Whether you are wanting to earn some easy money from rental yield, provide a home for your parents, kick the kids out of the main abode or simply add another living space – a granny flat is your answer. Upgrading your granny flat can be an inexpensive or a hugely pricy venture, depending on what you are after.
Nowadays, as Australia’s population continues to grow, the residential space around the nation’s major cities is shrinking. Families and investors looking to maximize their income are getting creative and thinking outside the block. Granny flats are becoming an ingenious way to collect some rent. All you need is a bit of space, some renovation savings and council approval.
Before beginning your granny flat renovation, it is important to recognise your primary use for the structure. If it is to house friends and family when over, private access is not such an issue, neither is separate water, gas and electricity meters. If however your granny flat is to rent out, private access, entry and perhaps even parking are necessary.
The first step is to contact your local council and find out what you can and cant do in terms of building and creating a secondary dwelling. This is based on your block frontage, block size and zoning etc. It is best to get the council involved from the very beginning so there is no conflict later down the track.
If it is just a smaller, interior renovation that you are beginning, little more than fittings, fixtures, paint and furniture will be needed. If taking part in a large interior and exterior renovation however, proper plans will need to be drawn and possible excavating, roof lifting and wall constructing will follow.
Before finalising plans, speak to your local real estate agent to find out about your areas demand for granny flats. If looking to rent, ask about how many bedrooms and what specific features increase your chances of finding tenants. If wanting to add further space and investment potential to your current home, base your renovation on qualities that you are going to enjoy and get the most use out of whilst keeping in mind the selling potential in the future.
Remember that if adding to an already tenanted property, you may have to reduce the rent for the existing inhabitants and give them good notice of your plans.
A typical granny flat contains 1 or 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a small kitchen/kitchenette with laundry facilities and a small living and/or eating area. Nowadays granny flats are becoming like small apartments and aim to be self-contained in terms of day-to-day living. Space saving, storage and efficient use of space is the main aim when designing and building your granny flat. Think about under bed storage, in cupboard laundries and compact bathroom designs in order to utilise and get the most out of your new space.