may be some requirements like making sure the suite has its own, safe entrance and on-site parking.
  2. Find the perfect spot. Again, check what the laws are in your area. You may be able to simply convert a garage you no longer use, or you may be required to build a completely new structure in your back garden. Another option could be using a room in your home that is underused, and simply adding an extension off there.
  3. You may want to separate the utilities from the main house. If you plan to rent this suite out, you will have more control. If the suite goes unoccupied for any period of time, you can then switch off the geyser without it impacting the main house. The electricity will then also be in the control of the tenants.
  4. Consider any current or future special needs of your tenants. Of course, if you will be renting the suite out as a digs or something similar, there is no way to know if the tenants will have special needs. But, if you are creating the suite for your in-laws, for example, it is the perfect opportunity to consider their needs and implement them during the building stages rather than after the fact. For example, you could consider adding bars or stools into the shower space, or a ramp for wheelchair use.
  5. Find the right contractor. We have done numerous blog posts on things to consider before hiring a contractor, or questions to ask to ensure you hire the correct one. In this case however, it is important to find one who has built these types of suites before. They will be a huge help when it comes to getting plans approved, too.

Now that you have the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to Head to or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) for all your granny flat building needs.

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