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  • Writer's pictureBibin Babu

What is a Granny Flat – Everything You Need to Know About Granny Flat in 2023

Granny flats have emerged as the fastest-growing trend in the construction and housing industry, especially with the current rise in rental prices, increasing demand for available houses, and growing families and populations. As a result, more and more residents are turning to granny flats in 2023 as a practical solution. But what exactly is a granny flat? and how granny flats differ from other forms of housing? Our ultimate guide to granny flats in 2023 will provide you with everything you need to know, answering all the critical questions about what a granny flat is and why granny flats becoming an increasingly popular housing option.

What is a Granny Flat?

What is a Granny Flat?
What is a Granny Flat?

A granny flat is essentially a second dwelling that typically accommodates one or two people and is usually situated on the same property as the main house. Both the granny flat and the primary dwelling come under the same title. These types of flats design provide additional living space for family members or can be rented out to tenants, making them a practical and versatile housing solution.

How Big is a Granny Flat?

How Big is a Granny Flat?
How Big is a Granny Flat?

Granny flats are designed to be smaller than the primary dwelling on a property, with a maximum allowable floor area of 60m2 in most councils. However, the design and structure of a granny flat can be customized to meet your specific needs and property dimensions. They are available in both single and double-storey designs and can be built to match the style of your existing home.

Before building a granny flat, it's important to be aware of the regulations and site requirements set by your local council. For example, there may be specific setbacks required from your property boundary. It's always a good idea to check with your local council to ensure you comply with all necessary regulations.

Despite their smaller size, granny flats can still provide ample living space and are an ideal solution for homeowners looking to maximize their property's potential. With careful planning and design, a granny flat can be a comfortable and practical living space that meets your specific needs.

How Do Granny Flats Compare to Other Small Living Spaces?

How Do Granny Flats Compare to Other Small Living Spaces
How Do Granny Flats Compare to Other Small Living Spaces

There are several options available when it comes to small living spaces, and it can be confusing to understand the differences between each type of dwelling. If you're considering a small living space, it's important to compare the available options to determine which one is the best value and choice for your needs.

One popular option is the granny flat, which is a self-contained dwelling that can be built in the backyard of an existing property. Another option is a tiny house, which is a small, mobile dwelling that can be moved to different locations. Similarly, a park home is a small, mobile home that is typically situated in a designated park or community.

When comparing granny flats to other small living spaces, it's important to consider factors such as cost, size, mobility, and versatility. Granny flats are typically more affordable than tiny houses or park homes and can provide more space for living. However, tiny houses and park homes offer more mobility and flexibility in terms of the location of your granny flat.

Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and goals for your living space. With careful consideration and research, you can determine which small living space option is the best fit for you. (Why Should You Choose a Granny Flat Over Another Option?)

Granny Flats Vs Secondary Dwelling

Granny Flats Vs Secondary Dwelling
Granny Flats Vs Secondary Dwelling

A granny flat and a secondary dwelling are often used interchangeably, but specifically, a secondary dwelling is a self-contained unit located on the same land as the main house. This unit may include a kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, and can be rented out to tenants. Granny flats are a type of secondary dwelling and are subject to the same zoning laws and regulations.

Granny Flat

  • A granny flat is considered a “Secondary dwelling” and is subject to the same zoning laws and local council regulations as secondary dwellings.

  • It can serve as a self-contained home with bathroom facilities and a kitchen, providing tenants with privacy and independence.

  • While commonly used for elder relatives, granny flats can also be used for teenage family members, and adult children saving for their own homes, guests, or rental properties.

Secondary Dwelling

  • A secondary dwelling includes granny flats, teenage retreats, and other types of self-contained accommodation.

  • Only one main dwelling and one secondary dwelling are allowed per property.

  • Granny Flat Solutions offers assistance with the entire approval process, from planning and design to approvals and construction.

Granny Flat Vs Tiny House

Granny Flat Vs Tiny House
Granny Flat Vs Tiny House

A tiny house is a type of compact and transportable dwelling that is detached from the main house. These small homes are usually limited to only 50m2 in size, making them a popular choice for those seeking a minimalist lifestyle or a more affordable housing option. However, unlike a granny flat, tiny homes are not considered permanent structures and are often built on trailers or other movable foundations. This means that they do not typically add value to your property in the same way that a permanent structure like a granny flat would. Despite this, many people still choose to live in tiny homes due to their affordability, flexibility, and minimal environmental impact.

Granny Flat

  • 2 bedroom granny flats generally offer more living space compared to tiny homes.

  • Can increase the value of your property and provide extra rental income.

  • Customizable to fit your specific needs, style, and budget, including environmentally-friendly design and special needs accommodations.

Tiny House

  • Built on wheels, providing mobility and flexibility like a caravan.

  • Limited to a maximum size of 50m2, making them smaller than most granny flats.

  • Typically have restrictions on how long they can be occupied each year.

  • Although an affordable option, finding suitable parking for a tiny house can be challenging.

Granny Flat Vs Outdoor Studio

Granny Flat Vs Outdoor Studio
Granny Flat Vs Outdoor Studio

An outdoor studio, also known as a lifestyle pod, is similar to a granny flat but with some key differences. The main distinction is that an outdoor studio cannot have a kitchen area and cannot be rented out to tenants. Instead, it is typically used as a versatile space for a variety of purposes. Some common uses for outdoor studios include hobbies, entertainment areas, creative spaces, guest rooms, recording studios, and home offices. With their flexible design and ability to blend seamlessly into your backyard or outdoor living space, outdoor studios can be a great addition to any home.

Granny Flat

  • A granny flat is a permanent addition to your property that can enhance its value, especially if it is designed to complement your home's style and appearance.

  • Renting out your granny flat can provide you with a reliable source of extra income.

  • It is an economical way of expanding your living space without having to build a larger home.

Outdoor Studio

  • An outdoor studio is a versatile space that can be used for various activities, including hobbies, entertainment, a gym, and guest accommodation.

  • It is an excellent option for a home office, providing a separate space for work while still being close to home.

  • As an outdoor structure, it can offer a unique and peaceful setting, making it ideal for creative activities or relaxation.

What are the Benefits of Building a Granny Flat On Your Property?

What are the Benefits of Building a Granny Flat On Your Property?
What are the Benefits of Building a Granny Flat On Your Property?

If you're thinking about adding living space to your property, a granny flat can offer numerous benefits. Here are some ways that clever design, an extensive range, and skilled workmanship can result:

  1. Additional income from long-term rental: A granny flat can be rented out to tenants, providing a steady source of extra income for you.

  2. Option for Airbnb or short-stay holiday home: If you don't want to rent out your granny flat long-term, you can also consider listing it on Airbnb or similar platforms for even greater income potential.

  3. Lower build costs: Compared to building a traditional single-family home, a granny flat can be a more cost-effective option.

  4. Reduced council and land costs: Depending on your location and local regulations, you may be able to avoid or minimize council and land costs associated with building a granny flat.

  5. Faster construction time: With a typical construction time of around 16 weeks, building a granny flat can be a quicker option than other types of home extensions or renovations.

  6. Unique and customized design: Granny flats can be customized to fit your specific needs, style preferences, and budget.

  7. Enhanced safety and security: With a granny flat on your property, you'll have an additional layer of security and safety for you and your loved ones.

  8. Increased property value: A granny flat can add value to your property, making it a more attractive option for potential buyers in the future.

  9. Multigenerational living: allows for elderly parents or adult children to have their own space while still being close to family.

  10. Increased property value: a well-designed granny flat can increase the overall value of your property.

  11. Versatility: can be used as a home office, studio, or guesthouse.

  12. Sustainability: can be designed to be eco-friendly with features such as solar panels and energy-efficient appliances.

  13. Flexibility: can be designed to suit any style, from traditional to modern.

  14. Privacy: provides separate living space for family members or renters, allowing for greater privacy for all parties.

  15. Convenience: having a granny flat on your property can be more convenient for hosting guests or accommodating family members.

  16. Space: allows for more living space on your property without having to move or invest in a larger home.

  17. Independence: provides a sense of independence for elderly or adult family members.

  18. Accessibility: can be designed with accessibility in mind, making it easier for those with mobility issues to live comfortably.

  19. Lower maintenance costs: smaller space means less maintenance costs.

  20. Lower energy costs: smaller space means lower energy bills.

These are just some of the many benefits of building a granny flat on your property.

10 Important Factors to Consider When Building a Granny Flat in Your Backyard

10 Important Factors to Consider When Building a Granny Flat in Your Backyard
10 Important Factors to Consider When Building a Granny Flat in Your Backyard

  1. Access: When building a granny flat, it's essential to consider how people will access the property. Consider creating a pathway or a separate entrance to ensure your tenants or guests can access their property without disturbing your dwelling space.

  2. Parking: Parking is an important aspect to consider when building a granny flat. Determine whether there's enough space for parking on your property or whether your tenants or guests will need to park on the street.

  3. Privacy: Privacy is critical when building a granny flat. Ensure that the granny flat doesn't face your house, and consider installing windows and doors that don't intrude on your privacy.

  4. Landscaping: Landscaping plays a significant role in the overall appearance of your property. Consider removing any trees or plants that require constant cleaning or maintenance, and opt for low-maintenance plants or fake grass to ensure that the area is easy to maintain.

  5. Zoning Regulations: Check with your local council to ensure that your property is zoned for building a granny flat. Understanding zoning regulations will help you avoid any legal issues down the road.

  6. Building Permits: Obtaining the necessary building permits is crucial when building a granny flat. Ensure that you have all the necessary permits and approvals before starting construction.

  7. Water and Sewage: Ensure that you have access to water and sewage for your granny flat. It's important to consider whether you'll need to connect to the main sewer line or install a separate sewage system.

  8. Energy Efficiency: Consider making your granny flat energy efficient to reduce utility costs. Incorporate features such as insulation, solar panels, and energy-efficient appliances to lower energy consumption.

  9. Design and Layout: The design and layout of your granny flat play a significant role in its overall functionality and comfort. Consider incorporating features such as open-plan living, natural light, and ample storage space to make the space feel comfortable and functional.

  10. Maintenance: Consider the maintenance requirements of your granny flat when designing and building it. Opt for low-maintenance materials and features to ensure that the space is easy to maintain and care for over time.

How to Get Approval for Building a Granny Flat?

How to Get Approval for Building a Granny Flat?
How to Get Approval for Building a Granny Flat?

If you are planning to build a granny flat in New South Wales, you have two options for obtaining approval: either through the local council's Development Application (DA) process or by obtaining a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) from a private certifier. (10 Common Mistakes to Avoid while you Building Granny Flats)

At The Granny Flat Experts, our team of experienced professionals and Granny Flat Designers can assist you with either process. We provide expert guidance and support to make your building journey as smooth and stress-free as possible. With our help, you can confidently navigate the approval process, knowing that your granny flat will be built in compliance with all relevant regulations and requirements.

We understand that obtaining approval can be a daunting task, but our team is here to make the process as easy as possible for you. We work closely with you to understand your specific needs and preferences and provide tailored solutions to ensure that your granny flat meets your requirements and exceeds your expectations.

Contact us today to speak with one of our granny flat experts and start your journey towards building your dream granny flat.


Q: What is a Granny Flat?

A: A Granny Flat, also known as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), is a self-contained living space on the same property as a single-family home. It usually includes a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living area.

Q: Why are they called Granny Flats?

A: They are called Granny Flats because they were originally designed for elderly relatives to live close to their family members, but still maintain their independence.

Q: What are the benefits of having a Granny Flat?

A: Granny Flats can provide additional living space, increase the value of your property, and can be used for rental income. They are also a great option for multi-generational families, allowing elderly relatives or adult children to live close to their family members.

Q: Do I need permission to build a Granny Flat?

A: The regulations regarding building Granny Flats vary depending on your location. In some areas, you may need to obtain permits and meet certain zoning requirements. It's best to check with your local council or building authority to see what regulations apply in your area.

Q: How much does it cost to build a Granny Flat?

A: The cost of building a Granny Flat can vary greatly depending on factors such as the size, materials used, and location. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 or more.

Q: Can I rent out my Granny Flat?

A: Yes, you can rent out your Granny Flat as long as it meets local regulations and zoning requirements. Renting out your Granny Flat can provide a source of rental income and help offset the cost of building it.

Q: What are the different types of Granny Flats?

A: There are several different types of Granny Flats, including attached Granny Flats (built onto the main house), detached Granny Flats (built separately from the main house), and converted garages or sheds.

Q: Do Granny Flats come fully furnished?

A: Granny Flats typically do not come fully furnished, but they may come with some basic appliances such as a refrigerator and stove. It's up to the owner to furnish the Granny Flat as desired.

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