Why A Granny Flat Is The Simple Solution

Granny Flat

As Australia grows and expands, housing is becoming a premium product. Although our nation is over 7.6 million km2, there just isn’t enough developed housing to go round. Real estate gurus are putting up apartment blocks to handle this. It’s not because there isn’t enough space. It’s more because the population is centred in specific residential areas.


These population statistics are driven by proximity to paid work. Urbanised regions still host and house the majority of the able-bodied residents, while peri-urban regions are barely occupied. It’s common to find a thousand acre ranch managed by a single family and a handful of hired labour. Meanwhile, city apartment blocks house thousands of people.


The main disadvantage of apartment blocks is – ironically – space. While a single block can house thousands of family units, each apartment is restricted to four or five people. This means apartments are great for singles and young couples, but once a baby comes in, or once your little ones grow into tweens, your house can quickly get cramped.


The situation becomes harder if you’re housing extended family members. Adult siblings, cousins, and grandparents have no space in an apartment. If you have the financial capacity, you might choose to buy or rent neighbouring flats in the same apartment block. This can be a convenient way to retain family ties while staying out of each other’s hair.


In realistic terms though, buying a single suburban lot or a house slightly out of town is more affordable than purchasing multiple city apartments. You get more value per square foot, and there are other bonuses. If you buy or rent your own detached home, you can get a yard, a swimming pool, a garden, and unregulated room for your pets.


Of course, you might end up spending more time and money on your commute to work, so you have to weigh your pros and cons and see which side wins. The one advantage of a suburban house vs an urban block is there’s more space for relatives. If you have elderly parents, angsty teens, or adult children, you can comfortably house them.


Granny Flat

Compliance With Housing Regulations


According to Australian housing regulations, Sydney granny flats can only be used for family purposes. That means you either house a blood relative or use it as a home office. In both cases, granny flats offer a simple solution to your challenge.


In the former case, you can house a grandparent or child at minimal cost, and without interfering with anyone’s independence. In the latter, you can resolve the challenge of commuting to work. For some people, having a spacious, comfortable house is a bigger benefit than living close to work. Luckily, you don’t always have to choose.


Nowadays, almost any job can be done remotely, as long as your employer has a flexi-time policy. Alternatively, you can switch jobs and get one you can do from home. Then, you can install or convert a granny flat into a home office to avoid household distractions. All you need is a good mobile network and consistent internet access.


As for housing, granny flats use the same water, power, and sewer systems as the main house, so there’s no added expense or infrastructural requirement. Municipalities don’t allow granny flats to be used commercially, so you can’t rent them out, but as a home office, you can still use them to increase your income.


Low Cost, Low Labour


Granny flats are a maximum of 60m2, so they don’t take that long to install or build. They have to be self-contained, so they have a bathroom, a kitchenette, and a maximum of two small bedrooms. Their appliances and furniture have to be small, which cuts costs, and there are legal specifications on their distance from fences, main roads, or natural landmarks.


Nowadays, you can get a prefabricated granny flat, which cuts down both your costs and your time investment. Prefab construction materials are cheaper and lighter than conventional concrete or stone, but they’re just as stable and reliable. Their advantage is they come in a flat pack for easy assembly so that they can be set up in a day or two.


You can assemble your granny flat on your own, or ask for technical help from your suppliers. It’s fairly easy since each flat-pack comes with all the tools you need, and clear assembly instructions. The pre-fab flat is made from poly, aluminium, and EPS sandwich panelling. It’s a lightweight structure that is fully insulated for power saving functionality.


While a granny flat may not seem like the obvious solution, it can be quite handy. It’s quick, affordable, reliable, and as long as you have 450m2 in your backyard and permission from your municipal authority, you can have one installed before the end of the week.


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